You're all invited to the amazing after-party following Peter Bagge's book launch event at Fantagraphics Bookstore in Seattle next Saturday, July 11. The line-up for this free show at neighboring Jules Maes Saloon includes Peter Bagge's latest power pop combo, Can You Imagine? The evening will feature a special reunion of Bagge's 1990s easy listening sensation The Action Suits whose members include current and former Fantagraphics staffers Andy Schmidt and Eric Reynolds, joined by illustrious musician and producer Steve Fisk. Also on the bill are Reynolds' Fox Hollow (featuring Fantagraphics graphics ace Adam Grano and the lovely Rhea Patton) and Schmidt's new group Hank Adams. Jules Maes is located at 5919 Airport Way South, just one block north of Fantagraphics Bookstore. Heavy mental mayhem man! See you there.
Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me chronicles the artist's Libertarian leanings in comics published in the party organ Reason. Bagge, a longtime resident of liberal Seattle, is hardly dogmatic. Many of the pieces undermine traditional Libertarian party lines in favor of a personal, rational and informed approach to controversial issues that will force partisan Democrats and Republicans alike to rethink them. Bagge's well-researched comic strip "essays" crackle with the same colorful energy and wit that propelled him into the collective Gen X consciousness with his amazing comic book series Hate. As always, his work remains seriously funny.
To celebrate the publication of this thought-provoking book, Bagge will be on hand from 7:00 to 9:00 PM for an exhibition of his original comics art and to sign copies of the new anthology. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) only minutes south of downtown. This event coincides with the Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring exciting visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.
Following the reception, guests are invited to a free performance of Peter Bagge's latest power pop combo, Can You Imagine?, at neighboring nightclub Jules Maes Saloon. Featuring prominent Northwest musician and producer Steve Fisk, this delightful band combines elements of anachronistic new wave, girl-group pop and punk to create an accessible and exciting sound. The evening's musical entertainment will feature a special reunion of Bagge's 1990s sensation The Action Suits whose members include current and former Fantagraphics staffers. Also on the bill are current projects by Action Suits members: Eric Reynolds' Fox Hollow and Andy Schmidt's group Hank Adams. Jules Maes is located at 5919 Airport Way South, just one short block north of Fantagraphics Bookstore.
PETER BAGGE EVERYBODY IS STUPID EXCEPT FOR ME and Other Astute Observations Opening reception and book signing Saturday, July 11, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Exhibition continues through August 5, 2009
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 98108 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM www.fantagraphics.com
Don't miss the free after-party action at neighboring Jules Maes with arena rock by
Hank Adams Fox Hollow Can You Imagine? ... with a special reunion of The Action Suits!
Thanks to fan Jose M. Mendez for sharing his terrific photos of April's Humbug event at the Strand Bookstore with us on Flickr! That's Arnold Roth & Al Jaffee above; check out the whole set of photos right here.
• List: Bdzoom reports that l'Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée (ACBD) has placed Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw on their summer reading shortlist (there's Tardi on there too)
• Review: "Nell Brinkley was an icon for several generations of women... The art [in The Brinkley Girls] has been beautifully restored, a task that must have been pure torture given the density of Brinkley's drawings and that sophisticated color work. My hat's off to whoever did that fabulous job." - Allan Holtz, Stripper's Guide
• Review: "At one point in her comic-style memoir [You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man], Carol [Tyler] talks to us directly and says, 'The war was never really buried under tons of mental concrete. Rather, it was an active shaper of life, affecting moods and outcomes ... more than anyone ever knew.' Indeed. This is an important and deeply spiritual contribution to American culture." - David Crumm, Read the Spirit
• Review: "[You'll Never Know Book 1: A Good and Decent Man] is not your blood and guts portrayal of a ruthless soldier but rather an investigation into the emotional costs that war has on the combatant and the family that they sire, presenting a familiar story of the 'greatest generation' in an unfamiliar way." - Quentin Williams, two.one.five Magazine
• Review: "...Supermen! [is] a beautifully designed volume of early American comics... The edition is both aesthetically pleasing and sturdy, featuring clarified reprinting of the colour strips, covers, and scattered elements of advertisements and back matter." - Michael Leader, Den of Geek
• Review: "[West Coast Blues] is everything you would expect from a suspense thriller... Visually the comic book is also great. It's everything you would expect from Tardi... I don't believe that anybody else than him would have been able to visually translate Manchette's novel so well. It's like they worked together and that the comic book is the original material. Bottom line, this is another great comic book by Tardi. If you have never read anything by him you should. Luckily for North American readers, Fantagraphics announced that they that they were going to translate Tardi's work starting this fall." - Patrick Bérubé, Comic Book Bin
• Review: "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!... gathers all the remaining material that the alcoholic, abusive [Fletcher] Hanks did during his brief tenure as a comic book creator in the late 1930s and early 40s... [T]here’s still plenty of weird and wonderful tales to delight and disturb... [and] there are panels here that are rather stunning in their ability to create tension and drama... The work remains strange, powerful, funny, terrifying and yes, at times beautiful..." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6 (be sure to read the comments for an important clarification from editor Paul Karasik)
• Review: "Fans of Norwegian cult comics star Jason are in for something of a treat with Low Moon... what we have here are five stories, each of which would’ve previously warranted a collection in its own right, delivered together in one delicious hamper of Jason goodness... There’s never been a better time, then, to jump aboard the Jason train... This is as essential as comics gets." - Bookmunch
• Review: "It’s hard to think of a modern cartoonist with a more recognizable drawing style than Norway’s Jason... But Jason’s storytelling is just as distinctive as his drawing style... [and] the artist’s narrative approach has grown more adventurous over the years. Jason’s latest collection, Low Moon, is evidence of this trend... The reader, meanwhile, just lapses into a giddy comics coma." - Casey Jarman, Willamette Week
• Preview: Previews posts 7 pages from Low Moon. Have we mentioned it's in stores today?
