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Category >> office fun

MAD about Conrad Groth
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office funmiscEd Piskor 29 Oct 2014 9:59 AM
Unless you happen to be in the inner circle of Fantagraphics you might not know that our publisher's son, Conrad Groth, spent the summer interning at MAD Magazine in NYC. In the latest issue of MAD, they wrote a little thank you to Conrad (on the left) and the other summer intern. He's working his way up, up, up! We're happy to have Conrad back on the West Coast though, with the knowledge he gained over the summer.
Conrad
There was also a nice shout out to Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 2 by Ed Piskor so basically it's just a stellar issue all around. Pick up a copy at your local comic shop or online
Hip Hop
GOOD GRIEF! The Halloween Sale
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under PopeyePeanutsoffice funmiscEC SegarCharles M Schulz 24 Oct 2014 11:40 AM
Halloween
Did you know you still have 13 hours left to pick out some spooky titles from our Halloween sale?! Details on all the titles for sale until MIDNIGHT PST tonight! With all that extra money you'll be able to make a wicked costume for your kiddos or self. Oh no...did you forget to make a costume for Scooter? Just a little black paint and sharpie and you can whip up a great Charlie Brown in no time (costume and kid by freelance editor Shawna Gore).
Charlie Brown 
Swee'Pea from Popeye is also another easy one (costume and kid by Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds)
Sweet Pea
Swee'Pea 
Employee Highlight: Keeli McCarthy
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffoffice fun 4 Jun 2014 4:01 PM

KM Photo

We've recently had some new blood join our satanic circle in comics and are proud to highlight them. Meet Keeli McCarthy, one of our designers. She's currently working on many books for us, too many but she's a tough nut.

What other jobs and experiences have you had in comics?
I was the first female employee at a shop called Atomic Comics in the mid-90s in Phoenix. I was hired as the "alternative comics" person. I diverted a lot of questions about Image release dates with "um, how about checking out that Julie Doucet book there in the corner?"

The Sissy
What was the first comic you read?

My introduction to comics came through the wonderful world of Jack Chick tracts. Mormonism, Satanism, D&D, hippies... I ended up with a childhood preoccupation with hippies because they seemed to be having so much fun freaking out in those densely-drawn panels. I still have dozens and dozens of pictures of hippies that I drew as a child. I was also a big fan of Archie.

What was the first comic that made you want to write, react, something?
I really discovered comics when I picked up my first issue of Eightball. It was during the middle of Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron, and so I had to scuttle around the local comic shops to put together the back issues. I was so fascinated with Clowes' pastiche of period references, something that definitely influences my work today. I was also hugely influenced by the ghoulishness of Al Columbia's Biologic Show and anything horror from EC.

Ghost Grot
What can you recommend to Fanta readers?

I discovered Carl Barks when I designed the Ghost Of The Grotto collection and I've fallen in love with his stories. His human/animal hybrid characters are a hoot. The gags are great, and the colors in the Fantagraphics reprints are so sunny and beautiful. I'm also excited to sit down with the final printed version of Gast.

Weirdest Fanta experience so far?
I would say that the weirdest thing about Fantagraphics is the old house we work in. There is original art, staff art, and just...stuff everywhere. I discover some new little gem each day. Like the Gap ad in which the model's face has been replaced with one from an Al Columbia painting, the whole thing blasted through with a rifle shot. I have no idea how this came about and I will never tire of looking at it.
Cooper Gap

(note: associate publisher Eric Reynolds shot this many years ago) 

Favorite way to wind down?
I try to move away from the two-dimensional world as much as possible after work, and cooking is a great way to do that. I love making big elaborate dinners. I am also the queen of improvised soup.

What projects do you have ahead of you outside of your job?
I've been working on a series of brush and ink drawings based on observations of people's behavior in public places-coffee shops, dentists' waiting rooms, nightclubs. They're a fun exercise in getting better at inking good solid blacks. Last year, while living in New Zealand, I put together a zine/gallery show of 20 artists commemorating Oddbodz, which were New Zealand's answer to the Garbage Pail Kids. I'm hoping my next project can be that huge and crazy and fun. I'm also planning a trip to Tokyo in the next year with NYC/NZ zinester Erin Fae to write and draw a book about Japanese coffee culture.

