Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to present The Cartoon Utopia, an exhibition and book signing with visionary cartoonist Ron Regé, Jr. opening Saturday, January 11 with a festive reception for the artist. The show continues through February 5, 2014.
In The Cartoon Utopia, Regé examines religious, mystical, and spiritual philosophies employing an imaginative narrative construct. The subject ideally suits the artist’s intriguing rendering technique. In the words of cartoonist Chris Ware, Regé is "One of a handful of cartoonists in the history of the medium to not only reinvent comics to suit his own idiosyncratic impulses and inspirations as an artist, but also to imbue it with his own peculiar, ever changing emotional energy. To me, he is unquestionably one of 'the greats.'"
The opening reception on Saturday, January 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring challenging visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, at the corner of Airport Way S. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Ron Regé, Jr.: The Cartoon Utopia
Artist reception and book signing Saturday, January 11, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Written, drawn, printed, collated, folded, and stapled the DIY way: self-published and self-distributed mini comics are the labor of an underground comics industry, a subculture that thrives and depends on the selling and trading of these handcrafted booklets. In this community, there are no barriers to entry, no profiteering, and no cookie-cutter normalcy; the only limits are what the hand can draw. For more than 40 years, these tiny tomes have been fueling the alternative comics scene, and Treasury of Mini Comics is a gigantic compendium of the world’s smallest comics from some of today’s biggest names. Experience a celebration of folded-paper creations from cartoonists such as Jim Woodring, John Porcellino, Leela Corman, David Lasky, Marc Bell, Roberta Gregory, Dylan Williams, Kelly Froh, and many more!
"…[A] fascinating treasure trove of an anthology... the book serves as the history of a movement." – Publishers Weekly
"This is altogether riveting stuff, a host of guerilla comics from so many different hands offering an astonishing variety of visual experiences." – Rich Kreiner, The Comics Journal
"Newave! is an astonishing collection... In an era when some cartoonists are learning how to create minicomics as part of a formal art education, Newave! should be a crucial text." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
"...[A] gorgeous, utterly essential document ... Newave! is not only an ideal package for such an anthology, it’s done an immeasurable service to the comics medium as a whole. Beyond that, it also just might realign your synapses… [Grade] A" – The A.V. Club
Fantagraphics’ 2010 Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s was such an unexpected hit that it inspired this first of a two-volume set chronicling the art of the mini-comic from the late 1960s to present — The Treasury of Mini Comics.
The Treasury of Mini Comics charts the evolution of the art of mini comics over four decades of deliberate cartoon rebellion. This volume reproduces some of the best mini comics ever produced by some of the most creative DIY creators in the world (many of whom, of course, have gone on to become familiar names among contemporary comics connoisseurs): Leonard Rifas, Justin Green, Gary Arlington, Jim Siergey, Larry Rippee, Richard Krauss, Bob Vojtko, Par Holman & Clark Dissmeyer, Matt Feazell, Matt Howarth, Steve Willis, Ronald Russell Roach, Edd Vick, Bruce Chrislip, Brad Johnson, Tim Corrigan, Macedonio Garcia, David Miller, Colin Upton, Robert Pasternak, David Lee Ingersoll, Roberta Gregory, John Porcellino, Dylan Williams, Eric Reynolds, Molly Keily, Blair Wilson, Jim Blanchard, Chris Cilla, David Lasky & Jim Woodring, Marc Bell, Ron Regé Jr., Leela Corman, David Heatley, Laura Wady, Fiona Smyth, Karl Wills, Onsmith, Travis Millard, Mark Campos, Nate Beaty, Peter Thompson, Carrie McNinch, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Andy Singer, Noah Van Sciver, Kelly Froh, Aaron Norhanian, Max Clotfelter, and Marc J. Palm.
In a do-it-yourself world, anything goes... boundaries are crossed, envelopes pushed, wounds opened. From the silliest fart or boob jokes to the most deeply felt “EMO” style poetry, mini comics creators have been uninhibited in their efforts to strive for something fresh, raw, and vital. The Treasury of Mini Comics is just as groundbreaking as Newave! was disseminating this creative work to a wider and appreciative public.
Lookit this cute li'l guy! Treasury of Mini Comics Volume 1 collects a wild-n-wooly assortment of mini comics from the past 4 decades or so in the Newave tradition, with faves and rarities from the '70s through the '10s from a roster too big to list here. You got your Ron Regé, Jr. there on the cover (and inside) and the spread shows some mid-'90s action by Jim Blanchard & Chris Cilla. It's all lovingly assembled by editor Michael Dowers along with creator interviews spanning the history of the art form. 848 pages! It'll be out around late September or so — keep 'em peeled for more sneak peeks.
By Friday everyone was in the San Diego swing by now. Steven 'Ribs' Weissman, Johnny Ryan and Ron Regé, Jr. were ready to WOW everyone! The Kim Thompson Tribute panel was held that day and the room was packed. Thank you to everyone who came out, Eric Reynold's panoramic photo below.
