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painting, sculpture & installation
screenprints, collage, & illustration
printed matter / graphic design
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Windowpane is a fully risographed, two-volume collection of UK-artist Joe Kessler‘s short comics and illustrations from 2012 and 2013, published by London’s Breakdown Press. A lyrical exploration of emotion, environment, color, space, and craft, Windowpane takes the form of an art object disguised as a comic book disguised as series of visual/narrative explorations disguised as an art object.
The stories within both volumes of Windowpane are fragmented and exquisite, connected loosely via a few reoccurring visuals and thematic elements, such as a dominant architecture mixed with an irradiant but submissive nature, the dance between the rigid and loose, the confident and the insecure. Even Kessler’s stylistic decisions compete or play with each other, as some of the sequences throughout have been meticulously thought-out and labored over, others appear more slapdash in nature.
The single most unifying feature of Windowpane is then the risograph printing-process, a machine which is most similar to a photo-copier except it only prints one color at a time.With its limited but vibrant color palette, the carefully (but not perfectly) registered layers, and a translucent, screenprinted-like appearance, the result is a machine-made booklet with the imperfections and the affection of the human hand.
A mixture of bold and fine marks compliment Kessler’s placement of color, which is often repeated and re-arranged in ways to better breakdown and understand the narrative. The geometry of his pages help instill harmony and balance when the narrative becomes too conceptual or disjointed, and it instills tension when the narrative gets too easy.
An excerpt from a story in Windowpane #2
While the work in both volumes of Windowpane is overall uniquely attractive and aesthetically pleasing, in regards to story-telling, the second volume trumps the first. This is in part due to Kessler’s sense of pacing and use of mark-making becoming more cohesive and defined, but also because his character-development improve tremendously. In the first volume almost all characters are very simple and blank in their appearance. Their thoughts and dialogue are interesting, but their facial expressions and body language are too rigid or strained to seem natural. I think Joe probably recognized this in his work, as he injected new life into the diverse cast of characters in Volume 2, putting the disgust, fear, anger, sympathy, and desire back into their spirits.
A decent amount of the narratives in both volumes are intricate gags or poetic and philosophical meanderings, but the most emotionally engaging ones for me were those done in collaboration with Reuben Mwaura, who wrote the narratives based on his own personal experience. In these two stories, one of which appears in each volume, we revisit Reuben’s childhood living in various impoverished and dangerous situations. From his mother’s criminal boyfriend burning down their house while he and his brother were locked inside, to a compassionate look into his mother’s time as a prostitute, Reuben’s narrative combined with Kessler’s pacing of abstract and figurative imagery matches harmoniously in their emotional tone and dramatic timing.
Another favorite narrative was “Suit Suite” from the second volume. Done in collaboration with Elliott Batten, it involves a playful romp around the town in the form of an empty tuxedo-suit that can do just about anything. The text is solemn and contemplative while the imagery is light-hearted and joyful. Kessler and Batten even experiment with a bit of collage, using their own self-portrait cut-outs as amusing props within the narrative. An excerpt from ‘Suit Suite’ in Windowpane #2
As prolific as he is, I can only assume that Joe Kessler will successfully continue down his path of narrative, artistic, and cinematic exploration, in an attempt to better master the different elements of his creative language in which we are all invited to take part in and understand.
Bottom Line: If you enjoy an exploration and mixture of fine art, printmaking, sequential narrative, philosophical thought, humor, drama, and poetry in your comics, I highly recommend checking out Joe Kessler’s Windowpane 1 and 2.
Spit Picks #3 – ON YOUR MARKS: Short Run Anthology #1
On your Marks is a short-comics anthology edited by Max Clotfelter and presented by Seattle’s Short Run Festival (this issue debuted at its 3rd annual fest in November), an event which was founded (as noted in the back of the comic) to “strengthen and celebrate Seattle’s lauded small press community…[to] spotlight artists and self-publishers who lack exposure and provide them with helpful resources”.
