Author Archive

Minis Monday: So Buttons

Posted by on February 28th, 2011 at 2:46 PM

So Buttons #3; Written by Jonathan Baylis with art by various hands; Color and black and white; 28 pp.
Self-published; $5

So Buttons Holiday Special #1; Written by Jonathan Baylis with art by various celebrants; Black and white; 8 pp.;

Mickey Mouse #304 by Various

Posted by on February 25th, 2011 at 9:00 AM

The Best American Comics 2010 Neil Gaiman, guest editor; Jessica Abel and Matt Madden series editors

Posted by on February 24th, 2011 at 2:00 PM
Toward the end of that facile Introduction, one that dabbles in a faux-pamphlet comic-scripting format for the rubes, Gaiman suggests a “real title” for the volume as “A Sampler: Some Really Good Comics, Including Extracts from Longer Stories We Thought Could Stand on Their Own” and, as such, finds “It’s not half bad.” The Best American Comics this year, every year, any year, needs to be better than that.

©Lilli Carre

Minis Monday: Dexter Park and The Neighbor

Posted by on February 21st, 2011 at 2:00 PM
A while back I offered comment on Desmond Reed’s Aloha and The Island. The two comics here, Dexter Park and The Neighbor, come in the very same, cozy, 4¼” x 2¾ ” package with double-thick pages. They feature the very same clear, congenial, pictographically accessible drawing style. Reed uses a single, confident line of unvarying thickness to virtually embody cartooning directness. Outlines define the world and solid blacks, spotted to purpose, are it in terms of texture. No shading, no crosshatching. In a similarly no-nonsense fashion, dialogue is to point yet wholly conversational, amicable and routinely engaging.

From Dexter Park

Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide

Posted by on February 18th, 2011 at 1:00 AM
“Guide” is a fit if pale description for the tome, one that at least holds a suggestion of the range and breadth of functions here provided to escort and enhance.

Minis Monday: Ophestios, 1890

Posted by on February 7th, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Joshua Rosen has a fondness for “depressing Russian novels.”

Minis Monday: Square Dance #4

Posted by on January 31st, 2011 at 1:00 PM
This particular edition of Colin Tedford’s Square Dance suggests what underground comics might have been in their nth iteration if maybe America and its cartoonists had progressed differently. For instance, what if, when head shops disappeared, the undergrounds migrated and were sold in farm and feed supply stores? What if they’d made a wholesale shift into the funnies section of the free local papers? If they became less burdened by revolution and throwing off the shackles of repression and more fully cognizant of being irreparably part of “the system,” consequently committing to work from inside said system? If doing one’s own thing hinged less on sex, drugs and rock and roll and more on tending one’s own rows in the community garden?

Minis Monday: Tag Team!

Posted by on January 24th, 2011 at 1:00 PM
You can’t improve upon the participants’ own definition of their title: “Tag Team is a sweatshop-style comic anthology with an indie vibe.” Gathering in White River Junction, Vermont, six cartoonists — Dennis Pacheco, Pat Barrett, Robyn Chapman, Sam Carbaugh, Colleen Frakes and Morgan Pielli — created six stories using a modified Exquisite Corpse arrangement in the round. Seated at a circular table, participants took a turn working on one of the tales performing one of six successive tasks — plotting, scripting, thumbnailing, lettering and paneling, penciling and finally inking. At the end of timed intervals, they passed the evolving work along to the creator to their left (meaning that during the first period, everybody was plotting one of the six stories; in the next period, everybody’s scripting the pre-plotted narrative just passed to them; then on to thumbnails next go `round, etc.). Whatever their task and whatever the tale, each was “encouraged to develop the story, improve it, and put their own stamp on it.”

Minis Monday: The Widow Reminisces Over a Plate of Vegetables, Mimi’s Doughnut Zine #19: Health

Posted by on January 17th, 2011 at 1:00 PM
I am told that devout Muslims do not undertake the sacred Haj until all their outstanding worldly debts are repaid. This comforts at the moment as I find myself unable to really get on with 2011 until I’ve fulfilled my obligations to some comics gathered in 2010.

Spider-Man Saga

Posted by on January 4th, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Individual paragraphs in this Saga remind one of the desperate bedtime ploy where, turning the tables on an adult narrator, a child makes up his or her own story to ward off lights out: “… an’ then the dragon comes back but he can’t beat up Frankenstein, who’s a giant now, `cause he’s got a ray gun from these space aliens who came from inside the earth, but they were invisible …”

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