Those who say the comics aren’t in Comic-con any more haven’t stopped by the Fantagraphics booth at #1721. It’s always a hotbed of graphic action, with some of the world’s greatest cartoonists avaiilable to sign and pose for photos – for free! And pro tip: if you hang out long enough you’ll run into all your actual comics friends. This year’s special guests are Simon Hanselmann and Liz Suburbia. And here’s the whole list of debuts (which sell out quickly), panels and signings – and if you stick around to the end there’s a codeword for an online sale for those #NOTATCOMICCON.
Thursday, July 21st
Eric Reynolds (associate editor, Fantagraphics Books), Michael Powers (co-editor with Reynolds of Michael Dormer and the Legend of of Hot Curl), and Steve Barilotti (editor, SURFER magazine) discuss the confluence of the Beat movement with the So-Cal surf scene that was defined by the counterculture visuals of artist Michael Dormer, subject of a retrospective from Fantagraphics Books.
Friday, July 21
Join cartoonists and special guests Simon Hanselmann (Megahex) and Liz Suburbia (Sacred Heart) as they discuss their cartooning careers and best practices for transitioning your stories to a physical format. Hear from award-winning cartoonists about the pros and cons of web vs. print, tips for getting work noticed, and where to go after you make the jump. Moderated by editor Eric Reynolds.
Saturday, July 22nd
On what would be the 90th birthday of comic master Wallace Wood, we look back and dig deep into his career and life, sharing highlights and lowlights of the groundbreaking artist. J. Michael Catron, editor of the Eisner Nominated series The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, presents pieces from the Wood archive rarely seen before.
Eisner-winning author Bill Schelly and Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth give a slide show presentation on the work of John Stanley, the creative genius who wrote and drew Little Lulu for her first 15 years in comic books. Stanley took Saturday Evening Post cartoonist Marge Buell’s scrappy Lulu Moppet and turned her into a genuine feminist icon, and the star of one of the best-selling comics of the 1950s.
Check the full panel schedule with all of our artists
Otherworld Barbara Vol. 2 by Moto Hagio
Nanami had sworn to never see her granddaughter, Aoba, again. A despairing Kiriya had rejected his father, Tokio. Yet now both are traveling with Tokio to Engaru, where Aoba has slept and dreamt of the island of Barbara for seven years. The poltergeist phenomena become more intense. Aoba seems desperate. Is her world coming to an end? And does that end mean the end of the world, one hundred years in the future? What is the connection between Ezra, Johannes Sera, Paris, Pine, and a senile old man called “Doctor Azzurro?” What truth hides in the ravings of an increasingly unhinged Akemi? In the end, it comes down to a father’s frantic efforts to save the life of his son. But…which son? Who is the dreamer and who is the dreamed? Can the dreamer become the dreamed, and the dreamed the dreamer?
Last Girl Standing by Trina Robbins
Born on the cusp of WWII in 1938, at a time when other little girls dreamed of being nurses and secretaries, Trina Robbins’s ambition was to be a bohemian; and indeed she did. She chronicles a life of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll — and comics — in Last Girl Standing. From science fiction to the Sunset Strip, from New York’s underground newspapers to San Francisco’s underground comix: Trina Robbins broke the rules and broke the law. From dressing Mama Cass to being pelted with jelly babies as she helped photograph the Rolling Stones’s first US tour, from drunken New York nights spent with Jim Morrison to producing the very first all-woman comic book, this former Lady of the Canyon takes no prisoners in this heavily illustrated memoir.
What is “punk”? What did it all mean? What does it mean now? What will it mean in the end? The Locas girls’ punk reunion has come to a close but the evening has just begun. Also, the Animus situation has gotten too BIG for reunited sisters Lumina and Isla. Meanwhile, on the Gilbert side: Fritz starred in a Dr. Who ripoff only to see her 10-year-old daughter take over the role before returning to the show’s last episode 5 years later. Meanwhile, Fritz’s newly reunited twin daughters get to (uncomfortably) know one another and meet a classic Palomar character (or three)!
