The long held view of Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid that the Pacific Northwest gave birth and momentum to the alternative comix movement provides the premise for a lively PechaKucha presentation by 10 regional cartoonists this Wednesday evening at Cornish Playhouse. Reid will be joined by veteran cartoonists Peter Bagge, Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney and David Lasky, along with emerging artists Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, Max Clotfelter, Tom Van Deusen, Gina Siciliano, and Tatiana Gill. The PechaKucha concept involves each artist showing 20 images for 20 seconds each - an ideal format for narrative art presentations.
Reid maintains the foundation for alternative comix was laid when three exceptionally talented cartoonists emerged from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in the late 70s. Lynda Barry, Charles Burns and Matt Groening began syndicating their strips in alternative newspapers around the country. Olympia's fledgling Sub Pop enterprise and Seattle's popular music magazine The Rocket provided platforms for these and other inventive cartoonists. Peter Bagge arrived at the dawn of grunge era and soon convinced Fantagraphics Books to relocate to Seattle. The rest, as they say, is history. Reid plans to present a convincing case that our region can claim a heritage of alternative comix innovation.
Come celebrate Seattle's legacy of creative comics and narrative art at Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center on Wednesday, March 11. Doors open at 6:00 PM. Program begins at 6:30. Admission is free. A book signing and social hour will follow.
Hear ye, hear ye! Fans of Peter Bagge, Hate, the Bradleys and comics history will be happy to hear that a new book has just hit the bookstores: Peter Bagge: Conversations by Kent Worchester and the University Press of Mississippi. Get the quippy and quirky interviews that also include some previously unavailable material! We can add this to Bagge's growing list of publishers carrying his comics and work: Fantagraphics, D&Q, IDW, Dark Horse....
From the University Press of Mississippi description: "For fans of Peter Bagge (b. 1957) and his bracingly satirical writing and drawing, this collection offers the perfect means to track his career choices, work habits, preoccupations, and comedic sensibility from the 1980s onwards. Featuring a lengthy new interview and a great deal of previously unavailable material, this book delivers insightful, gossipy, funny, and occasionally tart conversations with a wide range of interlocutors, from personal friends and zine publishers to comics critics and mainstream journalists. Bagge's wide-ranging career has intersected with the modern history of comics, from underground comix and indie comics to comics journalism and graphic nonfiction; this new compendium of interviews will be a must-have for aficionados of his work.
Bagge's detailed, garrulous, and often grotesquely funny (and discomfiting) work harks back to the underground generation, recalling Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton, while also pointing forward to the emergence of alternative comics as a distinct genre. His signature series, the rawly humorous Hate (1990-1998) and his editorship (1983-1986) of the often outrageous Weirdo magazine, founded by Crumb, established Bagge as a leading voice in alternative comics, and his rude, wildly expressive cartooning makes him a counterpoint to the still introspection of recent literary graphic novels. Over the past few decades Bagge has left his mark on a variety of formats and genres. He is a prolific cartoonist, an accomplished musician, and a sometime essayist, editor, and animator. While his creative output encompasses autobiographical comics, graphic nonfiction, magazine illustrations, gag cartoons, minicomics, political commentary, superhero parodies, comic strips, animated videos, and one-page humor pieces, Bagge is best known for creating continuity-based graphic stories that revolve around sharply defined, over-the-top characters. While some writers on comics have lazily branded Bagge as a grunge-era visual satirist, his creative restlessness and expanding body of work make it difficult to confine him within any single genre, cultural niche, or historical moment."
If you've never been to a PechaKucha event, prepare yourself for a whirlwind of informative speakers, engaging content, and new perspectives on a wide variety of content. 20 images are shown for 20 seconds each while presenters talk about corresponding topics. The format of has gone global, and PKN Seattle never disappoints.
Seattle, as many readers are probably aware, has a deep and rich history of being what many consider to be the birthing ground of alternative comics in the 1970's with creators like Charles Burns, Matt Groening, and Lynda Barry. With remarks from their contemporaries, and from those who have been influenced by them, like Max Clotfelter, Tom Van Deusen, and Kelly Froh, this event is a must go to for any fan of the history of comics, art, and Washington State.
