In 2003, when Harvey Pekar's American Splendor film was coming out, the indie-friendly film chain Landmark Cinemas was really high on the film and an acquaintance of mine who worked as a graphic designer for their in-house magazine, FLM, asked me if I would try to edit a short comics section in tribute to Harv. So I did. It didn't come out quite like I'd hoped, but I was honored to do it. I thought of this when Harvey passed away recently and I wrote this, but couldn't find a copy. This weekend, while starting to move everything out of my basement to have some work done, I found it. As far as I know, it isn't on the web anywhere else, and there are some great pieces.
Click HERE for a larger version than what's below, so you can read all of it, but here's the Tim Hensley piece to whet your whistle:
Today is Roberto Clemente Day, honoring Latin America's greatest baseball player of All-Time, and one of the game's great humanitarians. Clemente was a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
This is a great opportunity for us to re-announce one of our most eagerly-awaited projects of the last few years: Wilfred Santiago's forthcoming graphic novel, 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente. Wilfred has been working on this book for several years now, and it's been delayed more than once because the project kept growing bigger and bigger. We're pleased to announce that Wilfred has completed the 200-page book and the book will be released in April, 2011, in time for the 2011 baseball season. Spring always brings a slew of new and interesting baseball books, and we expect 21 to lead next year's pack.
The biographical 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente is a human drama of courage, faith and dignity, inspired by the life of baseball star Roberto Clemente. No other baseball player dominated the 1960s like Roberto Clemente and no other Latin American player achieved his numbers. Born in 1924 in Puerto Rico, Clemente excelled in track and field and loved baseball. By the age of 17 he was playing in the PR Winter league. Spotted by the big-league scouts because of his hitting, fielding, and throwing abilities, he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954. A fierce competitor, within two seasons he was hitting above .300 consistently. He played like a man possessed, fielding superbly, unleashing his rifle arm, and hitting in clutch situations. Despite his aesthetic brilliance, he faced prejudice throughout his career and was given his due only after his unexpected and tragic death in a 1972 plane crash.
Although baseball was his obsession, Clemente never lost sight of his dreams and his greater responsibilities outside the game. This sense of urgency is what came to define him beyond that of a grand athlete. His eventual success and accompanying celebrity gave him the opportunity to engage his conscience in public life. He died when his plane went down in the Caribbean Sea on a relief mission to earthquake-torn Nicaragua that he personally directed.
21 chronicles Clemente's life from his early days growing up in rural Puerto Rico, the highlights of his career (including the 1960 World Series where he helped the Pirates win its first victory in 33 years, and his 3000th hit in 1972 during the last official at-bat of his life) as well as his private life and public mission off the field.
After his death, Major League Baseball declared September 18 to be "Roberto Clemente Day," and in 1999, Pittsburgh's Sixth Street Bridge was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge in honor of the greatest Latino ballplayer in history. Wilfred Santiago captures the grit of Clemente's rise from his impoverished Puerto Rican childhood, to the majesty of his performance on the field, to his fundamental decency as a human being in a drawing style that combines realistic attention to detail and expressive cartooning.
Wilfred Santiago was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He now lives in Chicago.
21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago $22.99 Hardcover • 200 pages • April 2011 ISBN 978-1-56097-892-3
In addition to our author signings, we'll have the following new books in tow: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec by Jacques Tardi • Book of Mr. Natural by R. Crumb • Fire & Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell • Four Color Fear by Greg Sadowski • From Shadow to Light: The Art of Mort Meskin by Steven Brower • Love & Rockets New Stories #3 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez • Lucky In Love by George Chieffet & Stephen DeStefano • Sanctuary by Nate Neal • Too Soon? by Drew Friedman • You'll Never Know Book Two by C. Tyler • Zippy Ding Dong Daddy by Bill Griffith • MOME 20 by various
Cartoonist and former Fantagraphics Art Director Pat Moriarity's artwork was all over last week's episode of Showtime's WEEDS series (making for one of the most obscure Buddy Bradley cameos ever, in the process), check it out:
This weekend is Seattle's BUMBERSHOOT festival ("bumbershoot" is old-timey for "umbrella" -- get it? it rains a lot here!), one of the biggest cultural events of the year in the great Pacific Northwest, and Fantagraphics will have a presence at the show in a few different ways, most notably a massive art exhibit curated by our own Larry Reid. Here's the skinny on all FBI goings-on:
NORTHWEST COMIX: A 30-YEAR SURVEY OF SEATTLE ALTERNATIVE CARTOONISTS Curated by Larry Reid in Association with Fantagraphics Books
Venue: Northwest Rooms
Open free to the public September 4-6 with admission to Bumbershoot 2010
This retrospective examines the Northwest's legacy as the birthplace of alternative comics (aka comix). Beginning with the work of Lynda Barry circa 1980, and running through today, the emphasis is on the role of comix in Seattle's youth movement of the '90s that went on to influence global popular culture. Curated by Larry Reid in conjunction with Fantagraphics Books, this exhibit features original artwork on display together with demonstrations by Friends of the Nib and Bureau of Drawers, as well as screenings of Hooked on Comix. Artists include Lynda Barry, Charles Burns, Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Patrick Moriarity, Mark Zingarelli, Roberta Gregory, Megan Kelso, Jim Blanchard, David Lasky, Justin Hampton, Ted Jouflas, and others.
AN EVENING WITH TONY MILLIONAIRE
Venue: Leo K. Theatre
Monday, September 6, 2010 • 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm
Tony Millionaire is the multiple award-winning creator of the self-syndicated comic strip, Maakies, which appears in weekly newspapers across the country. Maakies has been adapted to the small screen in 1998 for Saturday Night Live and in 2008 as The Drinky Crow Show for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Moderated by Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics Books.
LISTEN WHITEY: A HISTORY OF BLACK POWER RECORDINGS Hosted by Pat Thomas
Venue: Words & Ideas Stage
Saturday September 4, 2010 • 3:45PM - 4:45PM
Pat Thomas' forthcoming Fantagraphics book, Listen Whitey: The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975, chronicles his huge collection of rare and out-of-print Black Power poetry, speeches, interviews, jazz, soul, rock, and pop recordings. He will be speaking about this exhaustive collection and providing unique insight into the historical movement, while playing tons of music and recordings.
Also, if you live in Seattle, you might want to get in on this contest asap to win a few thousand dollars worth of killer swag, including a bunch of Fantagraphics books!
I just learned that there is a "Zippy the Pinhead: The Musical" opening Nov. 12 (and running thru Nov. 21) in Baltimore, MD. Hello?!?! It's written by Baltimore composer Lorraine Whittlesey and tells the story of the Zipster's return to Baltimore to attend his high school reunion, and includes numbers such as "Pinhead Love," "The Condiments" and "Type 'Z' Personality."
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