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. His artwork has been featured in exhibitions across the country, including solo shows at Seattle’s Roq la Rue, and is currently on display at La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles.
Visual Abuse documents two decades of Blanchard’s idiosyncratic graphics, informed by the outrageous style of Mad magazine, psychedelic posters and underground comix of the 60s, pop culture iconography of the 70s, and the neo-Dada punk aesthetic of the 80s and 90s. As cartoonist Jim Woodring observes in the book’s introduction, “Blanchard is an inspired original whose work succeeds perfectly on its own iconoclastic terms as well as in the larger world of visionary art.”
The exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore will focus on Blanchard’s contributions to the Seattle music scene, including memorable posters, illustrations, and record covers for groups like Nirvana, Melvins, Tad, Accused, Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, and more. The artist will be present on November 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM to sign copies of his new collection. The show remains on view through December 8.
This event coincides with the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the historic Georgetown art community. Fantagraphics Bookstore is located at 1201 S. Vale Street, only minutes south of downtown Seattle. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206-658-0110.