Russ informs us that punk legend Exene Cervenka of X fame dropped by Fantagraphics Bookstore on Monday evening with Phil Alvin of the Blasters to do some record and comix shopping. Visiting Seattle to perform at Neumos with X bandmate John Doe, Exene was reportedly pleased to find a copy of Talk to Her, a collection of interviews conducted by Krisitne McKenna. Exene is interviewed, along with counterculture celebrities like Lou Reed, Joey Ramone, Allen Ginsberg, Johnny Rotten, Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde, Joe Sacco, Elvis Costello, Walter Hopps, and Richard Hell, among others. The book includes portraits of interview subjects by Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Tony Millionaire and more. Pick one up. You won't be able to put it down.
Ajax and I actually met their awesome drummer Lucy at the San Diego Comic-Con late last month, and she had mentioned that her band was gonna be playing The Funhouse in Seattle for Pizza Fest 2011! [Full disclosure: Ajax works the door at The Funhouse when not workin' the warehouse at Fantagraphics.] But I totally suck, and I missed the show and the ensuing pizza-eating contest! Dammit.
Don't suck like I did: the band are still on tour, heading back home to San Diego over the next couple of weeks. If you dig that lo-fi garage-pop thing, go see 'em, and chat with Lucy at the merch table about VHS horror films and Johnny Ryan comics!
8/8: The Tube - Portland (w/Grrrl Friend) 8/10: The Knockout - San Francisco (w/Personal and the Pizzas) 8/11: The Blue Lagoon - Santa Cruz (w/ The Groggs) 8/12: Thee Davis Big TV House - Davis 8/13: Total Trash Fest - Oakland 8/15: Burger Records - Fullerton 8/16: Studio Danza - Whittier 8/17: Tower Bar - San Diego (w/ Bear Slim)
And, if you're in a band coming through Seattle, why not visit us at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery? We've got your perfect tour van/backstage-reading material in store.
• Review: "Fantagraphics, always a publisher you can count on to rescue classic comic material from oblivion, has published a gorgeous 288 page hardcover archive edition of Mickey [Mouse]'s earliest serialized comic strip adventures and he's quite a different character than we know today...a little rambunctious, a little mischievous, and a whole lot of fun. This book takes readers on a glorious ride through depression-era adventures as Mickey battles villains, becomes a fireman, visits a circus, and meets his faithful pup Pluto for the first time. Besides the many great comic strips, Fantagraphics has filled the book with a ton of supplemental material... This is an absolute must-have for any Mickey Mouse fan. Grade A" – Tim Janson, Mania
Burgas: "McKean’s art is astounding, as it always is. He moves from his very rough pencil work that he used on Cages and moves quickly into a multimedia extravaganza, with photographs interspersed with film reels (more photographs, of course, but used in a different way) and paintings and more detailed pencil work. The colors are magnificent, too... It’s an astonishing work of art, to be sure..."
Thompson: "I agree that the success of this book is in that it is beautiful from cover to cover. As a rule I tend to prefer McKean’s very rough pencil work, though I very much appreciate the layering mixed media styles he uses, and I found all of it very beautiful and successful in that way. I was impressed with the color choices and the really wonderful cubist look he achieved for some of the work, and some of the mixed media he used toward the end was some of my favorite in the book period.... After discussing it, I feel more pleased with the book as a whole because I’ve been forced to admit that I don’t recall seeing many more effective executions of erotic subject matter as a legitimate work of art in this way..."
Burgas: "What is compelling about Celluloid is that McKean tackles a difficult subject and elevates it beyond a simple porn comic. I think the very fact that Celluloid makes you wonder about sex in many of its iterations is impressive. As you can see, both Kelly and I had our issues with it, but it’s a gorgeous comic nevertheless. It’s definitely something that you don’t see every day!"
• Review: "I have the impression that Lewis Trondheim is the most important European artist of his generation. Such is the creativity and productivity and so the breadth of his work that, for me at least, wins the title deservedly. Approximate Continuum Comics... is the first part of Trondheim's autobiographical adventures.... The brilliant humour of Trondheim, his sharp-tongued reason, the way with which it shows the mix of imagination with reality. Equally impressive is the effortless way in which the most espressive artwork works serving the story." – Aristides Kotsis, Comicdom (translated from Greek)
• Review: "Bell does the best job of any attempt I've ever seen to bring together everything we know about Ditko's life and work. The result [Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko] is fascinating, frustrating and eventually presents a sad portrait of an immense talent that withdrew from the world and denied it of his work and himself of the audience, acclaim and success that was easily within his grasp." – Tom McLean, Bags and Boards
• Preview: At Flavorwire, Emily Temple shares some glimpses of the cartoons to be included in Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons, saying "Her style is distinctive — the charmingly brusque drawings are cut from linoleum and then essentially stamped when she applied ink to the ridges, and while the content is largely related to her experience as a student, you can still feel the slightly skewed, individualistic perspective that appears in O’Connor’s short stories.... Lovers of her work will doubtless find joy and meaning in her cartoons, and other people will probably like them too."
