The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco has featured artwork by many of our caroonists from Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez to a future M.K. Brown show. Currently on exhibit is Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection from now until August 24th, 2014 (postcard pictured above). We pulled Andrew Farago, curator at CAM, aside for a few quick questions about the process of getting a show ready.
What do you look for when choosing works from a singular artist/cartoonist? Is it a plan to arrange them visually by era or area (like if they did paintings, cel animation, comics)?
"It depends" is my basic answer for that. If it's a career retrospective, I'll find out if the artist has kept most of her originals or if they've been scattered amongst friends and collectors. Sometimes we'll be focusing on a book that's been recently published, sometimes we'll have our own exhibition catalog in the works. Sometimes I work with a co-curator who's tracked down most of an artist's major works. The fewer sources I'll need to tap into to produce a well-rounded exhibition, the more likely I am to pursue it.
Although that's really more of a technical answer. Before I get into any of that, I make sure that we're focusing on a talented artist whose work will make for a compelling exhibition. I show favoritism to established artists with a substantial body of work, and always prefer to work with the artists directly whenever that's possible. It's incredible getting to collaborate with people likeStan Sakai, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, M.K. Brown, Steve Purcell, Eric Drooker, Nina Paley, Jeff Smith, and Dan Piraro, just off the top of my head, when putting together giant solo exhibitions.
Getting art ready for the Pretty in Ink show
Describe the basic layout of the gallery (or if you have a blueprint bird's-eye view of it) and do you aim to have people travel through the show the same way every time? (forgive me, I haven't been before so this question may seem odd)
This particular gallery has two entrances. Visitors will usually enter from the back-right corner entrance, and from there, they'll either wander up to the actual start of the exhibition at the opposite corner of the room, or they'll just start walking through and might end up viewing that particular room a time-and-a-half when passing through. With an exhibition like M.K.'s, which will be more focused on single-panel cartoons than multi-page stories, that won't be an issue for visitors.
Have you ever had an incident where you hung a show and then had to replace/take down art before it opened/while it was open?
Sure. I changed over our Sandman exhibition three times due to late arrivals. The original art for the second issue of Overture wasn't available to us until late March, and I swapped out an entire room to put up the first two issues. Artists and collectors have sometimes sold pieces while they've been on display, to buyers who don't want to wait until the exhibition wraps up before getting their artwork (although that's pretty rare). I don't generally like to change things once a show's up, since that's fairly labor intensive and I don't usually build time for re-hanging into my schedule.
Art matted and framed, ready for a wall
Is work for sale if the creator wishes it to be?
Generally not. We're a museum, so we don't sell art off the walls, but sometimes an artist or collector will ask us to include a note with contact information letting people know that the art's available for purchase through their websites.
How long have you worked at CAM?
I started as a volunteer in the summer of 2000, got hired on as Gallery Manager in the fall of 2001, and eased into the Curator job in 2005. I've worked on a little bit of everything over the years.
Photo by Lani Schreibstein
Are you donation-based? How can people help? Thanks!
There are plenty of ways to support the Cartoon Art Museum. Signing up for an annual membership, making a one-time cash donation (and asking your workplace to match it), donating original artwork, shopping at our bookstore, visiting the Museum, buying books or artwork from us at conventions...Here's a good place to start: http://cartoonart.org/join-support/
Sidenote: the CAM booth at San Diego is a GREAT place to pick up a $10 sketch to support the museum, they feature all sorts of fun cartoonists like Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown and Sina Grace. Last year, I sketched next to Gene Yang and Zack Giallongo and someone wanted us all to draw Morrissey. What a blast!
Thanks again to Andrew Farago for answering a few questions and carefully, lovingly putting work up on the walls with his crew. If you want to see Pretty In Ink yourself general admission is $8 while students & seniors are $6. Children 6-12 are $4 while WOO-HOO! Members & Children under 6 stroll in through the door for free. Check out Trina Robbin's book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 today.
The Scott Eder Gallery is one of the premier sellars of comic book art, and is the only gallery in New York City that is exclusively dedicated to showcasing and championing the art of comic books. So it's no surprise that when they open a new show, half of the talent on their roster include Fantagraphics artists.
Opening in tandem with the first ever New York Special Edition convention, the Scott Eder Gallery put together an anthological show to highlight their favorite selections over the past six years, and surprise premieres. Of the numerous masters being exhibited, there are a slew of Fantagraphics favorites and crowd pleasers, including:
So if you're already in New York, or flying out for the first annual comic creator centered show, NY Special Edition, add this show of continuously jaw-dropping original art to your list of places and events to hit up while you're in town!
