Fantagraphics is thrilled to be part of the third annual Short Run Small Press Fest here in Seattle on Saturday, November 30th at historic Washington Hall in the Central District. Even though Short Run is a festival spotlighting self-published works, limited editions, and handmade books, Fantagraphics will have a presence in many, many ways, as you will see below...
• Visit the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery at Table L-51 on the first floor of Washington Hall! We'll have an excellent array of independent comics in stock from publishers who weren't able to make the trek to Seattle, like Koyama Press, Uncivilized Books, PictureBox, and more.
Plus, throughout the day, Manager/Curator Larry Reid will be joined by special guests who got their start in small press: our own Ellen Forney, who self-published her title I Was Seven in '75 with a Xeric Grant, and Bruce Pavitt, co-founder of Sub Pop Records, which started as a zine back in 1979. Stop by the table for a chat -- all three of them have tons of experience and knowledge about self-publishing that they'd love to share with you!
• All throughout the day, Short Run will be screening animation, including pieces from our own Dash Shaw and Lilli Carré, alongside Reel Grrls, SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team), and dozens of other animators from around the country. Screenings take place on the balcony level of Washington Hall.
• Fantagraphics staffers Jason T Miles [C-11] and Jen Vaughn [landing] will be exhibiting with comics of their own!
• And then there's the panels (all taking place on the first floor)!
---> 12:20 PM: Women in Comics // Our own Megan Kelso will lead and moderate a panel focused on the females with panelists Geneviève Castrée, Gabrielle Gamboa, Roberta Gregory, Julia Gfrörer, and Virginia Paine. I have to say, Megan has been doing some amazing planning and research for this panel, and it is not to be missed!
---> 2:40 PM : The World of Comics // A survey of comics around the globe with Jason T Miles, Pat Moriarity, David Lasky, and Leonard Rifas. (Inspired by our own Kim Thompson.)
But, wait! There's more... The day before Short Run Small Press Fest, Friday, November 29th, they'll be hosting Read/Write, a day of panels, workshops, and more at the Vera Project, including...
---> 2:00 PM : DIY Publishing in the Digital Age Panel // With our Associate Editor Eric Reynolds, plus Bruce Rutledge (Chin Music Press), self-publisher Alec Longstreth, and moderator Zack Soto (Study Group).
• And for full-disclosure, I, Janice, your friendly Flogger, should mention I'm one of the organizers this year, so there's that...!
For the complete Short Run Seattle schedule, including Read/Writeon Friday, November 29th at the Vera Project [ Warren & Republican Ave North ], and Short Run Small Press Fest on Saturday, November 30th at Washington Hall [ 153 14th Avenue ], visit shortrun.org! Both events are FREE and open to the public! See you there!
Written, drawn, printed, collated, folded, and stapled the DIY way: self-published and self-distributed mini comics are the labor of an underground comics industry, a subculture that thrives and depends on the selling and trading of these handcrafted booklets. In this community, there are no barriers to entry, no profiteering, and no cookie-cutter normalcy; the only limits are what the hand can draw. For more than 40 years, these tiny tomes have been fueling the alternative comics scene, and Treasury of Mini Comics is a gigantic compendium of the world’s smallest comics from some of today’s biggest names. Experience a celebration of folded-paper creations from cartoonists such as Jim Woodring, John Porcellino, Leela Corman, David Lasky, Marc Bell, Roberta Gregory, Dylan Williams, Kelly Froh, and many more!
When Seattle software giant Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011, the company committed to create a contemporary working environment to house the service. Consulting with Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid and others, Jason Thomas Faulkner from the Skype UX Design Team recently completed finishing touches to the Skype complex, located in two buildings on Microsoft's sprawling suburban campus. Last week Faulkner gave Reid and Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds a guided tour of the stunning new facility.
One building features lyrical graphics related to Seattle's celebrated music history, with rows of oversized Charles Burns portraits from Black Hole defining conference rooms intended to facilitate creative communication. In addition to the Burns installations, the building includes important works by Jini Dellaccio, Victoria Haven, and Ron English, among others.
The adjacent building explores the architecture of communication using breathtaking floor-to-ceiling Chris Ware imagery as a backdrop. The glass partitions in both buildings double as white boards, (though Faulkner was quick to observe that staff had so far been reluctant to blemish the pristine spaces with unsightly scribbling).
Alternative comix add an element of casual creativity and culture to any edifice devoted to innovative communication. Bring some comix to work. You'll see!
The Stranger, one of our local alt-weeklies that shares many ties with Fantagraphics throughout the ages ran a tribute to Kim Thompson written by former employee Robert Boyd. Giving context to the comics world as the more commercial spoke the art world wheel, Boyd touches on Kim's job as a creative enabler and rabid music fan.
