The chest rackiest cough of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: Andy Shaw reviews Chris Wright's Blacklungon Grovel. "The characters have enormous depth, and the book explores interesting themes on the nature of violence. It’s particularly strong on class structure, exploring the different levels of what’s acceptable to different people in different walks of life…While extremely dark this is definitely one of the most sophisticated horror books I’ve read in some time."
• Review: Blacklung by Chris Wright makes another best of list on Comic Book Resources. Greg Burgas writes "Wright’s pirate comic is a strange animal – it’s extremely graphic, both violently and sexually, yet it’s a bizarre meditation on religion and good and evil, all with characters who don’t look quite human.… Blacklung is a comic that deserves a lot of thought, so you might as well read it and think about it!"
• Review: Page 45 looks at Problematic by Jim Woodring. And "whilst there is indeed the odd everyday observation, the vast majority of it is Frank-related musings, thumbnails and roughs," pens Jonathan Rigby.
• Review:Page 45 enjoys the newest Richard Sala book, Delphine. "Truly this is the stuff of nightmares: a frantic evocation of being lost, misled and out of your depth in surroundings which barely make sense – except when they do after which you dearly wish that they hadn’t," says Stephen L. Holland.
• Plug:Graham Chaffee's Good Dog was singled out on Wired to be one of THE books of 2013. "The world does not have nearly enough graphic novels told from the perspective of adorable dogs. Let alone graphic novels that have a good chance of making you feel delighted on one page, then maybe like you might cry a little bit on the next page…it has all the polish and purpose borne by most books put out by fancy-pants publisher Fantagraphics," writes Erik Henriksen.
• Review: Page 45 enjoys Castle Waiting Vol. 1 (softcover) by Linda Medley. "Life in these stories gently flows along at the same pace as the early Bone stories, and the timing is as perfect as Linda’s art is impeccable…From what appear to be stock fairy-tale archetypes, Medley creates life and energy," writes Tom Rosin.
• Review: Johanna Draper Carlson of Comic Worth Reading reads I Love Led Zeppelin after catching Ellen Forney fever with Marbles. "it’s an entertaining, spicy read. For me, it provided new context for the background behind her story, fleshing out a decadent life in strong, distinctive lines."
It's the perfect weekend plan! So, join us on Saturday, January 26th for the Graphic Novel Panel2013, held by our friends at the Seattle Graphics Arts Guild!
The day begins at 10:30 AM with a panel on "How to Make Your Own Mini-Comic," led by beloved local cartoonist David Lasky, who will guide you through the book-constructing and storytelling process.
And then at 1:00 PM, learn the ins and outs of the Graphic Novel with a panel of local artists including our own Ellen Forney and MichelGagné, along with Lasky, Stefano Gaudiano, Phil & Kaja Foglio, Allen Gladfelter, moderated byMark Monlux.
And then join us for the after-party at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery from 4:30-6:00 PM. Discuss what you've learned, share your comics, and have a drink with the panel!
This event is open to the public, and you can get your tickets here for either the class, the panel, or the whole darn day of events! Tickets are not needed to attend the after-party.
The Graphic Novel Panel 2013 takes place at the Seattle Design Center [ 5701 6th Avenue South, Plaza Building, Suite 370 ]. The Plaza Building entrance is on Orcas between 5th & 6th. Suite P370 is on three floors up from street level. Take the elevator to first floor, then glass elevator to third floor. From the Atrium Building cross the sky bridge to Plaza Building, take glass elevator to third floor. Free parking!
And you better know where the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located: 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM.
Meet Ellen Forney and pick up a signed copy of her sensational New York Times bestseller Marbles, this Saturday, December 22 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. The perfect occasion to complete your last minute holiday shopping. Add new meaning to "stocking stuffer" with a signed copy of Ellen's lovely Lust collection (though we're unsure ourselves what that new meaning might be.) We have exquisite gifts for everyone in every price range — many under $20!
While you're at the store, you can view our colorful exhibition celebrating 30 Years of Love & Rockets and check out new offerings from your favorite local alternative cartoonists, as well as international artists and classic comic strip collections.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located in the historic Georgetown industrial arts colony at 1201 S. Vale Street, minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Open until 4:00 PM on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, closed on Christmas and New Year's Day. Happy holidays.
It's been even more extra-heartbreaking to write this FLOG post in the wake of yesterday's tragedy at the Clackamas Town Center mall near Portland, Oregon. Earlier this year, Seattle had its own tragic shooting at beloved local hang-out Café Racer.
This Thursday, December 13th, Café Racer and Brown Paper Tickets are hosting a very special benefit for the victims' families and the lone survivor of the shootings that took place on May 30, 2012, claiming five victims and impacting everyone involved in the Seattle artistic community.
Brown Paper Tickets will be debuting their Artist Ticket Program, where a limited edition of event tickets are imprinted with original artwork for an extra fee, with proceeds donated to charity. For this inaugural event, Brown Paper Tickets chose our own Ellen Forney and Jim Woodring, two artists who were very much a part of Café Racer community. Ellen and Jim will perform readings, and will also be available to personally sign your Artist Ticket.
Doors are at 6:00 PM, with the event kicking off at 7:00 PM. Cover is "pay-what-you-can" and advanced tickets are highly recommended as space is limited. There will be some tickets available at the door the day of the event but are first-come, first-served. Café Racer is located at 5828 Roosevelt Way NE.
If you can't make the event but want to donate to the Victims of the Café Racer Shooting Memorial Fund, click here to visit the donation page.
Visitors to the festivities at Fantagraphics Bookstore's 6th anniversary gala on Saturday are in for a treat. In addition to celebrating 30 years of Love & Rockets with Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, and music by cartoonist Geneviève Castrée's Ô Paon, we have a stellar line up of special guests in store. Dutch artist Femke Hiemstra (pictured above) is in town for a show at Roq la Rue with Blab cover artist Ryan Heshka. They'll attend the party with Roq la Rue proprietor Kirsten Anderson (who is also celebrating her birthday that night.) Peter Bagge will also be there. Look for his work upstairs at the One Night Stand group show. Our resident Stranger geniuses Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney will be around. While you're there, pick up a copy of Ellen's sensational new graphic memoir Marbles. I'm sure she'll sign one for you. Start your holiday season in style this Saturday, December 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Ho, ho, ho!
Party in the city where the heat is on. All night on the beach til the break of dawn Welcome to Miami (bienvenido a Miami)
Ain't no party like a Miami Book Fair International party, which kicked off this past Sunday, November 11th. Yes, they party all week long when it comes to books! And, things get even hotter this weekend as our Fantagraphics artists take the scene for the Graphic Novel programming!
Saturday, November 17th
2:30 PM // Graphic Lives: Aline Crumb, Drawn Together: The Collected Works of Aline & R. Crumb, in conversation with scholar, Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women
3:30 PM // On Comics: A Conversation:Charles Burns on The Hive, Chip Kidd on Batman: Death By Design and Chris Ware on Building Stories
Sunday, November 18th
1:00 PM // Comics and Social Change: with Marjorie Liu, Dan Parent, Ellen Forney, Stephanie McMillan, and Riva Hocherman. Moderated by DC Comics/Vertigo editor Joan Hilty.
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)