Best part of comic conventions?
I'm not a huge fan of comic conventions. I usually only go when there is a creator I really need to meet. Then I just field that person's puzzled glances as I hover around their table with a huge creepy smile on my face.

Favorite place in Seattle for food or public place?
I recently discovered the giant hammering person sculpture and its history of mayhem, which I rather enjoy thinking about. Food-wise, TNT Taqueria has been haunting my memory with their TWO delicious meatless taco options. Also, this town has a staggering amount of donut eating opportunities, which I find very appealing. 

Favorite drink?
Black coffee. Preferably accompanied by a donut. 

Thanks again for answering questions, Keeli! More soon from the pit where management keeps us at night. 













Kristy Valenti interviewed in Previews
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under previewsoffice funKristy Valenti 5 May 2014 3:20 PM
Kristy
In this month's Diamond Previews, editorial associate Kristy Valenti is asked a few questions about being a comics editor. Check it out for yourself at your local comic book store! You can also enjoy many a book that Valenti has edited include the Wandering Son series by Shimura TakakoPretty in Ink by Trina RobbinsNijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano or her Eisner-nominated The Love and Rockets Companion (co-edited by Marc Sobel). GO KRISTY!
Employee Highlight: Anna Pederson
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office fun 1 May 2014 12:12 PM
Anna Pederson
We've recently had some new blood join our satanic circle in comics and are proud to highlight them. Meet Anna Pederson, badass at large currently at the warehouse who started back in January but was also an intern back in 2012!
 
What other jobs and experiences have you had in the comics industry? Fantagraphics was my first comic industry initiation when I did a stint as an editorial intern my senior year of college. After moving to New York, I did another internship with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), because this industry is a labor of love, and you have to work really hard for free for a while. In NYC I also did my first retail work with Forbidden Planet, which honestly is one of the most informative areas of comic book publishing. 

When the West Coast called me back home, I bummed around for a few months on the internet writing reviews for blogs and retailers, until Fanta found me in a ditch and brought me back into the fold.

What was the first comic you read? I think I've been reading newspaper comics since I could read, even the creepy weekday ones that talk about work place sexual harassment (I'm looking at you, For Better or for Worse). But then it was a gradual slippery slope into manga with Toriyama and Otomo, and mostly Vertigo titles, like Hellblazer, by high school. I was always an art fan, so without realizing their comic book ties, I was a fan of people like Moebius, Barry Windsor-Smith, and Jack Davis. These dudes expanded my reading and visual tastes for the better.

What was the first comic that made you want to write, react, something? I've always enjoyed comics, but I think I'd be lying to myself if I thought it was anyone but Brandon Graham that made me feel like the worlds he created were visceral, and existed beyond storytelling purposes. I think I got my hands on King City sometime in high school, and I hope this makes him feel old. His street/graffiti, Japanese, Moebius style wraps my head in a blanket and tucks me in at night, while simultaneously fulfilling my need for sexy puns. The best of both worlds if you ask me.

Anna's Brandon Graham tattoo of Earthling J.J. Catingsworth the Third, photo Robin McConnellTattoo
What can you recommend to Fanta readers? A book I picked up completely at random, but fell completely in love with has been Things Just Get Away From You by Walt Holcome. His whimsical and classic cartooning style often feels like how Pogo would read if all those characters grew up to be slightly dejected about society. But throughout his stories, Holcome hits on distinctly profound moments of love, childhood, and chasing dreams.

But I'm also really really excited for the release of Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano. It's everything that drew me into comics; horror, intense detail, magical realism. Love it.

Inio Asano 
Weirdest Fanta experience so far? I think this place used to be a lot weirder than how I found it. At least according to all the stories I've heard from legacy employees. I do remember once talking about whether or not plants would grow better with the nutrients of menstrual blood. But I'm probably the only one who remembers that, so who's the weird one now?!

