For over thirty years Nell Brinkley's beautiful girls pirouetted, waltzed, vamped and shimmied their way through the pages of William Randolph Hearst's newspapers, captivating the American public with their innocent sexuality. Accomplished cartoonist and women's comix "herstorian" Trina Robbins examines the work of this unjustly forgotten artist in The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913 - 1940. Robbins will present the work of this remarkable illustrator with an exhibition, slide talk and book signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, October 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
A brash Nell Brinkley arrived in New York in 1907 at the tender age of 22. Within a year, her work began to appear newspapers illustrating her high society gossip column. Her cartoon serials popularized the bobbed hairstyle and flapper fashions of the era, while reflecting period art nouveau and deco aesthetics. Such was her influence that the Ziegfeld Follies costumed their dancers as "Brinkley Girls." Pop music heralded her creations and a line of hair products carried her name. As the war years approached, her comic strip serials evolved from naive romantic themes like "Billy and Betty and Their Love Through the Ages" to presenting women in less traditional roles like "Heroines of Today." Championing the cause of better pay and conditions for workingwomen, Brinkley became an early archetype of the contemporary American woman.
Trina Robbins has long championed the work of women cartoonists. Her early underground work appeared in the groundbreaking Wimmen's Comix anthology. In 1969 she co-created the character Vampirella for Forrest Ackerman and later collaborated with Colleen Doran on a provocative Wonder Woman series. She has written several volumes on the role of women in comix including From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines. Robbins co-founded Friends of Lulu in 1994, a nonprofit organization promoting women's readership of comics and increasing profile in the comix profession. In addition to her appearance at Fantagraphics Bookstore, Robbins will be a guest at Geek Girl Con held at the Seattle Center October 8 and 9.
The "Brinkley Girls" exhibition includes a dozen Brinkley comics pages, as well as Brinkley-illustrated sheet music, hair accessories, photographs, and related ephemera. Robbins will discuss Nell Brinkley's fascinating career followed by an informal reception and book signing from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on Saturday, October 8 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110.
This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
A report released this week by Auburn University shows that the oil unleashed on the Gulf of Mexico by the BP oil spill is not degrading and poses a long-term threat to coastal ecosystems. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is the subject of a new graphic novel by journalist Steve Duin and cartoonist Shannon Wheeler. On Saturday, October 1, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will host a reception for Duin and editor Michael Rosen where the public will get the first glance at this remarkable new book from Fantagraphics, Oil and Water.
On a trip to examine the aftermath of the BP oil spill, ten friends from Oregon discover that "Oil and Water" is just the first of many insoluble contradictions. Between the tarred sands of Grand Isle and the fouled waters of the Louisiana bayou, they discover that Gulf Coast residents are economically dependent upon the very industry that is wreaking havoc on their environment. In the shadow of the greatest ecological disaster of our time, they are forced to reassess their roles as witness, critic and environmental steward.
In this 120-page graphic novel — written by Steve Duin, a columnist for The Oregonian, and illustrated by award-winning New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler — readers will tour the shark-pocked beach at Grand Isle with the local head of Homeland Security; step aboard the crabbing boat of a 20-year-old Mississippian who works 16-hour days and spends his nights dreaming of M.I.T.; enter the "Hot Zone" where volunteers work desperately to save brown pelicans drenched in British petroleum; and hear residents describe what happens to their livelihood when 200 million gallons of oil flood the scene. The readers' perspective on what hope and what mission remains along a ravaged coastline will be changed as irrevocably as that of these ten Oregonians.
Duin and Rosen will conduct a workshop at the Northwest Conference for Teaching Social Justice in Seattle before the reception at Fantagraphics Bookstore. The public is invited to meet these activists and informally discuss their observations from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A limited number of advance copies of Oil and Water will be available for sale. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Mark your calendars for these exciting events the first week of October: Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 PM, we co-present Craig Thompson discussing his much-anticipated new book Habibi in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library central branch. Thompson's talk will be followed by a book signing with copies of Habibi available for purchase; and don't miss comix legend Trina Robbins at the bookstore on Saturday, October 8 at 6:00 PM presenting The Brinkley Girls with a Nell Brinkley slide talk, art exhibition and book signing, in association with that weekend's Geek Girl Con.
Cartoonist and comic book publisher Dylan Williams lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. The alternative comix community lost an effective and passionate advocate. Many Fantagraphics staff members feel the painful loss of a close friend. All of us at Fantagraphics offer Dylan's family and many friends our sincere condolences. We encourage you to visit the Sparkplug Comic Books website and order their wonderful comix in tribute.
DRAWING POWER: Curator Warren Bernard discusses the history of cartoon advertising at Fantagraphics Bookstore on September 24.
Special guest artist Tom Neely presents The Wolf.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes two diverse professionals in the field of comix for an extraordinary event on Saturday, September 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Editor and curator Warren Bernard will discuss cartoons in the service of commerce in connection with his new book and exhibition Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising. He'll be joined by provocative contemporary cartoonist and visual artist Tom Neely presenting his new graphic novel The Wolf.