Opening reception and party takes place on Friday, June 13th at 6 pm, gallery show runs until Septemeber 5th. Books, prints, and original art available for purchase!
NYC: The Javits Center is playing host to the 2014 industry trade show, Book Expo of America, the premier literary showcase. And Fantagraphics Associate Editor, Eric Reynolds will be manning the booth and on hand to discuss our exciting new releases like Hip Hop Family Tree Book Two, and upcoming titles, including the innumerable ZAP! collection. Begins at 9:30 am. (More details)
NYC: The second day of Book Expo America is underway, starting bright and early at 8 am! (More details)
Saturday, May 31th
Chicago, IL: Join Fantagraphics and a slew of our favorite creators for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)! Special guest, Tony Millionaire will be in attending and giving a special conversation with friend of Fanta and comics, Caitlin McGurk. Panel will be on site, beginning at 12 noon. Don't miss these wonderful exhibiting artists either: Julia Gfrorer, Lucy Knisley, Charles Forsman's Oily Comics, and Noah Van Sciver! Doors open to this FREE event at 11 am. (More details)
NYC: In tandem with the Book Expo of America, the final day of the show will open to all consumers and books lovers with Book Con! Wander the show floor, check out our gorgeous display, and let Eric dazzle you with our diverse and beautiful collection. All day tickets are $30, available here. (More details)
Sunday, June 1st
Waxahachie, TX: Esther Pearl Wastson is fixin' for a real good time at her hometown art show and signing at the Webb Gallery! Debuting original paintings by the queen of '80s teen, Watson will also be on hand to sign your beloved copies of the fresh Unlovable 3! Come on down between 4-7 pm, ya'll. (More details)
Chicago, IL: We're back for the second day of CAKE to bring you all of your alternative comics needs. Doors open again at 11 am, and today brings you another Millionaire filled panel 12 noon called "Seduction of the Innocent with friends Liz Prince and Tucker Stone. Don't miss this! (More details)
Get your glitter and your cowboy boots, Esther Pearl Watson is a-coming home to Texas. Specifically, the spacious Webb Gallery in Waxahachie (remember when we visited a few years ago?). Esther's got a whole new line of paintings created just for this show and the opening reception is Sunday, June 1st from 4-7pm. She'll also be signing copies of her brand-spanking-new book Unlovable 3 starring the most endearing Tammy Pierce. Live in Dallas or Austin? Waxahachie is one sweet easy road trip away.
Can't make the signing? Contact
ahead of time to order your copy of a sketched-in and signed Unlovable 3! Below is a glimpse of the amazing Webb Gallery with their permanent installation of old carnival and freak show canvas signs juxtaposed perfectly next to Watson's paintings. Dog included!
Webb Gallery 209-211 W. Franklin Street Waxahachie, TX 75165 Opening Saturdays and Sunday, 1-5pm http://www.webbartgallery.com/
Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this Saturday at 6:00 PM to celebrate the publication of Peter Bagge’s new book with a show of original drawings, book signing and live music. The evening also marks the 10th anniversary of our retail partner Georgetown Records.
Peter Bagge’s Hate has chronicled the misadventures of Buddy Bradley and his crew of lovable losers since the formative period of the grunge era. Buddy Buys a Dump contains the last nine issues of Hate Annual and completes the current story arc with a new twenty-page conclusion, many of them on display for the occasion.
Visitors to the bookstore are invariably greeted with a delightfully esoteric soundtrack courtesy of Georgetown Records. Over the course of the last decade, they’ve earned a reputation as one of the region’s premier purveyors of vintage vinyl specializing in punk, prog, goth, garage, psychedelic, international, and other rare recordings. Come celebrate their 10th anniversary with Peter Bagge and live music by Kelli Frances Corrado and The Hinges.
These events coincide with the festive Georgetown Art Attack featuring colorful visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Providence, RI: Rhode Island School of Design will host Janet Hamlin, as she presents a lecture on her book Sketching Guantanamo, and her experience at the military tribunal of Guantanamo Bay as the official courtroom artist. Begins at 4:30 pm. Open to the public! (More details)
Toronto, Canada: World Balloon Academy, presented by TCAF, is featuring a whole series of events during the convention, including one by Trina Robbins on Women Cartoonists. Check out this presentation at 4:15 pm, and many others all weekend long! (More details)
Saturday, May 10th
Toronto, Canada: Fantagraphics and its heroines, The Jen Vaughn and Jacq (Attack) Cohen, will be at the Toronto Comics and Art Festival all weekend! Click here for more details about our signing schedule, artist spotlights and presentations, and debut books!
