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Category >> Down with OPP

Down with OPP*: Mister Wonderful
Written by janice headley | Filed under Mister WonderfulFantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPPDaniel Clowes 25 Apr 2011 9:13 AM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me. 

It's sub-titled "A Love Story," but somehow Mister Wonderful still managed to depress the heck outta me. Such is the power of the one and only Daniel Clowes!

Mister Wonderful was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine back in 2007-8, and it was such an exhilirating weekly ride, that I'm glad someone collected it into a nice little hardbound book, complete with extra bonus material.

If you didn't read the online strips a few years ago (I can't even imagine...), the "Mister Wonderful" in question is Marshall, an unemployed divorcé, who's been fixed up with Natalie, a woman with some romantic baggage of her own.

I don't wanna give away the ending for anyone who didn't read it on the NYT website (Really? You didn't?? Sorry, I just...), but somehow, the open-ended conclusion just left me feeling bummed out. I guess we're meant to feel hope for this budding couple, but c'mon... This is Dan Clowes we're talking about.

Mister Wonderful, and tons of other Clowes titles and accessories, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110. See you there!

Down with OPP*: Thunder in the Building #2
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 27 Mar 2011 2:21 PM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me. 

One of the things I like about this writing this column is getting the chance to spotlight some great titles that Fantagraphics didn't publish ourselves.  But, I'm especially thrilled when I get to present books that are self-published, like this week's spotlighted comic, Thunder in the Building #2!  

Admittedly, I wasn't familiar with local artist Margaret Ashford-Trotter until we started carrying her latest comic, that she published herself with funds from the Xeric Foundation

Her drawing style reminds me a little of Adrian Tomine, and the storyline was certainly gripping, revolving around a romantic break-up and the terrible secret that becomes revealed in the aftermath... See? You're intrigued, right?  It's an impressive early effort from a talented local artist, and I'm already looking forward to seeing what Ashford-Trotter publishes next!

Thunder in the Building #2, and many other local self-published comics,  are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!  

Down with OPP*: Scenes from an Impending Marriage
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 14 Feb 2011 9:39 AM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me. 

Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine

For this special Valentine's Day edition of "Down with OPP," I'm spotlighting one of the most romantic books we have in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery:  Scenes from an Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly).

I had read an interview with Tomine in ReadyMade magazine a few years ago where he talked about how he'd made this mini-comic for wedding guests.  And since my invitation got lost in the mail... (cough, cough -- no, I'm just kidding), the publication of this book meant I could stop trolling eBay for disgruntled wedding guests unloading their copies. 

Tomine fans, be forewarned: this book is really, really sweet.  Even the artwork strays a bit from what we've come to know from him, with charming homages to Peanuts and The Family Circus both. If you prefer your Tomine tortured, it might be better to dig out your well-read copies of Summer Blonde instead.

But, if any of my friends were getting married, you can bet the bride would be getting a copy of this from me at her bridal shower.  From the neat, petite size to the Tiffany Blue cover, it really is tailor-made for gift-giving.

(Of course, the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery has tons of other great gifts, too... cough.)

Scenes from an Impending Marriage, and more anguished Adrian Tomine titles, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon! 

Down with OPP*: The Bureau of Drawers' Combo #1
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 2 Feb 2011 11:51 AM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me. 

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If you've got a hankerin' for the finest in local independent comic books, then satisfy your appetite with one of these Combo #1's from Seattle artist collective, The Bureau of Drawers!

Each "happy meal" comes in a hand-screened take-out box, featuring artwork by Dalton Webb, and the prize inside is a countless abundance of lovingly-assembled mini-comics!  (Why "countless"? Uh... 'cause, I didn't wanna count 'em.)

 

Ingredients include a juicy reprint of Hotwire-contributor David Lasky's 1994 comic Portrait of EllaMarc Palm's psychedelic lyric-centric comic comes with a CD in the back.  Calamity Jon's An Hourly Comic is completely endearing and relatable, 'cause who doesn't dream about owning a fat bunny who likes to sit on your feet?  And for me, dessert was Nikki Burch's These Are My Jokes, which is gorgeously rendered, reminding both me and store impresario Larry Reid of the great Julie Doucet

And really, that's a mere taste of all the goodness you get in the Combo #1.  Why, just check out this commercial, provided by The Bureau of Drawers:

Just like the fabled McRib, the Combo #1 is limited edition, and we've only got a few of them in stock at the store. But, hey, why not pick yours up on Saturday, February 12th as the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery presents the opening of "Lovesick," an exhibition of original art, books and prints by the master chefs behind the Bureau of Drawers themselves!  You can read more about the opening on the Fantagraphics FLOG here.

The Bureau of Drawers' Combo #1 is currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!

Down with OPP*: Johnny 23
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPPCharles Burns 24 Jan 2011 1:24 PM
* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me. 
 
opp_johnny23.jpg
 
"What the hell is this?"
 
Working at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, I hear this question a lot, but I especially get it in reference to this week's spotlight title: Johnny 23 by Charles Burns.
 
