Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery Celebrates 2nd Anniversary on December 13 with a Spectacular Party and BEASTS Art Exhibition!
Over the course of two years, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery has become woven into the region’s cultural fabric and drawn attention to an impressive array of local, national and international narrative cartoonists, illustrators, graphic designers, and fine artists while providing a showcase for Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics Books. To celebrate the second anniversary of this stimulating space, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts a festive gala and reception for the phenomenal BEASTS BOOKS 1 & 2 book launch and art exhibition on Saturday, December 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
Since its publication in December 2006, BEASTS BOOK ONE has become a pop culture sensation, quickly selling out two printings and finding an enthusiastic worldwide audience. Meticulously designed, the book combines colorful illustrations of mythical monsters with imaginative text describing the folkloric origins and characteristics of these creatures. The brainchild of Fantagraphics Books design director Jacob Covey, the first BEASTS volume included accomplished contributors including Art Chantry, Tim Biskup, Tony Millionaire, Richard Sala, Martin Ontiveros, and Jordan Crane among many others. BEASTS BOOK TWO, which will debut at the December 13 event, continues the tradition of illustrations from interdisciplinary international luminaries including David B. (France), Jaime Hernandez (US), Femke Hiemstra (Netherlands), Toby Tam (China), Kim Deitch (US), Tatsuro Kiuchi (Japan), and many more. To commemorate the publication of BEASTS BOOK TWO and the simultaneous release of the paperback edition of BEASTS BOOK ONE, Covey has selected 45 representative artists from both volumes for an eclectic exhibition of original works and fine art prints.
The 2nd Anniversary celebration and BEASTS reception will be hosted by Fantagraphics stalwarts Ellen Forney, Jim Woodring, Jacob Covey, Peter Bagge, Jim Blanchard and special guest Ted Stearn. Musical entertainment will be provided by Peter Bagge’s new pop combo Can You Imagine? featuring celebrated musician and producer Steve Fisk. The public of all ages is welcome and admission is free. Guests can peruse a new crop of bad ass books and exquisite gifts from the Northwest’s most adventurous purveyor of comics, graphic novels and low brow art.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) in Seattle’s lively Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. The 2nd Anniversary Gala and BEASTS exhibition on Saturday, December 13 coincides with the festive Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the neighborhood. Please join us for this auspicious occasion.
BEASTS art exhibition and 2nd Anniversary Gala Saturday, December 13, 6:00 to 9:00 PM Music by Peter Bagge’s CAN YOU IMAGINE? BEASTS exhibition of original art and prints by 45 artists continues through January 10, 2009. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM www.fantagraphics.com/bookstore
A selection of imagery in a variety of formats is available for publication. For additional information contact Eric Reynolds at Fantagraphics.
Saturday November 15th, 7PM-9PM (doors at 6:30) At Rocco’s Plum Tomato, Plum Room 585 Bloor Street West, at Markham Street
FREE TO ATTEND
Presented in association with The Italian Cultural Institute, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and the French Consulate of Toronto.
TORONTO, Ontario – The Beguiling is proud to present an exclusive engagement with two of the most acclaimed graphic novelists in the world, right here in Toronto! David B., author of the award-winning graphic memoir Epileptic, and Igort, author of the new series Baobab and the publisher of the international Ignatz graphic novel line, will visit Toronto on the evening of Saturday, November 15th, 2008, in support of their new projects.
“We’re very fortunate to have two graphic novelists from overseas come through Toronto,” says Peter Birkemoe, owner of The Beguiling. “Igort’s graphic novels and his work with the Ignatz line are changing the face of comics publishing world-wide… Ignatz is comics’ most innovative publishing model, and one of its most accessible. And David B. is just a phenomenal talent, and his Epileptic is being taught at the University of Toronto this year.”
An Evening with David B. and Igort will include a multimedia presentation of the authors’ works, and an on-stage discussion and a question and answer session. Following the presentation the authors will be available to sign their books.
A wide selection of work from both David B. and Igort will be available for sale at the event courtesy of The Beguiling. The evening will also see the official English-language debut of David B.’s newest book, Nocturnal Conspiracies, from NBM Publishing.
The Beguiling 601 Markham Street Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6G 2L7 416-533-9168
Thursday, November 20, 8 PM San Francisco State University, Fine Arts Building's Coppola Theater (room 101), free, public invited
Gene Deitch will be visiting from Prague as the San Francisco International Animation Festival has invited him to the States for this retrospective program.
