Thought Bubble; Recently Closed Exhibitions: LeWitt, Nevelson, Pendleton + Hockney; English on Wood; If Crisis or War Comes (To Sweden)


Salman Toor

Through June 23 at Aicon Gallery, 35 Great Jones Street, NYC.

Anuj Shrestha

From NY Art Beat:

a group exhibition featuring the work of Dhruvi Acharya, Chitra Ganesh, Amitabh Kumar, Sa’dia Rehman, Nisha Sethi, Anuj Shrestha, Himanshu Suri and Salman Toor. The exhibition explores the use of comics, graphic novels, and art which unites text and image into a single work, to examine how artists from South Asia and its diaspora are deploying new ways of seeing, representing and communicating their experience in the visual realm.

Chitra Ganesh


LeWitt, Nevelson, Pendleton
Mar 21, 2018 – May 04, 2018

Adam Pendleton, Louise Nevelson

David Hockney: Something New in Painting (and Photography) [and even Printing]
Apr 05, 2018 – May 12, 2018


Notes Toward a Future Understanding of Wally Wood
Austin English looks at the life and work of Wally Wood:

Here’s one more sad story from The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood related by Wood’s peer and art-partner Harry Harrison, describing what it was like to work for Fox Comics in 1949:

The art director would say, ‘Well, yeah, this is great stuff but we don’t pay very much. Know what I mean? I think the rate at Fox was $23 per page for ten-page stories. And while he was talking, he’d slip you a note saying something to the effect that they also expected kickbacks of $5 a page. This made a big difference to us in the rates, of course. But all these guys took kickbacks, and if you didn’t go along with it, you wouldn’t get any work…We would slide in this ten-page pile of crap with a real good splash page for the first page on top. He would look at only the first page and count the other nine, flipping through them fast. Nobody really cared about the quality. Nobody looked at these books, no one read the things very carefully. So he’d count the pages. We’d give him the $50 or whatever it came to—-$5 a page in kickbacks—and then we’d get our check in the mail from Fox, not necessarily in a week or two but in a month or so, sometimes slower than that. The money owed would add up…



Illustration by Arvid Steen


Vision Box – 5-22-2017 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 5-22-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners; Colleen Frakes; Katie Fricas; Clough/Porcellino; Park on Reynolds; Spatial Frequency Analysis


Announcing the 2018 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award.  The award of up to $2500, named for the founding curator of the BICLM, Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, supports researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections materials of the BICLM on site.

Thanks to the generosity of the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation, we are able to give three 2018 awards in celebration of the launch of the program.  Moving forward, we will give one award per year.

We were delighted to receive a large and diverse range of proposals from both national and international scholars and artists. A panel of ten reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipients for 2018 are:

  • Dr. Daniel Worden, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’ School of Individualized Study.  He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.  His project is entitled “Oil Comics: Iconographies of Energy, Environment and Motion.” Worden’s research aims to chronicle the imbrication of comics with the oil industry and the normalized use of petroleum as a fuel source, from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Xavier Dapena, Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  His project is called “’They do not represent us’: Radical Imageries of Contemporary Spanish Graphic Narratives (1973-2011).” Dapena’s project centers on the intersection of graphic narratives and political imagination and seeks to understand how the political repertoire of images, symbols, and metaphors express three processes: memorialization, precarization, and legitimation.
  • Frank Santoro, creator of Pompeii, Storeyville and other comics.  He is also an educator who runs ComicsWorkbook, a training and residency program for cartoonists.  His research on “The Ohio School of Naturalist Cartooning” will look at how Billy Ireland’s influence on Edwina Dumm, Noel Sickles, Milton Caniff, and C.N. Landon informed a language of 20th century cartooning that has carried on into the 21st century.

Congrats, Frank!


Colleen Frakes: A Cartoonist’s Diary

Colleen Frakes


‘Stopping for Art and Conversation Along the High Line’
Katie Fricas looks at the group exhibition, Agora, in NYC.

Katie Fricas


One night group exhibition and book release with work and new publications by:

Clark Keatley
Leon Sadler
Stuart McKenzie
Tom Sewell
Viktor Hachmang
Yannick Val Gesto

At Dinner Party Gallery, Thomas Briggs Building, 2-4 Southgate Rd, N1 3JJ. Walk past reception to the door under the stairs.


John Porcellino

‘How do you compare the experience of taking acid with your later practice in Zen Buddhism?’
Rob Clough continues the long interview with John Porcellino, over at The Comics Journal.

[Clough] The long “Mr Dusty” letter from Mr Mike that you printed was epic. That was an intense amount of text to lay down, which made me wonder how you feel about lettering and how your lettering has developed over the years. Did you look to others for inspiration? Did you ever use any kind of guide? Have you ever considered developing your own font?

