We got to the Puck Building (traditional site for the Festival) early (so very early) on Saturday morning to meet Alex and Mary from Rocketship. This year we arranged to have our books shipped to their store, and they made two trips across the river from Brooklyn to deliver everything to us at the Festival. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Alex and Mary, who were solid-gold superstars, going above and beyond the call of duty and providing us with invaluable assistance the entire weekend (not to mention loaning us a spare spinner rack). If you're in the area, get your butt over there ASAP and have yourself a spending spree -- you'll be giving your comics budget to two of the nicest folks in the business. (Plus, their store is fantastic.)
Here's the full skinny from our pals at the Beguiling (almost certainly Canada's finest source for comics and graphic novels):
The Beguiling specialty bookstore is proud to present two great graphic novel events this June, appealing to the vast breadth of graphic novel aficionados in the city of Toronto! The first event features acclaimed Norwegian cartoonist JASON-currently serializing his newest work in The New York Times Magazine-as he comes to Toronto to launch his new work POCKET FULL OF RAIN. RAIN is a collection of early works by Jason, defying genre and style and showing his development into the internationally acclaimed author he is today. Jason will be interviewed on his life and career in an audio/visual presentation by The Beguiling's Peter Birkemoe at The Central, located directly adjacent to The Beguiling, on Tuesday June 10th at 8PM.
Then, the following week, The Beguiling will be working with The Toronto Public Library and The Merril Collection to officially launch THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO, the first-ever biography of the reclusive co-creator of SPIDER-MAN! Toronto author and comics historian Blake Bell has exhaustively researched the life and career of Ditko, and it's on every page of this lavishly illustrated book. Bell will be on hand to launch the book with an audio/visual presentation of Ditko's artistic career on Wednesday, June 18th at 7PM at the Lillian H. Smith Library, 239 College St. (at Spadina).
In addition to the book launch and presentation, we are proud to announce that U.K. television and radio personality Jonathan Ross, who debuted his hour-long "IN SEARCH OF STEVE DITKO" documentary on the BBC last September, has granted us the rights to show the documentary at the Toronto event! This will be the first official screening in Canada, and attendees will get to view it for free!
Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko is the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the Amazing Spider-Man. The book explodes many of the myths of Ditko's career, and presents reams of rare and unpublished Ditko artwork. All at once, the book functions as a biography of the artist and an examination of his work (spotlighting over 300 images) with commentary on what makes Ditko one of history's greatest sequential storytellers. Following the June 7 premiere, the book will be widely available in stores later in the month.
TITLE INFORMATION: Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko By Blake Bell $39.99 Hardcover 220 pages, full-color, 9" x 12" ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0 PUBLICATION DATE: June 2008
LISTING INFORMATION: WHO: Noted Steve Ditko expert BLAKE BELL WHAT: The World Premiere of STRANGE & STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO WHEN: Saturday, June 7, 8PM WHERE: Jim Hanley's Universe 4 West 33rd, NYC (off Fifth Ave, opposite Empire State Bldg.)
2008 is the year when Steve Ditko fans the world over will have the opportunity to celebrate the artist's 50-plus year career with this definitive volume from Blake Bell and Fantagraphics Books. And it all starts June 7 in Ditko's hometown of New York City.
And 20/20 Club members, look for an exclusive 10-page downloadable excerpt in your weekly newsletter today! (If you're not a member, stay tuned: we'll be making it available to registered users in 2 weeks.)
It's Steve Ditko's 80th birthday today, and we'd like to take the opportunity to make the following announcement:
COMING IN JUNE 2008... STRANGE & STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO
Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the June 2008 release of the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the Amazing Spider-Man.
In the wake of the astonishing success of Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies, Steve Ditko's status as a driving force behind the pop culture icon has been revealed to an audience the world over. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg.