SPECIAL EXITS is a remarkable book, one that none other than R. Crumb calls "One of the best long-narrative comics I've ever read, right up there with Gen of Hiroshima and Maus. It had a powerful effect on me... towards the end I actually found myself moved to tears."
Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter has the scoop: Fantagraphics will begin publishing Crockett Johnson's BARNABY in April 2012, almost 70 years to the day that the strip premiered in the leftist newspaper PM. Yours truly will edit the series, in close coordination with Philip Nel, whose biography of Johnson, The Purple Crayon And A Hole To Dig: The Lives Of Crockett Johnson And Ruth Krauss, will be published by the University Press Of Mississippi the same month. The series will be designed by none other than massive Barnaby fan and master cartoonist Daniel Clowes. Nel will provide essays for each volume, and each volume will feature an introduction from a rotating cast of Barnaby superfans.
This is a dream come true for us at Fantagraphics; Barnaby has literally been at the top of our wish list (or mine, personally, at least) for over a decade. The series will collect the strip's original run of dailies (, from April 1942 through February 1952, including the Ted Ferro and Jack Morley run from January 1946 to September 1947, for which Johnson consulted on before coming back to the strip for good until it's end in 1952.
To learn more about Johnson and Barnaby, check out Philip Nel's fantastic Crockett Johnson site here. Nel also has a wonderful blog where he routinely features Johnson and Barnaby; he posted his own excited announcement about the series here. What can I say? We are all EXCITED, I tell you!
UPDATE: I should mention that we are, as of now, looking for the best possible reproductions of the first two years of Barnaby, specifically April 1942 thru December 1943. If you are a collector with high quality tearsheets from this period (or later) and would like to be involved with Barnaby's production, drop me a line at reynolds [at] fantagraphics [dot] com.
We paid tribute to the sudden death of our friend and Sub Pop executive Andy Kotowicz in October, and those of you who live in Seattle know how much Andy's story has reverberated throughout the community. This Saturday night, the Showbox at the Market is hosting an all-star benefit show that reflects how much Andy meant to the community. In addition to appearances by legendary SubPop mainstays Mudhoney (featuring Rock God and former longtime Fanta employee Mark Arm) and recent signees Shabazz Palaces, many acts that Kotowicz was instrumental in signing are stepping up, including Pissed Jeans, Wolf Eyes, Michael Yonkers, A-Frames/AFCGT, Fruit Bats, and Vetiver. At $20 (with all proceeds to benefit the Andy Kotowicz Family Foundation), you can't ask for a better deal for a better cause. Check it out.
The only thing possibly harder than being a parent is being an adult child watching your parents' health deteriorate. On this Sunday, Nov. 14 at noon, graphic novelist JOYCE FARMER and author Beth Harpaz will discuss their roles in this "Sandwich Generation" at the Painted Bride Art Center as part of the First Person Arts Festival in Philadelphia. Go HERE for further details and ticketing information.
Attendees will enjoy a lunch of bánh mi (Vietnamese hoagies) from Bridget Foy's.
This should be a very special event. In her new graphic memoir SPECIAL EXITS, Joyce Farmer chronicles the decline of her parents' health, their relationship with one another and with their daughter, and how they cope with the day-to-day emotional fragility of the most taxing time of their lives. It's a brutally honest look at transitioning into the role of caretaker for the loved ones who always took care of you.
R. Crumb says Special Exits is "One of the best long-narrative comics I've ever read, right up there with Gen of Hiroshima and Maus. It had a powerful effect on me... towards the end I actually found myself moved to tears."
Publisher's Weekly, in a starred review, says "The story is stunning for its antisentimental realism, as well as for the glimpses of fantasy (Lars's hallucination of Hades' ferryman, Charon, rowing by in the hallway) that flicker by like ghosts."
From the May 1, 1992 edition of the LA Times, in regard to a story about reactions to the Rodney King verdict. The doofus in the Eightball t-shirt is yours truly. My outrage is palpable, right? This was taken about 14 months before I moved to Seattle to intern at Fantagraphics. My fate was already sealed...
We are currently offering on eBay (go HERE for full listing and scan) a rare piece of original art by the great RUSS HEATH from page 27 of 1957's HUMBUG #4, edited by Harvey Kurtzman. The actual illustration measures 8 1/2" x 3 1/2" on a piece of illustration board measuring 12 3/4" x 16 3/4". A rare chance to own a piece of original art from one of the great comic magazines of all-time. This piece is being sold by Fantagraphics Books on behalf of Mr. Heath; all proceeds from this auction will go to Mr. Heath himself. Bid early and often!
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