[Porcellino] When I first started King-Cat, the lettering was as sloppy as the drawing! I didn’t care about stuff like that. I was just slinging ink. As my drawing got more evolved, the lettering did too. I started to get a kick from lettering more legibly, making those E’s, S’s. When I’m doing it it can be quite enjoyable. One thing I’ve found is I have to concentrate, kind of empty my mind, and focus on things. I can tell when I’m lettering and my mind starts to wander, things get sloppy. Then I pull it back in and keep going. Just like meditation, I guess.

For guides, like a large bunch of text like a Snornose page or a letters column, I usually use the edge of a piece of paper as a ruler… line it up with the edge of the page and use it as a guide, siding it down a bit with each new line. But it’s not perfect and half the time I end up inking a page and it’s all on a slant. In my OCD days I would redraw it. Now I just kind of laugh at myself and let it go. Occasionally I’ve ruled bluelines to guide me, and at least once I used graph paper. I think that’s how  [Aaron] Cometbus does it. That sure helps, but maybe I don’t really wanna think that much about it.

When I look back at my lettering in the OCD years, it floors me, how precise it is! I was nuts! It’s beautiful, but the cost is too much maybe. I don’t know. The whole story of my post-meds career has been learning to balance that spontaneity I had before OCD with the precision I got from it. It’s taken me like ten years to start to figure it out.

Font: no.


Chris Reynolds

Mauretania Comics
Ed Park looks at the Chris Reynolds collection, The New World.

The stories start on solid ground, then twist like dreams. Reynolds sets everything in uniformly sized panels, edged in black like funeral invitations. His impossibly thick line lends weight to these uncanny dramas of lost time. Calling the comics black and white feels insufficient; they’re more like black and white and black. This starkness, and the stabs of poetic word-image interplay, can call to mind his stateside contemporary Raymond Pettibon, while the silent, depopulated spaces that loom throughout—abandoned houses, vacant cinemas, phantom transportation—suggest any number of uneasy de Chirico vistas.


Ruye Wang

Spatial Frequency Analysis – II

The contrast sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency (called CSF) can be obtained psychophysically from the test image below [above]. You will perceive a curve which peaks at some certain optimal frequency in the middle range of the image (depending on the viewing distance) at which the visual system is most sensitive to the contrast. The sensitivity is reduced when the frequency is either too high or too low.


Vision Box – 5-15-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 4-15-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


Chitra Ganesh; Matthew Thurber; Frank Santoro: The Eulogy of Drawing


Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh has work in Beyond Transnationalism : The Legacy of Post-Independence Art from India. Bau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, through June 19, 2018.

The exhibition ‘Beyond Transnationalism: The Legacy of Post Independent Art from South Asia’ undertaken at the cusp of India’s 70 years of independence seeks to understand the many positions of artists of South Asian descent living in the United States. The artists in this show assert new and complex aesthetic and geopolitical propositions that question, complicate and travel far beyond conventional notions of home, nations, and belonging. This exhibition seeks to question the relevance of the terms diaspora and transnationalism and their attendant significations. The term diaspora – derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to disperse’ or ‘to scatter’ its geography, or its complex geopolitics – has been a default frame used to understand and signify the mass migrations, and exoduses.

At Hyperallergic,

Although the postcolonial debate has changed, Ganesh is among the few artists to retain its original strategies to embody brown, feminist politics and critique systems of power. Her earliest, and still one of her boldest, innovations was her appropriation of the immensely popular Indian comic book series Amar Chitra Katha (which literally translates to Immortal Picture Stories). Initiated in 1967 by Anant Pai, the series was intended as a pedagogical tool to educate children on their cultural heritage through the retelling of stories from Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore and fables.

Not surprisingly, the stories reflect the racial, religious, socio-economic and gender prejudices of India’s predominantly patriarchal and religious orthodoxy, which privileges fair-skinned, upper-caste Hindu males (caste is a toxic, hereditary class system particular to the Hindu religion). The comic books were visual and narrative minefields for Ganesh’s subjective interpretations.


The 218th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  May 8, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Matthew Thurber on “The Hallucination of the Art World”

Matthew Thurber will speak about his forthcoming book from Drawn and Quarterly, Art Comic. This graphic novel is a paranoiac-critical examination of the art world seen through the eyes of four graduates of The Cooper Union. As each student attempts to reconcile their ideals with the realities of capitalism, love, alien invasion, anarchist pigs, and sex robots, they find themselves careening toward madness, extremism, death, or becoming Matthew Barney’s stunt double.

