Alternative/independent comics thread

Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We'll kick your ass in

Postby HotFingersClub » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:32 am

Image
Sophie Goldstein – House of Women
Good old-fashioned psychosexual drama about nuns in a jungle in space trying to beat the heat and “educate” the natives while falling prey to the attentions of a lone cad. The art is good but it could use some colour or something I think. It looks so clean, like the work of a typographer – it doesn’t quite communicate the wildness and humidity of the setting, and the setting here is really key. The character work is really effective, both in the writing and the minimalist visual design.

Image
Guy Delisle – Hostage
Hoo boy it was a very intense experience staying up past my bedtime to finish this. I did not sleep for a while last night. Delisle, who’s well-known for his memoirs about living in unusual parts of the world (see Pyongyang, Shenzhen, Jerusalem and Burma Chronicles), here relates the experience of MSF worker Christophe Andre, who was kidnapped by Chechens. Delisle makes quite a bold choice in telling us basically nothing about Andre, just starting the story on the night of the kidnap. Even spending a long time with this character, and left alone with his thoughts, we find out almost nothing about his life other than that his sister’s getting married soon. Instead of dwelling much on his past or his inner life, we’re forced to wait with him while he takes meticulous notice of every tiny change in routine and every muffled sound heard through a wall, wondering what it might mean for his chances of freedom or survival. Unexpectedly, it makes it very easy to self-insert, and the reading experience becomes a real fuckin nail biter, especially since I went in without knowing how long he’d been imprisoned for. It seems to play out almost in real time, and to some extent I felt trapped in the book with him, through panel after panel of necessarily static art, chained to a radiator, not knowing how he’d get out of there or when. It makes the resolution, when it comes, hard to handle, and makes me feel very pleased that I’m not currently being held hostage.

I’ve also been reading Yaketpachi’s Maria which is another old Tezuka manga, this time about a teenage boy who sneezes out a spirit-child that inhabits the body of a sex doll. It’s okay. Sometimes I feel like the antic quality of Tezuka’s work makes it kind of a slog to read, and this action sex comedy is less rewarding than some of the better-known stuff.
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby sevenarts » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:22 pm

Agreed that House of Women was nice, but not much more.

Image
Lovers Only #2: Love Triangle by Sophia Foster-Dimino, Mickey Zacchilli & Carta Monir
Nicely unexpected sequel to the Youth In Decline oneshot from a few years back, this is again 3 short stories about frustrated romance and unclear relationships. The first one introduced me to Foster-Dimino, and she's again the standout for me here, with a story where each page follows a trail of gossip and fucking from one character pairing to another. It's really cleverly structured and formally sharp, and packs a lot of emotion into its simple exchanges of dialogue. The other 2 stories are great, too, Zacchilli contributes a scribbly, funny little vignette and Monir does a great job with a story in which frustrated desire and frustrations over body and gender twine together beneath the placid surface of a seemingly casual weekend party. Cool stuff all around, definitely a worthwhile mini.

Image
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
Drnaso's first book Beverly - recommended by a few people here as I recall - was real good, a fantastic debut from a guy who clearly had roots and influences in some very familiar indie comics but had already found his own unique voice within that general style. His followup is even better, leaps and bounds over Beverly even, and even though his style hasn't really changed much. He's just so masterful at pacing and paneling. His linework and style are simple and minimalist, his characters aren't differentiated much beyond their hair and clothes - their faces are so vague, so bland, that they rarely even betray a recognizable expression. They live in similarly blank, personality-less spaces, and their interactions often skirt along the mere surface of what they're really thinking and feeling. And yet there's such searing emotion and horror and quiet dignity and despair and hope and ugliness and deep, overwhelming SADNESS in his work, and especially in this devastating, remarkable book. I don't think I've yet come across a better work of art that captures what it feels like to be alive in America today, which makes it sound like some "topical" "of the moment" piece of schlock culture and yet it's anything but. Drnaso weaves in so much of what makes the present moment so uniquely awful - everyday violence and mass shootings, people's complete disconnection from the plights of others, the soul-consuming nastiness and inhumanity of the Internet, the deadening drone of the media - but he does so almost as a background, a context for the very personal suffering of his clearly delineated characters. This is a deeply political work that never explicitly mentions politics. Instead, it's all about empathy and the lack thereof, about trying to cut past all the chatter and dehumanization of this culture and actually connect with some other person. And it's gorgeous, and harrowing, and unforgettable. All those simple lines, and the muted color palette Drnaso uses - much darker and moodier than the equally muted but deceptively cheerful pastel vibes of Beverly - accumulate into pages that are just dazzling in their effect. He captures loneliness so well, this feeling of people being completely alone even when someone is right nearby. Amazing book, hope everyone reads it.

