Today, our January Book-A-Day Sale features a bittersweet, melancholy book by Jordan Crane—his first self-published graphic novel. The Last Lonely Saturday is a largely wordless, two-color book telling the story of an older man on the day he visits his departed wife's gravesite.
In this evocative, romantic novella, told in a beautiful red and yellow palette, Crane's economical images waste not a line, and his narrative flows effortlessly from panel to panel in this heartwarming story of love and love lost.
As the leaves begin to turn shades of red and orange (or fall straight off and green depending on where you live), backpacks are dusted off in preparation for a new load of textbooks, and we move into fall, we figure you could use some cause for celebration. How about our Labor Day/Back-To-School Sale? We've got great titles of all-ages, young-adult, and non-fiction titles at a whopping 40% Off from Saturday, August 30th through Monday, September 1st!
School can be anything you make of it, especially you don't give a damn. For the guy or girl that knows everything, try Unlovable 1and 2by Esther Pearl Watson. She may only break wind and not hearts, but Tammy Pierce is unstoppable. For some short stories from all walks of life, ugly and less ugly, grab Daniel Clowes' Caricature, often compared to to Nabokov for their complex naturalism and sense of humor.
Is cutting class altogether a common memory for you? How about a classic Fantagraphics alternative comic, sure to win even the most jaded of hearts: Daniel Clowes' Ghost World (now in its 20th printing) is for you. Already have it? Try the male version of Ghost World, Celebrated Summer by Charles Forsman, that came out in 2014. Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson also follows the teenage trail of growing up and growing apart.
Cutting class was too weak? You just dropped out all together? Damn, you might enjoy Giraffes in My Hair, a Jack Kerouac-style story lived by Bruce Paley and drawn by his partner,Carol Swain, all about the summer of '67. On the cusp of flunking out with a drug habit, A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross, is an intense and raw look at her own high-school experience. If you're looking for more personal and semi-autobiographical comic stories look no further than The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso. It also contains stories about the idea of America and American history, such as a trilogy of short pieces about Alexander Hamilton.
Consider some new books about comics as an assignment for a graded discussion. Black Images in the Comics by Fredrik Strömberg walks through comics, old and new, to enlighten the audience about the hideous caricatures racism produces so that we may never stray there again. Best American Comics Criticism compiled by Ben Schwartz features the best essays on comics from Chris Ware on Rodolphe Töpffer, Dan Clowes on Mad's Will Elder, The Daily Show's John Hodgman on Jack Kirby and more!
Celebrate LA cartoonists at the opening reception for Beyond Baroque's first ever comic show, Going Graphic! Sponsored and organized by enthusiastic champion of the comic's medium, Comics Juice. Meet and mingle with artists Ron Rege Jr., Jordan Crane, Tom Neely, and others. Then settle in for laughs as the attending artists read pieces from their work.
Beyond Baroque is a renowned literary and arts center/performance space/theatre/gallery/bookstore, located in the gorgeous old city hall building of Venice, CA. And they are pleased to be venturing into new territory with their first comic art gallery exhibit, highlighting LA's leading talent, and we're thrilled that some of our most exciting artists have been included!
The exhibit will be on display until July 19th, 2014, but the FREE opening reception on Sunday, June 22nd will begin at 3 pm, with the once-in-a-lifetime reading slated to begin at 4 pm.
Don't miss out on this community driven celebration of cutting edge cartooning work.
Charlotte, NC: Soak up some Southern charm at the 2014 Heroes Con! Known for being almost solely comics centered, there are too many amazing artists and writers attending for me to list them all. But here are some Fanta greats that'll be holding it down in the invitation only, Indie Island: Rich Tommaso! Noah Van Sciver! Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez! Plus so, so, so many others. The convention runs from June 20-22, with tickets still available! (More details)
Saturday, June 21st
Charlotte, NC: Continues through the weekend! Just as awesome as yesterday, maybe as awesome as tomorrow. Don't miss the Hernandez Bros panel at 1:30, moderated by Tom Spurgeon!
Savannah, GA: The solstice is going to get fun and freaky in Savannah as Dame Darcy hosts its first annual Mermaid Parade through Tybee Beach! Wear your boldest Mermaid costume, win prizes, clam jam to live music, and take a chance to be crowned mermaid QUEEN! Parade kicks off the festivities at 1 pm. (More details)
Seattle, WA: If you've been looking to spruce up your walls with some new original art pieces, pop by the Jeremy Eaton art show in Ballard, running from 12-6 pm. (More details)
Seattle, WA: For the first time, Seattle audiences will get to witness the live action comics anthology performance of Gridlords #23! Presented by Short Run, watch a combination of music, puppetry, video, readings, and more come together to form an original narrative. Many artists are participating, including Andrice Arp! Begins at 7 pm, at Gallery 1412. (More details)
Sunday, June 22nd
Venice, CA: A free opening reception for an exhibition celebrating the work of LA comics artists winds down the weekend, and features pieces by the likes of Ron Rege Jr., and Jordan Crane! The featured artists will be attending and reading from their work. Sponsored by Comics Juice, the reception begins at 3 pm.