Matthew Thurber’s unpredictable practice has included: Mining the Moon, full length musical playA novel posing as an interactive handwriting analysis project; A week of movies made in one day each; an olfactory performance, dressed as a giant nose; a mosaic labyrinth installed in an elementary school; Terpinwoe, choreographed noise dance about a carrot-based economy; innumerable illustrations and drawings; a longstanding engagement with the narrative scroll, as well as other pre-cinematic devices. In collaboration with Brian Belott he has performed at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Abrons Art Center, and in an eyeglass store. He co-founded Tomato House, an art gallery in operation from 2012-2015, with Rebecca Bird. Finally he is the author of 1-800-MICE, INFOMANIACS, and Art Comic. 

Matthew Thurber


“Pompei” di Frank Santoro: l’elogio del disegno
The Italian edition of Frank Santoro’s Pompei is reviewed by Daniele Barbieri at Fumettologica. It’s in Italian, but, you know, it can be translated:

There is a famous historical case in the history of art. Look at the statues of Antonio Canova: their extraordinary elegance and expressiveness is offset by a classicist rigidity, which is the price that Canova pays to the trends of his time – when it was important to build a visual art that opposed the frivolities of the rococo. It is true that the immobility of his figures is compensated by a dynamic tension that often makes them extraordinary; but they are not less immobile for this, they are not less icily, neoclassically statuesque, monumental.

Now look at the Canova sketches. Small objects with very rough modeling, definitely at the antipodes of marble statues. They are made of clay or chalk; let us see the tracing of the hand or instrument that shaped the matter; we understand the afterthoughts. They are certainly private objects, tests carried out on the wave of inspiration – which then gave life only occasionally to a definitive work that may appear very different from its sketch.

Antonio Canova, Amore e Psiche giacenti (1787)


Vision Box – 5-8-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 5-8-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron Cockle here today with Eva Hesse; Alberto Savinio + Roberto Calasso; Edward Gorey; Frederick Luis Aldama; How to Tell a (Good) Story; The Revengerers


Eva Hesse

Eva Hesse: Arrows and Boxes, Repeated
April 6-May 25, 2018, Craig F. Starr Gallery, 5 East 73rd Street, NYC

Hesse is best known for the pioneering sculptural works in nontraditional materials like latex and fiberglass that she made between 1966 and her untimely death in 1970. Prior to identifying herself as a sculptor, Hesse worked in more traditional media like painting, and she made hundreds of drawings over the course of her short but prolific career. Her paintings, drawings, and sculptures are often considered separately, but this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view early and late works side by side, illuminating the underlying structural similarities as well as their transformations.

Eva Hesse


Alberto Savinio

Annual installation, 06 October 2017 – 23 June 2018, The Center for Italian Modern Art, 421 Broome Street, 4th Floor, NYC

Alberto Savinio will feature 25 rarely seen works by the artist, focusing on paintings produced after his move to Paris in 1926, when he put his other creative pursuits on hold in order to devote himself fully to visual arts. The exhibited works are characterized by Savinio’s vivid color palette, his fantastical interpretation of mythology and voyage, and his eccentric vision of landscape.

Continuing CIMA’s practice of introducing work by contemporary artists into its exhibitions, the installation will also feature select sculptures and prints by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010). This juxtaposition will bring to the fore the two artists’ commonalities, including their flirtation with Surrealism, a shared interest in the subconscious, and, most significantly, the profound influence that familial relations had on their respective artistic imagery. 



Join CIMA for a rare opportunity to hear Roberto Calasso discuss the work of Alberto Savinio in conversation with JonathanGalassi, president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Calasso is the publisher of Adelphi Edizioni, the Milan editorial house that has over the last forty years embarked on a rigorous project to re-issue Alberto Savinio’s literary oeuvre. Adelphi has to date published some 23 books by the author including, in 1977, the Nuova Enciclopedia—a remarkable and highly original personal encyclopedia with entries ranging from the god Apollo to Josephine Baker, which Savinio worked on throughout the 1940s until his premature death in 1952.

Note: This program is the first of two evenings featuring Roberto Calasso at CIMA, co-presented with Farrar Straus and Giroux and with the support of the Maurice English Poetry Award. On May 10, Calasso will discuss FSG’s newly issued edition of The Ruin of Kasch, translated by Richard Dixon, with author Lila Azam Zanganeh. The book will be available for purchase and signing both evenings.


Edward Gorey: Haunted America, 1990

[Edward] Gorey’s Worlds
February 10–May 6, 2018, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 600 Main Street Hartford CT

This pioneering exhibition explores Gorey, his work, and the artists Gorey admired and collected. Works range in style, era, and media—from 19th-century prints and drawings to contemporary art from the 1970s and 1980s. Through 73 works on paper by Édouard Manet, Charles Meryon, Eugène Atget and Albert York and others, as well as anonymous folk art, visitors will step into Gorey’s imagination by viewing the art he collected alongside his own sketches, drawings, prints, and art books. Rarely seen portraits and personal effects, such as his distinctive fur coats and metal jewelry, further bring Gorey himself to life.


