Thursday, March 17, 2016

Release of Crepax 1st book collection and 1st Valentina tribute booklet - Fantagraphics

Dreaming with a Guido Crepax exhibition and a book collection since 2011

When I first saw a Crepax exhibition at comic book festival viñetas desde o Atlântico in 2011 in Spain, I thought on doing one in my country never knowing how I could do it and I was also interested on trying to do an excellent Crepax book collection since then and of course that in order to do this, I immediately thought on Fantagraphics publishing company.
 Years passed and I always talked to my close friends about what I intended to do some day with an artist that I loved so much as Crepax since I was a child (I didn't knew how I could do it, but I remember trying to go to this comic book festival to talk with Crepax sons to try to do this dream of mine, I didn't went there for personal reasons and over my work as well). I even remember contacting Corto Maltese house and some Hugo Pratt friends to do a Crepax and Hugo Pratt ensemble exhibition, but life sometimes takes our dreams away and we must battle for them and that's what I did.
 in 2013, an aquaintance of mine told me that he was friends with Guido Crepax daughter at facebook (Caterina Crepax), so I introduced myself and added her on my network and told her about my dream.
In 2014 after talking with her, we decided to do a Crepax exhibition at the X Festival Internacional de Banda Desenhada de Beja - Comics' Festival, Beja - Portugal in June 2014, but while I was thinking on the exhibition, I was also thinking on the Crepax book collection that I've thought before at Fantagraphics, so I contacted on January 2014, publisher and Fantagraphics owner Gary Groth and talked with him about my main idea that was first thinking on trying to publish the works of one of the best comic book artists ever in English in the best publishing comic book company that I know of at a huge size, this happened before making the Crepax exhibition in Portugal with originals by the artist and tributes by several artists to his main character Valentina with both Crepax's sons in a talk with myself, Brazilian artist Eduardo Filipe Sama and them over their father's works to an audience at the before mentioned comic book festival in Portugal, we thought also on putting an original soundtrack by portuguese musician Sérgio Rocha to go along with the exhibition and a poster with the musician/artist design as well.
 Almost 2 years after, It's awesome to see, one of the best comic book artists ever and his main character being talked all over the world with part of my work with Fantagraphics as consultant editor on this collection; while gathering tributes to Valentina by Guido Crepax from the best artists in the world on the character's 50th anniversary, based on a Caterina Crepax idea and with her support. It was also great being with Caterina in my hometown in december last year near my birthday.
 It's also awesome to see that an exhibition is being held at New York at Scott Eder's gallery from 12 March to 22 April this year, an homage to Crepax main character Valentina happened in 6th February at San Paul's gallery in Miami in the U.S.A. this same year by Brazilian photographer Alex Korolkovas and that another one is going to happen in Fantagraphics bookstore and gallery in 9th April this same year with the first Crepax book launch party in Seattle - U.S.A. with original tributes to Valentina by American artists: George Pratt, David Lasky, Benjamin Marra, Beto Hernandez, Mark Wheatley, Peter Kuper and Roberta GregoryArgentine artist EDSpanish artists Sandra Hernandez, Pedro Espinosa and Javier Olivares, tribute videos to Valentina by Brazilian photographer Alex Korolkovas with his Valentina models Barbara Nogueira and Adriana de Moura and music by Portuguese musician Sérgio Rocha with an original soundtrack made only for this event. 
 Guido Crepax clearly deserved all this.
  Since I always loved books and I was always more interested in books, because they provide us history, I'm proud to be part of Fantagraphics team by trying to help them with what I know to do the best Crepax collection ever made.
 The books are awesome and we all worked really hard on them to try to make the best Crepax collection ever and one of Fantagraphics best book edition and some excellent free booklets with some of the best comic book artists ever doing tributes to the artist main character Valentina.
 Today when I received them, it was a joy and a dream come true with hard work, sweat, blood and some laughs and tears (that's life and the way that I know to make some of our dreams come true).
 I know that it's only a book, but what can I do? I love books.
 I know that the following books will be even better (always with hard work), so stay tuned for this amazing collection dedicated to a comic books maestro and buy them if you can directly at Fantagraphics, since they're a masterpiece.
Many thanks to all the artists and their amazing art work that helped this dream come true and to the artists who made tribute stories to Valentina such as ED, Pedro Espinosa, Sandra Hernandez, John Kurokawa, Magdalena Minko, Paulo Pinto, Felipe H. Navarro, FIdel Martinez Nadal, Brao (you're all awesome) and all the fans and people who are spreading the word about this collection all over the world and of course special thanks to my friends (particularly André Azevedo for his advices), my family, essayists for the books British Tim Pilcher, Americans Sarah Horrocks, Katie Skelly and Kristy Valenti, Spanish comic books expert Alvaro Pons, Brazilian comic books expert Marco Aurelio Lucchetti, , book designer Jacob Covey, Fantagraphics team for all their support and special thanks to my wife Paula Fonseca, my muse kitty Ilvie, Caterina Crepax and publisher Gary Groth for their trust on me and the shared love that we all have on books and comic books.