(Above: On Your Marks #1 - Cover by Chris Cilla)
With around 30 one-page comics by different artists from the Pacific Northwest, On your Marks is indeed a great introduction to this regional niche of the indie-comics community. Not unlike other anthologies of the alt-comix-sphere, it acts as a sampler for one to get a small taste of each artist, as well as a taste of the region’s own particular aesthetic and influence. As someone who’s main impressions of the Northwest are pine trees, flannel, and the suspicion that life might be a lot less hectic and cluttered than the life of the average New Yorker (but I mean, what isn’t), I wondered if this anthology would open my eyes to a whole new vision of the Pacific Northwest I clearly wasn’t seeing, and should very much pay attention to.
The short answer is not really, but still pay attention. While the bulk of the comics in this anthology didn’t push many boundaries for me, there was still a plentiful amount of enjoyable material. Stylistically cartoonish, often grotesque and psychedelic imagery dominated many of the gag comics, while stylistically literal, more poetic or introspective narratives filled the gaps, I found the work relatively easy to take in. Maybe this is because it read so much like the 90s alt-comix I enjoyed as a kid (for instance, Fantagraphics’ Spice Capades, edited by Queen Itchie with a cover by Peter Bagge, or Action Girl, edited by Sarah Dyer), I feel like On Your Marks is a comic anthology that even a kid can enjoy (albeit, a weird kid with a morbid sense of humor). But as they say, comics aren’t just for adults anymore!
The comics that didn’t impress were those that either seemed incomplete as a one-pager (a few), or those in which the gags fell flat (more than a few). But as is the joy of the one-pager anthology, if a comic isn’t doing it for ya, simply move on to the next. The comics that I enjoyed best were those that had complete story arcs, well-developed characters, surreal happenings, and an obscure sense of humor (yes, all in one page), such as Tom Van Deusen‘s Herman & Lucy, about best friends Herman (a “cool” dog) and Lucy (a goose), who buy a new house that comes with an absurd roof ornament (a gigantic head that makes grotesque noises and whimpers), Julia Gfrörer‘s Spirit Hand, about a brush with the occult that is humorously unacknowledged, Rick Altergott & Pat Moriarty‘s “Slugger & “Tuffy”, a look into the antics of two conniving cat pals (any cat-owner will appreciate this one), Darin Shuler’s untitled piece about a misunderstood Shaman (the cat-owners might not appreciate this one), Eroyn Franklin‘s untitled piece that starts with getting ringworm and ends with getting naked, and Max Clotfelter’s “Randy & Travis” adventure, another gag comic in which older brother Randy beats younger brother Travis to the punch (literally). These comics and others were enough to make me keep turning the pages to see where the next comic short would take me.
Overall, the work was good fun. At worst, it didn’t do much for me. At best, well, at best I probably giggled. Not one thing left a bad taste in my mouth, which is quite a feat in my opinion. Editorially speaking, Max did a great job. My only suggestion for the future would be to make the table of contents a little easier to read, and to number the pages– that or make all artists sign their work. I honestly couldn’t tell who did what for a few pages, in particular because I was only familiar with a few of the contributing artists to begin with. And hey — now I know a few more cool comic artists to check out, and maybe pick up a zine from. Ain’t that the point of the antho?
Bottom Line: If you dug the alt-comix scene of the ’90s, or just want to know what’s up in the Pacific Northwest these days, get yourself a copy of On Your Marks. At $4, you won’t be disappointed.
This is the first comic aside from Hellblazer that i’ve read on my ipad mini since i got it, and I have to say, it’s almost perfect for the format. Woodring’s way of transitioning images between panels (in, ya know, a pretty trippy way) lends itself really well to the panel by panel viewing of the digital reader. As my boyfriend pointed out, it was like watching a silent animation. Plus even though the book for me was SD, the image quality was still superb (a happy surprise).
