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.
Save the visit to the Library of Congress, which will come up later, these are THE pictures and thoughts on Small Press Expo 2012. We honestly were so busy that there was little time to make the rounds to other aisles and buy books or snag pics of our friends at this family reunion of a show. So please accept my apology for no SWEEPING landscapes of the table set-up as it was busy, busy, busy. SPX'sExecutive Director, Warren Bernard, ran a good show and David Michael Thomas could not have been better with convention previews and making sure we were comfortable throughout.
The Washington alt-weekly newspaper or insert covered the special guests of the con including the Hernandez brothers. Love and Rockets tattoos are the ink du jour as you can see along with Jughead hats and SUPER short skirts (even though we all know leggings that look like wormholes or intestinal tracts are really in this year). Drawing by Thomas Pitilli.
The signing at Politics and Prose in D.C. kicked off the 30th Anniversary Northeast Tour. With trusty escorts like Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, PR Director Jacq Cohen and myself, what could go wrong? First things first though, toothpicks to make sure teeth are clean.
The first book of the weekend AND the first copy of The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver went to Leon Avelino, publisher at Secret Acres.
Long lines formed for the Hernandez Brothers both days and were chock full of other exhibitors and cartoonists like First Second's George O'Connor.
Fans got books signed, bought drawings and got their SPX convention badges signed.
That night at the Ignatz awards, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez cleaned up. While humbly accepting their Herriman bricks, they thanked Daniel Clowes & Art Spiegelman for NOT having new stories this year. The Brothers won Outstanding Series for Love and Rockets while Jaime won Outstanding Artist and Outstanding Story for "Return for Me"of Love and Rockets: New Stories #4.
Author Phillip Nel sold his Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss biography to whet everyone's appetite for the Barnaby book. Rich Tommaso sold his The Cavalier Mr. Thompson, a Fantagraphics-distributed book about a 1920s hotel in Texas.
Fans and friends got their signatures and tiny drawings by Tommaso.
Cartoonist TJ Kirsch shows off his Daniel Clowes drawing in Twentieth-Century Eightball.
Despite his dour face, Daniel Clowes genuinely liked Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo while Charles Burns looks on.
John Porcellino (of Spit and a Half, King Cat and Drawn and Quarterly) soaked in the cross hatching glory of Van Sciver's The Hypo. Maybe he was enjoying it too much.
As always, my partner-in-crime Jacq Cohen and I accidentally dressed to match some of our favorite classic books, me with Nancy and Jacq with Peanuts.
Jacq and I ran off after the convention to eat some delicious food with our good friends. Clockwise from the bottom left: Gilbert Hernandez, me, Jaime Hernandez, Tom Neely of Sparkplug, Joseph Remnant of ZAP/Top Shelf, Noah Van Sciver and John Porcellino. Delicious!
And finally, a picture from 2010's MoCCA Fest where I'm handing Jaime minis as a fan. Now we get to argue about baseball uniforms and proper sock height while working the Fantagraphics table. Thank you everyone for coming to the Fantagraphics table to buy our books, talk to our artists and spread more of the convention cheer. See you next year!
Photos by Jacq Cohen and me. Attitude by Fantagraphics.
Today is New Comics Day so we are releasing No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics via comiXology! Edited by cartoonist, teacher and historian Justin Hall, this first definitive collection of queer comics gathers the world's greatest LGBT comics under one cover. These smart, funny, and profound works provide an uncensored window into the last four decades of queer culture.
No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, crossover creators who have flirted with the world of LGBTQ comics, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage. No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.
". . . with No Straight Lines , the most definitive collection of queer comics to date, [Justin] Hall and Fantagraphics have made the voluminous but largely hidden history of LBGT (lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, transgender) comics finally visible as well." -Shannon O'Leary, Publishers Weekly
"I like my queer comic anthologies like I like my women. Handy AND beautiful. . .What No Straight Lines really achieves is putting all of these influential comics in one place. Together, they contextualize each other and the LGBTQ scene at the same time." -Sarah Hansen, Autostraddle
What started out as a web comic Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree traces the foundation of hip hop from its Bronx origins with DJ Kool Herc and DJ Hollywood through Doug E. Fresh, Run DMC and beyond in four color fury. The comic easily transitions from depictions of live shows to breaking in the streets to the foundation of record companies, eager to spread the music. Currently published weekly at the epicenter of cool, Boing Boing, Piskor's work will be collected and printed by Fantagraphics next year.
