Today would have been the 58th birthday of Kim Thompson. Recently I stumbled across this photograph, from the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in 2012, while looking through the Fantagraphics flickr feed; I keep coming back to it. That's Kim with his back to the camera, looking at the work of our friend and former art director, Dale Yarger, who passed away that spring, another wonderful human being we lost to cancer way too soon. It would have been unfathomable at that time to think that Kim, too, would be gone within a year. Yet here we are. That's the great Jim Woodring in the foreground, with an unspeakably reverent look on his face that says more than I could ever hope to write. All three of these gentlemen have loomed large in my life, and this photo awashes me with emotion.
Advancements in modern technology have rendered the art of the prank phone call to be something of an anachronism. Which is a shame, and all the more reason why I'm rooting for this kickstarter to succeed. Never forget. Once upon a time, Park Grubbs was legendary, if mostly known only via tenth-generation cassette tapes shared through the mail by weirdos and misfits. Longtime Daniel Clowes fans will remember Grubbs as the esteemed winner of the "Eightball Prank Call Contest" (surely the Oscar of prank phone call awards). One of the kickstarter rewards is a signed print from longtime Grubbs co-conspirator / Fantagraphics friend and author Jim Blanchard, who will also appear in the film, I hear.
Just watch this. It's called "Nightmare," by The Francies. Written and Directed by Al Columbia. What else do you really need to know? Al has plenty of well-deserved fans for his visual art, but he's a helluva musician and filmmaker, too.
As work progresses on our long-awaited third volume of Ernie Bushmiller's NANCY (titled NANCY LOVES SLUGGO, and collecting the years 1949 through 1951), we belatedly realize that we are missing a half-dozen strips needed for this volume.
So we are sending out the plea to NANCY collectors: If you have clippings for any of the following NANCY dailies, we would love to hear from you. (For that matter, we are also including dates for two strips that were omitted from our previous volume, which we will run in Vol. 3 if they can be found).
(Note: We know it's possible to find scans of these strips online. We are looking for original print sources: newspaper clippings, or, even better, proof sheets, or, best of all, original art.)
Contact editor Eric Reynolds at reynolds at fantagraphics dot com -- and be sure to pass on this plea to anyone else you think might have contacts, message boards, what have you. NANCY fans unite!
London • Valentine's Day 2014 SEQUENTIAL, the graphic novel storefront and reader app focused on literary graphic novels, has announced that it is releasing titles by legendary art comics and graphic novel publisher Fantagraphics Books. The first tranche of titles, released on Valentine's Day, includes essential work from Fantagraphics flagship title Love and Rockets in the form of Jaime Hernandez's seminal Locas series, which tells the tales of Maggie and Hopey and a unique cast of characters.
Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds said, "SEQUENTIAL's efforts to curate a quality selection of non-mainstream digital comics and graphic novels is something that we can get behind; we're delighted to have our titles available on their app."
SEQUENTIAL was released in August 2013 and is focused on book format art comics and literary graphic novels. It strongly rejects including superhero fare and has been offering titles from UK publishers Jonathan Cape, Knockabout, Myriad Editions, SelfMadeHero and Blank Slate Books. It has recently started adding major US-based graphic novel publishers to its list.
SEQUENTIAL founder Russell Willis said, "We are really thrilled to be able to add Fantagraphics titles to the app. When we started out we were driven by a vision of including the best work in the world, untainted by superheroes, and having comics and graphic novels from Fantagraphics available on SEQUENTIAL is a key part of making that vision a reality."
The first tranche of titles includes Locas #1, #2 and #3 (Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. and Perla La Loca) by Jaime Hernandez, Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor, The Left Bank Gang and I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason, and TEOTFW by Charles Forsman. Work by Gilbert Hernandez and other Fantagraphics favourites will follow shortly.
In addition the app features the work of Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Eddie Campbell, Ellen Lindner, Hunt Emerson, Isabel Greenberg, Nick Abadzis, Rutu Modan, Winshluss and many, many more.
We are currently accepting applications for a Junior Design position. This is a full-time, hourly position in our office (telecommuters need not apply). If you don't currently live in Seattle, you must be willing to relocate.
• Thorough InDesign and Photoshop knowledge required. Any other programs are a plus. • Strong layout and typography sensibilities. • Detail oriented -- both in your work and in your ability to track change requests and stay on top of deadlines. • Work well independently as well as with the various personalities of editors, artists, and authors, taking in and utilizing feedback. • Ability to design interesting, unique solutions that respect and adhere to the vision of the artists we package.
