I first crossed paths with Charles Burns in the mid-70s, when we both attended a small college in rural Washington State. I later learned that Burns wasn't entirely comfortable in an art school attended by eccentric Charles Manson enthusiasts and Symbionese Liberation Army sympathizers. By contrast, I had finally found my people. Burns soon departed for the greener pastures of The Evergreen State College, where he joined talented young artists Lynda Barry and Matt Groening.
Upon graduating in 1978, I opened the experimental Rosco Louie gallery in the tony Pioneer Square section of Seattle. I was privileged to give both Lynda Barry and Charles Burns their first gallery shows. Burns later served as soundman at Rosco Louie for a performance by San Francisco band Pink Section, which included his then-girlfriend, fashion designer Carol Detwieler. He in turn designed the cover for the 1982 Sub Pop 7 cassette compilation, which included my wife's band, Little Bears From Bangkok. At the same time we were both frequent contributors to Seattle music monthly, The Rocket.
As Burns migrated to the East Coast, we both continued our association with Sub Pop. In 1988, Burns illustrated the stunning cover to the momentous Sub Pop 200 LP. Shortly thereafter, I promoted a Tad, Mudhoney, and Nirvana show at my alternative space, the Center on Contemporary Art, which found Kurt sporting a Burns tee shirt. (As seen in Charles Peterson's photo above.) On a subsequent Seattle visit in 1993, I accompanied Burns to a secret Tad and Nirvana show at a small downtown venue, where he was received as a rock star himself.
Throughout my tenure at Fantagraphics Books, I've continued to encounter Charles Burns, a pleasure that will repeat itself this evening when Burns appears at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery to present his new graphic novel, Sugar Skull. Please join me in welcoming this immensely influential artist back to his hometown.
Have you heard? Art Spiegelman is coming to Seattle, and he's bringing an entourage! Along with musical accompaniment by jazz composer Phillip Johnston and his sextet, Spiegelman will be presenting his new work, "Shaping Thought!" as well as images and stories that have influenced him, at the Moore Theatre on Sunday, October 12th as part of his WORDLESS! tour. This is not a show you'll want to miss. To that end, Fantagraphics has partnered with The Seattle Theatre Group to give away two tickets to one lucky fan.
Here's how to enter: It's simple. Take a picture of yourself—or your favorite furry companion—with a copy of Maus in hand (any version, either volume). Send it in to us at
with the Subject: "Wordless Contest" to receive one entry for the giveaway. One entry per e-mail address, please! The contest will run from Thursday, September 18 through 12 noon PST on Friday, October 3rd.
By entering this giveaway, you're agreeing to let us use your image submission on our website and social media networks.
We've been using the Latin alphabet since roughly 700 B.C., but as a language, and an art form, it's continuously evolving. Niko Vassilakis has been astutly aware of it's possibilies as an aural, oral, and ocular medium, and seeks to combine all those senses familiar with words and the alphabet into a visual display of poetry.
Silvermine Arts Center of Norwalk, CT is hosting a month long art exhibit that is all about that funky art of Jim Flora. An opening reception is scheduled for September 19th, from 6-8 pm to celebrate and groove to the iconic jazz inspired pieces. Currated by the co-archivist of the Jim Flora collection, Irwin Chusid has included some never seen before original paintings, woodblock carvings and intaglios.
The exhibit, The Mischievious Art of Jim Flora: A Fine Art Retrospective will run from September 20 - November 2. But if you can't make it out to Connecticut (though you really should; the leaves are changing colors and I hear it's just GORGEOUS this time of year), you can always pick up a copy of The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora, co-edited by the show's currator!
The now out of print collection, The Mischievious Art of Jim Flora will get new life in this lively art show!
Philadelphia, PA: The Wild Boyz Tour is wildin out in Philly tonight with a signing at Locust Moon Comics. In addition to Hanselmann, Deforge, and Kyle, they will be joined by Annie Mok, Noel Freibert, and Portland extraordinaire, Farel Dalrymple. This signing begins at 7 pm, but the good times continue the next day (17th) at LAVA Space when everyone magically turns into musicians! (More Details)
Friday, September 19
Seattle, WA: The highly anticipated follow up to the acclaimed books, The Hive and X'ed Out, is finally being released and long time friend-of-Fanta and author, Charles Burns will be back in Seattle at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 6-8 pm to drop his new baby, Sugar Skull. Come party at the best bookstore in the business! (More Details)
Portland, OR: The Pacific Northwest College of Arts presents the Super Trash exhibit, a celebration and exploration of exploitative art and images in cinema. Currated by Jacques Boyreau, author of the upcoming book, Super Trash, the exhibit runs in conjuction with weekly films at the Laurelhurst Theater; tonight's film is the sci-fi adaption of The Omega Man, featuring everyone's favorite gun slinger, Charlton Heston. (More Details)
Brooklyn, NY: No sleep till the next leg of our Fantagraphics tour, which just happens to be in Brooklyn! 8 pm, at the beautiful Bergen Street Comics, the whole gang is getting together to sign books and be merry. The gang for this stretch includes: Eleanor Davis, Jesse Reklaw, Simon Hanselmann as well as Michael Defore, Patrick Kyle, Matthew Thurber, and Alex Degen. That's a lot of people hanging out at one store, at one time. And you can be one of them! (More Details)
Sunday, September 21
Brooklyn, NY: If you're skipping church this morning it better be because you're headed to the Brooklyn Book Fest at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, running from 10-6 pm! There is a slew of great vendors attending, but you'll want to hit up the best of all (us, Fantagraphics) because we'll have the best books and signings in the business! Additionally, there are more amazing panels and book debuts than you can shake a stick at. Catch all the details here.