Anyone not already familiar with Jim Woodring’s fantastic & twisted universe (that manages to read like the best of children’s books while still being totally insane) please do not hesitate to look further into it.
Written for Comics Workbook
OPEN SPACE PUBLICATIONS & MULTIPLES FAIR RECAP:
Got back last night from Baltimore where I attended the fair and related events. It was my first time in the city and was an overall positive experience thanks to all the righteous people I got to interact with - cartoonists rule!
Above is a picture of the things I got. The festival was made up of people selling kewl jewelry, prints, tee-shirts, overpriced photo-collage-essay zines, and comics. I forgot to take a picture of my table (which I shared with Cory and Tom and Lale), so just imagine a picture of us and all our crap lookin’ stupid. P.S. This is the first festival where I almost sold everything I brought! Woo-hoo!
Anyway, I want to highlight some of the righteous cartoonists I interacted with, so here goes:
Noel Freibert is righteous because he let me stay at his gigantic place, in which I got jealous of Baltimore’s cheap & available real estate situation — ideal for crazy artists! But also he is righteous because he does a ton of cool (and totally unique) art, puts together a really innovative anthology, and also curated the Tortured Page exhibit and let me be in it.
It was a great concept and well-executed, from the theme and statement to the artist submissions to the installation and environment. You walked in and there was Noel creepily sitting in this big chair in a small spot-lit room to greet patrons. Then reading from one tortured comic to the next, I started with Andy Burkholder's piece which I don't have an image of but was a text piece about how one can't empathize with a one-dimensional character, and this dude is there poking his eyes out. I'm not sure if Andy was being self-deprecating or not, but I interpreted it as a statement on gore in movies (or other media) not being effectively torturous for the viewer since the characters in such movies are totally underdeveloped. IT WAS TOTALLY ON POINT, MAN.
Some of my other favorite pieces were those by Dunja Jankovic, Leslie Weibeler, Molly Colleen O’Connell, Conor Stechshulte, and Lale Westvind. I believe a zine is going to be made to collect all the different pieces so you should be able to see them for yourself soon! (but also I just didn’t bother to photograph anything). I was a bit surprised as to how many people took “tortured” pretty traditionally (i.e., body mutilation), as I was expecting more people to interpret the theme a bit differently. My piece was about a girl having an emotional breakdown over a guy, and the idea was how to torture the viewer with her ridiculousness/stupidity (kinda like in an I Love Lucy or Keenan and Kel kinda way).
Above: Excerpt from my submission to The Tortured Page
Righteous person #2 - Molly Colleen O’Connell. Molly makes prints and comics that are loosely inked and are usually pretty humorous, with fine attention to detail. Here is a screenprint I got from her:
The poster is an advertisement for FREAK FLASH, an animation screening that she curated at The Floristree on Saturday night. It was the best collection of animated videos I have seen in years and I suggest everyone go check out the works by all of the contributing artists. After the screening there was a party and some guy got naked and started masturbating on a stage, and I forget the rest.
Righteous Person #3 is Jason T. Miles. Dude is just righteous, what can I say? Here is an excerpt from a comic I got from him:
Jason is from Seattle and seems to be doing all the right things, making good shit happen. From talking to him I think we see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, so I support his status as a shit-happener. He also just discovered the world of tumblr and I wish him best of luck on his journey.
Righteous person #4 is Matthew Thurber, because he made this image of the Punisher:
Actually he made it in collaboration with someone else but I forget who that was. If someone knows feel free to message me.
Matt Thurber was aslo on the Bolt Bus with me going home on Sunday night, but he was sitting in the front and I was sitting in the back and idk, it didn’t seem like the right time to intrude. Some lady was smoking in the bathroom and these other ladies flipped out about it and I just stared at the backseat of the chair in front of me for 3 hours because my headphones broke, there was no internet, and all the lights were off. The Bolt Bus kind of sucks.
