04/04/2017

Aaron here today with the Agony of Ben Katchor; NET ART; The Disappointment of Katie Fricas; BLUTCH; Thurber/Wegman, Wegman/Thurber; The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie.

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Ben Katchor, from The Brazen Bull Corporation

‘a voice emanating from a Lower East Side automat.’
Ben Katchor in conversation with his Metropolis editor, Belinda Lanks:

I know people like to ask about what kind of pen I use, what kind of paper, like there’s a secret to this. I tell them, “You can sit at my table with the same pen and paper, and it’s not going to help you, because you didn’t work at figure drawing and storytelling for years.” You build up these skills. Just like somebody who makes chairs is more likely to make a great chair. When you do anything in a serial production, there are just these micro seconds of creativity, then the rest of it is just the craft of making the thing. There’s the workmanlike approach where you just say, “Here’s this thing I want to demonstrate.” I’ve practiced drawing for decades and know how to use language in some limited way, and I can put these together and make this plausible story or demonstration.

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NET ART
Rhizome.org has posted an anthology of internet art from the past 30-odd years:

This two-year online exhibition will present 100 artworks from net art history, restaging and contextualizing one project each week.

Devised in concert with Rhizome‘s acclaimed digital preservation department, Net Art Anthology also aims to address the shortage of historical perspectives on a field in which even the most prominent artworks are often inaccessible. The series takes on the complex task of identifying, preserving, and presenting exemplary works in a field characterized by broad participation, diverse practices, promiscuous collaboration, and rapidly shifting formal and aesthetic standards, sketching a possible net art canon.

From ‘A Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century’, VNS Matrix (Josephine Starrs, Julianne Pierce, Francesca da Rimini, and Virginia Barratt), 1991

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The Casual Disappointment of Bjarne Melgaard
At the Hyperallergic blog, Katie Fricas voices/draws her reaction to the Bjarne Melgaard show at Red Bull Arts New York (220 W 18th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) through April 9.

Katie Fricas, from The Casual Disappointment of Bjarne Melgaard

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Blutch

Blutch in NYC

The 183rd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 4, 2017 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Blutch on “A European Education.”

I am currently working on a book called Variations (Dargaud, September 2017), where I recreate a series of famous graphic novel sequences by great masters of European comics. This work forces me to ask myself questions regarding the ambiguous nature of sequential art.

Neither literary nor plastic, it is what Harold Rosenberg, referring to painting, once defined as an anxious object. How do we decode it? Where does it stand in our society? A graphic novel can receive a Pulitzer, cartoonists’ work is exhibited in great museums while the art establishment is still indecisive on weather to consider it a minor or a major art. Personally, I call my work ‘paradoxal literature.’

The pages that compose Variations follow each other with no beginning or end. Just fragments of stories that allow me to reach what I feel is hidden somewhere beyond the boundaries of my storytelling: sequential art as a brand new form of poetry. That is, a form of literature ‘to observe.’ Sculpted literature.

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No Maine is an Island

William Wegman & Matthew Thurber
Opening April 1, 7 to 10pm

William Wegman and James Thurber, together at last. What’s that? A filing clerk sent the invitation to the wrong Thurber. Too late to retract the invitation now. But when Wegman met Thurber he was crestfallen. That is, he dropped a tube of toothpaste into the toilet. I don’t know why they decided to meet in the bathroom. Maybe it seemed like gender-neutral territory. Foolish Thurber left some Wegmans too close to a scented candle and…whoops.

It seems they’ve started to copy each other’s drawings. To become the other’s ‘evil twin’…but let’s not be naive here!…a ‘good’ drawing? an ‘evil drawing’? No such thing exists…we all know that. We…did you close the chimney flue? You fool, don’t you know bad drawings can crawl down the chimney like bats, like leopards, like Wegmans and Thurbers???? There is however, possibly at this moment in your unattended studio washroom a witch, laughing at you in the mirror. Come on now…enough is enough. Are you being serious? Or are you just halving Fun?

“No Maine Is An Island” includes new call-and-response drawings by William Wegman (b.1943) and Matthew Thurber (b.1977), as well as a selection of Wegman drawings from the ’70s and ’80s. The exhibition remains on view, by appointment, through May 7.
 
Teen Party is located at 874 Greene Avenue, Apt 2A, in Brooklyn. 

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Stories-within-stories are the best kind of stories
Not ‘comics-related’ specifically, but Mr. Robot strikes me as a particularly ‘comic book-y’ show; this is the movie-within-the-show from the second season, The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie. A reminder to us that these massacres of the bourgeoisie should be, above all else, careful.

Screenshot from The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie

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Check out Portraits by Connor Willumsen. This magazine sized 16-page beautifully printed booklet (by WestCan – who also printed thee Santoro School Handbook) of portraits by the great Connor Willumsen is now available. Edition of 500.

Connor will be a special guest at the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo this coming weekend. If you’re in the region come meet him and other great cartoonists!

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A Cosmic Journey – 4-4-2017 – by Cameron Arthur

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Suzy and Cecil – 4-4-2017 – by Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie –4-4-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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