This weekend, October 4th and 5th, Fantagraphics will be tabling at one of the sunniest conventions of the year! APE, Alternative Press Expo, also has a new look to it. You'll find the convention center And you can bet your bippy you can find us at tables 331, 332, 333, when you enter just go straight up the middle aisle and we'll be on the left. The show is from Saturday: 11:00-7:00, Sunday: 11:00-6:00 so stop by our table and say hello to Associate Publisher, Eric Reynolds!
1:45-2:30PM The Hip Hop/Comics Connections Panel APE special guest Ed Piskor, author of the New York Times bestselling series Hip Hop Family Tree, examines the 40-year relationship between comics and Hip Hop culture. The journey begins with Vaughn Bodé characters painted on trains, moves to cartoonists creating rap album covers, to rap artists creating comic books, and to the ultimate merging of the two cultures into Ed's current work. At the FIREHOUSE.
2:30-3:30PM Everyday Inspiration: What Inspires the Comics You Write? Inspiration strikes when you least expect it! APE 2014 special guests Ed Piskor(Hip Hop Family Tree), C. Spike Trotman (Templar, Arizona), and Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage) discuss the origins of their own comics with moderator Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum), with a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process. At the FIREHOUSE.
5:00-6:00PM Spotlight on Robert Williams APE special guest Robert Williams (painter, cartoonist, The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams) and Eric Reynolds (Associate Publisher of Fantagraphics Books) will discuss Williams's career, from underground comix legend, co-producing Zap Comix in the 1960s, to co-founding Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine in the 1990s.
6:00PM-7:00PM Teaching Comics: Academia and Sequential Art Comics have entered the hallowed halls of academia in a big way! After decades of neglect and disdain, universities are finally engaging with the form on its own terms, with classes and programs geared at teaching students comics theory, history, and practice. What are the opportunities and challenges of teaching comics? How does our beloved, scrappy, DIY artform fit into this new world? What does it mean to both the comics industry and the academic world that graduates with MFAs and BFAs in comics are entering the workforce? Justin Hall (No Straight Lines) moderates this discussion with a dynamic group of teachers, students, and comics professionals: Trinidad Escobar (Dummy Creepers), Nathan Fox (School of Visual Arts), Maia Kobabe (The Thief's Tale), Alec Longstreth (Basewood), and Matt Silady (California College of the Arts). At the FIREHOUSE.
8PM-MIDNIGHT Ed Piskor is doing a signing at The Isotope (no, not technically a panel). So be there for the fun and music by DJ BEARZBUB! More details here . Sunday
3:15-4:15PM Dark Comedy in Comics Too soon? Not funny? Don't go there? Bob Fingerman (Minimum Wage), Jason Shiga (Demon), Ed Piskor(Hip Hop Family Tree), and Shannon Wheeler (I Don't Get It) discuss pushing the boundaries of humor with Andrew Farago (Cartoon Art Museum). At the FIREHOUSE.
4:15PM Queer Cartoonists Panel The Queer Cartoonists Panel is back for its 11th not-so-straight year! A group of engaging and talented creators gather to discuss the art and business of comics, examine the complexities of LGBTQ identities, and answer probing questions from moderator Justin Hall (No Straight Lines). The star-studded cast: Maureen Burdock (Five Feminist Fables), Gene Guilmette (The Protector Corps), Sara Lautman (Macrogroan), Lonnie Mann (Thoughts from Iceland), Matt Wobensmith (Wuvable Oaf), and Rick Worley (Waste of Time). On top of all that, the recipient of the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant 2014 will be announced! At the FIREHOUSE.
APE 2014 Alternative Press Expo Oct. 4-5, 2014 Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion 2 Marina Blvd. San Francisco, CA 94123
Now through Sunday, June 29th, we're offering a sale on those very same books, with both discounts and bundled deals (and, in the case of Wuvable Oaf [edit: and MASSIVE!], beginning pre-orders)! Extend your Pride celebration into next month by picking up a new summer read, completing your Wandering Son collection, or finding the perfect gift for the near, dear, and queer friends in your life.
Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez
The life of a man, the span of a century. There is hope and joy, there is bullying and grief, there is war, there is love, there is heartbreak. A standalone masterpiece of elliptical, emotional storytelling from the pages of Love and Rockets, finally completed and collected.
Maggie the Mechanic collects the earliest, punkiest, most heavily sci-fi stories of Maggie and her circle of friends, including best friend and sometimes lover Hopey, bombshell Penny Century, and Maggie's weird mentor Izzy.
Featuring comicdom's most treasured girl-lovin' girls, this 128-page softcover collects the first four issues of the surprise hit erotic comic of 2001, plus a bunch of bonus art and previously-unseen strips!
