For decades, Jim Flora made some of the grooviest album artwork for Columbia and RCA Victor records, and for the first time all of that high energy art was compiled into one complete anthology with the help of co-archivists and authors Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon. These ruckusly exuberant drawings, with eye-popping color, and post-cubist influence, are in constant motion. Original copies of some rare Flora album covers, proof sheets, and music artifiacts will be jumpin' off the walls at the Jalopy Theatre and Gallery.
Irwin Chusid will be on hand to sign and sell books amidst some swing and jazz tunes that influenced Flora's art, and vice versa. The FREE reception runs from 6-8 pm, but the art show will continue until August 22nd!
The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco has featured artwork by many of our caroonists from Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez to a future M.K. Brown show. Currently on exhibit is Pretty In Ink: The Trina Robbins Collection from now until August 24th, 2014 (postcard pictured above). We pulled Andrew Farago, curator at CAM, aside for a few quick questions about the process of getting a show ready.
What do you look for when choosing works from a singular artist/cartoonist? Is it a plan to arrange them visually by era or area (like if they did paintings, cel animation, comics)?
"It depends" is my basic answer for that. If it's a career retrospective, I'll find out if the artist has kept most of her originals or if they've been scattered amongst friends and collectors. Sometimes we'll be focusing on a book that's been recently published, sometimes we'll have our own exhibition catalog in the works. Sometimes I work with a co-curator who's tracked down most of an artist's major works. The fewer sources I'll need to tap into to produce a well-rounded exhibition, the more likely I am to pursue it.
Although that's really more of a technical answer. Before I get into any of that, I make sure that we're focusing on a talented artist whose work will make for a compelling exhibition. I show favoritism to established artists with a substantial body of work, and always prefer to work with the artists directly whenever that's possible. It's incredible getting to collaborate with people likeStan Sakai, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, M.K. Brown, Steve Purcell, Eric Drooker, Nina Paley, Jeff Smith, and Dan Piraro, just off the top of my head, when putting together giant solo exhibitions.
Getting art ready for the Pretty in Ink show
Describe the basic layout of the gallery (or if you have a blueprint bird's-eye view of it) and do you aim to have people travel through the show the same way every time? (forgive me, I haven't been before so this question may seem odd)
This particular gallery has two entrances. Visitors will usually enter from the back-right corner entrance, and from there, they'll either wander up to the actual start of the exhibition at the opposite corner of the room, or they'll just start walking through and might end up viewing that particular room a time-and-a-half when passing through. With an exhibition like M.K.'s, which will be more focused on single-panel cartoons than multi-page stories, that won't be an issue for visitors.
Have you ever had an incident where you hung a show and then had to replace/take down art before it opened/while it was open?
Sure. I changed over our Sandman exhibition three times due to late arrivals. The original art for the second issue of Overture wasn't available to us until late March, and I swapped out an entire room to put up the first two issues. Artists and collectors have sometimes sold pieces while they've been on display, to buyers who don't want to wait until the exhibition wraps up before getting their artwork (although that's pretty rare). I don't generally like to change things once a show's up, since that's fairly labor intensive and I don't usually build time for re-hanging into my schedule.
Art matted and framed, ready for a wall
Is work for sale if the creator wishes it to be?
Generally not. We're a museum, so we don't sell art off the walls, but sometimes an artist or collector will ask us to include a note with contact information letting people know that the art's available for purchase through their websites.
How long have you worked at CAM?
I started as a volunteer in the summer of 2000, got hired on as Gallery Manager in the fall of 2001, and eased into the Curator job in 2005. I've worked on a little bit of everything over the years.
Photo by Lani Schreibstein
Are you donation-based? How can people help? Thanks!
There are plenty of ways to support the Cartoon Art Museum. Signing up for an annual membership, making a one-time cash donation (and asking your workplace to match it), donating original artwork, shopping at our bookstore, visiting the Museum, buying books or artwork from us at conventions...Here's a good place to start: http://cartoonart.org/join-support/
Sidenote: the CAM booth at San Diego is a GREAT place to pick up a $10 sketch to support the museum, they feature all sorts of fun cartoonists like Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Brown and Sina Grace. Last year, I sketched next to Gene Yang and Zack Giallongo and someone wanted us all to draw Morrissey. What a blast!
Thanks again to Andrew Farago for answering a few questions and carefully, lovingly putting work up on the walls with his crew. If you want to see Pretty In Ink yourself general admission is $8 while students & seniors are $6. Children 6-12 are $4 while WOO-HOO! Members & Children under 6 stroll in through the door for free. Check out Trina Robbin's book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013 today.
Seattle, WA: The multi-sensory live performance art show, Gridlords, will be debuting performance #23 on June 21st, a special presentation by the ever expanding independent comic show, Short Run.
