A couple of Friday night videos for your enjoyment, consisting of footage filmed in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood (where our Bookstore & Gallery resides) in the early 1990s, and featuring sound design (and a cameo) by our own Nico Vassilakis. These are very cool. (If they don't display below, click for Part 1 and Part 2.)
Be sure and stop by our table to pick up a catalog and some other free swag, especially on Sunday when Larry Reid will be there to regale you with war stories of the Sub Pop/Fantagraphics family tree. See you there!
On behalf of everyone at Fantagraphics, I'd like to welcome the newest member to our extended family: Freya Blue Covey, born Friday, May 16. She and Mommy Liz are healthy and happy and beautiful, as Freya is, as you can see, beautiful and has considerably more hair than her pop, Mr. Jacob Covey.
One of many bands with ties to Fantagraphics, Fox Hollow features Eric Reynolds (the third arm to Gary and Kim) and his wife, Rhea (who used to do a lot around here but now does other things), Adam Grano (Art Director of TCJ, etc.), Kaela Graham, and Kevin Schlosser (both of whom have always had better things to do than work here).
Implicit in the title of this collection is a ceremony of disintegration: shattering, fragmentation. A shedding of time. A shaking loose of the bonds of linearity and sequence. An immediacy of contact with the tools of construction so lucid and unsullied by the seductions of the future and the burdens of the past that the writing becomes a continuous doing and undoing, a joyful participation in the creation of a strange new alphabet of illimitable occurrence, a fetus of meaning in a placenta of ink.
The presentation is twofold: writing as writing (sentences, laminations, thought, “an undulant mind on soft display“), and concrete poetry -- letters arranged in eccentric patterns of visual energy. The writing is playful, probing, and provocative; sentences in paratactic leapfrog with their teasing proposals: “what restrains a superpower after guilt has lost its charm”; “as a windowsill is a place for elbows, so should a beach be a horizontal wonderment with the diesel fumes of military aggression”; “an unplugged brain is more dangerous than any taxpayer.” The emphasis with both strategies -- abstract and concrete, linguistic and visual -- is to advance an experience with language that becomes an ongoing textual genesis, Stein’s “continuous present.” It is also highly entertaining. Vassilakis is a funny guy, a postmodern Socrates with a quizzical cue stick.
This tendency toward showcasing the implements and machinery of language -- what Charles Bernstein calls “the desire for writing to be the end of its own activity, its very thatness” -- is most abundantly available in Vassilakis’s sections of concrete poetry. For instance, the configurations of letters displayed in the section titled “Rubber,” such as the entity on page 136 consisting of Os and Hs and Gs and Ss and Ts (which could spell the word ‘ghosts’ any number of times) (the letters are, in fact, rather pale) resembles some sort of wiggly-wobbly creature from the alphabet lagoon; Jean Tinguely’s Cyclops comes to mind, as do the Martians from War of the Worlds.
Wittgenstein wrote that “philosophical problems arise when language goes on holiday.” In Text Loses Time, language is on a holiday from time: sequence, servility, routine. We enter a hall of mirrors where words refer to one another. Where words bump one another like bumper cars, lean into the dark, return us to trance, the means by which we meander. Most importantly, it provides (I am drawing this quote from the Afterword by Nick Piombino)”, “an exit from the current pervasive cultural tendency to employ meaning and visual space according to needs and desire for personal advantage, corporate profit and social control… refuge in the microscopic details of immediate, unfiltered visual and internal perception…”
Fun Funhouse poster by Fantagraphics friend Tim Silbaugh. Bellingham-based DT's features fabulous front babe Diana Blanchard (wife of cartoonist Jim). Tom Price Desert Classic includes Fantagraphics alum/guitar hero Price and Fantagraphics resident genius Martin Bland on drums. Both acts have destroyed our store at recent events. Be there or be sober.
Several Fantagraphics employees have new projects out now or coming soon. Warehouse manager Nico Vassilakis has Text Loses Time, a new book of bracing poetry and text-based art from Many Penny Press (available at Georgetown Records, the conjoined twin of the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery) -- stay tuned for an announcement of the book release party:
New sales guy Jason Miles has Dead Ringer, a new book that is part comic, part print portfolio, and all amazing, coming soon from La Mano:
And don't forget the new CD from Extravagant Bachelor, the ongoing exploits of Fox Hollow, Kristy Valenti's columns for Comixology, Jacob Covey's freelance design work... and much more that I'm unaware of, I'm sure.
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