06/15/2018

Sally Ingraham here with a look at M. S. Harkness’ “Tinderella” – plus other comics and news! 

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M. S. HarknessTinderella (Kilgore Books, June 2018) is an achingly familiar story (heartache, stomachache, side-ache from laughing…) It’s an autobiographical tale of online dating while being poor and in your 20s. If it was merely a collection of sexual fantasies/escapades interspersed with boring shifts at work and mundane/meaningful meetups with siblings, the comic would still be relatable. Everyone has been there, and enjoyed or endured similar moments of crude hilarity, confusion, stoic loneliness, and absurd fury.

However, this debut graphic novel from Minneapolis-based cartoonist M. S. Harkness contains a lot more. I was struck by the balance between a cartoony drawing style that keeps some of the story at arms length (from the reader and the creator/protagonist herself) and a more realistic style which pulls the focus in suddenly, forcing the reader and seemingly Harkness to face truth bluntly. The story is raw, full of the itch/tickle of a healing cut, and I wonder if it is a scab that will be picked at for awhile longer.

Most of us are walking around with scars, of course, but in this comic Harkness is willing to examine a few of hers. There are funny moments in the story, and gross ones, and long, quiet walks home. I liked this juxtaposition – it made the story feel very honest. Harkness lays a lot of things bare (often literally). Life is brutal and disappointing, and like life, Tinderella seems to loop without resolving. However, there is the sense that these loops somehow contain forward movement, and anyone trying to survive their 20s should find hope and encouragement in that.

I can’t talk about Tinderella without mentioning that M. S. Harkness inked part of it here in Pittsburgh last summer, during a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency. Knowing that the “end” of the story is beyond the last page of the comic always makes autobio interesting – and in particular, knowing that M. S. Harkness finishes the comic and gets it printed by Kilgore Books in June 2018, and then starts writing the next book, brings me a specific kind of hope and encouragement.

Get a copy of Tinderella HERE, keep up with M. S. Harkness’ new projects and check out more of her work HERE.

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News of Note

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Suzy and Cecil – 6-15-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

06/14/2018

Sally here with a roundup of reviews and commentary on Frank Santoro’s “Pompei”, which was published in Italy in May 2018 by 001 Edizioni!

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Frank Santoro‘s Pompeii (PictureBox, 2013) was published in Italy in 2018 by 001 Edizioni. Pompei was released during the Naples Comicon (April 28-May 1 2018) where Frank was a special guest. In addition, an exhibition of original artwork from Pompei was held at the Archeological Museum of Naples from April 18-May 31 2018. More about that exhibition can be found HERE.

Frank Santoro and Bluch at Naples Comicon 2018

 

Frank at the Archeological Museum of Naples with 001 Edizioni publisher Antonio Scuzzarella, Pompei translator Valerio Stivè, cartoonist Francesco Cattani, as well as many of the Comicon organizers, and MANN curators – during Frank’s exhibition at the museum of original artwork from Pompei

Several Italian critics, comics makers, and fans have written about Pompei since the release of the comic in Italy. Valerio Stivè, who translated Pompei for 001 Edizioni, was kind enough to translate those reviews into English for us. We present them here for you, with links to the original Italian publications where appropriate.


The Afterward for the 001 Edizioni edition of Pompei was written by Manuele Fior (translated from Italian here by Valerio Stivè).

If my personal library was threatened by a the eruption of a volcano, Pompeii by Frank Santoro is among the few books I would save.

The subject of this graphic novel is drawing; drawing the living, that are drawn while they draw, and drawing the dead, who, hugging each other, become drawings. Here, the lines mix up, multiplying the levels of reading, and we don’t know if what we see is a face on paper, on canvas, or on a mural painting.

The book is about drawing, and its ability to seduce, to distract from death, to imagine a future, and to establish an eternal testimony.

There are no second thoughts in Frank’s line, no rubber strokes, only shameless immediacy that offers itself to the reader in its most direct essence, full of errors and clumsiness. This is the best and only way to express the unique strength of some of his compositions, of the raw sensuality of flesh, and especially, of the most necessary of all, the love between two people.