The 217th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  May 1, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Frederick Luis Aldama on Latinx Comics: Geometric Storytelling, Production, and Consumption
Aldama will unzip his brain, offering a multimedia extravaganza of US Latinx comics as explored in and through pop culture. He explores how Latinx created comics vitally complicate and enrich our understanding of Latinx identity and experience and powerfully add to and actively shape the history of comics.  Along the way Aldama presents a dynamic model for understanding Latinx subjects as active transformers of the world we live in today.

Frederick Luis Aldama is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor of English and University Distinguished Scholar at The Ohio State University. He teaches courses on Latino comics, film, and other cultural phenomena. He is the author, co-author, and editor of over thirty books. He is founder and director of the White House Hispanic Bright Spot awarded LASER (Latinx Space for Enrichment Research) as well as recipient of the Ohio Education Summit Award and American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education’s Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education Award. In 2017, Aldama was awarded the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching and inducted into the Academy of Teaching. He was recently inducted into the Society of Cartoon Arts.


Eleanor Davis

How to Tell a Story
Eleanor Davis provides the illustrations for this NY Times piece by Daniel McDermon.

Common Pitfalls

As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” But here are some things to look out for while you practice:

  • Don’t sound like you’re reading from a book. Keep your language informal, like the way you would talk to a friend. “Your story isn’t meant to be read,” Mr. Beverly said.
  • Wear your influences lightly and speak in your own voice. Don’t mimic someone else’s style or verbal patterns.
  • Keep your goal in mind: this experience is for the audience, not for you.
  • If you get lost or mess up, don’t call attention to a mistake. “Pause, gather yourself, and continue,” Mr. Beverly recommended. “Even if you have to repeat yourself.”
  • Don’t overshare. There’s a difference between a relatable personal story, which helps connect you to the audience, and TMI.


Intentional knockoffs

Obvious Plant’s Jeff Wysaski made some knockoff Avengers action figures and they’re perfectly hilarious in their bootleggedness. See them all here.


Joanie and Jordie – 5-1-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with Global Art Comics; Frank in Italia; Print Slam #8; Paradise Systems; Cy Twombly; Remote Mind Control


Save the date! April 27th: SPRING GROUP SHOW | GLOBAL ALT COMICS!

Featuring work by Trina Robbins, Mary Fleener, Lauren Weinstein, Powerpaola, Gina Wynbrandt, Conxita Herrero, Tommi Parrish, Gabrielle Bell.


Frank Santoro

Do you have any peculiar habits or routines before starting to draw?

I try to do drawing warmups. I like to copy Archie comics. It lets my brain draw without thinking, without inventing. And Archie comics have a type of cartoony realism which I think is perfect to copy. Ideally, I warm up for 30 minutes or so before beginning to work on my own comics. Although as my comic nears completion, I warm up less because I feel confident about my direction. Also, I obsessively make coffee on the stovetop with my Bialetti caffettiera. I have to drive far away to find Lavazza coffee at the Italian grocery in a different neighborhood. American coffee is crap.

Frank Santoro is interviewed at Fumettologica, in support of the publication of Pompeii in Italy, and Frank’s trip this week to Naples Comicon. An excerpt from the Italian edition has been posted as well.



Shanghai-based cartoonist Woshibai reads from his new book Migraine, newly released by Paradise Systems. Woshibai will be joined by New York-based cartoonists Jun Cen and Lisk Feng in conversation about Chinese comics and the illustration community. Jun Cen will also have copies of his book Negative Space availanble, which was recently published in China.


Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly: Coronation of Sesostris 
Through April 28, 2018, 980 Madison Avenue, NYC


‘EM stands for electromagnetic.’
Curtis Waltman at Muckrock found some good graphics in a recent Freedom of Information Act request:

As part of my ongoing project looking at fusion centers’ investigations into Antifa and various white supremacist groups, I filed a request with the WSFC. I got back many standard documents in response, including emails, intelligence briefings and bulletins, reposts from other fusion centers – and then there was one file titled “EM effects on human body.zip.”


