02/01/2018

Bryce Davidson shares the work of Honore Daumier, and Chris Diaz has 3 new photo reports for us!

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Work by Honore Daumier

Bryce Davidson here: What’s up with cartoons? Caricatures perhaps might be more accurate. Simplified, amplified, and elegant, is it just good drawing? Nice shapes and lines? No, there’s something more. Most of us who read comics and appreciate the form will understand what I am referring to. Why do we spend so much time looking at these distorted images when we could look at a real person with actual facial expressions? Why does that twisted grin of a Chuck Jones character seem to portray more emotion and depth than any actor in Hollywood? It’s a tough question. For one thing it seems that the exaggeration of a cartoon help consolidate and refine the emotions and actions of character. It’s like boiling down syrup – only the essential, the truth, remains.

Honore Daumier

This brings me to the artist whom I want to focus on, one who everyone should know, especially within the current political climate – Honore Daumier, the quintessential political cartoonist. Coupling the revolutionary political climate of 17th century France and the burning hate of the bourgeoisie, “He revealed, as a true visionary, the faults endemic to the system that transcended the cast of political players” (Erlanger).

The venom this guy spits in his drawings is insane. The introduction to Daumier: Politicians goes on to explain:

The overfed, somnolent, or sneering deputies in Daumier’s picture are physically and morally hideous. Here is an art that denounces not only individuals, but underlying attitudes. Daumier brings to the pitiless light of day monsters serving as puppets for monied interests, electoral fraud, and the inextricable links between money and power.

I shouldn’t even have to mention how relevant it all is. If you’re looking for an artist who defined the sneer and critique of political caricature, look no further. I could rattle on about artists who are still producing work that rips this guy. His stuff is that universal. The characters are timeless, truly human, no smoke and mirrors. It’s really something that only a cartoon can do. Following are some more scans from the previously mentioned book, Daumier: Politicians by Philippe Erlanger. It can be purchased HERE if you’re interested in learning more. – Bryce Davidson

Works Cited:

Erlanger (Author), Philippe. “Introduction.” Daumier: Politicians, Alpine Fine Arts Collection, 1992.

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Jaime Hernandez at The Last Bookstore in old downtown Los Angeles – photo by Chris Diaz

Chris Diaz was busy attending comics events in the last few months! He shares photos from Jaime Hernandez’s Dec. 11th 2017 chat with Jordan Crane HERE, Charles Forsman at Comix Experience on Dec. 6th 2017 HERE, and Tom Gauld at a few places in Nov. 2017 while he was on tour for his new comic Baking With Kafka HERE. As always, comics fandom thanks you Chris!

Tom Gauld at Pegasus Books in Berkeley

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Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.

Check out the “Best of Frank Santoro” PDF collections, available HERE!

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Joanie and Jordie – 2-1-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

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