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Jen Vaughn's Blog
Description:
Cartoonist, journalist, designer and lover of all comics! Here to encourage you to read Fantagraphics books and then pass them on to your friends AND family. Especially those Eros ones. Graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies.

Kim Thompson, One Year Later
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Kim Thompson 19 Jun 2014 10:35 AM

Kim, Eric, Rhea, Gary

From the Eric Reynolds archives: Kim Thompson hanging out with Eric, Rhea Patton, and Gary Groth, all celebrating Groth's 50th birthday. Kim passed away one year ago today. He still is and will always be missed by his family, friends, co-workers and the comics community. 

Epilepsy Warning: 1000 Great Graphic Novels
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under miscmetaart 18 Jun 2014 2:45 PM
 
In one of the cooler videos to hit the internet lately, comics enthusiast and scholar Allen Rubenstein created a video of the 1000 Greatest Comics of all Time AND set it to "Wipe Out" by the Sufaris (so already won a place in our hearts). At home on Comics Juice, Rubenstein's video contains some great heavyweights like Maus, Blankets and bunch of Fantagraphics' titles from Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller to the newer Eisner-nominated Good Dog by Graham Chaffee. 
 
Think you were able to see all the comics, like the Fanta-ones? Check the list and see if you won this game! And is there anything more beautiful than the patterns and rhythms created by the fast-scrolling book covers? I think not. 
New Comics Day 6.18.14
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Wally WoodWallace WoodVirgil PartchVaughn BodeSteve DitkoNew Comics DayBlake BellAl Williamson 17 Jun 2014 3:05 PM

This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.

witzend  witzend
by Wallace Wood and various artists

656-page black & white/color 9" x 12.5" x 2.75" two-volume slipcased hardcover set • $125.00 

ISBN: 978-1-60699-744-4 

"Boxed together in a deluxe two-volume set, here are the irascible voices of a medium far more outré than Hollywood blockbuster movies." –Carlo McCormick, Art News  

Bomb RunBomb Run and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
by John SeverinHarvey KurtzmanWill Elder et al.

264-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $29.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-749-9

"With crisp inks on heavy stock paper, Fantagraphics' BOMB RUN is a pleasure to hold and leaf through."  –Spectrum Culturenbsp;

"All of these books are essential purchases for comics fans... These are the books that best show off how EC took genre stories seriously, striving to create comics that didn't treat readers as naive or ignorant." - Los Angeles Times

"Fantagraphics' current series of handsome hardcovers makes familiar material fresh by focusing on individual artists... it's never been easier to appreciate the contributions of these iconic inkslingers." - Chicago Tribune

Cork High and Bottle Deep Cork High and Bottle Deep
by Virgil Partch

184-page black & white/color 6.75" x 6.75" hardcover • $19.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-716-1

"The dazzlingly demented Virgil Partch was seemingly born with a drink in one hand and a brush in the other." - Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin 

Strange Suspense  Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 (Softcover Ed.)
by Steve Ditko; edited by Blake Bell

240-page full-color 6.75" x 9.75" softcover • $28.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-739-0

"...[T]he tales in this tome are sheer pre-Comics Code Authority horror, complete with stabbings, decapitations, mutilations and disintegrations. ...Ditko's talent jumps off the page and one of the benefits of reading the stories in chronological order is seeing his art evolve and improve." –Pedro Cabezuelo, Rue Morgue

"Strange Suspense offers page after lurid four-color page of Ditko's weird monsters, rubber-faced crooks, and abstracted landscapes... The book is a white-knuckle trip through Ditko's fevered imagination. [Grade] A-" –The A.V. Club

 






Gary Groth: Stranger Genius Nominee Uncovered
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Things to seeThe StrangerinterviewsinterviewGary Grothawards 11 Jun 2014 5:11 PM
Gary
Last month we found out one of our founders, Gary Groth, was up for a Genius Award in Literature from local and cool-as-hell alt-weekly paper, The Stranger. This week articles about all the nominees  appeared online and in the print version so you can get to know them and their genius.
 
