My longtime friend Bruce Pavitt has been contemplating purging himself of some material possessions for a few years now. (As an obsessive collector myself, I appreciate the impulse.) We recently concluded that the Charles Burns event on October 30 would provide an ideal opportunity to find new homes for a few of his amazing artifacts. As the founder of Seattle's storied Sub Pop record label, his collection is impressive, to say the least. You might want to shield your eyes to for protection from the brilliance that's below.
Many people are unaware that Bruce Pavitt created Subterranean Pop as a fanzine while an undergraduate at Evergreen State College in 1980. A year later he shortened the name to Sub Pop and released issue number 5 as a cassette and mini-zine so readers could hear the music being discussed. The dozen tracks included Steve Fisk, Pell Mell, Cool Rays (Calvin Johnson’s pre-Beat Happening project), and perhaps most interestingly, “Reagan Speaks for Himself” by Seattle sound artist Doug Kahn. Pavitt recruited Evergreen alum Charles Burns to do the cover. This issue of Sub Pop was the direct predecessor to the celebrated record label.
The original Charles Burns artwork for this cassette zine will be offered in a silent auction during the Burns exhibition with a reserve bid of $1,000. (The original Burns artwork for the Sub Pop 200 LP sold 8 years ago for several times this amount to EMP, the music museum founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen.) Bids will be accepted through the run of the Burns exhibition, October 30 through December 6.
Pavitt is also offering his collection of pristine copies of Art Spiegelman’s RAW magazine. These coveted oversize issues included bound-in copies of Maus and other extras, including the aforementioned Doug Kahn recording from Sub Pop 5 as a bound-in sound sheet (almost never found intact in RAW #4.) It’s worth noting that RAW #4 was delayed because the conservative owners of Eva-Tone Soundsheets, the only domestic publisher of flexi-discs, refused to press Kahn’s piece, and Speigelman was forced to press the disc in Holland.
As Pavitt was showing me this sterling stash of RAWs, out fluttered a long-forgotten letter. In it, Spiegelman compliments Pavitt on Sub Pop 5, mentions a Burns story in forthcoming RAW #4 — but fails to mention Burns’ die-cut cover — and informs him of Doug Kahn’s inclusion.
I found it fairly astonishing that these two visionaries were collaborating on this level as far back as 1981. Who would’ve thought that a decade later, Spiegelman would be honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Maus, forever altering the comix idiom, and Pavitt would launch the alternative rock genre, penetrating pop culture globally? I was sort of stunned by this document. And in the midst of all this we find Charles Burns.
The letter was penned on the back of a proof of Spiegelman’s art for the German edition of DEAD MEN ALL HAVE THE SAME SKIN, which I’d never seen. I find it somehow unsettling to see German language on Spiegelman’s work from this era, given the content of the contemporaneous MAUS.
All 8 near mint copies of the RAW, the Pavitt-Spiegelman document, RAW one shots by Sue Coe and Burns' BIG BABY: Curse of the Molemen, and related ephemera will also be offered at silent auction with a reserve bid of $1,000 through December 6. They will be on display at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for the run of Charles Burns X’ED OUT exhibition October 30 – December 6.
(Click image to enlarge.)
For more information or to register bids on the framed Charles Burns original Sub Pop 5 illustration or the RAW magazine lot, call Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid at 206.658.0110 during business hours.
Charles Burns was among a trio of gifted cartoonists to emerge from The Evergreen State College in the mid-1970s. Together, Burns and fellow Evergreen alumni Matt Groening and Lynda Barry altered the course of contemporary comix and left an indelible mark on regional culture. Burns makes a rare return visit to his native Seattle on Saturday, October 30 to celebrate the publication of his amazing new graphic novel X'ED OUT with a slide talk, art exhibition, and book signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. His idiosyncratic horror-story sensibility is perfect for the Halloween-eve occasion.
Burns began his career as a fine artist in Seattle while publishing illustrations and his "Big Baby" cartoon in The Rocket magazine, developing his signature stark-contrast rendering style. Burns also composed covers for Bruce Pavitt's seminal Sub Pop cassette fanzine, the forerunner to the celebrated record label. On a visit to New York, Burns came to the attention of cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who subsequently published his work in the influential anthology RAW. The rest, as they say, is history. Spiegelman published the collected BIG BABY on his RAW imprint, and Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics Books produced his influential BLACK HOLE serial, as well as graphic albums SKIN DEEP and EL BORBAH (in addition to reprinting BIG BABY.)