Gene says, “I will play a few films in two versions, with my original soundtrack and then substitute tracks imposed by the producers for weird and illogical reasons... As an example of what we who are paid to make films often have to put up with. It should be very revealing, with the stories behind the changes. These examples have never been shown publicly before!”
This program is presented by SF State's Animation Society and ASIFA-SF, a chapter of ASIFA, the International Animation Association.
MoCCA's Kim Deitch celebration includes an especially exciting event this Thursday night, Nov. 13: The Kim Deitch Q+A. In a room full of his original artwork, Kim will discuss his entire career to date and preview images from his current works in progress.
A couple of things to watch out for in this set of photos and videos from Saturday night's Bill Griffith appearance and exhibit at our storefront: 1) the fan who gets her Zippy tattoo signed and hightails it out the door to the tattoo parlor down the street to have it inked in permanently; 2) our brand-new Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery canvas tote bags, available only at the store for the low price of $14.95. We love us a slideshow, and it's embedded above; click here if you can't see it and/or to view it in a new window, or click here to browse through images at your own speed.
We floated our photos and videos from APE up on Flickr a couple of days ago but haven't had a chance to point 'em out until now. Behold the slideshow below; click here if you can't see it and/or to view it in a new window, or click here to browse through at your own speed.
• We haven't had a chance to listen to this ourselves yet, but we are told that British comedy genius and known Fantagraphics fan Graham Linehan (Big Train, The IT Crowd, Father Ted) sings our praises in this interview with The Sound of Young America
Don't miss these upcoming events with Dame Darcy, promoting her new book, Gasoline:
GASOLINE BOOK RELEASE PARTY Dame Darcy Book release party Nov 6th 2008 Naughty Nautical Nite presents: Gasoline at the Slipper Room 167 Orchard St New York, NY 10002 9:30---on $5 dolla Featuring Apocalyptic / fairy themed Cabaret, book signings and costume contest.
GASOLINE BOOK SIGNING Dame Darcy Gasoline Reading November 11, 6:30-8:30 Housing Works Bookstore Cafe 126 Crosby St, NYC, 10012 www.housingworksbookstore.org
GASOLINE ART OPENING, NY Alix Sloan Fine art Gallery Gasoline book release opening November 19th Weds 7-9 pm closing to be December 20th. Gasoline Books to be signed and sold, one of a kind hand drawn single page illos in some books. Original illustrations from Gasoline to be sold and paintings inspired by graphic novel, also music, and fun!
Sloan Fine Art 128 Rivington Street New York, NY 10002 212.477.1140 sloanfineart.com
A few weeks ago, I attended SPX for the first time in a few years. Better yet, I attended it as a fan rather than a retail employee of Fantagraphics for the first time in over a decade, and I had a really great time. Best of all, my family was with me and it was great to come and go and visit with people at my leisure and then go leave with them. I saw many old friends and made a ton of new friends and met and inordinate amount of folks I only knew online or by phone -- all way too many too mention. I got a little drunk on Saturday night knowing I didn't have to get up at 8AM to get ready for the show and had a great time after the Ignatzes arguing comics with Dash Shaw and Frank Santoro and shooting the shit with folks like Leslie Stein, Andrice Arp, Bill Kartalopoulos and Jesse Reklaw. I attended the Joost Swarte lecture on Sunday - one of the best comics-related pieces of programming I've ever seen - and thanks to the humanitarian efforts of my pal Paul Karasik I managed to get a killer sketch from Mr. Swarte (and also a hilarious one from Mr. Karasik, both of which I shall post later).
Oh, and because I was free to roam, I came home with an enormous pile of comics. Here' some of the stuff I obtained at SPX through purchase, pandering, chicanery, or other means. Season any comments with a grain of salt, because most of this stuff was read days if not weeks ago now and the old man's memory is a bit spotty.
Misc. items from EYE ROCKET PRESS. I like what these guys do. They're not the best drawers or the best writers, they just make fun objects. Take Todd's Favorite Adult Actors and Their Favorite Flowers. This series of handsome, witty and otherwise useless cards come packaged in plastic sleeve pockets and a little Velcro attaché case. Suicide Notes works similarly. Semi-obvious hipster subject matter but executed with humor and a lack of pretention. I can dig it.
