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Category >> staff

Craig Maynard: 1958-2010
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under staffFantagraphics history 24 Jan 2011 1:09 PM

Craig Maynard

It is with great sadness that we have learned, and feel we should pass along, that one of the members of the Fantagraphics family died last year. CRAIG MAYNARD, who worked on staff here in Seattle in the early 1990s, passed away last September and we just learned about it from his family (through a reply to a rerouted Christmas card).

Craig had been suffering from a number of debilitating illnesses for years and the news was not exactly a shock, but all of us from that era who worked with Craig (Gary G. and me, of course, and also Dale Yarger, Pat Moriarity, Roberta Gregory, Michelle Byrd, Jim Blanchard, Frank Young, among others) were still saddened.

Craig, who worked in the production department doing design and paste-up (as well as lettering — a number of our earlier, pre-digital-font foreign-translated EROS books feature spectacular Maynard lettering) was a delightfully upbeat, energetic presence in the office, with a guffaw that would rattle the windows. A fine cartoonist in his own right, he channeled his experiences and concerns as a proudly out gay man into a handful of EROS comics, including the off-the-hook outrageous LEATHERBOY and the furious, despairing one-shot UP FROM BONDAGE ("a powerful example of politically conscious homoerotica," a critic rightly called it at the time).

But like many others who knew and loved Craig, I prefer to remember him for "Minor Memories and the Art of Adolescence," a series of beautifully-realized, touching autobiographical short stories that graced the pages of PRIME CUTS and GRAPHIC STORY MONTHLY. (We have posted a sample story here.) Sadly his illnesses put an end to his cartooning career as such (he eventually became literally unable to hold a brush or pen), leaving an ambitious project he had been working on unfinished.

Craig deserved far, far better from life than he got, and those of us who knew and loved him were and are humbled by his fortitude and perseverance in the face of adversity. We are grateful for the time we had with him — fortunately much of it in better times, as the accompanying photo shows (thanks to Jim Blanchard) — and he will be missed.

[Update: For more, read Tom Spurgeon's excellent obituary at The Comics Reporter. – Ed.]

Minor Memories and the Art of Adolescence - Craig Maynard
(Click to continue reading.)

Daily OCD: 1/5/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan SakaistaffreviewsPeanutsMoto HagiomangaLove and RocketsJoe DalyJasonJaime HernandezJacques TardiDaily OCDCharles M SchulzCarl BarksBlazing CombatBest of 2010 5 Jan 2011 4:20 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: David Wolkin names some memorable comics he read this year:

It Was the War of the Trenches

"It hurts to read [It Was the War of the Trenches], but Jacques Tardi’s renderings are still quite beautiful as far as I’m concerned, which makes the whole thing that much more painful."

Blazing Combat [Softcover Ed.]

"Blazing Combat blew my mind. [...] The only thing this book has to say is that war is always terrible and people always die... Most of the stories are written by Archie Goodwin, but are duties are handled by a whole mess of the greats, including John Severin, Gene Colan, Wally Wood and Alex Toth, Goddamn Alex Toth. This book is worth buying just for the 3-4 Toth stories."

(The following 6 links are via Sandy Bilus at I Love Rob Liefeld:)

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

List/Review: "Notable shoujo mention: A Drunken Dream and Other Stories by Moto Hagio... There is fantastic imagery, and fantastic stories. [...] As a translation and publishing choice, I commend Fantagraphics. For anyone who wants to read what is considered to be a classic gem of shojo then this is it." – Anime Diet (see also their review)

List: Melinda Beasi of Manga Bookshelf names A Drunken Dream and Other Stories one of the two Best Classic Manga of 2010: "...Moto Hagio’s collection of short manga... focus[es] particularly on issues of family, delving deep into some of the ugliest impulses of our biological tribes and the damage they can do to their least valued members..."