Righteous Person #5 is Jacob (not Jakob) of Mothers News because everything that comes out of his mouth is fascinating and kind of hilarious (like the newspaper!) He gave a bunch of copies of Mothers News to Cory and Cory was all like, “yeah!”
Last but not least, righteous person #6 is Mike Taylor because Mike Taylor is the best darn cartoonist I know. He is also a pre-school teacher and a punk. BEST PERSON EVER? I would link to a website but I’m pretty sure he is bad at internet and doesn’t have a site, so here is some of the awesome work I got from him instead:
That last image of his is this screenprint I bought and is THE GREATEST THING EVER. He said it was about “what if kindergarden was a place to crush children’s souls” and then added “(it is)”, which only makes this print even more fucking incredible.
In short, Baltimore was cool, as were the people in it, even if half of them were actually from New York. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
From Nazi Knife #8, edited/published by Jonas Delaborde and Hendrik Hegray
A thick art book filled with drawings, paintings, and collages by various artists, which my boyfriend has been enthralled by. It’s enticing in the sense that its such a huge collection of creative, raw, sketchbook-type material, and reading it front to back feels like walking through a gallery that exhibits only the newest, coolest work. It is perhaps more closely like walking through a gallery in which none of the pieces are labeled except maybe if you bother to find the website, you can at least figure out who participated in the gallery show (but only the most recent exhibits).
I recognize some of the art styles in Nazi Knife (Oh, this must be Leon Sadler, this must be CF) but certainly not all. Is that frustrating? Not for me as the viewer, but I can’t help but wonder how the artists might feel (I mean, I doubt anyone got paid to submit work to this anthology). More frustrating for me as the viewer is why the books are called Nazi Knife, which seems to me to be some kind of immature gesture to sound raw/punk/cool, but perhaps I’m missing something. [Hey man, fuck the heavy meaning of words right? We’re artists!]
for Comics Workbook
A moment of appreciation for 1994-95 era DC please
Now, I never read superhero books. Like, ever. When I started working for a digital comics distributor 3 months ago, I thought The Avengers were a 60s Tv Show about Spies, and I had asked (a little too loudly) if Superman was a Marvel or DC book (which was received with shouts of grief and awe from my co-workers… unsuprisingly).
Now I look at late 80s early 90s books with swoons and sighs.
Look at how much ass Wonder Woman kicks! And the dynamics of the page between Superman and Batman… hot damn, these superheroes are ON FIRE! (seriously check out Superman’s sexy mullet and Batmans “I dun give a sh*t cuz I’m chill as f*ck” attitude). None of this overly-photoshopped B.S. or overly-self-aware nonsense the new Superhero books have got going (anyone read a new Spider-Man recently? Dude is a smarmy mother*****!! and a promiscuous ladies’ man, I might add)
Anyway, maybe the nostalgia isn’t appreciated from all, considering I wasn’t actually comics-conscious during the period these books came out (I was 6 years old, and probably reading Ren & Stimpy comics). But just thought I’d put it out there.
So with that said, a moment of appreciation for the Ass-Kickery of early 90s DC please, thank you.
**Above: Wonder Woman #101 cover by John Byrne; Below: Batman (1940-2011) #511 art by Mike Manley.
i posted this like a week or two ago for comics workbook (i have no sense of time these days), but it seems relevant to tonight’s posts…
COMIC BOOK FLASHBACK GRAB BAG!
Cleaning out my old bedroom at my grandparents’ house, found these ol’ faves!! All from different eras of my life, none any less awesome than the other.
The two oldest (from my youths) are Action Girl: an anthology from the ’90s edited by Sara Dyer, which was composed mostly of female and some genderqueer cartoonists, and aimed at youger girls. And Blue Monday: an Archie-meets-early-90s-ska-and-punk-rock comic series by Chynna Clugston, which started out as a short in some of the later Action Girls (there were about 20 issues of it over the course of something like 6 years)
Above: Chynna Clugston’s Blue Monday in Action Girl #15
I think I got Short Order either from my Pa when I was about 16, or from Picture Box at MoCCA when I was 18 or 19. Seriously can’t remember. Anyway, It’s an anthology from the 70s edited by Bill Griffith, that brags, “no story over 8 pages!” and features the work of Art Spiegelman, Jay Kinney, Diane noomin, Rory Hayes, George Kuchar, and more. This antho + Action girl = my primary inspirations for Happiness (!!! TRUE DAT!!!)
