Blog Home - Archives

Portable Grindhouse

The first place I remember seeing video tapes for rent was at the Galaxy Liquor store in Warren, Michigan where I grew up. As you might imagine, the selection of movies at a liquor store were not the most family friendly. I don't remember anything else but the dark and cool images of blood and monsters. Most of these movies I never got to see until I was an adult. So the images on those covers were just burned into my mind without the joy or disappointment that comes along with watching the film. I don't remember having a lot of eye candy as a kid and before I really got into comic books, there were only toy packages, Garbage Pail Kids and the covers to the videos to fuel my young imagination. Without video box art in that visual stew, I would have been without a huge amount of inspiration. Especially now when I'm asked to design posters for events like VIVA VHS or for films like Steel of Fire Warriors 2010 A.D. Fantagraphics Books has just released PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE, a book that showcases a smattering of VHS covers throughout the 30 years of their existence. It helps to open up the discussion about the qualities and merit of VHS packaging. This book features about 100 different movie boxes, with a scan of the back on the left side and a photo actual box on the facing page. This format is especially good for seeing through the illusion of a painted cover by comparing it to screen shots they put on the back. After comparing what was in the book to what our inventory had, we put together a special section of what we had that is featured i PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE. Unfortunately, we have replaced several of the original tapes with DVD versions, so there is a void. But, we do have about 10,000 other VHS covers that you could look at if you're inspired to. On Sunday the 13th of December from 4 to 6pm, Fantagraphics is hosting a panel to discuss VHS and the artwork that contains it. I'm going to be representing Scarecrow and VIVA VHS at this event and it will also feature panelists Lisa Petrucci (KICKASS KUTIES) of Something Weird, Seattle Times pop culture critic Mark Rahner with film critic and curator Robert Horton, the co-writer of horror comic ROTTEN. The panel will be moderated by PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE editor Jacques Boyreau and followed by a book signing and reception. Admission is free as always. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is open daily at 1201 S. Vale Street just south of downtown Seattle. Phone 206.658.0110 [caption id="attachment_2051" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Our special Portable Grindhouse rental section"]portableg 002[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2045" align="aligncenter" width="219" caption="Portable Grindhouse...The Book!"]viva[/caption]