Julia Gfrörer Signs Her Ever-Darkening Black Is the Color
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes Julia Gfrörer to sign her new graphic novella Black Is the Color on Saturday February 1st. Just in time for Valentine's Day, come down to Georgetown and pick up a deathly love story at sea for that special someone.
Black Is the Color begins with a 17th century sailor abandoned at sea by his shipmates, and as it progresses he endures, and eventually succumbs to, both his lingering death sentence and the advances of a cruel and amorous mermaid. The narrative also explores the experiences of the loved ones he leaves behind, on his ship and at home on land, as well as of the mermaids who jadedly witness his destruction. At the heart of the story lie the dubious value of maintaining dignity to the detriment of intimacy, and the erotic potential of the worst case scenario. Julia Gfrörer's delicate drawing style perfectly complements the period era of Black Is the Color, bringing the lyricism and romanticism of Gfrörer's prose to the fore. Black Is the Color is a book as seductive as the sirens it depicts.
Julia Gfrörer was born in 1982 in Concord, New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in THICKNESS, ARTHUR MAGAZINE, STUDY GROUP MAGAZINE, BLACK EYE, and BEST AMERICAN COMICS. Her last name rhymes with despair, and her heart is black as jet.
Listing Information: WHO: Julia Gfrörer WHAT: Signing and release party for Black Is the Color WHEN: Saturday Feb. 1st, 6-8pm WHERE: Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale St., Seattle WA 98108
"Julia Gfrörer is amongst the most promising artist/authors of her generation. Her work is spare and elegant, yet the hand of the artist is always evident in her line. Her characters inhabit cold or desolate environments, often on the brink of inanition or beyond, yet still yearning to love and be loved. Do not be misled by this artist's sylphlike appearance and those great carrot-colored ramparts at her ear. Gfrörer is a powerhouse. Learn to spell her name." – Phoebe Gloeckner
"Beautiful. Gfrörer has a light touch in finding the yearning and humor amongst life's hard luck and even harder truths. A genuinely romantic and sensitive book." – Sammy Harkham
"No one is wedding horror's darkness to an equally black, equally lacerating emotional palette as effectively as Julia Gfrörer.... When coupled with her delicate linework, the fragile physicality of her characters, and her explicit and non-idealized depictions of sex, the effect is gripping and even in our mundane world, ominously familiar." – Sean T. Collins
"Julia Gfrörer's Black Is the Color... is sublimely weird. Or weirdly sublime — probably both." – Nick Abadzis
Fantagraphics Books is excited to announce the acquisition of two new comics travel memoirs by acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley. Fall 2014 brings An Age of License, which recounts Knisley's charming and romantic adventures across Europe on a quest to discover what is truly important in life, find love along the way. Displacement is a travelogue about taking her elderly grandparents on a cruise, and pondering the meaning of life, while trying to hold her family together. The deal was brokered by Holly Bemiss at The Susan Rabiner Literary Agency.
New York Times Best Selling cartoonist Knisley garnered fame from her two previous graphic novels Relish and French Milk. She is also well known for her ongoing web comic, Stop Paying Attention, the latest of which is "A Light That Never Goes Out." Knisley's greatest strength lays in her keen ability to tell her story to both young adult and mature readers.
"I'm really excited to finally be working with Fantagraphics, which I've admired for years," Knisley explains. "These books are an exploration of youth and freedom, versus responsibility and family, and I'm so glad Fantagraphics is the company to help me tell these stories."
Much like the HBO series Girls, Knisley speaks to a generation of young women who are fiercely independent and yearn for adventure. The Eat, Pray, Love for the "social media" generation, An Age of License is a series of illustrated snapshots of a life full of cute cats, fancy food, and exotic travel.
The Massive anthology showcases Japan’s most talented and influential gay manga artists, including Gengoroh Tagame, Jiraiya, Seizoh Ebisubashi, Kazuhide Ichikawa, Gai Mizuki, Takeshi Matsu, Fumi Miyabi, and Kumada Poohsuke. In Massive, many of these artists’ works are featured in English for the first time; this collection offers an intimate, in-depth look at a criminally overlooked component of Japanese queer culture. In addition to comics and illustrations, Massive features photographs of the artists and their workspaces; cultural and historical context; and interviews with the creators about what it’s like to be a gay erotic artist in Japan.
Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins, and designed by Chip Kidd, this unprecedented survey of manga "made by gay men for gay men" is an essential addition to the queer comics canon; it will introduce the genre often referred to as "bara" (a misnomer for gay manga that has taken on new meanings online) to a new, international audience.