"Kim encouraged and cajoled many cartoonists to produce art they never otherwise would have dreamed possible. I imagine that if Fantagraphics had not been there in 1982, Jaime Hernandez might have gone on to a successful, respectable career as a penciller for Marvel and DC."
By Friday everyone was in the San Diego swing by now. Steven 'Ribs' Weissman, Johnny Ryan and Ron Regé, Jr. were ready to WOW everyone! The Kim Thompson Tribute panel was held that day and the room was packed. Thank you to everyone who came out, Eric Reynold's panoramic photo below.
Here a librarian freaks out over Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull, which she had preordered for her library! The whimsy and humor surprised her but in a good way.
Leader of the new cult The Cartoon Utopia and Lavender Diamond rockstar Ron Rege, Jr. joins the Fantagraphics' signing table for the first time! And to the left is No Straight Lines editor and contributors Justin Hall and Dylan Edwards to the left.
Then a fucking WIZARD showed up, guys. And a practical one too, his golden cape hid his backpack but was slit so he had easy access.
And then a WORD wizard showed up! The Advocate's Jacob Anderson-Minshall leans in for a photo with Dylan and Justin.
More friends stop by like Scott McCloud (again!) here with Jacq, Steven and Johnny.
Cartoonist Alex Neal visits with Weissman while Johnny Ryan chats up Robert Williams!
Flippin' through some Weissman originals.
Former Comics Alliance, current Image content manager/editor David Brothers shows off his dollar bin find! That lady 'needs a real man'.
Next up, Tony Millionaire blew in from LA to sign his new book Green Eggs and Maakies with Cathy Malkasian and Paul Hornschemeier.
Tony had a artifact someone had MADE for him from his books. SUPERFAN, he might be right behind you, Tonyyyyy.
We shared some pipes and drapes space with NBM publishing who, for some reason, put their porn RIGHT next to our signing section. Pensive and apprehensive Paul ponders porn.
Speaking of Eisners, here are some shots of our cartoonists on the BIG SCREEN. Spain Rodriguez and Trina Robbins were both inducted in the Hall of Fame and Ellen Forney presented an award along with Becky Cloonan. The Complete Pogo Vol. 2 'Bona Fide Balderdash' won an Eisner!
Then Michael Kupperman's 'Moon 69' comic from Tales Designed to Thrizzle won an Eisner award for Best Short Story! Eric read his hilarious acceptance speech that framed Eric for Kupperman's 'death.'
The Eisner next to some totally legit beers...
Out in the post-Eisner party, the comiXology boys Tony, Matt and Anshu celebrate LIFE and Fantagraphics' digital comics.
A few more photos tomorrow (I KNOW you need MORE). Then our eyes are on Autoptic, SPX and BEYOND.
Thursday rocked! Wooo-boy, no joke. Paul Hornschemeier and Philip Nel sign their books above. We were part of the Peanuts Scavenger Hunt and the let us use this bitchin' Woodstock stamp! Frantic moms and desperate children were all over the booth getting stamps and figuring out the quickest way to the next booth.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds checks out Ben Catmull's Ghosts and Ruins, a book he finally gets to see in person.
Eric Reynolds and Phil Nel, editors of the complete Barnaby by Crockett Johnson.
Love and Rockets' Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez
From Arrested Development, Alia Shawkat was ooohhing and ahhhing over The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert.
Shawkat is a big Fanta-fan she even showed me her Dan Clowes tattoo! (her long-suffering and patient brother in the background)
Gene Deitch and Justin Hall signed their copies of Nudnik Revealed and No Straight Lines respectively. Deitch reminded Hall that a permanent pen works best for signing (in comparison, Hall is the baby in the situation)
This young guy was at his first comic con and so happy to meet Gene Deitch!
This awesome fan came by the booth THREE TIMES on Thursday before deciding she needed Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life by Ulli Lust!
The boys of Comic Bulletin hold up their favorite new releases from Fantagraphics: Danny Djeljosevic, Rafael Gaitan and Morgan Davis.
PR Director Jacq Cohen and I had our evening panel with Chip Mosher from comiXology and JK Parkin from Comic Book Resources. The first few people who answered questions got flights of vodka (there's a free tip).
Passed by the comiXology booth and they had a little Fantagraphics sign a-glowing.
Out and about at the CBLDF party, The Beat's Heidi MacDonald and Henry Barajas.
That's all for now but there's lots more to come! Keep it tuned here and especially to our Twitter feed!
