Our first signing of the day featured Johnny Ryan signing the brand new Prison Pit: Book 2 and Esther Pearl Watson signing both volumes of Unlovable and working artwork for on her top-secret new graphic novel in progress. The Johnny logo on the whiteboard is by me, but then I had the better idea of having the artists sign themselves in, so Esther's is by Esther.
• Review: "In Weathercraft, his first foray into graphic-novel territory, Seattle denizen Jim Woodring employs his repertory troupe of ambiguous, liminal characters — Frank, Manhog, Pupshaw, and Pushpaw — to tell the kind of Pilgrim's Progress tale that David Lynch might have conjured up if he were a cartoonist. ... Impermanence, the conundrum of physical senses that guide and ensnare at the same time, the challenge of a rational response to an irrational universe — all this and more await the returning fan or the open-minded acolyte in Woodring's best work yet. And for an artist of his caliber, that's saying something." – Damian Van Denburgh, Critical Mob
• Review: "Loaded with hipster irony, profanity and long digressive conversations, it’s a loving tribute to half-repudiated childhood pleasures. ... At times, Dungeon Quest captures the anything-goes wanderlust of Calvin & Hobbes — if Calvin’s fantasies were real, set in rundown Los Angeles neighborhoods and loaded with swearing." – Jason Thompson, The Comics Journal
• Review: "The relationship stuff all rings true, and when it gets weird at the end, it doesn’t seem random and arbitrary, and that’s a difficult trick to pull off. ... I found Werewolves [of Montpellier] to be a delightful read; no profound life lessons were learned, but Jason’s storytelling is first-rate and life lessons are overrated anyway." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose
• Reviewer:On his blog, Jason reviews the film Léon Morin, prêtre
• Review: "Deep within the barroom psychosis, Lane looks into the abyss and thinks about spitting into it. The drive that leads to destruction can also be a powerful and satisfying personal experience. While each story in Abandoned Cars ties together in a thick knot of dread, the best story sees Lane go on a blatantly autobiographical adventure, and head out for an adventure by jumping on trains." – Bob Temuka, The Tearoom of Despair
Commemorate the holiday with a bang at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Monday, July 5. Lovely Los Angeles-based UNLOVABLE artist Esther Pearl Watson will appear with her husband and collaborator Mark Todd from 1:00 to 4:00 PM and we’ll be hosting a festive urban barbeque. Best of all, everything in the store is on sale 20% to 50% off for one-day-only! All day long!
What better way to conclude a holiday weekend than with complimentary hot dogs, baked beans, cold beverages, and cheap comic books! Don’t miss this opportunity to meet these accomplished young artists and stock up on essential summer reading at bargain prices.
The store will be closed on Sunday, July 4, but open regular hours 11:30 to 8:00 PM on Monday for this spectacular event. And mark your calendars for Saturday evening, July 10 with the enchanting Dame Darcy debuting her new MEAT CAKE collection.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes the lovely and talented Esther Pearl Watson and her artist cohort Mark Todd on Monday, July 5 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Watson will sign copies of her amazing UNLOVABLE collections, among our very favorite titles at the bookstore.
Guests will enjoy an urban barbeque with complimentary hot dogs, beans, and cold beverages in addition to an array of Todd and Esther's affordable books and art. Expect a few surprises as well. Don't miss your chance to meet these extraordinary artists and have a meal on us. What better way to spend a lazy day off?
Join Esther Pearl Watson at Skylight Books in Los Angeles on Friday, July 9 at 7:30 PM for a signing and what is sure to be a hilarious and delightful discussion with what Esther promises to be "an awesome slideshow of inspiration, sketches and behind-the-scenes craziness" for Unlovable Vols. 1 & 2. More info here. (This is a rescheduling of the event that was originally slated for May 12.)
Esther Pearl Watson has a solo art show of her paintings, with an adjoining exhibit of work by her fella/partner in crime Mark Todd, June 1-26, 2010 at Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco, with an opening reception on Thursday, June 10. More info at Happenstand.
This coming weekend, May 22-23, 2010, the Silver Lake Jubilee in Los Angeles is hosting "Jubilee Comix," a comics showcase featuring live readings at El Cid both mornings beginning at 10am featuring Tom Neely, Robert Goodin, Jesse Moynihan, Ted Stearn, David King and Malachi Ward. Afterward, all of them, plusTim Hensley and Olga Volozova, will be signing in the Literary Village. And Esther Pearl Watson is just one of many comics and small-press artists exhibiting in the "We Come in Peace" collaborative "zine fort" installation. Sounds like a can't-miss!
