Study Group art show at the Fantagraphics Bookstore

Whew! It’s been a busy couple of months here at SG HQ. Stumptown was a blast, Milo and I are working on SG Mag #2, and Larry Reid of the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery asked me to curate a SG themed art show! crazy.

I asked a handful of SG artists from both the website and the magazine to send in art for the show – in the end the show consisted of myself, Aidan Koch, Jennifer Parks, Farel Dalrymple, Kazimir Strzepek, Levon Jihanian, David King, Malachi Ward, Ian MacEwan, François Vigneault, and T Edward Bak. The space was limited or I would have shoved even more homies in there.

So it was one beautiful Friday afternoon before the show that Ian, my wife Krista and I headed up there to peep the show and see some friends. I managed to take a couple photos here and there, and stole a couple from pal Max Clotfelter’s facebook account.

Here’s Ian and Kaz getting sleepy Friday night at the Redwoods bar. They were playing TCM (instead of a sports channel or Seinfeld) on a big screen and Ian and I were overly impressed by that. Not a bad place to pass the time, plus some good people watching. Krista and I talked about how nice it was to be in a bar and not recognize a SINGLE PERSON (Portland, for all its charms, is a relatively small/big town).  Tom Van Deusen and Dalton James Rose came and met us for a drink, but before long it was time for some Tacos Gringos and deep deep sleep on Kaz’s couch. I wish I’d thought to take some pics at Kaz’s place, as he has a CRAZY amount of awesome old toys and pages of Mourning Star to ogle. I somehow never realized Kaz works at print size?!??! the pages are TINY. Kaz, if you don’t watch out you’re gonna get hand cramps!


Anyhow, the next morning Kaz and his lady Jesica joined us for brunch before Krista and I went down to the waterfront for some olde-fashioned tourista action. We made a beeline for Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, as Krista has a squished penny collection that needed adding to, but we also met some new friends there, like Sylvester:

And here I am shoving Krista into a wall of disgusting bubblegum. This alleyway was COVERED in chewed up gum, it was sort of like being in a HR Geiger bioform tunnel.

After a couple hours of sun-worship, we met up with Ian and Dalton at Half-Priced Books, which we joked is one of our favorite comic book stores. Seriously, I always find some crazy out of print gems, and the .25 cent comic selection is awash with lots of great back issues. This time I picked up a cheap reader copy of Jeff Rovin’s Encyclopedia of Super Villains, mainly because I have such fond memories of poring over the Encyclopedia of Super Heroes as a kid. I doubt it’ll have as much of an impact on 36 year old Zack as 16 year old Zack, but that’s a nice Ernie Colon cover!


From there, we decided to bop down to the Fanta Bookstore, check out the show, and grab some grub. Larry was busily cutting up labels for the art and waiting on his “signage guy”, and pointed us towards Smarty Pants, a sweet sandwich shop around the corner. We were all starving and in need of a beer, so Ian, Dalton, Krista & I headed over and enjoyed some refreshments before the show:

and by the time we got back, it was all set up!

Please excuse the cropping of the edges of the show, and the general low-res nature of the images. I posted these photos to Instagram and my phone decided to delete the originals so these are the only evidence of the show that I have. Larry did a great job framing and hanging the show!

And look at that signage! Worth waiting for, very Pro! That’s a blown up version of Eleanor Davis’ logo from SG Mag #1, btw.

It wasn’t too long before people started to show up, and I became more focused on socializing than taking pics. Here we have Kaz, Max Clotfelter, Marc J Palm and myself all comparing our “Kuatos”. Hey, we’re cartoonists who drink beer!  Cut us some slack.

Scott Faulkner checking out the show. Kaz & Ian debate pen nibs or something. More of that/different angle:

Aaron Mew! I love that guy! He’s a funny boy. Pals from the local comics scene that showed up that I managed to not get photos of include Kelly Froh, Tom Van Deusen,  Jacq Cohen, Lillian Beatty, Dalton Webb, Tony Ong, Eroyn Franklin, Matt Southworth and probably more. A great time was had by all.

Before too long, though, we had to pack up and head home. What a great trip. I’d like to send a super special big shout out to Larry Reid for both the invite to do the show and the excellent hospitality we received in Seattle. The whole thing was just so damn nice and refreshing. And hey, if you’re in Seattle in the next few weeks, the show will be up until June 6th!



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