Mel Bowling is the unhappy, out-of-touch creator of a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield). He spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work. Sweatshop is a hilarious situational comedy from acclaimed author Peter Bagge (Buddy Does Seattle, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story) that ingeniously incorporates the visual styles of cartoonist guest stars like Stephen DeStefano (Popeye) and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit) to give voice to Bowling's colorful cast of misfit, aspiring cartoonists (plus a cameo by Neil Gaiman!), all attempting to make it big like their boss, but on their own terms. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 that was never collected, this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.
Behold! Advance copies of Johnny Ryan's latest collection, Angry Youth Comix, have graced our office. This is a book that, at first glance, would fit seamlessly amongst the great classics in literature in one's personal library—which just delights us to no end!
Our amazing designer Keeli has really outshone herself with this book, we think you'll agree. It's so damn beautiful it makes us wanna cuss! Angry Youth Comix is slated to invade a bookstore near you this March, so pre-order your copy now. Video and photoset previews will be coming up in the following weeks!
With this 21-page excerpt of our upcoming Angry Youth Comix, collecting all fourteen issues of Johnny Ryan's career-defining comic series, you'll get an appreciable taste of the glory that awaits. After the full table of contents, you'll be treated to 14 pages of "The Whorehouse of Dr. Moreau."
"I can count on one hand the number of comic artists whose work is as strong… maybe on two or three fingers… It’s a laff riot, what can I tell ya?" – R. Crumb
"Peter Bagge is the funniest cartoonist in existence… The situations Peter creates for his characters are gripping, hilarious and bitingly honest. His drawing style is completely original and would be funny on its own, even without his great stories." – John Kricfalusi
Any fan of cartoonist Johnny Ryan's work knows how understated and reserved he is. The truly refined nature of his comics deserves an equally classy cover design, and we think that our talented designer Keeli has outdone herself in creating a cover worthy of such stature.
Angry Youth Comix collects all fourteen issues of Ryan's series-of-the-same-name, as well as all the covers and letters pages, into one 424-page volume of absurdist, taboo-tackling humor! Although it's not out until February 2015, you can place your pre-order now.
Portland - If you haven't pulled out your best patched jacket and bindle stick out, now is the time to do it, Portland. Cartoonist and rambler Tim Lane is heading cross-country for an art show featuring his dense original art and will also be signing copies of his newest collection of comics, The Lonesome Go. Get in the mood for the event with one of the songs he recorded from his comic. 6-10pm at Floating World is the place to me. (More details)
Friday, December 5th
Los Angeles - Have you ever wanted to see EVERY STINCKER EVER? The time is nigh, friends, On December 5, from 7:30-10pm The Stinckers makers are having a release party (or a sticking party?) at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles (7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046). It will, of course, include some of your favorite Fantagraphics creators like Steven "Ribs" Weissman, Johnny Ryan, Esther Pearl Watson, Jordan Crane---the list is so long you'll just have to hit it up. Excuse me, stick it up! (More details)
Saturday, December 5th
Brooklyn - Bergen Street Comics proudly hosts Marguerite Van Cook and James Romberger for the The Late Child and Other Animals signing. Their comic collaboration collects the journeys and struggles over decades of this mother and daughter that are linked in five episodes that veer between lyricism, wry wit, and harrowing suspense hitting notes of European feminism. This New York couple is not to be missed nor is a party at Bergen Street, it's worth the subway ride and putting on your best winter jacket. The signing and fun begins at 8pm right at 470 Bergen Street. (More Details)
Seattle - At the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery we've got a two-fer event on Saturday night. Local self-publishing and indie comic show founder, Eroyn Franklin will present a preview of her new feature length graphic novel Dirtbag, supported in part by a grant from Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture. Inspired by 1950s pulp magazines, film noir, and EC crime and suspense comic books, Tim Lane will sign copies of his fascinating new graphic novel, The Lonesome Go. There will even be a little music! Come on down to 1201 S. Vale Street at 7pm for a swell time (More Details)
Los Angeles - That darn Stinckers group is having an art show at Comic Arts L.A. at the Think Tank Gallery. The time? TBA but mostly likely party o'clock! (939 Maple Ave, Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The list of past Stinckers includes Jeremy Eaton, Esther Pearl Watson, Mark Todd, Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Ben Marra, and many more!
Monday, December 8th
New York City - NYC, bring out your read! The well-read and illustrious will all meet up starting at 7pm on Monday at St. Mark's Bookshop. Van Cook and Romberger ready and rarin' to sign The Late Child and Other Animals plus their previous graphic novel, 7 Miles a Second. St. Mark's Bookshop is the place to be at 136 East 3rd Street, NY, NY 10019.
Friday, December 5th you could be anywhere: stuck to a lamppost, fluttering off of a junction box on the ave, 'cooling' up someone's composition notebook--wait, you're a person, not a sticker! Or in this case, a STINCKER! On Friday, December 5, from 7-10:30pm The Stinckers makers are having a release party (or a sticking party?) at Meltdown Comicsin Los Angeles (7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046). See some new stickers from Mats?!, Steven "Ribs" Weissman, Johnny Ryan and J. Roysdon. Maybe more!
