This weekend (April 10-11), Mike Baehr, Janice Headley, Gary Groth and myself head out to the Big Apple for the annual MoCCA Arts Festival. I haven't been to MoCCA in a few years, so I'm especially looking forward to the trip. We have a slew of signings all weekend long as well as a remarkably potent lineup of new books debuting at the show, including:
Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso Best American Comics Criticism, edited by Ben Schwartz Billy Hazenuts and the Crazy Bird by Tony Millionaire Captain Easy Vol. 1 by Roy Crane Dungeon Quest by Joe Daly Culture Corner by Basil Wolverton Blazing Combat s/c by Archie Goodwin & Co. Krazy & Ignatz 1916-1918 by Geo. Herriman The Search for Smilin' Ed by Kim Deitch Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 by Michael Kupperman Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley Weathercraft by Jim Woodring Temperance by Cathy Malkasian
And here's our signing schedule for the show (click for a larger, easier-to-read version):
A couple weekends back I sat down on a Friday night and read thru printed proofs of Tim Hensley's WALLY GROPIUS and was absolutely blown away. So much so that immediately afterward I emailed most of my coworkers to tell them how much I envied the pleasure that awaited them in reading the book in its entirety. I was so excited by a Fanta book that I was pimping it to my own coworkers. That's like telling your pregnant wife that, boy, she's really going to love that new baby that's on its way. Probably a bit unnecessary. But I couldn't help myself.
Having serialized WALLY in MOME for the last few years, I'd read every chapter many times over throughout its creation and loved it every step of the way, but once I finally sat down and read the whole book, I was dumbstruck by just how perfectly crafted and funny and sublimely brilliant it functions as a whole. The way Hensley's lyrical and satirical dialogue/narration plays off his impeccably beautiful, retro-ish cartooning is sui generis and as fully realized as anything I've ever read in comics. But don't believe me. None other than Daniel Clowes calls it "one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. Hilarious and utterly unique, WALLY GROPIUS is a work of unassuming genius that rewards on ever-deepening levels on each re-reading." Obviously I couldn't agree more. It's part teen romance, part dada absurdity, and part satire of power, celebrityhood and modern culture.
Anyway, when the idea came up recently in an office meeting to do more author interviews on Flog!, I knew where I wanted to start and had emailed Tim before the meeting was even over. Thankfully, he agreed, and here's what came of it.
FLOG: Tim, one thing that struck me in the course of putting the book together with you was just how specific your vision was for how the book should look and be printed. You were unusually specific and confident in your choices, for someone who was putting together his first book. And now that I've seen the book, I'm impressed by just how perfect your choices were. You picked a paper stock that I was unsure about in the abstract, for example, but it just works perfectly. As you were serializing the story in MOME, did you always have a pretty clear vision for the eventual book?
HENSLEY: I knew from the start I was doing an old fashioned hardback European comic album in terms of size and page count. I chose that format because it best fielded the liability of my inability to turn out a phone book of material. It also made a lot of decisions for me--a lot of albums I looked at had glossy cover stock and coated paper inside, endpapers printed with only process blue... Also, Alvin Buenaventura sent me some paper and cloth samples to look at in advance, so that made me appear better prepared than I was.
FLOG: I'm curious to know if you remember when you had the first idea for Wally, and what that idea was. Meaning, when you conceived it, were you thinking mostly in terms of the plot of Wally having to marry the saddest girl on earth, or was the plot a secondary concern to a larger, more abstract idea about *how* you were going to tell this larger satire?
HENSLEY: The when of it was after I got an e-mail from Gary Groth asking me to serialize a longer story in Mome, but there wasn't any eureka biopic moment I can recall. Both the plot and the how of it were an accretion of details more than a big abstract idea. I'd seen The Lady Eve with everyone chasing Henry Fonda, I liked how Dell comics would reuse the same character logos and break their stories into chapters--things like that. It was like piloting a Beverly Hillbillies truck full of garbage most of the time. Although I wrote the story out in advance, I did keep the last panel after the veil raises blank until the last minute, not really sure who the winner would be, figuring anybody at all would likely work.
FLOG: That's funny, because I think the ending is perfect. I asked about the original 'idea' because your work has many things going on at once. There's this plot of teen romance and political intrigue, but as tightly wound as it is, as a reader much of the pleasure comes from the dialogue and narration and visual puns, all of which are funny, clever, lyrical and even poetic at times. It's a series of great gags and brilliant ideas and a such masterful use of the language of comics that the plot is almost gravy, and I wondered which came first, the overarching plot or these individual moments. I'm guessing the plot just because there are some seeds planted early that are crucial to the story's resolution.
