• Review:Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter is listed in The Times of UK as one of the essential books for Chris Ware. Ware says "Gary Panter is the William Blake of comics; a true poet who sees and feels what the rest of us can't, and he's done more to expand the power of drawing in the medium thatn probably anyone else alive." Original article here.
• Interview: Cartoonist and creator of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware is interviewed by Phawker by Rita Book.
• Commentary: ArtVoice visits the Spain Rodriguez retrospective at the Burchfield Penney Center in Buffalo, NY. Jack Foran says,"Rodriguez was a kind of incorrigible rebellious type. . . when abstract expressionism with its two-dimensionality principle was dogma—he was into three-dimensionality, in spades—and his blue-collar employment in Buffalo area manufactories, where the curriculum was the much more interesting subject to him of simmering socioeconomic class warfare."
• Review: Rob Clough of High-Low reposted his Seqart post on Megan Kelso and The Squirrel Mother. Cough states, "What makes Kelso one of my favorite artists is her total devotion to the medium and a constant desire to improve. . . Kelso's art is all about the narrative. Every word and every line advances the story; there are no extraneous pyrotechnics. Indeed, Kelso's line is more elegant than spectacular."
• Review:Publishers Weekly enjoys Love and Rockets New Stories #5. "In the 30 years they’ve been writing and drawing Love and Rockets, Los Bros Hernandez have created wonderfully complex story lines and characters. . . This web of superior magical-realistic storytelling involves readers in the perplexed yearnings of a huge cast of unforgettable characters unaware of their own capacity for general self-delusion and occasional self-discovery."
• Commentary: Hannah Means-Shannon contines her SPX coverage with more on the Bros on The Beat. On the "Life After Alternative Comics" panel, Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes spoke about the past and present of their comics-making environment. "Dan Clowes addressed the 'wasteland' of comics in the early 1980’s and the origin of his LLOYD LLEWELLYN series and the strange, often intriguing piles of fan mail he received from readers and prison inmates."
• Interview: Also on Phawker is an interview of Charles Burns, creator of Black Hole. He weaves stories by "paying close attention to the way my brain functions. I sit and write every day and it amazes me how often I repeat myself – come up with the same “brilliant” solution to a plot thread only to discover notes from years earlier where I’ve already clearly laid out the same ideas."
While in town, and when not engaging in some Spring Break-style shenanigans, they'll be giving some "Illustrated Talks" that are free and open to the public!
Megan Kelso will be speaking on Monday, October 15th at the University of Central Florida [ Math and Physics Bldg, Room 206, Orlando ], and Ellen Forney will hold court on Thursday, October 18th at the Deltona Library Auditorium [ 2150 Eustace Avenue, Deltona ]. Both events start at 7:30 PM, and both nights will feature a reading from the artists, followed by a Q&A and book signing! Tell 'em we say hi!
We're selling tickets for GeekGirlCon at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery -- no service charge, cash only! The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way South. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM.
GeekGirlCon ‘12 takes place at The Conference Center, located at 8th and Pike in downtown Seattle, WA, right across the street from the Washington State Convention Center (where Emerald City Comicon is held). Come say hi to our wonderful new marketing wizard Jen Vaughn, as well as myself and Jacq!
• Review: "Beyond the quality of the artwork, which remains amazingly detailed and perfectly perfect in its storytelling,Dungeon Quest is really funny, the humor sometimes seeming dissonant — but pleasingly so — given the seriousness with which Daly approaches, say, drawing a rock-strewn valley or depicting a slow, tiring march through a forest (It’s almost Tolkeinesque in his commitment to describing walking!) or choreographing a thrilling action scene." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, Robot 6
• Review (Audio): The guys at Washington, D.C.'s Big Planet Comics discuss Angelman by Nicolas Mahler on this week's episode of their podcast, declaring "if you're sensitive about your love of superhero comics, this is probably not for you, but if you want awesomely cool cartooning art by Mahler and something really different, here you go. It's funny too."
Last Fall, Megan Kelso gave a presentation at Seattle's Richard Hugo House. As she describes it, "It's about a lot of stuff -- reading Moby Dick, my midlife crisis, financial woe and the creative process."
If you missed it, or if you loved it so much you want to see it again, you'll have your chance this coming Wednesday, May 16th as part of a local poetry series called "Breadline" hosted at Vermillion Gallery [ 1508 11th Ave, Seattle ]. This free, all-ages event kicks off at 7:00 PM!
• New York City, NY: The mighty Michael Kupperman hosts another installment of his monthly comedy series The Crime Stoppers Club, co-hosted with Kate Beaton, and this month, featuring Matt Koff, Lisa Hanawalt, Dyna Moe, Geoff Lapid, Anthony Wilson, and Sam Henderson! The fun starts at 7:00 PM at Luca Lounge. And stay tuned to the FLOG for some video sneak peeks tomorrow!
