Advancements in modern technology have rendered the art of the prank phone call to be something of an anachronism. Which is a shame, and all the more reason why I'm rooting for this kickstarter to succeed. Never forget. Once upon a time, Park Grubbs was legendary, if mostly known only via tenth-generation cassette tapes shared through the mail by weirdos and misfits. Longtime Daniel Clowes fans will remember Grubbs as the esteemed winner of the "Eightball Prank Call Contest" (surely the Oscar of prank phone call awards). One of the kickstarter rewards is a signed print from longtime Grubbs co-conspirator / Fantagraphics friend and author Jim Blanchard, who will also appear in the film, I hear.
Usually art shows open with a fancy party, lots of chatting, wine drinking, art looking. But Jim Blanchard and the Dwelling Spaces Gallery in Tulsa, OK are mixing it up! Though the show opens this Saturday (June 21st), they're going to close out strong on July 17th at 6pm, the last day of the show, with Jim Blanchard in attendance to meet, greet, and have a good time.
Jim Blanchard has carved an impressive mark in the Seattle punk, art, and comics scene with original illustrations, band flyers, album art, The Stranger covers, and comics featured in books like Newave! and Treasury of Mini Comics.
If you find yourself in the Tulsa area during this gallery run, you need to do yourself a favor and see the vast array of paintings, posters, books, and some large gilcee prints that are also going to be available for purchase. But if you can't find yourself in the Tulsa area, you can also peep and/or purchase his work online!
Fantagraphics is thrilled to be part of the third annual Short Run Small Press Fest here in Seattle on Saturday, November 30th at historic Washington Hall in the Central District. Even though Short Run is a festival spotlighting self-published works, limited editions, and handmade books, Fantagraphics will have a presence in many, many ways, as you will see below...
• Visit the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery at Table L-51 on the first floor of Washington Hall! We'll have an excellent array of independent comics in stock from publishers who weren't able to make the trek to Seattle, like Koyama Press, Uncivilized Books, PictureBox, and more.
Plus, throughout the day, Manager/Curator Larry Reid will be joined by special guests who got their start in small press: our own Ellen Forney, who self-published her title I Was Seven in '75 with a Xeric Grant, and Bruce Pavitt, co-founder of Sub Pop Records, which started as a zine back in 1979. Stop by the table for a chat -- all three of them have tons of experience and knowledge about self-publishing that they'd love to share with you!
• All throughout the day, Short Run will be screening animation, including pieces from our own Dash Shaw and Lilli Carré, alongside Reel Grrls, SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team), and dozens of other animators from around the country. Screenings take place on the balcony level of Washington Hall.
• Fantagraphics staffers Jason T Miles [C-11] and Jen Vaughn [landing] will be exhibiting with comics of their own!
• And then there's the panels (all taking place on the first floor)!
---> 12:20 PM: Women in Comics // Our own Megan Kelso will lead and moderate a panel focused on the females with panelists Geneviève Castrée, Gabrielle Gamboa, Roberta Gregory, Julia Gfrörer, and Virginia Paine. I have to say, Megan has been doing some amazing planning and research for this panel, and it is not to be missed!
---> 2:40 PM : The World of Comics // A survey of comics around the globe with Jason T Miles, Pat Moriarity, David Lasky, and Leonard Rifas. (Inspired by our own Kim Thompson.)
But, wait! There's more... The day before Short Run Small Press Fest, Friday, November 29th, they'll be hosting Read/Write, a day of panels, workshops, and more at the Vera Project, including...
---> 2:00 PM : DIY Publishing in the Digital Age Panel // With our Associate Editor Eric Reynolds, plus Bruce Rutledge (Chin Music Press), self-publisher Alec Longstreth, and moderator Zack Soto (Study Group).
• And for full-disclosure, I, Janice, your friendly Flogger, should mention I'm one of the organizers this year, so there's that...!
For the complete Short Run Seattle schedule, including Read/Writeon Friday, November 29th at the Vera Project [ Warren & Republican Ave North ], and Short Run Small Press Fest on Saturday, November 30th at Washington Hall [ 153 14th Avenue ], visit shortrun.org! Both events are FREE and open to the public! See you there!
