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Category >> staff

Fantagraphics at San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Janice's Report!
Written by janice headley | Filed under staffeventsCCI 23 Jul 2012 10:47 AM

╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Well, what can I say, but... ╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

No, actually, I have to say it was the BEST SDCC EVER!  And here's a buncha reasons why:

• In honor of Eisner-winner Tom Spurgeon, I'm gonna write this FLOG post in bullet point, Comics Reporter-style.  As our own Steven Weissman said on Twitter, Tom was everyone's Comic-Con crush this year.  Getting to hang out with him was definitely one of my highlights, and I was delighted to hear stories of the olden days of Fantagraphics, sigh.  God, we're so boring and nice now.

• Speaking of Tom, his brother Whit wins for "Best T-Shirt of Comic-Con":  an Ivan Brunetti-illustrated tee for the band... Sex Fist. Yup.

• Although, on the way to dinner Saturday night, someone stopped me to tell me my Eightball tee was the "Best T-Shirt of Comic-Con," and yeah, I kinda love my Eightball tee.  It was an honor to wear some of Dale Yarger's old Fantagraphics t-shirts from the '90s to the convention. 

• It's always a thrill when Matt Groening comes by to visit, but especially this year, 'cause we got to geek out over the new Gary Panter book Dal Tokyo together!  Matt even shared a few secrets from when he and Panter worked at the L.A. Weekly together, oooh!!!

• After five long years of attending Comic-Con, Mike and I finally managed to make it to a Venture Brothers panel!  That has nothing to do with anything, but our own Stephen DeStefano used to do storyboards for them, so there's your "comix tie-in."

• Another highlight of SDCC was the introduction of our new Marketing Mistress Jen Vaughn, who totally kept me cracking up all weekend! Tom was right when he said it seems like she's been with Fantagraphics for ten years.

• I always love getting to visit with all our guest artists, but especially Miss Natalia Hernandez, who shares my love of Giant Robot, nail polish, Chi's Sweet Home, and more. I'm thinkin' next year, I'm organizing a SDCC manicure outing for us.

• Speaking of Giant Robot, somehow I managed to karaoke with Martin & Greg Wong 'til 3:00 AM and not lose my voice. [ Photo by one of my bestest friends, Susie Ghahremani. Comic-Con would not have been as awesome without her. <3 ]

• THANK YOU to the customer who kindly gave me a Snickers bar on the last day of the show! Yes, you were right, I did need it!

• And on that note, at the risk of sounding corny, I have to say, one of my show highlights is always getting to meet you, our customers, our readers, our mutual fans.  Look, I'm just a comic nerd like the rest of you.  If you wanna geek out over Sublife and Thrizzle or whatever, come find me.  You're all so nice, and smart, and fun to talk to, and you make going to shows my favorite part of working at Fantagraphics.

• My one bummer of SDCC was that it was the last one for Drawn & Quarterly's Jessica Campbell, who I will miss terribly!  I thought we were gonna grow old together, side by side in Aisle 1700 of the San Diego Convention Hall, but sadly, she is moving on to saner things.  Good-bye, my dear Jessica.  You and I will make it to Tijuana someday. [ Photo of me, Jessica, and James Kochalka swiped from the D&Q blog; snapped by the lovely Peggy Burns ]

• And finally, a special shout-out to my partner-in-crime, Mike Baehr.  Somehow, you make late nights unpacking, and then later re-packing, books fun. <3

See you next year, San Diego!










Fantagraphics at San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Saturday/Sunday spectacular
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven WeissmanstaffRoger LangridgeMichel GagneMario HernandezLove and Rocketsjon vermilyeaJohnny RyanJohnny GruelleJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezCCI 16 Jul 2012 2:37 AM

Sights from the Comic-Con home stretch!

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Starting the day with Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez (later joined by Natalia & Mario) — what could be better?

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A couple of real horrorshow droogs checking out the merchandise. Careful with those codpieces, boys.

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Eric & Jacq surround Ruben Bolling to cut off any possible escape.

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Bob Burden gets his paws on some original Gilbert Hernandez art.

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Johnny Ryan barely tolerates my picture-taking while Steven Weissman wheels & deals.

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Diana Schutz of Dark Horse visits with Mario & Gilbert while Jaime keeps his nose to the grindstone. Citizen Rex sequel, anyone?

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Steven Weissman & Jon Vermilyea compare notes on strap-fondling techniques. Hey, there's Zack Carlson partially visible over Steven's shoulder — a special shout-out to Zack for his good spirit and volunteerism this week. (Zack also made one of the most amazing Comic-Con purchases I've ever heard about: a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair.)

