The first rain-free (HA!) day of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:The Comics Journal looks at Ron Rege Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia. Katie Haegel writes, "Almost impossible to categorize, the work in Cartoon Utopia is both fully realized in a formal sense and wonderfully idiosyncratic. Like, it’s really out there. . . to me the work is much stronger when it depicts magic in action, which Regé accomplishes by telling us stories about historical figures and their relationship to the natural world."
• Review:Robot 6 reviews The Cartoon Utopia by Ron Rege Jr. Chris Mautner writes "with Rege drawing science, new age spiritualism, the occult, astrology and Jungian archetypes to come up with a personal grand unification theory. There are no plots or characters in the book to speak of, instead Rege merely muses and illustrates his theories, which mainly have to on the interconnectedness of all living matter."
• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. Ron Regé Jr'sThe Cartoon Utopia: "This cover really makes me smile, and maybe gives me a sense of four-color spiritual well-being. But cartoon utopia looks more outdoorsy than I expected."
• Review:Page 45 enjoys the gentle pages of The Cartoon Utopia. Stephen L. Holland states, "Regé is back with a spiritual manifesto and ode to creativity: a singular, secular vision delivered with all the fervour of a religious sermon. It’s a call not to arms but to peace and perception unshackled from the conditioning of ages, exhorting all to see new possibilities, infinite possibilities, so enabling one’s full potential to be realised in both senses of the word."
• Review:Barack Hussein Obamaby Steven Weissman is reviewed on Bookslut. Martyn Pedler says, "His Obama begins as a kind of smug, stoner everyman: telling 'your momma' jokes, discussing old movies with visiting dignitaries . . . Weissman’s pages -- drawn in ballpoint into a moleskin notebook -- use a four-panel gag structure that makes the book immediately addictive."
• Review:Publishers Weekly takes on Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman.". . . readers will likely have to be content with being one part giddy and three parts puzzled. . . Perhaps that’s Weissman’s point: that the farce of contemporary politics has the capacity to make one simultaneously giddy, confused, and disenchanted."
• Interview (audio): Speaking of Steven Weissman, Obama and the elections, he is interviewed on KPFK 90.7 FM's show Beneath the Surface.
• Review: Cartoonist Lilli Carré finds herself Boing-Boing-ed. Brian Heater describes Heads or Tails collection, "These strips, which originally in the pages of places like The Believer and Mome, find the artist dipping her toes into new pools, the sort of freedom afforded by the low commitments of the short story form, often to truly wonderful effect."
• Interview: Eddie Wright of MTV Geek interviews Johnny Ryan about Prison Pit 4 and why us humans love it so much. "Well, I think it connects to comic fans because it's the stripped down essence of what popular superhero comics are, which is men beating the living shit out of each other. People love it."
• Review:Reglar Wiglar spit takes while reading Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit 4. Chris Auman says, "This is Ryan’s depraved ID unleashed in its purest form: blood, guts, genitalia and fecal matter abound—actually they don’t abound so much as they’re sprayed all over absolutely everything in a fantastical sci-fi orgy of digustedness."
• Plugs: Best covers of the week by Andy Khouri on Comics Alliance. continues with Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn: "And while we're talking smart use of interior art, here's another superb example. This collection is all about the mastery of Wally Wood, so the cover presents a taste of his work in an uncluttered and respectful way, while also establishing a trade dress for Fantagraphics' new EC artists line." Chris Wright's Blacklung: "I see a lot of Joann Sfar in this densely demonic and stylishly constructed cover, and that's enough to convince me to investigate the work of newcomer Chris Wright." Spacehawk mini-comic by Basil Wolverton: "Basil Wolverton may be best known for his grotesque caricatures in MAD Magazine, but he worked in a lot of genres. Spacehawk was evidently one of his early works, and if this gorgeously lurid cover is anything to go by it was a delightfully daffy sci-fi pulp."
• Review:Booklist Online carves out a place in their hearts for Wallace Wood's Came the Dawn. Ray Olson writes, "This volume presenting all his horror and crime stories chronologically shows him refining what is at first a crude though powerful sense of mise-en-scène into one that is assured, highly detailed, and lightly caricatural."
• Review:AV Club reviewed all our new books Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood and Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman. Noel Murray writes, "in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white, with additional essays and archival material . . . [and] both immediately reveal the value in the artist-driven approach. . . Feldstein’s stories were like the comic-book equivalent to some of the seediest B-movies, and Wood’s art fit Feldstein’s text, with lots of deep shadows and wrinkles reflecting a complicated world." On Basil WolvertonSpacehawk, "As with Kurtzman’s war comics, it’s remarkable to see art so twisted applied to such vivid pulp tales—almost as though Wolverton was trying his hardest to be Alex Raymond, but couldn’t help turning out images to rival Salvador Dalí." Gary Panter's "Dal Tokyo would evolve, strip-by-strip, into a distinctly Panter-esque swirl of science fiction and pure abstraction, in keeping with the artist’s one-of-a-kind sense of design, and his pursuit of comics that resemble music and poetry."