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery offers a colorful preview of the Northwest’s leading independent comix and zine convention. “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show” features original art, prints, and publications by some of the country’s most innovative artists. The show opens this Saturday, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
Local artists Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, and Fantagraphics Bookstore staffer Janice Headley will present an expanded version of the annual “Short Run Small Press Fest” on Saturday, November 30 at Washington Hall in Seattle. “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show” provides a preview of festival exhibitors selected by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid. Featured artists include Gabrielle Gamboa, Robyn Jordan, Noel Franklin, Coin Op, Mita Mahato, Scott Travis, Joe Garber, Fiona Avocado, Tom Neely, Nate Neal, Elaine Lin, Bettina McEntyre, Skill Shot, TBASA, Reid Psaltis, Bobby Mono, Aron Nels Steinke, Jim Blanchard, Peter Bagge, Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin, Max Badger, Shannon Wheeler, and more.
Join us on Saturday for a free reception featuring musical entertainment by Tummy. This event coincides with the wildly popular Georgetown Art Attack featuring challenging contemporary art throughout the historic district. Fantagraphics Bookstore 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.
The Pacific Northwest has become the center of a growing movement of handcrafted small press publishing. “Short Run Small Press Fest” is one of the country’s leading gatherings of self-publishing communities. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid has selected two dozen artists to represent this movement in “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show.” This show of original drawings, prints and publications opens on Saturday, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. The exhibition continues through December 11, 2013.
The Marathon title implies the epic effort often required to create a career in comix. To illustrate this concept, Reid has assembled an eclectic mix of emerging artists and accomplished cartoonists with self-publishing backgrounds. The show also acknowledges a new paradigm which affords artists the opportunity to fashion viable professions without the benefit of a major publisher. Fantagraphics Bookstore was an early advocate of the revival of small press media, which was once endangered by the ubiquity of the Internet.
Local artists Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh, joined by Fantagraphics Bookstore staffer Janice Headley, will present an expanded version of the annual “Short Run Small Press Fest” on Saturday, November 30 at Washington Hall in Seattle. “Marathon: A Short Run Art Show” provides a preview of festival exhibitors, including Robyn Jordan, Noel Franklin, Mita Mahato, Joe Garber, Fiona Avocado, Scott Travis, Peter Bagge, Tom Neely, Bettina McEntyre, Skill Shot, Max Badger, TBASA, Jim Blanchard, Aron Nels Steinke, Elaine Lin, and more.
The opening reception on Saturday, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM features musical entertainment by Tummy. This event coincides with the festive Georgetown Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic art community. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.), minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
MARATHON A Short Run art show curated by Larry Reid.
Featuring Gabrielle Gamboa, Robyn Jordan, Noel Franklin, Coin Op, Mita Mahato, Scott Travis, Joe Garber, Fiona Avocado, Tom Neely, Nate Neal, Elaine Lin, Bettina McEntyre, Skill Shot, TBASA, Reid Psaltis, Bobby Mono, Aron Nels Steinke, Jim Blanchard, Peter Bagge, Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin, Max Badger, Shannon Wheeler, and more.
Opening reception Saturday, November 9, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Musical entertainment by TUMMY
I'm going into this hoping that less is more and that a little convention report goes a long way with most folks. I know that's true of myself. I have yet to meet a comic book convention that I want to read more about than, say, WWI, despite how many con reports endeavor to prove me wrong.
What I'm really saying is, I didn't take as many pics as I should, especially as the weekend wore on.
I flew down Friday afternoon, this time attended by my girls (wifey Rhea and 5YO child unit Clem), which was a rare treat for me. It wouldn't be APE without a kickoff party at the "offices" of the House that Ron Turner Built, a.k.a Last Gasp, so we began there. In a vast warehouse of thousands of filthy, filthy books (I mean that most affectionately), my little girl zoomed in on this book like she was a dog working for the DEA and this was a brick of high grade hash that someone abandoned hastily during a raid of the premises:
BOO: THE LIFE OF THE WORLD'S CUTEST DOG features back cover endorsements from Nicky Hilton, Khloé Kardashian, cuteoverload.com and "Facebook Fan." Of course we bought it for her. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Gary Groth had had a daughter.
I could have spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures at Last Gasp. It is one of my favorite places in the world. It gives me MAJOR WORKPLACE ENVY. Fantagraphics is a wonderful place but we don't have Binky Brown's coffin on the wall (although our inventory manager, Martin Bland, has a very similar Jack-in-theBox):
Anyway, the always totally awesome Kristine Anstine showed Clem the toy section while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed the party a bit more...