Vison Box – 4-24- 2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 4-24- 2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with Latin American Art; Remembering Geneviève Castrée; Banksy/Zehra Doğan; Retrofit Comics 2018 Subscription


Sylvia Palacios Whitman, Passing Through

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985
At the Brooklyn Museum through July 22:

The artworks on view range from painting and sculpture to photography, video, performance, and other new mediums. Included are emblematic figures such as Lygia Pape, Ana Mendieta, and Marta Minujín, alongside lesser‐known names such as Cuban‐born abstract painter Zilia Sánchez; Colombian sculptor Feliza Bursztyn; Peruvian composer, choreographer, and activist Victoria Santa Cruz; and Argentine mixed‐media artist Margarita Paksa. The Brooklyn presentation also includes Nuyorican portraits by photographer Sophie Rivera, as well as work from Chicana graphic arts pioneer Ester Hernández, Cuban filmmaker Sara Gómez, and Afro-Latina activist and artist Marta Moreno Vega.


“Poetry seemed useless in the context of actual annihilation.”
On Studio 360, Kurt Anderson talks with Phil Elverum, husband of Geneviève Castrée, who passed away in 2016, about Elverum’s recent Mount Eerie albums, which are about Castrée’s death. Her last book, A Bubble, will be published in June by D&Q.


Zehra Doğan/Banksy
Patricia Mastricolo at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund wrote about the Banksy mural protesting the imprisonment of Turkish artist and journalist Zehra Doğana few weeks back:

This first night the mural was revealed, a projection of the dark painting Doğan is imprisoned for showed over the mural. Based off a photo Doğan saw, she painted the rubble of a Kurdish town, destroyed by tanks, with the Turkish flag flying over the town. She painted the tanks as surreal monsters. The Turkish government said that the painting compromised military security, even though it was based on a government photograph.

Credit: Tony Cenicola, The New York Times


Sara Lautman

Retrofit Comics 2018

  • All the Sad Songs – Summer Pierre
  • Fashion Forecasts – Yumi Sakugawa
  • I Love You – Sara Lautman
  • John, Dear – Laura Lannes
  • Our Wretched Town Hall – Eric Kostiuk Williams
  • The Prince – Liam Cobb
  • Survive 300 Million 1 – Pat Aulisio
  • Survive 300 Million 2: Serpentine Captives – Pat Aulisio
  • The Troublemakers – Baron Yoshimoto
  • TRUMPTRUMP vol. 2: Modern Day Presidential – Warren Craghead III
  • Understanding – Becca Tobin
  • The Winner – Karl Stevens

Karl Stevens


Vision Box – 4-17-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 4-17-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with Goblet/Alagbé & Haifisch; Warren Craghead; a Funhouse Recap; Pen America World Voices Festival


Yvan Alagbé, Dominique Goblet

Anna Haifisch


‘The 45th president should be an easy target for political cartoonists, but they’ve struggled to come up with an image that sticks.’

Sarah Boxer profiles a bunch of political cartoonists, including CW favorites Philip Guston and Warren Craghead.

Not long after Trump was elected, I went to the Hauser & Wirth gallery in New York, to an exhibition of Philip Guston’s drawings of Richard M. Nixon, all from the early 1970s. I’d seen them before, but this time the work—featuring Nixon as a walking nose, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a pair of black horn-rimmed glasses, and Vice President Spiro Agnew as a triangle studded with nails—had new resonance.


Photo by Robyn Chapman

Robyn Chapman has a photo-recap of the recent Funhouse festival at The Drawing Center.


Comics Carousel at the Pen World Voices Festival

It’s a little bit of theater and a whole lot of art as comics artists Pénélope Bagieu (Brazen), Mariko Tamaki (Lumberjanes), Iasmin Omar Ata (Mi(s)hadra) and Tony Medina (I Am Alfonso Jones) join in a comics carousel led by Bob Sikoryak to showcase their visual talents and unique perspectives—and perform parts from their books! Original and subversive, they share their singular stories from the frontlines of comics that resist clichéd narratives and reimagine our futures. Q&A with the authors to follow.

Check out the rest of the festival line-up, there’s some great stuff.




Joanie and Jordie – 4-10-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with Keren Katz; Mounira Al Solh; Yvan Alagbé; DRT; SOIMOCCA; Generative Adversarial Networks


Keren Katz on The Academic Hour

The 213th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  April 3, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Keren will talk about the process of using dance, performance, props and costumes to generate the events that have inspired this book as well as her upcoming projects. She will demonstrate the techniques and references used to compose her pages and will also display a collection of contemporary Israeli Graphic Novels for viewing.

