Write a story. A story about yourself. A story about your life.
Now, believe it.
This is Eleanor Davis's first collection of observational, graphic short stories.
Tinged with science fiction and fantasy, these stories are grounded in contemporary life: middle management goes searching for Eden; two sisters, inside environmental suits, say goodbye to their father; people try to fill inner voids with babies and yoga and gluten-free bread.
Davis has been honored by the Eisner Awards, and has won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
How to Be Happy shows she is one of the finest cartoonists of her generation.
One of Paste's 10 Most Anticipated Comics of 2014
"Nita Goes Home" (originally published in Mome) selected for The Best American Comics 2013
Eleanor Davis's How to Be Happy is the artist's first collection of graphic/literary short stories, and it’s about time. Davis is one of the finest cartoonists of her generation, and has been producing comics since the mid-2000s. Happy represents the best stories she's drawn for such connoisseurial venues as Mome, Nobrow, and Lucky Peach, as well as her own self-publishing and web efforts. Davis achieves a rare, subtle poignancy in her narratives that are at once compelling and elusive, pregnant with mystery and a deeply satisfying emotional resonance. Happy shows the full range of Davis's graphic skills — sketchy drawing, polished pen-and-ink line work, and meticulously designed full-color painted panels — which are always in the service of a narrative that builds to a quietly devastating climax.
"This excellent, retro space opera reads like a funny, alternative Infinity Gauntlet meets Guardians of the Galaxy - but way cooler than both." – Benn Ray, Largehearted Boy
"The story — involving a winged genius dog, a pig monster, a sultry space warrior in leather lingerie, a mad scientist, a quest for a dozen mystic rocks and the cyber-future of sex dolls — is dumb, convoluted and perfect! " – Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
"I tried to lump stories together that felt thematically similar to me — it starts with stories about people searching for utopia, then searching for love, then searching for their best self — wanting to be strong, or to be good…And the last couple stories are about how hard it is to be fully alive – the pain of it, and the bravery of it." – Tim O'Shea, Robot 6
"This book represents Jamie's [sic] best work, and is one of the best comics I've ever read…if "The Love Bunglers" is the end, then it is a satisfying conclusion to the Maggie and Hopey stories." – Colleen Frakes, Los Angeles Review of Books
"A superhero-riffing, world-building, toe-tapping, beat-hitting story of a whole lot of people, some brilliant, some lucky, some crazy, and some all of the above. And if you like hip-hop, and nice things, go buy the cased edition because there’s a special secret ‘zine in it about Rob Liefeld and Easy E that is just super fabulous." – Alex de Campi, 12th Dimension
"Even if you are not a fan of Hip Hop or Rap per se, one cannot deny its pervasive influence on the world at large. If nothing else, this first volume covering the years 1975 through 1981, demonstrates the nonstop merging of style and culture that is part and particle of the American experience." – Gregg Reese, Our Weekly
"It's just so fucking funny and sad at the same time; Trondheim nails the measurements of humour, pathos, drama – all of it, perfectly here." – Zainab Akhtar, Comics & Cola
Commentary:Paprika Southern features Dame Darcy in an article on her life and work, including her upcoming series, Meat Cake Presents The Voyage of Temptress.
Commentary: Over a the SDCC blog, Toucan, Maggie Thompson discusses the history and evolution of books about comic books, with particular emphasis on EC Comics and the historians who've worked to document these artists' lives and work.
Commentary: Amongst discussions of consent and policy changes at San Diego Comic-Con, Publishers Weekly discusses the past year at Fantagraphics with associate publisher Eric Reynolds.
The How to Be Happy tour is most likely a-comin' to you West Coast. This ain't no flim-flamy snake oil juice we're forcing you to swallow, cartoonist Eleanor Davis KNOWS the secret to happiness and more. Start out the fun in Portland, OR at Floating World Comics on Wednesday, July 9th from 6-8pm with a presentation at 7pm.
