It's crazy hectic here at Fantagraphics so I only have a moment to thank all the people submitting art to the open call slot in BEASTS! Book Two. Deadline is Monday morning when I come into the office (I originally said March 1st but that's a Saturday).
I'm pretty amazed and grateful at the response (170 submissions already) and have no idea how I'll choose the art to be published. THANKS EVERYONE!
* That beautiful piece above submitted by Ian Huebert. (His site www.themilkmachine.com is not currently up.)
We publish some shocking comics but I had no idea that the most offensive strip was nationally syndicated "family fare." People are okay with this being what their kids grow up reading on the comics page, meanwhile they raise hell over a kid reading an issue of Dan Clowes' Eightball. Go figure.
(*Note: Yes, I know I originally mistyped "Brant Parker" in the headline to this post even though his son, Jeff, took over being the Id's dick cartoonist in 1997. Apologies.)
Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman hasn't responded to my emails (I don't blame him -- it probably ended up in his junk mail like everything from Fantagraphics) so I'm left with one open space in the upcoming anthology that is the modern bestiary, Beasts! Book Two. I would like to offer that space to whomever would like to submit work for it.
All submissions must be received by March 1st at which point my Fanta colleagues and I will review the pieces and determine one piece to appear alongside the likes of Jaime Hernandez, Kim Deitch, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Craig Thompson, Tomer Hanuka, Brian Chippendale, Al Columbia, and 81 other amazing artists that I cannot list here.
Note that I am not looking for traditional fantasy artists. The purpose of this book is to give the beasts back to the people. Dragons flying through purple skies have many other books to appear in. I want these symbols to have meaning again.
The rules: You must depict a mythological/folkloric creature that has been "witnessed" in some capacity in some culture at some point in history. No gods/goddesses or creatures of fiction. I am also looking for creatures that have not been depicted already in the Beasts! series. I will have a list of those in the comments section as soon as I can. Bonus points for creatures from recent times (such as the chupacabras, Beast of Bray Road, sasquatch, Loch Ness monster -- but not those because they've been depicted by other contributing artists). THE FORMAT IS 8" SQUARE.
Hobbits are not beasts.
If any artists currently listed as contributors fail to deliver a piece I may choose more than one submission to run in Beasts! Book Two.
I strongly encourage unpublished artists (and Peter Laird) to submit work.
Direct a jpg of your piece to fbicomix *at fantagraphicsdot com by MARCH 1st. Contributions may be displayed here or on the Beasts blog unless you tell me not to.
Lastly, I hope that any artists I haven't asked to contribute understand that this isn't a reflection on their work or in what orifice I may have my head: It's stressful choosing a diverse group of 90 artists that have time for this project and there are many folks I wanted to ask but didn't get to.
Also note that this will probably be the last Beasts volume because they are quite exhausting. (Art up top is by Femke Hiemstra, for Beasts2. See more art at the Beasts blog.)
You are keeping up on the beautiful strip, Bodyworld, from Dash Shaw, right?
I mean, after you read Steven Weissman's "Yikes," of course. (Which may still be moving around on our site but is currently at this link.)
Meanwhile, the world of bad internet spelling and hobo fetishism has it's very own tribute in Adam Koford's more-than-daily "Laugh Out Loud Cats." It's a gimmick that has limited mileage but it's also a charming homage to classic cartooning that I enjoy seeing. I may even buy a panel featuring his endearing LOL cat, Pip, considering they sell for just 20 bucks.
One of my other favorite Flickr stops: Satanas pages from Stephane Prigent. Totally indecipherable yet utterly engrossing, I love these comics. Uhh, IF they're comics.
Since I started as a book designer here at Fantagraphics, one of the most common questions I get is "Where can I find a good comic book font?" And usually I just say "Look Chris, you've been bugging me about that every month since about Acme #3 and I just don't know!"
Okay but obvious jokes aside: I really DO get that question and I guess that's my answer now. I can only think of one of our regular artists who doesn't hand-letter his/her own work. We do use computer "comic" lettering on all of our translations except for the rare artist who will re-letter the translated work. (For example, Jordan Crane and Dan Clowes do that for their foreign editions.) And, generally, we don't use pre-fab typefaces but create the font in-house by scanning in the artist's hand-drawn alphabet.
I recently spoke at my alma mater and my only follow-up email after the event was a kid asking me if there was a reason everyone uses Comic Sans. The answer is Yes. Those people's parents need them to mow the lawn or start paying rent which leaves no time for lettering their comic AND watching "Heroes."
Jacob Covey emailed myself, Adam Grano and Mike Baehr a few minutes ago with THIS link to an eBay auction that ends in 22 hours, promising to wear this item to work EVERY DAY if we buy it for him. We don't make enough to go in on $4K three ways, but if there's a wealthy benefactor out there with a sick sense of humor, we would really like to call his bluff. You have no idea how much this would improve office morale (for most of us, anyway).
P.S. Adam said he'd go $100 easy, as would I, and possibly as high as $300. So we really only need like $3500. As of now no one has bid, maybe the seller will even come down on the price if no one does.
P.P.S. Kevin Eastman should buy this for us just to have a ninja turtle walking around in Gary Groth's office every day.
UPDATE: Auction ended with no bids and was re-listed at $3,299. Hope is not lost.
Mr. Alex Chun, the Fantagraphics Pin-Up King, was contacted a while back to be an expert for Couture King Louis Vuitton. Apparently Vuitton was looking to I.D. some old men's magazine art for use on the company's unfathomably high-priced handbags. One of those artists was Bill Wenzel, subject of Alex's fourth of eight books of classic pin-up art to date.
Of course, being that this is the haute Art world, the bags aren't credited as a Vuitton collaboration with cartoonist Bill Wenzel but a Vuitton and Richard Prince collaboration. Richard Prince being an Artiste who is cited as opening up "major discussion concerning authorship and authenticity."
Either way, the bags are remarkably unimaginative. Murakami it ain't.
Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware contribute stories to this Zadie Smith anthology of new fiction, The Book of Other People. Charles Burns illustrates the covers. It also has prose from the likes of Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and George Saunders. All of this makes for yet another beautiful Penguin Books artifact. [Note: I originally found out about this book via the great Blog Flume which has some scans of the cartoonists' work.]
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