Esther Pearl Watson's Unlovable Vol. 1 received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in their "Illustration 52: Sequential and Uncommissioned" annual exhibit in NYC... way back in January! I don't know why the heck we didn't report it at the time — that's a pretty big deal! I only just found out because Eric posted this picture of the medal on his Flickr page:
• Reviews: In three separate posts, Andrew Wheeler of The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. looks at three of the Jason books which are compiled in Almost Silent: Meow, Baby! ("Jason knows the wellsprings of comedy: sex and death, embarrassment and familiarity. And he mixes and matches those elements, using his iconic cast, for a hundred and fifty wry and deeply amusing pages. ...a great introduction and a decently comprehensive catalog of his style, subjects, and strengths"), You Can't Get There from Here ("It's the touching story of Frankenstein's Monster and His Bride... one of the better Jason books; it has an inevitability to it, but it's not entirely bleak..."), and Tell Me Something ("a sad nearly-wordless noir story about some people and how none of them get what they want").
• Review: "...I’m happy to have this excellent collection [of Blazing Combat], handsomely packaged..., and all in one place for a good evening’s read. ... For lovers of great art, lovingly rendered in black and white and grey ink wash..., this is as good as it gets... This is one collection of war comics that even those not inclined to care about the genre can appreciate, and now it’s more affordable than ever." – Johnny Bacardi, Popdose
• Review: "Bottomless Belly Button is a 720-page family drama filled with neurosis, romance, mystery, comedy, fond memories, bad parenting, teen angst and sexual awakening. The book is big but not overwhelming, and sad with out being tragic. This is a graphic novel of the tallest order, from one of the most unique voices in the medium today." – Steve Ponzo, Multiversity Comics
• Review: "[Castle Waiting Vol. 1] is a massive and stunning work of art, from the production values by Fantagraphics to the beautiful comprehensive work inside. ... Not unlike Fables, Medley’s Castle Waiting tackles traditional fairy tales with inspired re-invention and especially to my liking, is that it does so with a bit of a feminist slant. The tales inside Castle Waiting are extremely female friendly and are something I’d love to see offered up to every little boy and girl as the required alternative to our more standard ‘happily ever after’ tales. ... The illustration... is flat out phenomenal. ...[T]he attention to detail, the consistency (every panel is picture perfect), the clarity of story telling, and the character design – down to the smallest facial expression, is just top notch. ... One of the best things about Medley’s Castle Waiting is the wonderful cohesiveness... It feels absolutely like a singular and uncorrupted vision in a way that few books manage. And I strongly believe that it is that uncorrupted and singular vision that makes this book so strong." – Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources
• Review: "It’s difficult not to be charmed by [Castle Waiting Vol. 1] as the stories are light, funny and entertaining. ... It’s a fun read. It’s well and clearly written. The art is top-notch for being b&w. ... This one comes recommended for those looking to get into comics and not knowing where to start, or those who enjoy comics from time to time but don’t want to invest in some huge story." – Emily Dresner, /project/multiplexer
• Profile: "It’s easy to fall in love with Jaime [Hernandez]’s characters, not only because of their obvious features, but also from their lifelike gestures and expressions, naturalistic in everyday scenes and exaggerated in comedic and suspenseful ones. His teachers, like Archie Comics artists Bob Bollings, Dan DeCarlo, and Harry Lucey, were experts in gestural drawings with their simplified cartooning. It’s a trait Jaime Hernandez has successfully adopted and made his own. 'I’m just happy that I’m still allowed to do comics. They’re still letting me because they’re paying my rent.'" – Christopher Irving, Graphic NYC (photos by Seth Kushner)
• Interview: The PsiOp Radio podcast talked to Hotwire editor/cartoonist Glenn Head on Sunday evening — download an MP3 here (they warn that there are some audio issues in the first hour)
• Plug: "[Unlovable] Volume II has just been released from Fantagraphics Books for your perusing pleasure and it doesn't disappoint. ... I can't ever get enough of Tammy Pierce, the awkward teenager that Esther Pearl Watson has brought to life over the years..." – Meighan O'Toole, My Love for You Is a Stampede of Horses (unfortunately the event mentioned in the post is canceled)
• Plug: "I'm all about vintage. Especially vintage comics. Fantagraphics Books wants you to like vintage comics as well and are releasing Our Gang Vol. 4 (1946-1947), a vintage 1946-1947 comic in a new TPB." – Omnicomic
• Shout-out:Jaleen Grove, who gave the talk about Russell Patterson at TCAF last weekend, gives her report from the festival with an important correction