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.  

 

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!