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Fanta News
Robert Pollard Art Book & Exhibition Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Tuesday, 13 November 2007

FANTAGRAPHICS TO PUBLISH "TOWN OF MIRRORS: THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD"

STUDIO DANTE HOSTS "DO THE COLLAGE" EXHIBITION DEC. 9 & 10 IN NEW YORK CITY

Robert Pollard: Town of Mirrors

On the eve of his first solo visual art exhibition in New York City, Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the release in June 2008 of TOWN OF MIRRORS: THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD, a coffee-table collection of artwork and lyrics from the celebrated front man of Dayton, OH's legendary GUIDED BY VOICES.

Robert Pollard is one of the most influential artists of his generation (SPIN magazine recently named Pollard one of "The Top 50 Rock & Roll Front Men of All-Time"), and although he is primarily known for his career in music, he is also a lifelong visual artist; Pollard has created virtually all of the covers for the dozens of records he has released over the last two decades, working mostly in the medium of collage.

Town of Mirrors collects the very best of Pollard's visual art and lyrics/poetry, featuring over 130 of Pollard's favorite collages, hand-picked by the artist, as well as around 20 new collages produced exclusively for this collection. Town of Mirrors is the first and most comprehensive collection of Pollard's visual art ever released. Pollard's collages are the visual equivalent of his poetic and imagistic lyrics, surreal and reminiscent of the collages of artists ranging from Jack Kirby to Winston Smith. The book features an introduction by Rick Moody (The Ice Storm), an avowed Pollard fan.

On Dec. 9 & 10, STUDIO DANTE in New York City will debut the first-ever solo show of Pollard's art, "Do the Collage." The exhibition will consist of more than 50 collages that date from 1990 through 2007. Using collage elements from 1930s-60s era magazines, pamphlets and found obscure pictoral paperbacks as his primary tool, he portrays allegorical personas and hallucinogenic-type environments to create small, almost random synapses of unmistakable compositions with sardonic titles, each serving as a story unto itself. The Artist's media utilizes the archetypes of the working class, becoming pawn deities and martyrs found within the strata of near fantasy religion and the collective unconscious.

"Do The Collage" is being hosted by two close friends of Pollard: visual artist Todd DiCiurcio and actor Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), who, along with his wife Victoria are the Artistic Directors of Studio Dante.

Under the artistic leadership of Michael & Victoria Imperioli, Studio Dante is a not-for-profit, off-broadway theatre conceived and built to house progressive new plays in a setting inspired by the grand architecture and design of traditional 19th Century venues. Studio Dante is located at 257 29th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenue) in Manhattan. Opening night is Sunday December 9th from 6 PM to 10 PM and the exhibit will continue thru Monday, December 10th from 12 Noon to 10 PM.

ROBERT POLLARD was a fourth grade schoolteacher until 1994, when Guided by Voices first broke into the national consciousness with the release of the album Bee Thousand. With over 900 songs registered to his name with BMI, Pollard is among the most prolific songwriters of his time. In 2006 Paste Magazine listed him as the 78th greatest songwriter of all-time.

TOWN OF MIRRORS:
THE REASSEMBLED IMAGERY OF ROBERT POLLARD
By Robert Pollard; Introduction by Rick Moody
$29.95 Hardcover
136 pages, full-color, 10" x 10"
ISBN 978-1-56097-924-1
PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2008

"One of the all-time greatest rock stars in Western history." - The Believer

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 November 2007 )
 
Ditko book news and happy 80th! Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Friday, 02 November 2007

It's Steve Ditko's 80th birthday today, and we'd like to take the opportunity to make the following announcement:

COMING IN JUNE 2008... STRANGE & STRANGER: THE WORLD OF STEVE DITKO

Strange and Stranger - The World of Steve Ditko by Blake Bell

Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the June 2008 release of the first critical retrospective of Steve Ditko, the co-creator and original artist of the Amazing Spider-Man.

In the wake of the astonishing success of Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies, Steve Ditko's status as a driving force behind the pop culture icon has been revealed to an audience the world over. But, in the context of Steve Ditko's 50-year career in comics, his creative involvement with Spider-Man is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Ditko is known amongst the cartooning cognoscenti as one of the supreme visual stylists in the history of comics, as well as the most fiercely independent cartoonist of his generation. From his earliest days in the 1950s, working for the notorious low-budget Charlton Comics (the Roger Corman Productions of the comics industry), Steve Ditko broke every convention in comics, with his innovative special designs and imaginatively hallucinatory landscapes of Dr. Strange, the almost plebian earthiness of The Amazing Spider-Man, and his black-and-white views on morality and justice through his uncompromising vigilante of the late 1960s, Mr. A (inspired by the work of Atlas Shrugged author and Objectivist philosopher, Ayn Rand).