The full-color book will be around 112 pages, collecting the first year's worth of comic strips spanning 1975-1980. As a beautiful backup to Piskor's story, ten beat-friendly cartoonists are providing pin-ups of their favorite hip hop artists and rappers. The overarching theme of comics delving deep into music culture make Hip Hop Family Tree and Ed Piskor make a happy addition to works of cartoonists like Peter Bagge, R. Crumb, Joe Sacco, Mary Fleener, the Hernandez Brothers and authors like Pat Thomas, Jacob McMurray and Kevin Avery.
Piskor is best known for his works like self-published and then Top Shelf published hacker comic, Wizzywig. Piskor also worked with late, great Harvey Pekar in the collection, The Beats. Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds said, "Hip Hop Family Tree is not only a great read, it's a wonderful visual history of the important genre of music of the past 30 years. We're excited to publish it." After all the paperwork was signed Piskor said, "While working on the this project, I began to feel like the belle at the ball, in a matter of speaking, because lots of different publishers started getting in touch. They had certain ideas that would have required compromise. Fantagraphics is one of the only publishers I personally sought out, because I thought they might facilitate my exact vision, and it feels like I was right. Basically, I'm a huge brat and I want what I want, and Fantagraphics is down for the cause."
You can see Piskor and Fantagraphics this weekend at SPX and keep your eyes and ears open for more jammin' comics by Ed Piskor. Start clearing away space now next to your turn table for Hip Hop Family Tree.
The fastest 'ping' of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:iFanboy makes Carl Barks man of the month when Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man is Book of the Month. Conor Kilpatrick writes a truly superb review and says "Carl Barks’ genius is not only about his wonderful art. He was an excellent storyteller who used his stories to not only tell jokes and send these characters on great adventures. He also told us about how they were as people and used them to examine real issues."
• Interview (audio): Love and Rockets' Gilbert Hernandez showed up on the short-n-sweet comiXology podcast today. The interview also coincides with the newest collection of work from Gilbert and brother, Jaime, coming out on comiXology the same day as the store release. The very beginning of Love and Rockets in the form of Heartbreak Soup and Maggie the Mechanic is now also available for your e-reading pleasure.
• Plug:The Comics Reporter talks about this weeks' releases and Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 is of course, at the top of the list. Tom Spurgeon says, "The follow-up to last summer's devastatingly good issue isn't as devastating, but it's still really good. Lots of Borneo in the Jaime story. I find that character alternately hilarious and terrifying."
• Review:Another Mag happily turns the pages of Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. Laura Bradley states, "[this] oversized book. . . is a glorious portrait of taboo-busting 'porn chic'. Curated by author-filmmaker-curator Jacques Boyreau, the 100+ re-mastered posters vary in style – some with amusing imagery and tag lines, some darkly surreal, some sleek and stylish; all hosting kitsch appeal."
Following up an exciting summer of digital releases by a variety of Fantagraphics authors, today Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 is on bookshelves and digital bookshelves worldwide. But it is not alone. For newcomers, long-time fans and people who need to move across the country with ease, Fantagraphics announces the new digital release of the first two volumes from the Love and Rockets Library. Maggie the Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez and Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez are now also available for download. These volumes assemble the Hernandez Brothers work seperately in perfect chronological order and the intuitive Guided View by comiXology smoothly sends the reader from one beautiful panel to the next.
In Heartbreak Soup, we visit the small Central American town of Palomar and Gilbert's main cast of characters as children. High drama and strong emotions permeate this 288-page volume from "Sopa de Gran Pena" to the great love story "For the Love of Carmen." Maggie the Mechanic follows Maggie and her best friend and sometimes lover, Hopey, and their circle of friends with strong sci-fi stories by Jaime. Gan favorites wrestler Rena Titañon and Maggie's handsome love interest, Rand Race, appear all over this 272-page digital premiere.
For those of you caught up on the story, Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 collects the newest comics by the Hernandez Brothers! Jaime focuses on less-seen characters Frogmouth and her half-sister, Tonta, while Gilbert views the town of Palomar through the seemingly superficial lens of Hollywood all in 102 pages.