I remember that conversation well, Anna. What's your favorite way to wind down? I love to bake. Cookies, pies, etc. Ask Kristy Valenti (Fanta editor) and she'll probably regale you with stories of my pies. I also sing a lot, mostly show tunes. Alienating one coworker at a time listening to Cabaret. Which shouldn't be hard to do since I only have one coworker.

What's your favorite drink? Whiskey. In my experience, if you work in comics you either drink whiskey or nothing at all. So chose wisely.

What projects do you have ahead of you outside of your job? The past couple of years have been spent on a pet project with local artist Josh Heath. It's probably one of those 'will never see the light of day' things, but you can't stop working on it either; quantity creates quality. I still write weekly columns about new comics coming out and why you should buy them, along with awesome preview videos hand made at Zanadu comics. But long term, my dream would be to curate and produce at least one multi-artist book, which is kind of the like the nerd idea of a fantasy team.

What's the best part of comic conventions? Conventions can be stressful, but I honestly love talking to people who are genuinely curious about the books you're trying to sell. They usually have a lot of enthusiasm, and are wiling to let me sell them amazing and weird books that hopefully makes them appreciate the unconventional, and become a reader for life. I sell people what I believe in.

Thanks again for answering the questions, Anna! More to come from the office monkeys soon. 


We Are Comics
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Things to seeoffice fun 30 Apr 2014 5:22 PM
We are Comics
We are comics and so are you.

Not pictured: Eric Reynolds, Mike Dean, Preston White, Paul Baresh, Anna Pederson, Larry Reid, TJ, Janice Headley, Dave Holmes, Jacob Covey, Matt Silvie and Dean. Our smooshed spiders-everywhere-in-the-trees-oh-god outtake.
other pic


In Love with Our Books
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office fun 14 Feb 2014 4:10 PM

Ben's kid 
There's no greater love in the world (to us) than a good book. You can enjoy it on the bus, in the bath tub, while eating Cheez Whiz straight from the can and drinking a nice glass of Bordeaux (not OR there -- and).  Here are a few of you enjoying and loving our books from the last year (and then some). Above, cartoonist Ben Cohen's daughter reads from The Frank Book by Jim Woodring

Bea 
Above, Little Bea read's Good Dog by Graham Chaffee. Gotta say, a lot of dogs seem to love Graham Chaffee's latest graphic novel so you may want to buy a copy not just for yourself but for the dog in your life. Although, most mutts believe that the FBI Mini Bad Dog is more their speed.

Bad DogMeanwhile, Annie Koyama enjoys the HELL out of Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski.

Annie Koyama

Noah Van Sciver (of The Hypo) admitted the other day that he reads Buddy Does Seattle a lot. Like A LOT A LOT. Makes sense to me!

Noah Van Sciver and Marigold's butt 
Sam Marx, organizer and head volunteer of both SPX and Linework NW, also digs Buddy Does Seattle.

Sam Marx 
UK cartoonist Joe Decie just HAPPENED to be reading the really cool and sold out Zero Zero by Al Columbia. ;)

Joe Decie 
Ladies, Ladies, Gentlemen, calm yourselves. Sirako from Mexico enjoys the noir tale that is Lost Cat by Jason.

Sirako 
Here Rocky (who hails along with his owner David from the UK) enjoys his favorite book in the Love and Rocket series: Penny Century by Jaime Hernandez!  Rocky 
Human Damon Gentry (writer of Sabretooth Swordsman) failed to follow directions and is EATING instead of READING his favorite book, The Frank Book by Jim Woodring

Damon Gentry 
Cartoonist Jess Underhill  enjoys the Love and Rockets Companion book!

Jess
Jordan Shiveley of Grimalkin Press and Autoptic gets some good reading done from Drawing Power!

Jordan 
Jamie S. Rich and cat, Sadie, drink in some Violenzia by Richard Sala via comiXology! 

Jamie S. Rich
There must be something in the water in Portland, Joe Keatinge 's pup Blackjack is ALSO a big digital Violenzia fan.