HENSLEY: That sounds more like a compliment than a question! The main element of the plot was [spoiler alert: highlight text if you dare] the check fraud of changing "IRS" to "MRS.," which I got from a book at the library on confidence men. One thing I thought was weird about Richie Rich and Uncle Scrooge was that the villains always wore black robber masks. Whenever I'd read, like, Vanity Fair magazine, there'd always be an article about a millionaire falling for or running a Ponzi scheme, so a more accurate villain seemed like it could just be somebody charismatic; the idea of Richie Rich being simply talked out of his riches by a con man sounded funny. I didn't really get that in the final story, but that was where I started. There's an old Wash Tubbs continuity where [spoiler alert]a couple swindles Wash that was probably the inspiration for the idea of having a married couple posing as father and daughter. And I always liked in, like, Plastic Man when Plas would don a beard and glasses, as if the drawing itself or his plasticity wasn't enough of a disguise.
FLOG: I've been reading your comics since at least the early 1990s in Duplex Planet, and your Ticket Stub minis, and even asked you to contribute to DirtyStories in the mid-1990s. But it seems like it you remained on the periphery of the "scene" until you started Wally Gropius in Mome. Was it really as simple as being asked to serialize something in Mome to get you to dive into comics the way you have the last five years? You never had any ambition to do a longer story before that?
HENSLEY: Nothing ever seems simple; it's hard to summarize the last twenty years. I had plenty of time when I was young and didn't know what to do, and now I have no time that I arguably do. I'm still too slow and don't seem to approach things like the hard-chargers I always read about. You couldn't really bank on me in a baseball card way. But it really did make a big difference to have a steady low-key place to work for a while. Where else could I have had the chance to serialize this story? Flight? I feel like I lucked into a few productive, if not breezy, years.
FLOG: I know music is a big part of your life and I think it comes thru in a myriad of ways in this book, as well as other pieces you've done in the past. Is that a very conscious thing or something that's so internalized that it can't be helped? Do you think of your comics in terms of musical rhythms and beats?
HENSLEY: My father is a professional musician and my mother sings in a church choir and I used to write songs, so both. I don't think of my comics as musical scores though.
FLOG: You don't write songs any more?
HENSLEY: I stopped writing songs after I lost my virginity and moved out of my parents' house. I still sing along with the radio when I'm driving.
FLOG: Ha! Okay. There's one truly shocking scene in Wally Gropius, at the end of "The Argument," between Jillian and her father. I don't want to give it away, but at that point in the story, it's a seemingly random and disturbing development. Were you intentionally playing this for shock value at that point in the story, or did you just think it was funny? When you delivered that chapter for MOME, not knowing what came next, I found it highly disturbing, and I'm wondering if you realized how chillingly that scene subverted all of the more lighthearted melodrama up to that point.
HENSLEY: I wanted there to be something at stake with the idea of the saddest girl in the world, and I wanted the readers to know something Wally didn't when they got to more scenes between him and Jillian. I also intentionally tried to make the page where he and Jillian kiss similar. To me, it explained why Jillian would be so interested in national anthems. I often get a reaction to my work which is "it makes me feel creepy, so you must be a creep." The scene is not anything from my own direct personal experience or inclination at all, and that I often have to explain that is just part of the veritable minefield the story is indirectly describing.
FLOG: This book has possibly the greatest sound effects in the history of comics: the sound of a closing door to a money vault is "TRUMP!", Wally's backfiring hotrod belches "DEUTSCHEMARK!" and "RUBLE!," Wally vomits "HEAR$T!", etc. Was that formal conceit inspired by anything in particular?
HENSLEY: One of the great reliefs of finishing this story was realizing I wouldn't have to think of any more money jokes. I can remember making a list of millionaire names and thinking, "OK, what sound effect would Vanderbilt make?" There wasn't any direct inspiration other than the way Richie Rich radiates currency gags into the physical environment. I did love Don Martin's sound effects as a kid; I recall he had "Poit" for the sound of a breast popping out of a dress. The font for all the sound effects came from John Stanley's Dunc and Loo. Tired of all the references to other comics yet?
