We have some amazing Halloween treats in store at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: Vintage copies of mid-60s Creepy and Eerie. These issues are from the estate of the late Gary Arlington, famed EC comics collector and proprietor of the San Francisco Comic Book Company, widely regarded as the country's first comic book shop. (As seen in the photo below by Patrick Rosenkranz.) The magazines feature mid-century masters like Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, Alex Toth, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, John Severin, and more. Own a monstrous piece of comix history for only $8.95.
Speaking of history, don't miss the Georgetown Haunted History Tour this weekend. This annual event provides a playful look at the eerie history of Seattle's oldest neighborhood. Wildly entertaining.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to welcome an amazing array of accomplished cartoonists throughout the fall and winter of 2014, culminating with an appearance by one of America's most influential artists.
The action begins on Friday, October 10 with Danny Bland presenting his new book of haiku, I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I'm Gonna Do from Seattle's illustrious Sub Pop label. Bland will engage in conversation with equally accomplished Northwest author Jonathan Evison, followed by a reading, book signing and reception. The next night, Saturday, October 11, we host an international crew of incredibly talented cartoonists. Simon Hanselmann from Australia and Canadians Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle will join American artists Lane Milburn and Conor Stechschulte in presenting their imaginative new works to Seattle audiences for the first time.
On Friday, November 14, in association with Seattle's Short Run comics and art festival, we present "Short Run Marathon II," an exhibition, book signing and reception featuring Tom Neely, MariNaomi, Josh Simmons, Pam Wishbow, John Porcellino, and special guest Ed Piskor.
On Small Business Saturday, November 29, we celebrate the publication of Bruce Pavitt's new book Sub Pop USA, The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980 - 1988, which chronicles the seminal years of what would soon become an international pop culture phenomenon. The book includes the early issues of Pavitt's Sub Pop fanzine, his columns from The Rocket, and related ephemera, along with essays from Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid and K Records founder Calvin Johnson, who will DJ and perform music at the signing.
Saturday, December 6 marks the festive closing party for the "Short Run Marathon II" exhibition featuring Eroyn Franklin previewing her upcoming graphic novel, Dirtbag.
The bookstore celebrates its 8th anniversary in spectacular fashion on Saturday, December 13, as cultural icon Robert Williams presents The Complete ZAP Comix Anthology with an exhibition and book signing, kicking off a weeklong commemoration of this monumental achievement. We'll screen the documentary Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin' on Sunday, December 14 at Northwest Film Forum, and on Wednesday, December 17 editor J. Michael Catron will give a slide talk on the history of ZAP. The festivities coclude on Saturday, December 20 with a tribute to S. Clay Wilson featuring Patrick Rosenkranz, Dennis Dread, and Jim Blanchard. We'll see you all soon and often!
Philadelphia, PA: The Wild Boyz Tour is wildin out in Philly tonight with a signing at Locust Moon Comics. In addition to Hanselmann, Deforge, and Kyle, they will be joined by Annie Mok, Noel Freibert, and Portland extraordinaire, Farel Dalrymple. This signing begins at 7 pm, but the good times continue the next day (17th) at LAVA Space when everyone magically turns into musicians! (More Details)
Friday, September 19
Seattle, WA: The highly anticipated follow up to the acclaimed books, The Hive and X'ed Out, is finally being released and long time friend-of-Fanta and author, Charles Burns will be back in Seattle at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 6-8 pm to drop his new baby, Sugar Skull. Come party at the best bookstore in the business! (More Details)
Portland, OR: The Pacific Northwest College of Arts presents the Super Trash exhibit, a celebration and exploration of exploitative art and images in cinema. Currated by Jacques Boyreau, author of the upcoming book, Super Trash, the exhibit runs in conjuction with weekly films at the Laurelhurst Theater; tonight's film is the sci-fi adaption of The Omega Man, featuring everyone's favorite gun slinger, Charlton Heston. (More Details)
Brooklyn, NY: No sleep till the next leg of our Fantagraphics tour, which just happens to be in Brooklyn! 8 pm, at the beautiful Bergen Street Comics, the whole gang is getting together to sign books and be merry. The gang for this stretch includes: Eleanor Davis, Jesse Reklaw, Simon Hanselmann as well as Michael Defore, Patrick Kyle, Matthew Thurber, and Alex Degen. That's a lot of people hanging out at one store, at one time. And you can be one of them! (More Details)
Sunday, September 21
Brooklyn, NY: If you're skipping church this morning it better be because you're headed to the Brooklyn Book Fest at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, running from 10-6 pm! There is a slew of great vendors attending, but you'll want to hit up the best of all (us, Fantagraphics) because we'll have the best books and signings in the business! Additionally, there are more amazing panels and book debuts than you can shake a stick at. Catch all the details here.
Seattle, WA: Something about fall screams psychological thriller, and few do it better than Chris Wright in his seminal book, Blacklung. He, and that gruelling pirateship thrill ride of a book, will be signing at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 3-5 pm. Stop by to get your hands on a great work that will be perfect to read right before you fall asleep! (More Details)
Monday, September 22
Brooklyn, NY: On her whirl-wind tour with the beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking (and almost sold-out) graphic novel debut, How to Be Happy, Eleanor Davis will be stopping by indie oasis, Desert Island Comics, to delight and educate audiences with her carefully crafted presentation. Beginning at 7:30 pm, come learn about the relationship between art and the artist, and see what it takes to create a New York Times Bestseller, and stay until 9 to get said Bestseller signed. (More Details)
Pirates in the Heartland features Wilson's work from underground publications such as ZAP Comix, Snatch, Gothic Blimp Works, Bogeyman, Felch, Insect Fear, Pork, Tales of Sex and Death, and Arcade. This first of a three-volume biography and retrospective gets to the heart and soul of an artist who lived his dreams and his nightmares. So come on out for an afternoon of good times and great comics.
