Today's hot batch of Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...[T]he furtive griminess that Jason wrings from his stock character designs is impressive to behold... [Y]ou'll enjoy any number of his typical moments of storytelling grace..." - otherwise Tom Spurgeon is unfortunately somewhat sparing in praise for Jason's Low Moon at The Comics Reporter
• Review: "Miss [Lasko-Gross]' previous book, Escape from 'Special,' launched her fearless plan to produce an autobiographical trilogy. [A] Mess [of Everything]tackles the high-school years, which involve mean girls, mean boys and plenty of awkward social situations. Each anecdote is super-short with cringeworthy dialogue that you'll identify with and will remind you of how fortunate you are to have lived through that rough period." - Whitney Matheson, "Three Graphic Novels You Should Read Immediately," USA Today Pop Candy
• Review: "I’ve read some crazy comix, and while he won’t scare you under the sheets like S. Clay Wilson, [John] Kerschbaum can be as raw as R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, and [Johnny] Ryan, who may be his closest comix cousins... No fan of adult funny animal comics (like Fritz the Cat) will want to miss Petey & Pussy... Petey & Pussy is some funny shit." - Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin
• Plug: "Fantagraphics is shortly to publish a new edition of Prince Valiant, Hal Foster's legendary, Golden Age comic strip of knights, swashbuckling, romance and chivalry... Foster's artwork is amazing. Foster was an exceptional talent in an era of exceptional talents." - OK Erok
• Plug: "The fifth issue of Tales Designed to Thrizzle is in and it's even weirder than the last one. See aliens give a bloke sexy lady legs! Twain plus Einstein plus enraged badger! Hobo fashion! If you've not read any of Michael Kupperman's stuff before now's yer chance..." - Gosh! Comics
Zak Sally posts late warning about an art show he has opening tonight. From his blog, where you can also see details about a musical performance he's involved with tomorrow night:
Friday May 15 the good people of Foiled Again hair salon are hosting an opening reception for Zak Sally (fancy pants illustrator, comic art guy, and head honcho over at La Mano press), whose selected works will adorn the walls of the salon for the next month or so. fun starts at 6:30, with live "entertainment" and "music" by the always amazing Lady Hard On at 8pm, followed by NoiseQueanAnt around 9pm. standard art opening fare will be on hand - refreshments & beverages of different kinds, but it's probably a safe bet to bring your own libations for the long haul.
630 - ?pm, free for all ages. Foiled Again Hair Salon 2807 Johnson Street NE
Midwestern BLAB! Midwestern Contributors to BLAB! Exhibit at Leviton A+D Gallery June 18 – July 22, 2009
Image: Don Colley, My Burdened Heart, scratchboard drawing on laminated plastic, Originally published in BLAB! 15
Monte Beauchamp's annual darling of the graphic design and illustration world is a spectacular collection of cutting-edge comics, illustration, and graphic design. BLAB!'s list of contributors past and present reads like a Who's Who of the contemporary visual art world including Mark Ryden, Chris Ware, Gary Panter, Joe Coleman and many more.
Midwestern BLAB!, curated by Monte Beauchamp, the Chicago-based creator of BLAB!, has included the art works of several Midwestern artists who have contributed significantly to BLAB! and are exemplars of the periodical’s core values. Anchor Graphics at Columbia College Chicago is the co-curator of this exhibition.
“Though BLAB!’s scope is international,” writes Bill North, Senior Curator of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, in the exhibition’s catalog essay. “The underpinning of its cornucopian visual feast is resolutely Midwestern. BLAB!, a product of the Midwest, boldly affirms the positive view of Midwestern culture. And, in the face of BLAB!, claims of the region’s cultural inferiority ring hollow.”
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Don Colley, Tom Huck, Teresa James, CJ Pyle, and Fred Stonehouse
WHEN: June 18 – July 22, 2009 Opening Reception: Thursday, June 18, from 50
WHERE: Columbia College Chicago’s Leviton A+D Gallery 619 S. Wabash Avenue Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Thursday 11 am – 8 pm
COST: Free and Open to the Public MORE INFO: Gallery Coordinator, 312.369.8668 Press Inquiries, 312.369.8695
Image: Fred Stonehouse, Four Eyes, 12" x 12", acrylic and collage on wood panel To be published in BLAB! 19
This exhibition is sponsored by the Art + Design Department at Columbia College Chicago. This exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and the Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF fund.
