Artist Dan Schultz dropped by Fantagraphics Bookstore store last week anxiously awaiting the arrival of Dungeon Quest Book 3 by Joe Daly. (Soon, Dan. Soon.) While discussing his enthusiasm for the comic, he conjures up a picture of his amazing Millennium Boy action figure fashioned from plastic. Then he pulls up an equally awesome array of original pop art. Remarkable. Really. Keep an eye out for this guy.
Last night's episode of popular cop show Law & Order SVU contained an unlikely Chris Ware reference. A misguided comic shop clerk (uh-oh) prowled the streets dressed as a superhero to protect the public from a SoHo serial rapist. Turns out [SPOILER ALERT –Ed.] superclerk was the perp all along. His heroics were a misguided attempt to spark a romance with an unsuspecting female customer. During his climactic rooftop arrest, he confesses that on her first visit to the comics shop he attempted to lure the woman with a copy of Jimmy Corrigan. Right. That always works.
Don’t miss Free Comic Book Day at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. On Saturday, May 5, the Georgetown shop will be giving away free copies of specially produced comic books by master cartoonists like Carl Barks, Crockett Johnson and, while supplies last, the coveted Unseen Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
Celebrating its 10th year in 2012, the annual Free Comic Book Day promotion is a national effort on the part of publishers and retailers to attract new readers to the medium as well as show appreciation to loyal customers.
Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books offers two new titles for Free Comic Book Day this year, appealing to readers of all ages. Donald Duck Family Comics features 34 pages of full color comics by the great Carl Barks. Join Donald, his nephews, Uncle Scrooge and others on amazing adventures in some of the most acclaimed comics ever created. Also in store is Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley by Crockett Johnson. This rollicking strip follows the tyke Barnaby and his mischievous fairy godfather Mr. O’Malley. These wonderful cartoons will soon be collected in a handsome edition by Fantagraphics Books.
The first 50 customers at Fantagraphics Bookstore on May 5 will receive a free copy of Unseen Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. This delightful edition serves as both an introduction to the classic strip and a treasury of fascinating oddities designed to appeal to even the most fervent Peanuts fans. First issued by Fantagraphics Books for Free Comic Book Day five years ago, Unseen Peanuts became an instant collectible.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) in the heart of Seattle’s historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
The Emerald City Pinball Party at Shorty's on Saturday was a blast! Celebrity guests galore and great fun for everyone. We held a pinball competition for awesome prizes from hostJim Woodring, including a backglass from the Frank pinball machine currently in development. In an effort to level the playing field - (so to speak) - the lowest scores determined the winners! Worst prize went to cartoonist Anthony Leano.
Here's Jim with artist Camille Rose Garcia, who stopped by following a fabulous signing at neighboring Roq la Rue gallery. While chatting with Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds, they discovered that they grew up a few blocks from each other in Huntington Beach and graduated a year apart from the same high school!
Fantagraphics office manager Stephanie Hayes, cartoonist Kelly Froh, and ace publicist Jacq Cohen add some glamour to the bash.
The great Shannon Wheeler dropped in for libations and a game of pinball. (He was far too good to win any prizes.)
Jack Kirby is among the most influential American artists of the last century, but a substantial body of Kirby’s work has been largely overlooked until recently. In the post-war years, with the popularity of superhero comic books fading, Kirby teamed with writer Joe Simon to create the new genre of romance comics.Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates these forgotten works with “Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics.” The interpretive exhibition opens on Saturday, April 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM with a discussion by Michel Gagné, author of a recent collection of the same title from Fantagraphics Books.
At the end of World War II, with soldiers returning from long deployments, romance was in the air. The superhero comics that served to instill a sense of patriotic heroism leading up to the global conflict had lost their appeal. Simon and Kirby seized on these emerging sensibilities to create one of the most popular comic book series of all time. Unlike previous comic book genres, the work appealed largely to women readers. The stories and imagery reflected mid-century American society while discretely challenging the conventional morality of the era. Kirby’s work from this period was mimicked by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and others, and is emblematic of post-war American aesthetics.
