Re/Read: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics

Re/Read is a regular feature by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid drawing attention to backlist books you may have missed or deserve another look. This time we’ll discuss No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall. Comics frequently play a prominent role in social justice movements. Such is the…

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This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 5/5-5/11

Tuesday, May 5th

Minneapolis, MN – Black River has been rattling bones up and down the coast with its release. Which means it’ll fit right in at Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis tonight! This volunteer run book store and community space is the bees knees, and we’re so excited that they’re hosting Josh Simmons and 2D Cloud’s Nic Breutzman for a signing that will begin at 7 PM. 

Wednesday, May 6th

Dubuque, IA – Party town USA just happens to by Dubuque, Iowa. Don’t believe me? Just look at that poster by Victor CayroMonks Kaffee is throwing a comics rager in honor of Josh Simmons and Black River. They’ll be joined by guests Becca Kacanda and Victor Cayro, and special music guests. In addition to signing books, there’ll be a screening of three short films by Josh. Festivities kick off around 9 PM!

Thursday, May 7th

New York, NY – What can I say that this amazing poster hasn’t already said? I’ll just throw my 2 cents in by telling you that if you have the ability to go to any of these events, do it! From 6-8 PM at the publishing non-profit, Printed MatterEd Luce will be signing copies of the Wuvable Oaf collection. Printed Matter feels like a New York institution, which is of course why they’re moving to a bigger and better location. This will be one of the last times to catch them in their original spot, and what a great send off to have Luce and Oaf there to celebrate!

New York, NY – Ed will also be a guest at the Queers & Comics Conference at CUNY. This $40 two-day conference features a line up of amazing academic panels and special guests. In addition to Luce some of the other guests include: Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins, James RombergerMarguerite Van CookTrina RobbinsJustin Hall, and Ellen Forney. The history and intersection of comics and queers is fascinating, and this conference covers the past, present, and future of the two.

Seattle, WA – The University Bookstore is going MAD tonight as they host author and historian Bill Schelly. He’ll be giving a reading and signing of his newest doorstoping biography, Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America. Some of the best book events I’ve been to happen at U Books, so if you give any hoots about history, comedy, or comics, you’ll want to get there at 7 PM and pick up this comprehensive guide to the life of legendary Harvey Kurtzman. 

Chicago, IL – Next stop for Josh Simmons and his wayward books is Quimby’s! One of the finest independent bookstores the midwest has to offer, Quimby’s will will open it’s doors to Black River and its creator. If you find yourself Chicago bound, or maybe you live there already, get on over to Quimby’s at 7 PM to get a signed copy of Black River, a dope black light poster, a beautiful print, and a look of approval from your father, the one you’ve always wanted.  

Saturday, May 9th – Sunday, May 10th

Toronto, ON – All weekend long our great neighbors to the North will be hosting the annual Toronto Comic Art Festival, or TCAF, at the awesome Toronto Reference Library. And Fantagraphics will be on hand to sell you books, say nice things about your hair, and give you high-fives (but mostly sell you books). Check out our full breakdown of Fanta at TCAF, with our signing schedule, where you can see our artists on panels, and where to find us. This event is FREE to the public!

Monday, May 11th

Dearborn, MI – The good times continue to roll this week with a stop at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan on the Black River tour. If you can’t get to the mind-altering post-apocalyptic comics, then get the mind-altering post-apocalyptic comics to come to you! Beginning at 5:30 PM, they’ll be showing Josh’s hand crafted films, with the signing to immediately follow.  

 

Fantagraphics at TCAF 2015

Saturday, May 9th – Sunday, May 10th 
Toronto, ON

This weekend we head North to our majestic neighbor, Canada, for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Two full days of panels, exhibitors, events, and of course, comics art! We’ll be rocking it at tables 162, 163, and 164, surrounded by some of our favorite artists. On Saturday, doors open are open from 9 AM – 5 PM, and Sunday doors run from 11 AM – 5 PM. This event is FREE to the public! FREE. What else do you need to know? Well here’s some panels and guest info to entice you just in case.

