Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet Mark Alan Stamaty. Cartoonist. Author. Nice guy.

Some of you may have noticed a framed illustration behind the soda fountain at at the Brooklyn Farmacy: A funny image of Peter and Gia as soda jerks toasting egg creams, with their mother's head sandwiched in between the glasses. Some of you have even recognized the artist, having followed his political cartoons and comic strips that have appeared in Time, The Village Voice and the Washington Post. 
"Aha!" those-of-you-in-the-know have exclaimed, "THAT is an illustration by MARK ALAN STAMATY!"
And we have smiled at those-of-you in-the-know, and said, "Yes, that IS an illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty!"
And now, you can meet THAT GUY in person! 
That's right, on Saturday, December 18th, Mark Alan Stamaty will be signing his legendary book, Who Needs Donuts at the Farmacy. 
What a combination! Crazy good donuts from Peter Pan Bakery, crazy good artist from Brooklyn and his masterpiece of the absurd, Who Needs Donuts originally published 30 years ago with an illustration style that "mixes a benign Hieronymus Bosch with an urban Where's Waldo? Stamaty's off-the-wall humor is right on target for little kids and big kids today. 
Needless to say, we are absolutely delighted to have him visit us on our 'donut morning' with his 'donut book'. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Stamaty to our corner of the world at 513 Henry Street.  

A little back story (we love a good story)
Mark was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. (Mark was actually born around the corner from the Farmacy, we found out...) He grew up in a New Jersey beach town, the only child of two professional cartoonists who had met in art school. Mark attended Cooper Union, a no-tuition private college in New York City, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1969. 
Mark is the author-illustrator of ten books. His children's books include Who Needs Donuts? (1973, 2003), Alia's Mission (2005), Too Many Time Machines (1999), Small in the Saddle (1975), Minnie Maloney & Macaroni (1976) and Where's My Hippopotamus? (1977). 
In 1977-1978, Mark's panoramic centerfold cartoons of Greenwich VIllage and times Square for the Village Voice attracted widespread attention and were sold by the Voice as posters. He then created a series of comic strips for that paper, including MacDoodle St., which was later published as a comic strip novel. In 1981 Meg Greenfield, editorial page editor of the Washington Post, asked Mark to create a comic strip about Washington for her op-ed page. Mark traveled to D.C. to do extensive research, and in November of that year the Post and the Village Voice jointly debuted his new creation, Washingtoon, featuring, among many other characters, Congressman Bob Forehead, chairman of the JFK-Look-Alike Caucus. The comic strip’s popularity with Postand Voice readers led to its being picked up by more than 40 newspapers, including theBoston Globe, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Austin-American Statesman.
From 1994 to 1996, Mark was the political cartoonist for Time Magazine. From 2001 to 2003, he produced the highly praised monthly comic strip Boox for the New York Times Book Review. His cartoon reporting has covered a variety of events for GQ Magazine and The New Yorker, including men's fashion shows in Milan, the 2001 Baseball All-Star Game, the Washington Redskins' training camp, the Madison Square Garden 1992 25th-Anniversary Concert honoring Bob Dylan, the buzz around Washington during President Clinton's grand jury testimony, a UFO convention, and many more.
A page from Mark Alan Stamaty's book, Who Needs Donuts?
A little about the book...
Originally published in 1973, Who Needs Donuts is a sweet visual feast that will have kids (and nostalgic parents) poring over its rich tableaus for hours. Every inch of each black-and-white page is covered in detailed, delightful drawings, at times bringing to mind the two-dimensional cartoons of Saul Steinberg, at others the scratchy realism of Lynda Barry’s comics. In fact, there is so much to look at in this short, simple story that new discoveries are sure to be made with each successive reading (of which there are bound to be countless). Young Sam, clad (inexplicably, yet charmingly) in cowboy duds, already has a nice house with a big yard and lots of friends, but he feels nonetheless that something is missing. He mounts his trusty trike and heads for the big city in search of one thing: donuts, and not just a few, but "More than his mother and father could ever buy him."His quest is rife with humor and adventure, not to mention a man in paisley suit and a woman named Pretzel Annie. 
Kids will adore the no-holds-barred kookiness displayed throughout (a street vendor selling fried oranges with optional mayonnaise; a "self-service" restaurant where the waiters look exactly like the customers), and adults will smile at the hippie-era moral that love is all you need. As the flap illustration warns, "This book is addictive," but this sugar habit need not be kicked. 
--Review for by Brangien Davis
Fresh: Though published in the 70s, this book is as fresh as the donut you'll eat on Saturday morning at the Farmacy.
Friendly: Mark is one of the friendliest cartoonists we've met. 
Local: He was born around the corner. He resides in Manhattan. Mark is local.
For more information and to see a full body of his work, visit Mark's website:

Toy drive at PS 29. Please Support Our Local Schools!

Hey Farmacy Fans, PS 29 Brooklyn (our local school) is conducting a community-wide toy drive to make sure all children receive an age-appropriate gift this holiday season. Bring an unwrapped, new toy to the PS 29 lobby by December 20. Gifts for teens also encouraged.This yearʼs toy drive will benefit The Warren Street Center for Children and Families and The Red Hook Community Service Center. Please open up your hearts and support this! 

Join us for a 'Jitterbug' Musical Morning this Saturday

We are delighted to introduce our first Musical Morning for Families at the Farmacy with live music from Karen K and the JITTERBUGS. Bring your whole family in this Saturday at 10:30a.m. (12.11) to enjoy live music for what is sure to be a sweet morning! 

Some back story. (we love a good story)
Karen has been singing since before she lost her first Grade Talent Show to a girl named Renee Sylvester who wore a penguin suit and did gymnastics for the prize.Having recovered eventually, Karen spent much of her 20s dressed in even odder costumes as she pursued a career in musical theater here in NYC.That is until about 3 years ago when she had her daughter, Becca, and started Jitterbugs NYC, her music classes that regale hundreds of Brooklyn kids ages 3 months to 5 years each week. Now rather than watching her on the big stage, you’ll find her pushing a stroller full of instruments through the streets of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights or Red Hook on her way to one of her music classes, a guitar strapped to her back. And if you happen to stop by one of those classes, you’ll see dozens of kids and their parents or babysitters happily dancing, shaking, banging and singing along to familiar tunes from the 1920s through the 1970s and classic kids favorites. You might also request song or two from her new album, Pancakes for Dinner, which is being released on December 3rd. It's packed with original songs inspired by the kids she teaches, not to mention her own. As the album says, it’s music for the kid in everybody. 
As in everybody – young and old – can enjoy it.
Kind of like pancakes. Or Peter Pan donuts from Greenpoint!
Fresh: Her CD is hot from the recording studio and you can buy it now at the Farmacy!
Friendly: Musical mornings and donuts? What could be friendlier?
Local: Karen is a local, Brooklyn-based musician and she will be singing at 513 Henry Street. 
Please join us in welcoming her!