List: Patrick Markfort of Articulate Nerd counts down his top 10 Favorite Comics of 2010:

Complete Peanuts Boxed Set 1975-1978 [NORTH AMERICA ONLY]

"7. The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976, The Complete Peanuts 1977-1978, by Charles M. Schulz... After the fascinating early years of the strip in the 50's and its evolution and refinement into one of the all-time great strips in the 60's, it was a delight to rediscover these wonderful 70's strips, which to my mind strike a perfect balance between the ever present serious and silly sensibilities of Peanuts. Schulz's life's work is all things to all people, with a cuteness and sweetness on the surface, a razor sharp wit just underneath, and depths of poetry and sadness at its heart.  The Platonic ideal of a comic strip."

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

"5. A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, by Moto Hagio – I've been waiting years for someone to publish something by Moto Hagio, and I was not disappointed in the slightest by this book. In fact, I loved everything about it, from the drop-dead gorgeous design work by Adam Grano, to the fine selection of stories by editor Matt Thorn, to the reprint of Thorn's definitive interview with Moto Hagio... None of this would mean much if the stories weren't any good, of course. Fortunately, they're exceptional. These exquisitely drawn short narratives across a variety of genres spanning Hagio's decades-long career are terrific reads in and of themselves, and provide a fascinating glimpse into a tradition of comics-making we've still seen very little of. More like this, please."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

"1. 'Browntown' and 'The Love Bunglers, Parts One and Two,' by Jaime Hernandez, from Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 - Jaime Hernandez is my favorite living cartoonist, and these short stories, which MUST be read in conjunction with each other, are my favorite thing he's ever done. What a thrill to witness first hand the publication of a certain All Time Great Comics Work from an artist whose place in the canon is secured ten times over. [...] Read my full review of Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 here."

List: "Love and Rockets New Stories #3 – [...] Jaime has this wonderful gift to make his characters seem real and natural. It’s been almost 30 years that he’s been writing and drawing the stories of Maggie and Hopey but they feel more like old friends now than ever before." – Scott Cederlund, Wednesday's Haul, "The Best of 2010"

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

List: "A giant, two volume hardcover edition with a solid slipcase, this excellent collection [Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition] features the first seven volumes of the series and a ton of extra content. Probably the most beautiful book on this list." – Aaron Colter, Fearing Americans, "The Best Comics of 2010"

Dungeon Quest, Book 1

List: "Best Pop Culture Satire: [...] An award winning comic that made me laugh out loud a little too much while reading at the local cafe. [...] Full of shamans, reanimated pirate skeletons and hysterical pop culture nods, Dungeon Quest Book One is one of my favorite pieces of comic satire to come out in a long time." – Ian Gonzales, Unwinnable, "The Best Comic Books of 2010"

List: At The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log, the contributor identified only as Michael places Jason's Werewolves of Montpellier on his top 3 Best of the Year: "...[A]s usual Jason’s art is beautiful in its very unusual style with super thick line work and flat and bright colouring. The story is more of a drama, which again is a change from the usual comedy route and the addition of a romance sub-plot makes this book one of Jason’s most complex and best."

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon [Pre-Order]

Review: "Jacques Tardi's Adèle Blanc-Sec is a longtime favorite French anti-heroine... The over-the-top parody of the monster-hunting adventurer, combined with a whiff of innate French superiority to the source material, ...may appeal to the extremely casual reader of comics, or one with deep knowledge and interest, but probably not to a reader who enjoys picking up the latest zombie comic." – Mike Rhode, Washington City Paper

Reynolds by Jim Blanchard

Survey: The Beat's year-end/looking-forward survey of comics pros (part three) includes incisive commentary from our own Eric Reynolds

Carl Barks

Coming Attractions: More reporting & commentary on our Carl Barks news from MTV Geek and Ambrosia (in Portuguese)
Daily OCD: 12/30/10
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffreviewsMoto HagioMomeMichael KuppermanmangaLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezJoyce Farmerhooray for HollywoodDash ShawDaily OCDBest of 2010 30 Dec 2010 3:18 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

List: At Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker names The 10 Best Graphic Novels and Comics of 2010, including:

A Drunken  Dream and Other Stories [Pre-Order]

"Ostensibly Japanese comics aimed at the adolescent-girl market, these so-called Ten Stories of the Human Heart are lush mixtures of dreamlike imagery and realistic depictions of young people’s yearnings, hopes, reveries, and fears. Gathering representative work from four decades of publication, A Drunken Dream [and Other Stories] exerts a hypnotic pull on the reader, Moto Hagio knows both her commercial audience and her ideal audience — which is to say, the world."