Here a librarian freaks out over Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull, which she had preordered for her library! The whimsy and humor surprised her but in a good way.
Leader of the new cult The Cartoon Utopia and Lavender Diamond rockstar Ron Rege, Jr. joins the Fantagraphics' signing table for the first time! And to the left is No Straight Lines editor and contributors Justin Hall and Dylan Edwards to the left.
Then a fucking WIZARD showed up, guys. And a practical one too, his golden cape hid his backpack but was slit so he had easy access.
And then a WORD wizard showed up! The Advocate's Jacob Anderson-Minshall leans in for a photo with Dylan and Justin.
More friends stop by like Scott McCloud (again!) here with Jacq, Steven and Johnny.
Cartoonist Alex Neal visits with Weissman while Johnny Ryan chats up Robert Williams!
Flippin' through some Weissman originals.
Former Comics Alliance, current Image content manager/editor David Brothers shows off his dollar bin find! That lady 'needs a real man'.
Next up, Tony Millionaire blew in from LA to sign his new book Green Eggs and Maakies with Cathy Malkasian and Paul Hornschemeier.
Tony had a artifact someone had MADE for him from his books. SUPERFAN, he might be right behind you, Tonyyyyy.
We shared some pipes and drapes space with NBM publishing who, for some reason, put their porn RIGHT next to our signing section. Pensive and apprehensive Paul ponders porn.
Speaking of Eisners, here are some shots of our cartoonists on the BIG SCREEN. Spain Rodriguez and Trina Robbins were both inducted in the Hall of Fame and Ellen Forney presented an award along with Becky Cloonan. The Complete Pogo Vol. 2 'Bona Fide Balderdash' won an Eisner!
Then Michael Kupperman's 'Moon 69' comic from Tales Designed to Thrizzle won an Eisner award for Best Short Story! Eric read his hilarious acceptance speech that framed Eric for Kupperman's 'death.'
The Eisner next to some totally legit beers...
Out in the post-Eisner party, the comiXology boys Tony, Matt and Anshu celebrate LIFE and Fantagraphics' digital comics.
A few more photos tomorrow (I KNOW you need MORE). Then our eyes are on Autoptic, SPX and BEYOND.
So you KNOW about our new books to debut at The Big Show aka (San Diego Comic Con) but we also have caged some wild cartoonists and even arranged some feeding times for them! Come by table #1718 to meet your favorite creators you've only read about in magazines online!
Keep your well-lubricated eyeballs peeled for more San Diego Comic-Con announcements on our Flog or via this HANDY TAG. Here's a preview of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez quality con faces from last year!
And he'll be signing and discussing his magnum opus on Wednesday, July 17th at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, starting at 7:00 PM! Learn more about the magic from the man himself, and get yourself a copy of this psychedelic, philosophical tale.
The Last Bookstore (which is such a great name, by the way) is located at 453 S. Spring Street, but the entrance is on 5th Street. (Note: they are on the corner of Spring and 5th, which are both one-way streets. Spring runs south, 5th runs west.)
* Other People's Publications ** Yeah, You Know Me.
I'm a big fan of anthologies -- I think they're a fantastic way of discovering new artists whose work you might be unfamiliar with, nestled beside the work of some of your favorites. So, I was excited to see on our shelves The Big Feminist But: Comics About Women, Men, and the IFs, ANDs, & BUTs of Feminism, edited by Shannon O'Leary and Joan Reilly.
There a quite a few Fantagraphics artists included:Ron Regé, Jr. submits the transcendent piece "Adam & Lilith," while Ulli Lust teams up with Kai Pfeiffer for "Her Fat Feminist Ass." There's also Gabrielle Bell's piece on Valerie Solanas, and Justin Hall, our delightful editor of No Straight Lines, turns in a fantastic piece on gay marriage. Mome-veteran Andrice Arp contibutes a collaboration with Jesse Reklaw, and Jeffrey Brown makes an appearance with "Doesn't This Baby Realize We're Trying to Redefine Gender Roles?".
That's just a sampling of the artists in this thoughtful self-published anthology, and I did indeed discover some new artists who I'm now curious about!
Perhaps you will too, when you pick up this collection at theFantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.
• Chicago, IL: The legendary Gilbert Hernandez will be signing at the infamous Quimby's! Join him at 7:00 PM for the slideshow “From Funnybooks to Graphic Novels” featuring the comics of his childhood, in addition to a Q+A and signing. It's a can't-miss evening, for sure! (more info)
Friday, April 19th
• Seattle, WA: New York cartoonist Lucy Knisley will be serving up fun at the book-signing party for Relish: My Life in the Kitchen at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Lucy will give a slideshow presenation, and our own Larry Reid will be providing snacks made from recipes in the book! I got to sample a cookie yesterday --- delish!!! (more info)