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Category >> Fantagraphics history

End of an Era
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Kovey KornerFantagraphics history 27 Mar 2008 6:10 PM

ruth.jpg

No sooner has our own Matt Silvie posted Flickr photos of Ruth Bellthomaz's house than the city has won out on forcing her to beautify her property. Anyone who's ever visited the Fantagraphics Books, Inc., headquarters surely remembers her house, brimming with chaotic art and a constantly evolving landscape.

My desk here at the office looks out on Ruth's property. I've frequently seen her out there securing the wall of window frames that she has nailed to her house. The squirrels and stray cats love climbing on the scaffolding-like structure, but Matt tells me that she has all those seemingly useless windows there to keep the FBI from monitoring inside her home. Which is at least a little less crazy sounding when you realize that those are the initials for our company and I AM staring at her.

Anyway, she's over there today with an industrial-size dumpster and a hammer dismantling and trashing. I just hope we don't lose all of her handpainted signs (see above).

From the Archives.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Kovey KornerFantagraphics history 10 Jan 2008 2:24 PM
I suspect this is more true than any of us here care to admit. (Though I'm not sure it's an either/or thing.)



[---REDACTED---]
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Kovey KornerFantagraphics history 18 Dec 2007 9:23 PM
Charles E. Petit, known to the Fantagraphics offices as the longtime lawyer of Harlan Ellison, has been disbarred. Petit was found guilty of poor ethics by defrauding the family of author John Steinbeck. His defense honestly seems to have been that he's driven crazy by migraines that lead him to forget events that transpire at the time of the headaches and stuff like that. Specifically, he has been suspended for the following:

Count I, the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to his client Nancy Steinbeck.

Count II, we find that the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.

Ultimately, the detail of the case that I most love is simply the name of the Court's psychiatric authority and his diagnosis of the lawyer: "Dr. Jeckel made a diagnosis of the Respondent. First, the Respondent has a Mixed Personality Disorder..."





R.I.P. Crocodile Cafe
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Fantagraphics history 18 Dec 2007 8:23 PM
Seattle's Crocodile Cafe unceremoniously closed down this weekend, the latest in a slew of old school Seattle venues going the way of Fallout Records & Comix and the old Rendezvous. The Croc was the best rock club in Seattle in the 1990s - just off the top of my head I can recall seeing a slew of pretty huge bands in its not-so-huge confines: Guided By Voices, Nirvana, Built To Spill, Cheap Trick, Yo La Tengo, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam (opening for Cheap Trick), Sebadoh, Dead Moon, The Shins, The Go-Betweens, Mike Watt, Jonathan Richman, Iron & Wine, Low, etc.

The club was always good to Fantagraphics - we put on several events there over the years, including a Comic Book Legal Defense Fund benefit with Neil Gaiman in 1997 or so that was one of the most successful regional fundraisers the Fund had ever done at the time and even garnered a Seattle city award for "Best Fundraiser (Under $200,000 category)" of the year, which I accepted from the Mayor in a gigantic gala ball. In 2000, the Croc lent us its space to put on a special Built To Spill concert to raise money for a serious debt we were in when our then-distributor went out of business owing us $80,000 - the event raised almost $10,000 and literally may have been the difference in keeping us in business at that moment. We helped organize a series of "ATM art shows" at the Croc in the 1990s (named so because every piece was an ATM-friendly $40, with pieces from Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge -- you name it) with then art school student Kirsten Anderson, an experience which she parlayed into opening Roq La Rue, one of the most vital galleries in Seattle for going on a decade now. The club's booker at that time, Peter English, was also my next door neighbor for a few years and became one of my best pals, so there was a personal connection, as well. We took care of each others' cats when the other traveled.

[Read more...]


Mary In Comic Con Land
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Fantagraphics history 16 Nov 2007 2:02 PM
My new favorite diversion: Mary In Comic Con Land. Artist Mary Fleener lives just north of San Diego and as such has attended a *lot* of Comicons over the last 25 years, and now she's sharing a quarter-century of photos. It's a treasure trove featuring just about every alt comix luminary you can think of from the last three decades, from Spiegelman to Bagge to Seda to Clowes to to Groening to Eisner and dozens more. And they're all so young and fresh-faced, positioned against faded convention center walls and faux-wood paneling, with none of the glitzy excess of today's comicon. It's a nostalgia vortex of bad hair and skinny ties and dim yellow light that I just can't get enough of. Time to pull out those old Stickboy back issues. Here's a couple primo examples, the first two featuring a Fanta panel from the late-80s (including Los Bros., Clowes, Bagge, Peter Kuper and Dennis Worden, the second two from a late-80s comicon dinner with Clowes, Kim Deitch, Fleener and Bagge. Good stuff.







Old school: Beat Happening played the warehouse
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Fantagraphics historyevents 15 Nov 2007 10:03 AM
Holy wow: 10 Things Zine has posted this historic photo of Beat Happening playing at our old warehouse back in 1992 or '93:



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