Re/Read: Big Baby by Charles Burns

  Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid that examines backlist titles you may have missed or are worthy of another read. This week we’ll focus on Big Baby by Seattle native Charles Burns. Big Baby collects four stories created by Burns between 1983 and 1992 from works published in RAW…

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Bill Schelly Goes MAD at Fantagraphics Bookstore

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery welcomes comics scholar and author Bill Schelly on Saturday, April 11 as he presents his new biography Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America. Schelly will give an entertaining and informative slide talk on the illustrious career of one of the pivotal figures in American popular culture. A book signing will follow the presentation.

 

Harvey Kurtzman wrote, edited and drew popular titles like Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat for notorious publisher EC Comics. In a departure from their lurid line of crime and horror comics, Kurtzman created the satirical Mad in 1952. EC Comics soon fell victim to the hysterical crusading of politicians, child psychologists and religious zealots when the Comics Code Authority effectively banned most of their titles. Kurtzman’s Mad persevered, and ironically became the instrument that indoctrinated an entire generation in the principle of art in the service of degenerate discourse – laying the foundation for the cultural upheaval of the 1960s.

Kurtzman’s many contributions to midcentury American humor are explored at length by Schelly, with insightful interviews of Kurtzman collaborators like Hugh Hefner, Al Feldstein, James Warren, R. Crumb, Jack Davis, Gilbert Shelton, and more. Episodes like the FBI investigation during the McCarthy Era and his litigation with EC publisher Bill Gaines are detailed for the first time.

 

Don’t miss the debut of this amazing publication with a slide talk, exhibition and book signing on April 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood.

  

Mark your calendars for the return of incomparable cartoonist Daniel Clowes on Saturday, April 18 with the world premiere of The Complete Eightball, followed a week later by provocative Seattle artist Josh Simmons on April 25. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.), minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.658.0110.

Listing Information

Bill Schelly presents Havey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad
Slide talk, exhibition, and book signing
Saturday, April 11, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street | Seattle | 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM

Grave Business by Graham Ingels Excerpt

Attention boys and ghouls: you may now peruse a 36-page downloadable excerpt of Grave Business, illustrated by “Ghastly” Graham Ingels‘ comics, if you dare. Ingels delivers a shock to readers with his grisly depictions —leavened only by a sly wink to the reader and a generous dose of dreadful puns. Ingels’ brushwork oozes ominously across every panel, perfectly setting the mood for the shudder-inducing fates of such corrupt characters as the sadistic asylum director, the political candidate who murders his opponent, the ventriloquist with the homicidal “dummy,” the millionaire who persecutes an aged junkman, and the medieval duke who runs over a young boy with his carriage then taxes the peasants to pay for cleaning up his victim’s blood. Like every book in the Fantagraphics’ EC line, Grave Business and Other Stories superbly showcases these classic comic book masterpieces and enhances the reader’s experience with commentary and historical and biographical detail from EC experts. You can pre-order your copy now.