Who knows what the devil will wear to the opening reception for Dutch artist Femke Hiemstra's latest exhibit at Roq La Rue, this Friday, December 7th!
"Let the Devil Wear Black" is a collection of meticulously tight, jewel-like mixed media paintings and exquisitely-rendered black and white drawings, homes to a dark fairytale land where inanimate objects come to life and frolic with animal neighbors. The painting below is titled "OMG," for very, very obvious reasons!
Femke will be joined by artist Ryan Heshka, cover artist for Blab #18! His own collection "Disasterama" debuts that night, as well.
Both artists will be in attendance for the opening reception from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, and they'll also be joining us at theFantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, December 8th for our 6th anniversary celebration with Jaime&Gilbert Hernandez, and musical guest Geneviève Castrée!
Roq La Rue is located at 2312 2nd Avenue in Seattle's tricky-to-park Belltown neighborhood, so get there early!
We're trying something new! Every couple of weeks we'll be spotlighting a loosely thematic selection of a few of our recent and older titles just to, you know, remind you that they exist, and to entice you to buy them we're offering them at a whopping 40% off for four days only, Friday through Monday! Selections and themes have been suggested by our warehouse manager, who is chock full of good ideas. This outing: "A Hairy Bestiary"!
Beasts! Book 1 [Softcover Edition]: A classic mythological menagerie, comprised of creatures that were thought at one time to actually exist, depicted by about a hundred acclaimed artists and cartoonists. Now in softcover after 2 sold-out hardcover editions. Regularly $24.99, now $14.99 — Order Now
Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird by Tony Millionaire: The long-awaited sequel to the Eisner-winning graphic novel! The cantankerous little golem's second adventure is a crazy potion of all-ages fun, humor, thrills and chills in the inimitable Millionaire style. Regularly $19.99, now $11.99 — Order Now
Rocky Vol. 1: The Big Payback by Martin Kellerman: This mostly autobiographical daily strip details the rudely hilarious travails of a young cartoonist and his layabout pals and neurotic girlfriends. A smash hit in its native Sweden, now in English for the first time. Regularly $12.95, now $7.77 — Order Now
Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason: A faux werewolf-cum-burglar runs afoul of a real society of werewolves who don't take kindly to the pretender. Lycanthropic thrills, romantic dilemmas, situation comedy, existential drama — in other words, pure Jason. Regular price $12.99, now $7.79 — Order Now
Remember, these savings are only good through Monday, June 27!
• Review: "I know what you're all thinking. Does [Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film] adequately up the punx? The answer is a resounding, 'Yep!' [...] There's a little more attention paid to Nick Zedd and Lydia Lunch than I think is deserved, but otherwise the book is perfect. [...] This one will live above your toilet tank for years and make shitting so much fun." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Review: "Dave Cooper's produced [Bent,] another book's worth of sketches and oil paintings of weird looking women. Some of Cooper's gals are cute and cartoony, most seem to be a compilation of everything that women fear they look like. His paintings mix cartoonish proportions and ways of thinking with an amazing sense of light and forms. Dave Cooper has big ideas which are mostly scary and gross ideas rendered beautifully." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Review: "Jason... makes comics that are quiet and lonely and often show how quickly life passes. [What I Did] contains the first comics that Jason had published in English... Each one makes it seem like life is just absolutely meaningless. [...] You like smart animals? With hats? And ennui? And muuuuurderrrrrrr? You do? What else do you like? Because I like you." – Nick Gazin, Vice
• Review: "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
• Review: "Because of the wide variety of ways these artists see the world and approach art, it’s understood that some pieces delighted me while others left me scratching my head. But even the head-scratchers — especially the head-scratchers — left me pondering various aspects of the mythical and legendary creatures in ways I’d never considered before. [...] Once I was done [with Beasts! Book 1], I realized that I’d held onto that feeling of going through a real, marvelous exhibit of strange and wonderful creatures. Like I’d been told a story in which I was the main character, visiting this museum, learning about these beasts, wondering about them, and in turn creating stories of my own." – Michael May, Robot 6
• Review: "Reading Drew Friedman's 2010 book Too Soon? reminded me that I'd missed his 2007 comics collection, The Fun Never Stops!, so I had to remedy that situation as quickly as possible. [...] Drew Friedman comics have to be experienced rather than described; he has a distinctive, warped sensibility, intensely steeped in old pop culture but with an almost literary detachment and a relentless tropism towards ugliness, unlikely connections, and random cultural detritus. What sells it is that unflinchingly realistic drawing style — when you look at a Drew Friedman picture, you know it must be true in some way, because a fake could never look that good." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Wrapping up another week of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "Fantagraphics sets a high standard for quality in all of their products, and [Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons] does not disappoint. ... It's just amazing...this is a product with a real 'wow' factor. ... If you're an admirer of Wilson's work like I am then this will be a must-have, something you'll want to look at again and again." – Matt Staggs, Suvudu (Random House)
I admire the smart punk aesthetic of Raymond Biesinger a great deal and I keep his small book "100 Black on White Illustrations" next to my desk to keep me motivated in dark times, to remind me why minimal color is best, and to reinforce my conviction that the computer is great but is bettered by analog techniques. He was in Beasts2 and now he's updated his site and has a blog.
• Review: "Like a Dog compiles several of [Zak Sally's] stories from the last 15 years in one sweet, annotated hardcover. I'm amazed by how the styles vary -- one minute Sally can talk about working in a punk-rock T-shirt shop, the next he's going on about Dostoevsky -- but most stories are quite compelling and, man, the guy is just so cool. Sally is an intensely personal writer, and I appreciate how much he reveals about himself within these pages. His work can get a little messy sometimes, but I say that's just another reason to like it." – Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY Pop Candy
• Review: "...[T]he work contained in [Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1] (and kudos to Fantagraphics on the excellent and handsome production work) constantly reminds you of just how stellar an artist Ditko would prove to be. ... For historians, both amateur and otherwise, who thrill to the prospect of seeing that maturity take place, this is the book for you." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Tiny Showcase has their "10 Beasts!" print set on sale for the holidays (along with most of their many other prints). At half price, it's a steal for ten pieces from ten great artists.* It should be noted that unlike most of the TS prints, these are letterpressed and done so in many colors.
Heck, if you don't mind breaking up the set you can give a print out to ten lucky pals for the holidays or, if you're one of those "prepared" people, you could always have ten gifts on hand for those birthday announcements that pop up on your Facebook page, right?
Artists who made new work for this set include Souther Salazar, S. britt, Jesse LeDoux, Saelee Oh, Josh Cochran, Meg Hunt, Kenneth Lavallee, Keith Shore, Tony Millionaire and Jordan Crane.
*Note: I curated it but I do not have any monetary interest in this collection.
Appropos of nothing comics, Beasts! contributor Heiko Mueller has an art show coming up here in the States this fall and "Gangland II" (pictured here) seems to be a culmination of everything that's inspiring about Heiko's work. I couldn't talk about this piece without talking about every anxiety and fixation on death that I have about the passage of time. I'd have to tell about the ghosts I had in my room as a child and nobody wants that here. Heiko captured time itself like I've never seen it captured. Check out his Flickr page HERE.
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