Gary's acerbic rage-writings of the 80s and 90s are referenced in the article by Paul Constant. Constant asked Gary if he was less angry now but since Fantagraphics started making the comics he wanted to read and are at most bookstores...Constant wrote it best. "that there was always more work to do, but it was clear to everyone that, yes, the century-long fight for the soul of American comics is over, and Gary Groth won."
 
On October 18, The Stranger will throw a huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached.
Fire Fire 
Julia Gfrörer on Words & Pictures
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Julia Gfrörerinterviews 11 Jun 2014 2:45 PM

Black is the Color 

Black is the Color of the radio airwaves this week! Julia Gfrörer and Portland's Ellery Harvey are collaborators in bringing the art of comics off the page and into the performance space, and they're the guests tomorrow Thursday morning (June 12th) from 11:30 to noon on Words & Pictures.

 

From Words & Pictures: The gothic sensibility of Julia's pen and ink artwork and spare archaic dialogue, in such graphic novels as Black is the Color, bring together historical, mythical, and sensual themes. Lambhouse Letterpress founder Ellery, who has toured the Pacific Northwest with Julia, backs up her artwork with musical soundscapes at such events as Gridlords and Linework NW.

Words & Pictures airs the second Thursday of each month from 11:30am to noon (PDT) on KBOO Radio, 90.7fm.  KBOO's real-time webstream is available at  via iTunes or Abacast, and on mobile devices through the TuneIn app.

Cartoon Art Museum Highlight: Andrew Farago
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Trina RobbinsMK Browneventsart showsart 10 Jun 2014 2:11 PM

Cam Postcard
The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco has featured artwork by many of our caroonists from Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez to a future M.K. Brown show. Currently on exhibit is Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection from now until August 24th, 2014 (postcard pictured above). We pulled Andrew Farago, curator at CAM, aside for a few quick questions about the process of getting a show ready. 

What do you look for when choosing works from a singular artist/cartoonist? Is it a plan to arrange them visually by era or area (like if they did paintings, cel animation, comics)?

"It depends" is my basic answer for that. If it's a career retrospective, I'll find out if the artist has kept most of her originals or if they've been scattered amongst friends and collectors. Sometimes we'll be focusing on a book that's been recently published, sometimes we'll have our own exhibition catalog in the works. Sometimes I work with a co-curator who's tracked down most of an artist's major works. The fewer sources I'll need to tap into to produce a well-rounded exhibition, the more likely I am to pursue it.

Although that's really more of a technical answer. Before I get into any of that, I make sure that we're focusing on a talented artist whose work will make for a compelling exhibition. I show favoritism to established artists with a substantial body of work, and always prefer to work with the artists directly whenever that's possible. It's incredible getting to collaborate with people like Stan SakaiGilbert and Jaime HernandezM.K. Brown, Steve Purcell, Eric Drooker, Nina Paley, Jeff Smith, and Dan Piraro, just off the top of my head, when putting together giant solo exhibitions.

Getting art ready for the Pretty in Ink show
Cam art

Describe the basic layout of the gallery (or if you have a blueprint bird's-eye view of it) and do you aim to have people travel through the show the same way every time? (forgive me, I haven't been before so this question may seem odd)

This particular gallery has two entrances. Visitors will usually enter from the back-right corner entrance, and from there, they'll either wander up to the actual start of the exhibition at the opposite corner of the room, or they'll just start walking through and might end up viewing that particular room a time-and-a-half when passing through. With an exhibition like M.K.'s, which will be more focused on single-panel cartoons than multi-page stories, that won't be an issue for visitors.

Have you ever had an incident where you hung a show and then had to replace/take down art before it opened/while it was open?

Sure. I changed over our Sandman exhibition three times due to late arrivals. The original art for the second issue of Overture wasn't available to us until late March, and I swapped out an entire room to put up the first two issues. Artists and collectors have sometimes sold pieces while they've been on display, to buyers who don't want to wait until the exhibition wraps up before getting their artwork (although that's pretty rare). I don't generally like to change things once a show's up, since that's fairly labor intensive and I don't usually build time for re-hanging into my schedule.