Massive was originally scheduled as a PictureBox Spring 2014 release until its publisher, Dan Nadel, announced that he is ceasing operations. Although we’re sad to see PictureBox shutter its doors, everyone involved is delighted to give Massive a new home. "I'm thrilled that Massive, an essential guide to the world of gay manga, is going to see print next year. Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, and Chip Kidd are the best guides imaginable to this fascinating work and the men who make it," says Nadel.
Fantagraphics Books Partners With ComiXology to Debut Violenzia
Fantagraphics Books’ First Digital Exclusive Comic
November 20th, 2013 – Seattle, WA/New York, NY – Fantagraphics Books, publisher of the world’s greatest cartoonists, partners with comiXology, the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform, to debut Fantagraphics’ first original, digital exclusive comic book: Violenzia. Written and illustrated by acclaimed creator Richard Sala (Delphine, Cat Burglar Black), Violenzia is an all-new, full-color, $5.99, 50-page one-shot exclusively available today across comiXology’s entire platform including iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and comiXology.com.
"Let there be no mercy or forgiveness for they have shown none." With these words, whispered into the wind, a mysterious young woman leaps into action with wild abandon, twin automatics blazing. Is she a brave and reckless heroine taking on a monstrous evil? Or is she a deranged angel of death? One thing is clear, whether she is dropping from a high window into a crowd of red-robed fanatical cultists, or facing down a horde of psychotic hillbillies, you don't want to get in Violenzia’s way.
"This is a new model for us," said Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. "Not a better model, but a different model. Richard Sala is one of our most beloved authors, and recently he has built up a considerable and new following online, via his Tumblr and other social media, so when he proposed Violenzia it seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment with a digital-only release."
"We’re thrilled that Fantagraphics partnered with us to bring Richard Sala's beautiful and hilarious Violenzia to comiXology and our worldwide audience," said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. "Readers and fans will also be treated to experiencing this amazing work in comiXology’s cinematic Guided View reading technology."
A fast moving, self-contained story, Violenzia is a blast of pulpy fun, told in scenes of audacious action and splashes of rich watercolors. With elements of golden age comics and old movies mixed with Sala's trademark humor and sense of the absurd, Violenzia is serious fun, a bloody enigma masked as eye candy, a puzzle box riddled with bullet holes.
Violenzia is the latest story by Sala featuring heroines (or anti-heroines) who are quirky, mysterious and unpredictable — such as Peculia (PECULIA , PECULIA AND THE GROON GROVE VAMPIRES), Judy Drood (MAD NIGHT, THE GRAVE ROBBER'S DAUGHTER), and K Westree (CAT BURGLAR BLACK), and features the same distinctive mixture of mystery, violence and humor as his books THE CHUCKLING WHATSIT, THE HIDDEN and DELPHINE.
About Fantagraphics Fantagraphics Books has been a leading proponent of comics as a legitimate form of art and literature since it began publishing the critical trade magazine The Comics Journal in 1976. By the early 1980s, Fantagraphics was at the forefront of the burgeoning movement to establish comics as a medium as eloquent and expressive as the more established popular arts of film, literature, poetry, et al. Fantagraphics quickly established a reputation as an advocacy publisher that specialized in seeking out and publishing the kind of innovative work that traditional comics corporations who dealt almost exclusively in super-heroes and fantasy either didn’t know existed or wouldn’t touch: serious, dramatic, historical, journalistic, political, and satirical work by a new generation of alternative cartoonists (including now-legends like Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Joe Sacco and Jim Woodring) as well as many artists who gained prominence as part of the seminal underground comix movement of the '60s, such as R. Crumb and Kim Deitch. Fantagraphics has since gained an international reputation for its literate and audacious editorial standards in publishing the best cartooning from all eras and regions with exacting production values.
About comiXology ComiXology has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel industry by delivering a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before. ComiXology’s Guided View™ reading technology transforms the comic book medium into an immersive and cinematic experience, helping comiXology become one of iTunes' top 10 grossing iPad apps in both 2011 and 2012. Offering the broadest library of comic book content from the top 75 publishers, and including independent creators as well, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the planet has become a comic book fan. A privately held company, comiXology is based in New York City. For more information visit www.comixology.com.