Special Exits [Pre-Order]

"A long-form narrative about the decline of her parents’ health, Special Exits avoids cheap pity and piousness by doing what any good art should: focusing on specifics — the ways in which Farmer’s parents slide into old age and ill health; the care they require and receive. That this is also a portrait of a strong marriage is an added benefit. Frank, never shying away from the awkward indignities of aging, Special Exits illuminates two lives, as well as that of the author’s."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

List: Comic Book Resources ranks Love and Rockets: New Stories #3 in the 7th spot on their Ten Best Comics of 2010:

"The best volume since Los Bros went with this yearly anthology, New Stories #3 has exemplary work from both, but Jamie's story of the young Hoppers is one of his best comics ever." – Timothy Callahan

"Love and Rockets properly hits its stride and the two brothers use their unique approach to do something quite insane. Surrealism and realism in equal doses." – Sonia Harris

"This year, I read nearly every comic ever created by Los Bros Hernandez; what a pleasure to discover at the end of my immersion that their two most recent comics are also two of their best, and thus two of the best comics by anyone. Gilbert and Jaime both tear furiously into love and sex; what they find inside is ugly; what they do with it is beautiful. I'll never forget that panel." – Sean T. Collins

Review: "Is there a comic that's run longer than Love and Rockets and maintained the same level of quality? ...[T]his year's annual is as good or better than anything Los Bros. have yet produced. It starts off with a strange sci-fi story — fans will recognize this as one of Rosalba 'Fritz' Martinez's many B-movies, but you don't have to be in on the gag to find Gilbert's story weird and funny and disturbing. Jaime's contribution to the volume is a story about would-be couple Maggie and Ray having a first date, with an interstitial tale about Maggie's childhood that sheds heartbreaking light on her relationship with her brother. ...Los Bros. are plain-spoken and sympathetic, finding pathos in even the grimiest character." – Sam Thielman, Newsday

Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s

List: Josh Blair of Candy or Medicine names Newave: The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s one of the Top Ten Mini Comics of 2010: "Ok, ok, I realize this isn't actually a mini-comic, rather than a gigantic collection of mini-comics, but it's definitely a book worth owning."

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6

List: Brian Cronin of CBR's Comics Should Be Good chooses Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 as the first entry on his Top Ten Comic of 2010 countdown: "Another hilarious issue by Michael Kupperman."

Mome Vol. 20 - Fall 2010

Interview: At The Comics Journal, part 2 of Chris Mautner's Q&A with Mome editor Eric Reynolds (part 1):  "I’m not a real ballbuster when it comes to deadlines from issue to issue, so I’ll invite people to contribute and they’ll take their time, whether they hit the next issue or the following issue. They’re just juggling all these things, and it happens to come together every issue."

Dash Shaw artwork from Rabbit Hole

Analysis: At Cinematical, John Gholson examines the role of Dash Shaw's comic artwork in John Cameron Mitchell's new film Rabbit Hole

Staff interviews a go-go
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffMomeFantagraphics historybehind the scene 29 Dec 2010 12:14 PM

A pair of interviews with our staff have gone up today. First, The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon chats with Jason T. Miles about his job here, his own comics, and his zine distro Profanity Hill. Next, at The Comics Journal, check out the first part of Chris Mautner's chat with Eric Reynolds about editing our quarterly anthology Mome. Good job, fellas!

UPDATE: Part 2 of the interview with Eric is up now.

