Aaron here today with Sikoryak; Feiffer/Eisner; Drawing Lessons with Victoria Lomasko; Intensive Publication Intensive; Till Doomsday; Fit to Print.
‘Other than that, there’s very little in the book that has any connection, visually, to the text.’
Rachel Davies interviewed R. Sikoryak on the occasion of the release of Sikoryak’s Terms and Conditions collection:
RD: Both of your most recent projects—Terms and Conditions, and the Unquotable Trump—were first realized online. How does your attitude toward a work change when transitioning it from the internet to something tangible?
RS: It’s funny, they were first seen online, but the iTunes project started as a mini comic. I published the first two parts of the iTunes book in April 2015, and I published the second two parts, the finale of the iTunes book, in September 2015. I had been selling them at conventions, and I’d been distributing them a little bit online through a mini comics distributor called Birdcage Bottom, I had gotten them out a little bit and I showed the mini comics to Françoise Mouly, and she said, Oh, you should put these on Tumblr! I did that, and then I sent out an email to everyone I knew in the world, and said, I’m doing this thing! The minute I sent out that email, this was like 20 or 30 days after putting it on Tumblr, the day I sent that email, Boing Boing had done a story, NPR called me to do an interview, The Guardian, all these other places came in, and started writing about it. I tip my hat to Françoise for knowing enough about the internet to tell me to use it. I kind of like to know what my work is before I release it to the world, like the iTunes book, I put out the first mini comic after I’d finished the first half of it—I wanted to stake my claim to it, but I’d already done like 35 pages.
By the time I put it on Tumblr I was done, and I was really astounded by the response. I don’t know if it would have been more paralyzing to have seen all those people be very excited about it. It was a little startling to see how fast it clicked in with people. With the Trump book, again I made a mini comic, but this time I already knew I was going to start putting it on Tumblr. But I did make all of it, 16 pages, and I published the comic—published, I photocopied it, and then I put it on Tumblr. The response to that was so great that I was encouraged to make more. In this case, for Trump now [The Unquotable Trump], I’m making images, and posting them on Tumblr, and in some ways I’m certainly open to suggestions, people have [messaged me], Oh, you should do this or that! But most people don’t have it all thoroughly worked out, so you end up just having to do what you’re doing. I’m certainly keeping my ear open if anyone has any ideas. In the Trump case, I kind of have my approach, and I’ve mapped out where I’m going, but who knows what he’ll say tomorrow! He’s a different case because the iTunes thing is a living document, they do update it, but he’s a living human, and a volatile one, so I don’t know what he’s going to do next. I’m happy if he stops giving me material! I don’t need anymore, but we’ll see what happens. I have to admit, I’m really glad that Françoise suggested Tumblr to me, it’s definitely increased my visibility. I don’t know what I’ll do next online, but I might post my next project there. It is part of what comics are now, and I hadn’t embraced it before. I feel like the iTunes thing in a lot of ways has just made me think about how comics work, and how I can make comics in a new way. I also think that’s what I’m all about is thinking about comics, so it’s definitely achieved way more than I expected it would! – via The Comics Journal
Jules Feiffer Honors Will Eisner at 100: A Will Eisner Week Event
The 182nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 8 pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 8 pm starting time!
Will Eisner (1917-2005) innovated and pioneered comics in two different eras. Eisner helped invent the comics industry in the 1930s and created The Spirit in the 1940s as a heroic crime-fighting figure who appeared in a Sunday newspaper comics insert. The Spirit walked through a world of noir-inflected, urban drama, one suffused with humor and insight into the human condition, a world not afraid to essay the occasional Yiddish in-joke or Bronx social drama vignette. Then after producing comics for training and education, Eisner, in 1978, re-invented himself―and the medium of comics―with his first graphic novel, A Contract With God, followed, until his 2005 passing, with many additional graphic novels and textbooks.
From 1946 until The Spirit’s end in 1952, Eisner counted as part of his close-knit, talented staff, a precocious teenager named Jules Feiffer, who worked on The Spirit and Clifford for Eisner, and also took on the self-appointed role of Eisner’s social conscience and resident smart-ass. In the years since, Feiffer’s own multifaceted career as satirical cartoonist, screenwriter (Carnal Knowledge), playwright (Little Murders) and children’s book author (The Man in the Ceiling)―and most recently, creator of his own trilogy of graphic novels (so far Kill My Mother and Cousin Joseph have been released, with the third volume in the works)―has blossomed in a unique and spectacular manner. But he did get his start with Will Eisner, with whom he was friend and colleague―and admirer―through the rest of Eisner’s life.
