On Saturday night, founder and co-publisher Gary Groth received the Genius Award in Literature from Seattle alt-weekly paper, The Stranger. (Photo above by Kelly O. of The Stranger). His competition was fierce but the force of the movement he created when he founded Fantagraphics with Mike Catron and soldiered on with Kim Thompson created a form of comics so prevalent. Paul Constant interviews Groth yet again after the event on comics at the Stranger's Slog: "Pop culture has become so stupefyingly banal that it's caught up with comics. It's kind of terrifying when you think about it," states Groth in reference to the multiple superhero movies, TV shows and comics popping up from here as far as the eye can see. Picture below by Short Run.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds was present at the Stranger Awards and commented, "It was a great night for Fantagraphics and for Seattle, and even though Gary's been completely insufferable since Saturday night, going on and on about 'genius this' and 'genius that,' blah blah blah, we're extremely proud of the big lug."
Eric, Kelly O. and Gary
Yes, indeed, we are so proud of Gary and happy to be a part of the everchanging landscape of comics, graphic novels and just damn good storytelling. VIVA COMICS and VIVA GROTH!
The time has come, the Seattlelite said, to pick a frickin' Genius! The alt-weekly paper in town, The Stranger, is hosting it's annual Genius awards tomorrow after a few events where the genius nominees show it off. Fantagraphics co-founder and editor Gary Groth is nominated in the literature category alongside comics writer/novelist G. Willow Wilson and poet Shin Yu Pai.
The event tomorrow night is F.R.E.E. but you have to reserve and download tickets. SO join the huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached. To read more about all the Genius nominees in their categories (film, literature, music, performance, visual art), visit The Stranger articles on it.
Can't get enough ZAP in your life?! Not only do we have our limited-edition, single printing five-volume box set of The Complete Zap Comix coming out in November, but we're also preparing companion book and Volume 9 of The Comics Journal Library—Zap: The Interviews, edited by Michael Dean and Gary Groth. This softcover collection holds all of the definitive Comics Journal interviews with the various Zap contributors and is a must-have for any Zap addic—er, fan. We've got the journal cover design here, and we'll have select previews coming soon!
Richmond, VA: Don't be tardy! Starting at 6 pm, Janet Hamlin will be giving a lecture at the University of Richmond recounting her experiences as the only person allowed to visually capture the courtroom during the Guantanamo Bay trials. Her drawings have been collected in Sketching Guantanamo, and this lecture will kick off a new limited engagement exhibit at the University featuring her work. (More Details)
Friday, September 12
Portland, OR: The Pacific Northwest College of Arts presents the Super Trash exhibit, a celebration and exploration of exploitative art and images of cinema. Currated by Jacques Boyreau, author of the upcoming book, Super Trash, the exhibit runs in conjuction with weekly films at the Laurelhurst Theater; today's film is the monster classic, Every Which Way but Loose. (More Details)
Saturday, September 13
Bethesda, MD: Dang, kids. Is it that time of year again? The biggest and bestest small press and alternative comic shindig, Small Press Expo is back! Doors open at 11 am, and there is a veritable slew of people to see, things to buy, and panels to attend. Jacq and Gary Groth will be holding down daily signings at booth w57-61, which today includes: Eleanor Davis, Ed Piskor, Drew Friedman, Chuck Forsman and many, many others. Get the full breakdown of the best weekend of your life here.
Seattle, WA: The gorgeously oversized art book, Film Noir 101, will be the subject of a new in store installment at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery starting today! And to begin this new feature, author of the book, Mark Fertig will be giving a slide presentation at 6 pm, with a signing to follow. (More Details)
Sunday, September 14
Bethesda, MD: Above is a map to help you remember where the best SPX booth will be. Along with more signings, more panels, and more awesome, are a slew of debut books that you wont even find in stores yet: BUMF, The Lonesome Go, Fukitor. My fingers would fall off if I tried to list them all here. Since Jen already typed her little fingers off with the full rundown, check out her post! Doors open at 12 noon!