Kristine, however, continued to take orders throughout the party because she's a PRO (take note: this will come up again later).
Before we took leave, the great Ron Turner himself gave us a tour of his "private stash". I love and respect Ron immensely and really admire the empire he's built. His collection of cool shit is nonpareil.
From Last Gasp, we kept on truckin' (hyuk) to Mission Comics for onetime MOME contributor Malachi Ward's exhibition. Which was great, but you'll have to take my word for it, because I'd had two IPAs by that point and forgot to take any more photographs.
APE kicked off on Saturday morning at 11AM after a couple hours of set up. This will be my own little "panic room" for the next 36 hours or so:
Here is our first customer of the day, Brian Herrick, a fine cartoonist in his own right, with equally exceptional taste. I believe he is the first person in the world to take home a copy of Julia Gfrörer's BLACK IS THE COLOR. With great power comes great responsibility, Brian. I was so excited for you I couldn't hold the camera straight.
Remember when I mentioned Kristine Anstine being a true PRO? Well, here's another. APE Special Guest Bill Griffith dutifully worked on not one but two ZIPPY dailies behind our booth all weekend, in those rare moments that no one was asking him if he was having fun yet. Now that's a pro. Always working. I asked Bill if he ever got tired of drawing (something I've heard more than once from cartoonists who have been at it a lot less time than him). He matter-of-factly and without missing a beat answered, "No."
Can you tell I'm running out of steam? I'm thinking of trying to get a blurb from cuteoverload.com for this one:
Here is a picture of Alec Longsteth, followed by a picture of Mario Hernandez. Excellent gentlemen, each. Mario is always one of the people I look forward to seeing most at APE. He had the prettiest fingernails at the show this year.
Here is my APE stash. I didn't get a chance to do any proper shopping this year, but thanks to generosity of many of my fellow exhibitors, I managed to come home with an impressive haul.
Which reminds me, did anyone else notice the spine of this month's issue of THE BELIEVER?:
There were so many old friends at APE that I didn't get a chance to take a photo of, like Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Pat Moriarity, and Renée French. I was too busy closing deals. ABC! ALWAYS BE CLOSING. What can I say? I, too, am a PRO.
Anyway, let me leave you with this cuteoverload.com-worthy piece by Graham Chaffee:
Written, drawn, printed, collated, folded, and stapled the DIY way: self-published and self-distributed mini comics are the labor of an underground comics industry, a subculture that thrives and depends on the selling and trading of these handcrafted booklets. In this community, there are no barriers to entry, no profiteering, and no cookie-cutter normalcy; the only limits are what the hand can draw. For more than 40 years, these tiny tomes have been fueling the alternative comics scene, and Treasury of Mini Comics is a gigantic compendium of the world’s smallest comics from some of today’s biggest names. Experience a celebration of folded-paper creations from cartoonists such as Jim Woodring, John Porcellino, Leela Corman, David Lasky, Marc Bell, Roberta Gregory, Dylan Williams, Kelly Froh, and many more!
The Stranger, one of our local alt-weeklies that shares many ties with Fantagraphics throughout the ages ran a tribute to Kim Thompson written by former employee Robert Boyd. Giving context to the comics world as the more commercial spoke the art world wheel, Boyd touches on Kim's job as a creative enabler and rabid music fan.
"Kim encouraged and cajoled many cartoonists to produce art they never otherwise would have dreamed possible. I imagine that if Fantagraphics had not been there in 1982, Jaime Hernandez might have gone on to a successful, respectable career as a penciller for Marvel and DC."
Lookit this cute li'l guy! Treasury of Mini Comics Volume 1 collects a wild-n-wooly assortment of mini comics from the past 4 decades or so in the Newave tradition, with faves and rarities from the '70s through the '10s from a roster too big to list here. You got your Ron Regé, Jr. there on the cover (and inside) and the spread shows some mid-'90s action by Jim Blanchard & Chris Cilla. It's all lovingly assembled by editor Michael Dowers along with creator interviews spanning the history of the art form. 848 pages! It'll be out around late September or so — keep 'em peeled for more sneak peeks.