Giant Robot's Post-It Show 6 Curated by Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd
Written by janice headley | Filed under Steven WeissmanstaffMartin CendredaMark ToddLilli CarréJordan Cranejon vermilyeaJeremy Tinderjeffrey brownJaime HernandezeventsEsther Pearl WatsonEleanor DavisDave Cooperart showsAndrice ArpAnders Nilsen 9 Dec 2010 10:26 AM

postit.jpg

These Giant Robot Post-It Shows are always drool-enducing, but this year's show enduces an even bigger slobbery accumulation because it's curated by the great Esther Pearl Watson, and her equally-rad spouse Mark Todd. 

If you've somehow missed Post-It Shows 1 through 5, basically these shows collect tiny 3X3" masterpieces on a Post-It note from an array of awesome artists.  Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and cash-and-carry, so hit the ATM on the way to GR2, and maybe bring some cardboard to sandwich your Post-It, if you're fussy about those kinds of things. (I am.)  Oh, and did I mention that each Post-It is only $20 BUCKS???  'Cause, yeah.

It's no surprise that Esther and Mark have collected a calvacade of rad comic artists, including our own: Andrice Arp, Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carre, Martin Cendreda, Dave Cooper, Jordan Crane, John Cuneo, Eleanor Davis, Jaime Hernandez, Jason T Miles, Anders Nilsen, Jeremy Tinder, Jon Vermilyea, and Steven Weissman.  And there's tons of other artists in the show, as you can probably tell from all the fine print in that graphic above.  (Yeah, $20 bucks for an original Matt Groening?? Get there early, folks.)

Here's a sneak peek at some of the post-its from our fine artists:

postitshow.jpg
[ clockwise from the top left: Jon Vermilyea, Andrice Arp, Lilli Carre, and Jeremy Tinder ]

Post-It Show 6 at GR2 (2062 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025) runs from December 11 - January 12, 2011, with an opening reception featuring many of the artists taking place from 6:30 - 10:00 pm this Saturday, December 11.  I mentioned each Post-It was only $20 right? You're welcome.

Donate to the Fantagraphics Warehouse Permanent Gallery Museum
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under staffoffice fun 8 Dec 2010 9:59 AM

As you may know, we recently relocated our warehouse and shipping operation to a new facility. Our statuesque and erudite Warehouse Manager Nico Vassilakis has asked me to pass along the following message to you — yes, you — the public:

Here's a fun thing to do. We're looking to beautify our new warehouse. And YOU can help. PLEASE DONATE your comic/artwork to the FANTAGRAPHICS WAREHOUSE. Any size, any style, anything goes. Everything accepted. It all goes up on our walls.

Mail stuff directly to:

FANTAGRAPHICS WAREHOUSE
Attn: Permanent Gallery Museum
79 South Horton
Suite 170 (the gate)
Seattle, WA 98134



Dave Cooper, Tony Millionaire, Dash Shaw & Kim Thompson at Oslo Comics Expo 2011
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Tony MillionairestaffeventsDave CooperDash Shaw 3 Dec 2010 3:03 PM

Dave Cooper, Tony Millionaire, Dash Shaw

The Oslo Comics Expo has announced 3 Fantagraphics artists as special guests for the 2011 show taking place May 27-28: Dave Cooper, Tony Millionaire, and Dash Shaw. Also on hand: our own Kim Thompson, whose activities at the Expo (beyond smuggling beer for Tony) are TBD.

Take 5
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under staffhooray for HollywoodFantagraphics Bookstore 30 Nov 2010 8:50 AM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/larry/dellaccio-documentary-still.jpg
(click image to enlarge)

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid takes a break from reading comix to be an interview subject in a documentary film about legendary Northwest rock photographer Jini Dellaccio. At the youthful age of 93, it's about time she got some recognition. Reid authored the introduction to Dellaccio's recent exhibition catalogue, and the documentary is being co-produced by Fantagraphics friend and neighbor Gabe Kean at Belle & Wissell. Note the cinematographer in the foreground is John Jeffcoat, director of the independent film "Outsourced," which was adapted into a new hit comedy show airing Thursdays on NBC after "The Office." For a short story on the artist and the documentary visit: http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/jini-dellaccio.aspx