FLOG: No! Speaking of which, recently my friend Jason Miles introduced me to The Adventures of Jodelle, which kind of fascinated me as a proto-underground, pop art artifact. When you were interviewed for Mome a few years ago, you mentioned that as an influence on an earlier piece you'd done for Dirty Stories. The reference was lost on me at the time, but now, I can see a bit of Jodelle in Wally, as a kind of pop art satire on excess. I guess that's not a question, but I'm wondering if you agree.
HENSLEY: The loud color scheme and the slamming door at the end may have been an influence, but, yeah, I was imitating Jodelle and Pravda more on the Daikon strip I did for Dirty Stories. Daikon was just before I learned how to really use a brush, so it could've turned out a lot better. Christophe Blain did an homage to Pravda you can find online that's perfect.
FLOG: Dash Shaw blogged about WALLY on Comics Comics, and described your visual style as, "It's like what [Tim] chooses to draw in the environment (and what he chooses not to draw) is determined by some graphic Feng Shui." Ken Parille ran with this, comparing your style to mid-20th Century kid's humor comics, which tend to use backgrounds sparingly, utilizing only characters and objects necessary for the gag. I thought it was a very astute piece. How conscious are these decisions, or do they just come intuitively to you in the layout stage?
HENSLEY: Those were both well-written posts, so I expect to get asked about them a lot! I knew I was drawing for color, and I was consciously trying to drop out elements to let the color through. Ken Parille was more specifically accurate that it imitates old humor comics. The danger is in losing so much detail you can't tell where you are. I would try to repeat certain colors if Wally was in the garage with the Dropouts again and always put three moneybags on a shelf there. The thing I thought more interesting in Dash Shaw's post was his note that he thought all the character's voices sounded the same; rereading the book, I can see his point.
FLOG: Right, he said the "voice" was the comic as a whole, which he meant as a compliment. Another thing Dash commented on that I found interesting was when he described how Wally's "monologue" at the altar in the final proper chapter to the book should resonate with anyone who's ever been in a relationship with a clinically depressed person. Would you agree?
HENSLEY: Ha, it's maybe been more the other way around or both at once, so maybe I couldn't tell you. Well, I haven't been clinically depressed in the sense of taking medication. I get depressed a lot, but it feels less chemical than "inescapable sorrow." It's where I get my sense of humor.
FLOG: Well, that's interesting, the idea of your humor coming from an "inescapable sorrow," because it somehow reminds me of some things I've read where you've talked about how you think having a mentally handicapped sister has informed your work. Maybe Dash was picking up on some of that?
HENSLEY: Yeah, probably. "Inescapable sorrow" was how Pearl Buck describes institutionalizing her daughter in The Child Who Never Grew. That's a book I re-read a lot. I don't have much of a social life other than taking my sister out to lunch once a week, when she isn't in the hospital. She's made half-hearted attempts at suicide, gone blind and back, had a stroke, been put under psychiatric lockdown, has COPD, diabetes, emphysema, hepatitis... At a certain point, it almost becomes absurd. Whatta world.
FLOG: One thing that surprised me in your MOME interview was when you said you felt much more confident in your writing abilities than your drawing, which surprised me, because I think your drawings are every bit as fully realized on the page as your writing and that they complement each other perfectly. That was almost four years ago -- do you still feel the same way?
HENSLEY: Yep, but I think my art has improved a bit. I can really see in Wally where I switched from a #2 brush to a #4. The compositions also get a little less afraid of overlapping elements. You can't wait to get good enough to draw comics, because you mostly pick up stuff through the routine of failing.
FLOG: What's next for you, comics-wise? I know you've done some Alfred Hitchcock strips for THE BELIEVER's comics section recently. What else?
Well, I'm working on a minicomic of SirAlfred strips. It will be very low-key. Now that I'm briefly working again and only have at best an hour a day for comics, I'm trying to scale things down. I hope eventually if my life stabilizes a bit more to try to put together another long story to draw. It's weird how a sketch has more value than the pages of chicken scratch necessary to write. I'm very nervous how my book will be received, so then again I may just hide under a rock for a while!
Thanks to Tim for being so generous with his time.
