My pal Hernán Migoya sent me this cover to his new novel, Quitame Tus Sucias Manos de Encima (a.k.a. Get Your Hands Off Me), being published in Spain this summer. The book tells the story of an obscure, fictional movie from the '70s written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson and directed by Tom Gries and sports an original cover by our own Peter Bagge (and, I might add, a title page by yours truly)!
It was our great pleasure to once again host hometown hero Peter Bagge at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery and to welcome the great James Sturm all the way from Vermont for a joint signing and book release on Saturday evening. Unfortunately some technical difficulties put the kibosh on James's planned multimedia presentation but it was a lively evening regardless, with a great turnout of fans and Seattle cartooning luminaries alike. Above: David Lasky chats with James, Fantagraphics' Janice Headley rocks the register, and Peter takes a breather. Check out some more photos on our Flickr page.
Peter Bagge will sign fresh copies of HATE ANNUAL #8. The latest installment of his signature series has Lisa rockin' out and right into trouble. It's everything we love about Hate — silly, sexy, and outrageous, but with a disquieting air of familiarity. The signing will mark the world premiere of OTHER LIVES on DC's Vertigo imprint. We haven't seen it yet. (It won't be officially released until next week.) Peter takes on the socially awkward high tech crowd, and he assures us it's a laff riot. [Ed. note: I've read it and it's a cracking good yarn.]
James Sturm returns to Seattle where he co-founded alternative weekly The Stranger in the early 90s. He went on to co-found the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and continues his career as a cartoonist. He'll give a brief slide presentation on his early days at The Stranger and sign copies of MARKET DAY, his first full graphic novel in a decade.
Saturday, April 17 is also national Record Store Day at neighboring Georgetown Records. Created 3 years ago by our good pal Eric at Criminal Records in Atlanta, Record Store Day draws attention to the cultural value of these essential enterprises. Not to mention lots of great swag. Support your local record store.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale at Airport Way S., mere minutes from downtown Seattle. We're open every day 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
• List: Adam McGovern of ComicCritique.Com declares Miss Lasko-Gross to be Writer/Artist of the Year ("Vividly imaginative in tricky layouts, intricate patterns and hallucinatory neverlands yet starkly perceptive of everyday details and personality, immune to art-star mythology while stockpiling stuff of legend, Lasko-Gross is capable of anything — but can’t help doing right") and her A Mess of Everything the #3 Graphic Novel of the Year ("Lasko-Gross creates the least wholesome and most healthy youth memoirs you’re likely to read. Tales of adolescent insight, creativity, trauma and folly for those who like to learn their lessons with minds of their own"); Gilbert Shelton's "Last Gig in Shnagrlig" from Mome Vols. 13-15 to be Strip of the Year ("With a style that seems strung from spider-webs, popping veins, worried brow-wrinkles and tangled vines and an eye for absurd posturing, both undiminished by five decades and whatever art-supplies he’s been sniffing, Shelton’s dystopian vaudeville is a vision you can never predict of species-wide misbehavior which remains, alas, just like you remembered it"); and Lilli Carré's "The Carnival" from Mome Vol. 14 to be Short Story of the Year ("A bittersweet, tragicfunny story of the luminous, enchanting worlds just beyond the outskirts of nowhere")
• Review: "I spent most of this week reading the new, paperback edition of Blazing Combat ... [T]he artistry on display is so mind-boggling, particularly in the case of Crandall, Heath and Severin, that it seems churlish of me to not recommend this book simply because of a few overly and obviously ironic twists. The creators clearly had a real love for this kind of material, so much so that [I] wish things had tipped slightly in their favor a bit more, and that the market had made at least a little more room for war comics when as the silver age gave way to the bronze." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Review: "...I love the art, with great layouts, nice thick lines, and coloring that's somehow both rich and muted. Even when I don't like the characters or find their actions believable I still love the way everything looks. And the elliptical structure was a smart choice because it adds at least a little bit of mystery; instead of just reading to see what happens next you keep going to better understand what's already happened. I don't know if the stories were published individually anywhere, but Hallorave is basically the first book of King of the Flies, with two more on the way. I'm interested to see how closely they intersect with each other." – Garrett Martin, Shazhmmm...
