416-page two-color 5.75" x 5.75" hardcover • $28.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-737-6
Summer vacation is here and Tammy Pierce is back with more sometimes ordinary, often humiliating, occasionally poignant, and usually hilarious exploits! Her hopes, dreams, agonies, and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson's lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials — too much mascara, leg warmers with heels, and huge hair, etc. — as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases). Unlovable addresses the mysteries of high school through Tammy's naivete; girls and women in particular will find much that resonates, but men will also relate to Unlovable's universal humor and loser cast of characters. Tammy's life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly endearing and hilarious.
144-page full-color/b&w 7.5" x 9.875" softcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-740-6
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.
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!
At 1:00 PM, Larry will host the panel “Pop Goes Seattle,” featuring some of the principals of the early Sub Pop period including founder Bruce Pavitt, cartoonist Peter Bagge, photographer Charles Peterson, and author and musician Danny Bland. At 2:00 PM, Bland will read passages from his debut novel In Case We Die, a fictional account of the grunge era in Seattle. Danny will be joined by guest reader Greg Dulli, who will later perform music outside the store. A limited number of advance copies of the book will be available at the reading. (more details)
What more do I even need to say here?! The great Esther Pearl Watson + something called "The Lexicon of Sexicana" = your guaranteed attendance!
Oh, fine, more details...
The Ladydrawers Comics Collective is an unofficially affiliated group of women, men, transgender, and non-binary gender folk who research, perform, and publish comics and texts about how economics, race, sexuality, and gender impact the comics industry, other media, and our culture at large. This summer, they have launched SEX. MONEY. RACE. GENDER., an exhibition and workshop series at the A+D Gallery in Chicago.
And, on Thursday, July 11th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, Esther will join sexual health educator and critic Terri Kapsalis to create a work exploring sexual health based on Mort Walker’s satirical look at comics devices for cartoonists, The Lexicon of Comicana. They’ll look at cartoons from around the world with an eye to the formation of bodies, sex, and gender in order to collect this international set of new cartoon symbols. Perhaps they’ll even coin new symbols and terms that will one day be found in dictionaries!
I told you, this event = your guaranteed attendance. The A+D Gallery is located at 619 South Wabash, in the Art + Design Department at Columbia College Chicago.
Hey, you're a busy person. We get that. Or maybe you and your sweetie boo said you weren't doing anything but then you found a six pack of that craft brew you love so much or the full Battlestar Galactica series on DVD waiting for you. Well, we've got some cards for you to print out fast at work, while everyone is reading the cards their moms mailed to the office. They aren't going to save you but its better than handing someone a Slim Jim you bent in the shape of a heart while filling up your car at the gas station. Or is it? (Valentine above uses panels from Prison Pit 4 by Johnny Ryan)
• Seattle, WA: Comics collective Intruder will be launching the fifth volume of their quarterly newspaper at Cairo, featuring a cover by our very own Tony Ong, with comics inside by staffer Jason T. Miles, freelancer David Lasky, and former staffer Alexa Koenings! (more info)
The amazing Esther Pearl Watson will be among the hundreds of artists exhibiting at the L.A. Art Book Fair, opening Thursday, January 31st at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA!
Non-profit organization Printed Matter presents this unique event for artists' books, art catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines. There will be art installations, and even a "Zine World," a super-sized subsection of the L.A. Art Book Fair, featuring zinesters from home and abroad, together with three zine exhibitions.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the zines that Esther will be bringing:
(That Garbage zine is a collaboration with her also-awesome husband, artist Mark Todd!)
This event is free and open to the public, and runs through Sunday, February 3rd. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is located at 152 North Central Avenue.
While trampsing around the suburbs and backwaters of Texas, I happened to find the majestic Webb Gallery in Waxahachie for there lay a treasure trove of Esther Pearl Watson paintings. With fading painted trim in still vibrant oranges and teals matched with iron statues and odd toys from people long since dead, it reminds you of an open range and that mix of culture which is a side-step from Southwestern.
Watson's paintings, unlike her Unlovable comics Fantagraphis printed, are deeply personal and autographical. As the daughter of the local color, Watson watched her father build several large-scale UFOs. Out on the lawn.
Bitter-sweet nostaglic scenes in dirty brown skies and abandoned women's clinics, Watson paints a darker time in her childhood. But that ever-hovering presence, the idea of 'what-if', the UFO. (They Might Be Giants might have called it her 'hovering sombrero')
Compared to Watson's Unloveable, which also runs in Bust Magazine, the unapolagetic Tammy Pierce is nearly the opposite of these quiet moments with tension bubbling under the surface. Each canvas, most of them wooden, are akin to a diary page created in paint, dirt and the occasional glitter patch instead of words. Notes are scribbled in the corners of most of the paintings to enhance or detail the scene. Often a new town, a new landscape to explore.
Details of the paintings. They practically vibrate.
So all these gorgeous paintings hang on the high-ceilinged walls of the Webb Gallery amongst their antique carnival posters, including Coney Island originals. The perfect place for the painted recollections of hazy memories. Something almost most too incredible to believe.
The Webb Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 or by appointment, (972) 938-8085. A quick 30 minute drive from downtown Dallas or 2 hours up from Austin, be sure to see it! 209 West Franklin Street Waxahachie, TX 75165. The current exhibition by Esther Pearl Watson will be up through January 20th, 2013.