WALLY GROPIUS will hit bookstores and comic shops in May, and Fantagraphics will have a limited number of advance copies available at the MoCCA Arts Festival April 10-11. Here is the official solicitation info:
WALLY GROPIUS by Tim Hensley $18.99 Hardcover COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Literary 64 pages, full-color, 10" x 12 ½" ISBN: 978-1-60699-355-2
Superficially resembling 1960s teenage humor comics, Tim Hensley's graphic novel Wally Gropius is actually an acute satire of power, celebrityhood, and modern culture that tells the story of the titular character, who bears a closer resemblance to a teenaged Richie Rich or a classmate of Archie Andrews at Riverdale High than he does the famous Bauhaus architect whose name he shares. Wally is the human Dow Jones, the heir to a vast petrochemical conglomerate. When the elder Thaddeus Gropius confronts Wally with the boilerplate plot ultimatum that he must marry "the saddest girl in the world" or be disinherited, a yarn unravels that is part screwball comedy and part unhinged parable on the lucrativeness of changing your identity. Hensley's dialogue is witty, lyrical, sampled, dada, and elliptical--all in the service of a very bizarre mystery. There's sex, violence, rock and roll, intrigue, and betrayal--all brought home in Hensley's truly inimitable style. Created during an era when another well-off "W" was stuffing the coffers of the morbidly solvent, Wally Gropius transforms futile daydreams and nightmares into the absurdity of capital.
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES PUBLISHING AGREEMENT WITH COMICS HISTORIAN RICK MARSCHALL
The Launch of the “Marschall Books” Imprint
Fantagraphics Books and noted historian and critic Rick Marschall have announced the establishment of a new line of books, Marschall Books, an imprint devoted to comics, cartoons, and graphic humor.
“Marschall Books will offer a unique and wide range of comics and cartooning projects,” said Fantagraphics Books publisher Gary Groth. “The breadth and depth of Rick’s historical vision is such that he will be editing anthologies of complete strips, ‘Best Of’ collections, critical appreciations, biographies, and some new multi-media projects.”
Rick Marschall is the author or editor of more than 62 books and hundreds of magazine articles, mostly in the area of popular culture and many on comics history. A former editorial cartoonist, he has served as comics editor at three newspaper syndicates. Marschall was also an editor at Marvel Comics (founder of Epic Magazine) and a writer for Disney comics. Recipient of many awards for his projects including the Eisner, Harvey, and Friend of Fandom awards in the US; the RTL award in France; the Max und Moritz Prize in Germany; and the Torre Giunigi and Yellow Kid awards in Italy, Marschall has been the American representative of the Lucca, ExpoCartoon (Rome) and Angoulême comics festivals, and has worked for several European graphic novel publishers, including as Vice President of Dargaud USA. He was consultant to the US Postal Service for the 20-stamp set of commemoratives marking the comic strip’s centennial and has taught various popular culture and comics classes at the School of Visual Arts, Rutgers University, the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts), and the Summer Institute for the Gifted at Bryn Mawr University.
“I am happy to be associated again with Fantagraphics Books,” Marschall said. “Together we made history about comics history with the magazine nemo: the classic comics library, which ran for 30 issues. Many other projects we did together – among them the original Complete E C Segar Popeye; Caniff’s Dickie Dare; Will Gould’s Red Barry; Winsor McCay’s Daydreams and Nightmares – pioneered the reprints-and-anthology genre.” Marschall was also the editor of packager of The Complete Color Little Nemo in Slumberland (which ultimately was packaged for 11 publishers around the world, including Fantagraphics Books), The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat, and color reprints of Polly and Her Pals and Terry and the Pirates.
Said Mr Groth: “Our association with Rick began in 1981 when he began editing the now legendary and ground-breaking magazine nemo, the most breathtaking magazine about newspaper strips and cartoon illustrations ever published, and our first Popeye series shortly thereafter. We’re thrilled that he’ll be editing books on a regular basis.”
The Marschall Books imprint will draw upon the extensive and famed collection of Rick Marschall, arguably the nation’s largest private collection of comics and cartoon archives. It is a collection comprised of thousands of original drawings; complete runs of newspaper comics beginning in 1893; complete runs of the major cartoon and humor magazines from American and Europe; comic books and reprint comics, graphic novels, political cartoons and protest graphics, specialty collections including posters, ads, toys and games, post cards and greeting cards, pinbacks; cartoonist letters and sketches; biographies and anthologies.
“The major commitment to a publishing program that will re-introduce much of this material to the public will commence in the Fall of 2010 and continue in every Fantagraphics Books publishing season, as many as 4-5 projects a year,” said Groth. “Marschall Books will vary in size and format, always appropriate to the subject matter, and with an uncompromising dedication to quality.”
In addition to the first two releases described below, and the subsequent releases in production for the next two years, Marschall Books also plans several series: Cartoon Masters, monographs on major artists; and Cartoon Masterworks, anthologies based on themes, eras, and topics. Also projected is a definitive three-volume history by Rick Marschall, Comics: The American Art.