Our cartoonists and creators are not only available in print form but LIVE IN PERSON on panels, talking about things they're all about and answering questions (which we know you're all about). Check 'em out and rest those tootsies, you'll be walking on them allll weekend long. Click on these wonder-links if you're wondering about our new books debuting and when people will be signing at our table.
Thursday, July 18th
12:30pm Spotlight On: Gene Deitch Comic-Con special guest Gene Deitch is a legendary cartoonist, animator, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, and creator of Tom Terrific. Join him for a tour thru his 70-year career, including his years directing cartoons for UPA and Weston Woods, as well as creating the comic strip Terr'ble Thompson and crossing paths with everyone from Pete Seeger and John Lee Hooker to Maurice Sendak and Jules Feiffer. Moderated by animation historian Jerry Beck and famed movie critic and author-and Comic-Con special guest-Leonard Maltin! Thursday July 18, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm Room 8
12:30pm Dave McKean: Blue Tree
Tree roots as neural networks, the lunacy of Luna, the creation of wolves, the cooking of compost and glimpses of Sandman -- all this and more in an interview panel with artist/writer/musician/director/Mac worrier Dave McKean. Thursday July 18, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm Room 4
6:00PM Anything that Loves: Comics Beyond Gay or Straight
In the last 20 years, lesbian and gay people have made great strides toward better representation in pop culture. The road for people who are bisexual, who have fluid sexuality and gender, or who otherwise fall outside of "gay" and "straight" has been much rockier. (Ironically, they are often met with the strongest mistrust and resistance from gay people.) The new comics anthology Anything That Loves assembles 30 creators to delve into the complex world of nonbinary sexuality and hopes to expose some myths, offer some new insights, and bring together an often-splintered LGBT community in a new way. Moderator Charles "Zan" Christensen and contributors to this anthology discuss the origins of the project, why it's important, and the challenges of being a bisexual storyteller. How can bisexual creators resist pressure from both straight and gay communities to put them in categories that don't truly fit? And how can creators effectively reach out to queer potential readers in a way that doesn't alienate straight ones? Find out the answers to these questions and many more! With Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me), Lena H. Chandhok (Pony Tale), Josh Trujillo (The Provider), Kevin Boze (The Virgin Project), Randall Kirby (BOP! Comics), and Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads).
6:30pm Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101
Need tips on how to market your comic and yourself to voracious fans and the comic industry at large? Have questions on the best way to do PR? Then this panel is for you! Some of the best and brightest in comics today bring you a roundtable discussion, revealing all the secrets of doing effective marketing and PR to get your comic noticed. Join moderator Chip Mosher (comiXology's PR and marketing maven), J. K. Parkin (from Comic Book Resources and the Eisner Award-nominated blog Robot 6), and Fantagraphics Books's marketing and PR team Jacq Cohen (director of publicity and promotions) and Jen Vaughn (marketing and outreach coordinator) for an inspiring and wide-ranging discussion you won't want to miss! Thursday July 18, 2013 6:30pm - 7:30pm Room 8
Friday, July 19th
11:00am Spotlight on Ellen Forney
Cartoonist Ellen Forney presents her New York Times bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Depression, Michaelangelo, and Me, a darkly funny chronicle of her struggle with bipolar disorder. Nominated for a 2013 Eisner Award, "Marbles isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant. 'A'" -- Entertainment Weekly. Friday July 19, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm Room 9
1:00pm Humor in Graphic Novels
From Star Wars's little princess to marbles and depression, from jetpacks and goliaths to dirty dumb eyes, writer/artists Jeffrey Brown (Vader's Little Princess), Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me,), Tom Gauld (You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack), and Lisa Hanawalt (My Dirty Dumb Eyes) have the entire spectrum of humor-gag cartoons, self-deprecation, irony, to name just a few- covered in their graphic novels. Moderated by Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum). Friday July 19, 2013 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 9
2:00pm A Tribute to Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics Books
Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, and Mike Catron of Fantagraphics Books are joined by Dark Horse's Diana Schutz and Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez to celebrate the life and career of Kim Thompson, whose legacy as co-publisher of Fantagraphics and bande dessinée's greatest ambassador in America spanned five decades.
