This year is a full blow-out at the Small Press Expo at Bethesda, Maryland. On Saturday, September 13th (11am-7pm) and Sunday, September 14th (Noon-6pm) prepare to be blown away by the sheer talent at SPX. Held at the grand Bethesda North Marriot Hotel and Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda, MD 20852), Fantagraphics has lined up an impressive group of cartoonists to shock and amaze you! Stop by tables W57-61, RIGHT by the front doors for the best graphic novels and comics of the show.
Saturday Signing Schedule
11-12pm Tom Kazcynski + Jonah Kinigstein + Drew Weing 12-1:30pm Jonah Kinigstein + Simon Hanselmann 1:30-3pm - Eleanor Davis + Simon Hanselmann 3-5pm - Ed Piskor + Drew Friedman + Jon Barli 5-7pm - Conor Stechschulte + Chuck Forsman + Jesse Reklaw
Sunday Signing Schedule Noon-1pm - Eleanor Davis + Drew Friedman + Jonah Kinigstein 1pm-2pm - Eleanor Davis + Jonah Kinigstein + Conor Stechschulte 2-4pm - Simon Hanselmann + Ed Piskor + Drew Weing 4-6pm - Simon Hanselmann + Jesse Reklaw + Jon Barli
And bring your spiffiest clothing, we have a lot of books up for the Ignatz awards this year. You can vote ALL day Saturday and directly after the Ignatz Awards in the White Flint Auditorium, you are an invited guest to the Simon Hanselmann wedding. Yes, no gift needed other than your presence. From about 10-10:30pm, there will be live music, a full wedding party, tears and tissues everywhere!
12:30 - 1:30 Sex, Humor and the Grotesque
Eleanor Davis (How to Be Happy), Julia Gfrörer (Black is the Color), and Meghan Turbitt (#foodporn) have all produced comics that touch upon events, experiences, sensations and feelings that contemporary social discourse often fails to engage in meaningful or productive terms. This group of artists will discuss the intersections of humor, anxiety, sexuality and parody in their work in a panel discussion moderated by Katie Skelly (Operation Margarine). White Flint Auditorium
2:30 - 3:30pm The Closed Caption Comics Legacy In 2004 a group of students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) formed the loosely-defined art group Closed Caption Comics, their collective activity centered around an eponymous comics anthology which ran for nine increasingly ambitious issues. Ten years later, the members of the group are productively focused on individual projects. Several of them will discuss their common roots and current work, including Ryan Cecil Smith (S.F. #3), Molly Colleen O'Connell (Strip Mall, Poety Unlimited), Noel Freibert (Weird Magazine), and Conor Stechschulte (The Amateurs). Moderated by Brian Nicholson. White Flint Auditorium
3:00-4:00pm Micro-Press and Beyond For the past year, Robyn Chapman has been documenting the movement in comics towards very small publishing, otherwise know as micro-publishing. Robyn will briefly share findings from her upcoming publication (The Tiny Report: Micro-Press Yearbook 2013) before speaking with a range of publishers-from the micro-press to traditional small press-to discuss how they print, sell, and distribute their comics. Panelists will include Chuck Forsman (Oily Comics), Keenan Marshall Keller (Drippy Bone Books), Justin Skarhus and Raighne Hogan (2D Cloud), and Anne Koyama (Koyama Press). White Oak Room
5:00-6:00pm Drew Friedman's Heroes and Vaudevillains Drew Friedman is an iconic cartoonist and illustrator whose intensely rendered, caricatural work has appeared in RAW, Spy, The New Yorker, the New York Observer, and countless other venues. His Old Jewish Comedians trilogy of books celebrated entertainers who have attracted Friedman's fascination in a series of lush portraits. His new book, Heroes of the Comics, features eighty-four portraits of landmark figures from the history of comic books. Friedman will discuss his work in this special spotlight session moderated by Rob Clough (The Comics Journal). White Oak Room
6:00-7:00pm Inkstuds Live At this year's SPX, two cross-country tours explosively collide! Inkstuds host Robin McConnell has taken his popular comics-focused radio show on the road with special guest co-host Brandon Graham in tow, in a series of live Inkstuds programs. In Bethesda, Michael DeForge (Lose #6), Simon Hanselmann (Megahex), and Patrick Kyle (Distance Mover) will kick off their own book tour live on stage as McConnell and Graham's special guests. White Oak Room
Sunday Panels 2:00 - 3:00pm Charles Burns Q+A Charles Burns is among the world's most distinguished cartoonists. His work first gained notice in the pages of RAW Magazine in the 1980s. His meticulously drawn early stories reflected upon and transformed the tropes of historical genre comics. Burns then spent ten years drawing his graphic novel masterpiece Black Hole, which dissolved literal horror into the true horror of everyday life. At SPX he will debut Sugar Skull, which concludes the serialized narrative in his new trilogy of full color comics albums. Burns will discuss his work in a spotlight session moderated by Alvin Buenaventura. White Oak Room
2:30 - 3:30 Eleanor Davis: How to Be Happy Eleanor Davis (How to be Happy) will share an autobiographical presentation that will have something to do with finding truth in fiction and the strange passions inside an author/reader relationship. Moderator Tom Spurgeon (The Comics Reporter) will follow Davis's presentations with questions about her work, and will also take questions from the audience. White Flint Auditorium
Follow Megg the witch, Mogg the cat, their friend Owl, and Werewolf Jones as they struggle unsuccessfully with their depression, drug use, sexuality, poverty, lack of ambition, and their complex feelings about each other. It's a comedy! This is the first collection of Hanselmann's work, freed from its cumbersome Internet prison, and sure to be one of the most talked about graphic novels of 2014, featuring all of the "classic" Megg and Mogg episodes from the past five years as well as over 70 pages of all-new material.
