Jim, the long-awaited new collection of Jim Woodring's non-Frank work (which includes the material from the out-of-print The Book of Jim plus much more, old and new), has gone off to the printer and here is the cover art for you to puzzle over and be made slightly uncomfortable by. Be glad we're not subjecting you to the back cover, which has what is presumably a childhood drawing by Jim that is genuinely frightening.
Look for more previews and information as the July release date approaches, but don't wait to pre-order!
Linework NW was this weekend and yes, yes, yes fantastic. And if you're wondering where photos are of the two dudes in charge, François Vigneault and Zack Soto, they just never stopped moving long enough to photograph! (Photo above by official Linework NW photographer, Caroline Smith)
At the Opening Party (at Reading Frenzy) Ed Luce tells Edie Fake a secret.
The back gallery held a lot of gorgeous Jim Woodring and Michael DeForge art.
Linework NW staffer Sam Marx grabs the yet-to-be-released-in-stores, Buddy Buys a Dump by Peter Bagge. The collected Hate comics are the first ones Marx read as a kid, you can get them in print or read them digitally via comiXology (the first issue is free for a limited time!).
Julia Gfrörer returned to Portland to sell the last few copies of Black is the Color, here she's on a panel with the fantastic Tom Neely and Farel Dalrymple. (Photo by Caroline Smith)
Special guest and Fantagraphics' cartoonist Jim Woodring's line just WOULDN'T QUIT the whole show.
Woodring also brought his huge nib and Linework NW had a little fundraiser for anyone who wanted to try to draw with it. Did you know he has to BOIL the dried ink off the nib? And here I was just using some Windex like a chump. (photo by Caroline Smith)
Diana Schutz, Dark Horse editor, stepped behind our booth for a minute to hawk our wares (she's a fan of the classics) and then ran into Shawna Gore and her half-clone.
A whole lotta Seattle people came down to Portland for the show like this line of dudes: Nate, Dave, Gavin and Dean. Kinda in love with their candid, posed, candid, posed pose (unrehearsed but I think this isn't their first rodeo).
One of Jacob Covey's schoolmates came by the booth to 'WOW, HOLY SHIT look at this DESIGN' on Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey Treasury. Ladies of the press, Allison Baker (Comic Book Resources) and Shannon O'Leary (Publishers Weekly) came by for a squeeze.
Austin's best new micropublisher, Foxing Quarterly, hangs tough with some beautiful issues with art direction by Jim Rugg and a cat print by Dash Shaw. Sloane Leong and some manga fans drooled over Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano. A few people mourned the fact they had bought the book from Amazon and were waiting on it instead of buying from us directly, "I could be reading it right now!" Craig Thompson just had to come by and visit with Jim Woodring for a bit (in case, you know, anyone he was eating dinner with that night wondered why he was late).
And finally, one of my favorite reoccuring con sightings are the young kids that read Johnny Ryan. Like, DEVOUR it. His mother was unfazed by any phallic or vaginal imagery in it. Parents, am I right?!
The show was non-stop. It was a tad hot since we were in the back but such fun to engage with fans of Fantagraphics' cartoonists and books in general.
Norse Hall was beautiful and I'm already sad that Linework NW will probably move somewhere larger next year but Zack Soto and François Vigneault know aesthetics.
The after-party at Em Space Book Arts Center was slammin' with pizza, beer and so many letter presses - I was honestly a little apprehensive with amount of food around the equipment but everyone was pretty respectful. Portland State University Vanguard reporter, Andrew, gets the low-down on the show from Danithan and Caity of Foxing Quarterly.
Anna helped out at the table for a good chunk of the day and Seattle cartoonist Damon Gentry offered his food-getting services countless times. Thanks for having us and being so darn sweet to us, Portland. Fantagraphics will be back!
Get yourself SO READY for Fantagraphics at the new, hip one day show in Portland, Oregon this weekend called Linework NW that is absolutely free to attend! From 2-9pm Linework NW will be open at Norse Hall at 111 NE 11th Ave. You'll find the Fantagraphics table (#18) RIGHT next to Jim Woodring's for all your signing needs! We'll have all the Multiverse titles you've been craving plus Woodring's sketchbook, Problematic. Julia Gfrörer will also be at Linework, right as you walk in the door (in teal below). If you see a copy of Black is the Color on her table or ours GRAB IT* because it is sold out. Julia is also signing at our table from 5:30-6:30pm.
There are more parties than show practically at Linework. Thursday night is Edie Fake's presentation and siging for her new book, Memory Palaces at Floating World. The Opening Party is at Reading Frenzy on Friday, April 11, 7:00pm featuring Jim Woodring and Michael DeForge. After the show on Saturday is the Closing Party at Em Space: Saturday, April 12, 9:00 pm. And then finally on Sunday, April 13th at 7pm Gridlords will be performing along with Julia Gfrörer at Holocene Portland.
