• Seattle, WA: This Saturday finds rising star Julia Gfrörer signing the sensational new book Black Is the Color. Her story of a castaway sailor’s attraction to a nefarious mermaid examines the dubious value of maintaining dignity to the detriment of intimacy, and the erotic potential of the worst-case scenario. (more info)
This month, Portland celebrates a former resident of theirs: Jesse Reklaw!
Join Pony Club Gallery tonight from 6:00 to 10:00 PM for the opening reception of The Art of Couch Tag, an exhibit of original pages from his outstanding tragicomic graphic memoir, Couch Tag. I dearly hope there will be pages from the piece "Thirteen Cats" (featured in The Best American Comics).
Pony Club Gallery is located at 625 NW Everett Street in Portland. The exhibit runs through January 31st.
• Portland, OR: Don't miss a reading and signing with Jesse Reklaw at Floating World comics tonight! From 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Reklaw will be signing copies of his graphic novel, Couch Tag. Let him know which of his 13 cats was your favorite. (more info)
Friday, December 20th
• Chicago, IL: Lilli Carré debuts a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, part of the MCA's Chicago Works series, focusing on new work being made by emerging and established Chicago artists. She's created all new work for the show, including projected animation, works on paper, and a series of ceramic pieces. The show will be up through April 15th, but why wait? Go today! (more info)
• Mexico City, MX: Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd launch a stunning new art show, titled Challengers of the Unknown, atGuru Gallery Shop tonight! Come see Esther's glittered saucer paintings and collaged foil/pencil drawings. Mark will be exhibiting a group of new comic-inspired works, and debuting a limited edition zine with original drawings. (more info)
One of many highlights of the show is the cover painting for Jesse Reklaw's sublime graphic memoir Couch Tag. The artist will be present to sign copies of his amazing new book. Also on display is a suite of four drawings by Ellen Forney from her bestselling book Marbles as she contemplates the torment of Vincent Van Gogh. The show also features the debut of a significant new painting by Jim Woodring. We'll also have available the fanciful new collaboration between Woodring and Yo La Tengo including an animated video DVD and colorful soft vinyl figures. The perfect complement of art and music. Additional comix art, prints, and publications by Jeremy Eaton, Damon Gentry, and John Ohannesian make this an event not to be missed.
The party coincides with the holiday edition of the Georgetown Art Attack featuring adventurous visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. 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. See you all soon.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery opened seven years ago in Seattles Georgetown industrial district. In the intervening years, both the bookstore and the neighborhood have woven themselves into the cultural fabric of the region. Celebrate the impact of this unique urban enterprise on Saturday, December 14 with a festive holiday gala and opening reception for "cARToons: The Art of Alternative Comix" featuring Jeremy Eaton, Ellen Forney, Damon Gentry, John Ohannesian, Jesse Reklaw, and Jim Woodring. Exhibiting artists will be present to sign recent publications at the opening on Saturday, December 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
The bookstore's anniversary coincides with the holiday edition of the Georgetown Art Attack. Dozens of visual and performing arts presentations take place throughout the historic neighborhood, including wandering carolers from Choir of the Sound featuring our own Lynn Emmert.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.), only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
• Savannah, GA: Spooky Girls is a combined show by artists Austin Highfield and Dame Darcy that examines the duality of 2D and 3D art work. Please join them for an opening night of supernatural revelry from 6:00 to 8:00 PM! (more info)
Jesse Reklaw's Launches His New Graphic Novel at Floating World
WHAT: Get Off The Couch Book Tour for Jesse Reklaw's Couch Tag WHEN: Thursday Nov. 19th, 6-9pm WHERE: Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch St
Join Jesse Reklaw at Floating World Comics in Portland, OR on December 19th for a night to remember. From 6pm to 9pm, Reklaw will be signing copies of his twisted graphic novel, Couch Tag. Let him know which of his 13 cats was your favorite.
Veteran alternative cartoonist Jesse Reklaw, creator of the long-running weekly comic strip Slow Wave, delivers a tragicomic graphic memoir, his first long-form work. Presented as a series of comic novellas that together comprise a thoughtful, sometimes dark and often hilarious memoir about childhood, family, death, mental illness, sex and drug use, the entire book is told through cleverly inviting conceits like cat histories and card games. Reklaw's own psychological state is expressed through his erratic art-style changes and darkening imagery.
The graphic novel is told in five parts: In "Thirteen Cats" (featured in The Best American Comics), Reklaw discovers coping mechanisms that mimic his family pets; "Toys I Love" relates the author's pre-pubescent brushes with deviant sexual activity, and the way innocence converges with real sexual trauma; "The Fred Robinson Story" tells the story of Reklaw's period stalking perfect strangers; "The Stacked Deck," in which hereditary influences towards criminal behavior, drug use and depression are explored via card games the author played with his family; and "Lessoned," a family history of mental illness.
Floating World 400 NW Couch St Portland, OR www.fantagraphics.com/couchtag
Join Jesse Reklaw, Desert Island's Gabe Fowler and and friends tonight at Desert Island for a rockin' good time. From 7 to 9pm, Reklaw will be signing copies of his new graphic novel, Couch Tag, just for you! Let him know which of his 13 cats was your favorite.
He'll also be signing at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle on December 14th while gracing the shelves of Portland's Floating World on December 19th! See you at every single location!
This week's comic shop shipment included 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.
176-page monochrome/color 6.25" x 9.25" hardcover • $26.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-676-8
"[A] family's evolution springs from the stories and the dialogue. Clever, moving and often hilarious." –Houston Chronicle
"…it's another work in a very strong year for Reklaw that included the short he did for Robyn Chapman. An autobiographical tale that gets increasingly unhinged, Reklaw's work also reminded me of some of the emotionally infused alt-manga I read this year: a really unique comics-reading experience." –Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
There's a lot of energy hidden, pent up, in Reklaw's older normal "square" cartooning style, and it's starting to bust out and become unpredictable, more like he is in person." –Kevin Huizenga
144-page full-color 10.5" x 14.75" hardcover • $49.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-698-0
"It's easy to toss around the word 'genius,' especially when it comes to comics. We all have our favorites and we all like to think ours are the great ones. But one look at Roy Crane's work and anyone can see that he definitely was worthy of the 'genius' tag." - Tom Mason, Comix 411
"Crane's art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn't even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane's dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art. [Grade:] A-." –The A.V. Club