• Preview: Jamie Frevele of The Mary Sue picks up on the preview of Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons, saying "...while not as demented as some of her writing, the dark humor is still there, even in the short span of a single panel."
• Plug: "Flannery O'Connor: The Cartoons is the first compilation of her graphic work in pen-and-ink and linoleum cuts. Before her writing career the young student aspired to be a cartoonist, and she developed a visually bold and eye-catching style. The results are witty and acid comments on campus life and American culture that show O'Connor developing her own acerbic point-of-view." – M. Bromberg, BellemeadeBooks
• Interview (Audio): Kevin Avery, author/editor of Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson, is a guest on the Rockcritics Podcast. Host Scott Woods says "I’ve mentioned a few times here already Kevin Avery’s wonderful book, Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson. Half a personal biography of Nelson, half a compilation of select Nelson reviews and essays, it’s one of the finest books I’ve ever read about a writer — and, needless to say, about rock criticism."
• Profile: "[Basil] Wolverton was one of the pioneers who made today’s highbrow comics scene what it is; his twisted abstract portraiture, all sweatbeads and pleading eyes, floated like a buoy in a sea of banal comic art, influencing kindred spirits like Robert Williams and Big Daddy Roth. Though best known for his nightmare caricatures in the vein of Lena Hyena, his sf and horror work — jewels like the 'Brain Bats of Venus' — is equally disturbing (or invigorating). God knows what brain bat attached itself to Wolverton’s fertile grey matter, but it certainly wasn’t of this atmosphere." – Joe Alterio, HighLobrow
One of the most "unusual" references to Roberto Clemente can be found on the cover of Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual LP. The Pittsburgh Pirates legend's name appears prominently above the doorway behind the twisting pop diva in the photograph by Annie Liebovitz. Go figure. This 1983 recording sold over 9 million copies, yet won only a single Grammy award for album packaging. Apropos of little, other than a reminder to read Wilfred Santiago's wonderful graphic novel biography 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente.
You can hear for yourself: their debut EP, Four Corners Bounce, is out now on the Arbitrary Signs label, and to celebrate, they're having a Record Release Party this Friday, June 24th at Desert Island in Brooklyn!
You wouldn't think it to be possible, but it gets even better as Gary will have TWO new books in tow: The Wrong Box and The Land Unknown, both of which were recently published in France, and have been tricky to get in the states... until now!
The psychedelic sonic bliss blasts off at 8:00 PM at Desert Island [540 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY]. Do not miss it.
Our conjoined neighbors, Georgetown Records, will be transformed into a "mom-and-pop punk rock emporium circa 1988 Seattle," as our curator Larry Reid explains it. Beloved local icon Russ Fallout will be DJ'ing records from that era; just don't make any requests for Leonard & the Love Gods -- I think Kurt, Kurt and Kurt are still after royalties.
And then, later that night, join Fantagraphics just around the corner at The Mix -- uh, I mean, Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Emporium, as it'll be known for the occasion! We've got Can You Imagine? on the bill, the Seattle supergroup featuring Peter Bagge and Steve Fisk. The Capillaries are back, and cartoonist Matt Southworth and friends will take the stage.
And also on the bill, it's Wormburner, all the way from Buddy Bradley's hometown of New Jersey! You can even catch a live in-studio performance from Wormburner at 1:00 pm PT that Saturday on local radio station KEXP 90.3 FM (streaming worldwide at KEXP.ORG).
Among all the action this Saturday night at the Taking Punk to Georgetown party, gifted Seattle cartoonist Matthew Southworth will be signing copies of Stumptown. This new collection, written by Greg Rucka, is a hard boiled thriller set in Portland, focusing on a character named Dex — (short for Dexedrine). Southworth will trade pen for guitar at the after-concert where he's reformed the Capillaries, featuring similarly multi-talented Stranger art director Aaron Huffman with Aaron Brown. They'll be joined at Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Empiorium by Peter Bagge and Steve Fisk's Can You Imagine? and Wormburner, from Hoboken, New Jersey, appropriately enough.
Peterson will display 14 exceptional pieces from 1980s Seattle punk underground, the era that gave birth to grunge. This period also gave rise to Peterson's signature cinematic style of still photography. He'll be joined by legendary cartoonist Peter Bagge signing copies of the recently released Hate Annual #9 comic and Yeah! collection. Adding to the atmosphere, Georgetown Records hosts a related installation of vintage Seattle punk posters, records, and ephemera recreating a mom-and-pop punk rock emporium circa 1988 Seattle. Russ Battaglia of Fallout Records & Skateboards fame will play vintage vinyl of the grunge era. Spread the word. This'll be a fun one.