Love is in the air. In junior high, the simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence — and it's even more complicated when coping with the knotty issue of gender identification.
Oaf is a large, scary-looking ex-wrestler living in San Francisco with a posse of adorable kitties. He is on a quest to find love in the big city and has set his sights on Eiffel, the lead singer of the grindcore band Ejaculoid. Expected to ship in early spring 2015!
Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It [Pre-Order]
Big, burly, lascivious, and soft around the edges: welcome to the hyper-masculine world of Japanese gay comics. The first English-language anthology of its kind: a collection of manga from the most talented and influential artists in the gei komi genre. Expected to ship later this fall!
Sunday, May 4th • Los Angeles, CA: The Unlovable 3 Launch Party is at 5pm at Skylight Books. Cartoonist Esther Pearl Watson will be there to sign books so you can impress all the hotties at school. (more details)
The opening reception for the show, which runs through the month of May, will feature comics readings, signings, and geeky good times. A full array of queer comics and art will be available from all three artists, as well as from Northwest Press, during the reception from 8-10pm on Friday, May 2nd. Check out Justin's work from No Straight Lines and even pick up a copy while you're there! Ed Luce and Jon Macy also contributed comics in No Straight Lines, get your book signed at the 3-Way, maybe even at the same time (depends on their flexibility, wink.)
Magnet is 4122 18th Street, San Francisco, California 94114. They are open Wednesday - Friday 10am-8pm, plus Tuesdays + Saturday closing at 6pm. Check out their site for more events and their free sexual health services.
Next weekend, April 5th and 6th at the regal 69th Regiment Armory Fantagraphics will be participating and doing a little dance for the MoCCA Arts Fest. Gary Groth will be presiding on his court with Frank Santoro at the Fantagraphics tables for MoCCA fest on April 5-6th. We'll be on the slight right just as you enter the convention at tables A20-A23!
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.
Summer vacation is here and Tammy Pierce is back with more sometimes ordinary, often humiliating, occasionally poignant, and usually hilarious exploits from the pages of Bust magazine! Her hopes, dreams, agonies, and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson's lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the eighties essentials - too much mascara, leg warmers with heels, and huge hair, etc.
Vol. 1 (paperback) by Charles M. Schulz This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, features hundreds of strips rarely reprinted before this series. 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!
Friday night be sure to check out Robert Williams' Mr. Bitchin', a documentary about his career, showing at SVA's Beatrice Theater in collaboration with the Society of Illustrators.
2:00 Drinking Ink: Art Spiegelman and Joost Swarte in Conversation (Room One) Art Spiegelman and Joost Swarte have a long association, dating back to the earliest days of Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly's RAW Magazine, to which Swarte was a frequent contributor. Both artists have distinguished themselves with artwork both witty and profound, both have produced expressive comics and striking single images, and both have worked in multiple media including architecture and performance. Together, the pair will discuss their careers, their shared histories, comics and more in a conversation moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos. (90 minutes)
3:30 Drew Friedman Presents Old Jewish Comedians (Room One) Drew Friedman is an iconic cartoonist and illustrator whose intensely rendered, caricatural work first gained notice in the pages of publications including RAW and Spy, and whose illustrations regularly appear on the front page of the New York Observer. His upcoming book, Heroes of the Comics, will feature portraits of cartooning legends. Currently the subject of an exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, Friedman will discuss his Old Jewish Comedians series of books in this special presentation, revealing the concept and process behind these books, as well as their reception among the "Old Jewish Comedians" themselves. Broadcasting legend Joe Franklin will be co-hosting this auspicious panel.
1:00 Robert Williams Q+A (Room Two) Robert Williams has enjoyed a diverse and profoundly influential career expressing a singular artistic vision. Emerging from the West Coast hot rod scene (where he produced graphics for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth), Williams produced some of the finest underground comix of his era in the pages of Zap. Williams proceeded to produce a body of intense, phantasmagorical paintings and jumpstarted the so-called "lowbrow" art movement, founding the influential Juxtapoz Magazine in 1994. He will discuss his career in comics and fine art with critic and curator Carlo McCormick (Paper Magazine).
2:00 How Comics Are Queer (Room Two) As long as there have been comics there have been queer cartoonists. Comics that authentically engaged queer experience in America emerged in the radical underground comix milieu of the 1960s and '70s, fueled by the social liberation movements of the era. Comics' status in American culture echoes queer experience: once marginalized, now accepted, but still contested-while some of the most acclaimed comics of the day speak to and from queer experience. Howard Cruse, Edie Fake, Justin Hall and L. Nichols will consider the historical and contemporary intersections of queer experience and comics with moderator Margaret Galvan (The Graduate Center, City University of New York).