Fantagraphics is proud to be one of the sponsors of the 2012 Graphic Novel Panel, held by our friends at the Seattle Graphics Arts Guild!
On Saturday, January 28th, join us at the Seattle Design Center in Georgetown for a discussion on creating, publishing and marketing the graphic novel.
And who better to be on this panel than longtime queen of the scene, our own Megan Kelso? She'll be joined by Matthew Southworth (Stumptown), Brandon Jerwa (Battlestar Galactica, Highlander, G.I. Joe), Emi Lenox (EmiTown), and Chuck Messinger (owner of Comic Evolution, Editor-in-Chief at Creative Edge Press).
Led in conversation by moderator Mark Monlux (The Comic Critic Presents Seldom Seen Films), they'll discuss:
Writing: structure, how to write a graphic novel, what tools you need to market your ideas.
Artwork: developing a storyboard, what to consider ahead of time, existing guidelines, examples, good & bad
Publishing & Marketing: establishing business, marketing, and production plans, how publishing is changing.
This event is open to the public, and you can get your tickets here. The Graphic Novel Panel runs from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Seattle Design Center [ 5701 6th Avenue South, Plaza Building, Suite 370 ].
And then join us for the after-party at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery from 4:30-6:00 PM. It'll be a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists, and discuss what you've learned from the panel!
• Review: "...Kevin Avery’s Everything Is an Afterthought... chronicles the dramatic life of one of music’s keenest observers, Paul Nelson, and curates his finest critiques.... I read and adored [Nelson] growing up, but reading [him] in the context of today’s critical standards gave me the literary equivalent to the bends. It goes without saying that, in the age of the Internet, the whole idea of a critic has changed." – Jim Farber, New York Daily News
• Review: "It could well be ten years since I last read these stories [in Queen of the Black Black], and I’d either forgotten or never appreciated (my money’s on the latter) how astute and insightful they could be. Like a proto-Kevin Huizenga, [Megan Kelso] repeatedly turns up little rocks of human experience and chronicles what’s going on underneath, reintroducing us to feelings, sensations, and experiences we’d forgotten we’d had but recognize as if they happened this morning." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
• Review: "This collection of early stories from Megan Kelso shows a natural flair for the form, mixed with a self-critical determination to hone her craft, that’s helped her blossom into a master storyteller.... Anyone looking for a masterful example of the short story in comics would do well to give [Queen of the Black Black] a try. Beautifully written and well illustrated, this a wonderful portfolio of work from a creator showing a deep well of promise from the start." – Grovel
• Review: "...[E]asily... one of my favorite horror comics and one of my contenders for my Best of 2011 list.... Not only is the book carefully structured, it looks stunning.... The Hidden is a story that must be experienced to fully appreciate... There is an excellent story of slow-building despair to be found in its pages, with gorgeous depictions and coloring and a horror story that shocks, surprises, and entertains. Don't let this one get hidden on your shelves! It may not be Halloween, but I still give this book my highest recommendation!" – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter
• Review: "Volume 2 of Fantagraphics' Gottfredson Library, which takes us up through the beginning of 1934, maintains the high production standards and copious ancillaries of the first volume.... Tom Andrae's opening essay emphasizes, with good reason, how Gottfredson "spun off" many of his early narratives from the plots of animated cartoons. IMHO, however, the Mickey strip truly became "great" once Gottfredson gained the confidence to craft his own plots." – Chris Barat
• Profile:Paul Gravett surveys the work of David B. and presents a transcript of his bookstore discussion with the artist this past summer (hat tip to TCJ.com's Tim Hodler)
• Plug: Pulitzer-winning author and known Love and Rockets fan Junot Díaz names Poison River by Gilbert Hernandez (collected in Beyond Palomar) one of his top 10 favorite books in an excerpt from Unpacking My Library: Writers and their Books posted at The Financial Times
• Plug:Oil and Water receives an excellent feature in the new issue of the Audubon Society of Portland Warbler newsletter, which can be downloaded here
• Tribute: At The Comics Journal, Bill Griffith remembers meeting, and later collaborating with, the late Bil Keane: "I was surprised when Bil told me he read Zippy in his local Arizona paper and liked it. He didn’t even qualify his opinion with the usual, “Of course, I don’t always get it.” Until then, I hadn’t paid much attention to The Family Circus, but I slowly began to see that you could read more into it than what appeared on the surface. This was before internet wise guys began mashing up random Friedrich Nietzsche lines for Billy and Jeffy’s and riffing on the strip as unconscious surrealism. But The Family Circus didn’t need hipsters to substitute incongruous dialogue to make the case that it was unconscious surrealism. It was unconscious surrealism on its own."