The long held view of Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid that the Pacific Northwest gave birth and momentum to the alternative comix movement provides the premise for a lively PechaKucha presentation by 10 regional cartoonists this Wednesday evening at Cornish Playhouse. Reid will be joined by veteran cartoonists Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney and David Lasky, along with emerging artists Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, Max Clotfelter, Tom Van Deusen, Gina Siciliano, and Tatiana Gill. The PechaKucha concept involves each artist showing 20 images for 20 seconds each - an ideal format for narrative art presentations.
Reid maintains the foundation for alternative comix was laid when three exceptionally talented cartoonists emerged from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in the late 70s. Lynda Barry, Charles Burns and Matt Groening began syndicating their strips in alternative newspapers around the country. Olympia's fledgling Sub Pop enterprise and Seattle's popular music magazine The Rocket provided platforms for these and other inventive cartoonists. Peter Bagge arrived at the dawn of grunge era and soon convinced Fantagraphics Books to relocate to Seattle. The rest, as they say, is history. Reid plans to present a convincing case that our region can claim a heritage of alternative comix innovation.
Come celebrate Seattle's legacy of creative comics and narrative art at Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center on Wednesday, March 11. Doors open at 6:00 PM. Program begins at 6:30. Admission is free. A book signing and social hour will follow.
Casual fans of Fantagraphics may not be aware of the close association we have with Seattle's illustrious music scene. I was reminded of this relationship on Friday while attending a sold out Mudhoney and Tom Price Desert Classic concert. Nearly half the musicians on stage that night were former or current Fantagraphics staffers. What a great place to work!
We'll celebrate the legacy of Seattle's early music and comix on Saturday, November 29 as Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts the book launch party for Sub Pop USA: The Subterranean Music Anthology, 1980 -1988. The book documents the formative years of Bruce Pavitt's fiercely independent fanzine, cassette label and music column. Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid was a contributor to the fanzine (under the pseudonym Lewy Louie.). Bookstore staffer Russ Battaglia contributed graphics and photos to the zine, which were graced with covers by Lynda Barry and Charles Burns. It was amazing to see the almost immediate infleunce Pavitt's modest enterprise had on pop music. To those close to him, it came as no surprise that within a decade, Sub Pop would impact popular culture on a global scale.
The book includes essays by Reid, Charles R. Cross, Ann Powers, Gerard Cosley, and Calvin Johnson, founder of K Records and early Sub Pop fanzine collaborator. Johnson will perform music at the party, which is the first time he'll play Fantagraphics since Beat Happening rocked our wild warehouse party in 1994 (attended by newly anointed princes of punk, Nirvana). Many contributors to the old zine and new book will be at the November 29 reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM - a great way to end Small Business Saturday.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
"The second collection of Piskor's hip-hop history in comics may be a better place to start reading it than the first....Piskor's Jack Kirby-ish drawing chops-monumental figures in thrusting, dynamic action; flat colors that crush perspective-constitute precisely the sturdy vehicle to carry it as far as Piskor will take it." –Ray Olson
"Peanuts' enduring appeal is timeless and universal, and this handsomely designed volume only enhances its allure... This era…seesthe introduction of such annual events as the futile vigil for the Great Pumpkin and the Christmas pageant, as well as the birth of Charlie Brown's sister, Sally." –Gordon Flagg
London - Throughout the year the non-profit arts group, Comica puts on various events around London, focusing on and showcasing the works of comic greats, while promoting new works. At this year's International Comics Fest, Fanta artists Jaques Tardi and Carol Swainwill be participating in featured events. This night from 7-8:30 pm, Carol Swain will be in conversation with others under the banner, "What makes a cult comic?". Find out the answer to this question, and maybe more! when you tune into the the Comica Comics Festival. (More Details)
Saturday, November 8th
Brooklyn, NY - First it changed its name, and now it's split into two days. But one that thing that hasn't changed is the spectacular line up of artists for Comic Arts Brooklyn 2014! Presented by Desert Island, join us for the first day of the festival at Our Lady of Mount Caramel to peep all our hot new releases, like the ZAP Collection, and get your probably smaller books signed by talents like Lane Milburn, Olivier Schrauwen, Dash Shaw, and Tim Lane (who designed that seriously amazing show poster). The show floor will be open from 11 am - 7 pm and it's FREE. (More Details)
Atlanta, GA - Find out if the pirate life is for you when you jump on board this spectacular joint signing with Drew Weing and Eleanor Davis at Criminal Records. We're celebrating the re-release of Drew's book, Set to Sea, in beautiful softcover. There will also be copies of the New York Times Bestseller, How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis on hand and ready for signing. Drew will also be presenting on themes shared in his book about poetry, living under the stars, and the water that holds us all together. This event begins at 3 pm. (More Details)
