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?"
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.
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.
(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.
About the time I began working for Fantagraphics as marketing and promotions director, Peter Bagge ran a contest in the third issue of his wildly popular Hate comic book. "Win a Date With Stinky" urged female readers to "Send in one or more glamorful photos and/or drawings of yourself" and "Explain in 25 words or less why you're worthy of Stinky's affection." What self-respecting woman, I wondered, would enter a contest to win a date with a comic book character? Named Stinky? I was about to find out. I spent several months acting as Peter's unwitting accomplice on a series of surreptitious "Stinky Dates" that saw me playing Leonard the Love God opposite lovely and talented young artists like Jessica Abel and Dame Darcy. This buffoonery was documented in the pages of Hate, much to amusement of my wonderful wife, not to mention the fashionable alternative rock band Babes in Toyland. (Don't ask.)
Like countless members of my generation, Peter Bagge's Hate was a funny and affectionate chronicle of my misspent youth. Beyond that, his work played a pivotal role in shaping the ideology of a youth movement that penetrated popular culture on a global scale. His comix have enriched our lives in ways we can only now begin to appreciate.
Join us in celebrating the many accomplishments of this incredibly gifted artist on Saturday, May 10 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we debut the latest, and perhaps final chapter of the Buddy Bradley story,Buddy Buys a Dump. The reception includes an exhibition of original comix pages, complimentary beverages, a book signing, and special musical performances by Kelli Frances Corrado and The Hinges. See you all at 6:00 PM on Saturday.
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.
Get your freak on with a new art show opening Friday, April 4th in Philadelphia!
Titled Freak Scene, this group show spotlights the current stars of underground comix, like Johnny Ryan, our own Jason T. Miles, Mome-contributor Jim Rugg, and a whole host of fellow freaks, including several Seattleites!
The opening reception kicks off at 6:00 PM.
Space 1026 is located at 1026 Arch Street in Philadelphia.
• Seattle, WA: Stop by the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery for Foxing & Friends, a festive reception hosted by our small press colleagues visiting Seattle for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference. The party features readings by Derrick Brown, Kelly Luce and T. Kira Madden as well as a Post-It art show including Laura Knetzger, Alex Schubert, Paul Hornschemeier, Ryan Cecil Smith, Jim Rugg, Sabrina Elliott, and our own Eric Reynolds and Jen Vaughn, among many others. (more info)
Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we welcome Gregory Benton signing his new graphic novel B + F this Saturday, February 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. His award-winning hardcover book on the adventurous AdHouse imprint is a sublime meditation on goodwill, hostility, and isolation. Come see!
Then return to the bookstore on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00 PM for "Foxing & Friends," a festive reception hosted by our small press colleagues at American Short Fiction, The Austin Review, A Strange Object, Write Bloody Publishing, and Foxing Quarterly, visiting Seattle for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference. The party features readings by Derrick Brown, Kelly Luce and T. Kira Madden as well as a Post-It art show including Laura Knetzger, Alex Schubert, Paul Hornschemeier, Ryan Cecil Smith, Jim Rugg, Sabrina Elliott, and our own Eric Reynolds and Jen Vaughn, among many others. This'll be a blast!
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) in the heart of the historic Georgetown arts community, only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
We are currently accepting applications for a Junior Design position. This is a full-time, hourly position in our office (telecommuters need not apply). If you don't currently live in Seattle, you must be willing to relocate.
• Thorough InDesign and Photoshop knowledge required. Any other programs are a plus. • Strong layout and typography sensibilities. • Detail oriented -- both in your work and in your ability to track change requests and stay on top of deadlines. • Work well independently as well as with the various personalities of editors, artists, and authors, taking in and utilizing feedback. • Ability to design interesting, unique solutions that respect and adhere to the vision of the artists we package.
The primary role as a Junior Designer will be doing book production, meaning you will be laying out templated books and occasionally creating original designs. You will also design ads (print and web), postcards, posters, etc. You will need to be a nimble designer, capable of solutions on a quick turnaround and able to maintain a steady workload. You will be responsible for sending press ready files to printers, so pre-press skills are a plus.
The right candidate could be anyone who is technically sound and enjoys production work. Knowledge of comics is helpful but it needn't be an obsession.
