The lurid crime and horror comics of the fifties created nationwide hysteria. Unsubstantiated claims that comic books caused juvenile delinquency, circulated by psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham in his book Seduction of the Innocent, led to sensational Senate hearings and the introduction of the Comics Code Authority – a self-censoring body that ended this age of classic American comics. At the peak of their popularity, crime and horror comics on the EC imprint sold millions of copies each issue despite being demonized by political opportunists. It was only later understood that these disposable publications were arguably the work of the greatest cartoonists of their generation.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Swedish-born, Berlin-based recording artist Molly Nilsson. Her haunting vocal delivery and lyrical approach perfectly complement the EC aesthetic. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout Seattle’s spookiest neighborhood. Celebrate the beginning of Halloween season in style on this extraordinary evening.
The Horror: Selections from the EC Comics Library Opening reception Saturday, October 13, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Performance by Berlin-based recording artist Molly Nilsson. Exhibition continues through Halloween.
Reserve your tickets on-line now for "Building Comix" with Chris Ware, Charles Burns, and Chip Kidd at Town Hall in Seattle on Monday, October 22, co-sponsored by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Only $5! This modest admission fee can be redeemed on the purchase of any book by these amazing artists at the signing following the presentations. (One discount per customer.) It promises to be an entertaining and enlightening discussion with three of the most compelling figures in contemporary comix.
Make plans now to attend the opening of "The Horror: Selections from the EC Comics Library" at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, October 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Store patrons will be among the first in the nation to receive complimentary copies of Jack Davis's Tales From the Crypt sampler. We'll also have a limited number of advance copies of the breathtaking Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood EC anthologies available. And we'll have some seasonal surprises.
Entertainment will be provided by Swedish-born, Berlin-based recording artist Molly Nilsson. Her haunting vocals and lyrical approach perfectly complement the EC aesthetic. Seeing this amazing musician in the intimate bookstore environment is Halloween treat you won't soon forget. Here's Molly performing "I Hope You Die" in Prague earlier this year. Don't miss her free show here.
Excellent! Mr. Charles Burns will be at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, October 20. Doh! Not that Charles Burns. Or are they one in the same? Cartoonist Charles Burns was an Evergreen State College classmate of Simpsons creator Matt Groening, after all.
And on Monday, October 22 Mr. Burns will be joined by Bart and Homer...ay, caramba! We mean Charles Burns will appear at 7:30 with incomparable cartoonist Chris Ware and book designer Chip Kidd at Town Hall, 1119 8th Avenue in Seattle. Cowabunga!
Fantagraphics lost our dear friend and creative colleague Heather Hughes yesterday following a courageous battle with cancer. Heather played the role of Babs Bradley in a one act play of Peter Bagge's story "You're Not the Boss of Me" directed by Steven Jesse Bernstein at the opening of the "Misfit Lit" comix art exhibition at CoCA in Seattle in 1991. She later performed at Fantagraphics Bookstore with her saucy musical comedy group the Fraus for the 2008 opening of Alex Chun's pin-up exhibition. We'll remember her fondly for this appearance with Bridget Fonda in Cameron Crowe's 1992 feature film Singles. Cute and clever - like Heather herself. (Note the cameo by young Tim Burton as "Brian.") Heather Artena Hughes, beautiful inside and out. We're unspeakably sad and miss her terribly.
Joining Burns will be the lovely and talented Gabrielle Bell with her new book, The Voyeurs, on Tom Kaczynski's Uncivilized Books imprint. Tom will also be present.
Bonus: This event coincides with Elysian Brewing's Great Pumpkin Brew Festival at their nearby Georgetown bottling plant, featuring dozens of seasonal pumpkin beers from regional boutique breweries. Store patrons can also sample the latest Black Hole-inspired 12 Beers of the Apocalypse and view our new exhibit "The Horror: Selections from the EC Comics Library." Do NOT miss this one. "Like" Fantagraphics Bookstore on Facebook to keep up with all the action.
Many of you were first exposed to Gary Panter through his early "Jimbo" comix in Slash and RAW magazines. Or maybe through his brilliant work as set designer for Pee Wee's Playhouse. Old school Seattle residents recall his ubiquitous posters for the Screamers, plastered all over town by the late punk performance artist Tomato du Plenty. An industrial-strength adhesive allowed this alluring image to remain visible for the better part of a decade, becoming one of the enduring motifs of the Northwest punk school. Panter's comix appeared prominently in the seminal Seattle music magazine The Rocket. (Coincidentally, he later married former Rocket art director Helene Silverman.) Come meet Gary at his Dal Tokyo art exhibition and book signing this Saturday, September 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. We'll be taking attendance.
Our friend Matt Silvie dropped by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday to present our "Best Comic Store" award from the Seattle Weekly. He was soon followed by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. I enlisted Matt to take this snapshot. (Hizzoner flanked by me and Martin Imbach of Georgetown Records.) McGinn was enamored of our gorgeous Johnny Gruelle collection, astutely observing the work had a "dark quality." Always nice to see the mayor, who has become a frequent visitor to our colorful Georgetown arts community.
Seeing Enid and Rebecca on the cover of the current issue of Juxtapoz art journal reminded me of a similar feature I wrote on Daniel Clowes in the same publication in March of 2001. The Ghost World film was about to be released. Clowes was thrilled at the artistic freedom he and filmmaker Terry Zwigoff enjoyed. "We're below the radar at MGM," he observed. I was unfamiliar with young Scarlett Johansson, describing her as "a former child actress who played opposite Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer."
Who would've guessed that Clowes and Ghost World would go on to have such a profound effect on American pop culture? Not me.
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