Tacoma, WA - Get set to jet set to Tacoma for their annual Jet City Comic Show! Special guests Peter Bagge, Ed Piskor and Megan Kelso will be joining us at the Fantagraphics booth to gab and sign their respective books like Buddy Buys a Dump, Hip Hop Family Tree, and Artichoke Tales. This one day show runs from 10 am - 5 pm, tickets available at the door. (More Details)
Sunday, November 9th
Vancouver B.C. - Head to the beautiful Heritage Hall this Sunday for the last Vancouver comic show of the year. Ed Piskor and Simon Hanselmann make their way up North to join fellow writers and artists Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca, and Ed Brisson. Celebrate comics and support Vancouver Schools by donating gently used, age-appropriate books at the venue. You'll get free admission, and feel like less of a scumbag! Everyone wins! Come on down from 11 am - 5 pm. (More Details)
Brooklyn, NY - The second day of CAB dawns this Sunday with it's programming day. All programs take place at the Wythe Hotel from 11 am - 6 pm. There's great stuff all day, and we recommend checking out Charles Burns discussing Black Hole at Noon, and at 1:30Tim Lane joins Jim Rugg and Ben Marra to talk about neo noir in comics. All programs are FREE, but you'll want to pick up tickets in advance, or you might not get in. (More Details)
Monday, November 10th
Washington D.C. - Pat Thomas will be appearing at George Washington University to present a multi-media, multi-sensory presentation that combines music, images, and spoken word recordings to present a bizarre and engaging connection between the Partridge Family and the Black Panther Party; Timothy Leary and Eldridge Cleaver; Amiri Baraka and Motown; and Bob Dylan and George Jackson. Free and open to the public, events kicks off at 6:30. (More Details)
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 29 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we celebrate the publication of Sub Pop USA from Brooklyn publisher Bazillion Points. Longtime Seattle residents remember the humble beginnings of the legendary record label as a fanzine, cassette compilation, and broadsheet column by visionary indie music impresario Bruce Pavitt. His early efforts soon brought national attention to bands like Big Black, Sonic Youth, and the Wipers, while laying the foundation for an international pop culture phenomenon that gave us music by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and more. This collection of the first 8 years of Sub Pop includes art by Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, and Charles Peterson, with forewords from Fantagraphics curator and former Sub Pop contributor Larry Reid and K Records founder and Beat Happening front man Calvin Johnson, who will play music at the book launch event. Make plans now to spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Fantagraphics bookstore. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Get your tricks AND your treats this Halloween season with curated Fantagraphics titles during our weeklong Halloween sale! From Al Columbia to Richard Sala to our EC Comics horror collections, we've got a little something for everyone.
Check out the full list of books below, and snap one up while you can. Some of these are in very limited supply!
Beasts! Book 1 by various artists; edited by Jacob Covey
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.
Beasts! Book 2 by various artists; edited by Jacob Covey
Like the first book, this deluxe collection includes a Who’s Who of the contemporary art world, collectively crafting a menagerie of mythological creatures, monsters, beasts and things that go bump in the night.
One of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years, a sweeping, magisterially conceived, visually startling tale of violence, amorality, fortitude, and redemption, one part Melville, one part Peckinpah.
Ott plunges into the darkness with five graphic horror stories in his hyper-detailed scratchboard style. Ott's plot twists will delight fans of classic horror; his artwork will haunt you long after you put the book down.
A fascinating, full-color compendium of extremely rare devil postcards spanning approximately 1898 through the 1950s, with over 150 full-color examples of these exquisite cards, culled from the finest postcard collections throughout the world.
King of the Flies Vol. 1: Hallorave by Mezzo & Pirus
A glorious bastard, combining the intricacy and subtlety of the best European comics with a hyperdetailed, controlled noir style derived from the finest American cartoonists into interrelated tales of (mostly) interiorized violence.
King of the Flies Vol. 2: The Origin of the World by Mezzo & Pirus
The second installment in this creepily sexy suburban soap opera — a sprawling and intricate tale of a community haunted by obsession, rage, regret and despair — in sum, a graphic novel for the 21st century.
A crew of undead pirates roams the seven seas, seeking release from their cursed existence. After one murderous conquest, they find a little pink baby who they adopt as their "King." A classic tale newly adapted by a French master.
Peculia and the Groon Grove Vampires by Richard Sala
Night is coming and the local baby-sitters club needs an extra sitter. That strange new family in town is expecting four warm bodies... Peculia, that mysterious and clever young waif, returns in her first full-length story!
Pim and Francie: The Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia
This gorgeous grimoire is part alchemy, part art book, part storybook, part comic book, and part conceptual art, a broken jigsaw puzzle of a book starring two childlike imps whose irresponsible antics get them into horrific trouble.
