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Thursday, 1 March 2018

This Shelf Belongs To... Eleanor Davis



Eleanor Davis has been honored by the Eisner Awards and has won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. Her works include How to Be Happy (Fantagraphics Books, 2014) and You & a Bike & a Road (Koyama Press, 2017), and she contributed a short piece to the acclaimed comics anthology NOW (Fantagraphics, 2017). Her latest book, Why Art?, is out from Fantagraphics this month. She lives in Athens, GA with fellow cartoonist Drew Weing.

Join us on Thursday, March 8th at 7:00 pm for the launch of Eleanor Davis excellent new book: Why Art?

All of Eleanor’s picks will be 15% off for the month of March. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find on her shelf:



Everything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell

This is Gabrielle Bell's finest work in my opinion. This should be all anyone needs to know. Please buy and read this book.

Sunburning by Keiler Roberts

Sometimes art feels complicated, and then I read something like Sunburning which feels really really simple, even though it isn't, at all. Sunburning has a similar tone and aesthetic to the ballpoint pen autobio zines I read as a kid in the 90s, which (god bless) fooled me into thinking I could make comics, too. But making a great comic like this – great drawing, great storytelling, the kind of dialogue that is astonishingly true – isn't simple or complicated: it's impossible.



Sex Fantasy by Sophia Foster-Dimino

A book of short stories, which is also a collection of mini-comics Sophia put out over the last several years. If I have one complaint about this collection it's that getting to read these back-to-back like this is too much. Ideally, you read just one of these stories, and then go on a long contemplative walk alone or lay awake talking to your partner for several hours about it. Sophia has said that each of these stories was written to be extremely clear-cut and that she even worries that they are too obvious. Luckily, tho, Sophia is smarter than almost everyone, which means these stories which feel overly obvious to her make normal people like me feel like the tops of our heads are coming off.

Susceptible by Geneviéve Castrée

I re-read this comic after Geneviéve passed away in the summer of 2016. It is a perfect book. We are so lucky she made it.




Lovers in the Garden by Anya Davidson

70's Realistic/Surreal Action/Drama Genre Romp. Tense tight bold chunky brightly colored drawings where everyone's face is always set in a rictus of shock, eyes wide open and showing their teeth. I read this whole comic thinking it was based on a true story, even though there was no indication that it was. Sometimes I think about how not everyone knows about this book and I get angry.

Boundless by Jillian Tamaki

A collection of short stories; virtuoso art and writing both. The stories present their characters and plots without ostentation and then disappear back into themselves. There is a story about a woman with bedbugs, a woman who only dates people obsessed with the same 80s movie, a woman who starred in a short-lived sitcom-porno. None of the stories have a clear ending and none of them explain why they needed to be told. Reviews of this collection often lead by saying that these are all stories about women, as if stories about women are different than just stories about people. The gender of the main characters should be unimportant, but it's not. We are not used to the idea that women's stories might be worth telling: these are stories that it would not occur to many authors to tell. Jillian tells them without apology.




The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio

Tragic teen boardinghouse boys, sadism, desire, despair, etc. This is a beautiful, ecstatic, ridiculous book that glorifies beauty, unrequited love and, – troublingly – absolutely pointless teen suicide (Hagio was nearly a teenager herself when she wrote it). I would not recommend you give The Heart of Thomas to a young person: it has bad messages and would be irresponsible. But it's actually a perfect book for a teenager; just raw crying gorgeous pain.

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