You probably missed signing up for the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Graphic Novel Intensive Program (GNI), a nine-day workshop series about writing and publishing comics and graphic novels, but it's not too late to explore some of the comics-y action happening in conjunction with the program before it wraps up on June 29.
Powell's, Floating World, and the Someday Lounge are all hosting graphic-novel related events, the most exciting of which is a Powell's reading from underground comics legend Peter Bagge. Bagge is best known for his series Hate, an influential comic that tracked the life of the hapless Buddy Bradley as he negotiated the Seattle grunge scene. On Friday, Bagge will be reading and signing from his most recent release, Apocalypse Nerd.
The six-issue Apocalypse Nerd series was recently released as a trade paperback by Dark Horse Comics. Its title fairly well sums up its subject matter: A nerd (of the old school, socially inept, genuinely unfashionable variety) is forced out of his element and into survivalist mode after a nuclear bomb is dropped on Seattle.
Perry is a software engineer at an "enormous corporate behemoth"—Microsoft, presumably—camping in the Cascades with his pot-dealer friend Gordo when the bomb is dropped. Forced to live in the wilderness and survive by any means necessary, things get ugly, fast. As food runs short, ethical trappings and social taboos—like the ones against killing babies and raping women, for example—quickly fall by the wayside.
While the book can be quite funny, it's for the most part an uncomfortable read: Bagge doesn't shy from imagining a worst-case scenario, in which bands of roving survivors form alliances based on race and gender, and resources are so scant that murders are committed over a bottle of 7-Up. If you aren't terrified of nerds already, this book will probably do it.
Further GNI events include a free, open-to-the public panel on Saturday at the Someday Lounge called "Comics and the Internet," which includes Bagge as well as Daniel Duford, Neal Skorpen, Dylan Meconis, and Jenn Manley Lee. After the panel, Bagge will head to Floating World Comics, which currently houses an exhibit of his work, for another signing.