This is a graphic novel that, for its intensity, I can never read in one breath. I have to stop, with shivers on my back, and reach for my heart.

This is a book that looks like it was drawn on a stone dug up from the ashes, to which time has erased colors and details, while preserving the deeply human living trace of the intentions of this great cartoonist. – Manuele Fior


Daniele Barbieri‘s review of Pompei was originally published on Fumettologica on May 5th 2018. Valerio Stivè translates it from Italian below (with sections in bold retained from Barbieri’s original piece):

The idea of narrating a historic event through the personal events of a single fictional character in order to let the reader/spectator empathize with the story and understand the events – then comprehending History in a much deeper way than reading a History book – is not new. In literary fiction, as well as in cinema and comics, that is a common and effective narrative device, as long as the reader is able to understand it. Our present times can become the present of those events (despite the historical and cultural differences); and an every day life that we recognize as familiar suddenly fades into something totally different: the historic event itself.

If limited to this, Pompeii by Frank Santoro could be seen as a story like many others, maybe more delicate and emotive. Yet there already are so many tales of the last days of Pompeii, even similar to this…

The thing is that there is so much more in here. From the very first pages, even before one could figure out where the story would go, the drawing looks rapid, approximative; almost like a sketch or a storyboard – where the imperfect lines are not erased, but adjusted, leaving the imperfection in plain site. No colours, obviously, just some quick textures for the shadows, with an overall sense of temporariness and instability.

Then, the story starts to take shape: Marcus, the main character, is an assistant to a painter who is probably going to become famous and move to Rome. Marcus prepares his colours and helps him with the paintings, while forced to be complicit in the painter’s affair with a princess, that needs to be kept hidden from Alba, his suspicious partner. Marcus has a woman too, Lucia, with whom he left Paestum, where he has no intention to come back: he wants to become a portrait painter in Pompeii – just like his master – to make money and start a family with Lucia.

This is the picture of everyday affections and little tensions on which the eruption of the Vesuvius occurs. Obviously, the event leaves everyone astonished. However, Marcus encourages the painter to draw that shocking event right away (while it still has to fully take place). “You can add it to the landscape commission! You’ll be the first to paint the gods in action!” he says. The idea of drawing, which was there since the beginning of the story – but, before this, only in the work of the painter – now becomes more and more relevant.

Please read the complete review in English HERE.


Francesco Boille wrote about Pompei for Internazionale – you can see the magazine article in Italian above. Valerio Stivè translates it into English below.

Pompeii fluidly tells a story of happy every day life of two couples from different social backgrounds, before the apocalypse that happened in August of the year 79 B.C. Santoro uses almost unfinished images that remind us of so many things from the History of Art, from cave painting onwards. He focuses on the act of drawing rather than on the act of painting – as Manuele Fior points out in his afterword – which “offers itself to the reader in its most direct essence”. This serves as a metaphor of the fact that images are only shadows, ghosts of the past, just like every one of us will be someday. Sketches of life and sketches of drawings are mixed up, and Santoro reverses the intense petrified physicality of the molds produced from human bodies in Pompeii into a totally lighter dimension. Looks like Frank Santoro, in contrast to the caducity of all things, is showing that the idea of how the strength of poetry expresses itself at best in its most ethereal form, as a unique way to go beyond time and space. To the cold and conceptual approach of most of American graphic novels, Santoro prefers a European approach, based on a free, soft and aerial line. Redesigned in a such a personal way. He comes up with a masterpiece of poetry in its most pure form, a masterpiece about the idea of poetry itself; and he does that while putting together frail and incomplete fragments of an artistic greatness that once was.

Francesco Boille, for Internazionale May 2018


Simona Di Rosa wrote a review of Pompei for FuoriPosto on May 23rd 2018. Valerio Stivè translates it from Italian into English below.