Fantagraphics Bookstore Marks 4th Anniversary on December 11 with Festive Holiday Gala
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Zak SallystaffrockPeter BaggeNate NealMegan KelsoKim DeitchJim WoodringFantagraphics BookstoreeventsEleanor DavisDrew WeingDJ BryantDash Shaw 29 Nov 2010 3:42 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/flog/larry/thinkers-card_front.jpg

Since opening in December 2006, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery has become a treasured civic asset. In addition to feeding Northwest residents' insatiable appetite for challenging contemporary culture, the space has attracted visitors from across the country and around the world. Saturday, December 11 marks the bookstore's 4th anniversary, and to celebrate the occasion we're once again hosting the season's most festive party featuring amazing music, comix, art, and more!

The evening includes solo music sets by Zak Sally and Mark Pickerel. Zak was a founding member of alternative music legends Low and continues solo music endeavors while publishing great comics with Fantagraphics as well as producing exquisitely crafted small press projects on his own La Mano 21 imprint. This event will mark the debut of his ambitious Kim Deitch File portfolio project, among other recent La Mano offerings. Zak will be joined by Fantagraphics friend Mark Pickerel, who began his musical career with the highly acclaimed Screaming Trees and now fronts Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, in addition to being the proprietor of Seattle pop culture emporium Damaged Goods.

An exhibition of comix art curated by Jason T. Miles and Max Clotfelter, in association with Friends of the Nib, features promising emerging cartoonists. together with masters of the medium. "Medieval Thinkers" includes original works by Peter Bagge, Bruce Bickford, D. J. Bryant, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Eleanor Davis, Kim Deitch, Heidi Estey, Kelly Froh, Justin Green, Gerald Jablonski, Megan Kelso, Jason T. Miles, Nate Neal, Bob Rini, Zak Sally, Dash Shaw, Matt Tamaru, Drew Weing, Jim Woodring, Mary Woodring, Max Woodring, Martine Workman, and Chris Wright. According to Friends of the Nib co-curator Miles, "Many of these artists work with antiquated materials most commonly associated with 19th and 20th century cartooning, specifically the metal dip pen or crowquill pen nibs, although use of these tools was not a requisite for inclusion. What brings these artists together is an imagist approach to picture-making and a willful ignorance of the aesthetics, fashion, and politics of the fine art industry. Medieval thinkers organize their experience by executing lessons in perspective, balance, humor and alchemy."

All this plus screaming deals on comix, celebrity guests, holiday libations, demented Christmas platters spun by DJ Russ Fallout, and a few surprises makes Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery's 4th anniversary party the place to be on Saturday, December 11. This event coincides with the colorful holiday version of the Georgetown Art Attack with amazing visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic arts community.

Listing Information:

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery's 4th Anniversary Celebration
Music, Comix, Art and More!

Saturday, December 11, 6:00 to 9:00 PM

Music by
ZAK SALLY and MARK PICKEREL

Medieval Thinkers original comix exhibition featuring
Peter Bagge, Bruce Bickford, D. J. Bryant, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Eleanor Davis, Kim Deitch, Heidi Estey, Kelly Froh, Justin Green, Gerald Jablonski, Megan Kelso, Jason T. Miles, Nate Neal, Bob Rini, Zak Sally, Dash Shaw, Matt Tamaru, Drew Weing, Jim Woodring, Mary Woodring, Max Woodring, Martine Workman, and Chris Wright.
Curated for Friends of the Nib by Jason T. Miles and Max Clotfelter.

Exhibition continues through February 8, 2011.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle, WA 98108
206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM






Alternative Press Expo 2010 - the video by Chris Diaz
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTony MillionairestaffeventsDaniel Clowes 10 Nov 2010 12:27 PM

ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO 2010 from chris anthony diaz on Vimeo.

Chris Diaz is back with another adorable video from the floor of APE 2010. See me and Janice acting goofy, Tony Millionaire, Dan Clowes and a bunch of other happy comics people. Ah, nostalgia. Thanks Chris!