The next night, December 6th, the group is having an art show at Comic Arts L.A. at the Think Tank Gallery. The time? TBA but mostly likely party o'clock! (939 Maple Ave, Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90015). The list of past Stinckers includes Jeremy Eaton, Esther Pearl Watson, Mark Todd, Jordan Crane, Matt Furie, Ben Marra, and many more!
The Stinckers machine is also a-live and a-ctive. They've also got their own new URL so make sure to make it rain internet confetti! From their blog: If you are visiting this blog and "now" is after 2034....HELLO ..! This is what the world looked like before you were born. We had buttonholes on our clothing and made fun of Facebook.... Quite a crew, order some STINCKERS! today, hit up one of these upcoming events or check out their long-list of comic stores that carry the Stinckers in stock, like the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery!
For everyone interested in the history of underground and alternative comics, Treasury of Mini Comics Volume Two gathers prime examples—more than 800 pages' worth—from a quintessential self-publishing format in this compact but hefty hardcover. Previously only seen in limited-run pamphlets, these comics are startling, visionary, hilarious, profane, and profound. This volume also takes a look back at the wild 8-page sex comics called "Tijuana Bibles" that sprang from the 1930s underworld, as context for the contemporary comics that compose this book. Editor and mini comics pioneer Michael Dowers provides a historical survey of several decades' worth of some of the best that DIY comics has to offer, from some of the medium's most talented independent creators, including: Johnny Ryan, Trina Robbins, R.K. Sloane, Jeffrey Brown, Jim Rugg, Tom Neely, Ellen Forney, Esther Pearl Watson, Renée French, Lisa Hanawalt, J.R. Williams, Pat Moriarity, Souther Salazar, Theo Ellsworth, Nick Bertozzi, Dan Zettwoch, Marc Bell, and many others.
Seattle, WA: We here are Fantagraphics are already pretty privy to how much of a genius our boss, Gary Groth, is. Finally the World is standing up to take notice! And by the World, I mean The Stranger Genius Awards for Literature. Books editor, Paul Constant will be presenting a showcase at the Frye Art Museum for all the literature geniuses, including Gary, visual poet, Shin Yu Pai, and writer of the current Ms. Marvel series, G. Willow Wilson. Tickets $10, with mingling and drinks beginning at 5:30. 21+ (More details)
Saturday, August 30th
Chicago, IL: Purveyors of the finest comics, Quimby's Bookstore of Chicago will be hosting the prince of spaces escapades, Lane Milburn, as he parties with the public to celebrate the release of his sci-fi epic, Twelve Gems! A Heavy Metal saga meets your math class compositon notebook in this beautiful space opera that traverses the cosmos. The boogying starts at 7 pm. (More details)
Los Angeles: As a part of the Everything Is Festival at the Cine Family, Prison Pit cartoonist, Johnny Ryan will be freaking audiences out by screening the animated version of Prison Pit Book One. Joining him on a panel to follow with be noted comedians and bad boys, Rick Shapiro and Blake Anderson. Begins at 2:30 pm. Get tix quick! (More details)
Houston, TX: Amazing Houston Comic Con will be hosting a slew of the comic industry's most notable artists, and joing them is of course Mr. Ed Piskor of Hip Hop Family Tree! He will be around Friday and Saturday, and will hopefully ask Rob Liefeld what he thought of the special HHFT #300, found in your forthcoming deluxe box set. (More details)
Decatur, GA: If you find yourself in the dirty south this weekend, get a little dirtier by hanging out with a bunch of authors of cartoonists at the AJC Decatur Book Festival this weekend where Eleanor Davis and Ed Piskor will be giving you the down low on their works. Eleanor and Liz Prince will be giving a presentation this day at 1:45 pm titled, "How to be Graphic" - told you the south was dirty - (More details)
Sunday, August 31st
Decatur, GA: Ed Piskor is doubling up on events this weekend and making his way across the great American landscape to bring a launch of Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2, and a moderated panel to follow, where he'll discuss the only two things that still make sense in the world, hip-hop and comic books. Scoot on down to the Marriott at 5 pm! (More details)
Boy oh boy, have we got a treat for you. As a part of the Everything Is Festival series, put on by the amazing Cine Family, you can not only screen the animated version of the first Prison Pit book, you can hear a bunch of funny people talk about how amazing it is afterwards! Of course the indescribable author of Prison Pit, Johnny Ryan, will be there, but joining him on the panel will be comedians, Rick Shapiro and Blake Anderson. You may remember the brilliant Shapiro for his reoccuring portrayal of "the angry poet" on Conan O'Brien, and Anderson from the all-star show, Workaholics (and for having fabulous hair).
The screening begins at 2:45 pm, and these gentelmen and scholars will all be there to help guide you through the supremely wicked and grotesque battlefield on the prison pit universe of hyperviolence and hyperhilarity. If your favorite W.W.E. personas came to life and unleashed the worst horrors on each other, you'll be barely scratching the surface of how amazing Prison Pit, and its DVD companion are.
Both both were a huge hit at this years San Diego Comic-con, and now you can check out why the f@$k everyone is talking about the best thing since slorge-arms.