Image
By Monday I'll Be Floating In the Hudson With the Other Garbage by Laura Lannes
I love this so much too. This is a collection of diary comics that Lannes originally posted online. They are shockingly intimate and confessional and raw, and also really, really funny and smart and sharp-witted. The common thread I've seen in Lannes' smallish body of work so far is a caustic sense of humor and a complicated mix of shame and abjection, often revolving around sexuality. Something like this should by rights come off as well-trod territory by now, but somehow she skirts around being boorish with her honesty and that wicked sense of humor. Also it helps that they look great. These comics are obviously done relatively quick and aren't meant to be polished but the marker-work is still so nice, and there's a appealing chunky quality to her drawings here, the linework alternating between sharply defined figures and fuzzy, watery forms that get hazy around the edges. Lannes is great, I'm so excited for her Retrofit book later this year.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby sevenarts » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:42 am

Image
The New World by Chris Reynolds
I don't care what else comes out this year, as far as I'm concerned this is THE reissue of the year. New York Review Comics has been doing a great job in the last few years, their curation has been impeccable, and the fact that they've put together this chunky book of some of Reynolds' best work is more evidence of their taste and knowledge. Reynolds has long been an obscure favorite of mine. In the 80s and early 90s - and sporadically thereafter - he self-published a series called Mauretania Comics, filled with odd, mysterious stories in a vaguely sci-fi vein, all set in a world that was interconnected, frequently overlapping in characters and ideas, but without an ongoing narrative thread pushing it along. For years, most of this work has been available mainly from Reynolds himself, packaged up in print-on-demand collections and sold online, or in the long out-of-print Penguin edition of his graphic novel Mauretania, which at least when I bought it could be found used for a few bucks pretty easily. I think he had a pretty dramatic influence on a lot of indie cartoonists over the years - Seth certainly, who edits this collection - but he otherwise seems to have been pretty forgotten, so this book is much appreciated.

These comics are very hard to define or describe - I'm not sure I've ever read anything else that affects me in quite the way that his comics do. There's a deadpan, stoical quality to his work, which is often driven by plainly written narrative captions rather than dialogue. They are very internal, contemplative stories, concerned not so much with action or progression as they are with memory and feeling. They all take place in a vaguely defined world where aliens have arrived and inexplicable occurrences are the norm, but the exact parameters of this place are never spelled out and the time period being covered seems to change unpredictably from one piece to the next. There's such a mysterious, ineffable quality to this book that I really struggle to put into words. Reynolds' distinctive art sets quite a mood. His lines are thick, his inks dense, and his regularly laid out panels (often a 9-panel grid in the short stories) are surrounded by thick black borders as well. His pages have this black heaviness as a result, shadowy and intense, and even the sunnier scenes - which always have this remarkable control over the light - seem vaguely foreboding. Film noir threads through these stories, with detectives investigating mysteries that never seem to get solved but just lead to ever more metaphysical mysteries instead. Sci-fi trappings abound but are treated in such a matter-of-fact way that they almost become mundane. One recurring character, Monitor, wears a distinctive round helmet and looks like a superhero or a spaceman, but he always seems to be working various odd jobs while waiting for his never-seen spaceship to be repaired.

