This is a story about a girl, born at the beginning of the 20th century. She grows up in a small river town in upstate New York. One day the mysterious Charles Varnay, an eccentric who dresses in the style of an 18th century dandy, comes to town, his sole companion a remarkably intelligent dog named Rousseau. Varnay wants to star Katherine in a movie serial he plans to make, called The Goddess of Enlightenment.
Katherine is rather put off when she discovers that he expects her to appear nude in this film. But even more strange is the film’s subject matter: It has to do with seven metal urns that Varnay claims are actual recordings of the voice of Jesus Christ which, he says, contain an urgent message that the modern world needs to hear!
Varnay also claims that his dog, Rousseau, is the product of experiments he has been making in advanced selective breeding. He’s eager to continue these experiments with human subjects; Katherine realizes that he’s expecting her to be a part of this, and it worries her...
The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is a full-length graphic novel created in a striking "widescreen" landscape format that allows Deitch to give full rein to his astonishing graphics.
We're thrilled to announce two of our esteemed artists will be guests-of-honor at the 2013 Locust Moon Comics Festival in Philadelphia: come say hi to Kim Deitch and Michael Kupperman!
While Fantagraphics won't have a table ourselves, you can visit these fine gentleman direct on Saturday, October 5th, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
The festival itself takes place on Saturday, but events and festivities at Locust Moon Comics will spill across the weekend, including a Drink & Draw, a book release party, and post-con pancake breakfast.
The second annual Locust Moon Comics Festival will be held at The Rotunda, located at 4014 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia (must... resist urge... to sing "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme song...).
So, it seems perfect for Kim to present his latest work on the opening night of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, at the historical Castro Theater on Thursday, July 18th!
It will be an amazing, enlightening evening, as they'll be screening the rarely-seen Louise Brooks film Prix de Beauté, starting at 7:00 PM. And then stick around afterwards as the adventures continue with our own Kim Deitch signing his most recent masterpiece, presented in "widescreen" format!
The Castro Theatre is located at 429 Castro Street, at Market Street. Tickets to the screening are available online here.
The last thing you'll read before the San Diego PR Storm 2013:
• Review: The AV Club looks at Ulli Lust's Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. Noel Murray writes, "Today Is The Last Day Of The Rest Of Your Life takes the form of a post-apocalyptic horror story, wherein the heroine ekes out a meager existence by day and then fights off monsters by night.…Lust takes readers inside her experiences, letting them feel how high hopes can devolve into raw survival."
• Review: Ulli Lust's Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is reviewed in the New York Times by Douglas Wolk. "the book ripples with exuberance:…Lust’s pen-and-ink work (augmented by the pale green tint of European paperbacks) depicts the stretched and crimped features of the people from whom she bummed change, the architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica and the chaos of a Clash concert with equally manic panache, and her line is as seemingly unkempt but as deliberately molded as her younger self’s punk-rock shock of hair."
• Review:Booklist Online spends the day with Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret by Carl Barks. "The applause-worthy effort… Oodles of shorter pieces provide more evidence yet that this series is an essential addition to any serious (or just plain fun) comics collection" writes Ian Chipman.
• Review: The New York Journal of Books reads Donald Duck: The Old Castle's Secret by Carl Barks. "There is no tantrum like a Donald Duck tantrum…Every single page of this new collection of classic Donald Duck stories is filled with silliness and slapstick and adventure…Try not smiling at Carl Barks’ work. It’s impossible," says Mark Squirek.
• Interview: Zak Sally on The Comics Journal interviews on Peter Bagge and The Beat follows up. Bagge states, "I like the way [a pamphlet or floppy comic] feel. To me it's an ideal format, the traditional comic book format. It's the perfect amount of material to read in one sitting."
• Commentary:The Beatand Hannah Means-Shannon discuss the humor panel from HeroesCon 2013 featuringPeter Bagge(there promoting his new book, Other Stuff). When asked advice from a younger cartoonist Bagge replied, “If you’re goal is to be a starving artist, it’s an easy road ahead."