Keren Katz is a Tel Aviv based illustrator, comics artist and the non fictitious half of The Katz Sisters Duo. She graduated  Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, and received an MFA from The School of Visual Arts in NYC.  She has contributed stories to anthologies published by Retrofit/Big Planet Comics, Locust Moon Comics, Smoke Signal, The Brooklyn Rail, Ink Brick Rough House Comics and more, as well as self publishing mini-comics all year round. She practices performative, interactive and collaborative storytelling marathons in odd locations, and is part of The Humdrum Comics Collective and Pathos Mathos Company. Her Ignatz nominated debut graphic novel is titled The Academic Hour (Secret Acres, 2017). https://www.instagram.com/thekatzsisters/

Keren Katz


Mounira Al Solh

Mounira Al Solh: I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous
At Art Institute Chicago through April 29, 2018.

While the drawings map geographies of departure, arrival, and nonarrival through storytelling, the embroideries serve as testaments to more collective histories. Weaving together the accounts that connect and divide families, friends, and other relations across the spaces and temporalities of migration, these portraits made on fabric culminate in the Sperveri, a so-called bed-tent that memorializes recent events in the Middle East and Europe within a larger history of Islamic culture.


Shea Hennum at AV Club on Yvan Alagbé’s Yellow Negroes And Other Imaginary Creatures:

The story is told elliptically, with Alagbé shifting perspective, setting, and time period without warning or explicit notation. Dialogue and exposition are collapsed into one rhetorical space, and all the text is set off from the images. The effect is a distancing, and the eye is able to focus on and fall in love with Alagbé’s images, rich black smears of ink converging and diverging from one another in passionate plays of sex, sorrow, and salvation. But while there are no white figures in the story, there are allusions to white characters, demonstrating the inescapable gravitational well that is whiteness. “Dyaa” serves as the most aesthetically pure distillation of Alagbé’s ethos, because he makes literal what was merely figurative in “Yellow Negroes”: the idea that blackness is constituted by whiteness and vice versa—infinitely complicating the questions he introduced in that first vignette, “Love.”



Was it your intent for this book to have an air of mystery around it?
RJ Casey Interviews D.R.T.

[RJC] The terms dodecahedrons and oblongs are used prominently in this comic and your backgrounds, even your endpapers, feature three-dimensional shapes. What is your interest in geometry?

[DRT] I find geometric shapes aesthetically pleasing. Also, the mathematical meaning that is inherent to geometry is equally as pleasing to me. Math is responsible for the way our universe works, from quantum mechanics to something as simple as 2+2=4. It is a universal truth that if you have two things, and add them to two other things, you will have four things. Why is that so? And why does math work so well in our universe? In the universe that Qoberious takes place in, math has the same roll and these geometric shapes symbolize that. Every time I write a scene with the Keepers, I spend days researching different mathematical concepts and when I’m all done, I think this isn’t funny, and why am I trying to prove? I end up cutting it out.


Society of Illustrators Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art Arts Festival

The MoCCA Arts Festival is a 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan’s largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, drawing over 7,000 attendees each year. With 400 exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes and other featured artists conducting workshops, lectures and film screenings, our Festival mission accelerates the advancement of the Society’s broader mission to serve as Manhattan’s singular cultural institution promoting all genres of illustration through exhibitions, programs and art education.

The 2018 MoCCA Arts Festival will take place April 7-8th, 2018 at Metropolitan West in New York City with programming mere steps away at Ink48 (653 11th Ave).

Here are a couple panels of note:

The International Scene: Max de Radiguès and Anna Haifisch

Every comics culture — no matter how vast only presents and perceives a fragmentary view of global comics culture, a rich field of diverse human expression that is interconnected in some ways, and disconnected in others. International festivals and publishers can be sites for global exchange, and individual artists who travel and work outside of their home countries help develop ties between comics cultures. Max de Radiguès’s graphic novel about his time at the Center for Cartoon Studies was part of the Official Selection at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême in 2012, and his second English-language translation is forthcoming from Conundrum Press. He is additionally the co-publisher of the Belgian publishing house Employ du moi. Anna Haifisch is internationally known for her comics series, The Artist, and has published widely in many languages. Her book Von Spatz was recently published by Drawn and Quarterly. They will discuss their work and the international comics scene with Bill Kartalopoulos.

Somatic Comics: Drawing the Body

Comics frequently render the body — in ways both realistic and abstract — and are typically indeces of the body, made by the hands of artists who labor at desks and tablets. Kriota Willberg’s work covers all aspects of this spectrum: her new book Draw Stronger offers medically-grounded self-care instruction for cartoonists engaged in the repetitive labor of comics-making, and her larger body of work includes drawing and needlework based on anatomical and other medical imagery. She will be joined in a discussion about comics, health, and images of the body by Kate Lacour (Vivisectionary) and Lauren Weinstein (Normel Person, “Carriers”), whose work has engaged and expressed ideas about anatomy and pathology in diverse and fascinating ways. Moderated by Marsha Hurst (Columbia University, Narrative Medicine).


