For over thirty years Nell Brinkley's beautiful girls pirouetted, waltzed, vamped and shimmied their way through the pages of William Randolph Hearst's newspapers, captivating the American public with their innocent sexuality. Accomplished cartoonist and women's comix "herstorian" Trina Robbins examines the work of this unjustly forgotten artist in The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons from 1913 - 1940. Robbins will present the work of this remarkable illustrator with an exhibition, slide talk and book signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, October 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
A brash Nell Brinkley arrived in New York in 1907 at the tender age of 22. Within a year, her work began to appear newspapers illustrating her high society gossip column. Her cartoon serials popularized the bobbed hairstyle and flapper fashions of the era, while reflecting period art nouveau and deco aesthetics. Such was her influence that the Ziegfeld Follies costumed their dancers as "Brinkley Girls." Pop music heralded her creations and a line of hair products carried her name. As the war years approached, her comic strip serials evolved from naive romantic themes like "Billy and Betty and Their Love Through the Ages" to presenting women in less traditional roles like "Heroines of Today." Championing the cause of better pay and conditions for workingwomen, Brinkley became an early archetype of the contemporary American woman.
Trina Robbins has long championed the work of women cartoonists. Her early underground work appeared in the groundbreaking Wimmen's Comix anthology. In 1969 she co-created the character Vampirella for Forrest Ackerman and later collaborated with Colleen Doran on a provocative Wonder Woman series. She has written several volumes on the role of women in comix including From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines. Robbins co-founded Friends of Lulu in 1994, a nonprofit organization promoting women's readership of comics and increasing profile in the comix profession. In addition to her appearance at Fantagraphics Bookstore, Robbins will be a guest at Geek Girl Con held at the Seattle Center October 8 and 9.
The "Brinkley Girls" exhibition includes a dozen Brinkley comics pages, as well as Brinkley-illustrated sheet music, hair accessories, photographs, and related ephemera. Robbins will discuss Nell Brinkley's fascinating career followed by an informal reception and book signing from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on Saturday, October 8 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110.
This event coincides with the lively Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
A report released this week by Auburn University shows that the oil unleashed on the Gulf of Mexico by the BP oil spill is not degrading and poses a long-term threat to coastal ecosystems. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is the subject of a new graphic novel by journalist Steve Duin and cartoonist Shannon Wheeler. On Saturday, October 1, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will host a reception for Duin and editor Michael Rosen where the public will get the first glance at this remarkable new book from Fantagraphics, Oil and Water.
On a trip to examine the aftermath of the BP oil spill, ten friends from Oregon discover that "Oil and Water" is just the first of many insoluble contradictions. Between the tarred sands of Grand Isle and the fouled waters of the Louisiana bayou, they discover that Gulf Coast residents are economically dependent upon the very industry that is wreaking havoc on their environment. In the shadow of the greatest ecological disaster of our time, they are forced to reassess their roles as witness, critic and environmental steward.
In this 120-page graphic novel — written by Steve Duin, a columnist for The Oregonian, and illustrated by award-winning New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler — readers will tour the shark-pocked beach at Grand Isle with the local head of Homeland Security; step aboard the crabbing boat of a 20-year-old Mississippian who works 16-hour days and spends his nights dreaming of M.I.T.; enter the "Hot Zone" where volunteers work desperately to save brown pelicans drenched in British petroleum; and hear residents describe what happens to their livelihood when 200 million gallons of oil flood the scene. The readers' perspective on what hope and what mission remains along a ravaged coastline will be changed as irrevocably as that of these ten Oregonians.
Duin and Rosen will conduct a workshop at the Northwest Conference for Teaching Social Justice in Seattle before the reception at Fantagraphics Bookstore. The public is invited to meet these activists and informally discuss their observations from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A limited number of advance copies of Oil and Water will be available for sale. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Mark your calendars for these exciting events the first week of October: Wednesday, October 5 at 7:00 PM, we co-present Craig Thompson discussing his much-anticipated new book Habibi in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library central branch. Thompson's talk will be followed by a book signing with copies of Habibi available for purchase; and don't miss comix legend Trina Robbins at the bookstore on Saturday, October 8 at 6:00 PM presenting The Brinkley Girls with a Nell Brinkley slide talk, art exhibition and book signing, in association with that weekend's Geek Girl Con.
And the evening only intensifies in power with the addition of special guest, L.A.-based artist Tom Neely, who is currently on a west coast tour for his brand-new "painted novel," The Wolf!
I got my first glimpse of The Wolf at the San Diego Comic Con this past summer. Oh, Tom didn't have a booth, no siree. He was strolling down the aisles, selling the thing straight out of his wheeled suitcase. I'm sorry, but it doesn't get more punk rock than that.
And then we started flipping through it... holy hell. The artwork was so dark and intense and beautiful. I may have caught our warehouse champ Ajax wiping a tear from his eye. (He's gonna kill me for sharing that.) (Okay, in his defense, maybe it was a flake of dried blood.)
The juxtaposition of these two diverse individuals appearing at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on the same night will be a powerful one indeed!
The event starts this Saturday, September 24th at 6:00 PM. Warren Bernard will give a slideshow presentation, followed by a video installation by Tom Neely. Both gentlemen will sign their books throughout the following reception until 8:00 PM.
DRAWING POWER: Curator Warren Bernard discusses the history of cartoon advertising at Fantagraphics Bookstore on September 24.
Special guest artist Tom Neely presents The Wolf.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes two diverse professionals in the field of comix for an extraordinary event on Saturday, September 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Editor and curator Warren Bernard will discuss cartoons in the service of commerce in connection with his new book and exhibition Drawing Power: A Compendium of Cartoon Advertising. He'll be joined by provocative contemporary cartoonist and visual artist Tom Neely presenting his new graphic novel The Wolf.
Drawing Power examines the use of comic strip characters and cartoonists themselves as pitchmen for commercial goods beginning in the late 19th century. The colorful book and accompanying exhibition survey the American institution of cartoon advertising featuring comic strips, commercials, slogans, and merchandise employed to appeal to a broad range of consumers. Comics historian Warren Bernard has an extensive background researching and archiving material for important books, exhibitions, and institutions, including the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Bernard also serves as the Executive Director of the annual Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, MD.
Los Angeles artist Tom Neely will appear to read from and sign his new graphic novel, The Wolf. The book tells a simple love story, but one woven with surrealist horror, werewolf lore and its own brand of nightmare logic. With The Wolf, Neely progresses from the traditional cartooning style to a form that blends a fine arts approach to imagery. Neely's paintings and illustrations have been featured in galleries, magazines and literary journals, as well as records, posters and CDs for bands like The Melvins, ISIS and Wolves in the Throne Room, among others. Earlier this year, he garnered attention as one of the authors of the cult hit mini-comic Henry & Glenn Forever. Neely's self-published novel, The Blot, won an Ignatz Award in 2007 and made it onto several of the industry's "best of" lists that year, including "Best Comics of the Decade" in The Comics Journal.
Drawing Power exhibition reception and slide discussion with Warren Bernard Special guest Tom Neely presenting The Wolf Saturday, September 24, 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
We were very fortunate to have directors David P. Moore and Audry Mandelbaum in attendance, and you can check out an interview David did with Dan Morrill of ComicsForge.com below (or on YouTube)! It's a great look around at our bookstore & gallery, and there's even a lo-fi preview of Tony's interview at the end:
Come visit the Fantagraphics Bookstore and get hooked on comix yourself! We're open daily from 11:30 to 8:00 PM, and open on Sundays until 5:00 PM. You can find us at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.
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