Interested parties email resumé and samples (or links to same) to
Larry Reid, manager of the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery was highlighted in the GIFTED insert of the latest issue of The Stranger (Vol. 23, No. 12). He gives you all you need to know about shopping, eating and fun fun fun in Georgetown this holiday season. From The Complete Peanuts collection we're publishing to 'seven-inch slabs by the Stranglers' ("Golden brown, texture like sun...") available in the other half of the store known as Georgetown Records, there is plenty to stuff stockings with, hand over at Channukah or leave on a friend's desk as a secret gift.
We've got music and books at the store but what about holiday movies? Larry recommends:
Fantagraphics is thrilled to be part of the third annual Short Run Small Press Fest here in Seattle on Saturday, November 30th at historic Washington Hall in the Central District. Even though Short Run is a festival spotlighting self-published works, limited editions, and handmade books, Fantagraphics will have a presence in many, many ways, as you will see below...
• Visit the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery at Table L-51 on the first floor of Washington Hall! We'll have an excellent array of independent comics in stock from publishers who weren't able to make the trek to Seattle, like Koyama Press, Uncivilized Books, PictureBox, and more.
Plus, throughout the day, Manager/Curator Larry Reid will be joined by special guests who got their start in small press: our own Ellen Forney, who self-published her title I Was Seven in '75 with a Xeric Grant, and Bruce Pavitt, co-founder of Sub Pop Records, which started as a zine back in 1979. Stop by the table for a chat -- all three of them have tons of experience and knowledge about self-publishing that they'd love to share with you!
• All throughout the day, Short Run will be screening animation, including pieces from our own Dash Shaw and Lilli Carré, alongside Reel Grrls, SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team), and dozens of other animators from around the country. Screenings take place on the balcony level of Washington Hall.
• Fantagraphics staffers Jason T Miles [C-11] and Jen Vaughn [landing] will be exhibiting with comics of their own!
• And then there's the panels (all taking place on the first floor)!
---> 12:20 PM: Women in Comics // Our own Megan Kelso will lead and moderate a panel focused on the females with panelists Geneviève Castrée, Gabrielle Gamboa, Roberta Gregory, Julia Gfrörer, and Virginia Paine. I have to say, Megan has been doing some amazing planning and research for this panel, and it is not to be missed!
---> 2:40 PM : The World of Comics // A survey of comics around the globe with Jason T Miles, Pat Moriarity, David Lasky, and Leonard Rifas. (Inspired by our own Kim Thompson.)
But, wait! There's more... The day before Short Run Small Press Fest, Friday, November 29th, they'll be hosting Read/Write, a day of panels, workshops, and more at the Vera Project, including...
---> 2:00 PM : DIY Publishing in the Digital Age Panel // With our Associate Editor Eric Reynolds, plus Bruce Rutledge (Chin Music Press), self-publisher Alec Longstreth, and moderator Zack Soto (Study Group).
• And for full-disclosure, I, Janice, your friendly Flogger, should mention I'm one of the organizers this year, so there's that...!
For the complete Short Run Seattle schedule, including Read/Writeon Friday, November 29th at the Vera Project [ Warren & Republican Ave North ], and Short Run Small Press Fest on Saturday, November 30th at Washington Hall [ 153 14th Avenue ], visit shortrun.org! Both events are FREE and open to the public! See you there!
• Tacoma, WA: Our Marketing, PR, and Outreach Maven Jen Vaughn will be part of the panel "Drawing for a Living: Making Money as an Artist" at Pacific Lutheran University from 2:00 to 4:00 PM! This event is totally free, with no reservations necessary. (more info)
Saturday, November 2nd
• Tacoma, WA: And Jen Vaughn returns to Tacoma for the Jet City Comic Show! Don't miss her on the panel "Digital Comics: Past, Present and Future," starting at 11:00 AM. (more info)
Monday, November 4th
• Pasadena, CA: The great Jaime Hernandez comes to The Crawford Family Forum for an evening of art, books, and conversation. KPCC FM "Off-Ramp" producer Kevin Ferguson talks with Hernandez about his latest work, how it relates to Love and Rockets, and where his future's taking him. (more info)