• 4:30pm Release Party (Greig Lounge) Some of today's best cartoonists reveal their exciting new projects scheduled for 2014....and Beyond! With Farel Dalrymple, Julia Gfrörer, Sam Alden, Tom Neely and Benjamin Marra. Moderated by Sam Marx.
• 5:30pm Super Real (Greig Lounge) Explore the surreal worlds of Special Guests Jim Woodring and Michael DeForge. In conversation with Cameron Snyder.
Two butchers arrive at work to find their shop empty of meat and their minds empty of how to do their job. As customers arrive, events become increasingly disastrous. A surreal, debut graphic novella of horror and humor with one huge, hanging question. This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book establishes Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
He's back! Now in his 30s and married with child, onetime slacker hero Buddy Bradley gets a "real" job, shaves his head, dons an eyepatch, quits his "real" job and buys the local dump - because what better place to raise a toddler? Peter Bagge's iconic character is to alternative comics what Homer Simpson has been to television animation over the past quarter-century: a generation-defining slacker and the greatest comedic character of its form and era.
This 32 page floppy comic is a sweet & sour, sad & funny story that follows the adventures of Annie and Verti as they shoot homemade movies for YouTube, guerilla-style, and face some unexpected consequences. What could possibly go wrong? A one-shot dose of humor and melancholy from the creator of New School, BodyWorld, and Bottomless Belly Button.
• The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 Vol. 1 (paperback) by Charles M. Schulz This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip. Three major cast members - Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus - initially show up as infants and only "grow" into their final "mature" selves as the months go by. Even Snoopy debuts as a puppy!
So come on by this fantastic FREE show this Saturday and say hi to me, I'll be sling all those hot Fantagraphics' titles you've been waiting for!
* and pay for Black is the Color or I will hunt you down.
Coming RIGHT UP, Elysian Brewing Company is releasing the new Jim Woodring Oddland brew: Ginger Berry Brown Ale! This new crispy brew features "a thicket of raspberry, blackberry and boysenberry with a thorny touch of ginger." It joins the past brews like the Peppercorn Saison and Spice Pear Ale and on cold refrigerator shelves everywhere (and Charles Burns' 12 Beers of the Apocalypse from 2012).
Elysian Brewing Company will be tapping their Woodring Oddland kegs on Thursday, March 13th at all their Seattle locations so be sure to pull up a bar stool (maybe with your favorite Frank graphic novel like Weathercraft, Congress of the Animals or Fran) and enjoy the tasty collaboration between one of Seattle's finest cartoonists and brewmasters. Visit the Cap Hill location (1221 E Pike Street), Elysian Fields by the stadiums downtown (542 1st Ave S, Seattle), Elysian Tangletown up north by Green Lake (2106 N 55th St).
One of the all time greats of American cartooning and a legendary figure in Pacific Northwest arts, Jim Woodring is an accomplished illustrator and oil painter, and his creations have also been translated into 3D in the form of toys. He is best known for his surreal comic series JIM, from which sprang the iconic character Frank. You may also know him from his quest to create a giant, functional pen nib, which he'll be bringing to Linework NW!
A free one day convention, Linework NW will play host to many fantastic cartoonists selling their own comics, prints and zines in addition to some publishers like Fantagraphics, Foxing Quarterly, Koyama Press, Oni Press and more. And yes, we'll bring you guys some Ginger Berry Brown Ale for your tasting pleasure and the full Woodring experience.
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)
[The Umpteen Millionaire Club is our series which puts forth book club discussion questions for Fantagraphics titles. The Comics Journal interns Keith Baralato, Eli Powell, and Evans Winters put together this set of questions. - Ed.]
Written by Keith Barbalato, Lillian Beaty, and Sonya Selbach
Rendered in vivid black and white (though it evokes psychedelia), Fran: The Preceding and Continuing Congress of the Animals depicts a story of love, loss, and healing - all in wordless panels. From one page to the next, Woodring builds a fantastical world Frank readers will be familiar with: the Unifactor is the landscape against which Fran and Frank's love plays out. In Fran, the impetuous titular character drags reluctant Frank along on adventures that clearly depict two very different people trying to find common ground, despite Frank's wish for total honesty and Fran's desire for complete privacy.
What effect does having no words in this comic have?
What does the mysterious "memory device" represent?
Why is Fran so against having this "memory device" on, and why is Frank so forceful about her wearing it?
Do Fran and Frank transcend gender roles? If so, how does Woodring depict this?
What is the nature of their relationship?
How do their personalities complement each other, and how do they clash?
How do Fran and Frank interact differently with their environment?
Who is the "many-eyed-man"?
How would you characterize Frank's relationship with his pets?
What purpose do the pets serve in Woodring's narratives?