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Jen Vaughn's Blog
Description:
Cartoonist, journalist 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.

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

Kickstarter Update: Eyes-a-poppin' Rewards!
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Kickstarter 28 May 2014 4:39 PM

FU shirt
May is thundering past us and we just received one of the biggest deliveries of our Kickstarter: THE SHIRTS! We're mailing them out as we type so keep your eyes on that mailbox. The Team Fanta shirt was designed by our designer, Keeli McCarthy, who funny enough Kickstarted for another reward BEFORE she worked here. [insert what a small world reference here] She knocked this shirt outta the park, it's just fantastic!

Piskor PlatesMany of our books have been printed and sent out. We're mounting the bookplates (a few of them went out without plate mounts-argh!) but they are still removable many of you requested they be available to frame instead of drawn into the book. Ed Piskor's sketched bookplates are just plain gorgeous for Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2.

We are slowly slogging through all your Kickstarter emails, we apologize for not answering as fast as possible, we just lack the (wo)man power get to everything as soon as it comes in versus working on the actual rewards themselves. If you have changed your mailing address please feel free to message us via Kickstarter.

We have custom Chucks going out slowly! Steph Rivers made these two banging sets. She unfortunately left Fanta for the SOUTH but we wish her well, she's amazing and just the damn craftiest! 

Custom chucksMore prints are coming in weekly, we've gotten the SIGNED Drew Friedman Ditko posters and Kim Deitch's as well! The end of May is hopping and June will be even more so as you strut around with your shirts, put your prints up on the wall and receive your signed books!

 friedman Deitch

Fantagraphics at BEA 2014
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under events 28 May 2014 12:46 PM

Bea 2014
This week Book Expo America is happening in New York City! From Thursday, May 29 - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Javits Center, NYC, Associate Editor Eric Reynolds will be pushing our fall line of comics including Lucy Knisley's An Age of LicenseHip Hop Family Tree Book Two by Ed Piskor, the Zap collection, and Michael Jordan by Wilfred Santiago. The second volume of Barnaby is RIGHT THERE on the top left-hand shelf, truly drool worthy.
Barnaby 2
Fantagraphics is at table 1927 right next to W.W. Norton. 
Bea

Stop on by to flip through some of the most amazing comics by world's greatest cartoonists, grab a Free Comic Book Day Comic and say hi to Eric today! If you're sweet, he'll even let you check out a sample of the new ZAP collection.

Bea 2014



New Comics Day 5.28.14
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under New Comics DayConor Stechschulte 28 May 2014 11:00 AM

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.
The Amateurs
The Amateurs 
by Conor Stechschulte

64-page black & white 6" x 9" softcover • $14.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-734-5

"Stechschulte's dark humour and claustrophobic art style make this an intense and disquieting read." –Frederik Hautain, Broken Frontier

"…readers take in something comics can capture better than prose, the blankness of a mind already gone…[Stechschulte's] approach to storytelling, eschewing large chunks of text that would allow for declarative statements of feeling, makes the vision of human nature in Stechschulte's work feel like it's defined primarily by furtiveness and secrecy." –Brian Nicholson, Splice Today

AMATEURS 



Fantagraphics at CAKE 2014
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Tony MillionaireTom KaczynskiNoah Van SciverLeslie SteineventsConor Stechschulte 27 May 2014 11:50 PM

Cake 2014
Guess who's coming for dinner and that dinner is CAKE?! Fantagraphics with a smashing line-up of cartoonists will be in Chicago May 31-June 1st for the next greatest thing in comic shows. The show is opening Saturday and Sunday this week from 11am-6pm at 3656 N Halsted.

Special Guest Tony Millionaire will be at a table RIGHT NEXT to our signing books all day, all weekend. The map on the site was a bit too tiny even for my magnifying glass soooo just look for us at table 6-7. Jacq Cohen is repping us and is usually dressed to the nines.

Cake 2014 map 

Millionaire Sock Monkey Treasury
Panels
Saturday 1-2pm Tony Millionaire In Conversation With Caitlin McGurk (This panel is sponsored by Comix Revolution)

For twenty years, Special Guest Tony Millionaire has been making waves with the seasick adventures of characters Uncle Gabby the sock monkey and Mr. (Drinky) Crow. Millionaire's nostalgic comics Maakies and Sock Monkey defy era and expectation, at once awesomely intricate and terribly crude, sometimes best for the tots and at other times for the sloppiest of sailors. Join us in a conversation with Millionaire and Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in an exploration of this pioneering cartoonist's career.

Sunday 1-2pm Seduction of the Innocent with Tony Millionaire, Liz Prince, and Tucker Stone.
 Moderated by Marnie Galloway (This panel is sponsored by First Aid Comics) 

Comics are still for kids?! While the comics medium has grown up in the eyes of the public, of course there are still creators making work for younger audiences. What is the inspiration for creating work for a younger age group, and how will authors stay connected to new generations who will be born in a world of digital entertainment? CAKE organizer and author of In the Sounds and Seas, Marnie Galloway will lead a panel discussion with the multi-faceted Special Guest Tony Millionaire (Sock Monkey), Liz Prince, author of the upcoming memoir for teens, Tomboy, and Tucker Stone representing Special Guest Nobrow Press. 