Mission: Comics and Art
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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!
"This collection of short stories about people desperately trying to suppress or embrace or just somehow deal with all the difficult emotions careening around in their brain just underscores what those who have seen Davis’ work in scattered anthologies already suspected: that she is a tremendous talent, and one of the smartest voices working in comics today." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Ultimately, Wilson is a perfect representative of the dark side of the '60s. His work crackles with the viciousness that was the flip side of flower power. If he has any message to convey, it's that the world is falling apart: that (to quote Yeats by way of Joan Didion) 'the center cannot hold.'" – Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
"What's striking about these 34 stories, written by Harvey Kutzman and illustrated with bold, deft confidence by Severin, is their range of tone. Sure, there are the expected heroics of American soldiers fighting in the relatively contemporary war zones of WWII and Korea; there are strong-jawed sergeants, good-natured grunts and daredevil flying aces. But there is also plenty of cowardice, irony, shame and sheer wastefulness–elements that must surely be part of any large-scale conflict, yet are often excised from their comic-book portrayals." – David Maine, Spectrum Culture
"The Heart of Thomas works in several different themes, many revolving around the concept of love. It asks the questions, what does it mean to love or be loved? What will we do to be loved or to help the one we love? Is it okay to accept another’s love? While asking all these questions, Hagio doesn’t put any conditions on them… The feelings are portrayed so genuinely that gender becomes meaningless, and just seeing the characters happy are all that's important in the end." – Lori Henderson, School Library Journal
"Part biography, part retrospective, part collected chronicles of a comic legend, this is a huge undertaking that pays off in every way you could expect, and a million ways you couldn't." – The Daily Planet
"It's a stunning body of work that brings together loosely personal and wholly fictional stories about joy, anguish, fear and loneliness - emotions all motivated by that essential quest to be the best you can be." – James Cartwright, It's Nice That
"This book contains many more examples of the sorts of stories that made him so rightly famous, including a couple of epic globe-trotting adventures, plenty of swiftly swelling domestic comedies, and two Christmas comics, which Barks seems to have specialized in." – J. Caleb Mozzocco, School Library Journal
"After last issue's splashy stories, this issue is a bit more low-key with regard to Killer and her story, preferring to lay some narrative pipe and give the characters a bit of room to breathe and interact." –Rob Clough, High-Low
Will Eisner Hall of Fame artist Joe Orlando drew EC's most (in)famous science fiction story, "Judgment Day," a blunt parable about racism that triggered a blow-up with the Comics Code Authority.
Orlando was a mainstay at EC, especially on science fiction, and Judgment Day and Other Stories collects 23 of his best. All of them, most scripted by Al Feldstein, serve up clever, suspenseful O. Henry-style shock endings, including "In the Beginning…," "The Teacher from Mars," and "Fallen Idol."
Orlando and Feldstein also adapted Otto Binder's fabled Adam Link stories, starring an intelligent robot poignantly struggling to claim his humanity. (The robot/man later headlined TV's The Outer Limits with Leonard Nimoy." Adam Link was EC's only ongoing science fiction series — and it's all here in these pages!
To top it off, this volume features two of Orlando's outstanding adaptations of classic Ray Bradbury science fiction — "The Long Year" and "Outcast of the Stars."
Prepare yourself for an amazing journey to the stars!
Gilbert Hernandez's sprawling family saga focuses on the United States, where newly immigrated Luba and her sisters, body-builder Petra and therapist/film star Fritz, find their families' and friends' lives becoming more and more intertwined. As the three sisters have "memories of sweet youth," the next generation finds the spotlight: Luba's adult daughter Doralís emcees the proceedings in her role as mischievous host of a children’s TV show, while Petra's little girl, Venus, has adventures with her aunt Fritz and her best friend Yoshio. At her mother's urging, Venus also writes missives to her fierce, one-armed cousin Casimira, who's back in Palomar. In these stories — never before collected together — Venus tells it like it is!
S. Clay Wilson's taboo-busting, eyeball-blistering comics changed the course of the medium. Best known for his Checkered Demon character and as one of the co-founders of the seminal Zap Comix anthology, Wilson cannonballed the collective — which includes legendary underground cartoonist R. Crumb — to even greater heights of artistic depravity. The first of three volumes, this documentary-style biography — told both in his own words and in firsthand accounts from his peers — and retrospective includes Wilson's childhood drawings, his early contributions to Zap, his collaborations with William S. Burroughs, and his work for Arcade. Preeminent underground comics scholar Patrick Rosenkranz (Rebel Visions) paints a revealing portrait of the Midwestern artist who hid his shyness behind an outré persona — and held a cutlass to the throat of the establishment.
When the formulaic constraints, censorious nature, and onerous lack of creator's rights in mainstream comics got to be too much for the brilliant cartoonist Wallace Wood in 1966, he struck out on his own with the self-published witzend. It became a haven for Wood and his fellow professional cartoonist friends where they could produce the kind of personal work that they wanted to do, without regard to commercial demands — and with friends like Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Reed Crandall, Ralph Reese, Archie Goodwin, Angelo Torres, Steve Ditko, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Art Spiegelman, Don Martin, Vaughn Bodé, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Howard Chaykin, Trina Robbins, Bernie Wrightson, and literally dozens more, it was bound to be a great ride! Now, Fantagraphics presents the complete run of witzend in this beautiful slipcased two-volume set with a special introduction by Bill Pearson and a history by Patrick Rosenkranz.
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