Visitors to the Real Comet Press Retrospective at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Galleryon Saturday will be among the first people on the planet to sample the latest Charles Burns-themed beer from Elysian Brewing. The 3rd installment of the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse, offically released on March 21, is a green cardamom ale called Fallout. That's appropriate becuase DJ Russ Fallout will be spinning art damaged punk platters from the 80s in honor of the heyday of Real Comet Press.
We have an amazing array of wonderful artworks, iconic graphics, rare books and long out-of-print comix by the many gifted authors, artists, critics, and cartoonists that helped lay the foundation for Seattle's later ascendence to the forefront of global pop culture. Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand is a goddam civic treasure. Join hosts Michale Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes as we show our appreciation for Cathy's countless contributions to the cultural climate of the region.
Among the many highlights of the Real Comet Press Retrospective opening Saturday, March 10 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is a rare public appearance by Michael Dougan. This influential cartoonist helped attract an influx of young artists thoughout the 1980s, as Seattle became a beacon of the alternative comix movement. Real Comet Press published his masterful East Texas anthology and the companion poster "The Bigger the Hair, The Closer to God," which, along with Lynda Barry's "Poodle With a Mohawk," became one of the enduring images of the era.
Also appearing will be graphic artist Art Chantry. His early Real Comet Press book of Seattle punk posters, Instant Litter, will be featured in the exhibition. It was prescient of Chantry to appreciate the value of these fugitive artifacts of a music scene that within a decade would influence popular culture on a global scale.
One of the few Real Comet Press publications that will be offered for sale at the retrospective, albeit in limited quantities, is Lynda Barry's first book, Boys + Girls,in the original format designed by Mark Michaelson and Helene Silverman. Publisher Cathy Hillenbrand often employed the gifted art directors of Seattle's Rocket magazine as book designers. Mark and Helene later established stellar careers in New York. (Helene is slated to accompany husband Gary Panter to his appearance at Fantagraphics Boostore later this year upon our publication of Dal Tokyo. Stay tuned.)
Don't miss the amazing exhibition of original art, comix, book works and ephemera, as well as many of the artists, authors and personalitites associated with the seminal stages of Seattle's alternative culture on Saturday, March 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Should be quite a reunion.
This coming Thursday, March 8th, they get to go to the opening of a Joost Swarte art show, with Swarte himself in attendance signing copies of his new book Total Swarte (i.e. the French edition of what we just released as Is That All There Is?).
Then, they will all head off to various cafés, with baguettes under their arms and berets on their heads, to drink wine, eat cheese, smoke, and argue until the wee hours of the morning. For they are French, and that is what the French do.
The Joost Swarte art show runs through May 5, 2012 at Galerie Martel [ 17 Rue Martel, Paris ].
• Paris, France: Joost Swarte debuts an art show at the Bienvenue à la Galerie Martel, and will be in attendance signing copies of Is That All There Is? (or as it is known in France, Total Swarte). More information about this event is coming to the FLOG soon!
Saturday, March 10th
• Seattle, WA: The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the legacy of local arts activist Cathy Hillenbrand with “Real Comet Press: A Retrospective.” This exhibition features art, graphics and book works by regional artists nurtured by Real Comet Press including Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes, among others. A limited number of out-of-print Real Comet Press titles will be available for sale (including the iconic Lynda Barry poster “Poodle with a Mohawk”). (more info)
Max wrote the following on his blog: "I never dreamed one of my drawings could hang so big in a urban scenery, but there it is, on the wonderful neoclassical front of the Cervantes building in Alcalá street, facing the Bank of Spain. Hundreds of thousands of people walked right below it on last Sunday's demonstration against the new Work Reformation Law. Maybe some of them noticed that the figure on the first panel stands for an unemployed worker (the factory chimney on the background being not active). "
Occupy Madrid, Max!!!
Titled Panóptica, the exhibit spotlights his work from 1973-2011 with 120 original pieces, including posters, childrens books, magazine illustrations, and more. There are more in-depth photos online here.
