Just another Sunday in the swamp. Check out the meticulous composition, line quality and lettering in this amazing Walt Kelly strip. One of 16 original Pogo pieces on display at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery’s 5th anniversary gala on Saturday, December 10. Always a highlight of the holiday season!
We've recently seen a deluge of books by earnest young rock journalists chronicling the history of Seattle's grunge movement. But nothing quite matches Peter Bagge's authentic observations during that era. Bagge's work went beyond satire to help shape the attitude and aesthetics of the only significant youth movement to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. His comix still resonate today, as a new generation of readers discover his over-the-top, yet totally accessible approach to cartooning. Bagge will sign copies of his iconic Hate comix anthologies as well as more recent work, including his rockin' all ages romp Yeah! Pick up some perfect personalized gifts for a song.
Bagge's signing will be followed by a musical performance at the Mix with Can You Imagine? This mostly female pop combo is eerily reminiscent of the intergalactic rock group depicted in Yeah! Michelle, Rachel and Sue are joined by Bagge and legendary musician and producer Steve Fisk, combining to form a fairly amazing and unexpected delight.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110.
A fitting Pogo sentiment on a day after elections. The original art from this strip will be on display at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery along with 15 others for "Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly." The show opens on Saturday, December 10 — the centerpiece of our festive 5th anniversary gala. Pogo party, indeed!
As we were preparing for the art show, I thought it'd be fun to chat with the organizers of Short Run -- that would be, Martine Workman , Kelly Froh, Jenny Gialenes, Eroyn Franklin -- about the inaugural event:
So, how did the idea of Short Run come together?
Martine: I've been going to comics events since 2004, even though I don't really make comics. I always wanted to attend an event that welcomed all sorts of makers and small publishers of comics, writing, poetry, zines, and artist books. Last year Eroyn saw my work and contacted me out of the blue since we were both publishing our own books in Seattle. Our friendship grew out of conversations about self publishing, art, craftsmanship, and wanting to create a community for ourselves. Around this time, Profanity Hill was up and running for a bit, and it was exciting and surprising to see so much local work being made. After talking to my pal Jenny, who works in literary event promotion and moonlights as a zinester, it seemed possible to bring the self publishers of our region together by organizing a small press fest! She came up with the name -- which I love! -- and agreed to help coordinate the event. Kelly, a true blue mini-comix maker and fantastic organizer, joined us soon after and rounded out the group. We've had a lot of fun and I feel really lucky we work so well together as a team.
Jenny: The first night Martine and I spoke about Short Run, we were talking about the need for this kind of event - I had just come back from SF Zine Fest and felt like I found my mission in life. There was this sense of community there that I had only seen small glimpses of in Seattle.
What do you see as the main focus of Short Run?
Eroyn: Short Run hopes to extend Seattle's exposure to the small press world that exists within and around it. We want to expand the audience for small press work and let artists engage directly with the people who like what they do. Short Run will build on the small press community that we do have and foster communication between artists who work in different mediums and styles. As a group we don't commit to any particular medium or aesthetic -- we are not a comic-con or a craft fair or a zine festival but we encompass aspects of all of these because we think they can all be engaging.
How do you define what is "small press" to you?
Kelly: Small press, in regards to what you will see at Short Run, are hand-made, self-published, “short run” art books, comics, zines, and literary works. You’re going to see a lot of work that has been photocopied, screen-printed, side-stitched, glued, covered in gold leaf, stencil-cut, and folded in ways you can’t conceive of! Many of the artists and writers have had one or more of their books “professionally” published, or hope to some day, but Short Run’s heart is the home made.
Even though Fantagraphics won't have a table, several of our artists will be in attendance... like Megan Kelso! How did you get Megan involved?
Kelly: We are totally excited that Michael Dowers will be at Short Run! We don’t think mini-comix ever went away, but the people creating them scattered and many new comic artists were not aware of any kind of “scene”. Seattle does not have a Fallout Comix anymore, or a Confounded Books, or even a Pilot Books. Besides a few dusty spin racks, there is no physical hub for selling and sharing mini-comics. There are lone creators and drawing groups all over Seattle that meet on different nights in difference places, and mini-comics are being made.
Eroyn: The capability to self publish is more attainable than ever and people are definitely taking advantage of new technologies and affordable printing to produce great work.
Eroyn: Along with these stores and a few independent distros like Jason T. Miles’ Profanity Hill, we hope to help foster underground press in Seattle.
And, finally, what sort of future do you guys envision for Short Run? Do you hope to keep it small and local? Or will it eventually be the Seattle-version of an APE or Stumptown?
