San Francisco, CA - This blog post may as well be called 'This Thursday in Fanta Events' because your 4th favorite day of the week is stacked with events to tide you over until the weekend comes. Kick it off in San Francisco with the men of Zap Comix as we continue to celebrate the release of The Complete Zap Comix Collection, a physical and emotional undertaking that is beautiful to behold. Join Gary Groth and Ron Turner of Last Gasp as they moderate a dicussion with Zap cartoonists Paul Mavrides, Victor Moscoso, and Robert Williams at City Lights Booksellers beginning at 7 pm. This very-nearly sold out book will be available for purchase and signage at City Lights (just don't try to carry it home in your NPR tote bag.) (More Details)
New York, NY - Humans can be split into two ages; a time where we communicated with pictures, and a time where we communicated with words. The blending of these worlds comes in the form of visual poetry, a fully immersive brain exercise in the conveyance of emotions, ideas, and beauty. The Future is Here Again is an exhibit opening today at AC Institute in NYC, and it will feature dozens of works by noted visual poetry artists whose works had been previously collected in the books Coldfront and The Last Vispo. Niko Vasilakis, editor of The Last Vispo has currated this new exhibit with ACI director, Holly Crawford. To continue this night of magnetic mashups, the alternative chamber music string trio, Speed Bump will be providing mingling music. Festivities begin at 6 pm! (More Details)
Washington, D.C. - Obama did a pretty good job delivering his State of the Union address this past week, but he had one glaring oversight, he forgot to talk about how the Massive team will be at Fantom Comics this Thursday from 7-9 pm! The biggest and sexiest gay manga anthology is coming to our nation's capitol to announce their new policy on having a good time, and dropping some knowledge about the men who make gay erotic manga. Addressing their adoring constituents are editors Anne Ishii,Graham Kolbeins, and designer extrodinare Chip Kidd. Pick up one of the hottest books of the season tonight, because it'll be on next years comic citizenship tests. (More Details)
The party you've been waiting your whole lifetime is here! On Thursday, January 22nd join Victor Moscoso, Robert Williams and Paul Mavrides at City Lights in San Francisco. They'll be in discussion with Gary Groth and Ron Turner (of Last Gasp) about The Complete Zap Comix.These legends start talking at 7pm on the dot, be there five minutes early if you need a smoke break. This nearly sold-out collection will be yours for the buying, theirs for the signing and for your family to argue about who will carry it home.
In 1968, when underground comics were just strating to emerge, Robert Crumb's released his classic solo first issue of Zap. By the second issue, he had assembled a Seven Samurai of the best, the fiercest, and the most stylistically diversified cartoonists to come out of the countercultural kiln. Together they created a mind-blowing anthology of abstract hallucination, throat-slashing social satire, and shocking sexual excess, that made possible the ongoing wave of alternative cartoonists like Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, and Charles Burns. The Complete Zap Comix collects every issue of Zap - every cover and every story, and even the Zam mini comic jam among the Zap artists - in a multi-volume, slipcased hardcover set. It will also include the 17th unpublished issue with work by Crumb, Moscoco, Wilson, Rodriguez, Shelton, Mavrides, and Williams.