This book collects some key Reynolds work: the issue-length The Dial, the graphic novel Mauretania, and a judicious selection of his short pieces. In a lot of ways the shorts are some of my favorite stuff here because they best encapsulate the mysterious quality of his work, the way his captions so enticingly sketch out a mood, a scene, a way of looking at the world, and then quietly end without resolution, letting those feelings linger and intensify. His imagery is frequently haunting: there's a sequence early in the GN where a woman wanders through the woods alone as evening transitions into night, mostly without words, and it is absolutely breathtaking, these dark, shadowy images in which her face floats in darkness or her silhouette is framed against a cross-hatched background with dark shapes looming all around her, culminating in the fantastic image of a glowing bus sign appearing as a beacon in the dark as she waits quietly by the side of the road. Reynolds' work is packed with this kind of imagery. His deliberate pacing and enigmatic storytelling creates the sense of a world in which anything might happen, and often does, but part of its appeal is that just as often nothing happens, except perhaps some unspoken momentary feeling, the experience of an evening, even just the sun setting. In one of my favorite short stories here, a ferryman muses, upon narrowly avoiding a catastrophe at sea, that if he had been worse at sailing, "a story might have happened" to him out there. That's a big part of Reynolds' charm, that knack for avoiding stories, undermining narrative impulses to focus instead on the ineffable. I can't imagine I'll get many pleasures out of comics this year better than revisiting this work in this lovingly produced format.

Image
Image
Image
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby Wombatz » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:39 am

oh this looks good, will get it, thanks for the heads up!

in things i did try to read because of this thread i attempted Daly's Highbone Theater on hfc's rec. i can say nothing bad about it, but it's so very american that the experience of 4 weeks as an exchange student in idaho some decades ago did not qualify me to read this thing, much less hold an opinion.
User avatar
Wombatz
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Postby sevenarts » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:17 am

I haven't read Daly yet (and HFC I'd definitely love some on the DB) but isn't he from South Africa?
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby HotFingersClub » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:54 am

He is South African yes. I guess I can see where that reading comes from, in that Daly is kind of chronicling the stoner universe of his particular caucasian middle class area of the globe, like Hanselmann's work is presumably set in Tasmania but could pass for America. Scrublands is more explicitly South African.

Anyway I'll pop some in the box later and you can judge for yourself
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:55 am

The New World sounds sick as hell
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby Wombatz » Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:59 am

HotFingersClub wrote:He is South African yes.

:oops:

Image
User avatar
Wombatz
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:13 pm

Don't worry man no one does.

Scrublands is in the box. Highbone Theatre currently uploading.

I also have Dungeon Quest and The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book if u liek the taste
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby Melville » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:20 pm

HotFingersClub wrote:Basically crying at work today over Raymond Briggs' Ethel & Ernest

Image

I should read this. I love When the Wind Blows.
Image
User avatar
Melville
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:55 am

Postby Melville » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:50 pm

HotFingersClub wrote:Ivan Brunetti – Ho!
Woah, Ivan Brunetti is seriously awful. You’d have to go a long way to find more obvious, tedious jokes, and the patina of “offensiveness” that he drips over them only makes them more lame. It’s like Family Guy but… X-RATED! (shitty guitar music). It’s a shame this got published.

I haven't read Ho!, but I think Brunetti's crude humor in Schizo #1-3 is much more self-lacerating than Family Guy. It exudes self-hatred and disgusted disappointment with reality. I was mixed on those issues, but I love much of Schizo #4. It's a lot less crude, abrasive, and cynical. The Kierkegaard strip in it is one of my favorite things.
Image
User avatar
Melville
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:55 am

Postby Melville » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:52 pm

That Chris Reynolds book looks awesome.
Image
User avatar
Melville
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:55 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:50 am

Melville wrote:
HotFingersClub wrote:Ivan Brunetti – Ho!
Woah, Ivan Brunetti is seriously awful. You’d have to go a long way to find more obvious, tedious jokes, and the patina of “offensiveness” that he drips over them only makes them more lame. It’s like Family Guy but… X-RATED! (shitty guitar music). It’s a shame this got published.