In stores now, $29.99
Bumf Vol.1: I Buggered the Kaiser by Joe Sacco - Sacco has long been known and praised for his work in comics journalism, with such titles as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde, and The Fixer garnering widespread acclaim in The New York Times, TIME magazine, NPR, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. Now, Sacco is returning to his satirist and underground cartoonist rootsThe acclaimed cartoonist returns to his underground roots, indulging his love of satire and cartooning in this free-wheeling one-man anthology that Sacco promises "will go where it needs to go, and do what it needs to do."
In stores November, $24.99.
Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2 by Ed Piskor - Book 2 covers the early years of 1981-1983, when Hip Hop makes its big transition from the parks and rec rooms to downtown clubs and vinyl records. While many performers use flamboyant personas to stand out from the audience, a young group called RUN-DMC comes on the scene to take things back to the streets. This volume introduces superstars like NWA, The Beastie Boys, Doug E Fresh, KRS One, ICE T, and early Public Enemy, with cameos by Dolemite, LL Cool J, Notorious BIG, and New Kids on the Block(?!)!
In stores now, $27.99.
Hip Hop Family Tree Box Set Vol. 1: 1975-1983 by Ed Piskor - To celebrate the critical success of the first two volumes of Piskor's unprecedented history of Hip Hop, we are offering the two books in a mind-blowingly colorful slipcase, drawn and designed by the artist, featuring exclusive all-new cover art on each volume. Also included is the box set exclusive 24-page comic Hip Hop Family Tree #300, Piskor's elegant reflection on the ‘90s confluence of hip hop and comics, told in a perfect parody/pastiche/homage to that era's Image comics.
In stores November, $59.99.
The Lonesome Go by Tim Lane - The Great American Mythological Drama depicted by way of rich mixtures of myths and facts, dreams and reality, belief and disbelief, throughout a haunted landscape populated by the ghosts of a complex and rich fictional tapestry. You'll witness a young man's dubious quest to discover the myth of the protagonist from an obscure vintage comic strip; encounter sociopathic hobos in boxcars and misled young men whose facial pores sprout worms and who throw up babies into gas station toilets; visit modern "Hoovervilles"
In stores October, $39.99
Heroes of the Comics: Portraits of the Legends of Comic Books by Drew Friedman - Featuring approximately 75 full-color portraits and essays lovingly rendered and chosen by Drew Friedman. Heroes includes the full spectrum of American comics pioneers and legends of the ‘30s to the ‘50s: publishers, editors, and artists like Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, Al Jaffee, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Bill Gaines, and more. It's a Hall of Fame of comic book history from the man Boing Boing calls "America's greatest living portrait artist!"
In stores now, $34.99
Jim by Jim Woodring - Jim is a mind-bending collection of all of Woodring's best non-Frank creative work - comics stories, prose stories, drawings, and paintings all centered around Woodring's cartoon alter ego. This fictional doppelganger has for 30 years inhabited Woodring's alternate universe where shifting, phantasmagoric landscapes, abrupt, hallucinatory visual revelations, and unexpected eruptions of uninhibited verbal self-flagellation are commonplace. Collected here for the first time, Jim is a bounty of Woodring's inspired artistry.
In stores now, $29.99.
Gast by Carol Swain- In rural Wales, Helen, an amateur bird watcher, investigates the apparent suicide of a "rare bird" named Emrys. Her attempt to learn more about Emrys turns into a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a hard-fought reconciliation with the world - as it is. Helen's inner life is slowly revealed through a mixture of naturalistic detail and phantasmagoric occurrences. A philosophically mature vision, uniquely executed by an artist wholly in control of her craft, Swain touches on issues of identity, transgenderism and isolation.