Friday July 19, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm Room 25ABC
3:00pm Snoopy: A Retrospective Paige Braddock (creative director, Schulz Creative Associates; creator, Jane's World), Lex Fajardo (managing editor, kaboom Peanuts; creator, Kid Beowulf), Gary Groth (co-founder, Fantagraphics) and Nat Gertler (writer, The Peanuts Collection and kaboom Peanuts; publisher, About Comics) discuss Snoopy: astronaut, beagle scout, novelist, flying ace, and much-misunderstood pet of Charlie Brown ("If I only had a normal dog"). Celebrate this unique character who debuted in papers on October 4, 1950, created by Charles M. Schulz. Snoopy began his career walking on all fours, and over the next 50 years practically stole the show from his fellow Peanuts cast members. Moderated by, Damian Holbrook (senior writer at TV Guide magazine whose Spirit Animal is Snoopy). Friday July 19, 2013 3:00pm - 4:00pm Room 28DE
Saturday, July 20th
1:00pm Celebrating 10 Years of Prism Comics
In 2003, a new champion appeared on the comics scene, determined to make the industry a better place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics creators and readers. The nonprofit Prism Comics was founded by a small group of comics fans to provide a network for LGBTQ comics professionals and fans through their website, events, and convention appearances. Prism Comics has grown and now supports the next generation of creators through The Prism Comics Queer Press Grant. And diversity in the comics industry has grown as well. Where once LGBTQ comics and characters were marginalized, now they are frequently stepping into the spotlight. ModeratorJustin Hall (No Straight Lines, Glamazonia, Prism advisory board) and panelists Ted Abenheim (president, Prism Comics), Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Prism board), Andy Mangels (co-founder, Prism Comics) Paige Braddock (Jane's World, Prism advisory board), Charles "Zan" Christensen (co-founder, Prism Comics; Northwest Press), Roger Klorese (Prism board), Jon Macy (Teleny and Camille, Prism Queer Press Grant chairperson) offer a look back at where Prism Comics started, celebrate how far they've come, and a peek into the future of where the queer comics scene might be headed. Saturday July 20, 2013 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 28DE
2:30 Adventure Time Encyclopedia
A conversation moderated by Kent Osborne (head of story, Adventure Time) with Martin Olson (voice actor, The Lord of Evil), and Olivia Olson (voice actor, Marceline The Vampire Queen) about their new book from Abrams, The Adventure Time Encyclopedia, including a slide show and a dramatic reading from the book. Surprises may include a terrifying appearance by Hunson Abadeer himself, a music video from the Nightosphere, and Olivia singing with special surprise guests (like Tony Millionaire). Audience participation is encouraged for maximum chance of survival! Saturday July 20, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm Room 8
3:15 Vertigo: The Sandman 25th Anniversary and Beyond!
This year Vertigo's flagship title The Sandman returns to comics in an all-new series written by Neil Gaiman (The Sandman)! Join Neil for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of this timeless series and an exclusive look at what is in store for the Lord of the Dreaming with Neil and his past and future legendary collaborators, Dave McKean, Sam Kieth, Todd Klein, and J. H. Williams III. Saturday July 20, 2013 3:15pm - 4:15pm Room 6DE
3:30pm Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly Preview
North America boasts the world's two leading comic book companies that have defined the literary genre for comics. Seattle's Fantagraphics and Montreal's Drawn & Quarterly present their fall and winter lists of works from the world's best cartoonists, perhaps even with a few surprises and giveaways! Saturday July 20, 2013 3:30pm - 4:30pm Room 26AB
5:30pm Gays in Comix XXVI
Whether it's the high-flying world of capes, spandex, and gravity-defying breasts or wondrously down-to-earth slice-of-life, the LGBTQ presence in comics has evolved beyond inclusion and visibility. Moderators Roger Klorese (Prism Comics Board) and Paige Braddock (Jane's World) explore the next level of authentic LGBTQ storytelling with panelists Shannon Walters (Kaboom), Eisner Award nominee Justin Hall (No Straight Lines), Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley), Shena Wolf (Uclick/Universal Press Syndicate), Sina Grace (Li'l Depressed Boy; Not My Bag), and others to be announced. The panel will be followed by the annual Prism Comics Gays Comic Fan Mixer and Silent Auction hosted by and benefiting Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered comics, creators, and readers. Saturday July 20, 2013 5:30pm - 7:00pm Room 6A
7:00pm From Comic Book King to FIne Artist: Extraordinaire: A Chat with Robert Williams
Join friends and colleagues of a true underground comix heavyweight and accomplished fine artist,Robert Williams (ZAP Comix). Panelists include William Stout (illustrator, Wizards), Gwynned Vitello (president, Juxtapoz and Thrasher), Karl Meyer (president, Gentle Giant Studios), and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics). Robert will take us though his incredible journey from ZAP Comix, his work with Big Daddy Roth, all the way to his current exploits in the heady realm of fine art. Moderated by Vitello. Saturday July 20, 2013 7:00pm - 8:00pm Room 4
The fastest hot-to-trot release of online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review:Good Dog has it this week. Graham Chaffee's return to comics gets a starred review from Publishers Weekly. "Chaffees’s art is both lyrical and dramatic when it needs to be, mixing Craig Thompson and Gilbert Hernandez. As with White Fang and Black Beauty, Chaffee goes inside the psychology of animals without over sentimentalizing and shows why the human/pet relationship is so precious for both sides."
