This January 5th we are proud to present a book signing and art exhibit with Tony Millionaire for his new book, 500 Portraits.
500 Portraits collects for the first time over two decades of portrait work by the beloved and award-winning creator of Drinky Crow’s Maakies, Sock Monkey and Billy Hazelnuts. Tony Millionaire’s gorgeous fountain pen illustrations, which mingle naturalistic detail with strong doses of the fanciful and grotesque, include the famous (Bob Dylan), the infamous (Abu Ghraib soldier/model Lynndie England), the fictional (Yoda), the animal kingdom (a cockroach), and everything in between. Literary figures (Hemingway), literary characters (Don Quixote & Sancho Panza), Hollywood legends (Steven Spielberg), comics icons (Hergé) and historical figures (Hitler) also figure prominently.
Millionaire’s impeccable linework resembles that of Johnny Gruelle (creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy), whom he cites as one of his main sources of inspiration along with Ernest Shepard and “all those freaks from the ’20s and ’30s who did the newspaper strips.”
Many of these 500 portraits were created for The Believer, the magazine founded by Dave Eggers that Millionaire has helped define visually with his signature portraits of interview subjects in every issue since the magazine started. But it also includes dozens if not hundreds of illustrations from various other publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Ephemera Press Historical Maps, The Wall Street Journal, and others.
WHO: Tony Millionaire
WHAT: 500 Portraits book release and art exhibit
WHEN: Thursday Jan. 5th, 6-10pm
WHERE: Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch St.
“I think Tony Millionaire can only do important things.” — Dave Eggers
“Buy 500 Portraits by Tony Millionaire and see me with hair.” – Peter Landau
Tony Millionaire was born in 1956 and raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He grew up surrounded by a family of artists. His mother teaches art to Junior High School students, while his father is an advertiser and designer. Two of Millionaire’s grandparents were artists (one of his grandfathers was friends with the cartoonist Roy Crane). Millionaire’s mentor/grandfather was also an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Postand various adventure books and magazines. Millionaire also picked up his predilection for drawing ships and ocean scenes from his grandfather.
Millionaire attended the Massachusetts College of Art in 1974 for four years. Until the age of 35, he made extra money by drawing people’s houses for about $50.00 a piece. Before achieving fame and fortune with Fantagraphics, he also did illustration work for The New York Press and The New Yorker, and animation for Saturday Night Live.
Tony Millionaire’s Maakies is one of the most popular weekly comic strips in America, running in over ten of the largest U.S. weekly newspapers, including The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Seattle’s The Stranger. Maakies features the comical adventures of a drunken crow on the high seas, blending vaudeville-style humor and a breathtaking line that hearkens back to the glory days of the American comic strip. He has won numerous Eisner and Harvey Awards, including “Best Syndicated Strip” in 2004.
Tony Millionaire lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, the actress Becky Thyre, and their two daughters.