What is Gridlords? No two performances are the same, but in essence, this monthly experimental art show based out of Portland combines various artistic mediums built around a narrative. Mediums in the past have included live music, comic readings, animations, and artist lectures. Seattle is honored to host their first show outside of Portland, and Fantagraphics is honored to watch Mome cartoonist, Andrice Arp's presentation of a film that inspirationaly highlights the creative processes, accompanied by live music, and then followed by a puppetry parable in anticipation of her new comic, Occupation. And that's only one part of the night's line-up.
Other guests for the evening festivities include, Theo Ellsworth, Asher Craw, Daria Tessler, Gridlords founder, Sean Christensen, and more.
According to Short Run, "Tickets are available in two packages: $7 for admission-only, or $20 for admission, plus a bonus fun pack containing the Gridlords anthology, Other Worlds (a $10 value), as well as other comics, original artwork, and more from artists involved in the show." An amazing deal to see the most all emcompasing live art production of the year.
The performance will begin at 7 pm, and takes place at Gallery 1412, located at 1412 18th Ave, between Union and Pike. Spend a beautiful summer evening with us, and witness a comic anthology brought to life before your eyes.
Cartoonist and all around badass, Lane Milburn, will be appearing at Quimby's Bookstore in August for his Twelve Gems launch party. August 30th at 7pm, you better have your intergalatic party hats on or ELSE.
Somewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, Furz, Venus, and Dogstar, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power. Milburn's book is is full of wall-to-wall humor and action for science fiction fans, adventure-lovers and connoisseurs of the undergroun comix aesthetic. You do not want to miss this rad cartoonist or his debut Fantagraphics graphic novel!
Phoenix, AZ: It's supposed to be 109F in Phoenix, so if you're looking to escape the heat in a large air conditioned convention center, consider going to Phoenix Comicon! Fantagraphics artists Don Rosa (Donald Duck) and Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree) will be on hand to sign, and chat about their upcoming releases with Fantagraphics! This four day show runs from June 5th-8th. (More details)
Saturday, June 7th
Olympia, WA: The birthplace of alternative everything, Olympia, will host the 2014 Olympia Comics Festival on Saturday, June 7th, and special guests include Jesse Reklaw and Charles Burns! They will be signing books and participating in panels at the various downtown venues. First event begins at 11 am, and the Expo itself is FREE! (More detail)
Sunday, June 8th
San Francisco, CA: The Queer Comics Expo kicks off pride week with a celebration of the history and achievements of queer voices in comics. Held at the Cartoon Art Museum, the wonderful Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf), is the guest of honor at this event. Art demonstrations, drag queens, and fun! Begins at 11 am. (More details)
The Scott Eder Gallery is one of the premier sellars of comic book art, and is the only gallery in New York City that is exclusively dedicated to showcasing and championing the art of comic books. So it's no surprise that when they open a new show, half of the talent on their roster include Fantagraphics artists.
Opening in tandem with the first ever New York Special Edition convention, the Scott Eder Gallery put together an anthological show to highlight their favorite selections over the past six years, and surprise premieres. Of the numerous masters being exhibited, there are a slew of Fantagraphics favorites and crowd pleasers, including:
So if you're already in New York, or flying out for the first annual comic creator centered show, NY Special Edition, add this show of continuously jaw-dropping original art to your list of places and events to hit up while you're in town!
Opening reception and party takes place on Friday, June 13th at 6 pm, gallery show runs until Septemeber 5th. Books, prints, and original art available for purchase!
NYC: The Javits Center is playing host to the 2014 industry trade show, Book Expo of America, the premier literary showcase. And Fantagraphics Associate Editor, Eric Reynolds will be manning the booth and on hand to discuss our exciting new releases like Hip Hop Family Tree Book Two, and upcoming titles, including the innumerable ZAP! collection. Begins at 9:30 am. (More details)
NYC: The second day of Book Expo America is underway, starting bright and early at 8 am! (More details)
Saturday, May 31th
Chicago, IL: Join Fantagraphics and a slew of our favorite creators for the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE)! Special guest, Tony Millionaire will be in attending and giving a special conversation with friend of Fanta and comics, Caitlin McGurk. Panel will be on site, beginning at 12 noon. Don't miss these wonderful exhibiting artists either: Julia Gfrorer, Lucy Knisley, Charles Forsman's Oily Comics, and Noah Van Sciver! Doors open to this FREE event at 11 am. (More details)
NYC: In tandem with the Book Expo of America, the final day of the show will open to all consumers and books lovers with Book Con! Wander the show floor, check out our gorgeous display, and let Eric dazzle you with our diverse and beautiful collection. All day tickets are $30, available here. (More details)
Sunday, June 1st
Waxahachie, TX: Esther Pearl Wastson is fixin' for a real good time at her hometown art show and signing at the Webb Gallery! Debuting original paintings by the queen of '80s teen, Watson will also be on hand to sign your beloved copies of the fresh Unlovable 3! Come on down between 4-7 pm, ya'll. (More details)
Chicago, IL: We're back for the second day of CAKE to bring you all of your alternative comics needs. Doors open again at 11 am, and today brings you another Millionaire filled panel 12 noon called "Seduction of the Innocent with friends Liz Prince and Tucker Stone. Don't miss this! (More details)
Fantagraphics is at table 1927 right next to W.W. Norton.