I haven't read Ho!, but I think Brunetti's crude humor in Schizo #1-3 is much more self-lacerating than Family Guy. It exudes self-hatred and disgusted disappointment with reality. I was mixed on those issues, but I love much of Schizo #4. It's a lot less crude, abrasive, and cynical. The Kierkegaard strip in it is one of my favorite things.


I've never read that issue so I'll take your word for it, but after reading Ho and most of Misery Loves Comedy it would take a lot for me to consider reading any more of his stuff
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby sevenarts » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:09 pm

Image
Girl Stories by Lauren Weinstein
Great funny, awkward, painfully sincere strips about being a teenage girl, dealing with cliques, inconsistent friends, bullies, alternately yearning for and being disappointed by boys, all that stuff. Just bursting with vitality on every page. It was drawn over a period of many years so Weinstein's style varies quite a bit, but it's always infused with a ton of personality, especially in the way she purposefully warps her own image in accordance with her mood and the way she sees herself in a particular story. The episodic structure works wonderfully, all these little snippets, scenelets, and gag strips gradually accumulating into a patchwork image of the high school years. Definitely a classic.

Image
Scrublands by Joe Daly
Finally picked up on HFC's suggestion to read some Daly. Well... it's OK. This book is dominated by a lengthy, semi-abstract strip called "Pre-Baby," which is actually quite good - a blobby human-like form drifts passively through landscapes that alternately suggest the inside of the body, the bottom of the sea, alien planets, and sexualized human forms, all on a journey towards a kind of birth. It's pretty cool, and Daly's pseudo-abstract cartooning is a lot of fun. It's surrounded by a whole bunch of shorter gag strips mostly starring a pair of slacker buddies, and those are very much not my kind of thing. In those strips, Daly's debt to American underground cartoonists is very obvious, and maybe a little bit too to 90s indie solo anthology guys like Clowes, Brown, Burns, etc. This work feels pretty derivative, very much already done, and it's kind of blank to me - not especially funny, and it's not at all clear what the point even is. Maybe the humor just goes over my head but I didn't really feel this book at all other than "Pre-Baby."

Image
Highbone Theater by Joe Daly
This was much more interesting to me, though I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it overall. It took me a bit to get really into it, but gradually its savage mockery of hyper-masculine, macho culture really started to win me over in a way the shorter strips in Scrublands never did. Daly's cartooning, it should be said first off, is at an extremely high level here, this stuff looks amazing. His beefy-bodied, tiny-headed caricatures have this amazing physicality and rubbery way of moving and gesturing that's just really fun to look at above all. And the book is an epic, nearly 600 pages long, but the imagery never really wears thin because Daly mixes it up really well, throwing in color segments and shifting between reality, dreams, hallucinations, movie scenes, and amorphous sequences in between these various levels of reality. Parts of this I find especially funny and satirically sharp. The protagonist, Palmer, is a bit of a loner and weirdo who never fits in with his stereotypical "bro" buddies, and I really got a kick out of all the scenes that parody that kind of dude-dominated party culture. Daly's use of awkward silences, juxtaposed with the goofy, strangely vulnerable-looking faces of his characters, makes a lot of these conversations really hilarious, odd, and even poignant in a way that's hard to precisely put a finger on. Good stuff. But it is a looooong book, and not all of it connects in quite the same way - a lot of the conspiracy chatter loses me, and unfortunately kind of takes over the book towards the end and I'm not at all sure what I'm meant to make of any of that stuff. Some of the portrayals of black people are also pretty :? and I'm not sure if I just feel that way because Daly is a white South African dude but it feels weird that in this book set in Africa, black people pretty much only pop up as figures of nightmare and violence - maybe that's meant to portray the perspective of these (white) characters, but it definitely feels half-baked at best. It's in stuff like that that I see why Wombatz could come away from this thinking it's stereotypically hyper-American, and not in a good way. Still, this is a pretty fascinating book and Daly is undeniably a top-notch cartoonist so even the parts that don't really work are still pretty wild to just look at, and I came away from this all the more intrigued by him overall even if I can't say I love this straight through.