Robbie Barrat

“The way that it paints faces makes me uncomfortable. It always paints them as like, purple and yellow globs — that isn’t in the training set so I’m actually still not sure why it does that”

AI researcher Robbie Barrat decided to see what would happen when he fed a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) thousands of nude portraits from a dataset and then trained it to create its own bizarre artworks.

Generative adversarial networks are defined as a class of artificial intelligence algorithms used in unsupervised machine learning, which uses two different neural networks, one called the “generator” and one the “discriminator.”

“The generator tries to come up with paintings that fool the discriminator, and the discriminator tries to learn how to tell the difference between real paintings from the dataset and fake paintings the generator feeds it,” Barrat told me. “They both get better and better at their jobs over time, so the longer the GAN is trained, the more realistic the outputs will be.”

Some additional GAN info can be found here.

To understand GANs, you should know how generative algorithms work, and for that, contrasting them with discriminative algorithms is instructive. Discriminative algorithms try to classify input data; that is, given the features of a data instance, they predict a label or category to which that data belongs.



Joanie and Jordie – 3-3-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with KGB Easter Reading + Paper Rocket Minicomics; Anna McGlynn & Hannah Kaplan; Yvan Alagbé; Comics Appropriation; Protest Comics; Sally Ingraham Birding Comics


Annual Comix and Graphic Novel Night

Spring is in the air! Join us for the annual Easter Sunday KGB Comix Night, a free night of live comics readings. Five local cartoonists will offer slideshow readings that are sure to entertain, bewilder, and amuse.

Co-hosted by Robyn Chapman and Robin Enrico.

Sunday, April 1, at KGB Bar in NYC. Readings by: Emily Flake, Katie Fricas, Alabaster Pizzo, Bishakh Som, Vreni Stollberger


Zack Soto

This is our most ambitious issue of the Tiny Report yet, with 60 full-color pages of minicomic reviews, interviews, and bibliographies! We have profiles of two groundbreaking, but very different, comic artists. We start with an interview with Eleanor Davis and an overview of her early minicomic work. And we follow that with Haleigh Buck’s in-depth interview with Mike Diana, the first American artist to be convicted of obscenity. We also have a bunch of minicomic reviews by Robyn Chapman and Robin Enrico. And as always, we chronicle the output of micro-publishers in the Micro-Press Yearbook fold-out.


Anna McGlynn and Hannah Kaplan in Philadelphia.


A Comic Book Artist Who Makes the Invisible Visible
Tobias Grey on the newly translated Yvan Alagbé book, Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures.

France has continued to shape its former African colonies in its own image by erasing the past as it sees fit. In “Yellow Negroes” he reported on a collective of undocumented workers striking in Montreuil who put up a photograph of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso’s revolutionary president from 1983 to 1987, in the window of their headquarters.

Inserting himself into the narrative, Mr. Alagbé remarked that when he once looked up Sankara’s name in France’s famous Larousse dictionary there was no entry for him. However there was an entry for Blaise Compaoré who led the 1987 coup d’état during which Sankara was assassinated. “I thought that was incredibly violent,” Mr. Alagbé said. “Not only was Sankara assassinated but he was also erased from French history.”

Yvan Alagbé


David Barsalou, Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein http://davidbarsalou.homestead.com/lichtensteinproject.html

At the Mountains of Madness
Austin English continues a strong run of art/comics essays:

Let’s make no mistake though: cartooning, artistically speaking, is doing fine without the validation of museums or influential art writers. It’s part of the hard to explain magnetism this medium has for the artists who devote themselves to it. ‘Ok, the offer, as I understand it, is I devote myself to this medium, trying to decipher its complexities, accepting how complicated and demanding it is… and in return, you’re giving… nothing? No money, no acceptance or consideration from the world at large. Sounds good to me!’ As silly as this sounds, this describes countless artists involved in this field, all making work using the full power of their hearts and minds. Is this part of what makes cartooning so beautiful, its lack of prestige or ‘career’ path, thus enforcing an art for art’s sake default mode?

Perhaps. But art can provide important things to the public. Cartooning may be doing fine on its own, but I do think those who appreciate art (and whose only understanding of how to experience the story of art is to go to institutions to self-educate) might benefit a good deal from a confrontation with cartooning on the walls of their favorite museum.


Be Heard! A Comic For Student Rights From CBLDF & NCAC

“Whether students choose to participate in this national movement or not, whether they walk out into the hallway or march to their Senator’s office, whether they wear orange or write an op-ed for the school paper, this moment is the ultimate First Amendment lesson,” said Abena Hutchful, coordinator of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program and Kids’ Right to Read Project. “We hope that teachers will engage with their students in productive ways and we want to make sure that students know what is–and is not–protected protest speech in schools.”

