Since its inception in February 2008, the Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack has warmed the hearts of Seattle art patrons. This lovely showcase of adventurous visual and performing arts enters its fourth year on February 12, just in time for Valentine's. What better way to celebrate this romantic occasion than with boisterous revelry in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown industrial arts quarter?
Among the programming on February 12: Rat City Brass in concert at the 9 Lb. Hammer; the first annual "Freakfest" at the Mix featuring Ramona the Band, burlesque acts, DJs and more; "The Chair Project" at Seattle Design Center with works by Laura Ward, Steve Jensen, Chris McMullen, Larry Calkins, Tom DeGroot, Piper O'Neill, Romson Bustillo, Brian Murphy, Jared Rue and Judith Kindler; "Lovesick" at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery with recent works by Bureau of Drawers cartoonist collective including Breanne Boland, Nikki Burch, Tom Dougherty, Scott Faulkner, Billis Helg, Tyler Hill, David Lasky, Calamity Jon Morris, Marc Palm, Sean Robinson, Mark Stockbridge, Ed Trumbule, Adam Watson, Dalton Webb, and Stevie VanBronkhorst; drawing and paintings with sculptural inclusions, found objects, and fiber by Joseph Larkin at Nautilus studio; a group exhibition at Calamity Jane's with Richard Olmsted, Micheal Shephard and Anne O' Neill; painter and illustrator Anson Maddocks at Krab Jab studio; a blacksmithing demonstration by Andy Blakney at Firelight Forge and other open studios in the Equinox building; the Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center commemorates its fourth anniversary with resident artists Angelina Torrentino, Ed Lebel, Tiphoni, Lee Holcomb, Loie Gong, Breinna Hartman and Ted Wallace; Fonda La Catrina, Georgetown's soon-to-open Mexican restaurant hosts an exhibition by Angielena Vitale Chamberlain with the premiere of large paintings, live music, and DJs; a group show of heart art curated by Marq Dean, Amanda Dellinger, and Mary Enslow at All City Coffee; ArtCore Studios presents a new series of stencil paintings by Sullivan Giles focusing on the machines used by tattoo artists; Georgetown Trailer Park Mall features new work and live painting by muralist Henry Ward and friends along with a romantic collection of vintage trailers full of gifts, and sweet & savories by guest culinary artists Street Treats & Fusion on the Run; new works by Shawn Zeiger at the Firm; and the usual assortment of exotic characters and cuisine in one of Seattle's most colorful neighborhoods.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly production of the Georgetown Merchants Association. For more information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid. For a printable participants map visit: www.georgetownartattack.com .
Following a fantastic holiday season — (thank you all very much!) — Fantagraphics Bookstore has undergone a minor makeover. Drop by to check out the great new displays, some awesome new arrivals, and view the amazing art exhibition "Medieval Thinkers."
Look forward to more phenomenal events in the coming weeks, including a Valentine's themed group art show by the Bureau of Drawers on Saturday, February 12 and the first in a series of "Comics Talks" on Wednesday, February 23 featuring Aaron Renier in conversation with Jason Shiga. Details to come.
If you were one of the fans crushed in the crowd when Charles Burns visited the store back in November, then hopefully you caught his discussion about the similarities in his latest novel X'ed Out and Hergé's classic The Adventures of Tintin. (Ken Parille has a great run-down on those similarities on The Comics Journal blog here.)
And in a nod to the bootleg Hergé titles that float around, Burns has created his own "bootleg" of X'ed Out, re-arranging the panels and adding brand-new artwork to create Johnny 23. French publisher Le Dernier Cri printed only a few thousand copies of this one, and from what I understand, it ain't getting reprinted, so you should get yours now.
Oh, and did I mention it's written in ALIEN? 'Cause... yeah. And Burns has said, it's not a translation of the text from X'ed Out. Apparently, there are keys online somewhere, or maybe you can send some cereal box proof-of-purchases and get a decoder ring. But just think, once you learn the language, won't that look impressive on future job resumes for our eventual alien overlords?
Johnny 23, and many, many, many other Charles Burns titles, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located 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 soon!
I'm frequently invited to conduct workshops on comix as an educational tool at regional conferences of K-12 librarians, teachers, and administrators. These educators appreciate the appeal of graphic novels but sometimes lack the familiarity to employ them effectively. Here are some of the conclusions we've reached on the judicious use of comix in school.
Comix are extremely useful as a tool to address students struggling with limited literacy or English as a second language (ESL.) In remedial situations, students are reluctant to be assigned material substantially below grade level. With many comix, the age level is ambiguous, which removes the social stigma associated with reading challenges. Additionally, the illustrations assist with word identification and drive the story in an accessible fashion. Comix are considered cool in school, and can engage students at all literacy levels.
The Usagi Yojimbo series is particularly appealing in teaching both ESL and remedial readers. It's a smart, well-paced adventure story about samurai culture in 17th century feudal Japan. These books are attractive to readers of all ages without respect to gender. For adolescents in higher grades, I often suggest Blazing Combat. This anthology contains compelling war stories throughout history, including the American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Viet Nam and others. The stories have historical value and many focus on the futility of armed conflict. In addition, they feature some of the most remarkable artists in comics.
Fantagraphics Bookstore stocks dozens of comix and graphic novels suitable to students of all ages. Many of these books concern history, race and social justice, geopolitics, philosophy and other subjects common to K-12 curricula. To arrange an individual consultation or group visit to the bookstore please call Larry Reid at 206.658.0110. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. See you all soon.
* Other People's Publications ** Yeah, You Know Me.
"Down with OPP" spotlights excellent titles from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. And this week, I present to you Make Me a Womanby Vanessa Davis (Drawn & Quarterly).