Image
Frontier #16 by Ako Castuera
I'm probably always going to be the kind of philistine who likes the issues of this series that focus on comics best, but this sculpture showcase is still pretty neat. Castuera's work recalls various kinds of folk art but with lots of weird, subtle twists to it that betray a twisty personal mythology and an odd sense of humor. Her forms meld animals, bits of modern detritus, images of gods and mythological creatures, and painted patterns. The photographs are all really good and capture the details and nuances of her work up close really well. A nice little exhibit.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby Wombatz » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:35 am

Image

ha ha ha indeed. after thoroughly enjoying some random issues of Eddie Campbell's Bacchus i ordered the cheapest trade i could find, it's volume 5, earth, water etc. well, this is not the way to read it, the complete story, one page after another, is a tough grind, lots of repeats, overexplanations, general stuffiness andsoforth. i'm too lazy to research the publication history of this, but the floppies mixed a few pages of this and that storyline to brilliant contrast and effect, constantly surprising and engaging. go for those, the trade explains too many jokes.

Image

somewhere i have a couple of self-released things by Vincent Stall, and as i remember they were real beauties, lovingly designed, fun to touch. Things You Carry came out in 2011 from 2D Cloud, and it's a bit too anonymously half-glossy. i think stall's original drawings for this had white as a third color (like on the cover on this one), and that looked much more memorable, the central character like a ghost separated from the surroundings. i'm stressing this so much because i had a hard time getting into the book/zine for this reason, the constant yellow/brown kind of makes the gaze slip across the pages. it's still pretty good though, splendid art and a nice little parable about the stuff that makes us us vs. the larger scheme of things.

Image

this is Hot Metal by Gabriel Corbera. very nice, a lone explorer coming to terms with the landscape around him and then the vampire bats come in. it's a bit less like an existential video game with much talk interrupted by fight scenes than his usual stuff (which i don't know too well) ... the art is somewhere between jon chandler and noel freibert and very cool, but he's not as good a writer as those two. still recommended.

Image

speaking of Jon Chandler, i've finally read the two-volume collection of his earlier zines and stuff, Be Careful What You Read. it's something like 700 pages, but a very quick read. especially the first volume is pretty great, not like a collection of diverse stuff at all, there is no indication what pages are from which zine, but like a developing narrative with recurring themes and characters. the main setting appears to be a somewhat over-familiar medieval retro-postapocalypse through which protagonists often move like through a video game (see corbera) doing battles and cracking wisely, but, contrary to other examples of this genre, the characters are complex, often strange customs underlying their doings, and much is left unexplained. (the comparison makes no sense, but he has a kind of gfrörer-like knack for historically allusive situations.) the second volume is a little more grabbaggish and should be 80 pages shorter, but there's still enough good things in it (all pics here from the second volume).

Image

Image
User avatar
Wombatz
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Postby sevenarts » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:37 am

Great reviews as always. I really need to read more Chandler, he looks pretty interesting.

Although:

Wombatz wrote:there is no indication what pages are from which zine, but like a developing narrative with recurring themes and characters.