•Plug:Web Cast Beacon reviews all free Halloween Comics Fest freebies. They enjoy Tales from the Crypt and Spacehawk. YES, mail in those ad coupons, people.
• Interview:Jim Woodring is interviewed by Peter Bebergal on hippies, hallucinations and all the good stuff that goes into his latest work, Problematic, a skechbook. "I frequently saw things at night — silently jabbering heads at the foot of my bed, distorted animals and objects hanging in the air over me. Often I saw a huge staring eye that made me vomit with fear."
• Plug: On Boing-Boing, Mark Frauenfelder tips his digi-hat to Floyd Gottfredson: "Gottfredson's Mickey is a plucky, goodhearted imp, bursting with energy and impulsively eager for adventure. . . [Carl] Barks will always have a special place in my heart, but I've added Gottfredson to my short list of great American cartoonists."
• Review: Page 45 looks at The Lost Art of Ah Pookand Stephen L. Holland ponders "Malcom Mc Neill has taken the time to put this eye-frazzling book of art – some of it sequential – into context, for the work itself is very much lost. . . There are vast scenes of ancient ritual, carnal lust and very modern warfare transcending time just as they were always intended."
• Review:Booklist Online likes Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Manby Carl Barks. Ian Chipman states, "from the bitter cold of the Klondike to the bottom of the Caribbean. . . Barks’ comics are an absolute treasure that have aged remarkably well, and are finally getting wide-scale publication to introduce them to a new generation of readers."
• Review: Gene Ambaum of Unshelved happily views covers from Action! Mystery! Thrills!, edited by Greg Sadowski. "Beautiful full-color reproductions of unblemished comic book covers show the amazing art and the breadth of genres on the newsstands before Fredric Wertham screwed everything up in the 1950s. . . The colors are bright, and the art is just plain fun."
• Review: Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte gets reviewed on Bookgasm. JT Lindroos states, ". . . it’s impossible not to enjoy this ultimately all-too-brief volume for every single panel it presents. Swarte is consistently projecting an incisive and curious mind at work, perfectly tuned to his showstopping skills as an artist nonpareil."
• Review: Rod Lott of Bookgasm spends a long, loooong time checking out Sexytime. "[Editor Jacque Boyreau] has a knack for picking images; much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and hardcore porn, Boyreau knows it when he sees it. And luckily, he shares it, this time from the visual-presentation experts of Fantagraphics Books — a match made in poster-art heaven."
• Plug: Matt Bielby writes about The Complete Crumb Volume 1 by R. Crumb in Comic Heroes Magazine: "It's incredible stuff, much of it obviously for completists only, but even the most obscure volumes track a fascinating, and developing, world view."
• Interview: Charles Burns is interviewed on Cult Montreal by Emily Raine about The Hive, his creepy artwork and the Black Hole movie. "It’s not my intention to be creepy per se, or that’s not the reason I’m writing stories. I think they end up being whatever they are. Maybe I’m just a creepy guy, I don’t know."
• Interview (audio): One of our favorite creators, Ellen Forney, speaks to KUOW/NPR on bi-polar disorder, comics and her new work, Marbles.
• Plug:Jaime Hernandez will be at the Copenhagen Comics Fest in Copenhagen, Denmark in June of 2013. Mark them calendars!
This past Saturday, the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery was proud to co-present an event at the Seattle Public Library Central Branch as Ellen Forney debuted her brand-new graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me, out now on Penguin Books' Gotham imprint. Thank you to everyone who came out!
Comics readers are more good-looking that regular readers.
No surprise to anyone, Ellen gave a fantastic, and brave, performance. Marbles is her graphic memoir about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She told the audience that she had hid this from her friends when she first found out, so for Ellen to talk about it years later in front of a packed auditorium filled with strangers was truly inspiring!
Ellen had "Club Van Gogh" membership cards printed up for us to hand-out! (We still have some at the store, if you missed out.) Alas, it does not get you free miles on Alaska Airlines flights, despite what Larry might have told you!
Speaking of Larry, his introduction for Ellen was especially sweet. He reminisced about the days when he was the PR Director for Fantagraphics, and Ellen came to the office saying she wanted to be a cartoonist!
After her amazing presentation, Ellen headed out to the lobby of the Seattle Public Library to sign books...
...the line wrapped around the corner!
Local artists David Lasky and Greg Stump stopped by, seen here with the lovely Leeann Bowen! Megan Kelso was also in the audience, but I didn't manage to get a snap of her.
Thank you so much to the wonderful staff of the Seattle Public Library, who are always a joy to work with! And thanks again to everyone who made it out for the event. There are more camera-phone-snaps of the event at the Fantagraphics Flickr page!
If you couldn't make it, Larry will have signed (yes!) copies of Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me at the store later this week. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.
One of Seattle’s most celebrated artists, Ellen Forney, will discuss her courageous new graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me at the Seattle Public Library central branch on Saturday at 7:00 PM. Her slide presentation in the Microsoft Auditorium will be followed by a book signing. Copies will available at the event. Admission is free.
