The Marvel 70th Anniversary Party and Sale
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009, From 9pm-11pm
@ The Beguiling Books & Art, 601 Markham Street, Toronto, Canada
Just around the corner from Honest Eds, at Bathurst Subway Station
FREE TO ATTEND
So we’re hosting a one of those 70th Anniversary parties at The Beguiling tonight. Marvel put together this promotion where as a store, you could order a couple of extra variant covers for two of their comics if you agreed to host a party, and they would tell people you were hosting a party. It’s a decent enough promotion (though the promotion of my store is buried in a PDF document on their site… ), and since we’d been contacted by a number of our customers who wanted the variants, we decided to go ahead with it.
At first I thought about just ‘phoning it in’, not really doing an event and just putting the variants out for the people who wanted them. After all, Marvel’s stuff isn’t generally the stuff we get behind when it comes to promoting comics at The Beguiling, for a lot of reasons. They haven’t behaved particularly well or particularly ethically as a company for… their entire history. And they publish a lot of bad books, in a lot of bad ways. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love Marvel’s comics at one point in my life… I’ve got hundreds of them piled up in my parents house. And we’ve got customers who love the Marvel books, or who loved the Marvel books of their youth somewhere in the last 70 years of their publishing history… for good or for ill. So we’re doing a party; a little trivia contest, a big sale on Marvel stuff, having some fun with it for our customers who wanna show up. It’s a little under 4 hours until the party starts now, and I hope it goes well but realistically my total investment has been an extra staff-member and $50 in food and drinks, and that’s worth a little good will.
Anyway, if you’re in the area come on out tonight.
I don’t think I specifically mentioned, but I’m starting to reprint these from the very, very first issue of DORK. You might’ve noticed that little “copyright 1992″ on the strips. As you might imagine Evan’s work has developed a helluvalot in the last… 17 years, and you’re gonna see that quickly too, as we’re all the way up through 1995 or 96 by the end of September.
Evan had kinda thought I was gonna start with the later strips that he liked the art on better. Heh. No. Context is everything man, and seeing Evan’s work grow by leaps and bounds over the next 280 weekdays is gonna be part of the fun.
I really like Evan Dorkin.
Dorkin is the creator of the endeering enduring characters Milk & Cheese, perhaps the work he’s best known for. But Dorkin’s had a fairly long and varied career, starting out as a cartoonist in the late 80s/early 90s doing short comics and gag strips for a variety of magazines before his one-man anthology comics DORK and MILK & CHEESE (from SLG Publishing) became comic-shop mainstays throughout the nineties and early ‘aughts. He’s been doing a ton of animation work for the past few years, he’ll put out a new issue of his humour stuff every year or two, and he’s currently writing the upcoming BEASTS OF BURDEN mini-series (with Jill Thompson painting) for Dark Horse. There’s a ton of work out there, check it out.
I actually first encountered Dorkin’s work in Marvel’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures comic book series, which he wrote and drew, featuring the further adventures of the two dudes whose two movies I greatly enjoyed. I didn’t really follow “creators” at that point in my comics career, but I thought that series was hilarious and bought every issue. Years later I discovered Dorkin’s Milk & Cheese and Dork through the vagaries of the direct market distribution system, and I loved the hell out of them right off the bat. All the same manic cartooning energy of the Bill & Ted stuff, but blown up into transgressive subjects like The Murder Family, The Devil Puppet, and those two murderous dairy products.
He also created “FUN”.
The “FUN” pages (which ran in Dork) consisted of oten-vicious 3 Panel gag strips that made you feel bad for chuckling, packed 7 to a page to create 21 panels of the funniest stuff in comics. I know, I know, it’s the internet now and the whole www is chock-full of transgressive, violent, sexual comics, and some of them are even funny, but Dorkin was doing that stuff back when the internet generation was playing with their Transformers. What I’m saying is, you should pick up Evan Dorkin’s work: It’s great and I’m gonna prove it to you.
I’ve thought for years now that of all of the “traditional” indy comics guys in the biz (or even out of the biz I guess…), Evan Dorkin was maybe the best-positioned to take advantage of that gleaming spire of promise, the internet. He’s got hundreds and hundreds of strips, gag illustrations, short stories, and general hilarious muck-raking mayhem already done. The net is desparate for content and he’s got tons of it… and he’s all mine, so back the fuck off.
Starting today and until we run out, I’m very pleased to announce that comics212.net is going to be running one of Mr. Evan Dorkin’s FUN comic strips every weekday, Monday to Friday, for your viewing pleasure. I was happy to be able to put this together with Evan, because despite the fact he’s an Eisner-award winning humour cartoonist with a ton of comics and animation credits under his belt, he maybe hasn’t gotten his due these past few years. Anything I can do to send more eyeballs his way is a very good thing as far as I’m concerned, and for my part the blog will get updated every day for a year…! Everyone wins, hopefully.
A couple things before we’re done here:
1) I’m doing this entirely with Evan Dorkin’s permission.
2) This is going to run for more-or-less a year, barring incident, and even then this will only equal about 40 pages out of the more than 300 pages of material that you can find in Evan Dorkin’s Dork Volume 1: Who’s Laughing Now?, Dork Volume 2: Circiling The Drain, and Fun with Milk & Cheese trade paperback collections, so this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick them up.
3) For more Evan Dorkin, you can check out Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer’s HOUSE OF FUN, Evan Dorkin’s always entertaining and acerbic LiveJournal, and SLG Publishing–Fine Publishers of DORK, MILK & CHEESE, and more.
4) I know I have timeliness issues; I’m saying daily cuz I mean daily but fingers crossed. If you gotta send hate-mail if I miss a day, go right ahead.
So! Thanks to Evan Dorkin for allowing this to happen, for Sarah Dyer for the majority of the strip scans, and to you for reading the site. And now as The Devil Puppet said in Dork #5…