Drawing Power examines the use of comic strip characters and cartoonists themselves as pitchmen for commercial goods beginning in the late 19th century. The colorful book and accompanying exhibition survey the American institution of cartoon advertising featuring comic strips, commercials, slogans, and merchandise employed to appeal to a broad range of consumers. Comics historian Warren Bernard has an extensive background researching and archiving material for important books, exhibitions, and institutions, including the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Bernard also serves as the Executive Director of the annual Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, MD.
Los Angeles artist Tom Neely will appear to read from and sign his new graphic novel, The Wolf. The book tells a simple love story, but one woven with surrealist horror, werewolf lore and its own brand of nightmare logic. With The Wolf, Neely progresses from the traditional cartooning style to a form that blends a fine arts approach to imagery. Neely's paintings and illustrations have been featured in galleries, magazines and literary journals, as well as records, posters and CDs for bands like The Melvins, ISIS and Wolves in the Throne Room, among others. Earlier this year, he garnered attention as one of the authors of the cult hit mini-comic Henry & Glenn Forever. Neely's self-published novel, The Blot, won an Ignatz Award in 2007 and made it onto several of the industry's "best of" lists that year, including "Best Comics of the Decade" in The Comics Journal.
Drawing Power exhibition reception and slide discussion with Warren Bernard Special guest Tom Neely presenting The Wolf Saturday, September 24, 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
Those of you lucky enough to be in Seattle this weekend be sure to drop by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, September 3. You'll be among the first in the nation to screen "Hooked on Comix 3." Los Angeles filmmakers Audrey Mandelbaum and David P. Moore have been documenting the masters of alternative comix at the peak of their prowess since 1993. Meet these exceptional filmmakers and see the latest installment of this truly wonderful documentary series, which features Dame Darcy and Tony Millionaire, two of Fantagraphics' most talented and eccentric cartoonists. The film will run continuously between noon and 3:00 PM. As an added incentive to attend — (like you need one) — we'll be offering 20% off on all books by the two stars on the film, all day long.
Fantagraphics Bookstore will be open Labor Day Monday, September 5 from 11:30 to 4:00 PM. Get all your back to school comix this weekend.
Russ informs us that punk legend Exene Cervenka of X fame dropped by Fantagraphics Bookstore on Monday evening with Phil Alvin of the Blasters to do some record and comix shopping. Visiting Seattle to perform at Neumos with X bandmate John Doe, Exene was reportedly pleased to find a copy of Talk to Her, a collection of interviews conducted by Krisitne McKenna. Exene is interviewed, along with counterculture celebrities like Lou Reed, Joey Ramone, Allen Ginsberg, Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde, Joe Sacco, Elvis Costello, Walter Hopps, and Richard Hell, among others. The book includes portraits of interview subjects by Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Tony Millionaire and more. Pick one up. You won't be able to put it down.
Make a habit of visiting Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this fall as we approach five years of presenting comix culture to the masses. It just keeps getting better:
On Saturday, September 3 between noon and 3:00 PM, we host a sneak preview of "Hooked on Comix 3." Fimmakers David P. Moore and Audry Mandelbaum will be present for a continuous screening of the latest installment of their insightful documentary series on alternative comix. This one features the lovely Dame Darcy and always entertaining Tony Millionaire. Can't wait.
On Saturday, September 10 we open Drawing Power, an amazing exhibition of cartoon advertising curated by Warren Bernard. On Saturday, September 24 Bernard will present a slide talk followed by a book signing from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. He'll be joined by visual artist and cartoonist Tom Neely presenting his latest "painted novel" The Wolf.
On Saturday, October 1 we'll host a special preview of the topical graphic novel Oil and Water with journalist writer Steve Duin from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
The following Saturday, October 8 we welcome comix legend Trina Robbins for an exhibition and slide talk on Nell Brinkley from her phenomenal book Brinkley Girls, who will be in town as an guest at the Geek Girl Con.
Don't miss a minute of the action. Visit Fantagraphics Bookstore daily. If you don't live here, with local housing prices remaining soft and the Seattle job market improving, now's a good time to move. See ya'll soon.
Every time I visit Fantagraphics office I damn near trip over Julie Doucet's cat carrier, which has been at the foot of the back stairs since she resided in the apartment upstairs in 1993. I worked as Fantagraphics beer tech back then - the "Summer of Hate" in Seattle. A blur of rock shows, cartoonist signings, art events, and parties. This was before the grunge movement had been corrupted by corporations and devastated by drugs. Great fun! I wish I could remember it. Occupational hazard, I suppose. I wonder what happened to Julie's cat. (Has anybody looked inside the carrier?)
One of the great pleasures of working at Fantagraphics Bookstore in Georgetown is the amazing people I meet. Like Pam, from Classic Helicopters at the south end of Boeing Field. She treated me, John and my daughter Bella to a 45-minute chopper tour of the region on Tuesday morning. Highlights included a breathtaking look down Snoqualmie Falls, a bird's eye view of the Space Needle, and a spectacular look at the Seattle skyline from above the stadiums. Here we are hovering near Lake Washington with hella Bella at the controls. Look out below!
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