That loving portrait of the incomparable Tony Millionaire can be found in the collection Heroes & Villains, out now from Zero+ Publishing. In fact, photographers Tatiana Wills and Roman Cho captured quite a few of our beloved artists in this volume! Take a look:
But wait! There's more! Warren will be signing at the Fantagraphics table at SPX on September 10th and 11th. We're lucky to get him to sit still for a couple of hours, because Warren is also the executive director of SPX!
Mome 22 is now in our warehouse, and is trickling out to your local comix stores as you read this! While you wait, why not meet a few more of the artists who are making their debut (AND FINALE) in the swan song double-sized issue of Mome!
The Bumbershoot Music & Arts festival is upon us again, and if you can navigate through the drum circles and shishkaberry lines, here's where you can find some Fantagraphics:
Bumber By Number:local culture vultures Marlow Harris and Jo David are featuring a fully-immersive and interactive paint-by-numbers art exhibit, which will also feature vintage paint-by-numbers kits altered by our own Jim BlanchardandJim Woodring.
[ That's a shot of Blanchard's piece above, which will be for sale! ]
If you wanna check out Bumber By Number and the rest of this year's visual art offerings, head to Seattle Center on Thursday, September 1st for a FREE open-to-the-public preview from 3:00 to 9:00 pm!
Open reception! Open critique! It's Open Ending, a show opening and closing this weekend, Saturday, August 27th and Sunday, August 28th, featuring new works by CalArts MFA students and recent graduates, such as our very own Esther Pearl Watson!
Esther tells us she's been working on some larger paintings in this space, so if you're in the L.A. area, head to The Farley Building this weekend at 1669 Colorado Blvd. They'll be doing a 12 hour marathon critique on Sunday, with participating artists and the general public. Go tell Esther her stuff rocks!
And if, like us, you live far away and are sad about missing out, Esther has sent over a sneak peek of her new work, so check it out below!
Starting at 7:00 PM, Bernard will show you work from the 1870s to 1940, documenting how popular cartoon characters like the Yellow Kid, Little Orphan Annie, and Popeye have figured in advertising campaigns, and how their creators were highly sought-after pitchmen, selling products alongside the best movie stars in Hollywood. As part of his presentation, Bernard will have on-hand original ads and other advertisting items from the era.
This interview was conducted by Fantagraphics intern Rolando A. López. Thanks to Rolando and Jaime! And,Esperanza will be in stores this week! -- janice
In his 1989 The Comics Journal interview (#126), Jaime Hernandez said: “I hope [Love and Rockets is] still fresh 20-50 years from now. I hope it doesn’t lose anything in the long run. Even if I’m writing about contemporary things . . . I hope people can look back at it as a piece of history instead of a gimmick.”
Readers have followed the lives of Maggie, Hopey, and the gang for almost 30 years now, and Love and Rockets is still going strong. Today, Jaime Hernandez is one of the most revered names in the world of comic books and beyond; cartoonists Alison Bechdel, Zak Sally, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and writer Junot Díaz have all cited his influence. Hernandez’s work, simply put, is part of the comics canon.
Esperanza, the fifth volume in the Complete Love and Rockets, collects the stories from Love and Rockets Vol. II. Here, readers see Maggie struggle with the ghosts of her past, find Hopey settling down, and meet some new faces, which cause trouble in the already troublesome lives of the Locas. In this Q&A, Jaime Hernandez talks about growing along with his characters, his storytelling techniques and his elusive muse.
Rolando A. López: Esperanza, Hopey’s full first name, means “Hope” in Spanish. Why did you choose this as the collection’s title?
Jaime Hernandez: Actually, Kim Thompson came up with it. I couldn’t think of a better title so I happily agreed to it.
López: It seems to me these stories would be really rewarding to someone who’s read the Locas saga since it began. How do you take into account readers who have been following the series when you’re crafting your comics? Conversely, what storytelling techniques do you use to help acclimate new readers to new Locas stories?
Hernandez: I try to tell these stories in a way that a new reader can jump in and not feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the continuity that has built up for 30 years. It’s not always easy. [As for the fans,] I can only hope they’ll stay with me even if we’ve been at it this long.
López: Elliptical storytelling — how did you develop it and why did you develop it and what does it allow you to do?
Hernandez: It happened naturally. The storytelling was more of a learning process for me than the art was in the early L&Rs. I was trying whatever worked. Soon I started to visualize the story like a movie, with cinematic jump cuts and things like that, and came to realize I could cut a lot of corners and fit in more story. That also taught me how to let the character’s body language and expressions tell the story instead of letting the words do it. Finally, it taught me that leaving out actual “story” involves the reader more by letting them fill it in themselves.
López: How do you structure your stories?
Hernandez: It’s different most of the time. If the characters write the story, which they most often do, it’s sort of waiting to see what will turn out. If an idea writes the story, it’s more tightly structured: making sure there’s a beginning, middle and end.
López: You have a very intuitive approach to storytelling — you listen for your muse and almost “transcribe” what she says. Do you ever have “fights” with your muse?
Hernandez: Every time. That way it will flow naturally but still connect with the reader. Muse doesn’t always translate on its own.
López: How do you calibrate your artistic process?
Hernandez: I trust my instincts. I have to.
López: How did this process play out in the writing of the first half of the book (the “Maggie” stories)?
Hernandez: I don’t remember. It was quite a few years ago. The usual, I suppose. If I’m doing Maggie, she’s always gonna tell me where to go. Yeesh! Listen to me! “And then a UFO came down and ...”
López: One new character is Vivian, a femme fatale: she destroys everything she touches, and in turn, everyone that touches her either lives to regret it, or dies. How did you come to create her?
Hernandez: I wanted to create a character with no boundaries: someone who basically has nothing to lose. A character like that is the funnest and easiest to write because they can be put into any situation and it works. Making her very sexy only lets her character get deeper into trouble.
López: Why did you decide to put her in Maggie’s life?
Hernandez: It wasn’t planned, but I discovered they worked really well together because Maggie is the opposite of Viv. With Maggie’s nagging conscience, I can only take her so far. Dragging her into Viv’s world gives her (and me) a lot more to work with.
López: Sometimes I think of Vivian as being a darker counterpart to Penny Century; they’re both desirable and somewhat volatile. Is this an apt comparison?
Hernandez: In a way, but I understand Viv’s demons more than I do Penny’s and hopefully that makes them feel a little different from each other. I know why Viv is crazy but I don’t know why Penny is crazy and I prefer it that way. Both give me a lot to work with in different ways.
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