Kai Texel, from Be Heard! Protecting Your Protest Rights


How to Take Pictures of Birding
CW News contributor Sally Ingraham has a short comic posted at the American Birding Association blog, a preview of a longer piece in the upcoming issue of Birding. Congrats, Sally!

Sally Ingraham


Vision Box – 3-27-2018 – by Cameron Arthur


Joanie and Jordie – 3-27-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio


Aaron here today with FUNHOUSE; Comic Aht; Teju Cole/Lorna Simpson; Dash & Nancy; Bill Plympton


FUNHOUSE image: text art by Richard McGuire, art by Rob Corradetti, design by Peter Ahlberg.

An Interactive Book Fair
This weekend at The Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, NYC.

On the weekend of March 24 – 25, Desert Island and The Drawing Center will present FUNHOUSE, a new, interactive book fair at which guests can make their own books in collaboration with resident cartoonists and illustration artists.

March 24–25, 2018
11am–5pm | Tickets $10 via Eventbrite here

FUNHOUSE guests will interact with resident artists to create unique pages for one-of-a-kind books to be assembled at the fair. The resident artists will also have their own publications available for purchase at General Store within the FUNHOUSE fair, with games of chance, author signings, special activities, and giveaways of artists’ books. A SIDESHOW of talks, lectures, and presentations will be organized by FORGE. art magazine’s Matthew James-Wilson. Additional spectacles, like life-size interactive cut-outs and funhouse mirrors will provide wacky fun and photo-ops galore!

FUNHOUSE artists include: Gabrielle Bell, Lilli Carré, Rob Corradetti, Joanna Fields, Laura Perez-Harris, Abby Jame, Jeff Ladouceur, Sarah Lammer, Gary Lieb, Richard McGuire, Walker Mettling, Ben Passmore, Oskars Pavlovskis, Monica Ramos, Jim Schuessler, R. Sikoryak, Whit Taylor, Matthew Thurber, Thu Tran, Mark Wang, Kelsey Wroten, Gina Wynbrandt, and JooHee Yoon. FUNHOUSE is organized by Gabe Fowler of Desert Island and Molly Gross of The Drawing Center.


But is it…Comic Aht? #1, edited by Austin English with contributions from August Lipp

Early issues of The Comics Journal offered quiet pages for artists to study, piecing together the practices and ideas of favorite artists in lengthy interviews. After a month of thinking about what a cartoonist said in a discussion, some debate of those ideas would appear in the next months letter column. The weight of a cartoonists words could be digested, embraced, rejected and most importantly THOUGHT about, rather then reacted to.

Jesse McManus


‘‘Montage,’’ 2018. Lorna Simpson.

On Photography
Teju Cole on Lorna Simpson’s work:

Like “Waterbearer,” many other works of Simpson’s from that period — including “Twenty Questions (A Sampler)” (1986), “Five Day Forecast” (1988) and “7 Mouths” (1993) — are both figurative and fragmentary. Evenly lit, crisply photographed, they look like pictures from an illustrated medical dictionary, indexical images of heads, torsos and mouths that are detached from context. Even in a work like “Figure” (1991), the figure in question, sheathed in a black dress and set in the black infinity of no particular place, feels like a fragment, as though she had been extracted from a group photo or a furnished room. The texts accompanying her, eight engraved plastic plaques, read like excerpts from a language primer: “figured the worst,” “he was disfigured,” “figured there would be no reaction” and so on. Here, not only has the story been winnowed down; it is in fact completely gone. There’s no story. We are left with only the tensions of concrete poetry.


Grown Men Reading ‘Nancy
Over at the New York Review, Dash Shaw looks at the new How to Read Nancy book, by Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik:

Today, comics are studied in colleges and reviewed in prominent magazines, but they are often discussed either as vessels for urgent, personal stories or as objects filled with beautiful, unusual graphics. They are rarely discussed or reviewed for their “cartooning,” the particular panel-to-panel magic, the arrangement of elements that mysteriously combines reading and looking, and distinguishes why a comic like Nancy is masterful and others are not. Beautiful cartooning affects a comic the way a well-chosen word, arriving at the right time in a sentence, makes for good writing, or the way a room composed with the right combination of things in the exact right places is good interior design.

“Love’s Savage Fury” (center spread) by Mark Newgarden, RAW magazine #8, 1986


The 212th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 27, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Bill Plympton discusses his career and how to survive as an independent filmmaker.

Plympton will screen Tiffany the Whale, Footprints, Cop Dog, Slide (preview (2 min.), Revengeance clips and Simpsons Couch gag The Artiste.


Vision Box – 3-20-2018 – by Cameron Arthur