Yumi Sakugawa and Friends: Valentine’s Day at GR2

Sorry so late on the photos! The night was great. We did two readings, both standing room only. It was an amazing night and hopefully a great Valentine’s Day.

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Kim Thompson Fantagraphics Co-Publisher RIP

A man who worked hard, released some of the greatest graphic novels and pushed it to an art form. Kim Thompson from Fantagraphics RIP

This Press Release was just sent out:

Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson died at 6:30 this morning, June 19. “He was my partner and close friend for 36 years,” said Gary Groth.

Thompson was born in Denmark in 1956. He grew up in Europe, a lifelong comics fan, reading both European and American comics in Denmark, France, and Germany. He was an active fan in his teen years, writing to comics — his letters appeared in Marvel’s letter columns circa early 1970s — and contributing to fanzines from his various European perches. At the age of 21, he set foot, for the first time, on American soil, in late 1977. One “fanzine” he had not contributed to was The Comics Journal, which Groth and Michael Catron began publishing in July of 1976. That was soon to change.

“Within a few weeks of his arrival,” said Groth, “he came over to our ‘office,’ which was the spare bedroom of my apartment, and was introduced by a mutual friend — it was a fan visit. We were operating out of College Park, Maryland and Kim’s parents had moved to Fairfax, Virginia, both Washington DC suburbs. Kim loved the energy around the Journal and the whole idea of a magazine devoted to writing about comics, and asked if he could help. We needed all the help we could get, of course, so we gladly accepted his offer. He started to come over every day and was soon camping out on the floor. The three of us were living and breathing The Comics Journal 24 hours a day.”

Thompson became an owner when Catron took a job at DC Comics in 1978. As he became more familiar with the editorial process, Thompson became more and more integral to the magazine, assembling and writing news and conducting interviews with professionals. Thompson’s career in comics began here.

In 1981, Fantagraphics began publishing comics (such as Jack Jackson’s Los TejanosDon Rosa’s Comics and Stories, and, in 1982, Love and Rockets). Thompson was always evangelical about bandes dessinées and wanted to bring the best of European comics to America; in 1981, Thompson selected and translated the first of many European graphic novels for American publication — Herman Huppen’s The Survivors: Talons of Blood (followed by a 2nd volume in 1983). Thompson’s involvement in The Comics Journal diminished in 1982 when he took over the editorship of Amazing Heroes, a bi-weekly magazine devoted to more mainstream comics (with occasional forays into alternative and even foreign comics). Thompson helmed Amazing Heroes through 204 issues until 1992.

Among Thompson’s signature achievements in comics were Critters, a funny-animal anthology that ran from 50 issues between 1985 to 1990 and is perhaps best known for introducing the world to Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo; and Zero Zero, an alternative comics anthology that also ran for 50 issues over five years — between 1995 and 2000 — and featured work by, among others, Kim Deitch, Dave Cooper, Al Columbia, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, David Mazzuchelli, and Joyce Farmer. His most recent enthusiasm was spearheading a line of European graphic novel translations, including two major series of volumes by two of the most significant living European artists — Jacques Tardi (It Was the War of the Trenches,Like a Sniper Lining up His ShotThe Astonishing Exploits of Lucien Brindavoine) and Jason (Hey, Wait…I Killed Adolf HitlerLow MoonThe Left Bank Gang) — and such respec ted work as Ulli Lust’s Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Crackle of the Frost, Gabriella Giandelli’s Interiorae, and what may be his crowning achievement as an editor/translator, Guy Peelaert’s The Adventures of Jodelle.

Throughout his career at Fantagraphics, Thompson was active in every aspect of the company, selecting books, working closely with authors, guiding books through the editorial and production process. “Kim leaves an enormous legacy behind him,” said Groth, “not just all the European graphic novels that would never have been published here if not or his devotion, knowledge, and skills, but for all the American cartoonists he edited, ranging from Stan Sakai to Joe Sacco to Chris Ware, and his too infrequent critical writing about the medium. His love and devotion to comics was unmatched. I can’t truly convey how crushing this is for all of us who’ve known and loved and worked with him over he years.”

Thompson was diagnosed with lung cancer in late February. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Emmert, his mother and father, Aase and John, and his brother Mark.

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GR1: 5/4 Saturday – Free Comic Book Day – David Horvath Signing New Comic

Press Release Coming Soon.