Kelly Alder's minicomic menu for MAMMA ZU's restaurant in Richmond, VA is by it's very nature kind of lightweight and not something I have much to say about except that it simultaneously made me want to see more comics by Kelly and try the food at Mamma Zu's the next time I'm in Richmond.
Miriam Libiki's JOBNIK! will invariably be one of the buzz books you hear about over the rest of the year. It's not a perfect book, but signals a unique new voice in comics. Libicki's new "mini" (it's actually magazine-sized), FIERCE EASE, debuted at SPX and although only eight pages long, shows considerable growth since JOBNIK! and might be even more effective on its own terms (the art and lettering and entire composition is already considerably more confident than JOBNIK!). FIERCE EASE is the story of her first trip back to Israel since the events depicted in JOBNIK, and in it she's in full-on Joe Sacco mode, interviewing friends and acquaintances on how life has improved and worsened. It's quite well done.
Matt Wiegle saw me and probably a couple of hundred other people coming with his IS IT BACON?, one of the best and most inherently irresistible bargains of the show at $1.
COMIC FOUNDRY #3. I like this magazine and hope it survives. I can nitpick things and praise things here and there, but essentially it's a nice bridge between the alternative and mainstream in a way that manages to offend neither end and offer enough to satisfy both. Not an easy fence to straddle, to be sure, but editors Tim Leong and Laura Hudson accomplish it with aplomb. My favorite piece was a sidebar that looked into public campaign donation records and found comics personalities who donated to major candidates. Chris Ware is a stud, I'll just say.
LEO GEO AND HIS MIRACULOUS JOURNEY THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE EARTH by Jon Chad. This comic, the first I've seen from the SCAD grad, was definitely one of the best finds of the show. I'm hesitant to describe it for fear of tipping too much, but the title really says it all. It's a formally ambitious experiment that also is simply a fun, picaresque adventure strip. A cartoonist to watch.
09/27/08 By James McShane. I bought this for the sheer handsomeness of it as an object: it's a hand-bound little book about 3 inches tall, two inches wide, and one inch thick. Its premise is simple: Keep a log, every ten minutes draw what you've done, do this all day. It's charming if slight, but I sure like it as a little fetish object.
Sean T. Collins' MURDER collects a bunch of short stories written by the prominent comics critic and illustrated by others. I'd actually read most if not all of these before, so I admit I didn't re-read this iteration and don't have much to say at the moment except that I remember enjoying the work well enough.
CROOKED TEETH 2 & 3 and THE ARCHER by Nate Doyle. Nate Doyle was one of the most impressive discoveries at SPX for me. All three of these comics are very good, and The Archer is easily one of the best self-published comics I've read in 2008. Search him out.
WINDY CORNER magazine #3 and SWEET HEART #3 by Austin English. Windy Corner is always a fun comic/art zine and this issue is highlighted by Dylan Williams' great comic essay about Alex Toth. Sweetheart is English's latest minicomic; this one threw me for a loop a bit, I have to admit. His style is an acquired taste to be sure, as English isn't really a cartoonist at heart (though I think he's a fine writer) so much as a thinker who is playing around with the form.
NIGHT BUSINESS #1 & 2 by Benjamin Marra. This probably isn't the best comic I found at SPX, but it's easily one of if not the most enjoyable. It's sleazy and profane and funny and just totally bitchin'. The best way I can describe it is to imagine an alternate universe where Rick Altergott was obsessed with Paul Gulacy instead of Wally Wood (with a bit of the great 1990s outsider comics from Real Deal Productions, which apparently are so obscure I can't even find an image via google, thrown in), the end product being Night Business instead of Doofus.
MAN UP by Sarah Morean and various. A zine about moustaches, complete with a free fake moustache in the back, which I was glad to find because it explained why several people walked around SPX with them on.
DEAD AIR #1 by Caitlin Plovnik. Another CCS student (or grad, I'm not sure). Somewhat indistinctive slacker-lifestyle comedy, but could develop into something more.
B MOVIES by James Turek starring Mitch & Icecream. I liked this. Mitch & Icecream are an elderly, slightly out-of-it couple who are featured in a series of comedic vignettes. The drawing is slightly creepy and the humor is acerbic without being cruel; the whole thing is very effective.
CAKWALK / BETS ARE OFF by Nate Powell. A nice split-cover mini from Nate Powell, whose new Top Shelf graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole, is getting a lot of praise right now (I haven't got my hands on one yet).
MILK TEETH by Kate Allen. Comics with mermaids and unicorns aren't usually up my alley, but this was very well done. Tom Spurgeon wrote a review of this on Comics Reporter earlier this week that put it much better than I could have. At the end of SPX, Kate walked up to me and gave me a very sweet - if slightly creepy (in a good way) - drawing of my baby daughter, which I was extremely touched by! So I was even more pleased when I got home and discovered that I liked her comic.
DHARBIN #1 by Dustin Harbin. This was a great minicomic. This was a downright classic, old-school minicomic. Nothing too heavy, just a ton of goofy, funny, well-executed short strips and jokes. I miss comics like this. One gets the impression that Dustin just really enjoys cartooning more than he necessarily wants to be a capital ‘C' Cartoonist; I wish more comics exuded this kind of enthusiasm, because the end result might be more capital ‘C' Cartoonists.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS 1 & 2 by Sarah Glidden. I was impressed to hear that Vertigo has signed this up. On the one hand, it's a little obvious: go to Israel and make a comic about it (middle eastern studies is a remarkably healthy category of contemporary comics these days) - but it's effective and better than the sum of its parts. It's more Rutu Modan than Joe Sacco, stylistically. Glidden is honest and her only agenda is to question her own assumptions and prejudices, but not in a hippie-dippie / p.c. way. This will be the first Vertigo book I've had any interest in reading since Gilbert Hernandez's Sloth, that's for sure.
DO NOT DISTURB MY WAKING DREAM #1 & 2 by Laura Park. Laura Park is great. Her comics make me happy. It's sort of a mystery to me why she isn't a superstar already. Her diary comics are better than most more well-known examples. These two minis are no different, although in Xeroxed black-and-white you lose the gorgeousness of her color work and gentle line. But they're still great. Seriously, click that link. (P.S. I should mention she's gonna be in MOME starting with Vol. 13.)
PANPIPES by Jesse McManus. Filled more with moments and images than story, this has a certain cut-up feel that is visually attractive and flashes occasional, magic moments but ultimately never quite connected with me due to a distinct lack of focus. But I'd like to see more from McManus.
COLD HEAT SPECIAL #8 by Frank Santoro and Lane Milburn. I tend to like all of the Cold Heat specials more than I like Cold Heat, and this one is no different. I'm not sure if that says more about me or Santoro, but this one is no different. Best cover of any comic I picked up at SPX.
THE LEGEND OF REBOB MOUNTAIN and THE FART PARTY by Julia Wertz. I've resisted Julia's comics for too long because I was put off by the simplicity of the art. I've underestimated her for too long. Her drawings still don't do much for me, but she is an honest and funny and even often insightful cartoonist. She made me laugh at a strip about how worthless babies are. And I have one. That's the best I can say. REBOB is a different sort of thing for her, an illustrated chapbook of nonfiction that is very sweet.
THE DIARY OF LISA FRANK by Zack Hazard Vaupen. This wins for the strangest comic from SPX I've read so far. I'm not even sure how to describe it, especially having read it a week ago. A girl giving a blow job flashes back to a potential child predator who may or may not have been a representative of a "MAD" magazine. The work reminds me visually of Portland cartoonist Jason Overby, whom I like very much. This was a bizarre work; the now so-overused-it-has-no-meaning adjective "Lynchian" comes to mind, but in more of a late-period, Inland Empire sort of way. Although I can't pretend to fully get it, I like it enough that I'll almost surely revisit it.
I still have a ton of longer-form books I picked up and other gems like the new GANZFELD (which looks great and the Paper Rad "Problem Solvers" DVD that comes with it is absolutely worth the price of admission alone) that I've only just cracked, but maybe I'll blog about them later. Oh, and go to SPX next year, it's still one of the very best small press shows in the U.S. The influence of new cartoonists from institutions like the CCS, SCAD, SVA, Parsons and others was palpable and maybe the most exciting aspect of the show after the appearance of international superstar Swarte. There are more skilled alternative/art/literary cartoonists now than there has ever been in history, professional or amateur, and SPX proves it.
Unfortunately, we forgot to take any pictures at SPX except for pics of my daughter, Clementine. Here we are at the Swarte talk, which she sat through intently.
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