Above: The 70s is alive in Jay Kinney’s contribution to Short Order #2
James Kochalka’s Magic boy and the word of God wasn’t such a huge influence on me, but I thought the cover ruled (I mean, come on, he just pasted a photograph of himself onto some painted cardboard), the title was funny, and I was really into the fact that he signed the comic as “James Kochalka SUPERSTAR”. hahaha, oh young (and kind of sexy) James.
Then, finally, Jesse Moynihan’s The Backwards folding Mirror I got my sophomore year of college, at my very first MoCCA fest (2008 maybe?)
This comic blew my mind. Actually, the first MoCCA I went to blew my mind. This was before I knew blogs devoted to comics existed, so the comics I bought and the cartoonists I met at this MoCCA made me pee myself … Aside from the post-Fort Thunder cartooning happenings of Providence (where I lived at the time), I had actually thought that there was no accessible comics scene going on in the US…. Hellza thankful that I was wrong!!
I’m now contributing to the new comics blog started by Frank Santoro (with more than a handful of contributing cartoonists) that focuses on dialogue and proces - comicsworkbook! Follow it if you like comics, duh!!
Friday night was the opening of Clay Schiff’s (first?) solo show, “Cape Mulch” at the Culture Room in Bushwick (163 Starr St - click here for more details)
From the event page: “For its second exhibition Culture Room is pleased to announce “Cape Mulch”, a group of paintings on paper by Clayton Schiff. The works are born of the impulse to doodle, relying on the immediacy of line and it’s abillity to conjure notational filler. Imagery develops as quickly as it dismantles itself, introducing narrative but committing to little more than a suggestion. The forms that populate these paintings can be organic or architectural, they can stay grounded in the space or move beyond the internal logic of the picture. Puddles, cliffs, mounds and dubious life forms inhabit these worlds as well as wander outside their edges, asserting a loose tether to the limitations of a stage. ”
In other words, Clay’s work is imaginative and surreal. A painter and cartoonist who may borrow from the likes of Philip Guston, Hieronymus Bosch, or René Magritte as much as from Victor Moscoso or S. Clay Wilson.
Above: The cover of Schiff’s “Hey Come Here” Comics from 2010
Whereas both his paintings and comics both explore depth and space, the comics have panels to play with that are used not only as a framing device, but as an architectural tool that gives his characters an environment to wander through.
Above: Schiff uses color and architecture to reel in the viewer.
Below: The unconventional use of panels creates a new kind of environment for the characters involved, helping drive the narrative.
His paintings, on the other hand, use the entire canvas (which go as large as 46” x 46”) as a single panel to explore architectural space in, but without the use of a character to do so. Rather, the viewer is the character, lured into having their eyes wander through the various crevices and paths that Clay creates.
However, in Cape Mulch, Clay shifts his focus to works on paper, which seem to be his first step into combining the contrary elements of his comics with his larger oil paintings. The result is successful and delightful, although not as delightfully colorful as his oils. But now there are beings entering his world of paint, beings that become orifices that excrete other beings that become part of the architecture that holds up even more beings. Everything is coming together! Now if I can only see some panel-play in his paintings, and some color in his comics. You can do it, Clay!