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Young Romance is a real page-turner, as editor Michel Gagné demonstrates.

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Eric and Tom Spurgeon yak it up while D&Q's Tom Devlin ponders the unspeakable and Janice looks on.

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Scott McCloud looks happy to have found some (mc)clouds in Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle (shut up, I'm tired).

Comic-Con Sundays are always too hectic for much picture-taking:

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Old friend Roger Langridge popped by and sketched the Great Gonzo for Clem Reynolds, to papa Eric's delight.

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Gilbert & Jaime discuss their escape.

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And it's over!!! Our leftovers (and some stuff making its way to Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery) donned their finest fetish wear for the trip back to Seattle.

Thanks to the thousands of folks who visited our booth this year (especially those who spent their money in it), Comic-Con staff & volunteers, our wonderful artists, our kick-ass staff, all of our pals & colleagues... another humdinger of a year! I'm off for a week of R&R so I'll catch you all next week.

Fantagraphics at San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Thursday sights
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Trina RobbinsstaffMalachi WardLove and RocketsJohn PhamJaime HernandezGilbert HernandezGary GrothEsther Pearl WatsonCCI 13 Jul 2012 2:11 AM

A quick rundown of a few scenes in the Fantagraphics booth (#1718) at Comic-Con International Day 1:

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Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez make final adjustments for the first signing of the day.

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Line for the Hernandez signing about halfway through.

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Esther Pearl Watson and Trina Robbins draw in fans' sketchbooks while Kristy & Ian share a laugh in the background.

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Don Rosa regales Kristy & Janice.

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Comic-Con exclusive: Natalia's new mini-comic!

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T-shirts going fast!

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Hernandez family portrait: Carol, Natalia, Gilbert & Jaime. Most adorable family ever? (Special background guest: Eddie Campbell.)

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Malachi Ward chats with John Pham.

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Gary Groth (fresh from the airport) and smilin' Don Rosa.

More tomorrow!

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 7/2-7/9
Written by janice headley | Filed under staffJohnny RyanJim Ruggevents 3 Jul 2012 8:20 AM

Freak Scene flyer

Friday, July 6th

Los Angeles, CA:  Check out the opening of "Freak Scene," featuring Johnny Ryan, Mome-vet Jim Rugg, and our very own Jason T. Miles! This collection of underground comix opens at Synchronicity Space [ 713 N. Heliotrope ] (more info)

Mike Catron, back in the day
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffFantagraphics history 13 Jun 2012 6:20 PM

Mike Catron, 1979

Todd Klein posted this great photo by José Luis Garcia-López of Fantagraphics co-founder and current editor Mike Catron freelancing in the DC Comics offices in 1979. Mike is currently in the process of making his arduous cross country move back to Seattle. We miss ya Mike! (Hat tip to Robot 6.)

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 6/4-6/11
Written by janice headley | Filed under staffNoah Van SciverJoe SaccoFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 6 Jun 2012 10:04 AM

The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver

Wednesday, June 6th

New York City, NY:  Are you attending BookExpo America? Hey, so are we! Visit us at Booth #3422. Noah Van Sciver will be signing copies of The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln from 1-3 PM, and you can catch him at 11 AM on the Uptown Stage as part of the panel "Meet 2012 Graphic Novel Authors!"

Thursday, June 7th

New York City, NY:  You've got another chance to meet Noah Van Sciver at Booth #3422 at the BookExpo America. He'll be signing copies of The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln from 10 AM-12 PM.

Joe Sacco at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Saturday, June 9th

Seattle, WA: The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is pleased to present Joe Sacco celebrating his new book Journalism. Sacco will discuss his unique approach to comix and journalism prior to signing books from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. (more info)

Ajax Wood is Cannibal Fuckface

Worldwide: Our warehouse hero Ajax Wood (occasionally Cannibal Fuckface) can be heard worldwide at 9 PM PT with his old band Last Gasp (cough) on radio station KEXP, streaming online across the globe at KEXP.ORG, or at 90.3 FM if you live in Seattle. (Full disclosure: fine, yeah, I work there, too.)

