The work of French cartoonist Jacques Tardi was introduced to American audiences more than three decades ago. His work was championed by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, who included him in their prestigious RAW anthology in the early 1980s. For the remainder of the century, several North American publishers endeavored to draw attention to Tardi. Yet with the exception of the alternative comics cognoscenti, his work remained marginalized in the United States. Only with the persistence of Seattle-based Fantagraphics Books — who have published no fewer than five Tardi titles in the past 2 years – has this acknowledged genius found a substantial American following.
"Better Tardi Than Never: How France's Greatest Living Cartoonist Took a Mere 32 Years to Break Through to American Audiences" examines the life's work of Jacques Tardi. Organized by Fantagraphics Books co-publisher, editor, and Tardi translator Kim Thompson, the exhibition includes pages from the artist's earliest English translations dating back to 1977. Thompson began translating Tardi in 1983 with an excerpt from It Was the War of the Trenches in RAW #5. He has been a tireless advocate of this extraordinary artist, translating and publishing his work in several anthologies until American readers finally caught on. The exhibition will include examples of each Tardi translation to reach American soil, along with a narrative explaining the context.
The opening reception on Saturday, March 12 will feature a slide lecture by the show's curator Kim Thompson at 6:30 PM. "You Don't Know Jacques. Tardi: 20 Books in 20 Minutes" examines the cartoonist's career in France. The event will also feature the world premiere of Fantagraphics' fifth Tardi book, the epic "icepunk" tale The Arctic Marauder.
The opening on March 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic neighborhood. For more information and a map of participants see: www.geogetownartattack.com.
BETTER TARDI THAN NEVER
How France's greatest living cartoonist took a mere
32 years to break through to American audiences.
Curated by Kim Thompson
Opening Saturday, March 12, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
YOU DON'T KNOW JACQUES
Tardi: 20 books in 20 minutes
A slide presentation by Fantagraphics co-publisher, editor and translator Kim Thompson at 6:30 PM on March 12.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.)
Seattle, WA 98108 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM