• List:Details magazine names Ghost World #10 on The 25 Greatest Gen X Books of All Time: "This caustically funny duo-tone tale follows the iconic cat-eyed adolescent Enid Coleslaw in her quest to find meaning, or at least cruel humor, in an age where everything's disposable."
• Review: "Strange Suspense collects dozens of Ditko stories from the 1950’s... Almost a decade before Ditko moved to Marvel, these stories bear his unmistakable style. His fine line work and flair for the abstract that would serve him so well on Doctor Strange particularly, is on full display. ... If you only know Ditko for his work at Marvel or later at DC, here is the chance to explore Early Ditko, unconstrained by editors or the Comics Code. While all of this work is marvelous, clearly Ditko is best at home in horror where he could let his imagination run wild, creating monsters and demons and the things that go bump in the night. Rediscover Ditko today!" – Tim Janson, Newsarama
• Review: "Brian Kane, author of the [Definitive Prince Valiant] Companion and surely the world’s foremost authority on the strip and its creator, Hal Foster, has once again done a herculean amount of work, and Fantagraphics has once again clothed that work in a sturdy, pretty volume. Prince Valiant hasn’t been treated this well since the ersatz King of England sang his praises. Those unfamiliar with the character – a young man who finds adventure, fame, and even love at the court of the legendary King Arthur – will find here all the background information they could ever want... But even long-time Prince Valiant fans will find plenty to fascinate them in this volume." – Khalid Ponte, Open Letters
• Review: "Delphine is a morbid interpretation of the symbology of fairy tales resounding with echoes of unrequited love and abandonment. This is perhaps Sala’s darkest and most intricate story ever – impressive in its nuance and ever shifting emotions. One can only hope that it is not ignored." – Ng Suat Tong, The Comics Journal
• Interview: From TCJ.com: "Every weekday from now until December 25, we’ll be posting a conversation between cartoonists from The Comics Journal #300, complete and online! In today’s installment, it’s a chat between L’Association publisher Jean-Christophe Menu and Kramers Ergot publisher Sammy Harkham."
Participants include artist Lisa Petrucci of Something Weird, the world's premier purveyor of psychotronic film (and the subject of a new art book KICKASS KUTIES from Dark Horse); cartoonist Marc Palm of the exalted Scarecrow Video; Seattle Times pop culture correspondent Mark Rahner and Robert Horton, movie critic at KUOW-FM and film curator for the Frye Art Museum, who together write the acclaimed horror comic ROTTEN. The panel will be moderated by PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE editor Jacques Boyreau. The panel will be followed by a reception and book signing.
Don't you dare miss either of these events or you'll regret it to the day you die and we'll be forced to taunt you with the infantile chant "Neener, neener, neener - we told you so." Sure, it's unbecoming, but sometimes we can't help ourselves.
[Ed. note: Click on the mural image above to download a high-res version you can use as a desktop background or what-have-you!]
Do a good deed, and then gamble with the results: Donate $20 to The Stranger's annual "Strangercrombie" charity fundraising effort and get a set of Stranger playing cards featuring artwork by Stranger illustrators such as Steven Weissman (King of Spades above). Hopefully Jeremy Eaton is in there too. Find the donation link on the right side of this page.
UPDATE: You can also bid on an auction including a $50 gift certificate to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, and The Stranger's sister publication the Portland Mercury has their own charity auctions, one of which includes a selection of our best-selling essentials. Go, bid!
Roq la Rue proprietor and lowbrow culture maven Kirsten Anderson observes, "Drawing on a range of influences from firework wrappers to Japanese woodblock prints, Femke's use of both pop culture detritus and child-like fantasy create a vibrant playground for the imagination, with each piece looking like a portal for a fantastic adventure. It is left to the viewer to imagine the story that lies inside."
On Saturday Femke will sign copies of her recent book ROCK CANDY (introduction by Kirsten Anderson). She joins an amazing cast including Paul Hornschemeier and Jay Ryan from Chicago, Dame Darcy and Jacques Boyreau from Portland, and Seattle's own Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Jim Woodring, Scott Musgrove, and Jim Blanchard with music, refreshments, and comix, natch. The holiday party of the season.