DRAWING POWER: A COMPENDIUM OF CARTOON ADVERTISING
Release Date: November 2010
While critics debate whether comics are high art, or is low art… the truth has been, is, and will be, that the comic strip was born as a commercial medium and was nurtured by competition, commerce, and advertising. Drawing Power will be the first book-length examination (and celebration) of the nexus of commerce and cartoons. It will focus on the commercial roots of strips; the cross-promotions of artists, their characters, and retail products; and of the superb artwork that cartoonists invested in their lucrative freelance work in advertising. The book will examine cartoonists as celebrities, and their advertising efforts from the first heartbeat of the comic strip as an art form. Here are surprising and familiar examples of products and memorable ad campaigns… histories of the major ad agencies... catch-words… popular examples. Cartoon ads through the years will include Yellow Kid advertising; Buster Brown Shoe campaigns; Dr Seuss’ “Flit” cartoons; WWII ads; Pepsi and Pete by Rube Goldberg; Peanuts shilling Falcons and BC shilling Mountain Dew; Duke Handy selling cigarettes; Dagwood selling atomic energy; and virtually every superhero trafficking in the mortal realm to shill every product imaginable. A special section will showcase ads that featured cartoonists themselves as hucksters; can you believe Walt (Pogo) Kelly selling cement? Includes bibliography and publication-sources. By Rick Marschall with Warren Bernard.
MR. TWEE-DEEDLE: RAGGEDY ANN'S SPRIGHTLY COUSIN
The Forgotten Fantasy Masterpiece of Johnny Gruelle
Release Date: February 2011
Before he created Raggedy Ann, the great Johnny Gruelle drew Mr. Twee Deedle, an astonishing graphic and fantasy Sunday page. He secured the job with the New York Herald by winning an open competition for a strip to succeed Little Nemo in Slumberland! Twee Deedle was a worthy successor to McCay’s masterpiece. This Sunday color page (1911-1914) by Johnny Gruelle is unjustly forgotten by history: charming fantasy; a wonderful child’s world (the title character was a sprite who appeared to the strip’s two human children, Dickie and Dolly); moral lessons, light whimsy, bizarre surrealism; stunning artwork and composition; and impressive color work that made every full Twee Deedle page look like a painting. This oversize collection will reprint the best of Gruelle’s pages; information and artwork from the competition that won his place as Little Nemo’s successor; background information on Johnny Gruelle, including his earlier work (when he worked at George Herriman’s side) and later work (… a doll named Raggedy Ann); and much more. // John Barton Gruelle (1880-1938) drew for newspapers in Indianapolis and Cleveland before joining the pre-print syndicate World Color Printing Co of St Louis. He won a nationwide talent contest to draw a Sunday page for the New York Herald, intended to succeed Little Nemo in its pages. Mr. Twee Deedle ran between 1911 and 1914 and generated two color reprint books. Subsequent to this strip, Gruelle created Raggedy Ann, whose tales and fellow characters became staples of American children’s literature. Gruelle wrote and drew many other books; full-page cartoons for Life and Judge (subjects of a future Marschall Books anthology); and another Sunday page, Brutus, for newspapers. The book will feature an introduction by the cartoonist Tony Millionaire (Maakies).
Future Marschall books will include:
Krazy Kat's Birthday Party -- A Celebration In Song and Dance
Release Date: T.B.A.
The music and movement of Krazy Kat are as characteristic as the brick and changing landscapes, and this important book will complete the circle for Kat fanciers. This book-and-disk set will deal with the multi-media lives of the kat who walks, and dances, among us. An unprecedented treatment of the legendary Krazy Kat jazz ballet and rare animated cartoons.
Of Extraordinary Interest: Sherlock Holmes' Vital Evidence
Release Date: T.B.A.
Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal creations will rejoice at this overflowing art book featuring faithful reproductions of original book illustrations, unpublished artwork from Doyle’s era, theatrical and movie posters, and complete runs of Sherlock Holmes comic strip and comic book versions, and parodies.
Mail Order Geniuses: The Cartoon Correspondence Schools
Release Date: T.B.A.
This glorious history-and-compilation is long overdue — filling a hole in the tracking America’s cartoon and comics heritage. Mail-Order Geniuses is a survey of the legendary correspondence courses of the Landon School, the Federal School, W L Evans, ZIM, Clare Briggs, Billy DeBeck, Russell Patterson, Jefferson Machamer, Charles Kuhn, Bill Nolan, Joe Musial, Famous Artists, etc.
