You know the old saying: "If you remember the 60s, you weren't there." For me this cliché also applies to most of the 80 and 90s. Rampant grunge nostalgia has given rise to no fewer than a half-dozen recent or soon-to-be-published books on the subject. As a peripheral player in Seattle's proto-grunge punk scene, I've been asked repeatedly to recount the specifics of my misspent youth to a cadre of eager young "rock historians." Hell, I'm lucky if I remember what happened last week, much less 25 years ago.
Thankfully we had Peter Bagge to chronicle the entire era. His comic book series HATE went far beyond simple satire. Buddy Bradley and his gang of hapless losers helped fashion the attitudes and aesthetics of the movement. It's a sure bet that BUDDY DOES SEATTLE, collecting the first 15 issues of HATE, more accurately reflects the grunge milieu than an entire library of murky oral histories. In a prescient 1992 review, Bruce Barcott of the Seattle Weekly observed, "Twenty years from now, when people want to know what it was like to be young in 1990s Seattle, the only record we'll have is Peter Bagge's HATE." If you too are gripped by grunge nostalgia, or just curious about the period, skip the revisionist histories and pick up a copy of the real deal.
While you're at it...the most splendid comic book of the summer is Peter Bagge's HATE ANNUAL #8. From the first page you'll be reminded why you so closely identified with the series in the first place: Sexy and silly, but with an unmistakable air of familiarity. This book gives you an uneasy feeling like, "Hey, I think I know these people. Omigawd! That's me!" An imperative addition to your summer reading list.
Fantagraphics Bookstore 's neighbors Georgetown Records are hosting a free, all-ages musical performance with Terri Tarantula and Low Places on Saturday, July 17 at 5:00 PM. Terri Moeller was the voice of the Transmissionary Six from 2002-2008 and the drummer for The Walkabouts. Terri Tarantula is her new solo project.
The Stranger recently had this to say about Terri's music: "If this were the early '90s, Terri Tarantula would be in prime contention for a 4AD recording contract; she would've slotted ideally between Red House Painters and Heidi Berry. The Seattle singer-songwriter-drummer-keyboardist's deep, lugubrious voice — a sensual truce between Nico's stark, intimate croon and Hope Sandoval's honeyed glumness — would have connected with that British label's fan base's appetite for songs tinted darkest blue."
Opening act Low Places play acoustic guitars and sing plaintive, Americana-tinged folk songs accompanied by keyboards and dark, electronic sound textures.
Come down and hang out with the enchanting Dame Darcy this Saturday, July 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. To celebrate the publication of her new MEAT CAKE anthology there will be an exhibition of her exquisite artwork, a musical performance, book signing, fortune telling, and doubtless a few surprises.
If you’re new to Dame Darcy’s singular neo-Victorian aesthetic you’re in for a treat. Longtime fans will enjoy an opportunity to experience her diverse talents in the intimate atmosphere of Fantagraphics colorful showroom, located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. just minutes from downtown Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110.
This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring art, music and more at locations throughout the historic neighborhood. Don’t miss the vintage Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. Yee haw! See you all soon.
Commemorate the holiday with a bang at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Monday, July 5. Lovely Los Angeles-based UNLOVABLE artist Esther Pearl Watson will appear with her husband and collaborator Mark Todd from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and we’ll be hosting a festive urban barbeque. Best of all, everything in the store is on sale 20% to 50% off for one-day-only! All day long!
What better way to conclude a holiday weekend than with complimentary hot dogs, baked beans, cold beverages, and cheap comic books! Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these accomplished young artists and stock up on essential summer reading at bargain prices.
The store will be closed on Sunday, July 4, but open regular hours 11:30 to 8:00 PM on Monday for this spectacular event. And mark your calendars for Saturday evening, July 10 with the enchanting Dame Darcy debuting her new MEAT CAKE collection.
Summer celebrations continue in Georgetown with the Second Saturday Art Attack on July 10 and the annual Georgetown Garden Walk on Sunday, July 11. These colorful activities accentuate the unique character of Georgetown's historic business corridor and creative residential neighborhood.
Among the highlights of the July 10 Georgetown Art Attack: Seattle Teen Printmakers (STP) display work from recent workshops at Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center together with Amy Pleasant's "Family Album" exhibition and open studios with resident artists; "Meat Cake" book launch party featuring original comic art exhibition, book signing and performance by Portland-based artist Dame Darcy at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; a collection of handcrafted traditional Caribbean masks from Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Jamaica by Alyssa Johnson at Calamity Jane's; the debut of "Seattle Hop" tee shirt and other works designed by Seattle home brewer and digital artist Laura Fletcher at Full Throttle Bottles; "Just Before the Leap" paintings by Mark LaFalce, "Encaustics: the Wave of Wax" by Deborah Stachowic, and "Clay, Baby" works by Pamela Hathaway at 5626 Airport Way S. studios; an exhibition at Indiro artist studio, 5050 First S., featuring Dave Alton, Nicole Appell, Catherine Bailey, Jolie Bergman, Felice Dunn, Darren Emmens, Becky Fitterer, Meredith Jenkins, Brian Kuntz, Gay Seydlitz, Reecca Thayer and Carrie Whitney. Also included in both the Art Attack and Garden Walk is a "Trailer Park Market of Curiosities" featuring local art, vintage clothing, collectibles and more at the newly minted Georgetown Trailer Park Mall.