Art matted and framed, ready for a wall
Art ready to be hung
 
Is work for sale if the creator wishes it to be?

Generally not. We're a museum, so we don't sell art off the walls, but sometimes an artist or collector will ask us to include a note with contact information letting people know that the art's available for purchase through their websites.

How long have you worked at CAM?

I started as a volunteer in the summer of 2000, got hired on as Gallery Manager in the fall of 2001, and eased into the Curator job in 2005. I've worked on a little bit of everything over the years.

Photo by Lani Schreibstein
Cam Museum

Are you donation-based? How can people help? Thanks!

There are plenty of ways to support the Cartoon Art Museum. Signing up for an annual membership, making a one-time cash donation (and asking your workplace to match it), donating original artwork, shopping at our bookstore, visiting the Museum, buying books or artwork from us at conventions...Here's a good place to start: http://cartoonart.org/join-support/

Sidenote: the CAM booth at San Diego is a GREAT place to pick up a $10 sketch to support the museum, they feature all sorts of fun cartoonists like Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown and Sina Grace. Last year, I sketched next to Gene Yang and Zack Giallongo and someone wanted us all to draw Morrissey. What a blast! 

Thanks again to Andrew Farago for answering a few questions and carefully, lovingly putting work up on the walls with his crew. If you want to see Pretty In Ink yourself general admission is $8 while students & seniors are $6. Children 6-12 are $4 while WOO-HOO! Members & Children under 6 stroll in through the door for free. Check out Trina Robbin's book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 today.
Pretty in Ink   






Quimby's might have found the TWELVE GEMS
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Lane Milburnevents 6 Jun 2014 12:39 AM
Twelve Gems
Cartoonist and all around badass, Lane Milburn, will be appearing at Quimby's Bookstore in August for his Twelve Gems launch party. August 30th at 7pm, you better have your intergalatic party hats on or ELSE. 
 
Somewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, Furz, Venus, and Dogstar, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power. Milburn's book is is full of wall-to-wall humor and action for science fiction fans, adventure-lovers and connoisseurs of the undergroun comix aesthetic. You do not want to miss this rad cartoonist or his debut Fantagraphics graphic novel!

Twelve Gems  Lane Milburn
Quimby's Bookstore
1854 W. North Ave
Chicago IL 60622
773.342.0910




Employee Highlight: Keeli McCarthy
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffoffice fun 4 Jun 2014 4:01 PM

KM Photo

We've recently had some new blood join our satanic circle in comics and are proud to highlight them. Meet Keeli McCarthy, one of our designers. She's currently working on many books for us, too many but she's a tough nut.

What other jobs and experiences have you had in comics?
I was the first female employee at a shop called Atomic Comics in the mid-90s in Phoenix. I was hired as the "alternative comics" person. I diverted a lot of questions about Image release dates with "um, how about checking out that Julie Doucet book there in the corner?"

The Sissy
What was the first comic you read?

My introduction to comics came through the wonderful world of Jack Chick tracts. Mormonism, Satanism, D&D, hippies... I ended up with a childhood preoccupation with hippies because they seemed to be having so much fun freaking out in those densely-drawn panels. I still have dozens and dozens of pictures of hippies that I drew as a child. I was also a big fan of Archie.

What was the first comic that made you want to write, react, something?
I really discovered comics when I picked up my first issue of Eightball. It was during the middle of Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, and so I had to scuttle around the local comic shops to put together the back issues. I was so fascinated with Clowes' pastiche of period references, something that definitely influences my work today. I was also hugely influenced by the ghoulishness of Al Columbia's Biologic Show and anything horror from EC.

Ghost Grot
What can you recommend to Fanta readers?

I discovered Carl Barks when I designed the Ghost Of The Grotto collection and I've fallen in love with his stories. His human/animal hybrid characters are a hoot. The gags are great, and the colors in the Fantagraphics reprints are so sunny and beautiful. I'm also excited to sit down with the final printed version of Gast.