The exhibition runs at the Instituto Cervantes [ Exhibition Hall, C/ Alcalá ] in Madrid through May 13, 2012.
As we've reported on the FLOG, Zak has just released Sammy the Mouse Vol. 1, a self-published, self-printed collection of the first three issues of his Eisner-nominated Ignatz series. It is a handcrafted thing of beauty, and you can behold it yourself on Friday, March 23rd at Quimby's [ 1854 W. North Ave. ] at 7:00 PM.
Zak will be joined by John Porcellino and Dale Flattum, making this an event you surely cannot miss!
And then on Saturday, March 24th, this trio of talented men will be at Johalla Projects [ 1821 W. Hubbard St, Suite 110 ], for the opening reception of "Physical Evidence," a show of their comics, printmaking, zines and more!
Chicago comics fans are in for a wonderful weekend! Don't miss it!
Regrets? You'll have a few if you don't make it out to the Scott Eder Gallery for the opening reception of Drew Friedman: My Way, his very first New York gallery show of comic strip and illustration art!
It all goes down on Friday, April 27th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, so kick off your MoCCA weekend right with the largest display of Drew's original artwork to date! What will be on the walls? Well, Drew tells us:
The show will consist of 40 pieces, the earliest dating back to 1982. On display will be many comic strips which were originally collected in the first anthology of my work, Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental. The timeline of the show ranges from my first comic strips (some written by Josh Alan Friedman) many of which originally appeared in RAW, Weirdo, High Times, Heavy Metal and National Lampoon, to comics created for Blab!, American Splendor and "Howard Stern's Private Parts", and more recent illustration work for created for Entertainment Weekly, MAD, The New York Observer, Rolling Stone and The New Yorker. Many beloved and familiar faces will be included: Tor Johnson, Shemp Howard, Wayne Newton, talk show host Joe Franklin, etc... the semi-famous, obscure, forgotten and maligned human beings who have resinated with me my entire life and whose legacy I've attempted to keep alive in my work. As my father, the author Bruce Jay Friedman has pointed out: "Drew notices the people that no one else pays attention to."
Alcoholic refreshments, Sodi waters, Artisan Cheeses, Crackers, Gefilte fishes, Pigs in the blankets, Wing Dings, lobster bibs, etc, will be served for your dining pleasures. There will be books, prints, and free My Way event posters! The Scott Eder Gallery is located at 18 Bridge Street, Suite 2i, in Brooklyn, New York.
Original paintings by celebrated Southern California artist SHAG.
A multimedia homage by Seattle artist (and frequent Fantagraphics printmaker) Art Garcia.
Plus awesome works by graphic design legend Art Chantry, ceramicist Charles Krafft, and cartoonists Tom Neely, Johnny Ryan, Roberta Gregory, Pat Moriarity, Peter Bagge (from the pages of MAD), and a dozen others, including the master himself, Jack Davis. Arrive at 6:30 to experience a virtual visit with Davis via Skype, hosted by Gary Groth.
Good thing the Charlotte Street Foundation presents an exhibit on underground comix legend Frank Stack, titled: Good Thing I Used a Pseudonym: Work From a Three-Part Career: Frank Stack as Painter, Connoisseur, and Incognito as Graphic Novelist Foolbert Sturgeon.
PHEW! You gotta have a long title for an exhibit encapsulating Stack's five-decade-long career! Not to mention, this is the very first exhibit of Frank's that will include his traditional artwork made under his real name alongside the comix he created as "Foolbert Sturgeon." A very special exhibit, indeed!
The opening reception is this Friday, January 20th from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, and the exhibit will run through March 3, 2012.
And on Saturday, January 21st, join Frank Stack along with curators Anne Thompson and Nathan Boyer for a public discussion of his work at 2:30 PM. Anyone who saw his panel at San Diego Comic-Con last year can tell you, you will not want to miss this as Frank is a delightful and brilliant storyteller!
It all goes down at Project Space [ 21 East 12th Street, Kansas City, MO ], a Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project venue.