Monday, September 15
Cambridge, MA: Today, beginning at 7 pm, Ed Piskor will be kicking it old and new school at the halls of Harvard University with a discussion of his Hip Hop Family Tree series. It's free and open to the public, with a signing to follow! (More Details)
Takoma Park, MD:Eleanor Davis, hot off of her weekend at SPX, will be giving a beautiful slideshow presentation as a part of their Politics and Prose series. Her most recent book, How to be Happyis the topic of discussion for this moving a personal presentaion and discussion. Library events are the best events, so get some social capital at our nation's capitol. Presentation begins at 7:30 pm. (More Details)
Seattle, WA: We here are Fantagraphics are already pretty privy to how much of a genius our boss, Gary Groth, is. Finally the World is standing up to take notice! And by the World, I mean The Stranger Genius Awards for Literature. Books editor, Paul Constant will be presenting a showcase at the Frye Art Museum for all the literature geniuses, including Gary, visual poet, Shin Yu Pai, and writer of the current Ms. Marvel series, G. Willow Wilson. Tickets $10, with mingling and drinks beginning at 5:30. 21+ (More details)
Saturday, August 30th
Chicago, IL: Purveyors of the finest comics, Quimby's Bookstore of Chicago will be hosting the prince of spaces escapades, Lane Milburn, as he parties with the public to celebrate the release of his sci-fi epic, Twelve Gems! A Heavy Metal saga meets your math class compositon notebook in this beautiful space opera that traverses the cosmos. The boogying starts at 7 pm. (More details)
Los Angeles: As a part of the Everything Is Festival at the Cine Family, Prison Pit cartoonist, Johnny Ryan will be freaking audiences out by screening the animated version of Prison Pit Book One. Joining him on a panel to follow with be noted comedians and bad boys, Rick Shapiro and Blake Anderson. Begins at 2:30 pm. Get tix quick! (More details)
Houston, TX: Amazing Houston Comic Con will be hosting a slew of the comic industry's most notable artists, and joing them is of course Mr. Ed Piskor of Hip Hop Family Tree! He will be around Friday and Saturday, and will hopefully ask Rob Liefeld what he thought of the special HHFT #300, found in your forthcoming deluxe box set. (More details)
Decatur, GA: If you find yourself in the dirty south this weekend, get a little dirtier by hanging out with a bunch of authors of cartoonists at the AJC Decatur Book Festival this weekend where Eleanor Davis and Ed Piskor will be giving you the down low on their works. Eleanor and Liz Prince will be giving a presentation this day at 1:45 pm titled, "How to be Graphic" - told you the south was dirty - (More details)
Sunday, August 31st
Decatur, GA: Ed Piskor is doubling up on events this weekend and making his way across the great American landscape to bring a launch of Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2, and a moderated panel to follow, where he'll discuss the only two things that still make sense in the world, hip-hop and comic books. Scoot on down to the Marriott at 5 pm! (More details)
Gary's acerbic rage-writings of the 80s and 90s are referenced in the article by Paul Constant. Constant asked Gary if he was less angry now but since Fantagraphics started making the comics he wanted to read and are at most bookstores...Constant wrote it best. "that there was always more work to do, but it was clear to everyone that, yes, the century-long fight for the soul of American comics is over, and Gary Groth won."
On October 18, The Stranger will throw a huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached.
PublisherGary Groth was the happy recipient of a chocolate cake this week as alt-weekly paper, The Stranger, let him know he is on a very short list of nominees for the Genius Award in Seattle. Gary's up against some fierce local competition in the literature category but he's held a guiding light for Fantagraphics and comics long enough for us to know he's a genius (read: crazy, mad genius). Fantagraphics' cartoonists Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney have had the privilege of being on the short list as well (Woodring won!) so Gary will have some good company no matter what.
To find out who the genius is you'll have to grab the summer issue of A&P-out June 11-to find out. The Stranger plans on hosting a series of interviews with Genius Award finalists at the Frye Art Museum in August and September, and the Genius Awards are October 18 at the Moore Theatre. They've promised other amazing performers and the Seattle Rock Orchestra! For free!
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