Casual fans of Fantagraphics may not be aware of the close association we have with Seattle's illustrious music scene. I was reminded of this relationship on Friday while attending a sold out Mudhoney and Tom Price Desert Classic concert. Nearly half the musicians on stage that night were former or current Fantagraphics staffers. What a great place to work!
We'll celebrate the legacy of Seattle's early music and comix on Saturday, November 29 as Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts the book launch party for Sub Pop USA: The Subterranean Music Anthology, 1980 -1988. The book documents the formative years of Bruce Pavitt's fiercely independent fanzine, cassette label and music column. Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid was a contributor to the fanzine (under the pseudonym Lewy Louie.). Bookstore staffer Russ Battaglia contributed graphics and photos to the zine, which were graced with covers by Lynda Barry and Charles Burns. It was amazing to see the almost immediate infleunce Pavitt's modest enterprise had on pop music. To those close to him, it came as no surprise that within a decade, Sub Pop would impact popular culture on a global scale.
The book includes essays by Reid, Charles R. Cross, Ann Powers, Gerard Cosley, and Calvin Johnson, founder of K Records and early Sub Pop fanzine collaborator. Johnson will perform music at the party, which is the first time he'll play Fantagraphics since Beat Happening rocked our wild warehouse party in 1994 (attended by newly anointed princes of punk, Nirvana). Many contributors to the old zine and new book will be at the November 29 reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM - a great way to end Small Business Saturday.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
About the time I began working for Fantagraphics as marketing and promotions director, Peter Bagge ran a contest in the third issue of his wildly popular Hate comic book. "Win a Date With Stinky" urged female readers to "Send in one or more glamorful photos and/or drawings of yourself" and "Explain in 25 words or less why you're worthy of Stinky's affection." What self-respecting woman, I wondered, would enter a contest to win a date with a comic book character? Named Stinky? I was about to find out. I spent several months acting as Peter's unwitting accomplice on a series of surreptitious "Stinky Dates" that saw me playing Leonard the Love God opposite lovely and talented young artists like Jessica Abel and Dame Darcy. This buffoonery was documented in the pages of Hate, much to amusement of my wonderful wife, not to mention the fashionable alternative rock band Babes in Toyland. (Don't ask.)
Like countless members of my generation, Peter Bagge's Hate was a funny and affectionate chronicle of my misspent youth. Beyond that, his work played a pivotal role in shaping the ideology of a youth movement that penetrated popular culture on a global scale. His comix have enriched our lives in ways we can only now begin to appreciate.
Join us in celebrating the many accomplishments of this incredibly gifted artist on Saturday, May 10 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we debut the latest, and perhaps final chapter of the Buddy Bradley story,Buddy Buys a Dump. The reception includes an exhibition of original comix pages, complimentary beverages, a book signing, and special musical performances by Kelli Frances Corrado and The Hinges. See you all at 6:00 PM on Saturday.
It's with sadness and a certain measure of pride that we commemorate the tragic loss of Kurt Cobain 20 years ago. Sadness in that many of our staff had the honor of associating with this brilliant artist; pride in knowing that his work impacted popular culture on a global scale. Nirvana's accomplishments will be recognized on April 10 with their formal induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Those of us that were here will never forget the time Fantagraphics staff was invited backstage for their triumphant return in front of fifteen thousand fans at the Seattle Coliseum in September of 1992. Prior to that, most of us had only seen them play in little bars and dance halls around town. The stage alone that night was bigger than many of those early venues!
Kim Thompson had an answer for a feature in the March, 1983 issue of Heavy Metal which asked just that question. Our own Kristy Valenti came across it and provided this scan.
It's interesting to revisit statements like this now. In terms of what Kim called "pop comics" his last couple of lines are oddly apropos now that 30 years later one of the most successful comic titles is a zombie comic.
Seven years ago this weekend, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery quietly opened for business in Seattle. (Following a 6-week shakedown, we hosted our grand opening gala in December 2006.) Featuring challenging contemporary comix, graphics, illustration, experimental music and other marginalized media, the space was quickly woven into the cultural fabric of the region. We have since attracted a remarkable array of artists and patrons from across the country and around the world. Thank you all so much!
Please come visit the store and see the astonishing new exhibition by Jim Woodring. (Yes. He really drew them with the giant pen.) Peruse our wonderfully diverse, yet cohesive selection of comix, graphics novels, and badass books. Check out the colorful collection of new and vintage vinyl offered by our retail partner Georgetown Records. Explore the historic Georgetown industrial arts colony. Hope to see you soon.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Our cartoonists and creators are not only available in print form but LIVE IN PERSON on panels, talking about things they're all about and answering questions (which we know you're all about). Check 'em out and rest those tootsies, you'll be walking on them allll weekend long. Click on these wonder-links if you're wondering about our new books debuting and when people will be signing at our table.