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Shattered Comics by Asian Americans


NY Comics Artist, Jerry Ma has always had our back. I’m less interested in the super hero aspect, but more into the process and concept. I also got included. I enlisted graphics designer Sara Saedi to do an illustration for a short tiny idea I wrote out. My story is about a Robot which was built by the Japanese American inmates in the Concentration Camps during World War II. I wish I can expand that more. Great work, folks. (Washington Post – Shattered)

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Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker Cover

“Where I was in Brooklyn, I don’t think I would have even known that there was a major storm happening,” says Adrian Tomine, the artist of next week’s cover, “Undeterred.” He continues:

So I spent the whole night glued to the Internet and watching everything unfolding, just being shocked that this kind of dramatic destruction was happening just miles outside my home. And I started thinking about how it would affect the election. This is a first for me in terms of doing [a cover] that’s topical with a quick turnaround; and somehow, these two significant events just came together into that one image for me.

Tomine adds:

For all its really horrible effects, I feel like the storm has made real a lot of issues in the election that were hypothetical, that were thrown around as debate topics—global warming; and “Is Obama enough of a leader to handle a natural disaster?”; and do we need FEMA? It’s really interesting, and in a way useful, to see a lot of these things become actual issues that are right at hand.

Read more

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Google Doodle Today: Windsor McCay

Obviously influential to many artists everywhere. Chris Ware is one for sure. Here’s a little more information about McCay at (Huffpo – Windsor)

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Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo Creator Video Interviews

There are plenty to check out all broken down by topics from inspiration to Manga. He’s a legend and here’s an easy way to get to know him. (Discover Nikkei – Stan Sakai)

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Get Ready for BARA!

The word is finally out that PictureBox will be publishing the result of a collaboration between three GR friends, Anne Ishii, Graham Kolbeins and Chip Kidd all to honor and share the work (almost all of it never-before-translated into English)  of Gengoroh Tagame.

Vastly different in content, context and audience than yaoi (boys loving on boys) manga, this collection could significantly impact the current generation of American comics creators exploring subversive and erotic themes. Tagame’s work is known now in the US in small circles to express a masculinity and sexuality that is rarely represented. I love, on so many levels, that this project has been undertaken, and it will be interesting to see how PictureBox, a pretty hetero outfit on the whole, moves forward with it. Graphically and thematically, it’s a big leap for them.

Keep it on your reading wish-list. Graham has been passionate about Tagame’s work for several years now, and has always had an eye for the quirky but sincere. The proof is in his film projects, and in his Future Shipwreck pudding. Anne couldn’t be a better translator/producer of this project. She’s the smartest gay man that I know. Chip Kidd brings his clout, his design sensibility, quality control, and his passion for the hidden comic genre. All in all, this is a dream team that’s been assembled. Very stoked to see this go from conception to birth announcement!

Spring 2013. Save your lunch/bondage gear/Butt Magazine money and buy this.

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at Giant Robot – Mr Dave Kiersh

Mr Dave Kiersh, a man I’ve been calling “Indie Comics Hero” who’s a huge Afterschool Special fan made a quick stop at Giant Robot on sunday to talk a bit about his book and actually have folks live through what he’s into. Aside from reading a story, he showed an episode of an Afterschool Special episode starring Chad Lowe! It turns out the nostalgia of the shows is something that inspires his stories. Hope he stops through again. It’s one thing to just work on a publication and be into it, but this man lives through it all. If you ever meet him, ask him for his Afterschool Special collection! Or… ask him about indie publishing. He still does it all himself.


We have the new book at GR.


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Dave Kiersh, Signed Book Comes with Print

Afterschool Special by Dave Kiersh comes with a print. We’ll also get it signed for you!  The event is this sunday at Giant Robot. Yes, as we’ve said, indie comics hero. Come see him, he’ll show some videos and he’ll even read. It’s a presentation and signing. (GR - Kiersh Book)

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GR2 – Exhibition July 28 – Aug 15 – Theo Ellsworth


Theo Ellsworth at GR2
July 28 – August 15, 2012 

Reception: Saturday, July 28th, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

GR2 2062 Sawtelle Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 445-9276

Giant Robot is proud to present The Sudden Amplification of Certain Senses, an art show featuring new works by Theo Ellsworth.