LOCAL 638 RECORDS AND FANTAGRAPHICS TEAM UP TO PRESENT DANNY BLAND'S NOVEL IN CASE WE DIE; AUDIOBOOK READ BY AIMEE MANN, DUFF McKAGAN, MARC MARON, MIKE McCREADY, MARK ARM, MARK LANEGAN, MORE!BLAND ANNOUNCES BOOK TOUR!<-p>
Fantagraphics Books and Local 638 Records are proud to announce the September 2013 release of In Case We Die, the first novel by Danny Bland, in hardcover and audiobook. Bland, a 25-year veteran of Seattle’s music scene (The Dwarves, Cat Butt, Best Kissers In the World) brings his own experience to the depiction of a harrowing tour through Seattle's darkest underground. Both love story and horror story, In Case We Die is a semi-autobiographical and visceral story of crime, addiction, redemption and revenge.
In Case We Die‘s audiobook is read by an incredible team of legendary artists,
musicians, actors and comedians, all of whom have lent their support and donated their talent and time. Readers include Duff McKagan (Guns & Roses), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Earle, Aimee Mann, Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Marc Maron (WTF With Marc Maron) and many others . A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, a stellar non-profit that assists musicians and music business workers to obtain medical care and human services.
The audiobook is over seven hours in length.
Available digitally and also CD format (1 disc - mp3 for car stereos).
BOOK TOUR – more dates TBA
* surprise guests from the audiobook will read with Danny in select cities
August 31 – Bumbershoot – “Fantagraphics Follies” – Seattle, WA
September 9 – Powell’s Books – Portland, OR
September 11 – Booksmith – San Francisco, CA
September 14 – Book Soup – Los Angeles, CA with Dave Alvin, Wayne Kramer, Lew Temple
September 18 – Changing Hands – Tempe, AZ
September 21 – The Regulator – Durham, NC
September 24 – Atomic Books – Baltimore, MD
September 25 – The Random Tea Room – Philadelphia, PA
September 26 – Manitobas – NYC – 7pm
September 30 – Barnes & Noble – Peabody, MA with Damien Echols
October 1 – Bookcourt – Brooklyn, NY 7pm
October 2 – Quimby’s – Chicago, IL
October 14 – Elliott Bay Books – Seattle, WA
“Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock’n'roll tragedy.” – John Doe (X)
“Bland is a brutally funny and bravely honest writer. A perfect guide through the bloodshot streets and desperate bedrooms of the underground wilderness.” – Dave Alvin (Blasters)
“In Case We Die is a poetic and elegant journey … straight to the gutter.” – Wayne Kramer (MC5)
“A great piece of work — full of filth and heart.” – Steve Earle
“A suitably Peckinpah finale. Bravo. It has been like a traveling dream state and sometimes familiar look into the abyss.” – Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
“I am a believer in what Bland has to say. He writes with eloquence, candor, darkness, and humor….the good stuff!” – Duff McKagan (Guns ‘N’ Roses)
Danny Bland is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. Beneath a crusty, punk rock exterior lies one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. This book? It’s the literary version of Danny Bland.” – Damien Echols (West Memphis Three)
San Diego, CA 7/20/2013 — Fantagraphics is excited to announce the acquisition of the first book by acclaimed Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann, to be released in the summer of 2014. Megahex will be a deluxe hardcover featuring over 200 pages of Hanselmann's beloved Megg, Mogg, and Owl comics, including over 70 never before seen pages. Hanselmann's Tumblr site Girl Mountain has already propelled Megg, Mogg, Owl & Co. to Internet infamy, and Megahex will be the solid collection those fans have long been waiting for.
Megg (a green-skinned witch), Mogg (a black cat), and Owl (an anthropomorphic owl) are a trio of ne'er-do-well roommates cohabiting in a suburban flophouse. Megg and Mogg spend most of their time smoking pot and having sex, while Owl works various office jobs and usually comes home to find himself as the butt of every joke. Behind the crass poop jokes and stoner humor are the depressed and misanthropic lives of these characters. They all possess tragedies that weigh on their shoulders, keeping them from escaping the nihilistic pit into which they've fallen. Equally funny and melancholic, Hanselmann is able to evoke empathy for his characters, making it easy for readers to fall in love with this disdainful bunch. Part Tennessee Williams, part Peter Bagge, Megahex will make people laugh, cry, and then take a shower.
"This is literally a teenage dream," explains Hanselmann, "Fantagraphics has been my favorite / the best comics publisher since forever. I've had a Fantagraphics poster hanging over my bed since I was fourteen. My brain is doing confused celebratory cartwheels."
"Simon has the deadly combination of talent and work ethic," says Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds. "He has a sneaky awareness of the language of comics and a pitch perfect sense of dialogue and humor. He is almost too good to be true. The first Megg & Mogg strips I read were so effortlessly funny and fully realized that I almost couldn't believe he wasn't a pseudonym for someone more established."
Megahex is set to release in June 2014 from Fantagraphics Books, Inc.
