|Peter Bagge at CCS|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Peter Bagge||7 Apr 2011 1:03 PM|
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Archive >> April 2011
The Easter bunny arrived early at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Between now and Sunday, April 24 we’re offering a free copy of Usagi Yojimbo Color Special with each purchase of a Stan Sakai title. A real treat for comix fans of any age.
There’s a misperception that Usagi Yojimbo is only for young readers. I confess I’ve fallen victim to this notion myself. Then I picked up the stunning Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition. I found myself thoroughly enthralled by Sakai’s seamless storylines and flawless artwork. For those unfamiliar with this sublime saga, Usagi Yojimbo is set in 17th century feudal Japan and follows the adventures of a Samurai warrior rabbit. MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragones describes it as “…a mixture of fairy tale, adventure, romance, sword and sorcery, and humor, and all without breaking the rules of good storytelling.” I highly recommend the new slipcase Special Edition that collects the first seven Usagi Yojimbo books and includes exquisite extras like a cover gallery and a revealing interview conducted by editor Kim Thompson.
Drop by the store before Easter Sunday and treat yourself to a comic book. We’re open every day, 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM. Sweet!
This interview was conducted by Fantagraphics' Eric Buckler. Thanks to Eric and Wilfred!
Wilfred Santiago has a striking cartooning style that he can mold to fit any of the diverse projects he has created or contributed to. He has worked on everything from Capes to XXX to the alternative In My Darkest Hour, his first graphic novel for Fantagraphics. His newest project, 21, is about one of the most inspiring individuals to ever play the sport of baseball: Roberto Clemente. Rob Neyer from ESPN.com said about the book: "Wilfred Santiago's 21 is brilliant and beautiful, challenging and lyrical...which seems exactly right, as Roberto Clemente was all those things and more." Santiago and Clemente are both natives of Puerto Rico.
ERIC BUCKLER: What is your personal relationship with baseball?
WILFRED SANTIAGO: As personal as any other sport. Growing up, you either did sports or you did not. You called a couple of neighbors and you played baseball, basketball or whatever.
It's been years since I played any sports at all, and it feels a bit weird not to have that today, so I got a kick out of "playing baseball" on 21.
BUCKLER: You are from Puerto Rico; what did legendary Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente mean to you as a kid, and how is he seen by Puerto Ricans?
SANTIAGO: As a kid, it was different. In Puerto Rico, he was more of a myth than anything else. Sure, 21 played great baseball, but it was his reputation as a good-hearted Christian that preceded his game: perhaps to the level of deity. And you get this sense, because that's all the adults talked about. I never saw him play; he had already died. For a time, I didn't get that I couldn't go to a game and watch him play, like he never left. But his image was almost everywhere: a coliseum with his name on it. I haven't been to the island for years so I couldn't tell you about his impact on the present.
BUCKLER: This book is a biography. How did you go about capturing what he was like when he was alive?
SANTIAGO: Dissection. Clemente was a private man. Once you go through the rudimentary written biographies and any available footage of the man, you can start shaping his presence.
There are two parts to Clemente: The athlete is one way on the field, and another way as a father and husband. Roberto doesn't have a secret identity per se. However, in order to write Spider-Man, you also need to depict his life as a regular teenager. Peter Parker in costume becomes someone else and so are athletes. And of course, the people that surrounded him, the period when he lived, these are things that shape all of us, which are the same things that shaped Clemente as a character. Many times you have to separate the myth from the person and sometimes you have to speculate within parameters. For example, it was a known fact that Clemente went to a certain restaurant, but you have to speculate about whether he had chicken or ribs.
While perusing the finery at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall and imbibing in locally-brewed beer during this Saturday's Georgetown Art Attack, be sure to drop by Georgetown Records and Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. In addition to finding the world's greatest comix, the neighboring record store hosts a live ambient performance by Seattle experimental musician Rob Angus. I fondly recall Angus and his collaborator Jeff Grienke holding their own while opening for the Skeleton Crew — featuring legendary avant garde guitarist Fred Frith and cellist Tom Cora — in 1984 at my Graven Image gallery. In our current environment of forgettable and regrettable pop music, it's refreshing to find a provocative composer continuing to buck the trends.
Badass books, vintage vinyl, and live music! Don't miss it. See you this weekend.
Fantagraphics is excited to be taking part in the Second Annual Small Press Festival here in Seattle, a month-long series of events celebrating independent publishing that includes a show this Saturday, April 9th at the Richard Hugo House from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Our office assistant Eric Buckler will be manning the table, so be sure to swing by and say hi!
The event will also feature readings by local authors, informal talks, and drink specials throughout the afternoon! Admission is $5-$15 sliding scale, and includes gifts and a nifty book bag with price of entry. See you there!