The primary role as a Junior Designer will be doing book production, meaning you will be laying out templated books and occasionally creating original designs. You will also design ads (print and web), postcards, posters, etc. You will need to be a nimble designer, capable of solutions on a quick turnaround and able to maintain a steady workload. You will be responsible for sending press ready files to printers, so pre-press skills are a plus.
The right candidate could be anyone who is technically sound and enjoys production work. Knowledge of comics is helpful but it needn't be an obsession.
Interested parties email resumé and samples (or links to same) to
I'm going into this hoping that less is more and that a little convention report goes a long way with most folks. I know that's true of myself. I have yet to meet a comic book convention that I want to read more about than, say, WWI, despite how many con reports endeavor to prove me wrong.
What I'm really saying is, I didn't take as many pics as I should, especially as the weekend wore on.
I flew down Friday afternoon, this time attended by my girls (wifey Rhea and 5YO child unit Clem), which was a rare treat for me. It wouldn't be APE without a kickoff party at the "offices" of the House that Ron Turner Built, a.k.a Last Gasp, so we began there. In a vast warehouse of thousands of filthy, filthy books (I mean that most affectionately), my little girl zoomed in on this book like she was a dog working for the DEA and this was a brick of high grade hash that someone abandoned hastily during a raid of the premises:
BOO: THE LIFE OF THE WORLD'S CUTEST DOG features back cover endorsements from Nicky Hilton, Khloé Kardashian, cuteoverload.com and "Facebook Fan." Of course we bought it for her. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Gary Groth had had a daughter.
I could have spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures at Last Gasp. It is one of my favorite places in the world. It gives me MAJOR WORKPLACE ENVY. Fantagraphics is a wonderful place but we don't have Binky Brown's coffin on the wall (although our inventory manager, Martin Bland, has a very similar Jack-in-theBox):
Anyway, the always totally awesome Kristine Anstine showed Clem the toy section while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the party a bit more...
Kristine, however, continued to take orders throughout the party because she's a PRO (take note: this will come up again later).
Before we took leave, the great Ron Turner himself gave us a tour of his "private stash". I love and respect Ron immensely and really admire the empire he's built. His collection of cool shit is nonpareil.
From Last Gasp, we kept on truckin' (hyuk) to Mission Comics for onetime MOME contributor Malachi Ward's exhibition. Which was great, but you'll have to take my word for it, because I'd had two IPAs by that point and forgot to take any more photographs.
APE kicked off on Saturday morning at 11AM after a couple hours of set up. This will be my own little "panic room" for the next 36 hours or so:
Here is our first customer of the day, Brian Herrick, a fine cartoonist in his own right, with equally exceptional taste. I believe he is the first person in the world to take home a copy of Julia Gfrörer's BLACK IS THE COLOR. With great power comes great responsibility, Brian. I was so excited for you I couldn't hold the camera straight.
Remember when I mentioned Kristine Anstine being a true PRO? Well, here's another. APE Special Guest Bill Griffith dutifully worked on not one but two ZIPPY dailies behind our booth all weekend, in those rare moments that no one was asking him if he was having fun yet. Now that's a pro. Always working. I asked Bill if he ever got tired of drawing (something I've heard more than once from cartoonists who have been at it a lot less time than him). He matter-of-factly and without missing a beat answered, "No."
Can you tell I'm running out of steam? I'm thinking of trying to get a blurb from cuteoverload.com for this one:
Here is a picture of Alec Longsteth, followed by a picture of Mario Hernandez. Excellent gentlemen, each. Mario is always one of the people I look forward to seeing most at APE. He had the prettiest fingernails at the show this year.
Here is my APE stash. I didn't get a chance to do any proper shopping this year, but thanks to generosity of many of my fellow exhibitors, I managed to come home with an impressive haul.
Which reminds me, did anyone else notice the spine of this month's issue of THE BELIEVER?:
There were so many old friends at APE that I didn't get a chance to take a photo of, like Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Pat Moriarity, and Renée French. I was too busy closing deals. ABC! ALWAYS BE CLOSING. What can I say? I, too, am a PRO.
Anyway, let me leave you with this cuteoverload.com-worthy piece by Graham Chaffee:
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