Why will this book appeal to such a broad readership, to those who may not even be comic-book, or Steve Ditko, fans? "For the non-comic-book reader," says author Blake Bell (author and essayist for the Marvel Comics' line of Ditko-related Omnibus reprint projects), "we tell the narrative of Steve Ditko, the artist, from humble beginnings in Johnstown Pennsylvania; to the dizzying heights of co-creating Spider-Man; to the spectacular Howard Roark-like determination, and tribulations, in bringing his personal and philosophical vision to a recalcitrant audience. There's a fantastic, dramatic storyline running through Ditko's career; the artist having walked away from the Spider-Man franchise (and the billions it was to generate) as it was reaching the height of its popularity. What price did Ditko pay, and what was the impact on his work?"

Comic-book fans have also been waiting for a definitive examination of Ditko the artist; a chance to have the entire artistic scope of his career in one volume. "Fans of Ditko, and comic art, will not be able to put the book down," says Bell, "as we explode many of the myths surrounding key moments in Ditko's career, as well as present reams of rare and unpublished Ditko artwork. For the comic art scholar, we also break down the "hows" of Steve Ditko as a great sequential storyteller, dissecting his work in depth for the first time, also with analysis and commentary by some of the most skilled and articulate comic creators of the day."

While Steve Ditko himself remains absent for the World Wide Web (minus a summer back in 2001, when Bell himself worked for Ditko as his official web site designer), Strange & Stranger will assault the 'Net with similar intensity to that of the creator himself.

In addition to updates to Bell's unofficial Steve Ditko web site at www.ditko.comics.org, readers will be able to keep abreast of updates with pages on Facebook, MySpace, and a dedicated feature page at the Fantagraphics web site, found through the portal www.steveditkobook.com and launching soon. This will have a web log offering on-going commentary on the process of creating the book, with commentary by Bell and others. It will also publish commentary by professional comic-book creators on Ditko's career and artwork, and feature artwork that won't make it into the book. As the book speeds to its June 2008 release date, teasers, convention appearances by Bell, as well as book store signings will be featured on the site.

2008 will mark the year when Steve Ditko fans the world over will have the opportunity to celebrate the artist's 50-plus year career with this definitive volume from Blake Bell and Fantagraphics Books.

Strange & Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko
By Blake Bell
$39.99 Hardcover
220 pages, full-color, 9" x 12"
ISBN 978-1-56097-921-0
PUBLICATION DATE: June 2008

Last Updated ( Monday, 31 March 2008 )
 
November 2007 is Classic Comics Month Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Comic Strip Masterpieces

We are truly living in a Golden Age of classic comics strip collections, and as such we're collaborating with CHECKER PUBLISHING (Flash Gordon, Little Nemo, Steve Canyon), DRAWN AND QUARTERLY (Moomin, Oh Skin-nay!, Walt and Skeezix), and IDW (Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates) to produce a cool, oversized promotional sampler that will be available in participating comic shops throughout November 2007 (while supplies last).

This full-color 11" x 17" tabloid is a spectacular showcase of some of the finest comics art of the last century and a collector's item in the making! Designed like an old-time classic newspaper comic strip supplement, Comic Strip Masterpieces features superb reproductions of some of the very finest Gasoline Alley, Dick Tracy, Krazy Kat, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Steve Canyon, Terry and the Pirates, Dennis the Menace, Flash Gordon, Yellow Kid, and Popeye strips, including many stunning full-color Sunday pages! There is also a "sequel" of sorts to the hugely popular Unseen Peanuts (an annotated spread of Peanuts strips from the upcoming ninth volume of Complete Peanuts that have never been reprinted since their original newspaper release almost 40 years ago), as well as biographical notes on the cartoonists, a checklist of classic comic strip reprints, and more. Reading Comic Strip Masterpieces is like traveling back in time to an era when comic strips were actually good!

So visit your local comic shop today! And if they don't have it, or you just can't wait go get a look, never fear; you can download a PDF of the whole thing to read on your computer right here!