For Trailer Park Mall information visit: www.georgetowntrailerpark.com. Maps of the Georgetown Garden Walk can be found at the Bank of America parking lot at 1112 S. Bailey St. on Sunday, July 11.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants' Association (GMA). For additional information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid or GMA chair Sara Aruguete at numbers above. For a map of Art Attack participants see: www.georgetownartattack.com
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes the lovely and talented Esther Pearl Watson and her artist cohort Mark Todd on Monday, July 5 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Watson will sign copies of her amazing UNLOVABLE collections, among our very favorite titles at the bookstore.
Guests will enjoy an urban barbeque with complimentary hot dogs, beans, and cold beverages in addition to an array of Todd and Esther's affordable books and art. Expect a few surprises as well. Don't miss your chance to meet these extraordinary artists and have a meal on us. What better way to spend a lazy day off?
Saturday's Artopia extravaganza was the most festive yet. Thousands of adventurous art patrons strolled through Georgetown taking in everything from Megan's Kelso's Artichoke Tales exhibition to the vintage Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, complete with the mobile Elvis museum and wedding chapel. Circus acts, sideshow routines, carnival games, marching bands, and plenty of food and drink kept everyone wildly entertained.
Fantagraphics Bookstore's entry in the Power Tool Races — a chainsaw-powered 1991 Daniel Clowes-designed Santa Cruz skateboard — won the trophy for... well, some absurd category. Comedian and film director Bobcat Goldthwait dropped by the store after the races to admire the winner before presenting his cult classic feature film Shakes the Clown.
Bands performed on a stage outside the store all day including the Tom Price Desert Classic featuring our beloved Martin Bland on drums. The festivities came to a crescendo with an improvised session of neighborhood musicians including Georgetown Records co-owners Grant Eckman and Martin Imbach, and a cameo appearance by Soundgarden's Ben Shepherd. Don't miss it next year.
Multifaceted cartoonist, musician, performance artist, fortune teller and neo-Victorian culture maven Dame Darcy appears at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on July 10 to celebrate the publication of MEAT CAKE, a collection of stories from the first decade of her popular comic book series of the same name. The event features an exhibition of Dame Darcy's original comic art and other creations, an enchanting music recital and a fortune telling session with each book signed.
MEAT CAKE is like a peek into an imaginative, deranged dollhouse filled with fractured fairy tales. An expanded version of the long out-of-print hardcover book, this new paperback assembles the very best of Darcy's work from the first 11 issues of the beloved comic (including "Hungry Is the Heart," the legendary collaboration with Watchmen creator Alan Moore). According to the New York Times, "Darcy's comics are aesthetic manifestos... Darcy is a star. Meat Cake will prevail, as luxury takes over America. And the world beyond." The Los Angeles Times observes, "[Darcy] has created a childlike, otherworldly realm, a land that hovers in the twilight space between the whimsical and the macabre. Ghosts and goblins, foul-tempered stepmothers, lovesick mermaids and charmed forests are all rendered in Darcy's distinctive hand, loose and flowing lines reminiscent of the work of Edward Gorey."
Dame Darcy's appearance on Saturday, July 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport way S.) only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Don’t miss this: The Artopia cultural extravaganza and Georgetown Music Festival take place on Saturday, June 26 from 3:00 to 10:00 PM. It’s all FREE!
Dozens of bands will perform on several stages, including one right outside Fantagraphics Bookstore featuring the Tom Price Desert Classic with our own Martin Bland on traps. Old school carnival games and confections, aerial circus acts, and thrilling Power Tool Races are among the many attractions. You’ll love the demonic chainsaw-powered Daniel Clowes skateboard created by our curator Larry Reid and daughter Bella. Just don’t get too close.
This year’s Artopia features a special appearance by demented actor/comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown). Drop by the store for a beverage and check out Megan Kelso’s amazing new work as well as a boatload of impressive new books from your favorite artists. See you all soon.
Make plans for Labor Day weekend in Seattle now! The Bumbershoot art and music festival promises to be the best in recent memory. In addition to performances by the likes of Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Hole, the Decemberists, Weezer and countless other bands, the festival includes a large exhibition of contemporary Seattle cartoonists.
Organized by Fantagraphics resident curator Larry Reid, "Counterculture Comix: A 30-Year Survey of Seattle Alternative Cartoonists" begins with Lynda Barry's work circa 1980 and continues through the present. The show reveals Seattle as the ancestral home of the alternative comix genre and examines the role comix played in Seattle's youth movement of the 90s, which penetrated popular culture globally.
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!