Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

"From Comix to Critique" is the slogan of Real Comet Press, which is the current retrospective show at the Fantagraphics Store and Gallery in Georgetown, featuring original art, graphics novels, and design work from artists such as Lynda Barry, Michael Dougan, Art Chantry, and Ruth Hayes. This Saturday, March 24 {at the same location} author Susan E. Kirtley discusses her book on Lynda Barry, subtitled Girlhood Through The Looking Glass. She will be interviewed by Cathy Hillenbrand, and an informal reception and signing will follow the live discussion. 

Kirtley is associate professor of English at Portland State University, and it's excellent she chose Barry as her subject — she was the original "emotionally-socially tortured adolescent gal comics" star, her shattered, visually shivering odes to insecurity, anxiety, and the absurd abuses of the universe as charming and real-life ring true as any work by (colleagues) Matt Groening and Harvey Pekar. Regular readers of her cartoon in rock tabloid The Rocket were hooked for all time to her nervous, under-the-skin style of confession and observation. Kirtley's book is part of the University Press of Mississippi’s Great Comics Artists Series, which also includes works on Chris Ware, Alan Moore, Carl Barks, Jack Kirby, Garry Trudeau, and Walt Kelly.

So, just to recap: it's all going on this Saturday, March 24, 6:00 PM, at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S).

Also, don't forget that the Emerald City Comic Convention is coming up the weekend after this one — and Fantagraphics will be there too, along with Seatte's own Jake Stratton hosting a nerd family feud gala event, some geek rock music, mook nihilsts testing out their military gaming skills, and maybe the same gaggle of fully decked Stormship Troopers and fully pierced Suicide Girls who collided into each other on the dealer's floor when I was there a couple of years ago (ah, good times). 

Here's a FBI press release lot of what I'm going for (and please note the further Lynda Barry tie-in at the bottom — and Charles Burns!):

"Visit us at Booth 704 from Friday, March 30th through Sunday, April 1st at the Washington State Convention Center.  We're bringing a special collection of titles from seminal Seattle names like Peter Bagge, Megan Kelso, and Charles Burns.  And joining us will be some of those brilliant talents from right here in the Northwest, from artists to editors! Special guests include:
Ellen Forney
: Named "Best Local Cartoonist" last year by the Seattle Weekly!
Jim Woodring:  Recipient of The Stranger Genius Award in Literature in 2010!
Bill Schelly
: Comic book historian, and editor of our recent Joe Kubert collection, The Art of Joe Kubert.
Michel Gagné: Editor of Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics, our recent collection of romance comics from Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Jacques Boyreau
: Editor and cultural historian of the book Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box, a celebration of some of the most louche, decadent, minimo-pervo artwork to ever grace a VHS box.
On Friday, March 30th at 6:00 PM, Fantagraphics is proud to present the panel Northwest Noir: Seattle's Legacy of Counterculture Comix in room 3AB:
In the mid-seventies a trio of gifted cartoonists emerged from The Evergreen State College in Olympia: Seattle's Lynda Barry and Charles Burns, and Matt Groening from Portland. Their influence helped attract a new generation of cartoonists that fashioned a new comix movement. Among them; Jim Woodring, Joe Sacco, and Peter Bagge. Coupled with this new comix movement was the creation of prominent publisher Fantagraphics Books. The global popularity of the Grunge movement elevated alternative comix to unprecedented heights and firmly established the region as the center of this new form. By the dawn of the millennia, Seattle and Portland boasted no fewer than 6 alternative comix publishing houses. Learn more about the connection between the Northwest and "Alternative" comics in this lively panel Q&A. Panelist include cartoonists Jim Woodring and Ellen Forney, Real Comet Press publisher Cathy Hillenbrand, and Fantagraphics Books associate publisher Eric Reynolds. Moderated by Larry Reid of Fantagraphics Bookstore.
Tickets for the Emerald City Comicon are available at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Georgetown."

We'll see you there!