Theo Ellsworth draws obsessively detailed drawings and self-publishes comics, mini comics, and zines about imaginary people and places. The cosmic imagery, subtle geometry, and implied animism in his works recall the epic, heroic, and odd imagery of Jean “Moebius” Girard, Mayan ruins, and the Nazca lines, filtered through the jam-packed and often psychedelic lens of underground comix from the ’70s. (Ellsworth’s first “real” book, Capacity, was weird, wordy, and wonderful, and published by Secret Acres in 2008.) Taking part in art shows affords the Portland, OR-based artist opportunities to experiment with color, explore larger frames, and let his imagination fly–or spelunk or dive, depending on his mood.


An opening reception for Ellsworth will take place from 6:30 – 10:00 on Saturday, July 28th.

For more information about Ellsworth, GR2, or anything else:
Eric Nakamura

Giant Robot Owner/Publisher

[email protected]

(310) 445 9276


Sparkplug Comics Fundraiser

Dylan Williams started Sparkplug comics. It’s always been quite indie. He passed away and the company is still going. The three books he was working on when he died are still not complete. The fundraiser will help. I’m not posting each Kickstarter or Indiegogo project that comes my way. I get alerted to 5 a week. Each has their merits, well, almost. Some have very little. I’m only posting the rare ones that I have a personal attachment with. I can’t help everyone, but I can help the ones I most want to help. I’ve written about him in the past here at GR. (Dylan Williams)

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Wondercon 2012 Photos

All photos by Dean Gojobori.




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Graphic Novel Renaissance


Graphic Novels are back! Slowly especially with the adults who want something “mature” and not youthful manga for furries. There’s always space for great graphic novels in everyone life, as there’s space for novels. Yet in this article published in Newsweek Daily Beast section, it’s still mostly about retro comics. In the GR world and among our peers, we know this and it’s not talking about 2012 or even 2011, but more so the past 10 years or even more. Spiegelman’s Maus and Satrapi’s Persepolis inevitably get mentioned. Either way, it’s a great primer for those are aren’t caught up in the genre. (thedailybeast – graphic novels)

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Beijing Comics Artist Tells the History of China

5000 years of China via comics in 125 pages?! How? In an interview with the Global Times, The opening line of the book is, “After 17,434 natural disasters, 3,791 massive wars, 663 emperors and 95 dynasties, the 5,000-year civilization lives on.” Comics artist Liu Jing explains his thought process and hopefully it’ll be a book that’ll teach and entertain at the same time. (Global Times – Liu Jing) (  - Liu Jing)



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Adrian Tomine Talks 12th Installment of Optic Nerve

Adrian Tomine talks about his comic, Optic Nerve #12. The latest installment. He talks about the changes in his own life and the changes in his new stories. Some thing you can’t run away from even when he tries to make things different. Tomine mentions that his stories might be him spread throughout the characters and not just the one who looks like him. He talks a bit about Shortcomings and also the new characters. (Optic Nerve 12) (scpr – Tomine)


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Long Beach Comic Con Photos

Thanks to Dean Gojobori





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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist: Eleanor Davis

Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator who’s work has appeared in Fantagraphics compilations, graphic novels for kids, and at art exhibitions. Her work is the type of work that you can see, be puzzled by, and then come to enjoy. We’ve hosted in her numerous exhibitions, and her pieces in the Robots exhibition are monochromatic portraits of Robot people.



Below is this beautiful print with girls and horses! It’s available here. Davis has two websites where you can see his works. Doing-fine and her blog is here.

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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist Junko Mizuno


Junko Mizuno is a manga artist from Japan now living in San Francisco. We interviewed her for Giant Robot magazine years ago at a time when she hardly spoke English. Now, she speaks English without issues and is busy exploring her comics and artwork. For GR2′s Robots exhibition, we have original pages of a special Japanese edition of Pure Trance. They’re all drawn by hand with some Zipatone added for shading. We have some of these pages available here.




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Giant Robot 2 Robots Artist – Andrice Arp

Photos by Joshin Yamada. Chris Cilla, Reklaw, Dylan Williams, Tim Goodyear, and Andrice Arp at the Stumptown Comics Festival in 2007.

That’s Andrice Arp at bottom right with our friend and late Dylan Williams at her left. Arp is an indie comics publisher and illustrator. She’s quietly appeared in numerous Giant Robot exhibitions and demands little, but always produces something fun and interesting. She paints meticulously and has a character style that’s all her own. Some of you will recognize her work from the website. That illustration is below. Recognize her work now?



Her piece in GR2′s Robots exhibition, Robot Kitten sold, however we do stock issues of Mome at the low price of $8 where she contributes her comic work. Arp sells a variety of her work both handcrafted, printed, and painted on etsy as well. This is her page.

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