• Review:Dead Canary Comics look at Prison Pit series by Johnny Ryan. "It's so extremely excessive in its hilarity it draws stifled belly laughs from your gut on packed trains as parents and politicians glance witheringly at images of monsters shitting themselves, ghouls eviscerating ghouls... in an age when we've got more X Men titles than people on the planet it's refreshing to just have a comic book that's all about entertainment!"
• Plug: Speaking of Johnny Ryan, show off how you don't fucking mess around with a PRISON PIT patch! Only $5 (plus shipping).
• Review: Brian Heater of BoingBoing looks at Leslie Stein's Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2."It’s a sort of childlike forgiveness of life’s darker corners, which carries on into grown up stories…Stein's is a welcomingly unique take on the well-trod world of autobiographical comics, and once you've excepted her rhythms as your own, it can be a hard world to step away from."
• Review (audio): NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour enjoy Dash Shaw's New School. Glen Weldon states, "Instead of a tidy narrative, [New School] is about art, about the art that's in the book itself…There's stuff going on at other levels, the intuitive, the leve of the unconscious, the subconscious I guess you could say.…This book is just fascinating."
• Review:Booklist Online reviews Goddamn This War by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney. "…six years of hopelessly indistinguishable trenches, explosions, corpses, mud, and maggots, all of it depicted via three panoramic panels per page rendered in smoky grays and foggy blues—with blood accents… The pages are strewn with images of dead bodies and midexplosion terrors, but the unforgettable centerpiece is two wordless pages of disfigured postwar faces"
• Review:About.com looks at Anders Nilsen's The End. Jeff Alford writes "these pages come from such a raw emotional place that they'll reverberate like an echo from a well....It's a message we've heard before, but its majestic delivery and the difficult path that led to this revelation make The End all the more exceptional."
• Review:Comic Pusher looks at Anders Nilsen's The End. "This isn't a non-fictional description of grief written after the fact, this is grief, unfiltered and complete…The best sequences are where Nilsen breaks away from the heartbreaking emotional literalism and opens out into almost abstract expressions of the nature of grief."
• Review: Johanna Draper Carlson of Comics Worth Readingunpacks Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundaysby Floyd Gottfredson. "The lighter approach makes this book a better choice to share with your young ones. They should love the timeless highjinks of the mouse and his friends. And anyone can appreciate the skilled cartooning and astounding art, so well-done it almost seems to move on paper."
• Commentary: Heidi MacDonald of The Beat talks about Lorenzo Mattotti at BEA. "In Italy Mattotti is pretty much an all around art and design god, and he's known here for his New Yorker covers, and Fantagraphics has been putting out his recent work in Englias."
• Review:Wandering Son Vol. 4 by Shimura Takako gets reviewed by Read Comic Books. "…what continues to make Wandering Son a fantastic read is the frankness it presents developmental sexual identity…Few comics will challenge you like Wandering Son. It covers a topic not widely written about or discussed, and does so in a tactful, warm, embracing manner," concludes Nick Rowe.
• Review: The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center gives Wandering Son Vol. 4 a whirl. Terry Hong comments," ‘Fresh' is exactly the right word to describe this gentle gender-bender series…Creator Shimura Takako is a compassionate, empathetic storyteller without judgment or guile. Her young characters face their inescapable maturity as best as they can in a brave new world of ‘gender-fluid'."
• Review (audio):It Has Come to My Attention recorded a short 7-minute review of Barnaby Vol. 1 by Crockett Johnson. "Fantagraphics deserves a Nobel Prize in Literature for their efforts to reprint complete runs of classic American comic strips… There is rarely an attempt at more than 2-dimensions but that flatness provides a late art deco elegance to [Barnaby].…This strip is fun, funny, I'm so glad its back and Fantagraphics is giving it their usual top-notch presentation,"
• Review: Letterer Todd Klein looks at Pogo Vol. 2Through the Wild Blue Yonder by Walt Kelly. "…this strip is perhaps the opposite of 'Peanuts,' which went with a minimalist approach. 'Pogo' is maximalist! Both are great fun and often quite funny.…There’s really not a single thing to fault in this fine book"
• Review: Jack Davis' new collection 'Tain't the Meat reviewed on Sound on Sight. "It's entertaining in the juvenile delight it takes in grossing out readers. You also get to witness Davis' style as it improves with every story: his lines get sharper, there's more detail and contrast in the panels… It might also provide a good trip down memory lane for some, reminding them of late nights spent with smuggled comics contraband and a flashlight under the sheets. It's a good introduction as well to a genre that may today seem corny and hackneyed, but I'll be damned if it still ain't pretty creepy, bad puns an all," writes Chris Auman.
