Sam Ombiri with a review of Maggie Umber’s Sound of Snow Falling – and Sally with Adam Griffiths, Tayo Fatunla, and more!
Sam Ombiri here: After reading Sound of Snow Falling by Maggie Umber I’m not content with the comic being treated only as “a nature documentary”. The comic uses the form in a way that is more than just to inform.
It is true that the accuracy [of the images], the intricacy of the perceived statements, and the manner in which Maggie is feeding us the images are centered around her observations, based on a long period of research. However, in James Duncan’s introduction (which was good overall,) I was having trouble with how he would try to sell the book on its strictly functional purposes of informing. Even when he calls the book beautiful, it’s only so that the beauty can serve the purpose of informing. Of course I’m not opposed to the idea of informing, I just feel it undersells the comic.
So then what purposes can a comic like this serve, if it’s not purely informative? When you read Sound of Snow Falling, it’ll jab you from the get-go. It’s the sequencing done in response to the research that drove the four years that were spent on the book. This reveals messages that even Maggie isn’t aware of, as a result of her not imposing her thoughts on the reader.
This doesn’t mean she doesn’t guide the reader with intricate sequences. That’s why I’m rather frustrated with the work just being treated like a documentary. Comics and movies are very different mediums, but I guess a comic book version of a documentary is already a somewhat subversive idea, I’m more inclined to compare it to something like An owl is an owl is an owl before some random “owl nature documentary”.
For example, the way that Maggie will show the Owl’s relation to the period of time it takes of the owl to hatch – it’s immensely poetic, especially with the way it’s displayed.
Again, intricacy. There’s a lot of it in these sequences, and they are really great to read. – Sam Ombiri
Get a copy of Sound of Snow Falling by Maggie Umber HERE.
Sally here – Adam Griffiths‘ Washington White comic is out! Part 1: Algorithm is a 72 page tabloid style tale told in a “bonkers spy-thriller” style – and it’s all about an anti-discrimination case. Bound to intrigue and absolutely certain to entice the eye. Get a copy HERE (and look for it at the Comics Workbook table at CAB in a few weeks.)
Be sure to also check out Adam’s comic A Permanent Night, mostly drawn in January of 2017 while he was doing a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency.
Actually, Adam’s conversations with Frank Santoro during that time prompted him to make the last push toward publishing Washington White, a project that he had been drawing for several years. It’s thrilling to see it come out now, especially in this tabloid format (which really seems to capture the immediacy and unpretentious quality that I love about comics).
Adam just won the CAKE Cupcake Award, which grants him $250 to print a new mini-comic for CAKE 2018, along with the mentoring of Edie Fake during the process, and his webcomic American Cryo- updates most weeks on Tumblr – HERE. He’s a busy guy, and really pouring his heart into the medium right now. Try to keep up with him!
Here’s the latest American Cry- strip:
Check out the work of Tayo Fatunla, a Nigerian cartoonist who is a graduate of the Kubert School. He began a strip called Our Roots in 1983, while he was at the school in NJ, and it remains his most well-known continuing work, published internationally. He maintains the strip, along with other political cartoons, while also teaching and lecturing around the world.
Tayo Fatunla wrote an introduction on EURweb.com recently to a young man whom he has been working with since he was a teen – a new cartoonist from Cameroon named Toh Bright. Read about him HERE and keep an eye out for his name and work in the future.
Suzy and Cecil – 10-26-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
and America S. (aged 8, a student in Sally’s comics class at LAWCC)
Cozytown – 10-26-2017 – by Juan Fernandez