Call it a Love Hate relationship: Visitors to the Fantagraphics booth #207 at this weekend's sold-out Emerald City Comicon in Seattle will be the first in the country to get copies of Buddy Buys a Dump. The third volume of Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley stories includes the Hate Annual adventures with a new 20-page conclusion. Come see.
Ellen Forney and David Lasky will sign at our booth today at 4:30 following their informative panel discussion on health care in the comix community. Don't miss the panel on Fantagraphics' future on Saturday at 1:00 PM in room TCC 301 with panelists Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Michael Catron and Kristy Valenti moderated by Paul Constant of The Stranger. (Check out this week's issue for Constant's panel preview.) This fascinating discussion will continue after the panel when the editors drop by our booth. Then meet the editor of Simon and Kirby's Young Romance series, Michel Gagné, at 3:00 PM.
Don't miss the booth appearance by Stan Sakai on Sunday at 11:00 AM. He'll be signing the first seven volumes of Usagi Yojimbo collections — a spectacular series brought to print by the late Kim Thompson. Here's a chance to meet one of America's most extraordinary artists. We'll have some seasonal Usagi treats in store for adoring fans.
Saturday, March 29th 1:00-2:00 PM Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Mike Catron, Kristy Valenti
[Our editorial dream team will also be appearing on the panel Fantagraphics Books: Forecasting the Future of Misfit Lit , on Saturday, March 29th. The Stranger's Paul Constant will lead the fantastic four in a discussion at 1:00 PM in Room TCC 301. Don't miss your chance at some first-hand scoop on our future projects!]
Seattle's lovable scamp, and the Manager and Curator of the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, Larry Reid will be more than happy to sell you some comics from Booth 207, up on the fourth floor. Please note: this is a condensed version of the map. You can view the full map here.
But wait! There's even more panels you can check out when you're not at our booth!
Friday, March 28th // The Wit and Wisdom of WebcartoonistsVeteran creators Jennie Breeden (The Devil's Panties), Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots), and Shaenon Garrity (Skin Horse, Monster of the Week), will share insights gleaned from a collective 38 years of webcomics experience. Moderated by Fantagraphics' Kristy Valenti. [ Room: HALL D (602-603) / 1:40 PM - 2:30 PM ]
Saturday, March 29th // What We Mean When We Say "Comics"Comics have become more diverse and divergent in recent years than possibly ever before, as a medium, an industry and a community. But what, exactly, are we talking about when we say "comics," anyway? Join panelists Kurt Busiek, Chris Roberson, Jen Vaughn, Shannon Watters, and Allison Baker as they discuss all things "comic." [ Room: HALL C (610) / 12:20 PM - 1:10 PM ]
Saturday, March 29th // It's More Than Drawing: Exploring Other Careers in the Comics Industry Working in the comic industry is not just limited to being an artist. Taking an initial comic concept through its steps to become a finished product takes a small army. From storyline creators and concept artists to the teams behind comic creation technology and tools, there are options in comic-focused career paths. Join panelists (including Fantagraphics' Mike Catron) as they discuss the growing spaces and emerging positions in the comics industry, share their personal advice and insight and even shed light on how they broke into their current job market. [ Room: 2B / 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM ]
Emerald City Comicon is held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center at 800 Convention Place in bustlin' downtown Seattle.
This Saturday, March 22nd Fantagraphics publisher and editor Gary Groth will be holding down the comics fort at PIX, Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo. The tables are open from 10am to 5pm. As part of the evening programming (plenty of time to get some dinner, dudes) Gary will be interviewed by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman from 10-11pm, complete with a Q&A session. Cartoonists Ed Piskor and Trina Robbins will also be attendence so you can get Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1 and Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 signed. Trina will be signing from noon to 1pm at the Fantagraphics table.
PIX is located at 10 S.19th Street in the city's South Side neighborhood. The building is located directly across S.19th Street from the South Side Giant Eagle shopping plaza. With its own lot and off-street parking, you won't have to pay a dime to get into PIX (more money to spend on comics!)
Gary is also doing some portfolio reviews at the ToonMuseum on the Friday before the show. Please see the PIX website for registration, limited spots are available. See you there!
• Pittsburgh, PA: Herstorian Trina Robbins brings her collection, Wonder Women: On Paper and Off, to the ToonSeum, and will be giving a special presentation to museum goers at 7:30 PM (tickets available here)! (more info)
Holy yes-more-please, SPX rocked us. Jacq Cohen, Gary Groth and I traversed across the country for one of the single best comic books shows that exists. We knew it was going to be quite the fun time when we boarded the plane and saw Joseph Remnant. A small favor to stranger later and he was TRAPPED between us for 4+ hours.