Thursday, July 18th
12:30pm Spotlight On: Gene Deitch Comic-Con special guest Gene Deitch is a legendary cartoonist, animator, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, and creator of Tom Terrific. Join him for a tour thru his 70-year career, including his years directing cartoons for UPA and Weston Woods, as well as creating the comic strip Terr'ble Thompson and crossing paths with everyone from Pete Seeger and John Lee Hooker to Maurice Sendak and Jules Feiffer. Moderated by animation historian Jerry Beck and famed movie critic and author-and Comic-Con special guest-Leonard Maltin! Thursday July 18, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm Room 8
12:30pm Dave McKean: Blue Tree
Tree roots as neural networks, the lunacy of Luna, the creation of wolves, the cooking of compost and glimpses of Sandman -- all this and more in an interview panel with artist/writer/musician/director/Mac worrier Dave McKean. Thursday July 18, 2013 12:30pm - 1:30pm Room 4
6:00PM Anything that Loves: Comics Beyond Gay or Straight
In the last 20 years, lesbian and gay people have made great strides toward better representation in pop culture. The road for people who are bisexual, who have fluid sexuality and gender, or who otherwise fall outside of "gay" and "straight" has been much rockier. (Ironically, they are often met with the strongest mistrust and resistance from gay people.) The new comics anthology Anything That Loves assembles 30 creators to delve into the complex world of nonbinary sexuality and hopes to expose some myths, offer some new insights, and bring together an often-splintered LGBT community in a new way. Moderator Charles "Zan" Christensen and contributors to this anthology discuss the origins of the project, why it's important, and the challenges of being a bisexual storyteller. How can bisexual creators resist pressure from both straight and gay communities to put them in categories that don't truly fit? And how can creators effectively reach out to queer potential readers in a way that doesn't alienate straight ones? Find out the answers to these questions and many more! With Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me), Lena H. Chandhok (Pony Tale), Josh Trujillo (The Provider), Kevin Boze (The Virgin Project), Randall Kirby (BOP! Comics), and Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads).
6:30pm Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101
Need tips on how to market your comic and yourself to voracious fans and the comic industry at large? Have questions on the best way to do PR? Then this panel is for you! Some of the best and brightest in comics today bring you a roundtable discussion, revealing all the secrets of doing effective marketing and PR to get your comic noticed. Join moderator Chip Mosher (comiXology's PR and marketing maven), J. K. Parkin (from Comic Book Resources and the Eisner Award-nominated blog Robot 6), and Fantagraphics Books's marketing and PR team Jacq Cohen (director of publicity and promotions) and Jen Vaughn (marketing and outreach coordinator) for an inspiring and wide-ranging discussion you won't want to miss! Thursday July 18, 2013 6:30pm - 7:30pm Room 8
Friday, July 19th
11:00am Spotlight on Ellen Forney
Cartoonist Ellen Forney presents her New York Times bestselling graphic memoir, Marbles: Depression, Michaelangelo, and Me, a darkly funny chronicle of her struggle with bipolar disorder. Nominated for a 2013 Eisner Award, "Marbles isn't just a great story; it's proof that artists don't have to be tortured to be brilliant. 'A'" -- Entertainment Weekly. Friday July 19, 2013 11:00am - 12:00pm Room 9
1:00pm Humor in Graphic Novels
From Star Wars's little princess to marbles and depression, from jetpacks and goliaths to dirty dumb eyes, writer/artists Jeffrey Brown (Vader's Little Princess), Ellen Forney (Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me,), Tom Gauld (You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack), and Lisa Hanawalt (My Dirty Dumb Eyes) have the entire spectrum of humor-gag cartoons, self-deprecation, irony, to name just a few- covered in their graphic novels. Moderated by Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum). Friday July 19, 2013 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 9
2:00pm A Tribute to Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics Books
Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, and Mike Catron of Fantagraphics Books are joined by Dark Horse's Diana Schutz and Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez to celebrate the life and career of Kim Thompson, whose legacy as co-publisher of Fantagraphics and bande dessinée's greatest ambassador in America spanned five decades.