I get why people do this when collecting old stuff but I kinda hate it. I like getting a sense of history when trawling through old zines and minis, seeing where the seams are rather than trying to hide them. I feel the same way about collections of floppies that try to erase the boundaries between issues too much.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby HotFingersClub » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:18 am

Sevenarts! Good job checkin out Joe Daly - loved reading your thoughts and I'm glad you found things to enjoy. It being funny and fun to look at is a big part of its appeal to me. You're right about his treatment of black people. It's the same in all of his books: they barely appear apart from in strange peripheral roles. I don't know much about South Africa, and I wonder if it's less socially integrated than we might expect given the geography. I always find myself wondering if his portrayal is typical for media coming from white SA.
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby Wombatz » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:22 am

sevenarts wrote:
Wombatz wrote:there is no indication what pages are from which zine, but like a developing narrative with recurring themes and characters.

I get why people do this when collecting old stuff but I kinda hate it. I like getting a sense of history when trawling through old zines and minis, seeing where the seams are rather than trying to hide them. I feel the same way about collections of floppies that try to erase the boundaries between issues too much.

i guess i enjoy not being reminded that i already have a few of the minis :)

talking of chandler, issue 4 of john's worth should be out shortly, but that's probably not his strongest series, very beholden to tough guy road movie genre tropes ... also, here's a link to a recent story from a forthcoming breakdown press anthology https://partisanhotel.co.uk/The-Hitcher-ii
User avatar
Wombatz
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:00 am

I wrote a long and probably unnecessary evaluation of all of these and then lost it all in a crash, so you will have to make do with the knowledge that Incomplete Works and Jane are not good, Jessica Farm is a'ight and The Season of the Snake is real good and is recommended for fans of Moebius and euro-sci-fi in general

Image
Dylan Horrocks - Incomplete Works

Image
Aline Brosh McKenna & Ramon K. Perez - Jane

Image
Josh Simmons - Jessica Farm

Image
Serge Lehman & Jean-Marie Michaud - The Season of the Snake
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby sevenarts » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:52 pm

Image
The Artist by Anna Haifisch
A collection of her Vice strips about a pathetic, struggling artist. Kind of one-dimensional and slight but undeniably funny too. The strip basically has one joke - artists are over-sensitive, socially hapless, and disconnected from the world - but the variations on that formula are well done and Haifisch's sense of humor is charming without sacrificing its edge. Her ratty, nervous line is perfectly suited to the themes of the strip, capturing the anxieties and hang-ups of her nameless protagonist. The overall aesthetic, especially the colors, remind me a lot of Michael DeForge though this isn't anywhere near his level of insight and depth. Not bad, anyway.

Image
Von Spatz by Anna Haifisch
New book from Haifisch and much better than The Artist, although the general aesthetic and the themes with which she's preoccupied remain mostly the same. This one is still concerned with artists and their follies but here she adopts a whimsical structure in which a trio of famous artists - Walt Disney, Saul Steinberg, and Tomi Ungerer - meet up at a psychiatric retreat where over-stressed artists go to recover. Without varying her style much, Haifisch seems to hit on something deeper here, with a series of deadpan anecdotes and uneventful moments gradually adding up to a quietly affecting (and wryly funny) book that deals with the intersections between creativity, capitalism, and mental illness. Where The Artist was straightforward, its jokes and point of view patently obvious on the most superficial readthrough, this book is gently absurdist and surreal, threading its ideas from one oddball image or scenario to another. Its ever-shifting, brightly hued desert landscapes recall Herriman more than DeForge this time, and its mixture of absurd humor and moody introspection makes it surprisingly poignant.

Image
Prison Pit Book 6 by Johnny Ryan
Long-awaited final volume of Ryan's nutso ultra-violent series. The protagonist Cannibal Fuckface, having previously fought his way through about 1,000 pages of gruesome monsters, piling up endless hills of entrails and body parts along the way, now runs the final gauntlet towards a bonkers confrontation with his ultimate nemesis, while completing his own transformation into an inhuman crystalline creature with no remaining connection to his former fleshy existence. Ryan comes up with some inventive body horror or new disembowelment method on nearly every page, with only the most minimal of dialogue to get in the way. Darkly funny, horrific, and liable to make you say "holy shit" every other page. Just an absolute testament to comics at their dumbest and best.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby HotFingersClub » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:41 am

Picked up some cool shit at ELCAF this weekend

Image
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby sevenarts » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:59 am

Hell yea. That's a great haul, can't wait to hear your thoughts about some of those.