Weirdest Fanta experience so far?
I would say that the weirdest thing about Fantagraphics is the old house we work in. There is original art, staff art, and just...stuff everywhere. I discover some new little gem each day. Like the Gap ad in which the model's face has been replaced with one from an Al Columbia painting, the whole thing blasted through with a rifle shot. I have no idea how this came about and I will never tire of looking at it.
Cooper Gap

(note: associate publisher Eric Reynolds shot this many years ago) 

Favorite way to wind down?
I try to move away from the two-dimensional world as much as possible after work, and cooking is a great way to do that. I love making big elaborate dinners. I am also the queen of improvised soup.

What projects do you have ahead of you outside of your job?
I've been working on a series of brush and ink drawings based on observations of people's behavior in public places-coffee shops, dentists' waiting rooms, nightclubs. They're a fun exercise in getting better at inking good solid blacks. Last year, while living in New Zealand, I put together a zine/gallery show of 20 artists commemorating Oddbodz, which were New Zealand's answer to the Garbage Pail Kids. I'm hoping my next project can be that huge and crazy and fun. I'm also planning a trip to Tokyo in the next year with NYC/NZ zinester Erin Fae to write and draw a book about Japanese coffee culture.

Best part of comic conventions?
I'm not a huge fan of comic conventions. I usually only go when there is a creator I really need to meet. Then I just field that person's puzzled glances as I hover around their table with a huge creepy smile on my face.

Favorite place in Seattle for food or public place?
I recently discovered the giant hammering person sculpture and its history of mayhem, which I rather enjoy thinking about. Food-wise, TNT Taqueria has been haunting my memory with their TWO delicious meatless taco options. Also, this town has a staggering amount of donut eating opportunities, which I find very appealing. 

Favorite drink?
Black coffee. Preferably accompanied by a donut. 

Thanks again for answering questions, Keeli! More soon from the pit where management keeps us at night. 













Werewolves of Montpellier FREE - Today Only
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Jasondigital comicscomiXology 30 May 2014 4:21 PM
Werewolves of Montpellier
Today, comiXology has is giving away digital copies of Jason's Werewolves of Montpellier. Typically $9.99, this comic can be yours for a few simple clicks of the ol' mouse! A faux werewolf-cum-burglar named Sven runs afoul of a real society of werewolves who don't take kindly to the pretender. So while Sven spends his days playing chess and poker with his friends, sketching his way through his picturesque chosen hometown, and coping with romantic dilemmas - both his and those of his best friend, the Breakfast-at-Tiffany's-obsessed Audrey, who has girl troubles of her own - little does he realize that a genuine threat to his life, and for that matter his humanity, is closing in on him. 
 
Beware the full moon! Or should we say free moon?
werewolf
 
"Werewolves [of Montpellier] has an artsy feel, but also plenty of humor, even in (or especially in) its more dramatic moments. [...] But it's mostly the subtle characterizations that still bring the greatest amount of personality out of his creatures that look like animals, but act so much like humans. [...] Overall, it's another great book from Fantagraphics in the Jason catalog. It doesn't shake the foundation of his style, but it does try a few new ideas and tells another fun story." - William Jones, Graphic Novel Reporter 
Werewolf 
Giant Sloth - Kickstart Paul Hornschemeier's short
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Paul HornschemeierOriginal Artanimation 29 May 2014 6:15 PM
With 29 glorious days to go in his campaign, Paul Hornschemeier is running a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the creation of Giant Sloth, his next animated short. This animation is fun, Gordon (voiced by Paul Giamatti) is the curator of a musty, dusty natural history museum full of eccentricities. One day he finds that the museum will be privitized and enjoy watching a man's life go down the draing with his collapsing sanity, Paul G

Hornschemeier has an all-star cast ready to go with featuring the voices of Paul Giamatti, Jason Mantzoukas, and Kate McKinnon plus Comedy Bang Bang's Scott Aukerman.
Giant Sloth

Some of the rewards include limited edition DVDs with animation tutorials from the crew, original art from Comedy Bang Bang's opening sequence, signed books by the various crew members.  Don't take our work for it, chec, out all the cool stuff yourself! Giant Sloth is already 20% into funding their goal so be a part of something cool.

DVD