Friday July 19, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm Room 25ABC
3:00pm Snoopy: A Retrospective Paige Braddock (creative director, Schulz Creative Associates; creator, Jane's World), Lex Fajardo (managing editor, kaboom Peanuts; creator, Kid Beowulf), Gary Groth (co-founder, Fantagraphics) and Nat Gertler (writer, The Peanuts Collection and kaboom Peanuts; publisher, About Comics) discuss Snoopy: astronaut, beagle scout, novelist, flying ace, and much-misunderstood pet of Charlie Brown ("If I only had a normal dog"). Celebrate this unique character who debuted in papers on October 4, 1950, created by Charles M. Schulz. Snoopy began his career walking on all fours, and over the next 50 years practically stole the show from his fellow Peanuts cast members. Moderated by, Damian Holbrook (senior writer at TV Guide magazine whose Spirit Animal is Snoopy). Friday July 19, 2013 3:00pm - 4:00pm Room 28DE
Saturday, July 20th
1:00pm Celebrating 10 Years of Prism Comics
In 2003, a new champion appeared on the comics scene, determined to make the industry a better place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics creators and readers. The nonprofit Prism Comics was founded by a small group of comics fans to provide a network for LGBTQ comics professionals and fans through their website, events, and convention appearances. Prism Comics has grown and now supports the next generation of creators through The Prism Comics Queer Press Grant. And diversity in the comics industry has grown as well. Where once LGBTQ comics and characters were marginalized, now they are frequently stepping into the spotlight. ModeratorJustin Hall (No Straight Lines, Glamazonia, Prism advisory board) and panelists Ted Abenheim (president, Prism Comics), Tara Madison Avery (Dirtheads, Prism board), Andy Mangels (co-founder, Prism Comics) Paige Braddock (Jane's World, Prism advisory board), Charles "Zan" Christensen (co-founder, Prism Comics; Northwest Press), Roger Klorese (Prism board), Jon Macy (Teleny and Camille, Prism Queer Press Grant chairperson) offer a look back at where Prism Comics started, celebrate how far they've come, and a peek into the future of where the queer comics scene might be headed. Saturday July 20, 2013 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 28DE
2:30 Adventure Time Encyclopedia
A conversation moderated by Kent Osborne (head of story, Adventure Time) with Martin Olson (voice actor, The Lord of Evil), and Olivia Olson (voice actor, Marceline The Vampire Queen) about their new book from Abrams, The Adventure Time Encyclopedia, including a slide show and a dramatic reading from the book. Surprises may include a terrifying appearance by Hunson Abadeer himself, a music video from the Nightosphere, and Olivia singing with special surprise guests (like Tony Millionaire). Audience participation is encouraged for maximum chance of survival! Saturday July 20, 2013 2:30pm - 3:30pm Room 8
3:15 Vertigo: The Sandman 25th Anniversary and Beyond!
This year Vertigo's flagship title The Sandman returns to comics in an all-new series written by Neil Gaiman (The Sandman)! Join Neil for a celebration of the 25th anniversary of this timeless series and an exclusive look at what is in store for the Lord of the Dreaming with Neil and his past and future legendary collaborators, Dave McKean, Sam Kieth, Todd Klein, and J. H. Williams III. Saturday July 20, 2013 3:15pm - 4:15pm Room 6DE
3:30pm Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly Preview
North America boasts the world's two leading comic book companies that have defined the literary genre for comics. Seattle's Fantagraphics and Montreal's Drawn & Quarterly present their fall and winter lists of works from the world's best cartoonists, perhaps even with a few surprises and giveaways! Saturday July 20, 2013 3:30pm - 4:30pm Room 26AB
5:30pm Gays in Comix XXVI
Whether it's the high-flying world of capes, spandex, and gravity-defying breasts or wondrously down-to-earth slice-of-life, the LGBTQ presence in comics has evolved beyond inclusion and visibility. Moderators Roger Klorese (Prism Comics Board) and Paige Braddock (Jane's World) explore the next level of authentic LGBTQ storytelling with panelists Shannon Walters (Kaboom), Eisner Award nominee Justin Hall (No Straight Lines), Leia Weathington (The Legend of Bold Riley), Shena Wolf (Uclick/Universal Press Syndicate), Sina Grace (Li'l Depressed Boy; Not My Bag), and others to be announced. The panel will be followed by the annual Prism Comics Gays Comic Fan Mixer and Silent Auction hosted by and benefiting Prism Comics, the nonprofit organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered comics, creators, and readers. Saturday July 20, 2013 5:30pm - 7:00pm Room 6A
7:00pm From Comic Book King to FIne Artist: Extraordinaire: A Chat with Robert Williams
Join friends and colleagues of a true underground comix heavyweight and accomplished fine artist,Robert Williams (ZAP Comix). Panelists include William Stout (illustrator, Wizards), Gwynned Vitello (president, Juxtapoz and Thrasher), Karl Meyer (president, Gentle Giant Studios), and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics). Robert will take us though his incredible journey from ZAP Comix, his work with Big Daddy Roth, all the way to his current exploits in the heady realm of fine art. Moderated by Vitello. Saturday July 20, 2013 7:00pm - 8:00pm Room 4
The evolution of the Sub Pop empire will be examined at Fantagraphics Bookstore in SODA POP: Super Sugar Big Buzz opening Saturday, July 13. These hand made publications serve as exquisite time capsules of early 80s indie culture. I recall sessions at Rosco Louie gallery with Bruce Pavitt and Russ Battaglia in 1981 individually coloring issues of Sub Pop #3 with crayons. The only directive I remember was "Don't stay inside the lines." Covers and random interior pages were scribbled with infantile abandon. Multiple examples of these early Sub Pop zines (with a quaint 80¢ cover price) will be on display.
