|Down with OPP*: Johnny 23|
|Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics Bookstore, Down with OPP, Charles Burns||24 Jan 2011 1:24 PM|
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Category >> Charles Burns
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"What the hell is this?"
Working at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, I hear this question a lot, but I especially get it in reference to this week's spotlight title: Johnny 23 by Charles Burns.
If you were one of the fans crushed in the crowd when Charles Burns visited the store back in November, then hopefully you caught his discussion about the similarities in his latest novel X'ed Out and Hergé's classic The Adventures of Tintin. (Ken Parille has a great run-down on those similarities on The Comics Journal blog here.)
And in a nod to the bootleg Hergé titles that float around, Burns has created his own "bootleg" of X'ed Out, re-arranging the panels and adding brand-new artwork to create Johnny 23. French publisher Le Dernier Cri printed only a few thousand copies of this one, and from what I understand, it ain't getting reprinted, so you should get yours now.
Oh, and did I mention it's written in ALIEN? 'Cause... yeah. And Burns has said, it's not a translation of the text from X'ed Out. Apparently, there are keys online somewhere, or maybe you can send some cereal box proof-of-purchases and get a decoder ring. But just think, once you learn the language, won't that look impressive on future job resumes for our eventual alien overlords?
What th'...? I just found out via the great Dan Zettwoch's blog that the new issue of Desert Island's essential broadsheet comics anthology Smoke Signal is out! Above, the stunning cover by Jordan Crane; the full contributors list isn't posted yet but it includes "new work by Charles Burns, Sammy Harkham, Edie Fake, Tim Hensley, Dan Zettwoch, Michael DeForge, Tim Lane, and tons more!" You can pick up a free copy at Desert Island in Brooklyn or buy it online here. Gimme!
UPDATE: Gabe from Desert Island points out the full contributor list on Facebook — thanks Gabe!
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: The Manga Critic's Katherine Dacey names Moto Hagio's A Drunken Dream and Other Stories the Best Manga of 2010 (after previously nominating it for Best Graphic Novel of 2010 at Flashlight Worthy)
• List: Emily Pullen of fave L.A. bookstore Skylight Books names Stephen Dixon's What Is All This? as one of her Favorites from 2010: "I have a crush on this book: the cover, the paper, the heavy ink. Touch it. Read two stories. Try not to bring it home with you. Fail."
• Review: "The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 showcases an era when Schulz's drawing was still at its peak, and his story-making skills were perhaps greater than ever before — there are many long continuities, and Schulz had developed a pleasing knack of segueing from one storyline to another, in the vein of the great adventure strips of his youth." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
• Review: "In The Troublemakers, Hernandez plays with notions of trust and betrayal, naïveté and suspicion. [...] Ultimately, The Troublemakers is a con-movie in comic-book form, well aware of itself, and quite enjoyable in its context. [...] If it were a film, it would be a schlocky guilty pleasure; but in Hernandez’s hands, The Troublemakers ascends to become a stylized and quirky mindtrip, a mishmash of betrayals and surprises, with many more twists than you’ll see coming." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "Everything Burns draws seems molded from the same dark and shiny matter. [...] The climate of horror creeps in from the beginning of the narrative, but the author knows the exact time to surprise the reader. Violence is used in a measured way, unlike the majority of comics and films of the genre. Through works such as Skin Deep, Big Baby and Black Hole, Charles Burns is already regarded as one of the principal authors of horror comics of all time." – Gustavo Guimaraes, Ambrosia (translated from Portuguese)
• Plug: USA Today Pop Candy's Whitney Matheson presented her 2010 Holiday Gift Guide in a live video chat which is archived here, and among her recommendations was Destroy All Movies!!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film
We're not entirely sure if this recently-sold painting by Ashland, OR artist Teresa Sloven is an homage or appropriation of Charles Burns's artwork for Sub Pop 7. We do know that you can see the real deal at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. In addition to Burns original drawings and prints, we have a rare copy of the Sub Pop 9 cassette and zine on display. This amazing show ends tomorrow, December 8, followed by the Friends of the Nib "Medieval Thinkers" exhibition reception and fabulous fourth anniversary celebration on Saturday, December 11. Don't miss either.
This is your last week to view the exquisite exhibition by Charles Burns at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. Don't miss out on an opportunity to attend his first show in his hometown in over a decade — a career-spanning body of work, with prints starting as low as $30.
It's also the last week to bid on Sub Pop founder Bruce Pavitt's private collection of pristine RAW magazines and the original Charles Burns drawing for Sub Pop #5 cassette zine — the direct predecessor to the legendary record label. The silent auction bid for this historic piece currently stands at $1,500. A bargain considering Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen's EMP museum paid over 3 times that amount 10 years ago for Burns' cover drawing of Sub Pop 200. To place a bid contact Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid at 206.658.0110 during store hours.
Get a jump on your holiday shopping this weekend. Our store's knowledgeable staff can suggest lovely and affordable gifts to suit any taste. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00.
Dreaming of a Black Christmas? Start your holiday shopping at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle this weekend. We'll be giving away a free BLACK HOLE comic book with every purchase through Sunday, November 28. An amazing stocking stuffer valued at $4.50. Visitors will get a chance to see the exquisite exhibition of Seattle native Charles Burns. This wonderful display, spanning his 30-year career in comix, remains on view through December 7.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's lively Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Holiday hours: Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Years Day. Open until 4:00 PM on Christmas Eve. Phone 206.658.0110.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery was as jam-packed as it's ever been for Charles Burns's book signing and exhibit opening last Saturday, October 30. If you were claustrophobic, it was not the place to be! On the other hand, if you give half a toot about comics, it was exactly the place to be! The signing line stretched far into the distance and beyond the edge of this photo.
Charles was happy as a clam chatting with fans all night and signing copies of Black Hole and his newest book X'ed Out — until they sold out, that is.
Several fans showed up in their Halloween costumes, including the Invisible Man here.
We had a great display of Burns prints for sale, many of which are still available.
The Bruce Pavitt RAW collection was also on display. The silent auction for this collection continues to accept bids through December 6 — more info here.
We have a ton more photos uploaded to our Flickr page, including individual shots of all the prints, so head over there to see more. Thanks to everybody who came out and made the event such a howling success!
Visitors to the Charles Burns appearance this Saturday evening at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery are in for a treat. Eye candy! While supplies last, we'll have free copies of Stéphane Blanquet's fabulous full color TOYS IN THE BASEMENT mini-comic, which includes a 2-page preview of THE LITTLEST PIRATE KING by David B. For indie music buffs we have a limited quantity of the scary 5-song "Haunted Fang Castle" CD by the sensational Spits, including an illustrated booklet by J. J. Rudisill. And our friends from Frontier Records dropped by with a stack of cool full-color vinyl stickers by Jaime Hernandez commemorating 30 years of pleasurable punk rock. [Hit the Frontier link above for a better look at Jaime's illustration – Ed.]
You don't want to miss this: Charles Burns returns to his native Seattle this Saturday, October 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for a festive reception commemorating the publication of his amazing new graphic novel X'ed Out.
In addition to an exhibition of rare posters and prints spanning Burns' illustrious career, we'll be celebrating the artist's lasting Seattle legacy with a display of his seminal work for Sub Pop records, as well as his early contributions to Art Spiegelman's RAW magazine.
Start your Saturday night at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to welcome Charles Burns back home. The evening features a brief slide talk, ambient screening of Burns' scary animated movie "Fear(s) of the Dark," spooky tunes by DJ Russ Fallout, complimentary beverages, and collectible Halloween comix treats. Costumes optional. All ages. Free! 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Georgetown. Phone 206.658.0110.