When Seattle software giant Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011, the company committed to create a contemporary working environment to house the service. Consulting with Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid and others, Jason Thomas Faulkner from the Skype UX Design Team recently completed finishing touches to the Skype complex, located in two buildings on Microsoft's sprawling suburban campus. Last week Faulkner gave Reid and Fantagraphics associate publisher Eric Reynolds a guided tour of the stunning new facility.
One building features lyrical graphics related to Seattle's celebrated music history, with rows of oversized Charles Burns portraits from Black Hole defining conference rooms intended to facilitate creative communication. In addition to the Burns installations, the building includes important works by Jini Dellaccio, Victoria Haven, and Ron English, among others.
The adjacent building explores the architecture of communication using breathtaking floor-to-ceiling Chris Ware imagery as a backdrop. The glass partitions in both buildings double as white boards, (though Faulkner was quick to observe that staff had so far been reluctant to blemish the pristine spaces with unsightly scribbling).
Alternative comix add an element of casual creativity and culture to any edifice devoted to innovative communication. Bring some comix to work. You'll see!
On Saturday, Jaime Hernandez was honored with the Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist during Baltimore Comic Con. The Harvey Awards are voted on by Jaime's fellow cartoonists and creative professionals in the comics industry. A great nod to a great cartoonist the same month as Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 is out. Pick up a copy at SPX in Bethesda, Maryland this week!
Leslie Stein, cartoonist from Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2 (and Volume 1) recently took this picture stating her new book's cover was "inspired by the bass I never use but love and sabbath VOL 4, which I use all the time." You can pick up a copy of Stein's new book at the Fantagraphics table this weekend at CAKE, signing schedule and details coming soon.
And for the record, Stein DOES use guitars though. Her band, Prince Rupert's Drops, pretty muchs rips shit on the daily.
Yeah, dudes, we love fan art. We all know that's why Tumblr exists. But we wanted to highlight a great drawing by Zach Worton (Klondike, D&Q) of Richard Sala's The Chuckling Whatsit: scary and somber, the quiet before the storm. This art is part of a 'super-villains' fundraising auction, with proceeds going to the towards the Doug Wright Awards.
Congratulations to Ed Piskor for being awarded the second annual Columbus Museum of Art and Thurber House residency! Piskor follows last year's winner and Fantagraphics creator, Paul Hornschemeier, to Ohio and has a panoply of events planned during his three-week residency. Ed will be staying at the historic home of author and New Yorker cartoonist, James Thurber, and hopefully taking more righteous photographs. Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree book is currently serialized on BoingBoing before its print debut this fall.
Wednesday, March 20, 6:00-8:00 PM
Young Writers' Studio at the Thurber House led by Ed Piskor. Visit thurberhouse.org for more information
March 15 - June 2, 2013
Ed Piskor's Brain Rot: This exhibition features original artwork from Piskor's comics at CMA.
Wednesday, March 20 2013
Ed Piskor will meet with the high school interns enrolled in CMA's Art Lab program.
Sunday, March 24, 2:00 pm 2012
Artist's Talk and Interview: Ed Piskor speaks about his creative process with interviewer, comics writer, and blogger Jared Gardner, a professor of English and Film Studies at OSU. Free with museum admission.
Hal Foster, creator of the legendary strip Prince Valiant (and the happy haircut of the same name) and the comics strip adaptation of Tarzan, has a solid group of friends. In 2002 “The Friends of HalFoster Society” began in Halifax, Nova Scotia by a group of 'Haligonians' after Brian Kane's Foster bio was published. Their goal? Educate tourists and citizens about Foster and currently working on a permanent memorial to Hal’s birthplace. Hal’s Pals resident researcher, Kevin Sollows has continued delving into Foster’s childhood in Halifax, and has created a website with his findings.
Please take the time to scroll through the pages to see the house Foster grew up in, and other interesting things about Hal’s past! How much do you think influenced the lush landscapes of Prince Valiant? For that you may have to visit Halifax yourself.
Wanna join the gang? Call at 902.425.2140 or send a letter to "Friends of Hal Foster", 5262 Sackville Street, Hallifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1K8
"I spent so much time on the waterfront that I still exhale a pungent aroma of tarred rope & dried codfish." –Hal Foster.
Alright, people, party time. The lovely Arne Dus has posted a full on, four and half hour playlist of songs featured in Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree. From Fab Five Freddy to Tom Tom Club to even The Clash, Dus created the playlist to read Hip Hop Family Tree by or just dance. You can join in to on Spotify. Weekend Plans MADE.
Piskor's serialized strip from BoingBoing will be out this September in an exquisite print edition.
Dash Shaw's animated music video for Sigur Ros entitled SERAPH is showing at Sundance this week. As part of the Film Festival Shorts, SERAPH is also promoted on the YouTube Screen Room Channel. Check out Shaw's animation and enjoy others like Catnip and What Do We Have in Our Pockets? Keep your eyes on the sky for a new Shaw animation coming soon along with his two new comics, New School and 3 New Stories.
The comics world lost a great cartoonist this month as Spain Rodriguez drove his wild hog one last time. As an influential members of underground comics, his reach was large. The New York Times wrote an excellent obituary on Spain and Bruce Weber profiled him as "part of a wave of artists — including R. Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and Bill Griffith, who created the character Zippy the Pinhead — who established the irreverent, profane, highly sexed, antiwar, anti-capitalist spirit of underground comics (often, in this context, spelled comix)." Below is a sketch Spain made for Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds.
From the Latino Comics Expo, Ricardo Padilla remembers some of his favorite moments. "We were touched by his generous spirit, his kindness, and his willingness to support and encourage artists and their dreams. He even agreed to be part of our Art Show, LA RAZA COMICA, which premiered at the Cartoon Art Museum after our Expo. . . I will always treasure these memories of Spain Rodriguez and will never forget the encouragement and support he lent to the Latino Comics Expo. He was a True Revolutionary and and an honorable man. My fondest memory is of him in the Museum's 'green room' after his panel discussion, smiling with his wife and daughter. . . savoring one of my mom's 'chile verde' burritos. . ."
Stephen R. Bissette and Skip Williamson taught me everything I needed to know about the history of underground comics including Zap comics and Spain Rodriguez, from there I went on to read his collected comics, thanks to Last Gasp and Fantagraphics. While not everyone was able to meet this amazing creator, we can remember him through friends' stories of Spain and the stories he created. Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter made a thorough list of all the links, stories and pictures of Spain in his collective memory.
For the curious, a retrospective of Spain's career has been hanging at the Burchfield Penney Center in Buffalo, NY since September and will be up through January 20th. Jack Foran of ArtVoice recently visited the exhibit and had this to say, "Rodriguez was a kind of incorrigible rebellious type. . . when abstract expressionism with its two-dimensionality principle was dogma—he was into three-dimensionality, in spades—and his blue-collar employment in Buffalo area manufactories, where the curriculum was the much more interesting subject to him of simmering socioeconomic class warfare." His art will live on.
(The first photo is a panel from Cruisin' with the Hound by Spain released earlier this year while the last on is page six from Hard-Ass Friday Nite).