This week's column ain't exactly for the ladies. I'm sure we all bought this book when it first came out, gleefully pouring over this collection of sketchbook drawings that Davis did from 2004 to 2010. Some of these stories were originally published online in a monthly column she did for Tablet magazine, but they were new to me.
No, this column is for the fellas. I see you walking by our tables of new releases, your eyes darting across the covers, and some of you seem to flinch at the exuberantly girlish cover here. Really? It makes me wanna hit you in the face with this book, and it's a $24.95 hardcover, so it's gonna sting. How's THAT for being a woman?
Davis has a wonderful drawing style, somewhere between the frame-eschewing style of Ellen Forney (and with all the similar tiny anecdotal notes!) and the energetic spirit of Julie Doucet. Some drawings are slapdash pencil sketches, while others are beautifully watercolored, with exquisite attention to floor tiles, curtains, and book spines.
And, sure, some of you boys aren't gonna appreciate the awesome way she draws clothes and hairstyles as much as I do (I reaaaally appreciate it), but there's so much more about this book to enjoy. Maybe you went to Fat Camp, too. Maybe you'll agree with her opinions on R. Crumb'sThe Book of Genesis. Maybe you can relate to her Jewish upbringing. And actually, as a woman, I couldn't relate to any of that, but I still enjoyed this book. Look, I don't pee in jars, but I still enjoyed reading Peepshow!
So, be a man, and get Make Me a Woman.
We've also got another Davis book in stock, Spaniel Rage #1 (Buenaventura Press). It, too, is a collection of diary comics and sketchbook drawings, but from 2003 to 2004. And it's softcover, so I won't hit you with it.
[Um, and that "Cheri" t-shirt on the cover of Spaniel Rage? Well, it pops-up again in Make Me a Woman, in a scene where she's drawing with Gabrielle Bell and Michel Gondry -- Yeah, don't think I didn't notice!!!]
Both Make Me a Woman and Spaniel Rage #1 are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located 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 soon!
* Other People's Publications ** Yeah, You Know Me.
We're introducing a new column to the FLOG this year, spotlighting some excellent titles from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! (And spotlighting my dorky predilection for song titles from the 90's.)
Subtitled "Comics From Bangkok to Belgrade," Gazeta, Vol. 1debuts its series with a collection of artists from places I've never heard of. (Zagreb? Tampere? I need to get out more.)
Our store manager/curator Larry Reid recommended this one to me, pointing out the cover by the great Ron Regé, Jr. (who, speaking of 90's music, I discovered "back in the day" through the amazing band The Swirlies).
Admittedly, two of my favorite pieces come from the more well-known artists, Dylan Horrocks (whose story "Cornucopia" is so sweet, I may have swooned), and the aforemention Regé. Regé's piece is one of the longer ones in the collection, and was inspired by the writings of P.B. Randolph (the, uh, founder of "sex magic"!), and the teachings of Neville Goddard. Even though he didn't write the philosophies himself, the story is pure uplifting, transcendent Regé.
I may have swooned again.
The collection also introduced me to some artists I was unfamiliar with, including Portugese artist André Lemos, whose stark drawing style reminded me of our own Jason T. Miles, and the beautiful, haunting pencil drawings of Amanda Vähämäki, whose name has three umlauts, so clearly she's hardcore!
Gazeta, Vol. 1 is currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located 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 soon!
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack rings in the New Year with a festive celebration of visual and performing arts throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Please join us on Saturday, January 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for this colorful cultural event.
Among the highlights of the January 8 Art Attack: Our uniquely amazing Georgetown Trailer Park Mall includes the Comet Lodge Mercantile Trailer hosting the "Le Marche' Noir" trunk show, a collection of upcycled garments created by Parisian artist & designer Elisabeth Vedrine, and the Lula B Lightning Trailer presenting limited edition "Strange Religion" chap books by Amanda B'Hymer, among other trailer park attractions; the grand re-openng of Georgetown Yoga at 5519 Airport Way S., with arts and crafts, prizes, snacks and beverages; Heather Hudson showing her exquisite illustrations at Krab Jab Studio; illustrative art up by Julie Baroh and Mark Tedin at Calamity Jane's; Michael Shephard's bizarre mixed media sculptures and paintings at Nautilus Studio; "Medieval Thinkers" comix art exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; and, weather permitting, an outdoor spectacle of New Year cheer.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants Association. For more information contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid at numbers above. For a printable map of participants, visit: www.georgetownartattack.com.
While you're at the store, get the gift of music. Our neighbors at Georgetown Records will give $1.00 off every purchase to Fantagraphics Bookstore customers. Simply show your receipt and save a buck!
Vintage vinyl and comic books. What else could you possibly ask for? Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, along with Georgetown Records, is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's groovy Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. We're open on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve until 4:00 PM. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day. Phone 206.658.0110. See you soon.
As the year draws to an end, allow me the indulgence of fawning over Fantagraphics.
FOUR COLOR FEAR is a phenomenal book. The wonderful pre-code horror comics inside provide colorful context to a wider understanding of mid-century America. I'm a child of the fifties and these amazing comic books still speak to me in a meaningful way. Our country was caught in the grip of a Cold War with perceived enemies that threatened the end of civilization. As impressionable kids, there were daily reminders of this terrifying reality — and we all felt totally helpless. Maybe in some subconscious way these horror stories were manifestations of this pervasive sense of fear. I vaguely recall the irony of indignant politicians and preachers railing against comic books when our very existence was at stake. As a result of this hysteria, I wasn't allowed to read comic books of any sort, which naturally increased their allure. I was seduced. My innocence lost.
FOUR COLOR FEAR is not only a fun read, it's essential to an appreciation of American popular culture in the last half of the 20th century. Truly remarkable. Must buy now.
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