The Big Book of Bode Tattoos

The Big Book of Bode Tattoos is a giant compendium of tattoo flash designed by legendary graffiti and comic book artist, Mark Bode.

This weighty volume contains over 400 images featuring voluptuous Bode Broads, beloved characters from Vaughn Bode’s Cheech Wizard comics, and Mark Bode’s personal interpretation of classic tattoo motifs, including dragons, demons, nautical themes, pin-up babes, and more.

Mark Bode’s work has been exhibited internationally and featured in the New York Times, Heavy Metal magazine, Penthouse, San Francisco Chronicle, While You Were Sleeping, and Juxtapoz. His publications include Miami Mice, Cobalt 60, Lizard of OZ, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,Gwar Comics, and Gyro.

The Big Book of Bode Tattoos

Elizabeth McGrath’s Incurable Disorder

Incurable Disorder

Elizabeth McGrath’s world is populated by sweetly twisted creatures, fragile and at odds with their organic form. Whether an upholstered deer sprouts a dilapidated Victorian house from its back or a bear’s belly is split open to reveal an animal revenge fantasy played out at a Drive-Thru Tree, her sculpture often recalls the conflict between the natural world and the detritus of consumer culture. Incurable Disorder is McGrath’s second full-length monograph, featuring work from 2005 – 2012.

McGrath-  "Heartbreaker" detail

3 Reasons Why I Love Incurable Disorder:

1. Anthropomorphism

Unlike conventional cartoon anthropomorphism, there are no happy rabbits or self-satisfied pigs or, really, any joy at all for animals trapped in McGrath’s man-made environs. They cry ruby tears, carry knives, and smoke ceramic cigarettes. The viewer may respect her beastly motif for its eco-political statement, appreciate it for the existential sentiment, or simply enjoy it because everyone wants to see a tattooed rat brandishing a switchblade.

Heartbreaker

2. Obsessive compulsion

Trace the lines of intricate detail found in the figures within other figures in McGrath’s monstrous dioramas to reveal a compulsive nature, easily recognizable to any fellow collector (hoarder, fanatic, et al). The materials (or mimicked materials) used — an overdose of rhinestones, corroded taxidermy, gilded ceramic edges —conjure images of an overstuffed attic or similar depository of neglected treasure waiting to be found. The obsession on display in McGrath’s work is born of someone who is compelled to exalt and deify, rather than hoard, discarded precious objects.

McGrath - The Dik Dik

3. “About the Artist”

Artist essays are usually written by critics, gallery owners, publicists, or some form of celebrity. Elizabeth McGrath’s “About the Artist” is written by her friend, Winter, who “met Liz about 66,666 beers ago”. Dry and pretentious blurb writers please take note – it doesn’t have to be that way! The validation afforded by a snooty endorsement is not as valuable as a brilliant story told well. Who would rather hear a rote recitation about where an artist attended school over a story that includes Phyllis Diller, beer, human poo, and friendship?

Incurable Disorder is available now through Last Gasp. Book launch event information coming soon.

McGrath - The Royal Weasels

McGrath - Johnny Cakes

McGrath - The Folly of St Huberus

October Radar Reading Series with Phoebe Gloeckner and Jerry Stahl

Phoebe Gloeckner

Phoebe Gloeckner and Jerry Stahl, creators of two of the most enthralling memoirs ever - A Child’s Life and Permanent Midnight respectively -are part of next month’s exciting Radar Reading Series line-up.

Phoebe Gloeckner has been drawing comics for many years, appearing in anthologies throughout the 80s such as Wimmen’s Comix, Weirdo, and Twisted Sisters before publishing her solo works, A Child’s Life and Other Stories and Diary of a Teenage Girl in the 2000s. Crumb called her story, “Minnie’s Third Love” (from A Child’s Life and Other Stories) one of the “greatest comic book masterpieces of all time.”

In 2008, Gloeckner was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to continue work on an on-going project about the family of a teenager murdered in the border town of Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, and the evolution of the colonia she lived in.

Jerry Stahl’s book, Permanent Midnight, (later made into a movie starring Ben Stiller) about his dual existence as both degenerate junkie and writer for wacky family sitcom Alf, left everyone scandalized and enthralled. He’s also author of the novels, I, Fatty,  Bad Sex On Speed and the soon-to-be-released Happy Mutant Baby Pills. His blog, OG Dad, appears regularly on The Rumpus.