Ed Piskor: Brain Rot presents original pen and ink drawings by Piskor which comprised many of his latest comics publications. These original drawings will be up at the Columbus Museum of Art from March 15, 2013 until June 2, 2013. The exhibition includes more than thirty original pages from Hip Hop Family Tree due out from Fantagraphics October 2013. Hip Hop Family Tree tracks the evolution of hip hop from its beginnings in the 1970s as a niche local subculture into the global phenomenon it quickly became.
On March 24th, 2013 at 2pm Piskor will speak about his creative process with interviewer, comics writer, and blogger Jared Gardner, a professor of English and Film Studies at OSU. This talk will be free with museum admission.
Following these events, Ed Piskor will be doing a 3 week residency at the Thurber House in Columbus, OH where he'll be provided the opportunity to develop a work-in-progress. More info here.
Fantagraphics is excited to announce that Studio Eight has optioned the film rights to the Eisner award-winning graphic novel I Killed Adolf Hitler in association with Up Country Productions. The graphic novel by acclaimed Norwegian comics artist Jason (aka John Arne Sæterøy) and published by Fantagraphics Books in 2007 revolves around a hitman sent back to 1938 by a scientist to kill the Führer and avert the Holocaust. Complications ensue.
Jamie and Alex Brown of Studio Eight have teamed on the project with screenwriter D.C. Walker of Up Country Productions, who adapted the material.
In a year-long wind-up to the end of all time (according to the Mayan calendar), Elysian Brewing Company and Fantagraphics Books, both of Seattle, are planning a series of twelve beers, issued on the 21st of each month in 2012 and featuring label artwork by Charles Burns. Taken from Burns's weirdly apocalyptic work Black Hole, the labels will adorn Elysian's "Twelve Beers of the Apocalypse," featuring the creativity and unusual ingredients for which its brewing team is known. What twelve beers would you brew (and drink) if you knew they would be your last?
First up in January is NIBIRU, named for the mysterious planet X supposedly on a collision course toward Earth. The Elysian / Fantagraphics Nibiru will be a Belgian-style Tripel, flavored with an infusion of yerba maté. Combining the tasty esters of Belgian yeast and the compelling tea-like flavors of the South American herb mixture, the beer will weigh in at around 7.6% alcohol by volume (ABV). A mixture of German Northern Brewer, Czech Saaz and American Amarillo hops round out the uniqueness of the first beer of the Apocalypse. Oddly enough there's another apocalyptic-themed Nibiru out there: a super volcano currently burbling most dangerously beneath Yellowstone National Park. It too is scheduled to end life as we know it very very soon.
February 21 will usher in RAPTURE, an ale of opulent proportions flavored with heather tips. Unlike the various Rapture events predicted by pseudoscientists and alarmist evangelicals, the beer will be very real and frankly delicious, combining the floral fragrance and slight bite of high country heather with Northwest Glacier hops in another 7% ABV beer. FALLOUT follows in March, right around the time of the vernal equinox. Fallout will be a pale ale made with green cardamom.
As Earth's last year unfolds, other beers will appear as if by dangerous magic. Persimmons, chilies, raisins, blood oranges, rosemary and other herbs will be integrated into ales, lagers and Belgian styles using the finest local and imported ingredients. These limited brews will be available in bottles and draft and at select bars and bottle shops. We will celebrate as they are released — on the 21st of every month in 2012 — with events at one or the other of Elysian's three Seattle pubs and at Fantagraphics headquarters in the Georgetown neighborhood. Once they're gone, these beers will never be brewed again. Then again, come December 21, that will be the least of our worries.
THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE Written by: Pierre Bartier; Drawn by: Guy Peellaert Hardcover • Full-Color Release: May 2012
PRAVDA Written by: Pascal Thomas; Drawn by: Guy Peellaert Hardcover • Full-Color Release: November 2012
FANTAGRAPHICS ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO TWO LEGENDARY BELGIAN CLASSICS: PEELLAERT'S THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE AND PRAVDA
Fantagraphics Books has signed a deal to release two groundbreaking graphic novels from cult Belgian artist Guy Peellaert (1934-2008): The Adventures of Jodelle (1966) and Pravda (1967). The remastered editions will be produced in collaboration with the late artist's estate, which will contribute previously unseen material for extensive archival supplements.
Both albums were originally released in France by Eric Losfeld, the controversial publisher who passionately defied censorship in the lead-up to the cultural revolution of 1968; along with Jean-Claude Forest's Barbarella, Peellaert's Jodelle and Pravda were among the earliest of European adult-oriented graphic novels.
