Alternative posts

Norman Pettingill: His Life

Posted by on March 9th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
In June, Fantagraphics Books will publish a collection of Norman Pettingill’s work. Comic fans may remember that Robert Crumb published some of Pettingill’s cartoon drawings in Weirdo in the mid-’80s. The idea of publishing an entire book collecting Pettingill’s work was first broached to me by Johnny Ryan, a Pettingill fan (and the cartoonist behind Angry Youth Comics and Prison Pit), a few years ago. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is the repository for most of Pettingill’s work, and agreed to help us put together a book. Johnny wrote a brief appreciation; R. Crumb loved Pettingill’s work and wrote a brief introduction. But, so little is known about Pettingill himself that I felt the book required a short biography of the man — so I wrote one. There has been very little written about Pettingill, making it difficult to put together a story of his life. I had only previously read “A Visit with Norman Pettingill” by Rodney Shroeter from Comic Art # 3 (2003), which was useful but also problematic: it charted the broad arc of Pettingill’s life in desultory fashion, but also contained inaccuracies and internal discrepancies. I was able to separate fact from fiction by interviewing Pettingill’s sons, Bud and Jack, and by consulting a lifelong friend of Pettingill’s, Jim Pink, all of whom proved generous with their time and helpful. *This is the latest draft, which may be slightly revised for publication.

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Rich Kreiner: A Minis Monday Special Bulletin: Woman King

Posted by on March 8th, 2010 at 2:38 PM
A while back I took a look at a chapter, the second, of Colleen Frakes’ Woman King that was assembled, offered and reviewed as a mini. I found that segment to be a fine encapsulation in fantasy of a dilemma of leadership, experienced here by a young girl chosen to rule, in time, over a clan of bears.

Minis Monday: End of Eros, Polite Fiction and Sam n’ Dan

Posted by on March 8th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
You know the beginning-of-the-workweek drill: more comics gathered from last year’s Maine Comics Arts Festival. No joke.

Rich Kreiner’s Yearlong Best of the Year: Big Questions by Anders Nilsen

Posted by on March 6th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
The series takes place on a broad communal plain inhabited by several diverse biological species. Collectively, the different animals appear as distinct cultures, societies or tribes, going about their ways as their environment hosts catastrophe and opportunities.

Unlovable by Esther Pearl Watson

Posted by on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 AM
Esther Pearl Watson’s Unlovable is a rude, crude and frequently hilarious portrait of suburban teenage life in the 1980s.

Rich Kreiner: Minis Monday: Pizza Wizard, Sugarcube and Neon Girl

Posted by on March 1st, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Mini comics, q’est-ce que c’est? Fa fa fa fa fa fa Better read read read read read read read away.

The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frédéric Lemercier

Posted by on March 1st, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre’s The Photographer is an outstanding book in many respects. Based on Lefèvre’s experiences as a photographer accompanying a Doctors Without Borders mission in Afghanistan in 1986, it is a fine memoir that doubles as a compelling adventure story.

Vacation All I Ever Wanted: The Venice Chronicles by Enrico Casarosa

Posted by on March 1st, 2010 at 9:00 AM
Enrico Casarosa’s The Venice Chronicles is more of a travel journal than a travelogue; it has the feel of a vacation rather than a journey in which the traveler discovers more about the world around him, which in turn provides insights into himself.

Rich Kreiner’s Yearlong Best of the Year: Comic Book Comics

Posted by on February 27th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
With all the comparable in-house material available, it’s probably possible to evaluate writer Fred Van Lente and artist Ryan Dunlavey’s series Comic Book Comics by contrasts alone. As Scott McClouds’ Understanding Comics gave an analysis of comics done in comics, Comic Book Comics gives the history of the form in the form.

Rich Kreiner: Meet the Comics Press: MELUS Vol. 32 #3

Posted by on February 26th, 2010 at 9:00 AM
At their best, academic journals are driven by useful ideas devised with rigor and discrimination. Their treatments explore intriguing themes and rewarding connections unlikely to be supported in other venues. Abstract concepts are habitually framed with an exacting, developed language in order to capture with precision the full subtlety of their thought.

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