For more on Clay Schiff’s work, visit http://clayschiff.blogspot.com
Photos of the show & Review by Leah Wishnia
All other photos taken from the Schiff’s blog
yo yo yO! official CAKE recap 2012!
photos above: the micro-version of collective stench, left to right: me, kj, tom, and laura. below dat is a lil pic of our table, which served happiness (edited by me), gang bang bong (edited by inés and ginette), dimensions (edited by zejian), snakebomb (edited by jack), strep throat (edited by lph), and our individdggyyal minicommies.
mo’ table-ish pics :
yes this is tom’s leg and i find it to be very essential
YO LADY I LIKE YO’ SHIRT
cool dude Jesjit Gill holds up his cool dude book
Providence’s Paul Lyons duzzit right
Cool Dogg Mickey Z poses for anotha camera
i couldn’t rezist! more of mickey’s stuff
Jen Tong's fully screenprinted comix kicks the shit outttta your photocopies!!
kill me (patch by laura)
Eric Rivera had some beautiful original drawings on display
and he also had these fucking awesome vintage books for sale!
the wowee zonkers posed gracefully despite how zonked out they were
i got this sweet alien sticker and devil doggie from ginette
speaking of the devil
Keith Herzik’s Alamo Iglooooooooo
Anthony Meloro fucking rules
this is possibly the craziest shit i encountered - midwestern cuban comics by odin
i bought three copies of this to give to people - could it be YOU?!?!
Molly Colleen O’connell's foot + CAT SOCKS
HAND JOB ACTION SHOT!!! (i can’t find a link to this, any1 gotta clue?)
YO, COOL. from xcb #19
this panel made me laugh and cry all at the sAmE t1mE
Lale freaking out, man
Andy Burkholder designed some rad tapes! RAD FUCKING TAPES
gallery shot of anya davidson's amazing work
Leslie Weibeler's killer litho prints!
Awesome drawings by Joe Tallarico
AAAANdddd at some point i lost interest in obsessively documenting everything i found drool-worthy (ok, i was hung-over as fuck on sunday), but it’s probably a good thing because i dont feel like uploading any more freakin’ photos.
So last but not least, here’s the big shebang of all da shebizz i got:
WITCH HAT VINYL BY WITCH HAT//TAPES BY ANDY BURKHOLDER//SCREENPRINTPRINT BY MICKEY Z AND MIKE TAYLOR//COLD HEARTED BY LAURA PEREZ HARRIS//JOHN GLAZE BY LESLIE WEIBELER//HELLBERTA BY MIKE COMEAU//MID-WESTERN CUBAN COMICS BY ODIN//D.I.Y. MAGIC BY ANTHONY ALVARADO AND VARIOUS ARTISTS//HEADS BY RACHEL NIFFENEGGER//THE MASQUE STOLEN IDENTITY LINK THINGAMAJIG//SAGARI A TRUE STORY BY MICKEY Z//STICKERS BY GINETTE LAPALME, OTTO SPLOTCH, AND SOME GUY THAT CAME TO OUR TABLE//SMALL ADVICES BY SARA DRAKE//DARK TOMATO BY SAKURA MAKU//ITDN 1 & 2 BY ANDY BURKHOLDER//BLACK MASS SIX BY PATRICK KYLE// DIMENSIONS 4 EDITED BY ZEJIAN SHEN COVER BY HIROMI UEYOSHI//PURITY BY DANE MARTIN//SUCK IT UP ZINE AND NO FUN PRINT BY KRYSTAL DIFRONZO//THE LAND LINE NEWPAPER//THE JIGGY JIGGY BOYS BY A DUDE WHO DOESN’T EXIST ON THE INTERNET BUT WHO’S CONTACT INFO I WROTE DOWN SOMEWHERE//MOTHER NEWSES & XCB #19//TITUS BY LALE WESTVIND//AND A BADASS PATCH BY SOME GUY WHO DIDN’T GIVE ME HIS NAME BUT REALLY WANTED TO GIVE ME HIS BADASS PATCH
Nate Doyle and A. Degen have just set the bar for narrative storytelling in new alternative comics for me. They don’t rely on extensive dialogue or captions to tell their stories. They don’t use vulgar shock tactics to intrigue the reader, but rather, reel one in with emotionally engaging plots. Yes, that’s right, EMOTIONALLY ENGAGING PLOTS.