For the low and lovely price of $14.99 you can purchase the beginning of a series that is still going strong after thirty years. Head over to comiXology today and find out why readers, creators and retailers all over are mohawked-head over booted heels for Love and Rockets.
"The Love and Rockets Vol. 1 reprints may be my favorite publishing project of the last five years, and there are a lot of fine projects going on... the smaller, bargain-priced volumes [are] the perfect vehicle for that material, the best comics series of all time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
"I've never seen anything else in comics — I guess there might be something in literature — but in comics there's never been anybody that's touched what the Hernandez brothers have." – Robert Crumb
"An addictive soap opera, replete with humor and heart." – The Washington Post
The newest hazelnuttiest spread of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview:Publishers Weekly and James Romberger stop Gary Panter during his busy drawing and teaching schedule to ask him questions about Dal Tokyo. Panter is quoted, "Being that this intends to be an experimental approach to comic making and drawing, like the Jimbo in Purgatory book, I don't expect the reader to get a normal story experience or the satisfaction that comes from skillful story traditional development. I hope the reader will get something else that they never got from a comic before: evidence of an investigation into the ways and means of cartooning and maybe a dizzy feeling."
• Review: Originally published in Danish in 2005, this review of Jimbo in Purgatory by Gary Panter was just translated into English on The Metabunker. Matthias Wivel says, "With humor and a spectacular visual imagination, Panter serves up a lavish and remarkably generous, but never chaotic book that reminds us of the way in which truth emerges socially –moved by the power of will, thought, and faith."
• Review:Publishers Weekly reviews Jorge Zentner and Lorenzo Mattotti's Crackle of the Frost. "Despite the depressing story line, Mattotti’s truly inspired lines, expressive forms, and wild visual imagination will captivate."
The humming un-tested electric fence of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:The Comics Journal reviews Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter. Joshua Glenn writes, "Panter’s draughtsmanship is fluid and permeable, it changes from week to week. . . Some installments are so crammed with detail and extraneous scribbles that the eye can’t possibly take it all in; others are stripped down, emptied out, haiku-like. In short, Dal Tokyo is absurd, unimaginable, and perfect."
• Interview: Jason Sacks from the Comics Bulletin caught up with Gary Panter at his Fantagraphics Bookstore signing this weekend and asked him some questions about Dal Tokyo: "I think that Dal Tokyo, because it's experimental, it's continually reminding you that it's being made. Whereas most comics they're trying to draw you into the illusion and keep you there. That's what comics are supposed to do and that's what popular comics do," Sacks points out.
• Review:North Adams Transcript looks and looks and looks again at Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. John Seven laments, "The posters are the ephemera of an artifact called the porn theater that lurks in my ‘70s childhood. A place where sleaze was visible, but contained. . .If you can deal with it, "Sexytime" is a fun and often ridiculous reminder of a world that seemed so dangerous when many of us were kids, but is now gone."
• Review: Nick Gazin on Vice reviews Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 by Michael Kupperman: "It really feels like something you would dream about, except it is loaded with guffaws. . . This whole comic is basically the best ideas you've never thought of. After reading it you'll be all, 'That is so clever, why didn't I think of it? AND THESE JOKES!' "
• Plug: Rob at Panel Patter goes over some of the books he's looking forward to at SPX this month. "The Hypo is the book I'm most looking forward to. The deep thinker Noah Van Sciver taking on deep thinker Abraham Lincoln at the lowest point in his life? SOLD." And Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 "finishes up the quirky comic from new Panel Patter favorite Michael Kupperman. It's sure to be packed full of hysterical mashups and general insanity, based on pop culture and puns, both new and old."
• Review:Publishers Weekly reviews No Straight Lines again and is quite happy: ". . . who the volume is aimed at—the LGBT audience or a much wider one? Editor [Justin] Hall guns for the latter, but without softening the edges that define the genre, and he’s quite successful."
• Review: The SFCrowsNest reviews oldie-but-a-goodie The Hidden by Richard Sala. Aidan Fortune says, "The use of watercolours in the art gives it a children’s storybook feel that will stir up memories of reading horror stories underneath the covers by torchlight. Despite this warm look, ‘The Hidden’ is gripping, chilling and certainly not for children."