Rose O’Neill – The Fairy-Tale Bohemian:
The Life and Work of a Pioneering Cartoonist
Release Date: T.B.A.
Rose O’Neill shattered glass ceilings her entire career. She was the first major female cartoonist, more than a century ago. She achieved her greatest fame as creator of the inimitable Kewpie dolls. This mature treatment of Rose O’Neill’s life and place in cultural history will be accompanied in this oversized color book with hundreds of her compelling wet-brush cartoons and full-color art, along with photos of Rose and her sculptures.
The Big Big Book of the Teenie Weenie World:
An Anthology of William Donahey’s Fantasy Cartoon
Release Date: T.B.A.
The dozens of Teenie Weenies characters were stars of a little-mentioned but fondly recalled and long-running classic of newspaper cartoons and children’s books. William Donahey was a Chicago Tribune cartoonist who created the next generation of Brownies in 1914, and the diminutive cast sought adventures and withstood trials through glades and dells into 1970. This breathtaking collection features biography, photographs, the characters’ merchandising history — and, for the first time, a major portion of full-size reproductions of the Teenie Weenies’ adventures.
Other Marschall Books in planning stages include a book-and-disk series that traces the history of animated cartoons through the various studios; Santa Claus in Cartoons; Uncle Sam in Cartoons; an annotated anthology of Pulitzer Prize winning cartoons; an anthology of artwork and prose from Dutch Treat Club annuals; an anthology of radical cartoons; annotated cartoon histories of World Wars I and II; a treasury of comic pages from Boy’s Life; biographies and anthologies of Heinrich Kley, F. Opper, A.B. Frost, Gluyas Williams, Ralph Barton, Bill Holman, Dr. Seuss, and Virgil (VIP) Partch.
It should be noted that many of the projects in the Marschall Books line are being produced with the cooperation of cartoonists and artists’ estates, as well as museums and institutions. Says Marschall, “My own archives and image bank notwithstanding, I want to assure readers of my commitment to secure the best visual material, and to uncover the fullest historical accounts I can. A lifetime of research and associations will enable Marschall Books to produce definitive treatments of every artist and title we will publish.”
Many Marschall Books releases will be supported by, or inspire, productions of Rosebud Archives, which Marschall has established with Jon Barli, and whose products will be available through Fantagraphics Books. These formats include prints, portfolios, posters, limited-edition art, framed and frame-ready works, stationery, and card sets. The mission and product offerings of Rosebud Archives can be found at: http://www.rosebudarchives.com/wp/
Fantagraphics Books (www.fantagraphics.com) has been the world’s leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976. To obtain more information on any of these titles or to obtain sample artwork, contact Jacq Cohen, Director of Publicity, Fantagraphics Books. For information on all subsidiary rights, contact Gary Groth, President & Co-Publisher, Fantagraphics Books.
Our old friend Dale Yarger has a new website that I wanted to point out as an excuse to sing his praises as someone who was instrumental in Fantagraphics' history as the first proper designer/art director the company ever employed on staff, shortly after Fantagraphics moved to Seattle from Los Angeles in 1989. Dale was a pillar of good taste and professionalism in the office when I first came to Fantagraphics in 1993 and I will always look back with fondness on my time working with him (along with other art dept. stalwarts at the time, notably Jim Blanchard and Pat Moriarity).
Dale is a Seattle design legend (although he now lives in the Bay Area), having served as as Art Director for both Fantagraphics and our friends at The Stranger, as well as having had a hand in creating iconic logos for both Fantagraphics and SubPop. Check out his portfolio, there's some iconic stuff there for fans of Grunge Era counterculture from the great Pacific Northwest.
With an unusually Spring-like day yesterday in Seattle, Jake "The Snake" Covey took the opportunity to bring his art directing outside, shooting a few original Norman Pettingill paintings (on cross-sections of wood) in the sunlight for our upcoming coffee-table collection of his work. This book is gonna blow more than a few minds. Here's Gary Groth's bio of the infamous "backwoods humorist."
Congratulations to Emily Nason of Lake Forest Park, WA (which just so happens to be where our Fearless Leader Gary Groth lives, as well) for being the lucky winner of a $100 gift certificate to the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Emily was chosen at random from folks who signed up at Emerald City Con to be on our mailing list. Emily, your gift certificate is in the mail, and we hope to see you down at the store soon!
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