• Review: Broad Street Review gazes upon 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson with love. Bob Levin pens, "Williamson's art could infuse aliens and monsters, no matter how hideous, with sympathetic personalities that reinforced Feldstein's feelings about brotherhood and tolerance.…His delicate line, intricately constructed panels and gossamer-like space-station cities and landscapes are fully on display in this book."
• Review:Comics Bulletin on Came the Dawn by Wallace Wood. "…the true delight and fascination of Came the Dawn will be seeing again Wood's sublime understanding, indeed his enrichment of, the comics language, from panel and page composition to the pacing, direction, of capturing and conveying of mood…Let's face it: No one draws an emaciated corpse - especially in zombie form - better than Wood," pens Eric Hoffman.
Join us this weekend at CAKE at Center on Halsted in Chicago from Saturday, June 15 through Sunday, June 16th! Table 13-14 is the place to be. We're pumped to announce our special guests, Kim Deitch, Ben Catmull, Charles Forsman, Leslie Stein, Josh Simmons, Tom Kaczynski, Lilli Carré, and Noah Van Sciver! Check out our lush signing schedule:
Our artists will be partaking in programming throughout the weekend, so check out their panels! - See more at: http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Fantagraphics-at-Stumptown-Comics-Fest-2013-in-Portland.html&Itemid=113#sthash.R89fGTf6.dpuf
We have some lip-bustin' new books to debut at CAKE.
Our cartoonists will be partaking in programming throughout the weekend, so check out their panels!
On Friday, June 14th Kim Deitch has a signing from 6pm-8pm at Chicago Comics. (3244 N Clark)
Saturday, June 15th
Noon-1:00pm // Chris Ware: Special Guest Chris Ware is the author of Jimmy Corrigan - the Smartest Kid on Earth, which received the Guardian First Book Award and was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial of American Art. His most recent book, Building Stories, was voted a 2012 Top Ten Book of the Year by the New York Times, Time Magazine and Publishers Weekly. Jake Austen, editor of the vital and influential Chicago cultural magazine Roctober, will host Mr. Ware in conversation, speaking on Ware's career and his connection to Chicago and its living comics history.
3:00 - 4:30pm // Eyeworks: Parallel Lines: The Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation is a film festival with a focus on abstract animation and unconventional character animation. The festival programs showcase outstanding experimental animation of all sorts: classic films, new works, and rare masterpieces. Founded in 2010 byAlexander Stewart (Library Book, Sideral) and Lilli Carré (Heads or Tails, The Lagoon), Eyeworks is held annually in Chicago, with additional curated programs presented in Chicago and other cities throughout the year. The Eyeworks program showing at CAKE this year, Parallel Lines, features animated work that highlights an overlap between alternative comics and experimental animation. The screening will include both classic and contemporary works on this theme, showcasing narrative and graphic parallels between the two forms. Immediately following the screening there will be a Q&A, with presented animators Kim Deitch, Kevin Eskew, and Leif Goldberg.
Sunday, June 16th
12:30 - 1:30pm // Mega-Solutions to Micro-Publishing: Oily Comics: In the current expansion of the micro-publishing field, Special Guests Oily Comics is a premiere imprint. Operated by Chuck Forsman (The End of the Fucking World, Snake Oil) and Melissa Mendes (Lou, Freddy), Oily Comics features some of the best talent in alternative comics. Joining them on stage will be fellow Special Guest Michael DeForge (Adventure Time, Elizabeth of Canada, Lose), and German cartoonist, Anna Haifisch (The Buddies, Future Tense). CAKE co-organizer Max Morris will moderate this exciting discussion.