The Ladies-in-Waiting by Santiago Garcia & Javier Olivares
In 1656, Diego Velázquez, leading figure in the Spanish Golden Age of painting, created one of the most enigmatic works in the history of art: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting). This graphic novel, written and drawn by two of Spain’s most sophisticated comics creators, examines its legacy as one of the first paintings to explore the relationship among the viewer, reality, and unreality. (It guest stars Cano, Salvador Dalí, Zurbarán, and many others.) Olivares’s art moves from clear line to expressionistic; from pen nib to brush stokes; from one color palette to another, as The Ladies-in-Waiting uses fiction to explore the ties among artists and patrons, the past and the present, institutions and audiences, creators and creativity. Their combined efforts have garnered not only international comics prizes, but the equivalent of the National Book Award in Spain, where the book has been a commercial and critical sensation.
Unreal City by D.J. Bryant
Unreal City contains five highly charged stories about relationships: “Echoes into Eternity,” “Evelyn Dalton-Hoyt,” “Emordana,” “The Yellowknife Retrospective,” and “Objet d’Art.” The stories address gender, narcissism, marriage, subjectivity, objectification, and the thin line that divides love from hate. Bryant’s characters sometimes feel like they are navigating their way through the darkness in an attempt to make sense of love, sex, art, and life. Existential and elliptical, the stories play beautifully against Bryant’s precise and fully-realized artwork, which echoes such masters as Jaime Hernandez and Daniel Clowes. In Unreal City, characters cannot walk into a room without their world turning inside out. Readers will be similarly upended by the discovery of this major new talent.
Michael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl by Michael Dormer, Eric Reynolds & Michael Powers
Michael Dormer is synonymous with the California surf counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s. The post-World War II influence of Beatnik poetry, jazz, and art interpretation around the California Coast created a revolution in the Orange County surf world, and no one defined the visual style of this movement more than Michael Dormer. His career as an artist took off in the 1960s, when he created Hot Curl, the mop-haired, knobby-kneed, pot-bellied surfer who quickly became a nationwide sensation, appearing regularly in SurfToons magazine (and still appearing regularly in SURFER magazine). He also created the cult classic 1960s TV show Shrimpenstein!, an off-beat children’s show featuring a miniature Frankenstein monster, which was a favorite of Frank Sinatra’s. Michael Dormer and the Legend of Hot Curl is the first-ever retrospective of this unique artist’s work.
Johnny Appleseed by Paul Buhle & Noah Van Sciver
John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, made himself the stuff of legend by spreading the seeds of apple trees from Wisconsin to Indiana. Along with that, he offered the seeds of nonviolence and vegetarianism, good relationships with Native Americans, and peace among the settlers. He was one of the New World’s earliest followers of the Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The story of John Chapman operates as a counter-narrative to the glorification of violence, conquest, and prevailing notions of how the West was Won. It differentiates between the history and the half-myths of Johnny Appleseed’s life and work: His apples, for instance, were prized for many reasons, but none more so than for the making of hard cider. He was also a real estate speculator of sorts, purchasing potentially fertile but unproven acres and then planting saplings before flipping the land. Yet, he had less interest in financial gain―and yes, this is an accurate part of the mythology―than in spreading visions of peace and love. Johnny Appleseed brings this quintessentially American story to life in comics form.
See all the debuts on the Flog
We’ll have a limited number of these beauties in stock at the booth, designed by Anya Davidson.
Can’t make it to Comic-Con? You can still get all the books you want, at a great discount. Enjoy 20% off EVERYTHING online at Fantagraphics.com starting next Thursday. Offer valid 7/20-7/23.
Not sure what books to pick up at our booth (#1721) or during the sale? Browse staff picks and find your next favorite graphic novel here.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.