Following the opening, join us next door at Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Emporium (also known as the Mix) for pop supergroup Can You Imagine? (featuring Peter Bagge, Steve Fisk, et al.), Hoboken, NJ's Wormburner, and the recently reunited Capillaries (Matt Southworth, Aaron Huffman, and Aaron Brown) playing all your old favorites. See you there!
[Full disclosure: KEXP is my other home aside from Fantagraphics... and, uh, that other building... thingy... where our beds and TV... is.]
Tune in this Saturday, May 7th at 7:00 pm PT as Charles guest DJ's on KEXP's Audioasis, the longest-running local music show in Seattle. He'll be spinning some of his favorite local bands, and talking to host Hannah Levin about his upcoming exhibit "Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses."
"Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses" opens Saturday, May 14th at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in the somewhat-noisy neighborhood of Georgetown. Join us from 6:00 to 9:00 pm for a reception with Charles, and a guest appearance from fellow grunge-era icon Peter Bagge.
After the reception, Pete's band Can You Imagine?(featuring another local icon, musician/producer Steve Fisk) will be playing a show around the corner at The Mix. Opening acts include the return of The Capillaries, fronted by cartoonist/musician Matthew Southworth, and Wormburner from Hoboken, New Jersey – who, incidentally, we'll be live on KEXP themselves, performing an in-studio session on May 14th at 1:00 pm PT.
And the great thing about all these KEXP sessions is that anyone can listen at any time, no matter where you live, thanks to the streaming audio at KEXP.ORG!
Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery opening Saturday, May 14 with special guest Peter Bagge.
April 28, 2011 - Seattle, WA. As the Northwest's grunge generation examines the implications of their misspent youth, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to present "Charles Peterson: Taking Punk to the Masses." Inspired by the recent Fantagraphics book, Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind, published in association with the acclaimed Nirvana exhibition at EMP, Peterson's photography show will focus on the seminal musicians and social milieu that evolved into a global youth movement. The show opens on Saturday, May 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM with a reception for the artist and a guest appearance by extraordinary Seattle cartoonist Peter Bagge, who chronicled the grunge counterculture in his comic book series Hate.
Charles Peterson's cinematic approach to photography captured the unrestrained enthusiasm of Seattle's punk environment throughout the 1980s and 90s. His exhibition will include influential early bands like the U-Men and 10 Minute Warning (with future Guns N' Roses member Duff McKagan), as well as audiences at local venues. Peterson's work is central to both EMP's Nirvana exhibit and the companion book, which documents the grunge scene from its inception with images, artifacts and oral histories provided by many of the participants (including Fantagraphics Bookstore's resident curator). His photography is the subject of several books and has been celebrated in galleries and museums worldwide. The exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore will give audiences an opportunity to see this remarkable artist in his formative period.
Peterson will be joined by legendary cartoonist Peter Bagge signing copies of the recently released Hate Annual #9 comic and Yeah! collection. Bagge's influential comic book serial Hate went beyond satire to help establish the attitude and aesthetics of the grunge era. In the latest issue, Hate protagonist Buddy Bradley returns to Seattle from his home in New Jersey so his wife Lisa can look after her ailing parents, once again mimicking the experiences of his readership. Making its debut is the Yeah! collection. Originally serialized on DC's imprint Homage, Yeah! tells the tale of an intergalactic all-girl pop group trying to make it big. Collaborating with artist Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame, Bagge again hits his mark. According to Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's, "Reading Yeah! is a bit like reading my life story, as told in an alternative universe."
Adding to the atmosphere, Fantagraphics Bookstore's retail partners, Georgetown Records, will mount a related installation of vintage Seattle punk posters, records, and ephemera, alluding to a boutique record store of the grunge era. Russ Battaglia of Fallout Records & Skateboards fame will spin period platters. (Fallout was the site of an early Charles Peterson show, and a frequent hangout for artists and musicians.)
The evening will conclude with a concert at neighboring Mix nightclub with Bagge's pop combo Can You Imagine? featuring musician/producer Steve Fisk. The group highlights harmonies by Michelle Plaitis, Sue Merrill, and Rachel Frost, reflecting the imagined music of Yeah! They'll be joined by the return of the Capillaries, fronted by gifted cartoonist and musician Matthew Southworth (who will also be on hand at the bookstore to sign newly minted copies of the collected Stumptown from Portland publisher Oni). Also on the bill is Wormburner from Hoboken, New Jersey — Bagge's home prior to his move to Seattle. (New Jersey is also home to Buddy Bradley and Yeah!)
The festivities on May 14 coincide with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic industrial arts corridor. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Open daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
CHARLES PETERSON: TAKING PUNK TO THE MASSES
Opening reception Saturday, May 14, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Special guest Peter Bagge premiering HATE ANNUAL 9 and YEAH collection
Concert by Can You Imagine?, Capillaries, and Wormburner follows at Buddy & Jay's Scrap Metal Emporium (AKA Mix), 6006 12th Ave. S.
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