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.
One of the highlights of Seattle's Bumbershoot arts festival over Labor Day weekend is the exhibition Jini Dellaccio: January 31, 1917 - July 3, 2014 co-curated by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid. This show celebrates the life, career, and art of Jini Dellaccio, an American photographer best known for her iconic images of Northwest proto-punk bands including The Sonics, Wailers, Merrilee Rush, Daily Flash and many others. This special tribute show features the diverse subjects of Dellaccio's lens over her long and legendary career. Friday afternoon offers free viewing of the art exhibits. The festival includes music by the Replacements, Mission of Burma, Negativeland, Dream Syndicate, Afghan Whigs, Foster the People, Elvis Costello, Rose Windows, Los Lobos, and countless others. (Photos appear courtesy Jini Dellaccio Collection, all rights reserved.)
Don't miss the apocalyptic Dead Baby Bike party this Friday, August 1 in Georgetown. Live music, BMX daredevils, beer gardens, and bike jousting right outside Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. The party begins at the conclusion of the reckless Dead Baby Bike Downhill Race about 7:00 PM and continues into the wee hours.
Arrive early to the Dead Baby Bike Party on Friday for a front row seat to the big Boeing Air Show. Watch vintage Spitfires, Thunderbolts, Mustangs, and Tomahawks, along with breathtaking Boeing F-18 Blue Angels and more fly right over the store.
Join us on Wednesday, August 6 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at the reception for emerging Canadian cartoonist Georgia Webber with her compelling comix serial Dumb. This event will also serve to celebrate the City Arts Award bestowed upon Seattle cartoonist Max Clotfelter for his piece in last April's Intruder art exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Honk Fest West on Friday was a blast! Over 30 cacophonous brass bands from across the country descended on Georgetown for this annual gathering. As was the case last year, the event began on a somber note with a funeral march in front of Fantagraphics Bookstore in memory of Kim Thompson on the first anniversary of his passing. The concerts climaxed with a pitched percussion battle between the Super Bowl champion Seahawks Blue Thunder and the Garfield Drumline (alma mater of musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, and Macklemore.) Too much fun!
Our good friend and former Mayor Mike McGinn dropped in to do some comix shopping during the festival. Lest we be accused of favoritism, we also played host to current Mayor Ed Murray a week earlier at the colorful Georgetown Carnival below. Good times.
Don't miss Fantagraphics Bookstore's latest creation in Hazardfactory's world famous Power Tool Races. This thrilling side-by-side spectacle is the centerpiece of Saturday's colorful Georgetown Carnival. Extreme Measures is powered by a DeWalt retractable tape. You'll just have to see it race. The bookstore has entered wicked tools in every race since 2007 and won the top prize in 2011 with the Georgetown Chainsaw Massacre.
The Georgetown Carnival is a festive celebration of the creative diversity of Seattle's oldest neighborhood. Acrobats, aerialists, sideshows, stiltwalkers, interactive arts, carnival games and confections combine to create one of the region's liveliest art fairs. Musical highlights include Tummy, Ancient Warlocks, Mark Pickerel (formerly of Screaming Trees), Vaporland (featuring former Love Battery, Tad, and Fluid members), and more. Then get ready to Rumble with the architect of the Seattle Sound, Jack Endino's Earthworm. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray kicks off the festivities with opening remarks at noon. All free, all day, all ages. See you Saturday in Georgetown!
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.
Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery this Saturday at 6:00 PM to celebrate the publication of Peter Bagge’s new book with a show of original drawings, book signing and live music. The evening also marks the 10th anniversary of our retail partner Georgetown Records.
Peter Bagge’s Hate has chronicled the misadventures of Buddy Bradley and his crew of lovable losers since the formative period of the grunge era. Buddy Buys a Dump contains the last nine issues of Hate Annual and completes the current story arc with a new twenty-page conclusion, many of them on display for the occasion.
Visitors to the bookstore are invariably greeted with a delightfully esoteric soundtrack courtesy of Georgetown Records. Over the course of the last decade, they’ve earned a reputation as one of the region’s premier purveyors of vintage vinyl specializing in punk, prog, goth, garage, psychedelic, international, and other rare recordings. Come celebrate their 10th anniversary with Peter Bagge and live music by Kelli Frances Corrado and The Hinges.
These events coincide with the festive Georgetown Art Attack featuring colorful visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, just minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Visitors to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery are invariably greeted with a delightfully esoteric soundtrack courtesy of our retail partners at Georgetown Records. For seven and a half years, they've cheerfully accommodated our nerdy comix parties, panels, and presentations. Come celebrate their 10th anniversary this Saturday, May 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, coinciding with Peter Bagge's Buddy Buys a Dump exhibition and book signing.
Over the course of the last decade, Georgetown Records has earned a reputation as one of the region's premier purveyors of vintage vinyl, specializing in punk, prog, goth, garage, psychedelic, international, and other rare recordings. It's a popular stop for both local and touring musicians as well as other cultural connoisseurs.
The party on Saturday features live music by Kelli Frances Corrado and The Hinges. It begins a series of events commemorating ten years of contributions to Seattle's music milieu. The Fantagraphics family congratulates our colleagues at Georgetown Records and encourages our customers to patronize their awesome store.
Above: Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament shops with Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden. The Vivian Girls drop by after their show at Coachella in 2010. Below: Famed rock photographer Jini Dellaccio poses with her seminal proto-punk album covers on her 95th birthday and Pearl Jammer Mike McCready takes a turn at the counter peddling a Sonics album with a Dellaccio cover.
Look for the Record Store Day exclusive Mudhoney On Top - a live recording of the band's historic set atop the Seattle's iconic Space Needle last summer. I hovered above in a helicopter accompanied by famed rock photographer Charles Peterson. Fantagraphics staffer Janice Headley can be seen wearing the Daniel Clowes Punky shirt in the photo and is thanked on the LP.
Have a listen at the Record Store Day after-party at Georgetown Records and Fantagraphics Bookstore where Sub Pop mastermind Bruce Pavitt will DJ, joined by two of the architects of the Seattle Sound, Jack Endino and Steve Fisk. See you Saturday at 6:30. Support your local independent record store this Saturday.
Music lovers everywhere support their local independent record retailers on Record Store Day this Saturday. In recognition of the pivotal role played by record shops in the music industry, many labels release special limited edition recordings and merchandise, attracting throngs of shoppers to their neighborhood stores.
The Pacific Northwest chapter of the Recording Academy teams with Georgetown Records and Fantagraphics Bookstore to commemorate Record Store Day with Grammy Breakout Sessions: Vinyl Vault. This fascinating program features two of Seattle's most prominent musician/producers, Jack Endino and Steve Fisk, playing records and discussing their creative process. Endino is widely credited with engineering the "Seattle Sound" that influenced generations of musicians. In addition to performing with countless bands, he has produced records by groups like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, Tad, and The Sonics. Fisk has worked with eclectic acts like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, Joan Osborne, Beat Happening, Low, Reggie Watts, Tangerine Dream, and many more, as well as playing keyboards with Pigeonhed and Peter Bagge's Can You Imagine? Both of these artists have been closely affiliated with Seattle's storied Sub Pop Records, so it's fitting they will be joined by label founder Bruce Pavitt spinning records throughout the evening.
The festivities begin at 6:30 PM on April 19 at Georgetown Records and Fantagraphics Bookstore, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Arrive early to peruse the record bins, and maybe pick up a signed copy of Pavitt's wonderful memoir Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989. Wherever you are, go out and support your local record store on Saturday.