Kelso will be making a rare return to New York since moving back to her hometown of Seattle, WA a few years ago. She will give a multimedia talk called "Big and Small": How do you construct a story that includes the big wide world, history, culture, sweeping events like war and political change, but that also includes personal, intimate character-driven things like friendship, family relationships, love, sex, babies and dying? How do you meld the two together into a believable whole? How do you humanize important historical players, kings, queens and presidents, and also show how the personal lives of ordinary people are affected by grand events that take place outside their doors? This are the essential questions that Kelso asked herself throughout the creation of Artichoke Tales, and she answers them through examples of her own work, as well as other artists who are engaged with similar issues, from Joe Sacco to Lynda Barry.
Meanwhile, underground comix and New York legend Deitch will present a visual tour through his "universe," which features a a sprawling, multi-generational cast of characters both fictional and real, spanning comics and animation history of the 1920’s and 30’s through the present day, with a particular focus on his latest epic, The Search for Smilin' Ed. Deitch will explicate his incredibly intricate yet organic page and panel constructions, which he employs with unparalleled excellence in the creation of structurally complex narratives concerning equally complex characters.
These lively talks will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience and book signing.
WHO: Megan Kelso and Kim Deitch WHAT: Multimedia talk and book signing WHERE: The Strand Bookstore, 12th & Broadway, New York, NY WHEN: Thursday, June 24, 7PM
ARTICHOKE TALES is the long-awaited graphic novel from Megan Kelso, a six-years-in-the-making family saga spanning three generations and an entire continent. This coming-of-age story is about a young girl named Brigitte whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war, taking place in a world that echoes our own, but whose people have artichoke leaves instead of hair. Influenced in equal parts by Little House on the Prairie, The Thorn Birds, Dharma Bums, and Cold Mountain, Kelso weaves a moving story about family amidst war. Kelso’s visual storytelling, uniquely combining delicate linework with rhythmic, musical page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate, ruminative character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war and carnage, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic. This is Kelso’s first new work in four years; the widespread critical reception of her previous work, THE SQUIRREL MOTHER, makes Artichoke Tales one of the most eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2010.
THE SEARCH FOR SMILIN' ED is the latest of Kim Deitch’s graphic novels to showcase his obsessive burrowing into the nooks and crannies of vintage American popular culture. A long-gone children’s show host propels Deitch into a pop-culture investigation.
Where Deitch's earlier books focused on the earliest days of the animation industry (in THE BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS), the history of comic strips (ALIAS THE CAT), and vintage movie serials (SHADOWLAND), THE SEARCH FOR SMILIN' ED explores the surreal landscape of children’s TV shows. Launched on his latest investigation by a remark from his brother about a shared childhood favorite (“Y’know, I heard that when Smilin’ Ed died... his body was never found!”), Deitch begins to uncover some mysterious things about the kiddie-show host and his malevolent sidekick, Froggy the Gremlin. Ranging across the entire twentieth century, replete with flashbacks and stories within stories, The Search for Smilin’ Ed! is a narrative whirligig that shows Deitch at his wildest and woolliest.
Seattleites, you won't want to miss this: "The Lobster and the Liver," a feature-length documentary about the great Jim Woodring, will play at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival this Friday, June 4th at 7pm at the Central Cinema ( 21st and Union ). I've seen it, and although it will likely embarrass Jim to say so, I thought it was fantastic and one of the best docs about a cartoonist I've ever seen. Watch the trailer here or embedded below.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack welcomes several exciting new participants to our colorful celebration of challenging contemporary art. The June 12 installment promises to maintain the ingenuity and creative diversity that has characterized the Art Attack since its inception.
Newly minted enterprises debuting on June 12 include: The grand opening of the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall – a cluster of vintage Airstream trailers housing galleries eateries, and boutiques – beginning with the Frida Folk Art Trailer exhibiting Tim Fowler’s paintings of childhood obsessions, bugs and cars, together with a “Trunk Show” by Georgetown metal workers of Steel Toe Studios; the premiere of Yvette Endrijautzki and Jethaniel Peterka’s studio/gallery the Nautilus, featuring an exhibition in the “Steam Room” by the resident artists; the open air Georgetown Marketplace, which in June begins its weekly Saturday appearance, including farm-fresh food, local and imported crafts, antiques, eats and more from over 40 vendors.