X'ED OUT continues the artist's examination of the furtive insecurities of adolescence becoming manifested in bizarre and horrific consequences. In a departure from Burns' prior work, the current graphic novel is presented in full color.
The reception at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street, will feature a brief slide talk and book signing. An exhibition of recent fine art prints will be complemented by Burns' original drawings and related Sub Pop ephemera courtesy of label co-founder Bruce Pavitt.
Please join us to celebrate the lasting legacy of Charles Burns on Seattle's civic culture and the debut of his graphic novel X'ED OUT on Saturday, October 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Spooky Halloween costumes are welcome but not required. All ages, free admission.
CHARLES BURNS: X'ED OUT Slide Talk, Print Exhibition and Book Signing Saturday, October 30, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Don't miss the festivities at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this Saturday, October 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM as two extraordinary artists appear to celebrate the publication of exquisite new books.
Dave Cooper's BENT features twisted pictures that are simultaneously sensuous and grotesque. The event will feature an exhibition of alluring drawings offered at insanely affordable prices. His recent shows at Jonathan Levine in New York and Billy Shire Fine Arts in L. A. attracted celebrity art patrons. Here's your chance to join them. Also on hand will be Johnny Ryan touring behind the latest installment of his amazing PRISON PIT serial. There will be a display of colorful silkscreen prints by the mastermind behind ANGRY YOUTH COMIX.
This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing art exhibitions throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Please join us for complimentary beverages with these compelling contemporary artists.
And mark your calendars now for Saturday, October 30 when we welcome the incomparable Charles Burns back home to Seattle.
Fans of Seattle's grunge era remember poet Jesse Bernstein as the erudite voice of that movement. His larger-than-life persona and charismatic presence made him a frequent subject of cartoonists documenting the period. Bernstein's brilliance was accompanied by depression, substance abuse, and an untimely death by suicide in 1991 that tragically foreshadowed events that would plague many artists in the grunge milieu.
A new documentary film celebrating Jesse Bernstein's legacy premieres Wednesday, October 6 at the Moore Theater in Seattle. I Am Secretly an Important Man features archival footage of the poet/performance artist at his peak and interviews with friends of Fantagraphics including musician Steve Fisk, Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt, and Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid. Look for the film at festivals and art houses around the country in the next few months. It shares many of the qualities that made Crumb such a compelling documentary. (Click here for more info & screening tickets.)
The Georgetown Art Attack returns to its old haunt on Saturday, October 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM with the diverse array of challenging visual and performing arts that have come to characterize this unique cultural outing since its inception in 2007. Please join us to celebrate the creativity of this singular Seattle arts community.
Among the highlights of the October 9 Art Attack: "Developing a Translation of Relation," prints and drawings by Jameson Hubbard at the Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center; the haunted Georgetown Trailer Park will be granting treats to visitors in costume and Comet Lodge Mercantile is featuring new work by artist Eric Edwards in the Rocket Trailer; the Nautilus studio will present a special installation in the Steam Room by Steve Roumas; a rare open studio at Matt Stiger's colorful neon facility at nearby 6321 Corgiat St.; a solo show of Kat Houseman 's oil paintings at Calamity Jane's; "Bent" drawings by Dave Cooper with "Prison Pit" prints by Johnny Ryan at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; open studios including watercolors by Mark La Falce and works by Mark Tedin, Kyle Abernethy, Julie Baroh and Michael Hoppe at Krab Jab Studio in the historic Rainier Cold Storage complex; and much more.
The Georgetown Art Attack, held on the second Saturday each month, is a promotion of the Georgetown Merchants' Association. For more information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid at numbers above. For map of participants visit www.georgetownartattack.com.
I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Charles Burns' amazing masterpiece X'ED OUT. As a fledgling art dealer 30 years ago, I mounted an exhibition of Burns' large-scale graphite drawings at my neo-Dada Rosco Louie gallery in Seattle. His imaginative portraits were strangely grotesque, yet sensuous and alluring. Burns' appeal has grown steadily from that point on, and he is rightfully considered a contemporary master of the comix medium.
I can hardly wait for his slide talk, art exhibition and book signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, October 30. His eerie iconography is perfect for the Halloween eve occasion. No costumes required! Simply come enjoy a beverage with one of the world's most revered alternative cartoonists.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to present recent works by narrative artist Dave Cooper, with special guest Johnny Ryan on Saturday, October 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Both artists are celebrating the publication of new books with an art exhibition, reception and book signing.