2:00 - 3:00pm // Kim Deitch: Special Guest Kim Deitch came from a legacy in the animation field and continues to form a legacy of his own. From the hey-day of the undergrounds, through the breakthrough of Raw, Kim Deitch remains a seminal force in alternative comics. Deitch will be speaking about his new book, The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley, out this year from Fantagraphics. He will be joined by Caitlin McGurk (Good Morning You), librarian at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.
3:30 - 4:30pm // Intimate Anxiety: Beyond the shock tactics of portraying "inappropriate" subject matter in comics, we find the medium is exquisitely suited for grappling with explicit content, unchained from the trappings of taboo. Intimate Anxiety focuses on three artists' ferocious visions of sex and death, made all the more visceral through gorgeous and painstaking details. Special Guest Phoebe Gloeckner sets the standard for work that probes these realms. From her experimental memoir, Diary of a Teenage Girl, to her iconic illustrations for RE/Search to her current work dealing with the ongoing femicide in Cuidad, Juárez, Gloeckner continues to confront difficult realities with groundbreaking graphic integrity. Julia Gfrörer's art vibrates off of the page while crafting oblique erotic worlds laced with terror. Through sparse text and a perfect sense of visual timing, Gfrörer's comics, such as Too Dark to See, Flesh and Bone and Black Is the Color bring language to the unspeakable. Joining them will be Special Guest Heather Benjamin, whose obsessively rendered drawings aim straight for the jugular vein. Author of the cult art zine Sad Sex and contributor to the prolific output of Collective Stench, Benjamin's art delves headfirst into complicated scenarios that are emotionally fraught and sexually feral. Moderated by Caroline Paquita, author of Womanimalistic and founder of Pegacorn Press, Intimate Anxiety is a conversation about the power and truth that lies within impropriety.
So come visit Jacq and all our cartoonists at tables 13-14 this weekend at CAKE! 3656 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613
A century ago in sleepy Lumberton, the moving pictures, with their daring heroines, were the most exciting thing to happen to young Katherine Whaley. When a movie production came to town, her life took a most unexpected turn.
Decades later, Whaley recounted her wild, weird years in the company of the mysterious eccentric Charles Varnay and his uncannily intelligent dog Rousseau. Varnay aimed to produce a movie serial, with Katherine as its destined star, propounding a message about the future of the human race — a message he claimed was recorded on ancient artifacts in the voice of Jesus Christ himself!
Kim Deitch's first full-length all-original graphic novel in all of his hardworking, prolific, and heralded career is a big, widescreen book with a big, widescreen title! The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is a winding tale featuring a rich eccentric, a too-smart dog, silent movies, strange religious artifacts, and the daring young woman who experienced it all, told in the "picto-fiction" format of illustrated text interwoven with comics which Kim began experimenting with in Deitch's Pictorama.
The book's at the printer now and should arrive on our shores in July. Read the Prologue and Chapter 1 for free right now, and pre-order your copy right here.
MoCCA was a BLAST, as usual. PR Director, Jacq Cohen, and I showed up early on Friday to set up the table. People couldn't wait for Saturday, clumping around the new books. Our two newest EC Comics Library releases featuring Al Williamson and Jack Davis' work are creating a heartbreakingly beautiful rainbow.
One side of the set-up table!
Friday night was Dash Shaw's opening for his New School art exhibition and 30th birthday at Desert Island. His fianceé (sorry, ladies and germs) made a cake that was uber-delicious. Below, Dash talks about his new comics.
Party hardy, Gabrielle Bell is talking to Ariel Shrag (!) in the left-hand corner.
A gentleman was purchasing Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez at Desert Island so we had to compliment him on his exquisite taste. Lo and behold, Tony (or so he says) showed up at MoCCA the next day ready to buy more quality comics, this time Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley. My mom would be so proud that I'm still somewhat polite!
I ran into a familiar face, cartoonist and animation intern Andrew Greenstone, who was more than willing to hang out and shot the shit---I mean, talk business.
If I ever become a comic book store owner, I hope I'm as cool as Gabe Fowler. The red print was a Desert Island exclusive!