• Review: "[Gilbert] Hernandez's latest solo work The Troublemakers is the second in a series of self-contained graphic novel 'B-movies,' featuring one of his recurring characters, the cannonball-breasted Rosalba 'Fritz' Martinez. Here, Fritz plays Nala, one of a trio of hustlers trying to hook up with 200,000 smackers. Whether the money actually exists and who has it are anyone's guess in this drama-filled thriller — good for folks who like their graphic novels grim, gritty, and sleazy." – Brad Buckner, Portland Mercury
• Review: "Strange Suspense [The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1]... is an absolute treat! ...[T]his book looks amazing. ...[It's] filled with images that will remain seared into your psyche long after you’ve put it down. ... Strange Suspense is an absolute must have for any student of sequential art history... It’s an excellent collection of long lost work from a man whose importance cannot be overstated. There’s really no other grade to give it than an A." – Chad Derdowski, Mania.com
• Review: "Wolverton is helped [in The Wolverton Bible]... by his bold compositional sense, which aids in pushing some of his images beyond the doldrums of camp and into a certain monumentality, a grandeur that retains a shabby earthiness, without being lofty, hollow or pretentious. Without being, in a word, 'churchy.'" – Chris Lanier, The Comics Journal (beta)
• Review: "Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit is probably as close as comics are likely to come to exploitation cinema. Like the best exploitation dreck from Texas Chainsaw to Death Race 2000, Prison Pit is pure, bottom-dwelling schlock... And yet, again as with exploitation fare, the single-minded commitment to vileness is so perversely pure that it goes right past lowest-common-denominator entertainment and on into snooty, fancy-pants art. ... Ryan’s world is essentially Waiting for Godot, from the bleak landscape to the slapstick violence." – Noah Berlatsky, The Comics Journal (beta)
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack joins forces with Georgetown's Annual Holiday Art Walk on Saturday, December 12. More than 100 independent artists and creative enterprises will participate in what promises to be the most festive Art Attack ever. (The Georgetown Holiday Art Walk continues on Sunday, December 13 from noon to 5:00 PM.)
Among the fun: A grand opening gala at Georgetown Music on the site of the old Georgetown Pharmacy with live music, new and used instruments and more; "Future", the second installment of The Story of Belle and Wissell and their adventures through time, featuring an animated holiday window display, activities, and seasonal party favors; Glass engraving artist Bird Kelly from Beeraphenalia showing custom pints and steins, with paintings by M. S. Corley at Full Throttle Bottles; Equinox Studios, home to over 45 artists and artisans, hosts an open house featuring "Tools of the Trade" with live music, food, beverages and conversation pieces at every turn; FRIDA/Georgetown Tile Works presents "The Third Annual Holiday Artisans Bazaar," featuring one of a kind affordable goods created by over 50 local artists & designers (continuing Sunday); Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates their Third Anniversary with an evening of art, comics, music and more featuring an international cast of artists including Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard, Jacques Boyreau, Dame Darcy, Ellen Forney, Femke Hiemstra, Paul Hornschemeier, Scott Musgrove, Jay Ryan, Matthew Southworth, and Jim Woodring with live music by Dame Darcy and Peter Bagge's Can You Imagine featuring Steve Fisk and DJ Russ "Fallout" Battaglia; Georgetown Art Center will present small and affordable arts and crafts by Tenly Duboise, Jethaniel "Spyder" Peterka, Amanda Dellinger and Angielena Chamberlain; Exquisite interior accoutrements at Great Stuff and Susan Wheeler Home; the debut of Georgetown Lab, an experimental space on the former site of Planet Georgetown; and much, much more.
Saturday and Sunday will also include open studios at Art At the Top of the Stairs featuring Louise McDowell, Donna Van Norman, Eunice Nammacher, and Sally Jones; Nepali, Tibetan, and Kashmiri crafts at Evergreen Guardian Imports; Deborah Stachowic and Mary Tudor at Georgetown Gardens; Mark LaFalce, Painter. On Sunday only, Bella Vitale Studio salon; and Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery presents a panel focusing on the exploitation film genre with Lisa Petrucci of Something Weird, cartoonist Marc Palm of Scarecrow Video, Seattle Times pop culture critic Mark Rahner, KUOW film critic and Frye Museum film curator Robert Horton, moderated by PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE editor Jacques Boyreau, followed by a book signing and reception.
We've been remiss in reminding you that Jay Ryan, one of the many special guests at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery's 3rd Anniversary celebration on Saturday Dec. 12, appears as part of his current book tour for the new collection of his poster art, Animals and Objects In and Out of Water, published by our colleagues at Akashic Books. (You may recall from our previous announcement that this joint tour with Paul Hornschemeier and his new collection from Fantagraphics, All and Sundry, begins its West Coast leg in L.A. on Monday, Dec. 7.) Jay's posters have been a mainstay of the indie-culture scene since the good old mid-1990s and hang in the households of many aficionados of the good and interesting, including yours truly — can't wait to check out the book at the event!
The list of luminaries featured at the Third Anniversary gala at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, December 12 continues to lengthen as celebrity cartoonist Ellen Forney confirms her presence. Ellen does more than light up a room. Her collaboration with Sherman Alexie on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the National Book Award in 2007. She'll be available to sign copies of I LOVE LED ZEPPELIN, LUST, and her sexy contributions to BEST EROTIC COMICS 2008 and 2009.
Forney will join a stunning group of artists hosting the party including Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard, Jacques Boyreau, Dame Darcy, Femke Hiemstra, Paul Hornschemeier, Scott Musgrove, Jay Ryan, Matthew Southworth, and Jim Woodring.
In addition to live music by Dame Darcy and Peter Bagge's Can You Imagine, DJ Russ "Fallout" Battaglia will spin demented holiday platters for the amusement of the assembled masses. Don't miss the any of these wild festivities. See you December 12.
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