If you were one of the fans crushed in the crowd when Charles Burns visited the store back in November, then hopefully you caught his discussion about the similarities in his latest novel X'ed Out and Hergé's classic The Adventures of Tintin. (Ken Parille has a great run-down on those similarities on The Comics Journal blog here.)
 
And in a nod to the bootleg Hergé titles that float around, Burns has created his own "bootleg" of X'ed Out, re-arranging the panels and adding brand-new artwork to create Johnny 23. French publisher Le Dernier Cri printed only a few thousand copies of this one, and from what I understand, it ain't getting reprinted, so you should get yours now.
 
Oh, and did I mention it's written in ALIEN? 'Cause... yeah. And Burns has said, it's not a translation of the text from X'ed Out.  Apparently, there are keys online somewhere, or maybe you can send some cereal box proof-of-purchases and get a decoder ring.  But just think, once you learn the language, won't that look impressive on future job resumes for our eventual alien overlords? 
 
Johnny 23, and many, many, many other Charles Burns titles, are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!


Down with OPP*: Make Me a Woman
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 17 Jan 2011 4:31 PM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me.

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"Down with OPP" spotlights excellent titles from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery.  And this week, I present to you Make Me a Woman by Vanessa Davis (Drawn & Quarterly).

This week's column ain't exactly for the ladies. I'm sure we all bought this book when it first came out, gleefully pouring over this collection of sketchbook drawings that Davis did from 2004 to 2010. Some of these stories were originally published online in a monthly column she did for Tablet magazine, but they were new to me.

No, this column is for the fellas. I see you walking by our tables of new releases, your eyes darting across the covers, and some of you seem to flinch at the exuberantly girlish cover here. Really? It makes me wanna hit you in the face with this book, and it's a $24.95 hardcover, so it's gonna sting. How's THAT for being a woman?

Davis has a wonderful drawing style, somewhere between the frame-eschewing style of Ellen Forney (and with all the similar tiny anecdotal notes!) and the energetic spirit of Julie Doucet. Some drawings are slapdash pencil sketches, while others are beautifully watercolored, with exquisite attention to floor tiles, curtains, and book spines.

And, sure, some of you boys aren't gonna appreciate the awesome way she draws clothes and hairstyles as much as I do (I reaaaally appreciate it), but there's so much more about this book to enjoy. Maybe you went to Fat Camp, too. Maybe you'll agree with her opinions on R. Crumb's The Book of Genesis. Maybe you can relate to her Jewish upbringing. And actually, as a woman, I couldn't relate to any of that, but I still enjoyed this book.  Look, I don't pee in jars, but I still enjoyed reading Peepshow!

So, be a man, and get Make Me a Woman.

oop_davis2.jpg

We've also got another Davis book in stock, Spaniel Rage #1 (Buenaventura Press).  It, too, is a collection of diary comics and sketchbook drawings, but from 2003 to 2004.  And it's softcover, so I won't hit you with it.

[Um, and that "Cheri" t-shirt on the cover of Spaniel Rage? Well, it pops-up again in Make Me a Woman, in a scene where she's drawing with Gabrielle Bell and Michel Gondry -- Yeah, don't think I didn't notice!!!]

Both Make Me a Woman and Spaniel Rage #1 are currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!

Down with OPP*: Gazeta, Vol. 1
Written by janice headley | Filed under Fantagraphics BookstoreDown with OPP 3 Jan 2011 11:11 AM

* Other People's Publications
** Yeah, You Know Me.

opp_gazeta.jpg

We're introducing a new column to the FLOG this year, spotlighting some excellent titles from other publishers that you can find at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! (And spotlighting my dorky predilection for song titles from the 90's.)

Subtitled "Comics From Bangkok to Belgrade," Gazeta, Vol. 1 debuts its series with a collection of artists from places I've never heard of. (Zagreb? Tampere? I need to get out more.)

Our store manager/curator Larry Reid recommended this one to me, pointing out the cover by the great Ron Regé , Jr. (who, speaking of 90's music, I discovered "back in the day" through the amazing band The Swirlies).

Admittedly, two of my favorite pieces come from the more well-known artists, Dylan Horrocks (whose story "Cornucopia" is so sweet, I may have swooned), and the aforemention Regé.  Regé's piece is one of the longer ones in the collection, and was inspired by the writings of P.B. Randolph (the, uh, founder of "sex magic"!), and the teachings of Neville Goddard. Even though he didn't write the philosophies himself, the story is pure uplifting, transcendent Regé.

opp_gazeta_2.jpg

I may have swooned again.

The collection also introduced me to some artists I was unfamiliar with, including Portugese artist André Lemos, whose stark drawing style reminded me of our own Jason T. Miles, and the beautiful, haunting pencil drawings of Amanda Vähämäki, whose name has three umlauts, so clearly she's hardcore!

Gazeta, Vol. 1 is currently in stock at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, located at 1201 S. Vale Street in Seattle's Georgetown district. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: (206) 658-0110.  See you soon!

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