In Stores now, $22.99
Doctors by Dash Shaw - This new graphic novel from acclaimed cartoonist Dash Shaw (Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, New School is his most taut book to dateDr. Cho's device, the Charon, allows entry to the afterlife to bring the dead back to life. But the dying unconsciously create the afterlife they want in their minds - what if they don't want to come back? Part science-fiction thriller, part family drama, part morality play for the 21st century, and quite possibly Shaw's best book to date.
In Stores October, $16.99.
Vapor by Max - In Vapor, the award-winning Spanish cartoonist Max (best known for his 2006 book Bardín the Superrealist) once again engages in delightful philosophical mind games, starring another wildly stylized and endearing protagonist - this time deploying a striking, crisp black and white graphic style perfectly suited for this desert-based fantasia.
by Richard Sala - A suite of related short mysteries and thrills, all depicted in Sala's trademark colorful watercolor washes and sharp, detailed line-work. Rising from the crumbling pages of some forgotten (and nonexistent) pulp magazine comes the diabolical villain Super-Enigmatix. Following in the bloody footsteps of master criminals such as Fantomas, Fu Manchu, or Professor Moriarty, Super-Enigmatix is ruthless, cunning, and thoroughly evil. In stores November, $19.99
An Age of License by Lucy Knisley - An Age of License is Lucy Knisley's (French Milk, Relish) comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) tour of Europe and Scandinavia. Featuring her hallmark mouth-watering drawings and descriptions of food, Knisley's experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries - about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life - that many young adults will relate to. It's is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.
In Stores now, $19.99
Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Son of the Sun (The Don Rosa Library Vol. 1) by Don Rosa - The Richest Duck in the World is back - and so are noisy nephew Donald, wunderkinder Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and rascally richnik Flintheart Glomgold! We're proud to present our first complete, chronological book of Duck adventures by contemporary fan favorite Don Rosa, who drew a whopping two decades' worth of ripping Scrooge and Donald yarns! It's at a price even Scrooge would consider a bargain!
In stores September, $29.99.
Set to Sea by Drew Weing - The cartoonist's nautical debut graphic novel gets a makeover for its paperback edition. A big lug and aspiring poet gets shanghaied aboard a clipper bound for Hong Kong and learns to live - and love - life on the sea. Every page is a single panel, every panel is a stunning illustration, every illustration a part of a larger whole that tells a story in the deft language of cartooning. In stores October, $14.99
Waiting for the Great Pumpkinby Charles M. Schulz - Linus and his wait for the Great Pumpkin have been a pop culture touchstone for nearly 50 years thanks to the animated television special ("I got a rock"), and it all started in the classic Peanuts strips from 1959-1962 collected in this affordable, fun-sized gift book.
In Stores now, $9.99
Emperor's New Clothes by Jonah Kinigstein - an 80 page oversized landscape format softcover collecting Kinigstein's political cartoons inveighing against the trends of abstract and modern art through the 20th. Meticulously rendered in pen and ink in the tradition of George Townshend and James Gilray, the elaborate compositions skewer artists, curators, and critics. $30.00.
Fukitor by Jason Karns - Reprinted from the artist's self published zine, the book is a 144 page compilation of full color comics that reside uneasily between a straight and satirical response to the violence, xenophobia, and sexual and racial stereotypes found in pop culture.
"Hip-hop devotee Piskor was one of Harvey Pekar's last collaborators and here shows himself to be Pekar's true disciple as a chronicler of popular culture... Piskor's artwork seems equally indebted to the looks of golden-age DC superhero comics and Pekar's greatest collaborator, R. Crumb." -Ray Olson
"His drawings (under his famous "VIP" signature) stood out not just for their immediately recognizable, wildly peculiar look (once described as 'pleasantly grotesque') but also for their insouciant treatment of such matters as sex, booze, and death... Barli's well-researched biographical text will fascinate cartooning aficionados, but for most readers, the volume's appeal lies solely in the wealth of rare VIP work he's assembled, much of it printed from the original art." -Gordon Flagg
This Tuesday, editor and designer Jonathan Barli will give a talk on cartoonist Virgil Partch, aka VIP. Barli recently edited and designed the recent collection The Mad World of Virgil Partch. The seventy-second meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on January 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public, just make sure not to flask it publically.
From the symposium website: Jonathan Barli on The Mad World of Virgil Partch. An in-depth look at the life and art of one of the most influential and trendsetting cartoonists of his generation. The talk will be illustrated by scores of unseen photographs and artwork, cover Partch's life and times and how they influenced his artistic sensibilities, and include a thorough analysis of his cartooning and the context in which his work appeared. From a remote island off the coast of Alaska and a stint as an animator at Disney Studios during its golden age, Partch burst onto the scene with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. An artist truly ahead of his time, his unique perspective and style ensured he would become one of the most prolific cartoonists of his era, and solidified his role in inspiring generations of cartoonists, animators, and illustrators.