Guests

Also on Friday night from 5-7pm, Tony Millionaire will be signing at Graham Crackers Loop in Chicago! More details hereGraham Cracker Loop 

Signing Schedule
Saturday, May 31st
12-1pm  Noah Van Sciver + Tom Kaczynski
1-3pm   Conor Stechschulte
3-5pm   Lane Milburn + Leslie Stein

Sunday:
12-1om Noah Van Sciver + Tom Kaczynski 
1-3pm   Lane Milburn
3-5pm   Conor Stechschulte + Leslie Stein

REMEMBER: Tony Millionaire will be signing all damn day right next to the Fantagraphics' booth. 

Cake
Debuts:
Bomb Run• Bomb Run and Other Stories by John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder One of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics resulted in taut, gritty war stories. The team of Kurtzman and Severin was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics. Together with inker and friend Will Elder, whose own obsession for detail perfectly heightened the impact of every line, they produced 34 war stories in just under three years. This book includes: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in the trenches and in the air); World War II (in the Pacific and in Europe, including the D-Day invasion); and the Korean War.

 

Twelve Gems• Twelve Gems by Lane Milburn omewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. With wall-to-wall humor and action in Lane Milburn's debute graphic novel from Fantagraphics; this is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year!

 

 

 

Amateurs

• The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte Two butchers arrive at work to find their shop empty of meat and their minds empty of how to do their job. As customers arrive, events become increasingly disastrous. A surreal, debut graphic novella of horror and humor with one huge, hanging question. This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book establishes Stechschulte as an exciting new talent. 

 

 

 

 

So come one and come all! Say hello to Jacq Cohen, working the booth, and special guest Tony Millionaire! The beautiful CAKE banner at the top was made by Chicago's own Chicago's own, Carrie Vinarsky.

May 31st-June 1st
11am - 6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
FREE! 






















More HATE and UNLOVABLE on comiXology
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Peter BaggeEsther Pearl Watsondigital comicscomiXology 23 May 2014 1:30 PM

Hate 11
Feel the no-love wash over as comiXology continues the serialization of Hate by Peter Bagge and Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Book 2 where slobby chicks rule! In issue #11 of Hate, Buddy and Lisa hit rock bottom: their disgusting and pathetic behavior ostracizes them from all their friends, including the usually tolerant George Hamilton III, who moves out in a huff. In fact, Buddy and Lisa can't even stand each other, but they're all they have left now! This bitter orgy of alcoholism, desperate sex, and bad attitudes is only $1.99 for 25 pages.

Hate 11

"I love Hate!" - Matt Groening 

Unlovable 3
Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Book 2 continues in Issue #3 "Bum Love". Tammy Pierce's grotesque-yet-glamorous lifestyle just keeps ramping up! Dreamboat Ken Olsen has decided to become celibate and for no reason at all, like really, Tammy finds her eye wandering over to Wayne Cummings. PLUS, time to get in shape with Tammy Pierce's workout routine. 102 pages of fun for readers 12 years old and up is available for only $4.99. 

Bum Love 

 "Tammy's enchanting smile and dazzling eyes are a gift of grace from Esther Watson." - Pendleton Ward, creator of Adventure Time



OCD Extra: June's Book Review
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under reviewsLove and RocketsJaime HernandezDaily OCD 20 May 2014 3:11 PM
Next month's issue of Booklist will include review of a recent releases by a Fantagraphics creator, excerpted below:
Love Bunglers
The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez

Starred Review:
"Skillfully merging tragedy and serendipity, Hernandez brings the [Maggie and Ray's] intertwining stories to a satisfying, if hard-won, culmination. The simplicity of Hernandez's page designs and the elegant economy of his drawing style belie the thoughtful sophistication of his storytelling… Although The Love Bunglers certainly isn't a jumping-on point for new readers, fans who've followed Maggie's exploits over the years will find it a heartbreakingly satisfying achievement that leaves the door wide open for further chapters in this most rewarding and accomplished of serialized comics." –Gordon Flagg



TEXAS: Esther Pearl Watson Art Show & Unlovable 3 Party
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under eventsEsther Pearl Watsonart showsart 20 May 2014 10:52 AM

Unlovable 3 psoter
Get your glitter and your cowboy boots, Esther Pearl Watson is a-coming home to Texas. Specifically, the spacious Webb Gallery in Waxahachie (remember when we visited a few years ago?). Esther's got a whole new line of paintings created just for this show and the opening reception is Sunday, June 1st from 4-7pm. She'll also be signing copies of her brand-spanking-new book Unlovable 3 starring the most endearing Tammy Pierce. Live in Dallas or Austin? Waxahachie is one sweet easy road trip away.
Unlovable 3 Esther

Can't make the signing? Contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  ahead of time to order your copy of a sketched-in and signed Unlovable 3! Below is a glimpse of the amazing Webb Gallery with their permanent installation of old carnival and freak show canvas signs juxtaposed perfectly next to Watson's paintings. Dog included!
EPW site
Webb Gallery
209-211 W. Franklin Street
Waxahachie, TX 75165 
Opening Saturdays and Sunday, 1-5pm
http://www.webbartgallery.com/