• Spokane, WA:  And Jen Vaughn, the latest addition to our marvelous marketing team, will be making an appearance at the Saranac Art Projects, giving a talk about life at The Center for Cartoon Studies! She'll also be available to review your portfolios, so head over there at 2 PM! (more info)

Daily OCD: 6/4/12
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Steven BrowerstaffreviewsPrince ValiantMort MeskinLove and RocketsJosh Simmonsjeffrey brownJaime HernandezinterviewsHal FosterGabriella GiandelliFantagraphics BookstoreDaily OCD 5 Jun 2012 12:30 AM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Interiorae

Review: "The sad, forgotten beauty of the in-between moments of daily life: playing a board game at a kitchen table just cleared from a family dinner; listening to music having just slipped off your shoes; daydreaming while doing the dishes. What would it be like if a series of graphic novellas tried to capture these moments? What if it also featured an omnipresent, invisible rabbit that could change sizes and a dark, cloud-shaped creature ('the Big Blind') living in the basement of an apartment building that fed on the memories, dreams, and nightmares of its inhabitants? It would probably be something like the Italian comic-book creator Gabriella Giandelli’s... Interiorae." – Nicholas Rombes, Oxford American

The Furry Trap

Preview: At The Beat, Jessica Lee presents a 5 page sneak peek of the new book by Josh Simmons, saying "Toying with the vulnerability of characters that seem timelessly recognizable, i.e. fairies in a fantastical land or a batman-esque figure scaling a wall, The Furry Trap is a graphic novel that is set to shock and appall its reader, yet Simmons is able to retain an even stronger range of visual style that makes this graphic novel’s scope extend further than being just a horrific tale."

Prince Valiant Vol. 5: 1945-1946

Plug: "...[T]he new volume of Prince Valiant, volume 5, is here and an event all its own. Fantagraphics' new hardcover printings of these wonderful Hal Foster Sunday pages offers the finest reproduction yet, far superior to their old softcover series. While I own the original Sunday pages, collected years ago, I could not resist sitting down with these new volumes and getting re-hooked on the stories AND art by one of the very true masters of comic art." – Bud Plant

Out of the Shadows

Plug: "Out of the Shadows deserves your attention. Meskin is one of my favorite artists from the 1940s and 1950s.... Mort's work here are some of the hidden gems of the Golden Age.... This book comes a long way to reveal this incredible talent who rose above the mass of Golden Age artists." – Bud Plant

Mechanics #2

Interview: I think we missed this February 2011 interview with Jaime Hernandez on the SiDEBAR podcast — The Comics Reporter caught it

Commentary: At The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon on becoming a regular Love and Rockets reader via the Mechanics reprint series

Jeffrey Brown at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery

Scene: The Seattle Star's Heather Logue reports on Saturday's Jeffrey Brown signing at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery: "And truthfully I did spend much of my time at the reading trying desperately to stop picturing in my mind the cartoon genitalia he’d drawn dozens of times in his books. Awkward."

Jen Vaughn at MoCCA

Scene: Jen Vaughn is driving cross country to start her new job here at Fantagraphics and she's making stops along the way to do portfolio reviews and evangelize for her former employer, the Center for Cartoon Studies. I think we picked a good one!

Fantagraphics Bookstore video profile
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videostaffJim WoodringGary GrothFrank SantoroFantagraphics Bookstore 2 May 2012 12:10 AM

Family Feel from Helene Christensen on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Helene Christensen took it upon herself to create this marvelous short video about Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, largely shot back in February during our Jack Davis tribute exhibit. Its primary star is, of course, our own Larry Reid, with additional interviews with Gary Groth, Jim Woodring, Frank Santoro and others, and there's also a clip of Jack Davis's video chat at the tribute exhibit opening. Lots more familiar faces make appearances too — maybe you're in it!

MoCCA wrap-up at The Beat
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffevents 1 May 2012 2:13 PM

Jen Vaughn at MoCCA

The newest addition to our marketing staff, Jen Vaughn, underwent her baptism by fire at this past weekend's MoCCA Fest, and she writes about her experience for her freelance writing gig at The Beat (whose Heidi MacDonald took the photo of Jen above). What's it like to "graduate" from having your own table as a self-publisher to being behind the table for a big, fancy-pants publisher like us? Jen's got the perspective, with photos a-plenty (ooo, Daniel Johnston!).

Jaime Hernandez wins Stumptown Comic Arts Award for Best Cartoonist!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan SakaistaffLove and RocketsJaime Hernandezawards 30 Apr 2012 3:17 PM

Jaime Hernandez - from Love and Rockets: New Stories #4

We had a swell time at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland this past weekend and the big news for us there was that Jaime Hernandez received the Stumptown Comic Arts Award for Best Cartoonist! Festival special guest and our longtime pal Stan Sakai picked up the award for Best Letterer, and our newest hire, Jen Vaughn, shares the award for Best Anthology as co-editor of Lies Grown-ups Told Me. Congrats to all!