October Radar Reading Series
Featuring Phoebe Gloeckner, Holly Hughes, Jerry Stahl, Juliana Spahr and David Buuck
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin St, San Francisco
Free

24 Hour Comics Day 2013

24 Hour Comics Day

Drawing comics requires devotion. It’s time for truly dedicated cartoonists to take it one step further by eliminating the pesky sleep which stands between them and productivity. Saturday, October 5th – Sunday, 6th 2013 is the official 24 Hour Comics Day.

Scott McCloud started the event with a challenge to a friend in 1990: “Finish a 24 page comic in 24 hours”. Since then, it’s grown into an international event, with artists across the globe throwing off the shackles of sleep and putting their drawing hands to work.

There are venues in various cities hosting events or artists can take on the challenge from the comfort of their own home (or a local diner that doesn’t mind customers nursing the same cup of coffee for 20+ hours). The rules are: there can be no advance prep or planning and everything must be completed within 24 continuous hours (lettering, inking, the works). Start doing your carpal tunnel exercises today.

The Drawings of Laurie Lipton

"Hung Up and Over" - Laurie Lipton

No one could ever accuse Laurie Lipton of being light-hearted and yet there is often something in her dark and elaborate imagery that is disturbingly funny. Whether she is presenting a horrifying geriatric baby or a plastic surgery disfigured lady walking a human-eyed poodle, the viewer experiences a jolt of familiarity or horror and often times both simultaneously. What could be funnier than the clownery of human existence? The bumbling slapstick pratfall towards death?

The Drawings of Laurie Lipton will blow your mind. Lipton developed her own drawing technique which involves making millions of tiny crosshatched pencil lines on giant sheets of paper in order to form her images. As she freely declares, “It’s an insane way to draw, but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the effort.”

Laurie Lipton in her studio. Photographed by Eric Stoner.

Laurie Lipton in her studio. Photographed by Eric Stoner.

Indeed, Laurie Lipton is not shy about declaring her mastery over her medium, nor should she be. She’s a fully realized genius with over 50 years of practice under her belt. The Drawings of Laurie Lipton features more than 70 drawings and each image will stay with you long after your eyes have left the page. It’s the most conclusive and ambitious publication about the artist to date.

The Drawings of Laurie Lipton

Special offer when ordering direct from Last Gasp: Enter promo code OCT2013 and receive 20% off the cover price. Offer expires 10/31/13.

Weirdo: Where are they now?

Weirdo Years

R. Crumb’s Weirdo Years

The Weirdo Years – 1981 – ’93 is comprised of all of Robert Crumb’s work from the highly influential Weirdo comics anthology. Sandwiched between the early days of underground comics notoriety and just before his relocation to France, this book encapsulates a dynamic period in R. Crumb’s life, clearly evident in the masterful work found in these pages.

More About Weirdo

In addition to providing a vehicle for some of the most innovative art of Crumb’s career, Weirdo served as a launching pad for many of the best underground comic artists of all-time, showcasing them at their most free and tender beginnings. Though there was a diverse range of artistic style, all of the Weirdo artists shared a brand of unpretentious humor and pathos that differentiated it from other comic anthologies of the time.

There were about 85 contributors over the course of Weirdo’s 28-issue run. Some of these artists went on to have life-long comics careers (Dan Clowes, Gary Panter, Peter Bagge, etc) while others have faded into the shadows, their work in Weirdo being all the more precious as a result. Although I may prove not to have the fortitude (read: masochism) to track down all 85 Weirdo contributors, I’d like to start by checking in to see what some of my favorite Weirdo artists are doing now…

Weirdo: Where Are They Now? 

Dennis Worden

Dennis Worden

Although he created various one-shot comics (like Freaks Having Sex and Suburban Teens on Acid) and appeared in numerous fanzines throughout the 80s, Dennis Worden is probably best known for his existential post-Weirdo comic, Stickboy, about a stick figure who struggles to discern the meaning of life, all while being peed on by martians or tormented by a disembodied brain.

Dennis has recently written the subversive self-help book, The Way of the Good Hedonist and continues to work on paintings (although once in a blue moon he still draws comics). You can buy art and various other merchandise from Dennis’ website.

For a more in-depth look at Dennis Worden, check out this interview from 2011.

Lynne Von Schlichting

Lynne Von Schlichting

Lynne Von has performed in a myriad of bands over the years, including Trick Babys, Da Willys, and her current musical endeavor, Boxtopus. Although Lynne hasn’t published any comics since appearing in issues of Peter Bagge’s HATE, Last Gasp Comix & Stories, and a WFMU comic in the 1990s, fans eager to see more of her work might be lucky enough to get a taste on Boxtopus‘ Facebook page.