Tonight, Jules will speak about his experience working for Eisner, what he learned from him and how Eisner influenced his own work, and why Eisner, a century after his birth, is still an important figure in the past, present and future of comics and graphic novels and in our culture as a whole. Jules will speak and present via Skype, and will be joined by in-person panelists, including Paul Levitz (author of Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel) and Danny Fingeroth (co-editor of The Stan Lee Universe and Chair of Will Eisner Week).
‘On the outside, I drew cartoon characters.’
Other Russians, by Victoria Lomasko, excerpted at n+1:
In August 2010, I visited the Mozhaysk Juvenile Prison for the first time, as a volunteer for the Center for Prison Reform, and gave a drawing lesson to some of the inmates. I taught drawing classes at the girls’ penitentiaries in Novy Oskol and Ryazan and the boys’ penitentiary in Aleksin, but Mozhaysk is the only place I visited more or less regularly. I was originally trained as an educator, and before I came to Mozhaysk I prepared an experimental syllabus with ten lesson plans.
There was almost no funding for the trips. We traveled by commuter train, carrying everything we needed for classes in our backpacks, so, with rare exceptions, we used the simplest materials during the lessons: paper and black pens. The Center organized the trips once a month. If you missed a trip, you had to wait for the next time around.
There is a constant turnover of inmates at the juvenile prison. Some are released on parole, others are transferred to adult prisons, and new inmates show up all the time. Over a six-month period, the roster of my drawing groups changed completely.
Some of the teens were well educated, while others were hearing everything for the first time. Many of them had psychological problems. In short, teaching classes at a penitentiary was tricky: you had to experiment and develop your own lesson plans.
Triple Canopy is pleased to announce its fourth Publication Intensive, a two-week program in the history and contemporary practice of publication. During the Publication Intensive, Triple Canopy editors and invited artists, writers, and technologists will lead discussions and workshops with twelve participating students, who will research, analyze, and enact an approach to publication that hinges on today’s networked forms of production and circulation but also mines the history of print culture and artistic practice. The program will take place at Triple Canopy’s venue in Manhattan, and will include visits to studios of artists and designers, archives, and cultural institutions.
Apply online through 11:59pm on Monday, April 17 2017. Participants will be notified no later than Friday, April 21. If you have further questions, please write firstname.lastname@example.org. Read a conversation between participants in 2014’s program here.
Coming up on March 30th: John Malta & Siobhan Gallagher launch new doomsday anthology zine and Desert Island window installation, and Ezequiel García visits from Buenos Aries to sign his Fantagraphics book “Growing Up In a Public”. One big event Thurs the 30th at 7 pm! Come hang and meet the artists.
Fit to Print brings together a selection of art and editorial illustration created by 17 graduates of the Haute école des arts du Rhin (H.E.A.R.) in Strasbourg, one of the preeminent art schools in France. First presented at the Tomi Ungerer Museum in Strasbourg from January–April 2016, the exhibition debuts in New York in two parts — one at the Society of Illustrators, and another at The New York Times.
Since 2012, The New York Times’s Opinion section has commissioned more than 100 illustrations from H.E.A.R.-educated artists to accompany a wide range of articles, or “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” in the words of the famous Times slogan. These artists caught the art directors’ attention with their excellent drawing and printmaking skills, strong sense of visual storytelling, and an often surreal, poetic approach to composition and concept.
On view here is a selection of the artists’ personal and collaborative projects, primarily created for galleries or self-initiated publications. The exhibition continues at The New York Times with a collection of the artists’ commissioned illustrations. My hope is that these two shows demonstrate the power of editorial illustration, not only in its functional role as visual communication, but also as a unique form of fine art.
– Alexandra Zsigmond, curator and art director at The New York Times
A Cosmic Journey – 3-21-2017 – by Cameron Arthur
Suzy and Cecil – 3-21-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 3-21-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio