It's that time of year again! The time of year where a flock of Fantagraphics artists participate in the annual Giant Robot Post-It Show, and like last year, it will be curated by the inspirational husband-wife team of Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd.
The Giant Robot Post-It Show 7 runs from December 10th through 29th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA ] with an opening reception event on Saturday, December 10th from 6:30 - 10:00 PM. It's "cash-and-carry," so don't forget your bag-and-board!
As we were preparing for the art show, I thought it'd be fun to chat with the organizers of Short Run -- that would be, Martine Workman , Kelly Froh, Jenny Gialenes, Eroyn Franklin -- about the inaugural event:
So, how did the idea of Short Run come together?
Martine: I've been going to comics events since 2004, even though I don't really make comics. I always wanted to attend an event that welcomed all sorts of makers and small publishers of comics, writing, poetry, zines, and artist books. Last year Eroyn saw my work and contacted me out of the blue since we were both publishing our own books in Seattle. Our friendship grew out of conversations about self publishing, art, craftsmanship, and wanting to create a community for ourselves. Around this time, Profanity Hill was up and running for a bit, and it was exciting and surprising to see so much local work being made. After talking to my pal Jenny, who works in literary event promotion and moonlights as a zinester, it seemed possible to bring the self publishers of our region together by organizing a small press fest! She came up with the name -- which I love! -- and agreed to help coordinate the event. Kelly, a true blue mini-comix maker and fantastic organizer, joined us soon after and rounded out the group. We've had a lot of fun and I feel really lucky we work so well together as a team.
Jenny: The first night Martine and I spoke about Short Run, we were talking about the need for this kind of event - I had just come back from SF Zine Fest and felt like I found my mission in life. There was this sense of community there that I had only seen small glimpses of in Seattle.
What do you see as the main focus of Short Run?
Eroyn: Short Run hopes to extend Seattle's exposure to the small press world that exists within and around it. We want to expand the audience for small press work and let artists engage directly with the people who like what they do. Short Run will build on the small press community that we do have and foster communication between artists who work in different mediums and styles. As a group we don't commit to any particular medium or aesthetic -- we are not a comic-con or a craft fair or a zine festival but we encompass aspects of all of these because we think they can all be engaging.
How do you define what is "small press" to you?
Kelly: Small press, in regards to what you will see at Short Run, are hand-made, self-published, “short run” art books, comics, zines, and literary works. You’re going to see a lot of work that has been photocopied, screen-printed, side-stitched, glued, covered in gold leaf, stencil-cut, and folded in ways you can’t conceive of! Many of the artists and writers have had one or more of their books “professionally” published, or hope to some day, but Short Run’s heart is the home made.
Even though Fantagraphics won't have a table, several of our artists will be in attendance... like Megan Kelso! How did you get Megan involved?
Kelly: We are totally excited that Michael Dowers will be at Short Run! We don’t think mini-comix ever went away, but the people creating them scattered and many new comic artists were not aware of any kind of “scene”. Seattle does not have a Fallout Comix anymore, or a Confounded Books, or even a Pilot Books. Besides a few dusty spin racks, there is no physical hub for selling and sharing mini-comics. There are lone creators and drawing groups all over Seattle that meet on different nights in difference places, and mini-comics are being made.
Eroyn: The capability to self publish is more attainable than ever and people are definitely taking advantage of new technologies and affordable printing to produce great work.
Eroyn: Along with these stores and a few independent distros like Jason T. Miles’ Profanity Hill, we hope to help foster underground press in Seattle.
And, finally, what sort of future do you guys envision for Short Run? Do you hope to keep it small and local? Or will it eventually be the Seattle-version of an APE or Stumptown?
Jenny: I would like to see Short Run grow into itself organically. Big is not necessarily better - unless there is a solid community there providing the support. It's the difference between a stadium concert and going to see a local band at your favorite club - both have equal measure, they are just two very different experiences.
Kelly: It was our experiences at these larger festivals that helped us to decide what we did and didn’t want to be. We want to always be free to the public, and we want to always have low cost tables. Being local was really important to us as well, and one aim of Short Run was to draw out first-time tablers and try to reach people who had maybe shied away from other larger conventions. Looking over our exhibitor list, you will see that we have a lot of exhibitors from Portland. We can learn a lot from the comics community that they have built but Seattle has its own history of alternative cartoonists, and we need to grow from there. Short Run not only has a few of these “legends” of small press in attendance, but we have a ton of more obscure artists and writers, not only from comics, but from zines, animation, and the literary world. It’s a great showcase of artists and writers and we are really excited to share Short Run with Seattle!
Short Run exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery features small press comics and art by emerging regional artists.
In this age of ubiquitous digital media and gadget fatigue, it's refreshing to find a community of artists working with their hands to produce tactile works of art on paper. Such is the case with the young cartoonists in the Short Run exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. This art party on Saturday, November 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM follows the Short Run Small Press Fest at the Vera Project at the Seattle Center earlier that day.
The Short Run art show, curated by Kelly Froh, features original comix art, illustration and book works by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. A selection of publications by these, and other local artists, will also be available.
The public is invited to meet these remarkable artists at a festive reception on Saturday, November 12 at 6:00 PM. Entertainment will be provided by DJ/musician "Brainfruit." This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.
SHORT RUN: Small Press Fest After-Party & Art Show
Featuring artwork by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. Curated by Kelly Froh
Saturday, November 12, 6:00 - 9:00 P M. Show continues through December 10, 2011
Even robots need love, too, especially the giant ones.
And on Saturday, September 24th, Giant Robot 2 kicks off the exhibit "Robots," a benefit for their esteemed gallery space in Los Angeles.
Since opening their doors in 2003, GR2 has hosted exhibitions featuring many Fantagraphics artists on their walls, and this upcoming exhibit is no exception, featuring work by Andrice Arp, Eleanor Davis, John Pham, Mark Todd (whose artwork is shown above), and Esther Pearl Watson, among dozens of other incredibly talented folks.
GR2 shows don't push their artists into contracts, and attendance is always free. If you've ever enjoyed any of their exhibits, we encourage you to support GR2 so they can continue to support independent artists for years to come!
"Robots" runs from September 24th to October 12th at GR2 [ 2062 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles ], with an opening reception this Saturday from 6:30 - 10:00 PM.
Olympia, WA is a city well-known for its DIY ethos, so it's perfect that the guest of honor at this year's Olympia Comics Festival is Megan Kelso, an artist who self-published her influential mini-comic Girlhero throughout the '90s.
And, it's also appropriate that we will be debuting the reissue of her collection Queen of the Black Black at the festival! YES!
Queen of the Black Black compiles Megan's early Girlhero strips, along with a few other things, into a wonderful redesigned volume. The original limited edition pressing of this came out nearly a decade ago and has been long, gone, out-of-print, people. On a personal note, I'm just overjoyed that Fantagraphics is getting to reprint it. This is a book that NEEDS to be out there.
And there are so many opportunities to hear more about it, and all her books, from Ms. Kelso herself, this Saturday, May 21st!
Not only will Megan be there, but Mome artist (and another DIY champion herself) Andrice Arp will be at the festival. I'm waiting for Olympia to explode from the awesome when Andrice and Megan do their panel.
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM // Capitol Theater [206 5th Ave. SW] Introduction and live music by Spiritual Successor(us) Interview with Paul Chadwick Rick Perry presents a classic animated short Super Fun Contest Interview with Megan Kelso Stand-up comedian Morgan Picton makes comics funny again Why Not Do Some Improv About Comics? Interview with Larry Gonick Unintentionally Funny Comics Closing Remarks
... And by that, I mean, I had threeBurgerville Northwest Cherry Chocolate Milkshakes in the two days we were in Portland, Oregon for the 8th Annual Stumptown Comics Fest. They even put espresso shots in my milkshakes. God bless Burgerville.
The calm before the Stumptown storm!
So, WOW! Thank you so much to everyone who came by our booth at Stumptown this year! Mike and I had a blast! Hate Annual #9 flew off the racks, with Jason's latest Isle of 100,000 Graves also selling out quickly.
We were thrilled to be joined by editor Patrick Rosenkranz. While we weren't able to make his panel on the underground comix movement, we could tell from the fans attending his signing that it must've went great! One fellow came by with a huge stack of Zap Comix in hand, including a rare copy of the first printing of #1!
Speaking of successful panels, T. Edward Bak had several of his attendees dropping by the booth, grabbing fistfuls of Momes! Here he is, showing some of his original artwork. Mike pointed out that you can always tell which issues of Mome T. Edward is in by looking for the black pages on the fore edge! (And yes, we had to consult Google to figure out what the sides of a book are called.)
Mome contributor Jeffrey Brown was signing with our booth neighbors Top Shelf, and leaned over for a chat with T Edward. Note: this happened on the next day from the other picture posted above; it's not like T Edward brought two sets of clothes. He's not Lady Gaga.
[Speaking of Jeffrey, here's one of my favorite overheard quotes of the weekend -- girl, on cellphone: "Hello? Mom, I gotta call you back. I'm standing in front of Jeffrey Brown."]
[My second favorite overheard quote of Stumptown comes from our own Customer Service Representative Ian Burns, who was trying to unload his leftovers from lunch: "It is really hard to give away meat in Portland."]
Speaking of Mome, we're always delighted to have the multi-talented Andrice Arp join us. Not only was she signing copies of Mome (including Volume 15, which features her cover art), but she also brought mini-paintings and a totally awesome flip-book she designed, inspired by the A-ha video for "Take On Me." Yeah, that's right.
And finally, editor Jacques Boyreau joined us, engaging customers with his collection Portable Grindhouse. Jacques is always great to talk movies with, and a former French film critic even stopped by to discuss cult classics! And who's that to the left in the pic above? Why it's Monster Parade artist Ben Catmull!
Ben had his own table this year at Stumptown, featuring his award-winning 2001 comic Paper Theater, and some freakin' insane letterpress prints, both of which you can acquire straight from the gentleman himself.
The biggest buzz of the weekend was over the move from the old location (The Lloyd Center) to the much-larger Oregon Convention Center. And yes, while I missed the windows and nearby park of The Lloyd Center, I've really only got one word: Burgerville.
You can check out lots more pics from our Stumptown adventures on the Fantagraphics Flickr page here. And the fun don't stop, as Mike and I are now gearing up for TCAF! Hope to see you there!
Join us this weekend for the 8th Annual Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon! It's their first year at the Oregon Convention Center, and we'll be there Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th, with some of our amazing artists and editors, and both new books and favorite titles. Marketing maestro Mike Baehr and I are looking forward to seeing everyone!
Get your hands on early copies of these Fantagraphics titles:
And in celebration of the latest issue of Hate Annual, we'll be doing some fun giveaways, thanks to our friends at AmericaWare, who've just debuted a collection of Peter Bagge t-shirts! Just come by the Fantagraphics table for your chance to win a shirt featuring the loveable Lisa! You know you wanna be BAD!
Where can you find us at Stumptown? Why, at booth #304!
And while at Stumptown, be sure to take in some panels featuring Fantagraphics artists and staff!
Saturday, April 16th
11:00-11:45 PM // Process in the Periphery: Natural History and Narrative Explorations in the Biography of Georg Wilhelm Steller: A presentation of artist T Edward Bak's current work-in-progress with an examination of challenges in illustrated historical exposition. (Room A104)
12:00-12:45 PM // Sex, Drugs & Insurrection: The Underground Comix Movement: During the underground comix era artistic freedom was a non-negotiable starting point. Audacity, iconoclasm, and experimentation became the new standards for success. Comics this raw and explicit had never seen print before. This presentation is not for the young or squeamish. Presented by Patrick Rosenkranz (Room A106)
2:00-2:45 PM //Comics as Journalism: Mike Rosen, editor of Oil and Water, moderates a discussion about using comics as a form of journalism, tackling stories in ways that traditional prose journalism doesn't. Join Shannon Wheeler, Sarah Glidden, Matt Bors, and Steve Duin. (Room A105)
3:00-3:45 PM //How To Publicize Your Comic: Fantagraphics Director of Publicity & Promotions, Jacq Cohen, goes over the step-by-step process of creating a publicity plan for a comic and gives pointers on how to promote yourself and your book. (Room A104)
3:00-4:45 PM // Teaching Comics: College-level comics courses are a fairly new phenomenon, but the schools offering them have already met with great success. Join educators Brian Michael Bendis (PSU), Patrick Rosenkranz (PNCA), Trevor Dodge (CCC/PNCA), and Nicole Georges (IPRC) in a panel hosted by Dark Horse executive editor Diana Schutz (PCC) as they share their experiences in the comics classroom and bring you up to date on courses now available nationwide. (Room A106)
Sunday, April 17th
2:00-2:45 PM //Douglas Wolk: Page One: We'll look at some great opening pages of comics, and discuss how they instantly establish a look and feel for what comes after them (including some Fantagraphics titles!). Hosted by critic Douglas Wolk. (Room A104)
6:00-10:00 PM // Stumptown Comics Fest Afterparty: See the Stumptown Cartoonist Show, featuring artwork by Andrice Arp and many, many other artists, at Pony Club Gallery (625 NW Everett Street #105).
This weekend, our friends at Giant Robot kick off a very important exhibit to raise money for the devastation in Japan. Funds will be donated to UNICEF, to help children impacted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
And not only will Giant Robot donate proceeds from the sale of artwork, they'll also be donating:
1. Proceeds from the sale of water bottles featuring labels created by artists and signed by celebrities.
2. Fifty percent of proceeds from Giant Robot’s small restaurant, gr/eats, on Saturday, March 19.
3. A percentage of all sales at Giant Robot, GR2, and GRSF during the weekend of March 18-20.
4. Raffles for donated merchandise including designer- and artist-signed items, GR gear, horseback rides, and other items.
5. Cash donations accepted for UNICEF.
On top of all that, Intertrend Communications has pledged to match the first $10,000 raised by proceeds and donations through Giant Robot.
Seriously... please help Giant Robot reach this goal, and help the children impacted by this terrible catastrophe. Opening reception is this Saturday, March 19, from 6:30 - 10:00 pm at GR2 [2062 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA], and the show runs until April 13th.