An omnibus hardcover compiling 3 of Ott's previous albums along with 8 previously uncollected stories. Twenty twisted tales of murder, suicide, oppression, terror, mutilation, crime, marital strife, and nuclear annihilation.
Join Winkie on her most hellacious misadventure, a tale of debauchery, crime, neuroses, greed, lust, psychoses, vengeance, love, rage, mystery, comedy, and sorrow. Jouflas strikes a chord of unease with this simply scary story.
Woodring's drawings take his comics' otherworldly qualities to new levels of clarity and nuance, exploring hidden worlds, alternate realities and the inexplicable resonance of the unprecedented and irrational in lucid art.
Classic stories starring Dog Boy and Mister Blister, as well as several tales of doomed romance and creepy revulsion, plus a collection of sketchbook excerpts, covers and illustrations, in an affordable softcover edition!
He lives hand to mouth, this shambling lug of a man, wrestling with his demons and drinking himself into oblivion. Until one day his palms begin to bleed… A stunning, madly expressionistic graphic novel.
The Strange Case of Edward Gorey [Expanded Hardcover Edition] by Alexander Theroux
Expanded to twice the length of the original edition and completely redesigned, this intimate, revealing look into the life and art of an American original is an essential book for all Gorey fans and scholars.
Sucker Bait and Other Stories by Graham Ingels, Al Feldstein et al.
25 classic horror stories involving swamps, maniacs, and dismemberment by the artist so good at gruesome, grisly depictions of the endless corruption of flesh and nature he earned the nickname "Ghastly."
'Tain't the Meat… It's the Humanity! and Other Stories by Jack Davis & Al Feldstein
Good Lord! Choke! The complete Jack Davis-illustrated Tales from the Crypt stories collected in one convenient, gore-drenched package! The quintessential American horror comic drawn by its quintessential artist.
Reed's song cycle inspired by Edgar Allan Poe is in turn interpreted by Mattotti as a series of vivid, abstracted and enigmatic paintings that bring out all the terror and beauty of this centuries-spanning masterwork.
A creepy-cute all-ages tale about a couple of kids at a Halloween party who stumble into a secret underground society of damaged, forgotten, and pissed-off toys. Imagine Toy Story reimagined by David Lynch & Charles Burns!
Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures: The Joe Kubert Archives Vol. 1
For the first time, 33 of the best stories from Kubert's early career, collected in one full-color volume, in a glorious variety of genres with a special emphasis on horror and crime. Meticulously restored, with historical notes.
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.
With Halloween approaching, it's a good time to consider some spooky favorites from Fantagraphics Books.
The formative work of Charles Burns in Big Baby foreshadows the brilliance that would follow. Alluring stories like "Curse of the Molemen," "Blood Club," and "Teen Plague" remain creepy and compelling while exploring themes of adolescent angst. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes is a similarly insightful examination of the otherworldly imaginations of its youthful protagonists. It remains among the greatest graphic novels - and film adaptations - of all time.
Al Columbia's Pim & Francie is at first blush a collection of meticulously rendered drawings, but a closer examination reveals a seductive narrative involving a cute cartoon couple caught in a world of horrific nightmares.
A misanthropic witch wrestles with real world issues in Simon Hanselmann's Megahexand surreal horror unfolds in The Amateurs by Conor Stechschulte as two butchers are afflicted with a mysterious case of amnesia. Meat these amazing artists this Saturday at Fantagraphics Bookstore.
I first crossed paths with Charles Burns in the mid-70s, when we both attended a small college in rural Washington State. I later learned that Burns wasn't entirely comfortable in an art school attended by eccentric Charles Manson enthusiasts and Symbionese Liberation Army sympathizers. By contrast, I had finally found my people. Burns soon departed for the greener pastures of The Evergreen State College, where he joined talented young artists Lynda Barry and Matt Groening.
Upon graduating in 1978, I opened the experimental Rosco Louie gallery in the tony Pioneer Square section of Seattle. I was privileged to give both Lynda Barry and Charles Burns their first gallery shows. Burns later served as soundman at Rosco Louie for a performance by San Francisco band Pink Section, which included his then-girlfriend, fashion designer Carol Detwieler. He in turn designed the cover for the 1982 Sub Pop 7 cassette compilation, which included my wife's band, Little Bears From Bangkok. At the same time we were both frequent contributors to Seattle music monthly, The Rocket.