SPX is that magical place where we stay in the same hotel as the convention so you run into people all the time. We found a Ben Catmull by the elevators right away! Maybe he was haunting the place (NOT COOL, BEN)
Early morning rise and shine, all the books were out in their deliciously intimidating stacks including all sexy color Peanuts Every Sunday.
Speaking of Peanuts, kids are attracted to it like a magnet. Yes!
Sketching Guantanamo also debuted at SPX and Janet Hamlin, the military tribunal artist for the last seven years showed upwith some new sketches. This book is very important, not just to Janet or us but to the United States as a form of public record.
Peter Bagge signs some books for fans! (photo by Meredith Rizzo)
Zak Sally took a break behind our booth to do some sweet sketches.
The last thing to do at a con after packing up some unsold books and labeling boxes is EAT COOKIES. SPX social media coordinator and crazy busy man, Michael David Thomas, is the stuff fucking dreams are made of my friends.
I'm so pissed I forgot to show off my '90s HIP HOP socks to Ed while he was signing Hip Hop Family Tree. See those smiley faces and peace signs? The kind of socks you keep for the rest of your life! Eden Miller, Ignatz organizer, also showed off her own foot related fashion---an Ignatz tattoo pulled right from the pages of Herriman's comic!
Back on the plane ride home, Jacq took a photo of me working on comics.
We had SUCH a great time at SPX, thank you so much to Warren Bernard, Michael David Thomas, Dan Stafford, Eden Miller, Sam Marx and the many, many, many other staffers and volunteers who made the show rock. Our bags are already packed for next year.
If you're lucky enough to be in Seattle this weekend, don't miss the Bumbershoot Arts Festival. One of many highlights will be Fantagraphics Follies, an evening of eclectic entertainment featuring some of the country's most creative cartoonists, writers, artists, and musicians.
The show begins with Jim Woodring demonstrating his prowess with a giant pen. Over the course of the program, Jim will produce a drawing on paper that publisher Gary Groth procured from none other than Ralph Steadman! We'll check in on Jim's progress throughout the evening. Ellen Forney will show a clip of a new animation and talk about her sensational book Marbles. Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh present multimedia performances and reveal plans for their upcoming Short Run small press festival.
The evening concludes in awesome fashion as Danny Bland reprises Jack Kerouac's famous 1959 appearance on the Steve Allen Show. The notorious beat poet read from On the Road accompanied by Allen's piano improvisation. Bland will read from his new novel, In Case We Die, set in Seattle's grunge era. He'll be joined by Steve Fisk on piano, who is ideally suited to the task, having recorded the 1992 Sub Pop album Prison with legendary Seattle poet Jesse Bernstein.
The one-hour production starts at 6:00 PM this Saturday, August 31 at the Leo K. Theater, followed by a signing in the lobby. The next day in the same venue at 4:00 PM, catch Ellen Forney interviewing cartoonist-blogger Allie Brosh with opening act Bella Rowland-Reid, 14-year-old daughter of Fantagraphics curator and Follies host Larry Reid. Then there's Death Cab For Cutie, Gary Numan, MGMT, Crystal Castles, Icona Pop, The Breeders, Mark Pickeral, Redd Kross, Superchunk, The Joy Formidable, Marc Maron, The Zombies, Reggie Watts, and dozens more! Too much Fun! (Oh yeah, them too.)
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
We love all of our books but are especially happy for the creators of the Eisner-nominated books. You can vote until June 12 online. If you haven't read all of them, check 'em out individually or via our list!
Still no sure which to read? Heidi MacDonald, Cal Reid and company discuss the nominations on the Publishers Weekly podcast. Meanwhile, Chris Sims, Matt D. Wilson and more of War Rocket Ajax discuss the nominations, although I'm not sure how long the podcast will be up at this link.
Some of the nominations gather in our mail room. See you in JULY!
MoCCA was a BLAST, as usual. PR Director, Jacq Cohen, and I showed up early on Friday to set up the table. People couldn't wait for Saturday, clumping around the new books. Our two newest EC Comics Library releases featuring Al Williamson and Jack Davis' work are creating a heartbreakingly beautiful rainbow.
One side of the set-up table!
