MONTE SCHULZ TOURS WEST COAST IN MARCH TO PROMOTE THE RELEASE OF THE NEW NOVEL, THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER
SEATTLE, WA, FEB. 2, 2011 --- This March, Fantagraphics Books will publish The Last Rose of Summer, a novel by Monte Schulz. To support the release, the author will tour several cities on the West Coast in late-February and March:
"Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, a veritable time-machine that whirled me through time to the dirty back roads of the American midwest in the year before the Depression. ... Did I mention how good the writing is? The writing is excellent... a masterpiece of setting and storytelling..."- Cory Doctorow, BOINGBOING
With the Great Depression looming and about to define America's next decade, three strong-minded women related by marriage form an uneasy household in the summer of 1929. Forced by her husband Harry to uproot their two small children from Illinois and take up residence in East Texas, Marie Hennesey struggles to find a place not only within her mother-in-law's home but in a Southern town whose troubling unfamiliarities compound her marital woes and homesickness.
Maude Hennesey has little patience for Marie and her children, and even less for her own pretty but petulant daughter, Rachel, who fights and flirts with a dashing pilot from New Orleans. Colliding issues of faith and sexual mores, racial proprieties and class distinctions, fuel a constant bickering through the narrow corridors of the house, all three women heedless of the love that has brought them together. Maude seems cold and distant except toward the ladies of her club; Rachel's affection for her doting aviator rises and falls capriciously; and Marie seeks to understand an absent husband, while deciding how to receive her employer's slow seduction.
As summer wears on, the conflicts among these women are exacerbated by a child murder that sends shockwaves of fear and mistrust throughout the community, particularly between the town's white residents and a black shantytown across the river. An ever-increasing sense of dread culminates in the arrival of a terrible storm whose aftermath reveals poignant and unexpected truths about these three women living at a time when America was poised on the brink of economic catastrophe.
In The Last Rose of Summer, Monte Schulz has created a story about three women and their interior and exterior lives, each of whom symbolize quintessential American notions of family, love and community. In so doing, he reminds us all where we come from and how we got here. With an elegiac voice that evokes an era in its final bloom, and a thoughtful rendering of the public and private contentions that ruled the day, The Last Rose of Summer becomes an instant American classic.
Monte Schulz published his first novel, Down By The River, in 1990, and spent the next twelve years writing a tapestry of the Jazz Age, of which The Last Rose of Summer and 2009's This Side of Jordan are two of three parts. He received his M.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he continues to reside. He is the eldest son of Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts).
Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles is showcasing original art from Tim Lane's Fantagraphic book ABANDONED CARS. SHQ customers will know Tim's work from the awesome bags he designed for them. From SHQ's press release, here's Tim's statement:
This collection of original comic pages depict my first experience freight train hopping, and are from the story SPIRIT in ABANDONED CARS. They are my favorite pages in the book, mainly because they represent a past experience that changed my life. Since I drew them a decade after the initial experience, they required a great deal of research to depict accurately, since the details of the locations were no longer fresh in my mind. To make sure that those details were accurate, I traveled back to all the relevant locations in an attempt to insure the authenticity of the story. To my great relief, things hadn't changed much since 1995, and it turned out that geography and architecture proved that my memory was in pretty good working order - my recollections hadn't become embellished too much over time.
This is the only story in ABANDONED CARS that is completely autobiographical, a form with which I don't feel very comfortable, and for that reason SPIRIT is atypical. But I think it serves an important purpose in the greater context of ABANDONED CARS because it places me among the cast of characters portrayed in the other short story selections. I hope you enjoy the original drawings from that story.
This picture (above) was taken in 1995, around the same time SPIRIT took place. Here I was in the Mission in San Francisc on Florida Street. At the time, I had been casing the West Oakland Yards (jumped only once but the train aborted to a sidetrack, where I spent a very cold night sleeping on the floor of a metal boxcar). Around this time I gave up freight hopping after reading and article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Robert Silveria, Jr, the hobo serial killer, who had recently been caught in the Bay area. He'd killed something like fourteen people along the rails, and murdered their dogs, if they had them, as well. One bad dude, no question.
The Jim Woodring documentary, THE LOBSTER AND THE LIVER, is screening at Seattle's Grand Illusion Cinema this Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 7pm and 9pm (part of a week-long run for the documentary at the Grand Illusion ). Jim Woodring will be giving a Q&A after the 7pm screening, and Fantagraphics has provided some Woodring books to give away to a few lucky attendees. Don't miss it!
Musician John Heneghan, whom I've mentioned on this blog previously, is a frequent musical collaborator with R. Crumb. And now, he's been entrusted with selling off some of the more extraneous items in Crumb's legendary 78 record collection. Many of the items include hand-written notes by Crumb on the sleeve of each piece. These could make a super cool, ultra-unique gift for any Crumb fans in your life.
Our old pal Ken Parille, one of the best comics critics in the business (see his posts on BlogFlumer), launched a modest online bibliography of the works of Daniel Clowes way back in 2001. Tomorrow, it celebrates its 10th anniversary on the web. It remains one of the most thorough bibliographies of any cartoonist on the web, and is a must-reference for any serious Clowes collector. Happy anniversary!
I'd never seen this Crumb painting before. I entertained the notion that it might be a fraud for a moment, but I think the telltale signs are the building facades and cars, which are classic "Harlem"-era Crumb. Available on eBay for a mere $100K.
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