The Adventures of Jodelle, whose voluptuous title heroine was modeled after French teen idol Sylvie Vartan, is a satirical spy story set in a Space Age Roman-Empire fantasy world. Its then-revolutionary clashing of high and low culture references, borrowing as much from Renaissance painting as from a fetishized American consumer culture, marked the advent of the Pop movement within the nascent "9th art" of comic books, not yet dignified as "graphic novels" but already a source of great influence in avant-garde artistic circles. Visually, Jodelle was a major aesthetic shock. According to New York magazine, its "lusciously designed, flat color patterns and dizzy forced perspective reminiscent of Matisse and Japanese prints set a new record in comic-strip sophistication."
Released a year later and first serialized in the French counter-culture bible Hara-Kiri, Pravda follows the surreal travels of an all-female motorcycle gang across a mythical American landscape, led by a mesmerizing cold-blooded heroine whose hyper-sexualized elastic anatomy was this time inspired by quintessential Gallic chanteuse Françoise Hardy. Pravda's eye-popping graphics pushed the psychedelic edge of Jodelle to dazzling new heights, further liberating the story from narrative conventions to focus the reader's attention on the stunning composition and glaring acid colors of the strips, with each frame functioning as a stand-alone cinematic picture.
From Pravda — click to enlarge
Pravda, with its themes of female empowerment and beauty emerging from chaos, became an instant sensation on the European underground scene, inspiring various tributes and appropriations from the worlds of film, literature, fashion, music, live arts, advertising or graphic design. Over the years, it has acquired a rarefied status as a unique and timeless piece of Pop Art defying categorization or trends, and has found itself exhibited in such unlikely "high culture" institutions as the Musée d'Orsay or the Centre Pompidou. An early admirer of Peellaert's radical vision — along with luminaries as diverse as Jean-Luc Godard (who optioned the film rights to Pravda) and Mick Jagger — Frederico Fellini praised Jodelle and Pravda as "the literature of intelligence, imagination and romanticism."
The Adventures of Jodelle was published in the United States in 1967 by Grove Press, whose legendary editor-in-chief Richard Seaver (the man credited with introducing Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs and Henry Miller to America) also provided the translation; Pravda has never been released in English, despite its lead character transcending the long out-of-print book where she originated to become a peculiar iconic figure, the maverick muse of a few "au courant" art and design aficionados from Paris to Tokyo.
Refusing to cash in on the phenomenal success of Jodelle and Pravda (he viewed the former as a one-time graphic "experiment" of which the latter marked the accomplishment) the reclusive Peellaert abruptly left cartoons behind after only two albums at the dawn of the 1970s to pursue an obsessive kind of image-making which painstakingly combined photography, airbrush painting and collage in the pre-computer age. His best-known achievement in America remains the seminal 1973 book Rock Dreams, a collection of portraits which resulted from this distinctive technique and was hailed as "the Sistine Chapel of the Seventies" by Andy Warhol's Interview magazine, eventually selling over a million copies worldwide, influencing a generation of photographers and earning its place in the pantheon of rock culture. Other well-known creations include the iconic artwork for David Bowie's Diamond Dogs album cover (1974) as well as The Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock ‘N' Roll the same year. Peellaert also created the indelible original poster for Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver (1978), the first of many commissions from renowned auteurs including Wim Wenders, Robert Altman, Stephen Frears, Alain Resnais and Robert Bresson.
As the original negatives and color separations for Jodelle and Pravda are long lost (interestingly, Peellaert never reclaimed the original ink-on-paper pages from Losfeld) Fantagraphics will be re-coloring both books digitally. "The original books were colored via hand-cut separations from Peellaert's detailed color indications," said Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson, who will be editing and translating the new editions. "Since the Losfeld editions were printed quite well and Peellaert's linework is thick and simple, we're going to be able to generate crisp black-and-white versions of the line art to start from which should duplicate the original ‘look' exactly. Although actually our edition of Pravda should be better than the original, which had some pretty erratic color registration."
The Adventures of Jodelle is scheduled for release in May 2012, and Pravda in November 2012, both in deluxe oversized hardcover editions. Each will feature an extensive original essay discussing the works and their historical context, accompanied by numerous archival illustrations and photographs.
"I am terrifically excited to bring these two landmark books to American audiences — especially Pravda, which has never been published in English," said Thompson. "They are some of the most graphically jaw-dropping comics ever put to paper. They remain both quintessentially 1960s in attitude and look, and utterly timeless."
Register and Login to receive full member benefits, including members-only special offers, commenting privileges on Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog, newsletters and special announcements via email, and stuff we haven't even thought of yet. Membership is free and spam-free, so Sign Up Today!