Casual fans of Fantagraphics may not be aware of the close association we have with Seattle's illustrious music scene. I was reminded of this relationship on Friday while attending a sold out Mudhoney and Tom Price Desert Classic concert. Nearly half the musicians on stage that night were former or current Fantagraphics staffers. What a great place to work!
We'll celebrate the legacy of Seattle's early music and comix on Saturday, November 29 as Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery hosts the book launch party for Sub Pop USA: The Subterranean Music Anthology, 1980 -1988. The book documents the formative years of Bruce Pavitt's fiercely independent fanzine, cassette label and music column. Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid was a contributor to the fanzine (under the pseudonym Lewy Louie.). Bookstore staffer Russ Battaglia contributed graphics and photos to the zine, which were graced with covers by Lynda Barry and Charles Burns. It was amazing to see the almost immediate infleunce Pavitt's modest enterprise had on pop music. To those close to him, it came as no surprise that within a decade, Sub Pop would impact popular culture on a global scale.
The book includes essays by Reid, Charles R. Cross, Ann Powers, Gerard Cosley, and Calvin Johnson, founder of K Records and early Sub Pop fanzine collaborator. Johnson will perform music at the party, which is the first time he'll play Fantagraphics since Beat Happening rocked our wild warehouse party in 1994 (attended by newly anointed princes of punk, Nirvana). Many contributors to the old zine and new book will be at the November 29 reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM - a great way to end Small Business Saturday.
Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street in the heart of Seattle's historic Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 29 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery as we celebrate the publication of Sub Pop USA from Brooklyn publisher Bazillion Points. Longtime Seattle residents remember the humble beginnings of the legendary record label as a fanzine, cassette compilation, and broadsheet column by visionary indie music impresario Bruce Pavitt. His early efforts soon brought national attention to bands like Big Black, Sonic Youth, and the Wipers, while laying the foundation for an international pop culture phenomenon that gave us music by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and more. This collection of the first 8 years of Sub Pop includes art by Charles Burns, Lynda Barry, and Charles Peterson, with forewords from Fantagraphics curator and former Sub Pop contributor Larry Reid and K Records founder and Beat Happening front man Calvin Johnson, who will play music at the book launch event. Make plans now to spend the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Fantagraphics bookstore. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.
If you don't have tickets to the sold out beer festival, be sure to take in theMacefield Music Festival in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, where the Tom Price Desert Classic, featuring our own Martin Bland, open for legendary Northwest proto punk band The Sonics on Friday.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to welcome an amazing array of accomplished cartoonists throughout the fall and winter of 2014, culminating with an appearance by one of America's most influential artists.
The action begins on Friday, October 10 with Danny Bland presenting his new book of haiku, I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I'm Gonna Do from Seattle's illustrious Sub Pop label. Bland will engage in conversation with equally accomplished Northwest author Jonathan Evison, followed by a reading, book signing and reception. The next night, Saturday, October 11, we host an international crew of incredibly talented cartoonists. Simon Hanselmann from Australia and Canadians Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle will join American artists Lane Milburn and Conor Stechschulte in presenting their imaginative new works to Seattle audiences for the first time.
On Friday, November 14, in association with Seattle's Short Run comics and art festival, we present "Short Run Marathon II," an exhibition, book signing and reception featuring Tom Neely, MariNaomi, Josh Simmons, Pam Wishbow, John Porcellino, and special guest Ed Piskor.
On Small Business Saturday, November 29, we celebrate the publication of Bruce Pavitt's new book Sub Pop USA, The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980 - 1988, which chronicles the seminal years of what would soon become an international pop culture phenomenon. The book includes the early issues of Pavitt's Sub Pop fanzine, his columns from The Rocket, and related ephemera, along with essays from Fantagraphics curator Larry Reid and K Records founder Calvin Johnson, who will DJ and perform music at the signing.
Saturday, December 6 marks the festive closing party for the "Short Run Marathon II" exhibition featuring Eroyn Franklin previewing her upcoming graphic novel, Dirtbag.
The bookstore celebrates its 8th anniversary in spectacular fashion on Saturday, December 13, as cultural icon Robert Williams presents The Complete ZAP Comix Anthology with an exhibition and book signing, kicking off a weeklong commemoration of this monumental achievement. We'll screen the documentary Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin' on Sunday, December 14 at Northwest Film Forum, and on Wednesday, December 17 editor J. Michael Catron will give a slide talk on the history of ZAP. The festivities coclude on Saturday, December 20 with a tribute to S. Clay Wilson featuring Patrick Rosenkranz, Dennis Dread, and Jim Blanchard. We'll see you all soon and often!
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.)
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.