Canadian artist Dave Cooper offers us a window into the wobbly dollhouse that is his mind's eye. The artist is touring the West Coast behind BENT, his latest monograph from Fantagraphics Books, which will debut at the event. The book gathers diverse imagery that is at once disturbing and alluring. Cooper has developed a passionate following with recent solo shows at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Los Angeles and Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York in June. The exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore will feature 10 original drawings. Cooper will sign copies of BENT as well as previous Fantagraphics publications, including his famously misanthropic comic serial WEASEL and his recent story in the anthology MOME VOLUME 18.
The evening of October 9 also marks the triumphant return of subversive cartoonist Johnny Ryan to sign copies of the second volume of his amazing PRISON PIT series. This cacophonous tale of intergalactic bedlam continues the prolific artist's examination of social pandemonium originated in his popular ANGRY YOUTH COMIX (collected in 3 volumes from Fantagraphics Books.) Ryan will display a new series of colorful silkscreen prints and sign books during the reception.
Please join us to welcome these extraordinary artists to Seattle. This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) just minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
DAVE COOPER: BENT JOHNNY RYAN: PRISON PIT
Saturday, October 9, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle, WA 206.658.0110 Open Daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00 PM
Make plans to visit Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle this fall to catch up with the country's most challenging cartoonists, artists and writers. The coming weeks feature the some of the finest in the field.
This Saturday, September 11 finds Carol Tyler at the space for an art opening and book signing. On Saturday, October 9 we welcome the incomparable Dave Cooper for an exhibition of original art and book signing, joined by special guest Johnny Ryan. Saturday, October 30 features the triumphant return of Seattle native Charles Burns for a spooky Halloween reception celebrating his new book X'ed Out. Punk rock prevails on Saturday, November 13 as Zack Carlson signs copies of Destroy All Movies!!!: The Complete Guide to Punks on Film. And mark your calendars for Saturday, December 11 for Fantagraphics Bookstore's festive fourth anniversary gala — always one of the best bashes of the holiday season.
Don't miss any of these exciting appearances at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown industrial arts district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
Illustrious cartoonist Carol Tyler will appear this Saturday, September 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to celebrate the publication of YOU'LL NEVER KNOW Book 2 with an art exhibition and book signing.
Tyler was among the early female practitioners of underground comix, creating remarkably revealing autobiographical narratives in a singular visual style. Her ongoing trilogy YOU’LL NEVER KNOW continues this tradition and has received broad critical acclaim. Of the first installment in the series, the New York Times commented, “It’s impossible not to compare You’ll Never Know with Art Spiegelman’s Maus.” Reviewing the latest volume, which debuts at Saturday’s event, Eric Scigliano of Seattle Metropolitan suggests, “Two famous precedents, Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, seem almost one-dimensional by comparison.”
Join us on Saturday evening at the bookstore to meet this extraordinary artist. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) only minutes from downtown Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110. This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts events throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. (Saturday’s Art Attack includes our own Martin Bland with the Tom Price Desert Classic playing for the 7th annual “Beer Bust” breast cancer fundraiser at neighboring Smarty Pants, benefiting Gilda’s House Seattle.)
The often provocative, always entertaining Georgetown Art Attack returns on Saturday, September 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. This celebration of Georgetown's creative arts corridor includes colorful business enterprises as well as private art studios that open to the public during this monthly event.
Among the many attractions: The 7th annual "Beer Bust" breast cancer fundraiser at Smarty Pants, featuring entertainment by the Spoils, the Tom Price Desert Classic, and a Georgetown neighborhood bartender Olympics, with all proceeds benefiting Gilda's Club Seattle; Equinox Studios, with the largest concentration of artists and artisans in the Georgetown area will be open with over 30 sculptors, painters, musicians, blacksmiths, and heavy metal craftsmen presenting their wares; panoramic landscape photographer Adria Pontious at Calamity Jane's; a Cinema Party at the Georgetown Trailer Park with art, film, treats, tunes & trailers; graffiti artist Kevin "Sensei 23" Sullivan at The Stables as well as an entry in a beer label competition at adjoining Full Throttle Bottles; the NAUTILUS Studio presents the strange, dark and beautiful assemblage art of Corey Urlacher; Cartoonist Carol Tyler's "You'll Never Know" exhibition and book launch party at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; live music outside Georgetown Music Store; works by Mark Tedin, Kyle Abernethy, Julie Baroh and Michael Hoppe at Krab Jab Studio; and much more.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a promotion of the Georgetown Merchants Association (GMA.) For more information contact Larry Reid or GMA chair Sara Aruguete. For a Georgetown Art Attack site map see: www.georgetownartattack.com. Trailer Park Cinema information can be found at www.trailerparkcinema.com.
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!