Ever had a terrible boss? One who never appreciated you or gave you personal space outside of work? SWEATSHOP is all about it. Meet MEL BOWLING, and his team of overworked cartoonists helping him hack out a bad comic strip, Freddy Ferret.
Real-life cartoonist Peter Bagge will be at Arcane Comics tonight at 6pm signing copies of Sweatshop. Complete with an art jam wall, you can immortalize one of your own bad basses or draw one of the bad jobs you've had yourself. Refreshments will be provided (Mel's drinking to that below).
In addition to the many cartoonist characters, Sweatshop also features a cosplayer, often called an "artist's model", who understands a lot of the complaints of today's convention scene. So come down to Arcane Comics in Ballard to get your comics signed by Peter Bagge and show us some horrible stuff your terrible bosses have done, or just draw them with boogers hanging out of their noses.
Arcane Comics 5809 15th Avenue Northwest Seattle, WA 98107 206.781.4875
Wednesday is not only New Comics Day in the stores but also new comics day online and on your favorite digital reading device. comiXology has a swank-and-huge list of titles that came out today! Love & Rockets: New Stories #7finds Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez writing and drawing at the top of their game. In Jaime's stories, Maggie and Hopey take a road trip to visit a 'sick friend' while Ray visits some old sick friends of his own. Gilbert offers a suite of stories, including a sweeping epic of derring-do in which Fritz as Morgan Le Fey teams up with Aladdin; a WWII sci-fi thriller and 'Daughters and Mothers and Daughters,' in which flashbacks to Luba's mother Maria reveal how old secrets affect their family today. is $17.99 at comiXology and is also available on the Sequential app.
Peter Bagge's Sweatshop is an intense situational comedy about a newspaper strip "sweatshop" of aspiring cartoonists who are attempting to make it big like their boss, Mel Bowling, but on their own terms. Featuring art also by Johnny Ryan, Jim Blanchard, Stephen Destefano, Stephanie Gladden and Matt Ray; Sweatshop is a must have for the Fantagraphics' fan and anyone who has had a terrible boss. Sweatshop is also available on the Sequential app. In addition you can get Hate 18, now out digitally.
In the sweet follow up to An Age of License, in Lucy Knisley's Displacement recounts the experience of caring for her frail grandparents aboard a cruise ship, while reflecting on her own fears on mortality, her age, and her family's relationships and history. Meanwhile, Noah Van Sciver's latest graphic novel, Saint Cole, is a brutal look into in pathos and the human condition. It follows a dead-ender, Joe, over four days as his life goes from terrible to unraveling at every possible seam, from drinking on the job to a live-in girlfriend and crying baby at home. You can also find both of these titles on the Sequential app.
More serial comics please!
Serialized from the pages of Dungeon Quest Book Three #8 by Joe Daly, we join Millenium Boy, Millenium Boy, Steve, Nerd Girl and Lash Penis mid-adventure. A series of beasts called Womraxes attack the group, ripping off clothes right and left. (and only $1.99 per issue!).
In Dame Darcy's Meat Cake #15, Richard Dirt and Friend the Girl show you exactly how to pass the Zombie Survival Test before Dame Darcy takes a trip around the world gathering local lore like the Chupacabre of Texas and the Science Un-Fair. Plus, get your munch on with her finest raw food recipes! It's one of the best one hundred and ninety-nine penny dreadfuls you can get!
Bagge's HATE #18 has the Bradley home in Jersey is bursting at the seams with little birdies who tried out their wings, landed in a bloody heap on the ground, and limped back into the nest. The newest re-addition to the family unit: Butch. Buddy's errant little brother is discharged from the Navy, due in large part to his chronic alcoholism, and he heads straight for the nearest port - home sweet home. His constant belligerent presence makes life even more difficult for Buddy and Lisa, who are having a hard enough time of it as it is. Needless to say, things wind up coming to an ugly head between Buddy and Butch, and nothing is resolved as a result, since such is the nature of adult siblings. Now and forever, in full and glorious FantacolorTM from cover to cover!
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.