Next stop? The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Sunday, July 13th from 3-5pm with Esther Pearl Watson. Seattle's always got the best cartoonists visiting and this event coincides with the Georgetown Garden Walk (more details here). Head straight south to Mission Comics on Monday, July 14th from 6-7pm for some San Francisco-style book signing. Zip over to LA and Thank You Comics on Wednesday, July 16th. The signing is from 6-8pm with a presentation at 7pm.
THEN the big show is happening at San Diego Comic-Con. From July 24th-27th, Eleanor will be signing at the Fantagraphics booth #1718 (details SOON, just keep clicking on this link until it updates or you break your clicking finger).
Enjoy all the fun that Eleanor Davis has to offer in first collection of her amazing and prismatic comics.
Paste a smile on your face, Portland. Fantagraphics Books and Floating World cordially invite you to Floating World Comics on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM to meet THE Eleanor Davis. She'll be signing copies of her new comic collection from Fantagraphics entitled How To Be Happy. Her polished line work and alluring palette perfectly complement her compelling stories and she's done work for everyone from Lucky Peach to The New Yorker. Please note that her book will not actually instruct you on how to live a happier life but reading it will put you in the perfect mindset.
Please join Floating World, Jason Leivian, Zack Soto and more in welcoming this exceptional artist and pick up your newest comics on Wednesday, July 9th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.
Floating World Comics www.floatingworldcomics.com 400 NW Couch Street Portland, OR 97209
"Part biography, part retrospective, part collected chronicles of a comic legend, this is a huge undertaking that pays off in every way you could expect, and a million ways you couldn't." – The Daily Planet
"It's a stunning body of work that brings together loosely personal and wholly fictional stories about joy, anguish, fear and loneliness - emotions all motivated by that essential quest to be the best you can be." – James Cartwright, It's Nice That
"This book contains many more examples of the sorts of stories that made him so rightly famous, including a couple of epic globe-trotting adventures, plenty of swiftly swelling domestic comedies, and two Christmas comics, which Barks seems to have specialized in." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
"After last issue's splashy stories, this issue is a bit more low-key with regard to Killer and her story, preferring to lay some narrative pipe and give the characters a bit of room to breathe and interact." –Rob Clough, High-Low
This July, the talented and incredible Eleanor Davis and Esther Pearl Watson will descend upon the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery with the fury of a thousand suns, scorching earth and people in their paths. During the Georgetown Garden Walk on Sunday, July 13th, Eleanor and Esther will have a reception and signing from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. We'll have brand, spanking new copies of How to Be Happyand Unlovable 3 for you (feel free to bring your other EPW and Davis books from your shelves)
The original art exhibition continues through September 10, 2014. This events coincides, as we mentioned, with the festive Georgetown Garden Walk so you'll have a tulip trip of a time visiting all the shops and gardens throughout the historic neighborhood. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Don't miss the dazzling array of attractions at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in the coming weeks and months. The action begins with the Georgetown Carnival on Saturday, June 14 from noon to 10:00 PM. Cheer on our entry in Hazardfactory's famous Power Tool Races and enjoy free concerts by Fantagraphics friends like Jack Endino's Earthworm, Mark Pickerel, Ancient Warlocks, Tummy, and more! Acrobats, carnival games, sideshows, burlesque, beer gardens and so much more. All free, all day.
Join us on Friday, September 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM as we welcome home one of the most influential figures in contemporary pop culture, Charles Burns, presenting his new book Sugar Skull.
The Short Run comics art festival begins with a reception at the store on Friday, November 14 featuring Ed Piskor signing the second volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, Tom Neely signing the forthcoming Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever collection, MariNaomi presenting her new book Dragon's Breath, and other special guests. Indie art stars, music, comix, and more kick of the Short Run festivities. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements.
From a family drama set in a lushly colored science fictional milieu to a sketchy, playful ode to superhuman strength and masculinity, from fables to slices of real life, Davis's stories are as deeply human and emotionally resonant as they are stylistically diverse. Richly deserved acclaim for Davis's work has come from awards committees (the Eisners & Society of Illustrators), critics (Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, etc.), editors & art directors (Best American Comics, Lucky Peach, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and so on), and, of course, readers who have been moved by her stories and artwork. Read some snippets, and pre-order your copy for July delivery, right here.
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