"While the early issues stand as rowdy documents of the 1960s counterculture, Zap was also more. In reinventing the comic book, it set off legal battles and conversations over censorship, brought attention to cartoonists as artists, and set an example for generations of alternative comics creators like Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Joe Matt and the Hernandez Brothers." -Dana Jennings, The NY Times
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
280-page black & white 7" x 10" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-785-7
"The level of drawing in these erotic fantasies is extremely high, sometimes rivaling the work of the iconic Western porno artist Tom of Finland...The content of the stories in Massive is completely unlike the feathery romanticism of yaoi manga and anime. Rough, even sadistic sex takes the place of wistful longing." -Charles Solomon, IndieWire
180-page full color 8" x 10" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-789-5
"The Late Child is a rich and intelligent work, one of the lushest and most giving graphic novels in recent memory." -Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Marguerite's partner on these books as well as in life, Romberger, leaves his ink drawings open enough for her watercolors to capture various types of natural light during the day…It is a significantly gentler and more pastoral book, traditionally beautiful. Calling 7 Miles a Second "beautiful" would lead to smirking inwardly while waiting to be challenged; the book carries ugliness inside itself as part of its very being. While that book's language pushed forward with velocity and free association, this one places each considered thought into a caption to ring out poetically."–Brian Nicholson, Bookslut
920-page black & white with color 9.75" x 13.25" x 7" hardcover • $500.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-787-1
"While the early issues stand as rowdy documents of the 1960s counterculture, Zap was also more. In reinventing the comic book, it set off legal battles and conversations over censorship, brought attention to cartoonists as artists, and set an example for generations of alternative comics creators like Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Joe Matt and the Hernandez Brothers." –Dana Jennings, The NY Times
"The Zapatistas were a sort of 'supergroup'-the dharma warriors of comics. Inkslingers. Revolutionaries. The best of the best. Their only yardsticks for comparison were each other and that sort of fraternal competition raised the bar and kept their art constantly evolving and their social satire razor sharp." –Richard Metzger, Dangerous Minds
120-page black & white 7" x 9.75" hardcover • $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-460-3
"Spanish cartoonist Max's graphic novel is ambiguous but powerful, leaving readers to wonder whether Nick is going crazy or finding enlightenment-or perhaps they're the same thing." –Cat Auer, Playboy (This Winter's Best Books)
"Max's latest graphic novel translated by Fantagraphics purifies and condenses his cartooning and thinking. Vapor charts the struggles and strange encounters of Nicodemos, a long-haired, long-nosed monk, who has quit the ‘gigantic muddle' of the world to seek transcendence in a desert through self-deprivations." –Paul Gravett
336-page black & white with spot color 8.5" x 8.5" softcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-777-2
"The Nancy books are beautiful, and that work is such that it will be pulled from shelves and re-examined years after other collections, ostensibly more exciting this very minute, have worked their way to the sales box." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
"Have you ever taken the time to read and devour Ernie Bushmiller's masterpiece Nancy. Deceptibly simple and oddly corny, it is surprisingly funny and a virtual textbook on comic storytelling." –Andy Mansell, Heroes Online
272-page full color 9.25" x 13.25" softcover • $39.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-762-8
"Black Light vows to burn out your eyes…" –Joe McCulloch, The Comics Journal
"His covers are really noir: spirals, figures falling down through space, big spider webs, just great... The colors are all totally primary: just bright red, blue, almost no subtle colors... they really work." - R. Crumb
200-page full-color 7" x 9" softcover • $22.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-597-6
"...[A] significant artist and engaging storyteller." - Robert Kirby, The Comics Journal
"Carré's work, fittingly titled Heads or Tails, probes choice, ambivalence and fate; in her stories, there's a flip side to everything, rendered in full and brilliant colour." -Laura Kane, The Toronto Star
Here in one place are the definitive Comics Journal interviews with the cartoonists behind Zap Comix. Featuring: Supreme underground artist Robert Crumb on how acid unleashed a flood of Zap characters from his unconscious; Marxist brawler Spain Rodriguez on how he made the transition from the Road Vultures biker gang to the exclusive Zap cartoonists' club; Yale alumnus Victor Moscoso and Christian surfer Rick Griffin on how their poster-art psychedelia formed the backdrop of the 1960s San Francisco music scene; Savage Id-choreographer S. Clay Wilson on how his dreams insist on being drawn; Painter and Juxtapoz-founder Robert Williams on how Zap #4 led to 150 news-dealer arrests; Fabulous, Furry, Freaky Gilbert Shelton on the importance of research; Church of the Subgenius founder Paul Mavrides on getting a contact high during the notorious Zap jam sessions; and much more. In these definitive interviews, the Zap contributors open up about how they came to create a seminal, living work of art.
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!