Seattle, WA: Something about fall screams psychological thriller, and few do it better than Chris Wright in his seminal book, Blacklung. He, and that gruelling pirateship thrill ride of a book, will be signing at the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery from 3-5 pm. Stop by to get your hands on a great work that will be perfect to read right before you fall asleep! (More Details)
Monday, September 22
Brooklyn, NY: On her whirl-wind tour with the beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking (and almost sold-out) graphic novel debut, How to Be Happy, Eleanor Davis will be stopping by indie oasis, Desert Island Comics, to delight and educate audiences with her carefully crafted presentation. Beginning at 7:30 pm, come learn about the relationship between art and the artist, and see what it takes to create a New York Times Bestseller, and stay until 9 to get said Bestseller signed. (More Details)
One of the best parts of Austin, Texas is its extreme love for good art and great design. Whether it's a local band playing, new shirt shop or the annual Flatstock or Mondo, the boutique line from Alamo Drafthouse, there is a lot of good stuff on hand. But NOW the aforementioned Mondo is having its own con! And guess who's going to be there? Our great pals, Secret Headquarters!
The Daves and Julie of Secret Headquarters sent us some sweet photos of some of the prints they are carrying including the Winsor McCay print called When Black Death Rode (with a horse face detail).
A Jaime Hernandez shirt, print and one beautiful Jon Vermilyea patch. You can check out their other goods on the site OR just hustle on over to Mondo Con this Saturday and Sunday!
If anything is left over they will be put online in the near future, so by Satan's cloven hoof SHQ better only sell 99 of those pizza patches.
Marchesa Hall and Theater 6406 N I H 35 # 3100 Austin, TX 78752
Monday, Monday, Monday! Eleanor Davis is giving her LAST performance of the How to Be Happy tour at Brooklyn comic shop, Desert Island, 7-9m. You may have gotten your book signed at Brooklyn Book Festival but you haven't L I V E D until you've seen Eleanor give her talk on the relationship of art and the artist.
How to Be Happy is a New York Times Best Selling book that we are already reprinting! Here's what some critics have recently said about Eleanor's fine work:
"...her stories often feature tremendous longing and sadness, but they also lushly suggest what a blessing it is to be alive and in the world. She presents, in short, a more realistic picture of what it means to be a human, with our ever-present mind/body tug-of-war, than almost anyone else out there making art." - Hillary Brown, BoingBoing
"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
So get in a cab or in the subway car and head to Desert Island Comics, they've got that fancy new Jim Woodring sign!
Her most recent book, How to be Happy, is the topic of discussion for this moving a personal presentation and discussion. With beautiful and different styles to match the mood of the story, this collection has grasped ahold of America and is almost sold out! So grab a copy before the librarians get the last remaining copy. As one of our staffers said, library events are the best events, so get some social capital at our nation's capitol!
Presentation begins at 7:30 pm. Takoma Park Library 101 Philadelphia Avenue Tacoma Park, Maryland 20912 301.891.7259
As a part of our cute boy/boys of summer/wild boyz tour, these dapper dans are headed to Philadelphia's Locust Moon Comics for a two day signing and music event. Did you think SPX would poop these guys out? We're just getting started!
Join Megahexauthor, Simon Hanselmann, and artists Michael Deforge, and Patrick Kyle on Tuesday, September 15 at 7 pm for a signing and hangout spectacular. Joining them on this night are the very special, and also very cute, guests Farel Dalrymple, Annie Mok and Noel Freibert.
Tonight at the 'Cute Boy Alert' World Tour with Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle hits the Telegraph Gallery in Charlottesville, VA! From 6-9pm you can get the boys to sign not only your comics but a special edition print the gallery owners have made!
The print debuted at SPX this past weekend. This print was designed in collaboration by all three amazing artists on the tour, and will be on display at all the stops on the tour - but is exclusively for sale at the Telegraph Gallery.
Feelin' sad because you can't get to Telegraph tonight? Fear not, the great internet has convinced David to put the poster up online lest he be hassled and jeered at while on the street of his neighborhood. You can order one right here! 18" x 24" screen printed poster on 100# poster stock, ships bagged and rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube.
Telegraph Gallery 110 4th St NE Charlottesville, VA 22902