• Review: "Based on a crime novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, West Coast Blues is an existential comic by master cartoonist Jacques Tardi. It's colorless crime as only the French can do it, with despicable characters waxing philosophical on film and high-risk sex even while on the run from clumsy assassins. ... Plenty of crime stories revolve around the bizarre preoccupations of its characters and just as many are centered around the plight of the common man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. But Tardi really brings it home, offering a messed up story about messed up people who do some truly messed up things. While only 80 pages, it's a robust read. ... As compelling as this short yarn is in terms of the writing, the real draw here is Tardi. ... His style is comparable to Herge's, if not quite as clean. His characters are expressive and his architecture's pretty damn impressive. ... Big ups to Fantagraphics and editor/translator Kim Thompson for assembling a really lovely English language edition of this book." – Paul Montgomery, iFanboy
• Commentary: "You would think I'd have more to say about teaching 'Human Diastrophism,' one of my favorite comics in the classroom, but this was my fourth pass at the story and most of the classroom surprises have been played out. The greatest remaining challenge is just the problem of extracting one storyline from Gilbert Hernandez's long-running Palomar setting and fitting it into a single week of class discussion." – Marc Singer, I Am NOT the Beastmaster
• Interview:In this video, Vito Delsante talks to Jaime Hernandez at Jaime's appearance at Jim Hanley's Universe in NYC last Friday, April 9 (via ¡Journalista!)
• Interview: "'Digital vs. paper? That’s a totally bogus debate,' [Peter] Bagge told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. 'There will always be both. Whichever one you want, you got it!'" Well that solves that!
We are exceedingly pleased to report that Fantagraphics publications and artists received a record 18 nominations for the 2010 Eisner Awards. To celebrate, we're offering these titles at 18% off for a limited time! Click here for the full sale selection. (Sale is valid for online and phone orders only.) Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Congratulations to all the nominees! Fantagraphics' nominations are as follows:
• Best Adaptation from Another Work: West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi • Best U.S. Edition of International Material: West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi
• Review: "Knowing full well that I had to be at work at 9:00 the next morning, I nonetheless stayed up past 2:00 with Castle Waiting. And when I got to that last page, bleary-eyed and struggling to stay awake, all I wanted was more. I wanted the story to keep going. ... The stories are captivating and exciting and surprisingly deep. She is never heavy-handed about it, but Medley explores some weighty topics, including domestic violence, religious conversion, and sacrifice. ... I laughed frequently as I read the book, and cried once — not because I was sad, but because I was moved by the story." – Jessica Zellers, Blogging for a Good Book (Williamsburg Public Library)
• Review: "...Hotwire Comics #3... is big in page size, big in color, big in imagination... [M]y favorite work in the entire anthology, 'Keen on a Clown,' [is] Rick Altergott’s straight-faced satire of romance comics of long ago... The final page — and especially the final panel — is a killer." – Rod Lott, Bookgasm
• Plug: "I love Hate, particularly the increasingly oddball Buddy Bradley stories that come once a year with these annuals. ... Every comics fan should have the vast majority of whatever Peter Bagge has in print, and these volumes would be a great value for a cartoonist only 2/3 as talented." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
• Profile: "I get tired of hearing about Mozart. Yeah, he’s a genius and he started composing music when he was 5-years-old. I get it, fine, blah, blah, blah. You know who else is brilliant? Harold 'Hal' Foster, the critically-acclaimed creator-writer-artist on Prince Valiant. He created his most famous and enduring work when he was 45-years-old." – Tom Mason, Comix 411
32-page color/b&w 6.75" x 10.25" comic book • $4.95 ISBN: 978-1-60699-373-6
Newsarama's J. Caleb Mozzocco says it's "Thirty-two pages of Peter Bagge for $5" — fair enough. At Comics Comics Joe McCulloch counts Peter among the "cartoonists I like to see making comic books" and lauds the presentation of "a genuine 32-page Fantagraphics comic book." Obviously the blogoscentia think the comic fairly speaks for itself. We think you'll like the glossy cardstock cover, the 20 pages of Buddy & Lisa in luscious full color, the scientist bio strips, the "behind the scenes" take on Reefer Madness and the proverbial "much more." All to be found on the racks of your local comic book shop! Annoy them with your "Bagge & board" jokes! C'mon, it's fun!