Just arrived in our warehouse and ready to ship:
Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind - A Visual History from the Permanent Collection of Experience Music Project
Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind visually documents the explosion of Grunge, the Seattle Sound, within the context of the underground punk subculture that was developing throughout the U.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s. This musical journey is represented entirely through the collection of Experience Music Project, Seattle’s museum of music and popular culture, pulling from a permanent archive of over 800 filmed oral history interviews and 140,000 artifacts – instruments, costumes, posters, records and other ephemera – dedicated to the pursuit of rock ’n’ roll.
Featuring over 100 key artifacts from EMP’s collection, Taking Punk to the Masses illustrates the evolution of punk rock from underground subculture to mainstream embrace. These artifacts are put into context by the stories of those that lived it: Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson, X’s Exene Cervenka, Sub Pop founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, Black Flag’s Henry Rollins, Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan, Blondie’s Chris Stein, Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis, Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, and nearly 100 others.
Tracing a lineage from “Louie Louie” to the rise of Grunge with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Mudhoney, Taking Punk to the Masses is the first visual history of one of America’s most vibrant music scenes, as told by its participants and seen through the surviving artifacts.
About the DVD:
Over the past 15 years, Experience Music Project has amassed over 800 filmed oral history interviews with musicians, producers, club owners, fans, and others associated with every genre of music. These interviews, along with the museum’s massive artifact collection, form the basis for every exhibition. The exhibition Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses includes footage from over 100 interviews. A selection of those interviews are included in a DVD, exclusive to the Taking Punk to the Masses book.
Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• Review: "...The Arctic Marauder [is] a gorgeous, sprawling tale that — thanks to translator Kim Thompson's finely tuned ear for tone — boasts chewy Vernian narration... Call it ur-steampunk — one of the works that laid the groundwork for a genre that would, just a few years later, fill bookstore shelves with soot, goggles and gutta percha. [...] Tardi's arctic seascapes and undersea trenches are things to marvel over, as is his ability to evoke the eerie undulations of the Aurora borealis with just a few finely scratched lines. The Arctic Marauder is at once a loving homage and a smart satire; it's also, not for nothing, a rollicking adventure. Pick it up, and get rollicked." – Glen Weldon, NPR's Monkey See
• Review: "Tardi is one of France's most famous creators, and Adele Blanc-Sec, the cynical author turned adventurer, is his most famous creation. [...] I am very happy to see that Fantagraphics has decided to republish the first two stories in a beautiful hardcover book, with another book to follow next year. [...] The adventures are by turns funny, weird, and surprising. They are reminiscent of Tintin, if Tintin was a cynical Frenchwoman instead of an idealistic boy." – John Anderson, The Beguiling
• Review: "...[T]he colorful (in many senses of the word) collection The Artist Himself... is a smorgasbord of senses working overtime, the coffee table book of the year for raunch-loving pop art fans and literary hedonists alike. [...] One of Canada’s best pop cult artists, Holmes lived far too hard and died way too young. I can’t imagine a better book being put together about him, though. The Portland-based [Patrick] Rosenkranz (whose earlier underground comics compilation Rebel Visions is a tidy and sweet sweep of the entire field) has written a beautiful biography of the 60s-born underground cartoonist..." – Chris Estey, The KEXP Blog
• Review: "You can tell by the cover [of R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004] that it bodes pretty badly for all those involved, from have-a-go-heroes, souped up for the occasion Charles Atlas-stylee, to those covering their murderous tracks, now newly addicted to cleanliness. Indeed both virtue and godliness play their part here, though neither is rewarded. These very short stories are like ten-second episodes of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected and really challenge you to think, but they’re so concise and precise that it makes that a joy rather than a chore. [...] The medium employed... is scratchboard: that blank-slate of black upon which you work in reverse, scratching out shivers of white with a needle, sharp compass or random sterilised murder weapon. It works enormously well for stories so penumbral, yet on occasions the panels break out as blindingly as the light which fills them." – Stephen L. Holland, Page 45
• Analysis: At Robot 6, Matt Seneca takes a close look at a 2-panel sequence from Prince Valiant Vol. 3: 1941-1942: "Foster’s composition is wonderfully harmonic: two chords, beautifully struck in a rich and assured ink line, that complement each other perfectly. Though the panels use different camera angles and depict different subjects at different distances from the action, they share a remarkable symmetry."
The Small Press Expo announced a new batch of special guests for their 2011 show (September 10-11) today, including underground comix great Diane Noomin, whose upcoming collection Glitz-2-Go we'll be debuting at the show; and Johnny Ryan, whose upcoming third volume of Prison Pit will be on hand (as well as his new Angry Youth Comix collection Take a Joke). They join a lineup which already includes Jim Woodring for what's shaping up to be a great show!
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The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108. Tel: 206-658-0110.