Urban Hipsters Take Seattle By Storm

Sunday, December 8, 2002

From Alternative Comics' Jeff Mason:

Urban Hipster cartoonists David Lasky and Greg Stump take Seattle art scene by storm

David Lasky to show art in several spaces this month

Seattle, Washington, December 8, 2002: Seattle residents looking to view art by local Urban Hipster cartoonists David Lasky and Greg Stump have a plethora of choices this December. Lasky is participating in multiple group and solo art shows across the Seattle alternative art scene; the works include original comics art, watercolor paintings, and three-dimensional dioramas. In the midst of this unprecedented artistic explosion, Lasky is completing his half of the long-awaited, soon-to-be-released new volume of Urban Hipster with collaborator Greg Stump. The second Urban Hipster volume from Alternative Comics will debut in San Francisco at the Alternative Press Expo in February 2003. So why all the extracurricular activity right now?

“A lot of what I’m exhibiting is art that I’ve completed earlier this year,” Lasky said. “"My fans can rest assured that all that’s left for the next Urban Hipster are the finishing touches, which I am working on now.”

Take a deep breath – here’s the rundown on the artists’ activities for December and January:

David Lasky was one of several artists on hand at the SOIL gallery in Capitol Hill for the December 6 opening of “Off the Page: 3 Dimensional Narratives,” running through December 29, in which curators Randy Wood and Carrie Whitney challenged more than 20 local cartoonists to extend their standard two-dimensional stories into three dimensions. Artists with work in the show also include such greats as Jim Woodring, Ellen Forney, Bill Griffith, and Lasky’s Urban Hipster co-creator Greg Stump. SOIL is located at 1317 East Pine Street in the Capitol Hill area and is an artist co-op run for-the-artists, by-the-artists. It shows wild, alternative works in all mediums: painting, drawing, photography, multi-media, sculpture and installation. http://www.soilart.org

“I’m especially proud of my work in the SOIL show,” said Lasky. “It’s exciting to be in a show with a lot of artists I really admire.”

David Lasky has illustrations currently on display at the “Little Things Count” show through December 31 at the Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA), also in Capitol Hill. Among them is the cover for “Jesus Delivers” the acclaimed Jack Chick-like tract, with a different spin on Christianity, written by Jim Woodring. CoCA, located at 1420 11th Avenue, serves the Pacific Northwest as a catalyst and forum for the advancement, development, and understanding of contemporary art. http://www.cocaseattle.org

The Gray Press Gallery is now holding its grand opening exhibition with a show of works based on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, featuring David Lasky’s minimalist comics adaptation of the poem. The show will be on display to the public January 2, and otherwise may be seen prior by appointment. 89 Yesler Way, #206, next door to Café Paloma (go up the stairs). The mission of The Gray Press is to bring to light the work of emerging artists that share a common extraordinary vision in ordinary life, or whose intention it is to reinterpret extraordinary artists’ visions that hold indisputable status in the modern lexicon, but that are seldom held up in the spirit of interpretation that established their significance in the first place. http://www.thegraypress.com

David Lasky’s comics adaptation of “The Raven” is now also available in Orchid (Sparkplug Comic Books; $8; 116pp.) a collection of seven black and white adaptations of Victorian-era short stories, all of which involve shocking apparitions. http://www.sparkplugcomicbooks.com/

Starting on December 9th, David Lasky’s solo art show goes on display at Glo’s cafe, down on 1621 East Olive Way in Capitol Hill. Stories and pictures of the Carter Family of country music fame will be on view, much of it from a collaboration with writer Frank Young that will soon be published in the fourth volume of Sammy Harkham’s annual Kramer’s Ergot comics anthology. Coincidentally, Lasky takes over the Glo’s cafe space from his Urban Hipster co-conspirator Greg Stump, whose work from his weekly strip “Dwarf Attack” ran through December 8. Tucked away in an unassuming storefront on the Olive Way climb is one of the friendliest and tastiest breakfast joints in Seattle. Glo’s opened its doors to the Capitol Hill community in 1987, and has been serving up great food and service ever since. Glo herself waits on you, and you feel like you are being pampered by your favorite aunt

For fans of David Lasky and Greg Stump, the excitement is merely being in Seattle this month to see what the fuss is all about. It is an excitement that will remain unmatched until February 2003, when the second volume of Urban Hipster debuts from Alternative Comics at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. Stay tuned!

"Urban Hipster — or "UH" as it has come to be known through mysterious, wordless advertisements in this very magazine — is a satirical rebuttal to the state of the art in alternative comics, produced with a clever and uproarious, yet thoughtfully despairing, sense of just how far contemporary underground comics have to go to negotiate an escape from the wearisome quagmire of in-clubbish back-patting and "slacker" cool. Be warned: Lasky and [Stump] mischievously trade writing and drawing tasks without warning throughout this imminent threat of a publication, just to lend an added dash of irreverence to its ticking Unabomb to the tushes of those who've dragged the level of excitement and insight in Generation-X cartooning down to that of the average Internet chat room"

~Jeremy Pinkham, The Comics Journal

Urban Hipster volume 2 -- This long-awaited follow up to the Harvey Award-nominated debut features two engrossing stories from two of the most exciting new voices in comics, David Lasky and Greg Stump. “Babette's Feast” continues the saga of Chloe and Natasha, two thrift store employees whose combatative friendship gradually reveals their secret hopes and desires. The second feature, “Four Twenty Five,” tells the funny and poignant tale of a recently laid-off urban wanderer whose life becomes increasingly consumed by his obsession with pinball. One of the most highly anticipated comics of the year, Urban Hipster is a sure seller that appeals to a diverse audience.

(By David Lasky and Greg Stump) All ages, 32 pages, B&W, full color covers; $2.95US. ISBN: 1-891867-32-6. Web: http://www.indyworld.com/uh

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