 

Rocking the corner booth this year

Signing Schedule

Saturday, May 9th
10-11 Josh Simmons
11-1 Robert Goodin & Drew Weing
1-2 Simon Hanselmann
2-3 Lucy Knisley
3-4 Josh Simmons
4-5 Eleanor Davis 

Sunday, May 10th
11-12 Lorenzo Mattotti
12-1 Robert Goodin
1-2 Josh Simmons
2-3 Ed Piskor
3-4 Ed Luce  

                        Panels(Organized by day then room) Saturday  The Pilot11 AM – Spotlight: Lorenzo Mattotti
Join one of the masters of modern art comics, Lorenzo Mattotti (Hansel & Gretel, The Raven, Fires) in this career-spanning interview with Stephane Beaujean (Kaboom Magazine, Festival Internationale de la Bande Dessinee d’Angouleme)  2:45 PM – Spotlight: Ed LuceModerator: Andrew Wheeler  4:00 PM – Comics Reportage in the Internet Age
Short, non-fiction reportage is making waves on the Internet in 2015. Short, sharp, personal comics pieces can get to the heart of an idea quickly and in a way that was previously only the domain of political gag cartoons. Eleri Harris, associate editor of The Nib, is joined by an incredible array of contemporary cartoonists including Jess Fink (Chester 5000), Dan Berry (Make  Then Tell), Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree), and Jon Rosenberg (Scenes from a Multiverse) to discuss what it takes to make timely and relevant reportage on the Internet. Marriott 20012:15 PM – Gay Comics Art Japan with Gengoroh TagameGengoroh Tagame joins his publishers Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins of MASSIVE and Leyla Aker of Viz Media/SuBLime BL Manga, to talk about the crossover context of queer manga, the hidden wealth of gay manga and the availability and visibility of queer art in Japan today.
Moderator: Anne Ishii  Marriott 40012:15 PM – Art of the Travelogue
The comics form lends itself beautifully to carnets de voyage, documents of trips, times, and places. Meet five of the foremost authors working in this genre, covering important, unexpected, and incredible trips, in comics. Featuring Lucy Knisley (Displacement), Boulet (Notes), Abby Denson (Cool Japan Guide), Kate Lavut (CHiCO), Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant!), and Oliver East (Trains Are…Mint). 
Moderated by Johanna Draper Carlson (Comics Worth Reading)  2:45 PM – Editorial Illustration While deceptively similar on the surface, comics and editorial illustration are two fields requiring different formal skill sets, creative attentions, and expressive uses. Acclaimed illustrators discuss the subtle nuances of working in one medium versus the other, and the effect of each on their professional careers. Featuign Penelope Bagieu, Eleanor Davis, and Kagan McLeod.
Moderated by Rachel Kahn   Sunday Learning Center 1
12 PM – Pressing the Limits of Representation
In this spirited conversation, contributors from every sphere of comics creation and discussion explor the limits and parameters of content in contemporary comics. With Professor Andrew Lesk (University of Toronto), Josh Simmons (House, Black River), C. Spike Trotman (Smut Peddler), Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly), and James Romberger (7 Miles a Second, The Late Child). 
Moderated by artist and writer Marguerite Van Cook (The Late Child) Marriott 20012:15 PM – In Conversation: Lucy Knisley and Penelope BagieuNorth American readers may not be familiar with the work of BD author Penelope Bagieu, but she’s taken the French comics world by storm with a mix of reality-infused graphic novels, travelogues, editorial illustrations and more. Far more familiar to North American teaders is Lucy Knisley, whose autobiography, memoir, travelogues and reportage have won her a huge fan base. Join these two creators in a special conversation moderated by Heidi MacDonald, as they explore the similarities in their work and travel, and the intersection of memoir and fiction.  2:45 PM – Spotlight on Eleanor DavisIllustrator and comics author Eleanor Davis is creating some of the most visually unique and expertly crafted comics short stories being produced today. Utterly unlike anything else in the medium, several of her short stories were collected into the critically acclaimed collection How To Be Happy from Fantagraphics Books at the end of 2014, the book topping many ‘best-of-the-year’ lists. Now, in this feature interview, Eleanor Davis will be interviewed on her work and career. Marriott 400  11:15 am – Spotlight on Charles BurnsModerated by Stephane Beaujean 12:15 PM – Charles Burns and Killoffer in ConversationModerated by Stephane Beaujean  4 PM – Spotlight on Simon Hanselmann! With Special Guests Michael DeForge and Patrick KyleTCAF is thrilled to welcome an Australian cartoonist who has taken the medium by storm: Simon Hanselmann! His Megg, Mogg, and Owl strips appear weekly in VICE Magazine, and the collections Megahex from Fantagraphics Books and Life Zone from Space Face Books have topped critics lists, and netted him two Ignatz Awards. In this special presentation, Simon Hanselmann will be joined by cartoonists and friends Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle, with whom he toured America for 16 weeks, and be interviewed by Stephane Beaujean (Kaboom, Festival Internationale de la Bande Dessinee d’Angouleme). It’s going to be incredible. Hinton Learning Theatre 1 PM – Jason Lutes and Anders Nilsen in Conversation with R. SikoryakR. Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics) animated a conversation between Jason Lutes (Berlin) and Anders Nilsen (Poetry Is Useless) about the pressures and pleasures of negotiating caeers as artists while also teaching art to new generations. This wide-ranging conversation will offer new perspectives on their work, and reveal how generous and thoughtful Anders Nilsen, Jason Lutes, and R. Sikoryak are about their craft.  New Books  Black River  Josh Simmons will be signing copies of your new favorite post-apocalyptic dark comedy about a group of survivors and their dog traversing an unforgiving landscape The Kurdles  An all-ages debut book from Robert Goodin, The Kurdles is sweet with wonder and a charming cast of characters you won’t soon forget. Wuvable Oaf  Snag a copy of the hardest but cuddliest metal head you’ve ever seen. Looking for love in San Francisco, this gay rom-com is full of actualized characters that bring humor and heartbreak to life.  

