8/8/2016

Juan here with your news for the day: Locas Reimagined by the CW Derby Team; Rep. John Lewis speaks with Rachel Maddow; ARM’S LENGTH by K.L. Ricks; Applied Comics in Action: Doctors Drawing Mickey Mouse; Paul Gravett interviews Alexander Tucker; Ken Parille on Comics Criticism in 2016; Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman reviewed by Bill Boichel; new STREET ANGEL; special weekly Rowhouse Auction preview: CLOWES.

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Locas Reimagined 
I’m happy to announce that we are featuring a collaborative comics jam by the Comics Workbook Roller Derby Team on the site this week. The team copied and transformed Jaime Hernandez’  1984 story, Locas Starring Hopey.  This bout featured work by Allie DoerschAlyssa BergAnna ManciniGabriella Tito – Sacha MardouJillian FleckJackie HuskissonJennifer Lisa

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, Comics Workbook Roller Derby is the world’s only all-female, cartoonist-operated “roller derby of the mind” league. The league is comprised of strong, diverse, and independent women from the international comics community.

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Memorializing a life in the Civil Rights Movement 
Congressman John Lewis speaks with Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC about his work with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell on their graphic novel trilogy, March.

March brings readers a vivid comics account of Lewis’s “lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation… Book One spans Lewis’s youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins.” The third and final installment is out now.

It’s great to see Lewis speak of the road map he’s tried to create to guide and inspire a new generation to the way of peace, love and non-violence, to follow the moral obligation of taking action in the face of injustice.

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Arm’s Length Pt. 1
K.L. RICKS‘  newest comic, Arm’s Length is out over at Hazlitt Magazine. It’s an enticing first chapter. Damn, if this comic doesn’t breathe. Ricks’ inking is smart, evocative and efficient. Inspiring stuff.  Ricks’ knows how to leave you hanging, hungry for more…

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Applied Cartooning in Action: Doctors Drawing Mickey Mouse

Cartoonist Benjamin Schwartz writes over at The New York Times about the role that comics can play in the professional development of medical practitioners. It’s a brief look at the holistic nature of cartooning and the effects of the craft on it’s practitioners’ empathy and perspective.

The concept of doctor as storyteller is not a new one, nor is the idea that it’s a critical component of a doctor’s identity. What’s changed in recent years is the idea that storytelling is a skill that can be taught directly in the classroom—that it’s not some vague life skill that can only be learned through experience (or, worse, the type of ability one either does or doesn’t have). Credit for this development goes in large part to Dr. Rita Charon, an internist at Columbia University Medical Center. In the early two-thousands, she formalized a program in narrative medicine, with a stated mission to train health-care workers “to recognize, absorb, metabolize, interpret, and be moved by the stories of illness.”

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Paul Gravett interviews Alexander Tucker

Paul Gravett and Alexander Tucker, author of World in the Forcefield,  talk about alienation from the art world, the relationships between music, painting and comics, conveying spiritual concerns through comics over on Gravett’s site. Be sure to dive into Tucker’s existential boredom if you’re hungry for something new.

I’m interested in how you see the relationship and dialogue between your music-making and your comics/art-making?

The thing I didn’t like about the fine art world was having to tie up concepts and ideas into neat little fully formed packages, what I feel about music and comics is this attempt to create a fluid way of expressing ideas, the process can become the actual piece of work and the lessons learned can weave themselves into the work throughout the act of making the song or comic page.

colloquial, slightly cynical everyday speech. What are your ideas behind this? 

I’ve always liked the balance between the mundane and philosophical, the everyday and the fantastical. Since my early teens my love of surrealism and directors like David Lynch, Derek Jarman and Terry Gilliam introduced the concept of reality’s thin veil between the spirit world and our own.

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Ken Parille on Comics Criticism in 2016

Parille’s got a satisfying piece on the state of comics criticism in 2016. 7 hot takes. It’s real, it’s honest and it gets to the core of the idea that it’s only good comics that will foster the growth of comics as a form. Anything else is likely to just be hot air.

Parille puts forward an idea I’d been thinking about for a little. Comics criticism and discussion in a hyperfractured mainstream? What does that look like? How does it exist and not eat itself alive? Enter post-relevancy. It might sound silly, but it’s a useful sentiment:

Relevancy criticism often plays an ironic joke on its writer. We’re convinced that we matter when calling out the man and his corrupt ideology, but perhaps our truth-to-power musings and mumblings only advance the corporate agenda: “Everybody’s talking about the scandalous new issue of Wondrous Lad! So I bought a copy and tore it apart on my blog!” We excitedly create free buzz for mega-corporations and they move more units. Who’s the chump now?

Not the post-relevancy comics critic. She refuses to be co-opted, to be an unsuspecting shill for shit. An aesthetic adventurer with a sublime sensitivity to image, form, and detail, she seeks out comics that the mainstream ignores — yes, even fears! She heroically undertakes the sub-minimum-wage, time-consuming, socially-unrewarding, and emotionally-alienating journey of reading and writing about comics with deliberate care. She returns from her solitary excursions with something revelatory — and irrelevant — to offer us. She’s my role model.

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Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman reviewed by Bill Boichel 
Bill Boichel’s got a hearty review of the 1986, desert-island classic, Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman on the site this week. Few people can write as insightful reviews as Bill, so it’s an honor to be able to share his writing with you here. This is an oldie but a goodie <3 

Where to begin with such a book.  It is clearly and definitely the best book ever done on Krazy Kat, which is, at least in our estimation, the greatest work ever produced in comics form. Ergo, it is, Copacetically speaking, the best single volume of comics ever produced.  In other words, it wins the Deserted Island Award™:  If there were one comics related book we’d take with us to a deserted island, this would undoubtedly be it.  And as if that weren’t enough, it has now been reissued in an economy softcover edition that’ll only set you back a double sawbuck.  Think of it – a lifetime of pleasure and consolation for what it would cost you to spend a few hours in a bar.  And they say there is no God.

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New Private Rowhouse Auction –  7.31-8.6 
Last but not least, I’d like announce that this week’s Rowhouse auction will start Wednesday at noon NYC time. We will be auctioning off artwork and other rarities generously donated by the great Daniel Clowes over on eBay. Stay tuned for details – or email Frank here santoroschoolATgmail.com – You won’t want to miss this!

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until next time,
Juan

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Juan Fernández

Juan Fernández

Juan José Fernández is a Pittsburgh comics community organizer, most recently named as one of “Pittsburgh’s Creative Forces: 12 People to Meet in 2017” in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and one of seven 2016 Fuerza awardees by Café Con Leche for providing Pittsburgh Latinx leadership. He co-organizes the annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair, leads the Pittsburgh Comics Salon, and provides educational outreach for the Comics Workbook and the ToonSeum. He currently works at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
Juan Fernández

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