Stop on by to flip through some of the most amazing comics by world's greatest cartoonists, grab a Free Comic Book Day Comic and say hi to Eric today! If you're sweet, he'll even let you check out a sample of the new ZAP collection.
Don't miss the dazzling array of attractions at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in the coming weeks and months. The action begins with the Georgetown Carnival on Saturday, June 14 from noon to 10:00 PM. Cheer on our entry in Hazardfactory's famous Power Tool Races and enjoy free concerts by Fantagraphics friends like Jack Endino's Earthworm, Mark Pickerel, Ancient Warlocks, Tummy, and more! Acrobats, carnival games, sideshows, burlesque, beer gardens and so much more. All free, all day.
Join us on Friday, September 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM as we welcome home one of the most influential figures in contemporary pop culture, Charles Burns, presenting his new book Sugar Skull.
The Short Run comics art festival begins with a reception at the store on Friday, November 14 featuring Ed Piskor signing the second volume of Hip Hop Family Tree, Tom Neely signing the forthcoming Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever collection, MariNaomi presenting her new book Dragon's Breath, and other special guests. Indie art stars, music, comix, and more kick of the Short Run festivities. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements.
Guess who's coming for dinner and that dinner is CAKE?! Fantagraphics with a smashing line-up of cartoonists will be in Chicago May 31-June 1st for the next greatest thing in comic shows. The show is opening Saturday and Sunday this week from 11am-6pm at 3656 N Halsted.
Special Guest Tony Millionaire will be at a table RIGHT NEXT to our signing books all day, all weekend. The map on the site was a bit too tiny even for my magnifying glass soooo just look for us at table 6-7. Jacq Cohen is repping us and is usually dressed to the nines.
Panels Saturday 1-2pm Tony Millionaire In Conversation With Caitlin McGurk (This panel is sponsored by Comix Revolution)
For twenty years, Special Guest Tony Millionaire has been making waves with the seasick adventures of characters Uncle Gabby the sock monkey and Mr. (Drinky) Crow. Millionaire's nostalgic comics Maakies and Sock Monkey defy era and expectation, at once awesomely intricate and terribly crude, sometimes best for the tots and at other times for the sloppiest of sailors. Join us in a conversation with Millionaire and Caitlin McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in an exploration of this pioneering cartoonist's career. Sunday 1-2pm Seduction of the Innocent with Tony Millionaire, Liz Prince, and Tucker Stone. Moderated by Marnie Galloway (This panel is sponsored by First Aid Comics)
Comics are still for kids?! While the comics medium has grown up in the eyes of the public, of course there are still creators making work for younger audiences. What is the inspiration for creating work for a younger age group, and how will authors stay connected to new generations who will be born in a world of digital entertainment? CAKE organizer and author of In the Sounds and Seas, Marnie Galloway will lead a panel discussion with the multi-faceted Special Guest Tony Millionaire (Sock Monkey), Liz Prince, author of the upcoming memoir for teens, Tomboy, and Tucker Stone representing Special Guest Nobrow Press.
REMEMBER: Tony Millionaire will be signing all damn day right next to the Fantagraphics' booth.
Debuts: • Bomb Run and Other Stories by John Severin, Harvey Kurtzman & Will ElderOne of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics resulted in taut, gritty war stories. The team of Kurtzman and Severin was one of the most fruitful collaborations in the history of comics. Together with inker and friend Will Elder, whose own obsession for detail perfectly heightened the impact of every line, they produced 34 war stories in just under three years. This book includes: the Roman empire; the Revolutionary War; the American-Indian Wars; the Alamo; the Civil War; World War I (in the trenches and in the air); World War II (in the Pacific and in Europe, including the D-Day invasion); and the Korean War.
• Twelve Gems by Lane Milburnomewhere in the outer cosmos, beyond reckoning or observation, the mysterious Dr. Z has enlisted three space heroes, to search the galaxy for the fabled Twelve Gems of Power: the hulking alien-brawn Furz; the deadly sabre-wielding Venus; and the soft-spoken canine technician, Dogstar. With wall-to-wall humor and action in Lane Milburn's debute graphic novel from Fantagraphics; this is one of the most action-packed and funny books of the year!
• The Amateurs by Conor StechschulteTwo butchers arrive at work to find their shop empty of meat and their minds empty of how to do their job. As customers arrive, events become increasingly disastrous. A surreal, debut graphic novella of horror and humor with one huge, hanging question. This often hilarious, enigmatic, and uncomfortable book establishes Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
So come one and come all! Say hello to Jacq Cohen, working the booth, and special guest Tony Millionaire! The beautiful CAKE banner at the top was made by Chicago's own Chicago's own, Carrie Vinarsky.
May 31st-June 1st 11am - 6pm Center on Halsted 3656 N Halsted FREE!