Forget these icy cold temperatures -- Fantagraphics is heading to sunny L.A., baby! Join us on Sunday, February 16th for the 3rd Annual L.A. Zine Fest!
It's gonna be HOT, in a figurative, if not literal, sense: our own Ron Regé, Jr. will be presenting a multi-media presentation for The Cartoon Utopia, and the great Esther Pearl Watsonwill be hosting the excellent Zine Hut with her husband, artist Mark Todd!
And for the real scorcher: Jaime Hernandez will be the Keynote Speaker! He'll be in conversation with Charles Hatfield, author and professor of English, CSUN, discussing his groundbreaking work on the legendary Love and Rockets series!
This wonderful event is FREE and open to all, so, come by and see us from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM!
L.A. Zine Fest is located at the Helms Bakery District Parking Garage (between La Dijonaise and Vitra) on 8703 Washington Blvd. Check out their website for lots of helpful tips on how to get there and where to park, and heads up, two lanes of traffic on the 405 from Getty Center Dr. north to Ventura Blvd will be closed! (They're calling it "jamzilla"!)
Since Fantagraphics and comiXology shook hands that fateful weekend last summer, the hits just keep a-galloping through the gate. Here are the books we have kickin' around in our digital stable ready to be rode hard, combed down and fed oats (in the form of your high-star ratings).
Here's a run-down of the digital comics we currently have available to read on your tablets, iPads, eReaders, myPads, ThinkTouches and more. Click on titles to be taken to their page at comiXology.
Memoirs of the artist's misspent youth. Raunchy, hilarious, and often violent as hell, an unsentimentally nostalgic trip to half a century ago — the anti- Happy Days, set to a true rock ’n’ roll beat. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?keyword=cruisin%27+with+the+hound&search_type=titles&Search=Search&Itemid=62&option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse#sthash.zYJMZj3B.dpuf7 Miles a Second by David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook.
Note that most of these books are available at your local comic book store or our website in print form but we know you have to save that shelf space. Every Wednesday we have 1-2 new digital releases, sometimes same-day releases as the book. Buy a book for yourself or someone you love today.
Aaron's up to issue 55 now, wow, and this one boasts a most beautiful wraparound cover by our own Jordan Crane. "Pen Pals" is the story of Aaron and Yula, his Ukranian friend. It's gorgeous, beautifully-written, and I can't believe it's only three stupid bucks.
Get yours while supplies last at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.
The best looping GIF of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: Publishers Weekly gives a Starred Review to Messages in a Bottle by B. Krigstein. "Krigstein’s stories are sometimes epic and sprawling, sometimes compressed and confined…His mastery of chiaroscuro, and his dramatic composition and layout, applied across a very wide range of subject matter, are what make this gorgeous collection so essential."
• Review:The AV Club also shows extreme love for the comics of B. Krigstein in his new collection Messages in a Bottle. Noel Murray writes, "Krigstein treated each assignment as a chance to put theory into practice, and even among EC’s formidable roster of stylists, Krigstein stands out as one for whom the words around the pictures almost don’t matter, because the art’s so mesmerizing that it’s hard to pay attention to anything else…"
• Review: The Advocate warms up to the reading of Gilbert Hernandez's Julio's Day. Jacob Anderson-Minshall writes "Hernandez is able to illustrate that those events had a global reach and dramatically impacted the lives of everyone — including the people in Julio’s life…A remarkable accomplishment that is likely to find its way on numerous Best of 2013 lists and garner Hernandez more well deserved awards and accolades, Julio’s Day is, at its heart, a gay story."
• Plug:Philip Nel plugs our latest volume of The Comics Journal #302 and it's interview -- the last interview-- with children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. "Above all, in reading Groth’s interview, it’s great to hear Maurice’s voice — his salty, funny, grumpy, insightful, irascible voice — just one last time."
• Review: Neal Wyatt of the Library Journal looks at the new books coming out this year from Fantagraphics. "Browsing the Fantagraphics spring catalog underscores the myriad of styles and literary approaches that graphic novelists and artists explore—be it Anders Nilsen’s near metaphorical images or Dash Shaw’s crowded and kaleidoscopic landscapes." He singles out Good Dog by Graham Chaffee, The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley by Kim Deitch, Lost Cat by Jason, New School by Dash Shaw ("Known for his frenetic and inventive artwork…") and The End by Anders Nilson.
• Plug: The Austin Public Library highlighted two of our books on their blog. On Jordan Crane's The Last Lonely Saturday, Betsey Blanche described as "The artwork is simple – drawn in mostly red and yellow – but full and effective." They also pulled out Lilli Carré's The Lagoon: "It’s another haunting but beautiful book about a family, mysteries, and the power of legends."
• Review:The Comicbook Pusherman looks at 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago. "…as a comic it absolutely crackles. The art is stunning. Santiago clearly captures baseball's (and Clemente's) unique energy and the Americas of the '50s and '60s and most distinctly the Puerto Rico of the 30s and 40s," says Jeffrey O. Gustafson.
• Seattle, WA: Comics collective Intruder will be launching the fifth volume of their quarterly newspaper at Cairo, featuring a cover by our very own Tony Ong, with comics inside by staffer Jason T. Miles, freelancer David Lasky, and former staffer Alexa Koenings! (more info)