SUNDAY PANELS: 1:00 Comics, Illustration and the Conceptual Image (Room One) What does it mean to express an abstract idea in a concrete drawing? What is the difference between an idea that can be expressed in a single image and one that requires sequential exposition? Internationally acclaimed artists Marion Fayolle (In Pieces), Joost Swarte (Is That All There Is?), and Brecht Vandenbroucke (White Cube), work in both comics and illustration, addressing subtle emotional and intellectual concepts in each form. They will consider these questions and more in conversation with New York Times Art Director Alexandra Zsigmond.
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:
Boasting one of the most PACKED signing schedules of SPX and Fantagraphics' we have FOURTEEN people signing at our table (and a few more Fantagraphics' cartoonists are tabling all by their lonesome) You can find all these sweet 'n' sassy cartoonists and book debuts at tables W57-6, along the very rightmost wall.
As usual we have an action-packed signing schedule for you at San Diego Comic Con. Keep your schedules open so you can stop by our magnificent table and get your signatures hot and fresh in your books at - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/?Itemid=113&option=com_myblog&show=San-Diego-Comic-Con-Debuts.html#sthash.199ZEXcU.dpuf
• Hip Hop Family Tree by Ed Piskor Yes yes y'all! This explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history will school you on the old school, taking you back to the early days of the music genre that changed global culture. Originally serialized on the hugely popular website Boing Boing, Hip Hop Family Tree is now collected in a single volume cleverly presented and packaged in a style mimicking the Marvel comics of the same era.
The only public visual record of the notorious, historic, carefully censored military trials at Guantanamo is Hamlin's courtroom sketches. This book collects her most potent and revealing sketches and chronicles her experience. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?keyword=sketching+guantanamo&search_type=titles&Search=Search&Itemid=62&option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse#sthash.xQzpBR6W.dpuf
Court Sketches of the Military Tribunals, 2006-2013 - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/browse-shop/sketching-guantanamo-court-sketches-of-the-military-tribunals-2006-2013-oct.-2013.html?vmcchk=1#sthash.DF2ADBuc.dpuf
• Fran by Jim Woodring What is to become of the beloved trilobular chuckbuster Frank now that he has journeyed outside the Unifactor and met his soulmate, Fran? The answer is delivered here in devastatingly unpredictable fashion. Fans of Frank, connoisseurs of bizarre romance, and spelunkers in the radiant depths of graphic metaphysical psychodrama will want to add this singular cartoon adventure story to their lifetime reading list.
• Everybody is Stupid Except for Me (And Other Astute Observations) by Peter Bagge A decade of informed, provocative, cantankerous & hilarious cartoon opinion pieces from our favorite libertarian curmudgeon, on topics ranging from Stupid War to Stupid Sex and, of course, Stupid Politicians. BONUS: This new edition of the sold-out Everybody Is Stupid features an extra 32 pages of never-before-collected comics, including an epic biography of eccentric libertarian (and Ayn Rand contemporary) Isabel Mary Paterson.
• Treasury of Mini Comics Volume 1, edited by Michael Dowers Four decades of deliberate DIY cartoon rebellion! Collecting some of the best mini comics ever produced by some of the most creative artists in the world. In a do-it-yourself world, anything goes... boundaries are crossed, envelopes pushed, wounds opened. From the silliest fart or boob jokes to the most deeply felt "EMO" style poetry, mini comics creators have been uninhibited in their efforts to strive for something fresh, raw, and vital.
• Love and Rockets: The Covers by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez (badass design by Jacob Covey) A beautiful, oversized art book featuring over 120 iconic comic covers (front & back) from the first 3 decades of Love and Rockets, collected for the first time in full color. The perfect gift for L&R fan, this book presents them without trade dress (logos, marketing hype, etc.) when possible, allowing the original cover illustrations to communicate on their own. With a fancy clear plastic book jacket, you need to grab a copy and return home a hero.
A beautiful, oversized art book featuring over 120 iconic comic covers (front & back) from the first 3 decades of Love and Rockets, collected for the first time in full color. The perfect gift for L&R fan, this book presents them without trade dress (logos, marketing hype, etc.) when possible, allowing the original cover illustrations to communicate on their own. With a fancy clear plastic book jacket, you need to grab a copy, get it signed and return home a hero. - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/?Itemid=113&option=com_myblog&show=San-Diego-Comic-Con-Debuts.html#sthash.RzbNaI5J.dpuf
• Wandering Son Volume 5 by Shimura Takako In this volume of the acclaimed series about transgendered kids exploring their unfolding identities, we've reached a big event; the junior high school entrance ceremony. Envy and jealousy are prominent themes in Volume 5: Chiba-san is jealous of Takatsuki-san, for whom Nitori-kun still carries a torch. Maho envies Anna-chan's professionalism as a model. And Chii-chan's loyal sidekick, Shiri Momoko, is intensely jealous of anyone in whom Chii-chan shows the slightest interest. And so our protagonists set off on the journey to adolescence....
• Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Christmas on Bear Mountain by Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge's first appearance, in one of Barks's funniest holiday stories! "Christmas on Bear Mountain" is one of Barks's funniest holiday stories and a true landmark in comics history, and offers a fascinating look at a rough-edged, genuinely nasty character whom Barks would soon soften... Journey to Volcania, "down under" and the West Indies with Donald and the nephews. Plus seven 10-pagers and abundant critical and historical notes. Not available in stores until NOVEMBER!
• Walt Disney's Donald Duck Christmas Gift Box Set by Carl Barks A double dose of Disney's Donald Duck! A thoughtful, memorable, can't-miss special Christmas item handsomely presented in an inviting gift box set that will delight readers of any age. In these twin volumes, you'll find page after page after page of intrepid quests, daring adventures, and breathtaking escapes. Readers will be spellbound by these timeless classics - with their engaging plots, clever humor, and heartwarming themes.
For the first time, the entire spectrum of four-plus decades of queer cartooning is collected under one cover. Featuring groundbreaking crossover successes like Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Ellen Forney, Dan Savage and David Wojnarowicz, as well as international superstars like Ralf König and Nazario and dozens of others cartoonists who have rarely been read outside the greater queer community. Editor Justin Hall has assembled an invaluable piece of comics history and LGBTQ culture.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
328-page black & white/color 7.5" x 10" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-718-5
"From Stonewall and the AIDS crisis to the terrifying specter of domesticity, this clear-eyed, unsentimental collection demonstrates the extent to which, for LGBT people, the personal and the political have always bled together." -Glen Weldon, NPR Books
". . . who the volume is aimed at-the LGBT audience or a much wider one? Editor [Justin] Hall guns for the latter, but without softening the edges that define the genre, and he's quite successful." -Publishers Weekly
By Friday everyone was in the San Diego swing by now. Steven 'Ribs' Weissman, Johnny Ryan and Ron Regé, Jr. were ready to WOW everyone! The Kim Thompson Tribute panel was held that day and the room was packed. Thank you to everyone who came out, Eric Reynold's panoramic photo below.
Here a librarian freaks out over Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull, which she had preordered for her library! The whimsy and humor surprised her but in a good way.
Leader of the new cult The Cartoon Utopia and Lavender Diamond rockstar Ron Rege, Jr. joins the Fantagraphics' signing table for the first time! And to the left is No Straight Lines editor and contributors Justin Hall and Dylan Edwards to the left.
Then a fucking WIZARD showed up, guys. And a practical one too, his golden cape hid his backpack but was slit so he had easy access.
And then a WORD wizard showed up! The Advocate's Jacob Anderson-Minshall leans in for a photo with Dylan and Justin.
More friends stop by like Scott McCloud (again!) here with Jacq, Steven and Johnny.
Cartoonist Alex Neal visits with Weissman while Johnny Ryan chats up Robert Williams!
Flippin' through some Weissman originals.
Former Comics Alliance, current Image content manager/editor David Brothers shows off his dollar bin find! That lady 'needs a real man'.
Next up, Tony Millionaire blew in from LA to sign his new book Green Eggs and Maakies with Cathy Malkasian and Paul Hornschemeier.
Tony had a artifact someone had MADE for him from his books. SUPERFAN, he might be right behind you, Tonyyyyy.
We shared some pipes and drapes space with NBM publishing who, for some reason, put their porn RIGHT next to our signing section. Pensive and apprehensive Paul ponders porn.
Speaking of Eisners, here are some shots of our cartoonists on the BIG SCREEN. Spain Rodriguez and Trina Robbins were both inducted in the Hall of Fame and Ellen Forney presented an award along with Becky Cloonan. The Complete Pogo Vol. 2 'Bona Fide Balderdash' won an Eisner!
Then Michael Kupperman's 'Moon 69' comic from Tales Designed to Thrizzle won an Eisner award for Best Short Story! Eric read his hilarious acceptance speech that framed Eric for Kupperman's 'death.'
The Eisner next to some totally legit beers...
Out in the post-Eisner party, the comiXology boys Tony, Matt and Anshu celebrate LIFE and Fantagraphics' digital comics.
A few more photos tomorrow (I KNOW you need MORE). Then our eyes are on Autoptic, SPX and BEYOND.