Friday night was Dash Shaw's opening for his New School art exhibition and 30th birthday at Desert Island. His fianceé (sorry, ladies and germs) made a cake that was uber-delicious. Below, Dash talks about his new comics.
Party hardy, Gabrielle Bell is talking to Ariel Shrag (!) in the left-hand corner.
A gentleman was purchasing Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez at Desert Island so we had to compliment him on his exquisite taste. Lo and behold, Tony (or so he says) showed up at MoCCA the next day ready to buy more quality comics, this time Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. My mom would be so proud that I'm still somewhat polite!
I ran into a familiar face, cartoonist and animation intern Andrew Greenstone, who was more than willing to hang out and shot the shit---I mean, talk business.
If I ever become a comic book store owner, I hope I'm as cool as Gabe Fowler. The red print was a Desert Island exclusive!
Cartoonist Charles Burns showed up to hang out with friends and look at comics. I never ever tire of that man's company, but he did mention some people are reticent to eat with him because of what he draws in his comics. FOOLS, I say! Also, Evan Dorkin makes Chris Duffy guffaw in the background. Doesn't "Griffith, Dorkin, Duffy and Burns" sound like an amazing lawfirm? Like possibly corrupt but they probably have a pastry chef on staff to appease their clients?
Also signing at MoCCA was Kim Deitch, whose new book The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is coming out soon and is haunting, to put it mildly. Deitch brought his original pages which fans poured over. James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook made their Fantagraphics signing debut for 7 Miles a Second, the moving comic written by David Wojnarowicz. The book has one of those covers that is both oblique and arresting (Jacq adds up some quick math on the right). While I did not stop a child from picking up the book, I did tell a parent or two it had adult material in it. One of my favorite sells of the weekend was selling Prison Pit Book Two to a 14 year old kid whose mom seemed dubious until I brought up the philosophy behind the book. The teen gave me a giant wink as he left, he might not get it still.
Van Cook discussed innovative printing techniques from their travels and non-profit advice while James would sketch in signed copies of the book.
Recently, Alex Dueben talked to Romberger for Comic Book Resources and stopped to meet them in person.
Next up was Leslie and Dash! Local cartoonist Leslie Stein is also in a pretty crazy fun band, Prince Rupert's Drops. If you live in the New York area, check them out. The rest of us will just live via our headphones or listening to their tracks on the recent AudioFemme interview. Leslie signed my old copy of Eye of the Majestic Creatureand we talked about second book that's coming out this fall! I heard some comments from other cartoonists that they feel weird about asking fellow toonies to sign their books but I don't give a humdinkle about that. Make it FANCY for me.
Dash signed the spine of many a Bottomless Belly Button and cover of 3 New Stories for eager fans. Those gorgeous red prints (you can only see a quarter of it) are available from Desert Island if you are looking for something for the Shaw fan who 'has it all.'
Given our close proximity to the stairs to the bathroom, there wasn't much chance for wondering down aisles or buying comics. I really wanted to read L. Nichols' Flocks and she was helpful enough to COME TO ME with her Square for my plastic purchase.
Tucker Stone, of TCJ and Bergen Street Comics, came by to get Gary's signature on a copy of The Comics Journal. Pretty cute, right?
Jacq and me with two of our debut books by Ulli Lust and Gilbert Hernandez! Photo by Dre Grigoropol.
Hung with bossman Gary Groth, Dash, Leslie and Jacq one night.
Charles Forsman was out and about with his Oily Comics micropublishing outfit. Chuck's comic, The End of the Fucking World, will be out this July from Fantagraphics in one single beautiful book. I'm so excited about that. We in no way support NCIS.
Chuck and I go way back, we used to work at the same graphic novel library together in Vermont. A photo from 2009:
Speaking of libraries, the next day Tom Spurgeon and I visited Columbia University's Butler Library and Rare Book room, led around by enthusiastic librarian Karen Green. It was so very cool to see our books with library binding but they've also perfected a myler binding so we don't lose those cool spine designs. Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button and Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo.
Kim, I didn't forget about you, the library has a lot of Jacques Tardi books. Some were checked out, which is even better than finding them at the library.
A grand place I hope to visit again. Thanks to Anelle Miller and her trusty band of volunteers for the enjoyable convention, Gary and Jacq for booth help plus a few of these photos. Lastly, another one of my favorite moments of the week was selling Dungeon Quest Book One to a gentleman on Saturday who came back Sunday to buy the other two after reading the first in one sitting. It was a cherry on top of an awesome convention.