• Review:Dave's Strange World looks at Kevin Avery's Everything is an Afterthought, "Everything is an Afterthought is a loving tribute to a writer who deserved bigger and better success than his demons would allow. It’s clear from the testimonials and interviews given for this book how loved [Paul] Nelson was by his colleagues and friends."
The cleanest sock you've never lost of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: The Comics Journal and Tucker Stone hit up two of our books this week. Stone lauds Jacques Tardi's New York Mon Amour, "The later three stories are all excellent installments in the various ways the city can grind you into oblivion. . . " And on the subject of The Furry Trapby Josh Simmons, "There’s been a solid amount of recommendations already for this volume, and there’s not going to be any contrarian tut-tutting to be found here: this is worth reading, owning, and possibly gifting . . . having this much nasty in one hardcover is a reading experience like no other, and one you’d do well to deny not one minute longer."
• Review:The Comics Reporter reviews Lorenzo Mattotti and Jorge Zentner's latest translated collaboration. "The Crackle Of The Frost finds an elegant balance between abstraction and more traditional cartoon rendering. . . it's fully realized, and satisfying, and occasionally beautiful."
• Review:The Library Journal sent us this review of The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver, M. C. says "Perhaps our most beloved president, Abraham Lincoln threatens merely to disappear into sainthood for most of us. Van Sciver has made him real by portraying one of the most difficult times in the future leader’s younger life. . . It’s rather like an American version of Dickens infused into a Jane Austen love story, and Van Sciver’s moody cross-hatching works exceedingly well in showing these lesser-known facets of Lincoln’s nonpolitical life. . . An excellent choice for compelling leisure reading as well as for use in classrooms."
• Review:Comics Bulletin covers what goes on under the covers of Sexytime edited by Jacques Boyreau. Jason Sacks says, "Sexytime is a glorious representation of work that was forgotten shortly after it was created, but is full of joyful reminders of the recent past. . .Oh god! Oh god! Oh god! Yes! Yes! Yes! is this a great book."
Need a reason to diddle around with our sexiest release this year SEXYTIME? Check out these photos from the official release party at The Horse Hospital in London at the end of August. These ladies love these over-the-top porn movie posters of the era! They are gathered around "Teenage Sex-Kitten" and "The Whisle Blower," which features one of the best uses of accidental-on-purpose testicles.
If brazen sexuality paired with old-school hand design is your thing then you must get your recently-washed hands on this book of pristinely re-mastered movie posters from the golden age of American porn. Launch party attendees flip through the books after seeing the posters.
Phone pics of "JUICE," which features the best use of the color white.
The quiet before the sex storm.
The exhibition ran through September 1st but guess what? You can buy the HOLE kit and kaBOOBle from us for a mere $29.99. See what I did there? I hope so because it really hurt to type - although you might be able to find a poster about a typing fetish in Sexytime. There's only one way to find out!
The sing-song-i-est new Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Drawn Blog features a review of Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama. Dustin Harbin says, "[the comics] seem less humorous and more like the slow aggregation of a large portrait, maybe not of the man, but of the time the man is living in."
• Review:The Comics Reporter confirms that Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter is THE book to buy this week. Tom Spurgeon states, "This is really the only book you need this week . . . I've been wanting to read a collected version of Gary Panter's strip for a time longer than all about a dozen personal relationships I currently have."
• Plug: Lots of book lust on the Collected Comics Library for the EC Library editions coming out soon featuring work from like Came the Dawn by Wally Wood,Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman and future reprints from Al Williamson and Jack Davis. Chris Marshall says, "EC Archives are Dead! Long Live the EC Library!"
• Plug: The sweet people over at Robot 6 on Comic Book Resources started flipping through Previews and flipped out over some of our new releases. John Parkin on Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown by Carl Barks: "Fantagraphics continues its series of high-end collections of the best of Carl Barks’ duck stories, with the Christmas-themed third volume arriving just in time to be stuffed in somebody’s stocking." Graeme McMillan on The Love and Rockets Reader: From Hoppers to Palomar by Marc Sobel: "As a latecomer to this classic series, I’m looking forward to Marc Sobel’s look back at the first three decades of the work of Los Bros Hernandez to help me get caught up on what I missed the first time around and really need to get in collected edition. I suspect this may end up being an expensive project."
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