Premiered at Napoli COMICON, Pompeii – a graphic novel published by 001 Edizioni from Torino – is written and drawn by Frank Santoro, and set in Pompeii a few days before the eruption that destroyed the city. The book – a large softcover edition – was published in collaboration with COMICON and the Archeological Museum of Naples, which until May 31st will be hosted an exhibition of original artwork from the book.

Frank Santoro resides in Pittsburgh, where he manages artists’ residencies hosting and helping fellow cartoonists. He is not well known in Italy, and yet he is among the most original voices in contemporary avant garde American comics scene, thanks to Pompeii, published in the USA five years ago. Santoro has an artisanal approach to comics making, using poor tools – mostly pencils and markers – perfect to tell a story set in the ancient Pompeii, showing its historic value while supporting a touching plot, deeply touching despite the unavoidable outcome.

Please read the complete review in English HERE.


Get a copy of Pompeii by Frank Santoro in English from Copacetic Comics – HERE!

Also, be sure to check out Frank’s new book, the stunning Pittsburgh (Éditions çà et là, May 2018 – currently available in French only!) You can read more about the book HERE.

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Joanie and Jordie – 6-14-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

 

 

06/08/2018

Sally here with comics and news from Gabrielle Bell, GG, Liana Finck, Summer Pierre, Paula Puiupo, and more!

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I missed a week of internet due to traveling in New Mexico without a computer, but the rest of the world didn’t skip a beat so there are a ton of comics and news bites to share with you good folks as you head into your weekend. Let’s dig in!

Gabrielle Bell has a comic up on The New Yorker titled That’s What I Get for Trying to Find Love on Tinder. See the whole thing HERE.

Speaking of Liana Finck, she also has a recent comic on The New YorkerMeet the Commenters! – which details the cool stuff people say to her when she posts her autobio comics online… HERE.

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It’s been a minute since I checked out the 4Panel Project – above is a recent one by GG. In the last few weeks alone there have also been comics by Julia Wertz, Hannah K. Lee, Keiler Roberts, and Daryl Seitchik.

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Summer Pierre has a busy blog where she posts a lot of her comics – above is the latest in her series Paper Pencil Life. Check out more comics HERE.

She has also been working on the series of haiku comics – her most recent one (#38 out of 50 she has planned) is not yet on the blog, but you can catch it on Summer’s Instagram – HERE.

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Paula Puiupo has a new comic out called Gume – see a spread from it above, and learn more about it HERE. Paula recently updated and redid her whole website, so be sure to check it out and see a lot more of her work. Paula Puiupo is originally from Lisbon, and now lives and works in São Paulo.

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Nnedi Okorafor is going to continue writing for comics, teaming up with artist Tana Ford once again on a new 4-part series coming from Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint, titled LaGuardia. More details are available at The Comics BeatHERE.

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After Dinner Mints

  • Fiona Smyth‘s new collection Somnambulance (from Koyama Press, 2018) is reviewed at Four Color Apocalypse, and The Toronto Star.
  • The collaboration between Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes is examined by Alex Dueben on The Comics JournalHERE.
  • The discussion about Olivia Jaimes and her take on the comic strip Nancy continues.
  • Jessica Campbell‘s latest comic for Hyperallergic is HERE.

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Suzy and Cecil – 6-8-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

06/01/2018

Sally Ingraham here! The Daily News will return on Monday, June 4th 2018!

Meanwhile, here are some comics I made while traveling in New Mexico (where I was unexpectedly delayed, which caused a lapse in the regular comics news schedule – apologies!)

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See you next week!

05/25/2018

Sally here today with a report from Sara Sarmiento on Kriota Willberg’s “Draw Stronger”, plus comics and other news!

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Today on the site Sara Sarmiento shares her experience with drawing-related injury, and her appreciation for Kriota Willberg‘s new comic about how to avoid such things!

Sara writes:

I’ve been in a slow recovery for years from a shoulder injury sustained during a couple hard falls on ice and hit the point not long ago where I had to admit to myself that I didn’t have the tools to heal any more on my own. In conjunction with that, following the completion of my submission for the 2017 Comics Workbook Composition Competition, my wrist and hand pain associated with drawing I’d experienced for years had shifted from a mild annoyance to pain shooting up my forearm. It was curtailing both my ability to draw, and the swing dance habit I’d developed in the last year. A few months into the forearm pain, my thumb started twitching. While it’s a good party trick to get people to hold my hand, the twitch needed to go.