I ordered that Emily Carroll book recently too, looking forward to reading that as well.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby Hot Piece » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:37 am

User avatar
Hot Piece
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:27 pm

Postby sevenarts » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:45 pm

Image
A Western World by Michael DeForge
Always faintly disappointing to buy a book thinking it's new and find out it's a collection, mostly of stuff I already have. Still, when the material included is this good revisiting it in a new format is fun anyway. This gathers together a new crop of DeForge short stories from the last 5 or so years, from his 2 comics for Breakdown Press, his oneshot Placeholders from last year, his contributions to Island and Kramer's, etc. All fantastic stuff and despite the range of styles on display, it holds together really cohesively. "The Prime Minister of Canada," from On Topics, is a special highlight, in which the title character quietly mopes and slogs through the routine embarrassments, petty frustrations, and aggravating red tape of his boring job. His Island story, a straightfaced slice of absurdist horror in which Saturn becomes an odd afterlife for Earth's dead, is still astonishing, and "Placeholders" still rules even at a dramatically reduced size. There's some stories I don't recall seeing before too, which may mean I just don't remember but the bits that were new to me were great too, especially the final story, which is especially gorgeously drawn and colored, and is one of the most melancholy, moving pieces here. Another fantastic book from one of the best artists in comics, very much essential for anyone who doesn't have this stuff already, and maybe even for those who do, too.

Image
Beneath the Dead Oak Tree by Emily Carroll
Very cool newish minicomic from this master of fairy tale-like horror. This is beautiful, one of the prettiest comics I've seen from her, the colors especially are amazing. Formally this is pretty similar to the short stories in her big collection Through the Woods - styled halfway between a comic and a children's book, with many pages foregoing panels in favor of striking full page images with minimal text driving the narrative. Carroll's a gifted short story artist, her sense of pacing is impeccable and the way she uses repetition in the narrative, like in a classical fairy tale, is really elegantly done. Gorgeous, gory, and just a lot of fun to read while also being suffused with darker emotional undercurrents. She packs a lot into a few pages here, this is great.

Image
What Is Left by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
Another mini from the same UK publisher, Short Box, that did the Carroll comic. This one is a short sci-fi piece that's pretty rich and emotional, focusing more on mood than action. A spaceship fueled by the memories of a volunteer is destroyed, and one crew member survives in the heart of the engine, drifting like a ghost through the fragmented memories of the young woman who'd been powering the ship. It's another gorgeous comic, the fine-lined cartooning is really excellent and the pink and purple hues with which it's shaded overlay a consistent, somewhat melancholy atmosphere over everything. Reminds me quite a bit of Tillie Walden, never a bad thing.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

Postby HotFingersClub » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:26 am

You beat me to my own damn reading pile. Looking forward to those Shortbox books

Is there anywhere that has a complete list of what A Western World actually contains? I want new DeForge but I'd prefer not to double up
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:35 am

I haven't seen that Prime Minister of Canada one before but it looks almost too real for my sense of personal responsibility and engagement with the world right now
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:10 am

Image
Paul Buhle & Noah Van Sciver - Johnny Appleseed: Green Spirit of the Frontier
This is kind of interesting albeit definitely scholarly and a little dry. It's not the easiest read. It's a biography of the real man John Chapman behind the Johnny Appleseed story, but partly for lack of surviving detail, it digresses a lot into the character of frontier society at the time – the social and religious environment that produced Chapman – and posits his legend as being a kind of gentle, life-giving opposing force to more masculine, violent and expansionist American folktales like Paul Bunyan, John Henry and the whole cowboy thing. Van Sciver is working in the same vein as his own book The Hypo, and he's a good fit, but the tone overall is much more documentary or even scholarly dissertation than storytelling per se. I would have liked to have seen Van Sciver's own take on the story, whether he would have given it a more conventional (or engaging) dramatic structure.

