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.
The Fantagraphics family is saddened by the loss of Australian musician Eric "Ren" Reynolds. Former bandmate of current Fantagraphics sales manager Martin Bland (Lubricated Goat) and former warehouse worker Mark Arm (Bloodloss), Reynolds was a longtime Seattle resident. Known affectionately as "Ren," [and commonly as Renestair E.J., Martin informs us – Ed.] we trust people won't be alarmed by his sharing the name of our very-much-alive associate publisher Eric Reynolds. "Ren" was a funny dude and talented musician. We'll miss him.
In an ongoing effort to nurture young talent and provide a showcase for emerging artists, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery presents “The Massive World of Mini Comics.” This exhibition features art created by young students who attended an 826 Seattle workshop devoted to comic zines taught by Seattle cartoonists Max Clotfelter, Ben Horak and Tim Miller, and facilitated by Fantagraphics Books and Alex Bleecker, program coordinator for 826 Seattle. The opening on Saturday, July 14, and the work will remain on display through August 9.
Instructors Clotfelter, Horak and Miller are active participants in Seattle’s lively small press and self-publishing comics movement. 826 Seattle is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center dedicated to helping youth, ages 6-18, improve their creative and expository writing skills, in addition to helping teachers inspire students to write. The Seattle chapter is part of 826 National, founded in 2002 by acclaimed author Dave Eggers and educator Ninive Calegari.
The opening on Saturday, July 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Swing on by July 14th or after to experience youth developing their writing skills through the medium of comics!
One of the reasons I came to work at Fantagraphics in 1991 was the presence of late art director Dale Yarger. We'd worked together at The Rocket, where he designed Bruce Pavitt's monthly Sub Pop column and refined the logo of the future record label. He later designed the catalog for the landmark Misfit Lit comix exhibition when I was curator at CoCA. He left Fantagraphics to join the fledgeling alternative newspaper The Stranger, creating a look that remains largely intact today.
I've always been fond of Dale's graphic sensibility - contemporary, yet absent fleeting trends of the moment. Timeless, in other words. Please join us on Sunday afternoon at Fantagraphics Bookstore as we remember this remarkable artist and dear friend. Gone too soon.
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