Starting physical therapy in January was an immensely good decision for me, physically and mentally. I’d been left disheartened after completing my CWCC comic. How am I supposed to start shifting creative pursuits into my primary gig when I can’t finish a personal project without spending months in recovery? One of my big goals coming into therapy was to set me on the path towards being able to draw for extended periods of time. Physical therapy got me going on that path, but from past experiences in PT, I know that you’re not fixed and done the moment you are discharged. I was nervous about nearing the end of my PT sessions, so the release of Kriota Willberg’s new book Draw Stronger couldn’t have been better timed.”

Read the rest of Sara’s thoughts on Kriota Willberg’s book HERE!

Here’s the opening spread from Sara Sarmiento’s CWCC 2017 comic, titled Deep Clean.

Read the whole comic HERE!

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Comics Alternatives interviewed Kriota Willberg recently, which provides a nice follow-up to Sara Sarmiento’s piece. Listen HERE.

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Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

The New York Times has a feature on Aline Kominsky-Crumb, calling her the Yoko Ono of comics – read the article HERE

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Suzy and Cecil – 05-25-2018 – Sally Ingraham

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Joanie and Jordie – 05-25-2018 – by Audra Stang

05/24/2018

Sally here with a Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency Report from Jason Robinson!

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Frank Santoro and Jason Robinson, 2017

Jason Robinson is a comics maker, illustrator, and graphic designer living in Asbury Park, NJ. He joined us in Pittsburgh early last summer for a weeklong Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency.

When Jason arrived, he mentioned that he had brought along a few “housewarming gifts” – these turned out to be several boxes worth of kitchen gadgets, pots and pans, a tea kettle, and other goodies for the Rowhouse that future residents and the more long-term resident cartoonists have made delighted use of. This generous gift was just one among many ways that Jason showed his support for the Rowhouse Residency, and if Frank and the rest of the team was able to give him anything in return we are grateful!

It’s a treat to revisit Jason’s time in Pittsburgh through his thoughtful and entertaining residency report – here’s an excerpt:

Day six was filled with daydreams and the jotting down of enough story ideas to last the next five years. In many ways, I feel like I was just getting revved up and here I am at the end, hoping I have the discipline to continue this trajectory or at least ride this wave for a long while. Because only now have the chaotic thoughts begun to settle on the floor of my brain. And I’m able to calmly wander through, picking up bits and pieces, and notice how some seem to connect—to join together like pieces of a puzzle.

I joined Frank and Sally for dinner on that last night. And a bit drunk on wine, I tried to convey this feeling by paraphrasing a similar concept I’d read somewhere about a scientist explaining that “it may not look like I’m working when I’m staring off into space, but what I’m really doing is constructing a 3-dimensional puzzle in my head—piecing together bits and bytes of information, and that takes time and focus to carefully construct this puzzle in my mind’s sky so that it may stand on it’s own. So, please don’t interrupt me, or you risk the pieces of the puzzle caving in on each other, imploding into a cloud of ash.”

…Fortunately, Frank has a better and much more succinct iteration in his back pocket – “When I’m working, you may not see it, but I’m welding here. I have a helmet on, and my mitt, it grips a fucking torch-of-fire. So stand back, or you’re in danger!”

I’ll close with some unsolicited advise to future residents:

You don’t have to chain yourself to the drawing table. Of course you may, and obviously there can be great benefits to doing so, I only argue that there are other equally constructive ways to make use of this time you’ve carved out for yourself. Paradoxically, doing “nothing” may be exactly what’s needed to do the next something.

On the porch at Copacetic Comics in Polish Hill

Read the rest of Jason Robinson’s Rowhouse Residency Report HERE!