 

   

Fantagraphics at MoCCA Festival 2015

Fantagraphics is ready and rarin’ to go with at MoCCA Festival 2015 at the brand-new-to-you-and-me location. All weekend long you can find Gary tabling at 204-207 on the Second Floor (Red Zone) along with some of the world’s finest cartoonists and their excellent books at the hot new location for MoCCA! Debuts:  • The Kurdles by Robert Goodin In the spirit of Hergé’s Tintin or Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge, The Kurdles is an all-ages comic spiced up with a teaspoon of strange. Sally is a teddy bear who gets separated from her owner. Desperate to find her way home, she stumbles upon Kurdleton, home to a most peculiar group of characters in the midst of their own crisis; their forest house is trying to run away! Printed in an oversized format to showcase Goodin’s stunning, hand-painted artwork, The Kurdles will capture the imagination of both parents and children. Out in Stores: late April 2015 $24.99
• Angry Youth Comix by Johnny Ryan Now, for the first time, all fourteen issues of Ryan’s career-defining comic book series Angry Youth Comix (2000-2008) are collected in one place. All the comics, the covers, and even the contentious letters pages, in one toilet-ready brick shithouse, taking full advantage of the medium’s absurdist potential for maximum laughs. Out in Stores: April 2015 $49.99

• Violent Girls by Richard Sala (FU Press) A limited edition portfolio featuring 44 action portraits lovingly inspired by the kind of dangerous females who have populated pulp fiction and B-movies throughout the history of pop culture-blazing their way through every kind of genre, potboiler, cliffhanger, and fever dream imaginable. Available exclusively at comic conventions and at the Fantagraphics online store, $35.00
• The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Tower of Babel in the “Art” World by Jonah Kinigstein (FU Press) is an 80 page oversized landscape-format softcover collecting Kinigstein’s political cartoons inveighing against the trends of abstract and modern art through the 20th century. Meticulously rendered in pen and ink in the tradition of George Townshend and James Gilray, the elaborate compositions skewer artists, curators, and critics. Out exclusively in comic stores, conventions and on our website now, $30.00
• Willard Mullin’s Casey at the Bat by Willard Mullin and Ernest Thayer In 1953, in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the World Series, legendary cartoonist Willard Mullin created images illustrating one of America’s best-loved poems: Ernest Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat.” With a preface by Yogi Berra and an essay on the history of both “Casey” and Mullin’s images by noted baseball historian Tim Wiles, this edition of “Casey” is the most authentic ever produced. A keepsake for the ages. Available now, $9.99.  
SIGNING SCHEDULE Tabling at 204-207 Second Floor (Red Zone)SATURDAY11-12 Marguerite Van Cook + James Romberger  12-1pm Aline Kominksy-Crumb 1-2 Robert Goodin2-3 Kim Deitch 3-4 Dash Shaw  4-5 Robert Goodin  SUNDAY11-1 Robert Goodin
1-2:30 Jonah Kinigstein 2:30-4 Michael Kupperman 4-5 Marguerite Van Cook + James Romberger

   

PANELS
SATURDAY
12:30 pm / The Rusack Room of the High Line Hotel
Work in Progress
This is the ultimate sneak preview: Four artists will discuss graphic novels they are currently working on, showing pages yet-to-be-published from books yet-to-be-announced, and revealing material that lays bare their working methods. This session will offer a rare glimpse of work fresh from the drawing table, and will bring us directly into the processes of artists Kim Deitch, Sarah Glidden, Dash Shaw, and Julia Wertz, all of whom are currently working on new and surprising books. Moderated by Richard Gehr, author of I Only Read It for the Cartoons.