In 1983 Pavitt migrated north from Olympia to Seattle, enabling him to interact with a larger cultural community. He soon found a home for Sub Pop as a regular feature in TheRocket, where he joined an extended family of talented writers, artists, cartoonists, and graphic designers that would play an important role in the future development of the Sub Pop aesthetic. The second installment of the column in May 1983 featured an early appearance of what would become Sub Pop's signature logo, designed by future Fantagraphics art director DaleYarger. TheRocket regularly ran comix and illustrations by LyndaBarry, CharlesBurns, Matt Groening, GaryPanter, RobertCrumb, GilbertandJaime Hernandez, and PeterBagge, among others. Several examples of these important columns will be featured in the SODA POP exhibition, along with art and artifacts by Barry, Burns, Bagge, DanielClowes, Charles Peterson, JimWoodring, and more.
At 1:00 PM on July 13, I'll moderate a panel discussion, PopGoesSeattle, with Pavitt, Bagge, Peterson and DannyBland on the formative period of the Sub Pop phenomenon. This informal but informative talk will be followed by a short reading by Danny Bland and GregDulli of Afghan Whigs from Bland's debut novel, InCaseWeDie, set in grunge-era Seattle. Patrons at the reading will be the first in the country with the opportunity to acquire this essential book. Russ Battaglia will spin period platters following the reading. Then the real fun begins. Free concerts by Mudhoney, BuilttoSpill, Chad VanGaalen, JMascis, TomPriceDesertClassic, and countless others right outside the bookstore. Don't miss a minute. Arrive early. Stay late. Buy comix!
Holy smokes, has it really been 20 years since the "Hateball" tour with Peter Bagge & Dan Clowes? Our old pal Devlin Thompson of Bizarro Wuxtry in Athens, GA shares memories and photos of their stop there.
Make hotel reservations now for the alternative music event of the decade. Sub Pop celebrates 25 years of rockin' the world with a free concert featuring 15 bands right outside our Georgetown bookstore on July 13. The official line-up as announced by Tad Doyle, Kim Thayil, Mark Arm, and Jack Endino will be complemented by some amazing guests. (We'll leave it to your imagination, but read Tad's lips at the end of the video for a clue.)
While serving as director of Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art in 1989, I somehow coerced Sub Pop moguls Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman into programming a weekend of music at our downtown space. The show featured Nirvana, Mudhoney, Gwar, TAD, Dwarves, Dickless, Supersuckers, and other awesome acts. CoCA intern Owen Connell created this memorable poster and wheat pasted them all over town. These shows seemed cathartic somehow. Maybe you had to be there. If you weren't, you're in luck...
I'm reviving this concept for an exhibit at Fantagraphics Bookstore coinciding with Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee on July 13. Focusing on the formative years of Sub Pop, the show examines the intersection of comix and music in Seattle beginning with the birth of Sub Pop in 1980. It includes art and artifacts by Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, Peter Bagge, Art Spiegelman, Charles Peterson, Daniel Clowes, and many more. Danny Bland will read from his new novel In Case We Die set in Seattle's grunge era. This'll rock hard! More details will be revealed later, but schedule your summer vacation accordingly.
You don't have to wait until summer to enjoy Sub Pop's contribution to modern music. This Saturday is Record Store Day and our retail partners Georgetown Records will have the special Sub Pop 1000 vinyl LP, as well as exclusive Record Store Day offerings from local label Light in the Attic including Roky Erickson, PiL, and Mercury Rev. Please come by, and wherever you are -- support your local record store!