Basically, these dudes have their shit down. Their command of drawing is so good, they don’t need no damn words to hold it all together.
But to get serious. Nate Doyle’s “The Archer” is a cyclical story of morality and mortality. His simple yet staunch character construction allows the reader to become instantly connected to its protagonists/antagonists (both of which could be interchangeable), and is thus both shocked and moved by their ultimate demise.
I also find Doyle’s honest, illustrious drawing style to be quite appealing. He’s a cartoonist that follows his own muse, and doesn’t seem to succumb to current trends in comics and illustration. Keep up the good work, Nate.
A. Degen's “Area CC” falls into a very similar vein of earnest and intriguing character, plot, & style development. He uses the emotion of curiosity to reel in the reader. My favorite!
Our protagonist/antagonist (also questionably interchangeable), Coco, is likeable and cute, without being over-sexed. Yes, there is sex in the comic, but it still seems to fall into a category of innocence that makes it seem fit for a younger audience. The sex is isn’t sexual, but rather, playful and sweet. The violence in the story is cartoonish and fun. This all seems due to Degen’s simple linework, which reminds me of a cross between 60s psychedelic illustration, french comic artist David B., with a kind of trans-cultural artistic touch (french, japanese, american), and a contemporary set of eyes.
It’s a basic story of cat & mouse. We of course, are rooting for Coco, the mouse, who keeps thwarting her enemies in outstanding and mischievous ways. Yet this story is better than that. I hated Tom & Jerry as a kid (and still do), but Area CC is so beautifully constructed in its various “big brother”-esque architectural spaces and environmental settings, one can’t resist liking it, and root for the tittering mouse.
*see links at the top to find purchasing info for both zines.
REVIEW: Lodaçal #2 & #3
Lodaçal, or “Lake of Mud,” is a trimonthly comic anthology published in Portugal by a man who goes by the name of Rudolfo DaSilva.
Lodaçal #2 (June 2011) is truly a mixed bag of an anthology; aimed at no particular audience, but rather, at any and all who enjoy comics. Due to the wide range of styles, as well as different sensibilities in humor, taste, and story-telling, It is likely that any comics-reader who might pick up a copy will find a few comics that they love, some that they hate, and some that do nothing for them at all.
Highlights: “Meanwhile in the Shitty Kitchen” by Tom Toye, “Watch” by Jack Hayden, “Visions of the End” by Zé Burnay, “Bird Spurm Mountain” by Tetsunori Tawaraya, “Dog Walker” by Zach Hazard Vaupen, “Asteroid Platos” by Aaron Kaneshiro; Also, the incredible front cover by Jakub Tywoniuk, and inside cover by André Coelho.
Excerpts from Tom Toye's visual treat of a viking-mutant shitshow
Zach Hazard Vaupen's unique textural inkwork in all its badass glory
Zé Burnay does some fine linework in this tall tale
The density of this anthology along with the randomness at which the comics are designed and ordered makes it a pretty decent sampler of works by young, upstarting cartoonists. Too bad it’s already out of print.
Lodaçal #3 (September 2011) is a great improvement to #2. The overall body of work is stronger, and it reads better, too.
Highlights: “Sources of Inspiration” by A. Degen, “A true Story” by Inés Estrada, “Party Plans Part II” by Zejian Shen, and “Psycho Mansion” by Aaron Kaneshiro; Also, the Inside Cover by Lala Albert.
Inés Estrada draws up an endearing and whimsical fantasy world
Whereas my favorite comics in this issue I found to be fun, funny, or truly inspiring, there were several that were beautiful in their illustrative delivery, but simply didn’t make any narrative sense. Storytelling, it seems, is not everyone’s strong point. Additionally, there was one comic in particular, as in the last issue, that boiled my blood.