For more info on the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency please visit this page or email santoroschool@gmail.com

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Joanie and Jordie – 5-24-18 – by Audra Stang

05/18/2018

Sally here with comics by Sacha Mardou, Jessica Campbell, Hope Larson, and more!

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from Sacha Mardou’s Someday, My Witch Will Come

Sacha Mardou has a comic up on MUTHA Magazine called Someday, My Witch Will Come. She writes:

According to journalistic science, women are likelier to go though a midlife crisis earlier than men, between the ages of 35-44. Well my midlife crisis certainly showed up on schedule, as this comic details. I discovered that you don’t learn to be a whole human being all by yourself, you need to ask for help. I’m still learning, it being a process, not a destination, as they say.

I hope that by sharing this story it might help other women feel okay about the kooky stuff we do on this path to Self-Realization (whatever that means).

See the whole comic HERE!

There is also a comic published this month by Grace Farris on MUTHA Magazine which you should check out – Of Firsts and Donuts.

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from Jessica Campell’s XTC69

Alenka Figa reviews Jessica Campbell‘s new comic XTC69 (out from Koyama Press this month) for Women Write About Comics. She comments:

While mostly focused on biting commentary and indulgent plot, XTC69 also contains some moments of sharp realness that contrast its usual tone. In an early scene, Human Jessica can’t climb up a cliff face and has to piggyback ride on Alien Jessica’s back. Human Jessica’s skirt rides up revealing her underwear, and when they get to the top she clumsily readjusts it. These details are small, but they’re unsexy and real. Jessica is already emotionally vulnerable from learning her entire world is essentially gone, and then has to face her physical vulnerability. Campbell’s character designs are simple and lack the familiar level of detail used to exploit women’s bodies; despite the thick line work and cartoony style, the women in the comic are awkwardly real. In a comic full of commentary on misogyny, it’s small details like this through which Campbell shows how easy it is to draw outside of the male gaze.

Read the whole review HERE.

John Seven also reviews XTC69 for The Comics Beatread his review HERE.

Jessica Campbell‘s most recent comic for Hyperallergic can also be read HERE.

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Hillary Brown sat down with Hope Larson to discuss Larson’s newest comic – All Summer Long – for Paste Magazine. They talk about Larson’s shift from being primarily an artist to a writer, and about the role of music in her life, among many other things.

Paste: One of the things I see as recurring in your work is this determination not to take a narrative where most people would (i.e., the idea that Bina and Austin would end up together is made to seem ridiculous). Is that intentional?

Larson: No, it’s not. I’m one of those people who feels that there’s nothing new under the sun, and all the stories have been told, and all you can do is write honestly, in the hopes that it will feel new and resonate with readers. I’m definitely not trying to gotcha anyone. I just do my best to understand the characters and write them making the choices that feel true to them.

Read the interview HERE.

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Weekend Snacks

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Suzy and Cecil – 5-18-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

05/04/2018

Sally here with Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Hillary Chute, Roz Chast, Jennifer Camper, and many more!

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From Why Art? by Eleanor Davis

Hillary Chute takes a look at comics in black and white for The New York Times, reviewing Eleanor Davis‘ most recent work, Why Art?, and John Porcellino’s From Lone Mountain, concluding with a mention of Jennifer Camper.

Hillary Chute suggests that there is nothing simple about these comics, although their appearance may lead you to believe otherwise. About Eleanor Davis’ book she writes:

Eccentric and visually inventive, answering all the many questions it raises, “Why Art?” is about the power that comes from creating. The art that we mold with our own hands shows us how to be strong; it shows us how to live.

Chute notes the “zine-style” display of Porcellino’s work, and the quiet power behind his lyrical and sweet comics. She ties Davis and Porcellino to Jennifer Camper on the basis of their shared dedication to “the punk-inspired world of self-publishing” and references a new comic by Camper that appears in the April/May issue of The Believer.

Camper’s piece is devastatingly timeless and current at once. It includes hard-to-look-at scenes of assault, rendered in a black and white much less airy than either Porcellino’s or Davis’s. The discomfort it produces is its strength — another potent answer to the question “why art?”

Read the whole article HERE.