Comic Strip Masterpieces (4.6 MB PDF)
Last Updated ( Monday, 19 November 2007 )
 
Panter named 2007 American Book Award winner Print
Written by Eric Reynolds   
Monday, 29 October 2007

Jimbo's Inferno
Jimbo's Inferno
Price: $29.95
$19.97
You Save: 33.33%
The Before Columbus Foundation have announced the Winners of the Twenty-Seventh Annual AMERICAN BOOK AWARDS. Brooklyn-based Cartoonist Gary Panter was named a recipient for his 2006 graphic novel, Jimbo's Inferno, published by Seattle's Fantagraphics Books. Panter becomes the second Fantagraphics-published author to garner an ABA — Joe Sacco's Palestine was a recipient in 1996, and the award at that time very much helped solidfy Palestine's place in the pantheon of great graphic novels.

Jimbo's Inferno is the acclaimed sequel (or prequel, as it was actually completed first) to 2004's acclaimed Jimbo in Purgatory. Jimbo is the muscular, buzz-cut adventurer whom Panter has used over the years not as an alter ego or a superhero but as an Everyman. In Jimbo's Inferno, a fractured retelling of Dante's Inferno, Jimbo is a wary innocent traveling through the most heinous atmosphere Panter can imagine. For Panter, "hell" is just two letters away from spelling "mall": a gigantic, brain-numbing, info-commerce center called Focky Bocky.

As Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker put it in his review of Jimbo's Inferno, "Jimbo charts a dangerous path that adult readers will appreciate as one of the few depictions of the netherworld that owes nothing to the oft-imitated nightmare-dream work of Hieronymus Bosch or Salvador Dalí. Panter is a greater artist than either of these, as this book and its predecesor, Jimbo in Purgatory, make vividly clear."

Gary Panter (born December 1, 1950 in Durant, Oklahoma) is an illustrator, painter, designer and part-time musician. Panter is a luminary of the post-underground, new wave comics movement that began in the early 1980s. He has published his work in various magazines and newspapers, including Raw, Time and Rolling Stone magazine. He has exhibited all over the world, and won three Emmy awards for his set designs for Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

The 2007 American Book Award winners will be formally recognized on Saturday, December 2nd at Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon Street in Oakland. The awards will take place from 4 P.M. - 6:30 P.M. Authors attending will read selections from their works and sign copies of their award-winning books. A reception and book signing will take place following the ceremony. This event is free to the public. For more information, call (510) 228-6775.

Emil Guillermo, a veteran journalist, and a columnist for AsianWeek, will host the ceremony. As a senior host of NPR's All Things Considered, Guillermo was the first Filipino American to host a national news program. In 2000, his book, Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective was honored with an American Book Award.

The night's keynote address will be given by California Poet Laureate Al Young. Sourcebooks has just published his latest work, Something About the Blues, a massive collection of blues and jazz driven poetry. The collection is also packaged with an exciting audio CD.

The American Book Awards were created to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America's diverse literary community. The purpose of the awards is to recognize literary excellence without limitations or restrictions. There are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers. The award winners range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors and first works. There are no quotas for diversity, the winners list simply reflects it as a natural process. The Before Columbus Foundation views American culture as inclusive and has always considered the term "multicultural" to be not a description of various categories, groups, or "special interests," but rather as the definition of all of American literature. The Awards are not bestowed by an industry organization, but rather are a writers' award given by other writers.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 January 2008 )
 
Ghermandi wins Ciampi L'Altrarte Prize Print
Written by Mike Baehr   
Friday, 26 October 2007

From our friends at Coconino comes news once again of an honor going to Francesca Ghermandi. Enjoy this horribly mangled Babelfish translation:

"Francesca Ghermandi has gained the Ciampi Prize Altrarte 2007. One will be kept its extension to the Blue Gallery Camel of Livorno, with inauguration 27 October 2007 to the 21:00. The extension will expose a part of the 250 designs in.bianco and black of small and formed mean it realizes to you to biro for 'a summer to Tombstone', mostra/libro between the last plans capacities to fulfillment from the Ghermandi."

The Ciampi "L'Altrarte" Prize is apparently named in honor of 1960s Italian songwriter Piero Ciampi. If I'm translating the translation correctly, an exhibit of Ghermandi's drawings from the forthcoming book "A Summer in Tombstone" opens Saturday at 9:00 PM local time at the Galleria Blu Cammello (Blue Camel Gallery) in Livorno, Italy.

And here is the official announcement (in Italian).

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 November 2007 )
 
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