Image
Sophia Foster-Dimino – Sex Fantasy
Really good, thanks Sevenarts. These are spacious, surreal expressions of certain obscure feelings that come about when we try to relate to other people. I loved a lot of them, and enjoyed each one pretty much more than the last, but particularly the one with the little woman getting trapped at a bus stop in a blizzard. It's a thick book but there's only one panel on each page, and it goes not much slower than a flipbook. Really excited to see something more substantial from her.

Image
Gary Panter – Jimbo in Purgatory
Really just posting this to see if anyone else is a fan, because to me it was impenetrable. Should I go back and try harder?

Image
Box Brown – Is This Guy for Real?
Box Brown's Andy Kaufman biography is clearly trying to capitalise on the success of his earlier Andre the Giant one, and I think he's chosen his subject well to capture a similar audience and a bit of thematic resonance. I liked it well enough, but it still feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. Brown's got a fun thick line and an appealing cartooning style similar to DeForge, but is stylistically quite rigid (at least in his non-fiction), and it sometimes limits the art I think – some of these characters are not really recognisable as their IRL counterparts, although they mostly look distinct enough from each other. He focuses a lot on the wrestling in this book, on the feuds in particular, and it feels like the book suffers for it if I'm honest – the wrestling may have been a bigger part of Kaufman's life and personal interests (genuinely don't know about this – I've only seen Man on the Moon) but his impact seems much greater in the world of standup and character comedy, and it deserves more attention than Brown gives it. As with the Andre book, the insights seem pretty surface-level. Bit disappointing.
Last edited by HotFingersClub on Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby Wombatz » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:56 am

yes i'm also finding it difficult to really get into panter (of course he was a huge influence on stuff i really like (though i must admit that i find e.g. chippendale sometimes drags in a very similar way if in a lighter mood))

by coincidence, i tried reading the hypo some weeks ago and the thick texture of lines was quite nice to stare at, but apart from that i didn't see the point and soon gave up (it's like that complaint against some sort of films when they're just filmed theater, wooden to a stillstand, and not real movies ... that genre only in comics)

i enjoyed jessica farm much more than hfc did
User avatar
Wombatz
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Postby HotFingersClub » Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:11 pm

I thought Jessica Farm was pretty good. Def not my favourite Simmons. Why did you like it? Have you read Hans Rickheit's books?

You aren't missing much with The Hypo, it's pretty boring. Disquiet is still the only Van Sciver book I've enjoyed
User avatar
HotFingersClub
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:31 am

Postby sevenarts » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:11 pm

HotFingersClub wrote:Is there anywhere that has a complete list of what A Western World actually contains? I want new DeForge but I'd prefer not to double up


I don't know of a complete listing, but it definitely has all 4 stories from the Breakdown Press issues of On Topics #1-2, "Mostly Saturn" from Island, "Computer" from Kramer's Ergot, his large-format oneshot "Placeholders" from last year, and a couple of shorts from Lose. Not sure on the rest and at least a few stories I think are previously unpublished, or at least I didn't recognize them and I grab most everything I can find from him.
User avatar
sevenarts
 
Posts: 4470
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: NY

PreviousNext

Return to Mamma Mia... Here We Go Again....

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Annie May, bruceagain, Christmas Ape, collin, gallits, gambra, Google [Bot], Grey Poupon, Hauntedattic, hilbert, Hoxha, KALM, Kaputt, launchpad, moses, murderhorn, normal finkenstein, Parson Floogle, patrick cokane?, PublixUltimate, That Demon Life, The Fool on the Hill, trampoline, wong