SUNDAY
12:30 pm / The Matthews Room of the High Line Hotel
Alt-Weekly Comics
Beginning with the Village Voice in the 1950s and peaking with a wave of publications in the 1980s and 1990s, alternative weekly newspapers spoke with an independent voice to local communities, and comics were a distinct part of those papers’ visual identities. Coinciding with the Alt-Weekly Comics exhibit currently on view at the Society of Illustrators, this panel will consider the phenomenon of alt-weekly comics with art director and editor Bob Newman (The Seattle Sun, The Rocket and The Village Voice) and cartoonists Ben Katchor, Michael Kupperman, and Mark Newgarden. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos.

12:30 pm / The Rusack Room of the High Line Hotel
Biography: The Lives of Artists
Memoir, non-fiction and biography have emerged as significant categories in comics. Comics about artists represent a special challenge: the cartoonist must represent the work of an artist through his or her own visual approach, revealing points of disjunction and harmony. Hyperallergic Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer will discuss these issues with French comics legend Annie Goetzinger, whose Girl in Dior chronicles the first season of the storied fashion house; James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, whose 7 Miles a Second was both a biography of and a collaboration with David Wojnarowicz; and Dutch cartoonist Barbara Stok, whose Vincent makes Van Gogh approachable through a style completely unlike his own.  

SATURDAY Night there is also a KURDLES Release Party as part of the BERGEN STREET TAKEOVER! 7pm join artists from Koyama Press, 2D Cloud and Rob Goodin for a blow-out!  

This year, MoCCA Art Festival will take place at Center548, 548 West 22nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenue.

Center548
MoCCA Festival
548 West 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenue)
New York City, NY 

NYC: Queers & Comics Conference

May 7th-8th

New York, NY – Queers and comics are combining forces and heading to NYC for a two day Queers & Comics conference at CUNY  that will offer two days of panels, workshops, presentations, as well as an exhibition of queer cartoon art; sponsored by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS). The history of queers in comics is long and rich, producing some of the most groundbreaking cartoonists of the past 40 years. From punk zines sold in queer bookstores and cafes, and now to the stage of Broadway, queer comics have been as diverse as those making them. Which makes this conference an important venue to continue the understanding and creation of queer stories. 

Keynote presentations from Howard Cruse and Allison Bechdel, and speical guest Gengorah Tagame headline this event, while 100’s of cartoonists and scholars from all over the world come together and present to an eager audience of publishers, editors, academics, and readers alike. 

Some panel highlights that feature Fantagraphics artists include:

May 7th
9-10:45 AM Porn This Way: Male Sexuality in Queer Comics with moderator Justin Hall
 11:45-1:15 PM Gengorah Tagame in Conversation with Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins
4:15-6 PM Drawing Out Queerness: Artists and Scholars in Conversation with Justin Hall
4:15-6 PM Queer Politics, Agit-Pop & Editorial Comics: Comics as an Eyewitness with James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook

May 8th
11-12:45 PM To Be Continued: Serialized Comics with Ed Luce
11-12:45 PM Wonder Woman: And Beyond with Trina Robbins
4:15-6 PM Wet and Sticky: Female Sexuality in Queer Comics with Ellen Forney

 

Registration for the event is open to the public, and has several different levels of prices, including FREE if you’re a member of CLAGS, or a low income option. 

The level of talent as this conference is one for the books, and a testament to the enduring power of art as a vehicle for change. Don’t miss this event! 

Romberger + Van Cook on Downtown Variety

The Late ChildNeed some Monday night fun? James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook will be appearing at the United Citizen’s Brigade Village East for Nat Townsen’s Downtown Variety Hour! They’ll be reading from The Late Child and Other Animals, taking the same stage as Janeane Garofalo, Cipha Sounds from Chapelle’s Show, and comedian Brendan McLaughlin! Pictured below, comedian and native New Yorker Nat Towsen (VICE, CollegeHumor) welcomes hilarious comedians, local artists, and Village luminaries for a regular variety show in the eclectic tradition of the disappearing downtown Manhattan culture. Every show also features a “Downtown History” segment, music from classic local musicians, and free giveaways from local businesses. New Yorkers, transplants, and tourists are all welcome.

Sponsored by Two Boots and Forbidden Planet. Tickets are a steal at twice the price but are only $5! The fun starts at 8pm sharp.
James and Marguerite nat
UCB East Village
153 East 3rd St., New York, NY 10009