As Burns migrated to the East Coast, we both continued our association with Sub Pop. In 1988, Burns illustrated the stunning cover to the momentous Sub Pop 200 LP. Shortly thereafter, I promoted a Tad, Mudhoney, and Nirvana show at my alternative space, the Center on Contemporary Art, which found Kurt sporting a Burns tee shirt. (As seen in Charles Peterson's photo above.) On a subsequent Seattle visit in 1993, I accompanied Burns to a secret Tad and Nirvana show at a small downtown venue, where he was received as a rock star himself.
Throughout my tenure at Fantagraphics Books, I've continued to encounter Charles Burns, a pleasure that will repeat itself this evening when Burns appears at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to present his new graphic novel, Sugar Skull. Please join me in welcoming this immensely influential artist back to his hometown.
Philadelphia, PA: The Wild Boyz Tour is wildin out in Philly tonight with a signing at Locust Moon Comics. In addition to Hanselmann, Deforge, and Kyle, they will be joined by Annie Mok, Noel Freibert, and Portland extraordinaire, Farel Dalrymple. This signing begins at 7 pm, but the good times continue the next day (17th) at LAVA Space when everyone magically turns into musicians! (More Details)
Friday, September 19
Seattle, WA: The highly anticipated follow up to the acclaimed books, The Hive and X'ed Out, is finally being released and long time friend-of-Fanta and author, Charles Burns will be back in Seattle at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 6-8 pm to drop his new baby, Sugar Skull. Come party at the best bookstore in the business! (More Details)
Portland, OR: The Pacific Northwest College of Arts presents the Super Trash exhibit, a celebration and exploration of exploitative art and images in cinema. Currated by Jacques Boyreau, author of the upcoming book, Super Trash, the exhibit runs in conjuction with weekly films at the Laurelhurst Theater; tonight's film is the sci-fi adaption of The Omega Man, featuring everyone's favorite gun slinger, Charlton Heston. (More Details)
Brooklyn, NY: No sleep till the next leg of our Fantagraphics tour, which just happens to be in Brooklyn! 8 pm, at the beautiful Bergen Street Comics, the whole gang is getting together to sign books and be merry. The gang for this stretch includes: Eleanor Davis, Jesse Reklaw, Simon Hanselmann as well as Michael Defore, Patrick Kyle, Matthew Thurber, and Alex Degen. That's a lot of people hanging out at one store, at one time. And you can be one of them! (More Details)
Sunday, September 21
Brooklyn, NY: If you're skipping church this morning it better be because you're headed to the Brooklyn Book Fest at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, running from 10-6 pm! There is a slew of great vendors attending, but you'll want to hit up the best of all (us, Fantagraphics) because we'll have the best books and signings in the business! Additionally, there are more amazing panels and book debuts than you can shake a stick at. Catch all the details here.
Seattle, WA: Something about fall screams psychological thriller, and few do it better than Chris Wright in his seminal book, Blacklung. He, and that gruelling pirateship thrill ride of a book, will be signing at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 3-5 pm. Stop by to get your hands on a great work that will be perfect to read right before you fall asleep! (More Details)
Monday, September 22
Brooklyn, NY: On her whirl-wind tour with the beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking (and almost sold-out) graphic novel debut, How to Be Happy, Eleanor Davis will be stopping by indie oasis, Desert Island Comics, to delight and educate audiences with her carefully crafted presentation. Beginning at 7:30 pm, come learn about the relationship between art and the artist, and see what it takes to create a New York Times Bestseller, and stay until 9 to get said Bestseller signed. (More Details)
Famed alternative cartoonist Charles Burns will appear at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this Friday, September 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM presenting his new book Sugar Skull. He will be followed on Sunday, September 21 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM by Chris Wright signing copies of his recent graphic novel Blacklung.
Seattle native Charles Burns, now a resident of Philadelphia, was among the founders of the alternative comix movement in the 1970s when he emerged from The Evergreen State College with Lynda Barry and Matt Groening. This trio of gifted artists began syndicating their innovative comic strips in alternative weeklies, which gave momentum to a new approach to cartooning. Burns' groundbreaking graphic novel Black Hole, serialized by Fantagraphics Books, is considered a masterpiece of the form. The story is set in 1970s Seattle and was recently featured in the critically acclaimed film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Burns will be signing copies of his highly anticipated new book Sugar Skull, which completes a trilogy that began with X'ed Out, followed by The Hive. Burns' unique graphic sensibility has left and indelible mark on Seattle's culture through his early work with Sub Pop and The Rocket. Join us in welcoming this influential artist back home on Friday, September 19.
Chris Wright is among a new breed of emerging artists building on the foundation laid by Burns and others. His recent graphic novel from Fantagraphics Books, Blacklung, combines elements of otherworldly adventure and horror rendered in brutal detail - unquestionably one of the most impressive graphic novel debuts in recent years. The signing on Sunday, September 21 marks the artist's first visit to Seattle. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00 PM. 206.658.0110.