Among the regular Art Attack participants: Megan Kelso’s “Artichoke Tales” book launch party and art exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery; new paintings by Rafael E. Caraballo and Ed Craggs at Calamity Jane’s; figurative paintings by Amy Pleasant at Georgetown Art & Cultural Center; students of the Georgetown Atelier present their work at the “End of the Year Show”; Mark Tedin, Kyle Abernethy and Julie Baroh at Krab Jab Studio; Full Throttle Bottles hosts a display of the Hazard Factory’s legendary Power Tool Racers, one of the feature attractions at Georgetown’s Artopia arts festival on June 26.
The Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack is a monthly promotion of the Georgetown Merchants’ Association (GMA). For more information on this and other activities in the historic industrial arts district contact Art Attack coordinator Larry Reid or GMA chair Sara Aruguete.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts an art exhibition and book launch party for Seattle-based cartoonist Megan Kelso’s new graphic novel ARTICHOKE TALES on Saturday, June 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.
A graduate of alternative cartoonist breeding ground The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, Megan Kelso burst onto the comics scene in the early 90s with her provocative self-published zine Girlhero. She has since proved herself a master of the cartoon short story with Queen of the Black Black (1998) and The Squirrel Mother (2006), in addition to the weekly serial “Watergate Sue” published in the New York Times Magazine (2007).
ARTICHOKE TALES is a coming of age story about a young girl whose family is caught between the two warring sides of a civil war. Kelso’s visual storytelling, combining delicate line work with rhythmic page compositions, creates a dramatic tension between intimate character studies and the unflinching depiction of the consequences of war, lending cohesion and resonance to a generational epic. The widespread critical acclaim afforded Kelso’s previous work makes Artichoke Tales one of the most eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2010.
The reception on Saturday, June 12 coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic industrial arts district. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. in the heart of Georgetown. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110. Please join us on June 12 to celebrate the work is this remarkable artist.
MEGAN KELSO: ARTICHOKE TALES
Artist reception and Book signing Saturday, June 12, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Exhibition continues through July 7, 2010
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 98108 Phone 206.658.0110
This looks good — a comics reading featuring Ben Catmull & Renee French from the Fantagraphics stable alongside 4 other well-respected indie-comickers: Trevor Alixopulos, Rina Ayuyang, Josh Frankek & Lark Pien. Tomorrow evening, at Pegasus Books in Berkeley. Via Ben's blog.
Drew Friedman will be making a (medium) rare appearance/book signing in Hollywood to discuss, along with journalist/pop culture historian Ben Schwartz, (who's new book, The Best American Comics Criticism, from Fantagraphics sports an adorable cover by Friedman), his new hardcover anthology, "TOO SOON?", a collection of political and Showbiz illustrations covering the last delightful 15 years, and featuring a foreword by Jimmy Kimmel. As Howard Stern says "Everything he does is insanely great!"
Also to be discussed will of course be Old Jewish Comedians, (Family is located conveniently across the Steet from Old Jewish Comedian Jack Carter's favorite deli, Cantor's!) and the third and final in the trilogy, "Even MORE Old Jewish Comedians", due out in early 2011. Other topics surely to arise will include Milton Berle's appendage, Danny Thomas's love of Coffee tables, Bingo the Chimp, Joe Franklin, Abe Vigoda, Side Show Freaks, meeting Groucho and of course Shemp.
The PERFECT father's day gift for Dad!!
WHERE: Family Books 436 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 USA 323.782.9221
Esther Pearl Watson has a solo art show of her paintings, with an adjoining exhibit of work by her fella/partner in crime Mark Todd, June 1-26, 2010 at Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco, with an opening reception on Thursday, June 10. More info at Happenstand.