Seattle, WA: The Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery will be hosting alternative comics guru, Peter Bagge, for the gallery opening of his new book, Buddy Buys a Dump. Join us at 6 pm for special music, original art, and a book signing. The art exhibition will continue through July 9th. (More details)
Seattle cartoonist Peter Bagge, one of the founding fathers of the alternative comix movement, returns with another chapter in the continuing saga of his signature character, Buddy Bradley. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of Buddy Buys a Dump with a show of original drawings, a book signing, and music performance on Saturday, May 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
Peter Bagge’s Hate has chronicled the misadventures of Buddy Bradley and his crew of lovable losers since the formative period of the grunge era. His observations went beyond satire to help define the attitude and aesthetics of the most significant youth movement of the 1990s. Buddy Buys a Dump is the third collection of Buddy stories from Bagge’s Hate comic book serial. It contains material from the last nine issues of Hate Annual and completes the current story arc with a new twenty-page conclusion.
The opening reception features a display of original art from the book. Bagge will be present to sign copies of recent publications. Musical entertainment will be provided by Seattle singer-songwriter Kelli Frances Corrado at 7:30 PM. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate an impressive work by one of America’s most important and influential cartoonists.
Peter Bagge: BUDDY BUYS A DUMP art show and book signing Saturday, May 10, 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Music by Kelli Frances Corrado Exhibition continues through July 9, 2014 Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street Seattle, WA 98108 | 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
We don't mean his band, Guided By Voices -- the indie rock veterans released seven albums just last year, and have at least five new releases planned for 2014... No, we're thrilled to see that among touring and recording, he's still making his gorgeous collage-based artwork, as featured in our 2008 collection Town of Mirrors: The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard!
A few of his pieces are being featured in the exhibit, Chimerical, now on view at the Modified Arts gallery in Phoenix, Arizona -- this group art show is on view through May 10th, with a closing reception on Friday, May 2nd, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM.
This Thursday, April 24th, the Society of Illustrators will host an evening so fun you're sure to plotz!
Get off your tuches andcatch the panel discussion From the Borscht Belt to Seinfeld: The Evolution of Jewish American Comedy, and learn more about how Jewish humor grew out of Yiddish culture, defined New York City's character in the early 20th century, and filtered into our American culture, literature, art, film and television from the 1950's to the present.
The event runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Panelists include our own Drew Friedman, who will be joined by Edward Portnoy, Ph.D, Yiddish language, literature and theater expert who will serve as moderator; Larry Storch, renowned vaudeville, film and TV comedian; Bill Persky, legendary TV sitcom writer; and Tom Leopold, contemporary sketch comedy writer.
A question-and-answer session will follow the panelists' presentations. Shmooze withDrew and Larry afterwards as they sign copies of the Old Jewish Comedians trilogy and limited edition exhibit poster!
The Intruder cartoonist collective is at the forefront of Seattle’s flourishing comix community. On Saturday, April 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of the 10th issue of the Intruder anthology ("The flagship anthology of Seattle's comics boom" – The Stranger) with a lively party including an art exhibition, music performance, and book signing.
The Intruder is a free quarterly tabloid featuring an eclectic group of contributors from the fields of comix, illustration, fine art, and graphic design. Issue #10 includes the work of Max Clotfelter, Aidan Fitzgerald, Billis Helg, Ben Horak, Tim Miller, John Ohannesian, Marc Palm, Darin Shuler, James Stanton, Tom Van Deusen, and more. In addition to the debut of the latest Intruder, original art, prints, and handcrafted books by these artists and others will on display at the bookstore though May 7.
The Intruder reception will be preceded from 4:00 to 6:00 PM by Michael O’Driscoll presenting his new self-published comic, Bedbug’s Book of Wisdom. At 7:00 PM, Georgetown Records and Fantagraphics Bookstore welcome a musical performance by Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson. Goldston is Stranger Genius honoree who has performed with countless bands, including new Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductees Nirvana. Lori and Kyle will perform songs from their recently released album. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring challenging contemporary art presentations throughout the historic district (including an arty Easter egg hunt.)
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. See you all soon.
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