• Interview: Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch concludes his 2-part chat with "the visionary" Jason. Sample quote: "I worked in a furniture factory for nine months... I really hated it. So I went to art school instead. Turned out to be not that much of a difference, of course."
• Interview: The hosts of The Comix Claptrap podcast "talk comics shop and try to get LA gossip from talented cartoonist, John Pham, of Sublife, Kramers Ergot 7 and Mome fame"
• Plug: "Low Moon: It’s the latest from Jason. Or, in other words, it’s one of this week’s absolute must-reads." - J. Caleb Mozzocco, Newsarama
• Plug: "Pick of the week: Low Moon... [B]y this point Jason has proven himself to be one of the stellar talents in Fantagraphics' roster (which is really saying something, by the way) and this collection of short stories... should likely only cement that reputation as the artist plays with such traditional genres as the Western, film noir, and alien abductions. All offered with the usual dollops of sardonic humor and heartfelt sympathy." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
• Plug: "Low Moon: New Jason, from Fantagraphics. All I need to know... This guy's a treasure." - Jog - The Blog
• Plug: John Jakala of Sporadic Sequential takes us to task for the smaller trim size of Luba vs. Palomar, but concedes "the smaller size is actually easier to handle when reading. OK, you win this round, Fantagraphics"
Bob Fingerman was in attendance when legendary cartoonists Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth, two of the co-creators of Humbug, discussed the magazine's short lifespan with el jefe Gary Groth at the Strand Bookstore in NYC on April 14, 2009, and was kind enough to pass along his photos!
See a whole bunch more in our Flickr set right here. Thanks Bob!
An event featuring Jules Feiffer, Elliott Gould, and Little Murders!
Family presents: A Tribute To Jules Feiffer (feat. Little Murders) Cinefamily hosts another "Family Sunday", where our good friends at Family Bookstore will bring in one of their favorite people to curate and introduce a night of films. This time around, Family brings us Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist/author Jules Feiffer (who in turn is bringing Elliott Gould!), whose pieces appeared in the Village Voice for over 40 years, and whose film adaptation of his stage collaboration with Elliott Gould resulted in one of the funniest, most vicious social satires of the '70s. A bitter black comedy caked in post-'68 disillusionment, Little Murders is an off-the-wall cocktail of fairy-tale, farce, paranoia thriller and comedy of errors. As Alfred Chamberlain, a shut-in photographer so resentful of his own success that he's turned to taking photos of feces, Gould personifies the deep ambivalence of the era, delivering a performance both poignant and irreverent. Alfred improbably falls in love with Patsy, a waspy Manhattanite whose unwavering determination to happiness in a crumbling society gives Alfred a reason to believe - at least, until random acts of terror shatter their dreams. Hilarity does eventually ensue, thanks in part to some unforgettable appearances by Alan Arkin (who also directed the film) as a hysterical detective, and Donald Sutherland as a hippie priest officiating what is easily the greatest wedding sequence in cinema.
Feiffer will also be screening excerpts from his little-seen 1985 TV movie Grown-Ups, starring Charles Grodin, and will sign books following the screenings.
I think we're all caught up on our Online Commentary & Diversions now:
• Review: "It's impossible not to love Jason's hapless cartoon characters; they're dog-faced descendants of Charlie Chaplin in that way, usually placed into situations far beyond their control or understanding... The five stories that make up Low Moon, Jason's newest collection of comics, hark back to the classic golden age of film... Each story reverberates with the little eccentricities that Jason has built a career on (instead of gunfights, the cowboys in the title story battle over long games of chess). Remarkably, none of them seem over-the-top or manipulative." - Paul Constant, The Stranger
• Review: "From Jordan Crane and Fantagraphics, Uptight #3. One of the best covers of the year and the last time, I suspect, that the guys in the crowd will read 'Back soon' and not feel that chill at the back of the neck." - Steve Duin, The Oregonian
• Review: "Sublife weaves a tighter, more focused narrative with intelligently ornate Chris Ware inspired design..." - Raina Lee, Lunch
• Review: "The current issue of theComics Journal (#297) has a wonderful in-depth interview with cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey, as well as a stable of other strips including Hi and Lois, Sam and Silo, and Boner's Ark that's a fun read." - Randy Reynaldo, WCG Comics
• Commentary: Looking at our recent spate of Special Edition releases at examiner.com, Spencer Ellsworth says "the notes, interviews and annotations give a look into some of the most innovative of the new generation of movers and shakers in the current comics renaissance."
• List: Industry news & analysis site ICv2 ranks sales of The Complete Peanuts at #3 on the list of "Top 10 Humor Properties Q1 2009"
• List: The Comics Reporter reports that at BEA a panel of librarians chose a list of "Hot Fall Graphic Novels," including our forthcoming titles Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 and West Coast Blues by Manchette & Tardi