Jenny: I would like to see Short Run grow into itself organically. Big is not necessarily better - unless there is a solid community there providing the support. It's the difference between a stadium concert and going to see a local band at your favorite club - both have equal measure, they are just two very different experiences.
Kelly: It was our experiences at these larger festivals that helped us to decide what we did and didn’t want to be. We want to always be free to the public, and we want to always have low cost tables. Being local was really important to us as well, and one aim of Short Run was to draw out first-time tablers and try to reach people who had maybe shied away from other larger conventions. Looking over our exhibitor list, you will see that we have a lot of exhibitors from Portland. We can learn a lot from the comics community that they have built but Seattle has its own history of alternative cartoonists, and we need to grow from there. Short Run not only has a few of these “legends” of small press in attendance, but we have a ton of more obscure artists and writers, not only from comics, but from zines, animation, and the literary world. It’s a great showcase of artists and writers and we are really excited to share Short Run with Seattle!
Short Run exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery features small press comics and art by emerging regional artists.
In this age of ubiquitous digital media and gadget fatigue, it's refreshing to find a community of artists working with their hands to produce tactile works of art on paper. Such is the case with the young cartoonists in the Short Run exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. This art party on Saturday, November 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM follows the Short Run Small Press Fest at the Vera Project at the Seattle Center earlier that day.
The Short Run art show, curated by Kelly Froh, features original comix art, illustration and book works by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. A selection of publications by these, and other local artists, will also be available.
The public is invited to meet these remarkable artists at a festive reception on Saturday, November 12 at 6:00 PM. Entertainment will be provided by DJ/musician "Brainfruit." This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.
SHORT RUN: Small Press Fest After-Party & Art Show
Featuring artwork by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. Curated by Kelly Froh
Saturday, November 12, 6:00 - 9:00 P M. Show continues through December 10, 2011
It's official! Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will be celebrating its 5th anniversary on Saturday, December 10 with an exhibition of Walt Kelly's original Pogo artwork. Look for a dozen dailies and several Sundays along with some appropriately swampy musical entertainment. Save the date and make your way to the bookstore where you will, indeed, be "confronted with insurmountable opportunities."
* Other People's Publications ** Yeah, You Know Me.
It's been a long time since our last edition of "Down With OPP," so for those of us who've forgotten (me), it's a column where we take a look at books from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle!
And, of course, what could inspire me to revive the column faster than a new title from the great Lynda Barry!!! I was beyond the moon to get to the store yesterday and see we had Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything (Drawn & Quarterly) in stock!
And here's Lynda's take on a ZAP Comix cover, wowie! The book begins with Lynda talking about her introduction to comics, which I loved reading since she was one of MY introductions. I fell in love with her work from the back pages of the alt-weeklies, and, um... may have collaged some of them into my zines in the '90s. (Sorry, Lynda...)
ANYWAY! The book then goes on to collect her very first Ernie Pook's Comeeks from the late '70s/early '80s, to a strip called Two Sisters that I had not even heard of before! It also includes some mail art and comics that Matt Groening sent her in the late '70s, including some collaborations with Gary Panter, eee!
It ends with a reprint of Girls + Boys and Big Ideas, as seen in the 2010 Bumbershoot Counterculture Comix exhibit, curated by Fantagraphics' own Larry Reid!
Larry and Lynda go way back in the Seattle underground comix scene, so swing by the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery and ask him all about the good 'ol days! Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume One of Everything, and a coupla other Barry titles, are currently in stock 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. See you there!
If you happened to miss the delightful and informative slideshow talk the wonderful Trina Robbins gave about the great Nell Brinkley at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery back on October 8 (for instance, if you were at the Art Spiegelman talk that happened at the same time, or if you don't live nearby), never fear, our good friend and The Comics Journal contributor Gavin Lees captured it on video — watch above or over at his website Graphic Eye.
I am personally so over-the-moon-excited about this weekend's event, and frankly, you should be, too! We are thrilled to present artist & women's comix "herstorian" Trina Robbins at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this Saturday, October 8!
Join us this Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 PM in the Microsoft Auditorium of the Seattle Public Library central branch as we welcome Craig Thompson discussing his latest graphic novel Habibi. Don't miss this opportunity to meet one of the most celebrated cartoonists in recent years as he presents his highly anticipated new work. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid will introduce the artist and offer a selection of Thompson's work for sale following his slide talk. Admission is free, but you may want to arrive a few minutes early to guarantee seating. The library is located at 1000 Fourth Avenue in the heart of downtown Seattle. Phone 206.386.4636.
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