• Review: Diamond Scoop is all over Wake Up, Percy Gloom by Cathy Malkasian. "Malkasian fills the story with multiple levels, never once making any of them obvious. Her experience as an animator shines through as her pencil and panel construction holds an incredible sense of movement inside a graphic novel format.…More than a fable, Percy Gloom is part of story telling myth that can be traced back to campfires around a cave. This is an inspiring work that speaks to all levels of our existence."
• Review: Bob Temuka of the Tearoom of Despair checks out Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "This book is excellent… the looser Bagge's stuff gets, the better. Other Stuff is funnier than [Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me], even if there is that same sociological satire, because it has Bagge people wigging the fuck out, and nuthin' is funnier than that.."
• Review: Shawn Starr of The Chemical Box reviews 3 New Stories by Dash Shaw. "3 New Stories is a comic which explores the juxtaposition and superimposition of images within the structure of text/drawing based comics (a.k.a. traditional comics) as a means of underlining the thematic nature of it's stories.…Shaw codes the pages of '3 New Stories' with layers of visual subtext that work as an interesting color palette and also through their existence as “images”, create additional layers of meaning to each page and the narrative as a whole."
• Review: Bill Boichel from Copacetic Comics enjoys New School by Dash Shaw. "This purposeful leveling of the high/low, fine/popular distinction in the arts has a specific aim in reinforcing the "message" encoded within the narrative. The basics of the story we are given in New School are about as old school as you can get, centering on two brothers, each sent by their father on a quest to a faraway land. The brothers, Daniel and Luke, are each given names with strong biblical associations. The latter, however, additionally references the modern mythology of Star Wars. This dual reference serves as a key opening the door to New School's narrative strategy."
• Review: IndieWire has a suggestion for you in regards to Micky Mouse Color Sundays by Floyd Gottfredson (edited by Groth and David Gerstein). Jerry Beck writes, "Leave it to Gerstein, with co-editor Gary Groth and the team at Fantagraphics, to reprint these rare strips with the greatest of care. The reproduction of the line art is superb, the coloring is vivid and faithful to the original newspaper printings … stop what you are doing and order this book today. 280 pages of absolute joy."
• Review: KC Carlson of Comics Worth Reading read and weeps (from laughter) in the latest Carl Barks collection, Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret. "I read it as a child. Yet I remember clearly every detail about it. Such is the power of Carl Barks’ work. His storytelling is designed to appeal to youngsters as well as folk who are as old as Scrooge.…I laughed so hard that I had to put the book down for a couple of minutes. Sharp-eyed readers should also pay attention to other jokes hidden in what Donald is reading in other stories throughout the book."
• Interview (audio): Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds and co-editor, Philip Nel, talk Crockett Johnson, Barnaby and Ruth Kruss on Inkstuds with Robin McConnell.
• Review:Comics Grinder makes some new meat with Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kacynski. "Kaczynski’s humor is, at times, acerbic, with an attitude…Read as a whole, the author’s vision comes through as heart-felt, witty, and maybe even, perhaps, genuinely concerned…Architecture is seen as a possible solution to the many ills of one struggling nation," writes Henry Chamberlain.
• Review:The Austin Chronicle weighs The Adventure of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. Shannon McCormick writes, "Christ, this thing is gorgeous…Like his American Pop Art idols and comrades, Peellaert’s work smashed distinctions between "high" and ‘low’ modes of art, drawing from the visual language of advertising, cinema, fashion, and youth culture, as well as classical and neo-classical sculpture and architecture."
• Review: Stuff I Read This Week and the Darling Dork revisit Maggie the Mechanicby Jaime Hernandez. "A large part of the fun of Love and Rockets is seeing how the Herndandezes grew and developed as creators, with experimentation giving way to clarity of vision…You can look at these characters and still recognize them perfectly well, only sans several decades of growth…there’s still plenty of greatness to be found here."
• Interview (audio): Gilbert Hernandez talks about kids' comics, Love and Rockets, plus D&Q's Marble Season on The Dinner Party.
• Plug (video): Staffer Jen Vaughn speaks very briefly on working for Fantagraphics and comics at TCAF on Comics Bulletin (I apologize for speaking in 3rd person)