Saturday's Artopia extravaganza was the most festive yet. Thousands of adventurous art patrons strolled through Georgetown taking in everything from Megan's Kelso's Artichoke Tales exhibition to the vintage Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, complete with the mobile Elvis museum and wedding chapel. Circus acts, sideshow routines, carnival games, marching bands, and plenty of food and drink kept everyone wildly entertained.
Fantagraphics Bookstore's entry in the Power Tool Races — a chainsaw-powered 1991 Daniel Clowes-designed Santa Cruz skateboard — won the trophy for... well, some absurd category. Comedian and film director Bobcat Goldthwait dropped by the store after the races to admire the winner before presenting his cult classic feature film Shakes the Clown.
Bands performed on a stage outside the store all day including the Tom Price Desert Classic featuring our beloved Martin Bland on drums. The festivities came to a crescendo with an improvised session of neighborhood musicians including Georgetown Records co-owners Grant Eckman and Martin Imbach, and a cameo appearance by Soundgarden's Ben Shepherd. Don't miss it next year.
Multifaceted cartoonist, musician, performance artist, fortune teller and neo-Victorian culture maven Dame Darcy appears at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on July 10 to celebrate the publication of MEAT CAKE, a collection of stories from the first decade of her popular comic book series of the same name. The event features an exhibition of Dame Darcy's original comic art and other creations, an enchanting music recital and a fortune telling session with each book signed.
MEAT CAKE is like a peek into an imaginative, deranged dollhouse filled with fractured fairy tales. An expanded version of the long out-of-print hardcover book, this new paperback assembles the very best of Darcy's work from the first 11 issues of the beloved comic (including "Hungry Is the Heart," the legendary collaboration with Watchmen creator Alan Moore). According to the New York Times, "Darcy's comics are aesthetic manifestos... Darcy is a star. Meat Cake will prevail, as luxury takes over America. And the world beyond." The Los Angeles Times observes, "[Darcy] has created a childlike, otherworldly realm, a land that hovers in the twilight space between the whimsical and the macabre. Ghosts and goblins, foul-tempered stepmothers, lovesick mermaids and charmed forests are all rendered in Darcy's distinctive hand, loose and flowing lines reminiscent of the work of Edward Gorey."
Dame Darcy's appearance on Saturday, July 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport way S.) only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Come cheer for our racer (just don't get too close), see dozens of bands (featuring Fantagraphics favorites the Tom Price Desert Classic right outside our space), art exhibitions (including Megan Kelso's wonderful new work inside our store), carnival games, aerial acts, food, drinks, and a special appearance by demented actor/comedian/filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait. It's all FREE!
[Ed. Note: see our Power Tool Racer from 2007 here!]
Presenting some photos of Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales book launch/signing/art exhibit opening at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery last Saturday, June 12. Thanks to everybody who came out to meet Megan, get books signed and marvel at her amazingly clean originals. Browse the whole photo set, including more shots of the artwork, on our Flickr page; there's also a slideshow embedded below. The show is up through July 7.
Don’t miss this: The Artopia cultural extravaganza and Georgetown Music Festival take place on Saturday, June 26 from 3:00 to 10:00 PM. It’s all FREE!
Dozens of bands will perform on several stages, including one right outside Fantagraphics Bookstore featuring the Tom Price Desert Classic with our own Martin Bland on traps. Old school carnival games and confections, aerial circus acts, and thrilling Power Tool Races are among the many attractions. You’ll love the demonic chainsaw-powered Daniel Clowes skateboard created by our curator Larry Reid and daughter Bella. Just don’t get too close.
This year’s Artopia features a special appearance by demented actor/comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown). Drop by the store for a beverage and check out Megan Kelso’s amazing new work as well as a boatload of impressive new books from your favorite artists. See you all soon.
Celebrated Seattle cartoonist Megan Kelso unveils her latest masterpiece ARTICHOKE TALES this Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Megan burst onto the comics scene in the early 90s with her provocative self-published zine Girlhero. She has since proven herself to be a master storyteller..
The New York Times' recent rave called her new book “…surprising and wonderful” with a “consistently sweet and airy approach [that] provides a likable surface for a story with much darker and stickier depths…” The Stranger says “Artichoke Tales feels like series of expansions. The characters and their world grow to envelop the reader in a singular, charming way.”
Please join us on Saturday to celebrate the work is this remarkable artist. DJ Russ "Fallout" Battaglia will spin platters and complimentary beverages will be provided. The reception coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic industrial arts district.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. in the heart of Georgetown. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
At each event, Jim will entertain audiences a fantastic slide show and discussion of the hidden meanings behind every mysterious idea and totem in WEATHERCRAFT. And in Brooklyn, on June 18, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to view all of the original artwork from the book, as well as many preliminary pieces that went into making it.
ABOUT WEATHERCRAFT: After 30 years of making acclaimed comic books, Jim Woodring has created his first-ever, long-form original graphic novel. WEATHERCRAFT sends Jim's sloth-like character, Manhog, on a psychedelic quest for enlightenment. Woodring's transformative imagination lures the reader in and makes that person part of a looping story in which actions speak and words don't exist. Wooodring's fluid panels and detailed linework makes this journey though the "Unifactor" universe one that rewards with exquisite new discoveries upon every reading.
WEATHERCRAFT: Black-and-white, 104 pages, 7" by 9.75" • ISBN: 978-1-60699-340-8 • $19.99 US
• Review: "Whether you love the swords and sorcery genre, high adventure, romance, or any or all of the above, Hal Foster’s early work on Prince Valiant is well worth reading. ... Fantagraphics has done a remarkable job remastering these strips, which, thanks to the use of original proof sheets and advances in printing technology, are even brighter and crisper than when they were first published 70 years ago. This second volume from Fantagaphics is due to ship in June 2010." – James Henry, Mid-Ohio-Con
• Review: "In form, content and effect, [Muzzlers, Guzzlers and Good Yeggs] is a hell of a book. Coleman's intricate line drawings capture phantasmagorical scenes of horror and pathos, mixing nightmares with satire and surreal portraiture. There a strange and powerful sense of vitality at play, and a feeling of obsession mixed with a furious sort of joy." – Oliver Ho, PopMatters
• Plug:New York magazine places Wally Gropius by Tim Hensley well on the "brilliant" side of their Approval Matrix, says reading it "is like taking acid during a time-machine trip to the sixties."
• Interview:The Daily Cross Hatch's Brian Heater continues his conversation with Gene Deitch: "When it rained, we had to shove the drawings under our coats and run from one room to another. But it was exciting. We really felt we were pioneers, no question about it. These people were very intelligent and were very cultured in art."