Jonathan Barli is a designer, writer, and filmmaker. He was educated at the School of Visual Arts and soon after graduating, co-founded Rosebud Archives: a company dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of the graphic arts, where he serves as Art Director.
January 28, 7:00 PM Parsons The New School 2 West 13th Street (in the Bark Room)
Virgil Partch burst onto the scene in the nation’s magazines with his zany, sometimes surreal, but always hilarious cartoons, catapulting his career virtually overnight. Known to millions by his signature, “Vip,” this comedic genius was unlike anything the world had seen before. His unique brand of humor and trendsetting approach to cartooning ushered in a new era of the gag cartoon and pioneered a standard of madcap humor across the spectrum of comedy that was reflected in the cutting-edge sensibilities of comedians like Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, and Jonathan Winters, and the trailblazing pages of Mad magazine. Inspiring a new breed of cartoonists, Vip became the most sought-after cartoonist of his generation, as well as one of the most prolific and influential cartoonists of his era. He not only transfigured the pages of an incredible array of the nation’s magazines, he also wrote jokes for other cartoonists; illustrated books, album covers, and advertisements; and his boozy drawings adorned merchandise such as cocktail glasses, beer cans, and napkins. Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch is the only comprehensive collection celebrating Partch’s rollicking life and career. His brilliant artwork and writings are reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and family archives. Finally, Vip’s place in the world of cartooning and humor is distilled in this “lush” appreciation.
“[Virgil Partch] was among a half-dozen or so cartoonists who had an absolutely distinctive style ... He was in a class by himself.” — Chuck Jones
“I wanted to become a professional cartoonist because of Virgil Partch. Cartoons were all sort of the same [at the time], and suddenly this man came along, drawing both eyes on one side of the face and pointed noses and lines that continued in a roll ... he was sensational! Virgil Partch was a big discovery for me.” — Sergio Aragonés
“Virgil Partch was one of the most influential cartoonists of his day. And through natural continuum, still is. He was one of those individuals who devise new approaches and realizations for all of us. His graphic sense and style were highly individual, as was his humor and the design of his pictures ... the height of comedic art. Vip was the V.I.P.!” — Arnold Roth
Only a few months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor and the same year that Albert Camus offered the world his bleak vision of man’s existence by introducing his philosophical dictum of The Absurd, Virgil Partch burst onto the scene with his own twist on the phrase. Partch was a cartoonist who offered comic counterpoint to the grim headlines and a unique perspective on human nature in the pages of the nation’s most popular magazines.
Known to millions by his jazzy signature, VIP, this comic genius ushered in a new era of the gag cartoon — zany, sometimes surreal, always hilarious — that inspired a generation of fellow cartoonists starting in the 1940s and '50s. His madcap style of humor was reflected in the cutting-edge comedic sensibilities of Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, Ernie Kovacs, Bob & Ray, Stan Freberg, and Jean Shepherd, and would position Partch as one of the most prolific "gag-men" of his day. VIP contributed to an astonishing array of magazines, wrote gags for other cartoonists, illustrated books, album covers, and advertisements, and adorned merchandise including, appropriately, cocktail glasses.
VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch is the first time Partch's life and career has been treated in full, collecting amazing artwork from the entire range of his inspired career — reprinted from original art, primary-source publications, and collectors' and family archives — and featuring his own writings. VIP's place in the world of cartooning and humor can finally be fully appreciated in this beautiful coffee-table volume.
After dropping the first photos of Vip: The Mad World of Virgil Partch on you yesterday, we hustled to put together this 26-page excerpt for you to read and download. Peruse the Table of Contents, read the first 2 chapters, marvel at the wealth of photos, and ogle Vip's undulating line in copious examples of original artwork. This fabulous and impressive book comes out in November and is sure to have a Very Important Place on your shelf or coffee table!
Vip, Vip, hooray! One of the weirdest and funniest cartoonists of the 20th century finally gets his due in VIP: The Mad World of Virgil Partch by Jonathan Barli. This weighty coffee-table tome celebrates the man and his art across over 200 oversized, lavishly illustrated pages. Partch revolutionized the single-panel gag cartoon as we know it by injecting a healthy dose of absurdity and adult subject matter — namely sex and booze — and became hugely successful along the way. And yet his life and work has never been comprehensively examined, until now! Archivist, editor, writer and designer Jonathan Barli has assembled an astonishing array of original art and artifacts and gathered them into a stunning package. Get a sneak peek here and look for it on shelves in November!