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me, from Penguin Books’ Gotham imprint, chronicles Forney’s experience with bipolar disorder in the context of her career in comix. She documents her symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with both sensitivity and humor.
Forney has 3 previous comix collections from Fantagraphics Books and is a newly anointed Stranger “Genius.” Her collaboration with Sherman Alexie on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was honored with a National Book Award in 2007. Beyond these and other accomplishments, Ellen follows in the tradition of Lynda Barry, Tom Robbins, Kurt Cobain and other notable artists in cleverly communicating regional sensibilities to the rest of the nation. To preview the event, Forney will appear on Seattle's KUOW public radio to talk with reporter Marcie Sillman this morning, Thursday Nov. 8th, at 9:45 a.m.
Please join us this Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM at the Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, as this extraordinary artist unveils her remarkable new book. Presented by Seattle Public Library Foundation and Fantagraphics Bookstore.
• Eugene, OR: The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR is hosting the exhibit GOOD GRIEF! Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz's PEANUTS, and our own Gary Groth will discuss the importance of Charles Schulz's work within the larger tradition of newspaper strip comics. This event begins at 5:30 PM, and is co-sponsored by the UO School of Journalism. (more info)
Saturday, November 10th
• Seattle, WA: Ellen Forney will discuss her courageous new graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me at the Seattle Public Library Central Branch at 7:00 PM. Her slide presentation in the Microsoft Auditorium will be followed by a book signing. Copies will available at the event. Admission is free. (more info)
One of Seattle's most notable artists, Ellen Forney, will discuss her courageous new graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me at the Seattle Public Library central branch on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM. Her slide presentation in the Microsoft Auditorium will be followed by a book signing. Copies will available at the event. Admission is free.
Ellen Forney has a long history of achievement as a cartoonist, visual artist, and charismatic figure in the Seattle's cultural community. Forney was recently anointed a "Genius" by alternative newspaper The Stranger. She's the featured public artist on the Capitol Hill light rail station project. Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics Books has collected her work in three popular volumes — Lust, I Love Led Zeppelin, and Monkey Food. Her collaboration with author Sherman Alexie on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was honored with a National Book Award in 2007. Beyond these accomplishments, Ellen has followed in the tradition of Lynda Barry, Tom Robbins, Kurt Cobain and other notable artists in cleverly reflecting regional sensibilities to the rest of the nation.
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me, from Penguin Books' Gotham imprint, chronicles Forney's experience with bipolar disorder in the context of her career in comix. She documents her symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with both sensitivity and humor. Her accessible approach to this difficult subject removes the social stigma associated with mental illness. Please join us on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM at the Seattle Public Library as this extraordinary artist unveils her remarkable new book.
Ellen Forney presents Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me. Saturday, November 10, 7:00 PM Microsoft Auditorium. Seattle Public Library Central Branch. 1000 4th Ave. Admission free. Reservations not required.
Presented by Seattle Public Library Foundation and Fantagraphics Bookstore.
Fantagraphics Bookstore and Georgetown Records are pleased to announce a sensational series of music, comix, and literary events for the remainder of this year. Don't miss a minute!
On Friday, November 2, David Lasky and Noah Van Sciver appear for a joint exhibition and book signing from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Musical entertainment will be provided by K recording artist Dennis Driscoll, who promises to cover some Carter Family material. The following Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM, newly christened "Stranger Genius" Ellen Forney will present her courageous new graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me in the Microsoft Auditorium of the Seattle Public Library Central Branch. On Saturday, November 24 at 6:00 PM, we host a book launch party for The Last Vispo Anthology, edited by longtime Fantagraphics staffer Nico Vassilakis. The evening features readings by many contributors and music by another "Stranger Genius" honoree Lori Goldsten (former Earth and Nirvana cellist), joined by former Black Cat Orchestra bandmate Kyle Hanson. On Saturday, December 8, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, Fantagraphics Bookstore commemorates its 6th anniversary in style with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez celebrating 30 years of Love & Rockets. Special guest artist and musician Geneviève Castrée will perform for the occasion. The series concludes on Sunday, December 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM with Nathan Bulmer signing Eat More Bikes collection from Koyama Press. All events are all ages and free. Make plans to move to Seattle now.
While in town, and when not engaging in some Spring Break-style shenanigans, they'll be giving some "Illustrated Talks" that are free and open to the public!
Megan Kelso will be speaking on Monday, October 15th at the University of Central Florida [ Math and Physics Bldg, Room 206, Orlando ], and Ellen Forney will hold court on Thursday, October 18th at the Deltona Library Auditorium [ 2150 Eustace Avenue, Deltona ]. Both events start at 7:30 PM, and both nights will feature a reading from the artists, followed by a Q&A and book signing! Tell 'em we say hi!
Congratulations to Ellen Forney for her prestigious Stranger Genius Award in literature announced last Saturday evening at the Moore Theater in Seattle. She joins 2010 genius Jim Woodring as Fantagraphics affiliates so honored. Don't miss Ellen's presentation of her courageous new graphic memior Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me on Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library central branch, sponsored by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.