Curator Michel Gagné will discuss his delicate restoration process at the opening reception on Saturday, April 14. An exhibition will display enlarged examples of Simon and Kirby’s romance comics and examine the creative process of these American masters. Gagné has worked as an animator and cartoonist for Pixar, Disney, DC Comics and the Cartoon Network. He won the 2011 Annie Award for Best Animated Video Game and the 2012 BAFTA GAME Award for Best Debut Game for his independent creation Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) just minutes from downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.
YOUNG ROMANCE: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics Curated by Michel Gagné
Opening reception and curator discussion Saturday, April 14, 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Exhibition continues through May 9, 2012.
Susan E. Kirtley discusses Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass with Cathy Hillenbrand at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Saturday, March 24
The idiosyncratic work of cartoonist Lynda Barry, a Seattle native, is the subject of a new book by Portland author Susan E. Kirtley. Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass is the first comprehensive critique of this influential American artist. Kirtley will discuss her book with Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand, who published Barry’s first four books, on Saturday, March 24, at 6:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. An informal reception and book signing will follow the discussion. This event coincides with the inaugural Georgetown Music March, featuring free performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.
Kirtley’s book examines the influence of Lynda Barry’s youthful experiences on her creative output via personal interviews and rigorous analysis of published work. Kirtley’s thought-provoking conclusions invite readers to reassess Barry’s body of work though the lens of an often-tormented adolescent girl. Kirtley is associate professor of English at Portland State University. Her book is part of the University Press of Mississippi’s Great Comics Artists Series, which includes works on cartoonists such as Chris Ware, Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Jack Kirby, Garry Trudeau, and Walt Kelly.
Real Comet Press is the subject of the current retrospective exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Taking its name from the publisher’s slogan “From Comix to Critique,” it features original art, graphics, and book works by Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes. An informal reception and book signing will follow the discussion.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Phone 206.658.0110.
Susan E Kirtley discusses Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass
Visitors to the Real Comet Press Retrospective at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Galleryon Saturday will be among the first people on the planet to sample the latest Charles Burns-themed beer from Elysian Brewing. The 3rd installment of the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse, offically released on March 21, is a green cardamom ale called Fallout. That's appropriate becuase DJ Russ Fallout will be spinning art damaged punk platters from the 80s in honor of the heyday of Real Comet Press.
We have an amazing array of wonderful artworks, iconic graphics, rare books and long out-of-print comix by the many gifted authors, artists, critics, and cartoonists that helped lay the foundation for Seattle's later ascendence to the forefront of global pop culture. Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand is a goddam civic treasure. Join hosts Michale Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes as we show our appreciation for Cathy's countless contributions to the cultural climate of the region.
Among the many highlights of the Real Comet Press Retrospective opening Saturday, March 10 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is a rare public appearance by Michael Dougan. This influential cartoonist helped attract an influx of young artists thoughout the 1980s, as Seattle became a beacon of the alternative comix movement. Real Comet Press published his masterful East Texas anthology and the companion poster "The Bigger the Hair, The Closer to God," which, along with Lynda Barry's "Poodle With a Mohawk," became one of the enduring images of the era.
Also appearing will be graphic artist Art Chantry. His early Real Comet Press book of Seattle punk posters, Instant Litter, will be featured in the exhibition. It was prescient of Chantry to appreciate the value of these fugitive artifacts of a music scene that within a decade would influence popular culture on a global scale.
One of the few Real Comet Press publications that will be offered for sale at the retrospective, albeit in limited quantities, is Lynda Barry's first book, Boys + Girls,in the original format designed by Mark Michaelson and Helene Silverman. Publisher Cathy Hillenbrand often employed the gifted art directors of Seattle's Rocket magazine as book designers. Mark and Helene later established stellar careers in New York. (Helene is slated to accompany husband Gary Panter to his appearance at Fantagraphics Boostore later this year upon our publication of Dal Tokyo. Stay tuned.)
Don't miss the amazing exhibition of original art, comix, book works and ephemera, as well as many of the artists, authors and personalitites associated with the seminal stages of Seattle's alternative culture on Saturday, March 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Should be quite a reunion.
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