Alternative posts

Artichoke Tales

Posted by on August 16th, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Artichoke Tales There's been a real surge of interest in the fantasy genre among indy and small press cartoonists these days. To wit (and off the top of my head): Orc Stain by James Stokoe, Powr Mastrs by C.F., Dungeon Quest by Joe Daly, The Mourning Star by Kazimir Strzepek, Daybreak by Brian Ralph — I could go on. Megan Kelso's Artichoke Tales is another entry in that list, although to some degree it stands apart from it's sword-and-sandal brethren, both in terms of content and thematically. It's not as concerned with conveying thrilling quests and epic tales of fantastic civilizations at war as much as it is with exploring the consequences of such adventures.

Sunday Comics: Wilson

Posted by on August 13th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Any new release from Daniel Clowes these days is subject to a level of scrutiny accorded to only a few cartoonists, including Chris Ware and Robert Crumb. Since completing what might be his career masterwork in Ice Haven, Clowes has mostly done shorter work: the Marvel Treasury-sized The Death Ray, his New York Times strip Mister Wonderful, and his big one-page strip in Kramers Ergot #7. Like those comics, his new book Wilson focuses in a single character who is desperately seeking human connection while battling his own misanthropy. It's not the Next Big Dan Clowes Graphic Novel, but more of a graphic novella — a humble character piece that once again takes its cues from his predecessors in the medium.

Another Tribe: Supertalk #1 and #2

Posted by on August 11th, 2010 at 5:34 AM
Rob reviews the first two issues of the anthology Supertalk, published by Eric Watkins.

Compartmentalization: Revolver

Posted by on August 10th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Matt Kindt's comics work is notable for the way in which it walks a line between genre concerns (frequently bordering on deliberate evocations of nostalgia) and the emotional particularities of alternative comics. There's always been a sharpness in concept that manages to distill the essence of the genre in question that Kindt deliberately undermines with the wispy, delicate nature of his brushwork. Kindt eschews the sort of slickness and pyrotechnics common to genre work through his character design. Indeed, his almost fragile line gives his work a visceral charge.

The Phenomenology of Sleep: Ganges #3

Posted by on August 3rd, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Kevin Huizenga has been wrestling with the philosophical issues surrounding mind and perception for quite some time through his everyman character Glenn Ganges and his wife Wendy. This approach has allowed him to humanize these problems through an ordinary man with an agile brain and fertile imagination. He first used this approach in Supermonster #14, the "Gloriana" issue, as he explored the depiction of the simultaneity of perceptual apprehension through Glenn experiencing a powerful moment watching a sunset in a library. It was a depiction of Glenn's sensory filters being turned off for a moment, not unlike a psychedelic or mystical experience. That kind of experience forces one to deal with sensation and perception in its rawest and most immediate states, shoving aside everyday understanding of an event.

Rich Kreiner: Minis Monday: Revenge! Tragic Relief #8

Posted by on August 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 PM
Accurate record-keeping is superfluous to an enterprise like this, but I’d wager no other cartoonist has shown up more often on Minis Monday than Colleen Frakes. In fact, I’d modify the title once given to James Brown and call her The Hardest Working Woman in Minicomics if that sort of thing, coming from only one corner of America, didn’t sound provincial.

Rich Kreiner: Minis Monday

Posted by on July 26th, 2010 at 1:00 PM
If there was one comic at the inaugural Maine Comics Arts Festival that generated some genuine, non-cliffhanger-related suspense, it would have been that of Jen Vaughn.

Top Shelf’s Swedish Invasion

Posted by on July 26th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
The Troll KingIt sounds, on the face of it, like a great marketing idea. Find a country that has a thriving comics community, but yet isn’t well known for it by most North Americans comics readers, indy or otherwise (i.e. any place that’s not France or Japan). Then, translate and release a number of said country’s books to the American and Canadian public under the header of “The [name of country here] Invasion.” Voila! Almost half of your publishing catalog for the season is taken care of! OK, so it’s safe to say that Top Shelf likely had more sincere and idealistic goals in mind beyond merely filling slots in their schedule when they released their “Swedish Invasion” collection of books earlier this year. After all, it’s not like publishing these books doesn’t come with a certain amount of financial risk; there aren't that many readers clamoring to procure Scandinavian comics as far as I know.

Pitch Black: Market Day and Mental Illness

Posted by on July 22nd, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Sobel was right-on in talking about Market Day a study of transitions: the transition to fatherhood, the transition from a golden age of practicing an art and its inevitable decline, and finally a transition from Mendleman as an artist to becoming something else (and lesser). While this is all true, I'd also say that for Sturm this was more than just a transition. His stories tend to be about the beginning of the end: the crucial point where something that was once good tends to fall apart. There's a crisis point where this occurs, but it's really more a matter of a house of cards collapsing. Market Day is no exception.

Rich Kreiner: Minis Monday

Posted by on July 19th, 2010 at 3:52 PM
In this week's Minis Monday column, Rich Kreiner reviews two books by Cathy Leamy: Reggie & Brian and the Lousy Nickname and Greenblooded.

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