Lynne Von Pang flyer art

Roy Tompkins

Roy Tompkins

I still pine for Harvey the Hillbilly Bastard, star of Roy Tompkin’s irreverent, thick black lined, ’90s comic, Trailer Trash. Clearly ahead of his time, the pimple-and-feces school of young cartoonists making arty garbage pail kid art nowadays would worship at Roy’s feet. Will someone publish a collection already?

He currently owns the successful antique shop, Modern Salvage, in Austin, but still finds time for art, including a weekly illustration in the Austin Chronicle.

Dori Seda

Dori Seda

Dori Seda died of respiratory failure in 1988. Although she’d only been a published cartoonist for 7 years, she managed to leave behind a legacy of funny and twisted autobiographical comics about sex, being broke, and absolutely NOT about fucking her dog, that has established her as a cult hero for a new generation of comic artists.

After a struggle with Dori’s mother about the merit of publishing her daughter’s comics, Don Donahue (Dori’s former boyfriend & affable character in many of her stories) managed to attain the rights to her work and compiled a comprehensive collection entitled Dori Storiespublished by Last Gasp in 1999.

J.D. King

J.D. King

J.D. King is such a fine, upstanding gentleman these days, you would hardly suspect he’s the same man who created the goofy & irresponsible bad boy characters that appeared in Weirdo and in John Holmstrom’s post-Punk rags, Stop! and Comical Funnies. Much like an NYC punk version of Tom & Jerry, King’s characters could often be found taunting the less fortunate or committing acts of heinous cartoon violence.

Nowadays, J.D. King writes poetry, listens to jazz, and has a successful illustration career. His diverse client list includes everyone from The New York Times to the US Postal Service to Nickelodeon.

You can check out his band J.D. and the Coachmen or take a gander at his latest writing and artwork on his website.

Krystine Kryttre

Krystine Kryttre

I first came across Krystine Kryttre’s work in 1991′s seminal women’s comic anthology, Twisted Sisters. Her frenetic style lends itself perfectly to telling the story of her sweet and wild friendship with Dori Seda (see Bimbos From Hell) and made me an instant fan.

Kryttre now lives in Los Angeles where she continues making art. Her paintings and fantastical taxidermy have been exhibited in galleries around the world, most often at La Luz de Jesus.

She’s worked for Nickelodeon and was a core member of the performance group Corpus Delicti Butoh Performace Lab. Check out her website to see examples of all of this busy artist’s latest work.

Phoebe Gloeckner

Phoebe Gloeckner

Phoebe Gloeckner’s crucially honest storytelling, matched with her incredible technical skill, have earned her legions of devoted fans. This continued adoration was clearly evident at a recent RADAR Literary Arts fundraiser, where an original piece from Gloeckner’s Diary of a Teenage Girl caused a heated bidding war.

Gloeckner is currently working on both a printed and multimedia version of a project about the family of a teenager murdered in the border town of Cuidad Juárez, Mexico, and the evolution of the colonia she lived in.

Check out this fantastic interview with Phoebe Gloeckner from Litreactor earlier this year:

Kaz

Kaz

Kaz moved away from NYC about ten years ago, leaving behind the stubbled junkies and belching factory pipes which doubtless inspired the backdrop for his Underworld comic series, in order to work for various animation studios in Hollywood. He’s been a writer or storyboard artist on numerous series including Spongebob Squarepants, Camp Lazlo (which garnered him an Emmy), and Phineas & Ferb.

Unlike lesser men who made a widow out of comics upon turning to animation, Kaz is still drawing (funny!) weekly Underworld strips. Far from reducing him to a pampered socialite or bitter recluse, Hollywood has only provided him with further joke fodder.

New Richard Scarry Book!

Lowly Worm

There is so much to look at in a Richard Scarry children’s book. Each page is filled with cats delivering the mail, dogs jumping rope, and firefighting pigs. But by far the best Richard Scarry character was Lowly Worm. In his jaunty hat and bowtie, cruising around town in his apple car, no one can deny Lowly’s obvious charm. And now, nearly 20 years after his creator Richard Scarry passed away – there’s a new book! Based on previously unpublished artwork, The Best Lowly Worm Book Ever drops next week and we could not be more excited.