Seattle, getcherself some bargain-priced drawrings from the likes of Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, and other Friends of the Nib at "Drift," a flurry of papery goodness opening this Thursday (May 14, 2009) at 7 PM at Cafe Racer on Roosevelt. Click the flyer for bigger info courtesy The Woodring Monitor. Bring your checkbook!
• Review: Comics Waiting Room on Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti: "...[I]f the material printed Ho! had been created in, say, Soviet Russia, Ivan would be the biggest star in the gulag. As it is, he’s one of the most twisted and funny motherfuckers putting pen to paper right in the U.S. of A. And I’m damned proud he’s one of us... Brunetti’s latest work is as strong as ever, and maybe even sicker. He’s an amazing cartoonist, and I respect his work immensely, even when some of it makes me queasy… especially if it makes me laugh then feel queasy."
• Reviews: The "What Are You Reading?" column at Robot 6 includes Tom Bondurant on Gilbert Hernandez's Heartbreak Soup ("At first I was afraid that Beto was introducing so many characters I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them, but the deeper I go into the book the better he manages everyone. The writing reminds me of Will Eisner’s slice-of-life stuff from his later career..."), Tim O'Shea on The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 ("The intro by Mo Willems is great insight into what appealed to many about the series..."), Chris Mautner on A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("[It] shows a good deal of progression [from Escape from "Special"], both in terms of storytelling and artistry"), and Jeff Lester on The Comics Journal Library Vol. 6: The Writers ("for which a more accurate title might have been 'Gary Groth Browbeats Bewildered Comics Writers'")
• Preview: Urban Aesthete looks at the forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology
• Profile: The Seattle Weekly, previewing Jaime's visit to Seattle, nicely describes Love and Rockets: "It’s a mutable universe that skips between characters at older and younger stages of life, where buxom pro wrestling queens, spaceship mechanics, and touring hardcore bands buoyantly intersect. No one stays lost for long; no grievance goes unforgotten; and deep-fried jungle slugs forever remain a delicacy."
This weekend is the Emerald City Con, our hometown comics event of the year. We'll be exhibiting all weekend and showcasing a host of new spring books including Gilbert Hernandez's LUBA, Bob Fingerman's CONNECTIVE TISSUE, Miss Lasko-Gross's A MESS OF EVERYTHING, the great HUMBUG boxed set, Archie Goodwin's BLAZING COMBAT, Boody Rogers' BOODY, Paul Hornschemeier's MOTHER, COME HOME, and much, much more. We'll also be hosting signings, including:
JAIME HERNANDEZ: all weekend!
PAUL HORNSCHEMEIER: all day Saturday!
DAME DARCY: Saturday from 1 to 3PM
BILL SCHELLY (author of MAN OF ROCK, the excellent JOE KUBERT bio): Saturday from 11 to 2PM
Also, STAN SAKAI will be in attendance in Artist's Alley all weekend, signing copies of USAGI YOJIMBO.
After the con on Saturday, join us at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for an extraordinary exhibition of original artwork by Jaime Hernandez and Stan Sakai. Jaime and Stan, together with special guest Paul Hornschemeier, will be signing books and mingling with fans.
It's impossible to overstate the enduring influence of LOVE & ROCKETS on the comics medium, so we'll skip the superlatives. Suffice to say that Jaime will be on hand to greet fans and sign books. Stan's epic USAGI YOJIMBO adventure series has introduced generations of young readers to the world of comics, and his books are more popular than ever. His original drawings and paintings are inspiring. Jaime and Stan will be joined by their young colleague Paul Hornschemeier signing copies of his wonderful new graphic novel MOTHER, COME HOME.
This event serves as the official after-party for this weekend's Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, so expect to see other comics creators and luminaries. Adult beverages will be provided for grown ups and sodas for the kids.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located just minutes south of downtown Seattle at 1201 S. Vale Street (at the corner of Airport Way S.) in the colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.669.9059.