Congratulations are in order for Eleanor Davis because for the THIRD week in a row, her new collection How to Be Happy is on the New York Times Best Sellers' list. This gorgeous book has to be seen to be believed but check out what everyone is saying about it. Grab a copy from your local comic shop, bookstore, our online store or your local library.
"Though Davis' tales can be wildly different in look and narrative, they are united by themes of yearning, of characters searching for the thing that will make their lives better." -Carolina A. Miranda, LA Times
"That's Davis' sensibility. In her roundabout way, she dramatizes not the prospect of happiness, but the promise of it. Her natural territory is found in all the funny and tragic effects of that promise." - Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
"This collection of short stories about people desperately trying to suppress or embrace or just somehow deal with all the difficult emotions careening around in their brain just underscores what those who have seen Davis' work in scattered anthologies already suspected: that she is a tremendous talent, and one of the smartest voices working in comics today." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"What's most noticeable when the stories are laid up against one another is her varied visual approach, adapting her style to best fit the material...The success of this collection suggests that short pieces are likely Davis' métier, but what's here is so accomplished that it's natural to hope for a book-length work next time out." -Gordon Flagg, Booklist
The Small Press Expo and Ignatz award nominating committee listed it's list of nominees for this year's awards. For those attending the show on Saturday and Sunday, September 13-14th please make sure to vote on Saturday! Whom should you vote for? Well, your favorite comics of course but here are some *cough cough* suggestions!
This year's nominees were picked by casting some runestones, encircling all the books with a blood circle and then chanted at by judges Darryl Ayo, Austin English, Melissa Mendes, Thien Pham and Whit Taylor. Congrats to our other Fanta cartoonists nominated for their other works like Simon Hanselmann and Noah Van Sciver. Both of the guys will be at SPX as well, Simon's debuting Megahex so be sure to stop by the Fantagraphics' booth. Just check for the glitter cannons.
It was bound to happen with 32 years of comics in the making. On Friday at the Eisner Awards Ceremony, the two cartoonists Fantagraphics has grown up with received their due. In the category of Best Writer/Artist, Jaime Hernandeznbsp;received an Eisner for his work on Love and Rockets to be followed quickly by Gilbert Hernandez for his standalone story "Untitled" in Love and Rockets: New Stories #6 (page 59 for those of you at home).
Gilbert gave a touching speech and we even snapped a photo of his notes. Jaime juggled his Eisner a bit, speechless yet very endearing.
AND Félicitations are due to Jacques Tardi and Jean-Pierre Verney!
The Eisner for Best U.S. Edition of International Material has been awarded to Goddamn This WarCreated 15 years after the completion of his Eisner Award-winning World War I masterwork It Was the War of the Trenches, Tardi's Goddamn This War! is a brand new, wholly individual graphic novel that serves as a companion piece to Trenches, but can be read entirely on its own. Told with gritty insight, wit, and despair-sharing Trenches sustained sense of outrage, pitch-black gallows humor, and impeccably scrupulous historical exactitude-this book is not to be missed.
Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds accepted the awards on behalf of Tardi, Verney and the late great translater and our publisher Kim Thompson. This was one of the last books Kim worked on from start to finish and Reynolds put it best when he said that Kim wanted to show the world the best European comics/bande dessinee possible.
"A mix of evocative, geometric watercolors and fluid pen-and-ink cartoons, How to Be Happy tells stories of sad people, lonely people, strong people, confident people, all trying to find a tiny bit of happiness in life…Davis’ clever and sometimes jaw-droppingly beautiful artwork makes those stories feel real." – Dan Kois, Slate Book Review
"The use of Adam and Eve’s human bodies to communicate to one another, to seek the bliss that’s coming, to lift that weight, is the image Davis wants us to leave with. No moral, no punchline, no muted epiphany — discarded along with all the other distractions, they leave only Edenic bliss behind." – Sean T. Collins, The Comics Journal
"A valuable gem to add to any collection focusing on independent comics and alternative storytelling with its avant-garde narrative voice, classical art style, and brilliantly paced sense of adventure" – Alger C. Newberry III, Library Journal
"Wood (1927-1981) conceived of witzend as a haven where he and his peers could publish personal work and burst the chains of mainstream comics. Though 'personal,' it must be said, often meant drawing generously endowed women flaunting bared breasts." – Dana Jennings, The New York Times
"It felt like a fan publication, but was produced by professionals. It appeared at the dawn of underground comix, but featured standard genre material, including a (great) Wood jungle hero named "Animan." And, most significantly, it had a philosophy that proved problematic, though intriguing." – Jake Austen, Chicago Tribune
Exposing the seamy underside of Martin Goodman's publishing empire, this never-before-told history of Goodman's pulps and scandal sheets and the Marvel artists who worked for them is chock full of unseen art. Blake Bell is also the editor for our sumptuous Steve Ditko Archives. Congrats!
Every three months, Seattle's tony cultural journal City Arts awards cash prizes for the best artworks exhibited in local galleries. A panel of three guest jurors nominates finalists each quarter. Winners will be chosen by popular vote this Thursday, July 11 at the Summer Art Walk Awards party. Max Clotfelter's story from the Intruder 10 exhibition in April at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is up for an award. Show up at Sole Repair by 9:00 PM, have a drink, carefully consider all the nominated work, then vote for Max!
The new Intruder 11, a comix tabloid edited by our own Marc Palm, was released this weekend. Drop by the bookstore and pick up a free copy of this lively anthology.
Gary's acerbic rage-writings of the 80s and 90s are referenced in the article by Paul Constant. Constant asked Gary if he was less angry now but since Fantagraphics started making the comics he wanted to read and are at most bookstores...Constant wrote it best. "that there was always more work to do, but it was clear to everyone that, yes, the century-long fight for the soul of American comics is over, and Gary Groth won."
On October 18, The Stranger will throw a huge, drunken party for all 15 finalists at the Moore Theatre (tickets here), with the Seattle Rock Orchestra and other live performances, and five of the finalists (one from each category) will go home with $5,000 each, no strings attached.
PublisherGary Groth was the happy recipient of a chocolate cake this week as alt-weekly paper, The Stranger, let him know he is on a very short list of nominees for the Genius Award in Seattle. Gary's up against some fierce local competition in the literature category but he's held a guiding light for Fantagraphics and comics long enough for us to know he's a genius (read: crazy, mad genius). Fantagraphics' cartoonists Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney have had the privilege of being on the short list as well (Woodring won!) so Gary will have some good company no matter what.
To find out who the genius is you'll have to grab the summer issue of A&P-out June 11-to find out. The Stranger plans on hosting a series of interviews with Genius Award finalists at the Frye Art Museum in August and September, and the Genius Awards are October 18 at the Moore Theatre. They've promised other amazing performers and the Seattle Rock Orchestra! For free!
Today, Joyce Farmer announced at the Penn State Libraries talk on Underground comics thatJim Woodring's Fran is the next recipient for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize! Sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. Fran is the first Fantagraphics books to win the prize (a runner-up many times in the past) and we are just so ding-dang delighted that Jim will be honored. Check out the latest comic about the Multiverse and Frank's newest companion, the playful Fran.