Fantagraphics Bookstore Best of 2020

Time for a belated list of 2020 favorites from Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid. This was a tumultuous year and the independent comix community was hit particularly hard. New titles were delayed and some were simply overlooked. In the struggle to keep the bookstore viable, I missed a lot of new titles completely. As a result, this list is far from comprehensive. Still, some stellar work appeared despite the dire circumstances. Below, in no particular order, is a baker’s dozen of the books that most appealed to me Daniel Clowes: Original Art. The latest in Fantagraphics’ series of deluxe studio…

What’s in Store: A Very Good Year!

It’s come that time when Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid chooses his favorite comix of the year. I customarily select about a dozen outstanding titles. This being a banner year for contemporary comix, I’ll be more expansive this time, listing my top twenty. This exercise is subjective by nature. I try to avoid the term “best,” preferring instead to name the books that most appealed to me.  20. Doukhobor Comics by Rose Driver. What’s not to like about an eccentric anarchist/nudist/arsonist religious cult that, with the help of Leo Tolstoy, made their way from Russia to the Pacific…

Re:Read | Farmer Ned’s Comics Barn

   Re:Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid examining backlist books you may have missed or merit another look. This time we’ll focus on Gerald Jablonski’s visionary masterpiece Farmer Ned’s Comics Barn from Fantagraphics adventurous FU Press imprint. I’ve always been drawn to “outsider” art, characterized by deeply obsessive expression. Gerald Jablonski’s work seamlessly combines the naïve sensibilities of folk artists like Reverend Howard Finster with the meticulous sophistication of cartoonists like Daniel Clowes – fluid, yet strangely formal. Farmer Ned’s Comics Barn alternates between dense, intricate narratives and spare, wordless renderings. Amazingly, in an appended…

What’s in Store: Short Run Marathon!

Join us at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Friday, November 3 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for the 5th annual Short Run Marathon art show and pre-festival party. The exhibition features original works by an amazing array of artists including Emil Ferris, Leela Corman, Julia Wertz, Anders Nilsen, Jordan Crane, Gemma Correll, Tom Hart, nishat akhtar, Rebecca Artemisa, with presentations by Anders Nilsen & 2dcloud. The Short Run Comix & Art Festival has grown to become one of the country’s premier showcases of emerging contemporary cartoonists. As the titles suggests, the Marathon exhibition references the daunting challenges these artists confront…

What’s in Store: Top Ten of 2016

It’s come time for Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid to select my favorite comix of 2016. A tough task this year with so many wonderful new books – a little like choosing which of my children I love the most. The choices are so close this list could easily be reversed. 10. Hey Lady. With a button affixed to the cover of each issue, I was immediately attracted to Regina Schilling’s zines. When I was able to fully absorb the contents, it became clear there was more to these creations than a clever premise and seductive artwork. Schilling selects a…

Re/Read: Buddy Buys a Dump by Peter Bagge

Re/Read is an occasional column by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid examining backlist books you may have missed or merit another look. This time we’ll focus on Buddy Buys a Dump by Peter Bagge. A generation of comix enthusiasts came of age following the foibles of Buddy Bradley and his crew of lovable losers in Peter Bagge’s Hate. This work came to define the youth movement associated with Seattle’s “grunge” counterculture. Bagge became a central figure in illustrating the attitudes and aesthetics of this global phenomenon. A truly remarkable achievement. Buddy Buys a Dump collects the 9 issues…

What’s in Store: 40 Years of Comics As Art

  Fantagraphics Books commemorates its 40th anniversary with a series of talks, exhibitions, book signings, performances, and parties celebrating four decades of publishing the world’s greatest contemporary cartoonists. The impressive record of accomplishment and immeasurable influence of this Seattle-based enterprise are chronicled in the new book, We Told You So: Comics as Art, An Oral History of Fantagraphics Books. The festivities begin with a panel discussion on Fantagraphics’ first 40 years on Friday, December 9, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the elegant Folio library, located at 384 Marion Street in downtown Seattle. Moderated by Fantagraphics publisher and co-founder Gary…

What’s In Store: Jim Blanchard’s Visual Abuse

    Fantagraphics Books continues its 40th anniversary celebration with a book launch party and exhibition for Visual Abuse: Jim Blanchard’s Graphic Art, 1982 – 2002 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, November 12. Blanchard relocated to Seattle in 1987 from Oklahoma City, where he self-published his popular punk fanzine, Blatch. He soon found work as an art director at Fantagraphics Books, while continuing to create posters and graphics for bands associated with Seattle’s emerging grunge movement. He published several comix on Fantagraphics’ provocative Eros imprint, and later worked as inker for Peter Bagge’s influential Hate comic book series….

What’s in Store: Northwest Exposure

Don’t miss the Northwest Alternative Comics exhibition at Washington State University’s Museum of Art featuring Jim Woodring, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, David Lasky, Max Clotfelter, Tom van Deusen, Eroyn Franklin, Taylor Dow, Mita Mahato, and Paul Chadwick, on view through December 17. Fantagraphics Bookstore curator Larry Reid served as a consultant and will speak (very briefly) at the opening reception on Thursday, October 6. Artist talks, workshops, and related activities are planned throughout the run of the show. WSU is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere, on the border between Washington and Idaho south of Spokane. Then tune up…

What’s in Store (Wonderful Winter Edition)

Thanks to everyone who came out to the publication party for Jim Woodring ‘s sensational Frank in the 3rd Dimension on Saturday – an amazing array of luminaries from Seattle’s art, music, and comix communities. We sold out of the book at the signing, but have more copies in stock now. Come view this visionary work at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery through February 10.