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.
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.
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
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'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.
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.
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 likeStan Sakai, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, M.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
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
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
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.
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!
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?"
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.
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.
(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.
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.
"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
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,
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.
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.
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!
Many 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!
More 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!
Fantagraphics is at table 1927 right next to W.W. Norton.
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.
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