 Blackjack

Next up, Loverboy the rabbit bends an ear and his eyes to Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez.

Loverboy 
Fantagraphics Marketing Director Mike Baehr enjoys a LARGE BOOK night at home with Captain Easy Book 4 by Roy Crane!

Mike Baehr 
Editor Kristy Valenti reads and rereads Pretty in Ink by Trina Robbins (Valenti edited and wrote the last chapter).

Kristy Valenti 
I always take the time for TWO Charles Forsman books, Celebrated Summer and The End of the Fucking World.

Jen Vaughn/Chuck Forsman 

Each page turn is a lovely as a meaningful glance across the room or a bite of the lip in anticipation. A good comic will always stay with you. Thanks for loving our books as much as we do! 













New Hire at Fantagraphics
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office funJasonarbitrary cuteness 10 Jun 2013 4:30 PM

Wanda and Lost Cat

We have a new co-worker here at Fantagraphics, her name is Wanda, she's roommates with Jacq and Tony and she's into comics. She's particularly excited about Lost Cat by Jason

Wanda and Lost Cat

Although, she DID protest at this photo because she couldn't read the book. Okay, okay, Wanda. 

Wanda and Lost Cat

There ya go. Jason comics are page-lickingly good, aren't they!

Jodelle Door
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under staffoffice funlife imitates comicslibraryGuy Peellaertart 18 Feb 2013 12:36 PM

Jodelle Library Door

As a recent thank you to Publisher Kim Thompson and editor Kristy Valenti (and more) for moving offices, I hatched up a scheme to paint the library door in our basement. If you haven't visited the Fantagraphics office recently, the lovely 70s shag carpet was ripped up awhile ago leaving the basement aesthetics a bit similar to that of a cattle kill floor. NO LONGER!

Jodelle cover

Inspired by Guy Peellaert's smashingly neon art in Jodelle, Office Manager Steph Rivers and I pulled out the carbon paper to adapt the drawing to our door. Also called graphite paper and available at art or architecture stores, it is an invaluable tool for mural making or large scale painting projects.

Blank Door  Jodelle door

And then we let the Vitamin-C-infused paint hit the door. Now our library door matches the library door in Jodelle! Steph on the left as I sneakily took a photo. 

Steph Rivers and Jen Vaughn

The finished product may have worked too well. Now everyone at the office wants a new door. Maybe a Graham Chaffee one or Johnny Ryan....

Finished Jodelle Door

Now time to paint all the book spines to match the ones in this library. Mwuhahahaha!

Jodelle Library

Your Last Minute Valentines
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under office funNate NealMoto HagioLinda MedleyJohnny RyanJoe DalyJasonGary PanterEsther Pearl WatsonDame DarcyCarol Tyler 14 Feb 2013 1:36 PM

Prison Pit 4

Hey, you're a busy person. We get that. Or maybe you and your sweetie boo said you weren't doing anything but then you found a six pack of that craft brew you love so much or the full Battlestar Galactica series on DVD waiting for you. Well, we've got some cards for you to print out fast at work, while everyone is reading the cards their moms mailed to the office. They aren't going to save you but its better than handing someone a Slim Jim you bent in the shape of a heart while filling up your car at the gas station. Or is it? (Valentine above uses panels from Prison Pit 4 by Johnny Ryan)

The Heart of Thomas

The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio

Castle Waiting

Castle Waiting Vol. 1 by Linda Medley

Meat Cake

Meat Cake by Dame Darcy

Dame Darcy Poison

more Meat Cake by Dame Darcy

Dal Tokyo

Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter

Unlovable

Unlovable Vol. 1 by Esther Pearl Watson

Unlovable

Unlovable Vol. 2 by Esther Pearl Watson

Sanctuary

Sanctuary by Nate Neal

Athos in Amerca

Athos in America by Jason

You'll Never Know 3

You'll Never Know Book 3: A Soldier's Heart by Carol Tyler

Dungeon Quest 3

Dungeon Quest 3 by Joe Daly. Click here and here to download this print-worthy PDFs and hand a Valentine to someone. Anyone, man.

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