100-page black & white 7.25" x 10.5" softcover $14.99 | 978-1-60699-770-3
"Jaime has always been brilliant at investing his characters with personality & emotion, and his illustration of Maggie speaks volumes....the latest edition of Love and Rockets: New Stories has a wealth of material from both of the Hernandez brothers. Jaime and Gilbert continue to develop their large casts of characters and unfold numerous plotlines in an intriguing manner. And the artwork from both of them is gorgeous." -Ben Herman, In My Not So Subtle Opinion
"Love and Rockets is incredible, and a complete about face from superhero comics if you find yourself growing tired of the Big 2." –Comic Book Herald
152-page full color 6.75" x 10.25" softcover $19.99 | 978-1-60699-812-0
"Sweatshop is entertaining stuff, and, as a bonus, it's fairly self-reflexive." –Hillary Brown, PASTE Magazine
"Unsurprisingly, Bagge's latest from Fantagraphics sounds highly intriguing...Peter Bagge is up there with Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez as alternative comics creators from the 80's and 90's that you're cooler just for knowing." –Comic Book Herald
168-page full color 5.5" x 7.5" softcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-810-6
"No one out there is Knisley, who always finds a way to create a narrative out of diverse thoughts and ideas - turning a musing sort of travelogue or blog into something wholly satisfying and meaningful. Expect a moving look at aging, 'The Greatest Generation' and love." –Menachem Luchins, 13th Dimension
"Knisley's able to achieve an impressive balance between humor and poignancy, juxatposing observations on the bizarre line-up of nighttime entertainment and the strangeness of her fellow passengers with thoughtful observations on aging and excerpts from her grandfather's World War II journals." –Brian Heater, Paper Mag
FEBRUARY 13th - At the book release party you won't want to miss next Friday, February 13th local comic book legend and raconteur, Peter Bagge, will be signing at Arcane Comics at 6pm. His newest book is a collection of the DC comic, Sweatshop, which discusses seedy underbelly of the comic book industry. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.
Sweatshop focuses on the unhappy, out-of-touch cartoonist, Mel Bowling. As the hand behind a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield), he spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work.
Arcane Comics is located in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Wet your whistle on some Hilliard's beer while at the shop and enjoy flipping through the well-indexed floppy comics (they have some serious signage going on). Invite your friends via Facebook so no one misses out!
"I can count on one hand the number of comic artists whose work is as strong... maybe on two or three fingers... It's a laff riot, what can I tell ya?" - R. Crumb
(photo by James Brooks)
Arcane Comics 5809 15th Avenue Northwest Seattle, WA 98107 206.781.4875
For those of you watching FXX's Man Seeking Woman, you were probably pleasantly surprised when a nightstand featured some of our newest comics: Buddy Buys a Dump by Peter Bagge, Megahex by Simon Hanselmann, Cosplayers by Dash Shaw. Until they were replaced by a copy of Infinite Jest in an attempt to "seem cooler". Don't they know?! DON'T THEY KNOW COMICS ARE THE COOLEST?! Thanks to Noah Kuttler and Robin McConnell for the heads-up.
Mel Bowling is the unhappy, out-of-touch creator of a very bad daily comic strip called Freddy Ferret (a cross between Dilbert and Garfield). He spends most of his time listening to Rush Limbaugh and coming up with horrible catchphrases to merchandise, while his "sweatshop" cast of studio assistants grind out all the hard work. Sweatshop is a hilarious situational comedy from acclaimed author Peter Bagge (Buddy Does Seattle, Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story) that ingeniously incorporates the visual styles of cartoonist guest stars like Stephen DeStefano (Popeye) and Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit) to give voice to Bowling's colorful cast of misfit, aspiring cartoonists (plus a cameo by Neil Gaiman!), all attempting to make it big like their boss, but on their own terms. Originally published as a six-issue series by DC Comics in 2003 that was never collected, this is one of the best and most undervalued works of one of the key voices of his generation.
"I can count on one hand the number of comic artists whose work is as strong… maybe on two or three fingers… It’s a laff riot, what can I tell ya?" – R. Crumb
"Peter Bagge is the funniest cartoonist in existence… The situations Peter creates for his characters are gripping, hilarious and bitingly honest. His drawing style is completely original and would be funny on its own, even without his great stories." – John Kricfalusi