Perhaps I’m not the only one who was put off by Afonso Ferreira’s poor sense of humor in “Lady Helicopter”, which displays both homophobic and misogynistic attitudes that, say, a 13-year-old boy might have. We are treated to his fantasy of a hot babe coming out of wormhole, ready to service him for, oh, 3 pages. The kicker is that this babe turns out to have a penis, in which upon realization of this, our boy proceeds to choke on his own vomit. Nice.
Afonso Ferreira's “Helicopter Lady”
This particular comic stood out to me the same way that Zukk Ozaki’s “Nucrea Addict” did in Lodaçal #2. Maybe it’s because it came right after my own, but this 8-page comic about a manga-esque blonde getting fucked for 6 of those pages, didn’t really appeal to me.
Look at the detail in that perfectly shaved vagina - Zukk Ozaki's “Nucrea Addict”
Alas, this might be the danger of having a comic anthology that spreads itself too thin. While Lodaçal may reach a broad audience, each reader is bound to find something that doesn’t appeal to them. Overall, however, Lodaçal is a strong effort to compile new artistic talent in one reading space, and I’m interested to see how it develops and improves in the future.
*Look forward to Lodaçal #4 and The Lodaçal Hors Serie #1, out now!
hi so i’m gonna start doing regular reviews now as a personal practice. i’m starting with the STREP THROAT zine because this is something i’ve watched being put together for the last six months, and literally peed myself a little when i got to hold the final product in my hands last weekend at BCGF.
The STREP THROAT zine is a miraculous artifact for representing itself both as an accessible zine (in all it’s photocopied glory) and as a hand-made art book. It is a solid mixture of interviews, musical playlists, comics & illustrations, that also comes with a DVD of films. Despite the fact that there is so much different media stuffed into this little photocopied zine, I didn’t feel overwhelmed or put-off reading it.
The highlights of the zine are the hand-printed linocuts scattered throughout the book and also on the cover. Laura told me she put them there as “color splashes” to help break up the pages. Did you look at the first two pictures I posted at the top? Those linocuts are beautiful. Simple and playful, yet striking designs with bold colors that indicate a kind of honesty & unique attitude being thrust upon the work without being too self-conscious. That’s my kind of work.
Other hand-made elements that appealed to me were the cover-material (printed on WHO KNOWS WHAT but what looks like some sort of early-90s Nike campaign ad), and the individually hand-painted DVDS. HAND-PAINTED DVDS!!!! (pictured above).
The other highlights of the zine are the two interviews with Robin Crutchfield (performance artist and founding member of NO-WAVE band DNA) and Gabe Fowler (owner of DESERT ISLAND comic & art book store in Brooklyn, and curator of SMOKE SIGNAL). For you no-wave and comic book nerds out there, these interviews are golden.
An excerpt from Robin Crutchfield’s interview: “In New York, No-Wave was a reaction to the norm in art and music. A rejection of rejects of all that came before, and all that was acceptable in popular art and music: art that couldn’t be bought, taken home and hung on a wall.”
An excerpt from Gabe Fowler’s interview: (On being asked if he had any strong feelings about comics generally being classified on a “lower” tier of art) “Some comics just belong on a lower tier, just like some fine art belongs on a garbage heap. The glory of looking at artwork is the freedom to make these decisions for yourself.”
My only criticism here is that I wish Robin Crutchfield’s interview was broken up a little more, perhaps with images of his performances and other art-related acts. Additionally, there are some spelling & grammatical errors which I regret not having proofed! I also wish that with the written musical playlists, there was a link to download them (*update: download links will be posted soon by laura/throat)
Lastly, there are some great little illustrations & ‘toons sprinkled throughout the zine, which help make it fun and entertaining. Nothing over two-pages, but I think the short-format comics work to help in displaying as many young & potential talents that could fit!
This entertaining & accessible hodgepodge of new art and talent, along with respect to the elders, is what THROAT ART aims to be, and I consider the STREP THROAT zine to be a full-on success.
*contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in purchasing a copy.