Cartoonist Charles Burns showed up to hang out with friends and look at comics. I never ever tire of that man's company, but he did mention some people are reticent to eat with him because of what he draws in his comics. FOOLS, I say! Also, Evan Dorkin makes Chris Duffy guffaw in the background. Doesn't "Griffith, Dorkin, Duffy and Burns" sound like an amazing lawfirm? Like possibly corrupt but they probably have a pastry chef on staff to appease their clients?
Also signing at MoCCA was Kim Deitch, whose new book The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is coming out soon and is haunting, to put it mildly. Deitch brought his original pages which fans poured over. James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook made their Fantagraphics signing debut for 7 Miles a Second, the moving comic written by David Wojnarowicz. The book has one of those covers that is both oblique and arresting (Jacq adds up some quick math on the right). While I did not stop a child from picking up the book, I did tell a parent or two it had adult material in it. One of my favorite sells of the weekend was selling Prison Pit Book Two to a 14 year old kid whose mom seemed dubious until I brought up the philosophy behind the book. The teen gave me a giant wink as he left, he might not get it still.
Van Cook discussed innovative printing techniques from their travels and non-profit advice while James would sketch in signed copies of the book.
Recently, Alex Dueben talked to Romberger for Comic Book Resources and stopped to meet them in person.
Next up was Leslie and Dash! Local cartoonist Leslie Stein is also in a pretty crazy fun band, Prince Rupert's Drops. If you live in the New York area, check them out. The rest of us will just live via our headphones or listening to their tracks on the recent AudioFemme interview. Leslie signed my old copy of Eye of the Majestic Creatureand we talked about second book that's coming out this fall! I heard some comments from other cartoonists that they feel weird about asking fellow toonies to sign their books but I don't give a humdinkle about that. Make it FANCY for me.
Dash signed the spine of many a Bottomless Belly Button and cover of 3 New Stories for eager fans. Those gorgeous red prints (you can only see a quarter of it) are available from Desert Island if you are looking for something for the Shaw fan who 'has it all.'
Given our close proximity to the stairs to the bathroom, there wasn't much chance for wondering down aisles or buying comics. I really wanted to read L. Nichols' Flocks and she was helpful enough to COME TO ME with her Square for my plastic purchase.
Tucker Stone, of TCJ and Bergen Street Comics, came by to get Gary's signature on a copy of The Comics Journal. Pretty cute, right?
Jacq and me with two of our debut books by Ulli Lust and Gilbert Hernandez! Photo by Dre Grigoropol.
Hung with bossman Gary Groth, Dash, Leslie and Jacq one night.
Charles Forsman was out and about with his Oily Comics micropublishing outfit. Chuck's comic, The End of the Fucking World, will be out this July from Fantagraphics in one single beautiful book. I'm so excited about that. We in no way support NCIS.
Chuck and I go way back, we used to work at the same graphic novel library together in Vermont. A photo from 2009:
Speaking of libraries, the next day Tom Spurgeon and I visited Columbia University's Butler Library and Rare Book room, led around by enthusiastic librarian Karen Green. It was so very cool to see our books with library binding but they've also perfected a myler binding so we don't lose those cool spine designs. Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button and Noah Van Sciver's The Hypo.
Kim, I didn't forget about you, the library has a lot of Jacques Tardi books. Some were checked out, which is even better than finding them at the library.
A grand place I hope to visit again. Thanks to Anelle Miller and her trusty band of volunteers for the enjoyable convention, Gary and Jacq for booth help plus a few of these photos. Lastly, another one of my favorite moments of the week was selling Dungeon Quest Book One to a gentleman on Saturday who came back Sunday to buy the other two after reading the first in one sitting. It was a cherry on top of an awesome convention.
Saturday, April 6th // 1:00 - 2:00 PM Guest of Honor Bill Griffith in conversation with Paul Di Filippo [in the Programming Room in the Lower Level]
Where will all these wonderful books and artists be, you might be wondering? Why, tables B64, B65, C80, C81 -- right in front as you walk through the main entrance! (See a bigger version of this map here.) Our PR/Marketing duo of Jacq & Jen will be happy to see you at MoCCA!