• List: Look out, it's Tom Spurgeon's Best of 2009 list at The Comics Reporter. Fantagraphics category rankings are listed below, with complete lists and Tom's commentary to be found at the link above:
• Review: "Somehow, some way, Jamie Hernandez is getting better and better. ...Locas, the first gigantic hardcover compilation of Jamie’s 'Maggie and Hopey' stories, stands as one of the highlights of my life as a reader. Now, unbelievably, Locas II exceeds the original’s standard. ... In Locas II: Maggie, Hopey and Ray, he’s crafted perhaps his most universal work to date, a saga of three people who’ve left behind the postures of their youth to stumble, unsure and hesitant, across the landscape of their adult lives. It’s strange and scary, funny and sweet, confused and enlightening. Locas II is a master as the top of his game, and a true comic book classic." – Michael C. Lorah, Newsarama
• Review: "It is interesting to see the rapid evolution of the graphics and drawings [in Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938], a little reticent and schematic at first, but soon becoming highly detailed and expressive. Adventure prevailed in the stories, but there was room for humor, romance and tragedy." – Top Comics (translated from Portuguese)
• Review: "OK sure but trust me it's not for those who just want to look at dumbed down pictures and drool on themselves as anorexic telepathic women parade in wonder bras nor is this Babar's color by number. [The Portable] Frank is engaging on all levels and asks the reader to not just lose themselves but to participate fully and that's why this is my pick of the week!!" – Coast City Comics
• Plug: "This book is amazing and bat%$#* crazy. There are no words, just check it out of the library asap." – Cold Bullets
Seattle’s Peter Bagge is the architect of the ubiquitous alternative comics genre. His compelling comic book serial HATE chronicled the exploits of Buddy Bradley and his gang of lovable losers through the rise and fall of the grunge era. Going beyond mere satire, Bagge’s observations helped fashion the aesthetics and attitudes of the only significant youth movement to emerge from the Pacific Northwest. A contemporary review by Bruce Barcott in the Seattle Weekly stated, “Twenty years from now, when people want to know what it was like to be young in 1990s Seattle, the only record we’ll have is Peter Bagge’s HATE.”
Happily, in the years since the series ended, Bagge provides periodic updates on the lives of Buddy Bradley and his crew. HATE ANNUAL #8 finds Buddy and beau Lisa back home in New Jersey dealing with the responsibilities of parenthood while trying to cling to their carefree youth. The results are predictably hilarious. Bagge will also premiere his new full-length graphic novel OTHER LIVES on DC’s Vertigo imprint. The book follows the fantasy lives of high tech nerds as they collide with harsh reality.
James Sturm was among the cadre of creative cartoonists that relocated to Seattle at the dawn of the grunge era. He co-founded The Stranger and created his popular comic Cereal Killings for Fantagraphics Books. He later co-founded the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) in White River Junction, Vermont and instructs students in their two-year program. In MARKET DAY, published by Drawn & Quarterly of Montreal, Sturm draws a quiet and reflective portrait of Eastern European culture in the early 1900s — bringing to life the hustle and bustle of an old-world market place on the brink of the Industrial Revolution. MARKET DAY is a timeless tale of how economic and social forces can affect a single life. Sturm will speak briefly on his experiences starting The Stranger, the CCS, and his work in comics.
The Peter Bagge and James Sturm event on April 17 coincides with national Record Store Day at neighboring Georgetown Records. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) in the heart of the historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.