It was a week for brilliant interviews, with Annie Mok talking to Michael DeForge, and the Inkstuds radio show with Gilbert Hernandez. Exciting new books came out this week, and we came across an important list of female Brazilian cartoonists that you’re going to want to investigate. Here we go!
Let’s dive right into the interview with Michael, which came to us via The Comics Journal. Annie Mok and Michael DeForge begin by talking a bit about his new book, Big Kids, which came out February 23rd 2016 from Drawn + Quarterly.
“DEFORGE: I’d sort of been circling adolescence for awhile in my stories, and I guess this is the one where I’m writing about it most directly, and the allegory is like [laughs] very clear… It’s a time when people are most aware of the edges of the world. Not maybe able to see them yet, but aware they’re there. For me, things stop seeming limitless—which is maybe not how—I know you’re supposed to feel invincible and boundless as a teenager, but for me, that’s when I was aware of limits everywhere. But not really sure what all of them looked like, or the shape of all of it, or how to best escape them. That to me was what Big Kids was about, seeing a little bit more of the edges of things. And sometimes what seems like a radical shift in perception ends up not being very [radical] in the end.”
From there, Annie leads the conversation to touch on memory, the artistic community a cartoonist builds for themselves or stumble into, and the cliché (but necessity) of comics as therapy. They also mention the musical puppet show that Michael is working on slowly but surely, and Annie’s reaction perfectly sums up my feelings about that – “Oh my god! Aaah, so happy!” Read the whole spectacular interview HERE.
Oliver East just published a new book – Take Me Back to Manchester. It’s the story of an epic walk that took place in 1872, when an elephant and his trainer trekked the 220 miles between Edinburgh and Manchester. Why? You’ll have to check out the comic. As much as it sounds delightful, the story of how it came about is equally lovely.
Oliver East is the “walking cartoonist”. Before creating Take Me Back to Manchester, he followed the route of his heroes on foot across Scotland and England, walking over 20 miles a day for 10 days. In this short documentary (below) made by Simon Sylvester and Dom Bush, Oliver walks through some wonderful parts of the world, and talks about his struggles with dyslexia, how he didn’t even start drawing until he was 26, and what it was like to compose a comic in motion with the ghost of an elephant at his side. Check it out.
The new mini kuš! #38-41 are out, which means spring is pretty much here.
“The creators of the newest minis are Ingrīda Pičukāne, Tara Booth, Hanneriina Moisseinen and Aisha Franz. The comics vary from an incredibly sad war story to a super fun and wild adventure of a young woman, a broad range of stories both fictional and non-fiction and drawn in different styles both digital and hand-drawn! A great bunch of comics for new discoveries!”
Robin McConnell always does his research, which makes for detailed conversations that really illuminate the life and work of the people he interviews. Gilbert Hernandez can tell a story out loud just as well as he can on paper, and between the stories are loads of interesting tidbits and comments on the comics scene he helped craft from the bottom up. Great stuff. (I especially liked when he compared superheroes to screwdrivers…!) Set aside some time to listen to the whole thing, because this guy is one of the reasons we’re all making comics today.
I have a special guest today, here with a brief bit of Brazilian comics news for you. Anna Mancini (pictured above in her studio) recently shared with me a list of some of her favorite Brazilian cartoonists – folks like Julia Balthazar and Amanda Paschoal (see pic below) – and soon she will be providing a detailed scene report for Comics Workbook. For the moment though, she’s got something else to share.
Anna here, reporting:
“Aline Lemos has put together a collaborative list of *all* Brazilian women comics artists – from young students to established pros. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out – https://goo.gl/AYyde5
Aline Lemos created it aiming to bring more visibility to female cartoonists in our country, since there’s a widespread dismissal of our presence and relevance to the scene. As I have noticed from following American blogs and artists, this situation is not exclusive to our experience in Brazil – I have that recent piece by Kim O’Connor in mind, having the situations she described ring a little too familiar with the attitude of many Brazilian male cartoonists.”
Thanks Anna! Check out the list she mentions, and discover the legion of women in comics in Brazil!
That’s my Friday news for you. Have a terrific weekend and meet us back here on Monday for the latest and greatest in comics news! – Sally