I highly recommend both Davis and Porcellino’s new books – and you can get a copy of The Believer HERE.

Here’s the first page of a comic from 2003 by Jennifer Camperyou can read the rest HERE.

Jennifer Camper

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Roz Chast

The Gothamist is running a series called Sketchy Interviews – visual interviews with cartoonists, illustrators, and graphic artists currently working in NYC. First up is Roz Chast! As you might guess, her answers to the interview questions are both funny and personal. See them all HERE.

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The book (above) is out and Aline Kominsky-Crumb has been on tour and is FINALLY getting a lot of press and hype, and the recognition that she deserves! Called “the whiny grandmother of tell-all comicsby CBC Radio, she has been long-overlooked and even hated by fans of her husband, Robert Crumb. The recent Drawn & Quarterly reissue of her 1990’s collection – expanded to include 40 pages of new work, and sporting the hefty title Love That Bunch: Food, Sex, Death, Pain, Romance, Joy – is her only solo work in print.

The Montreal Gazette writes:

A thread connecting all of Kominsky-Crumb’s work, and a quality especially evident in Love That Bunch, is the dynamic tension between self-deprecation and self-assurance. Yes, she’s hard on herself, but it takes real strength to reveal so much.

“That was one of my arguments with the early feminists — that to learn to reveal your weaknesses and ugliness, you have to feel OK about yourself,” she said. “They thought I was being a poor role model. They didn’t understand that it’s a gift to other people, to allow them to get rid of it and live with it better. Even now, some people will say ‘Why do you draw yourself so ugly? Do you really feel that bad about yourself?’ I say: ‘Not really, but I’ve been there and I’ve lived through those feelings. Everybody does sometimes.’ I feel confident enough to expose that about myself and be willing to live with the results of it.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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Weekend Brunch

  • The Comics Journal is running another A Cartoonist’s Diary, this time with Fiona Smyth sharing a week in her life – check it out HERE.
  • John Seven reviews Jessica Campbell‘s new comic – XTC69 – (out from Koyama Press in a week!) for The Comics Beat – read the review HERE.
  • Here’s a nice check in with Pénélope Bagieu, whose recent book Brazen tells the stories of dozens of female rebels and heroes – on MSN News.
  • Rob Kirby reviews Love That Bunch – the deluxe hardcover reissue of Aline Kominsky-Crumb‘s original 1990 comic – on The Comics Journal.
  • San Francisco Magazine has a list of famous female creators (of comics, film, and TV) who are the direct “Nasty Gal” decedents of Aline Kominsky-CrumbHERE.
  • Hillary Brown interviews Vera Brosgol, during which they discuss Brosgol’s new comic – Be Preparedfor Paste Magazine.

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Suzy and Cecil – 5-4-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

04/27/2018

Sally Ingraham here with comics by Sophia Foster-Dimino, Glynnis Fawkes, and Rachel Masilamani; a Swedish canon of female cartoonists; plus much more!

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Sophia Foster-Dimino

The Eisner Award nominations have been announced, and Sophia Foster-Dimino‘s comic Small Mistakes Make Big Problems, from the Comics for Choice anthology edited by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and O.K. Fox, has gotten a nod in the Best Short Story category. You can read the whole comic HERE.

Another noteworthy nomination is Nick Sousanis’ essay on Karen Green, Columbia’s first curator for comics and cartoons, which appeared in Columbia Magazine last year. You can read A Life in Comics: The Graphic Adventures of Karen Green HERE.

Check out the numerous other Eisner Award nominations HERE.

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Juan Fernandez pointed me toward a powerful dissertation by Swedish visual communication design student Stina Sandström, which digs into feminism in Sweden and how comics play a role in the continuing discourse on gender performance there. Looking specifically at three female cartoonists – Liv Strömquist, Sara Granér (her work pictured above) and Nina Hemmingsso – Stina Sandström focuses on how they work independently and yet imitate and expand on each others work, together creating a unified voice that is having an increasingly profound effect on popular culture and cultural norms in Sweden.

The success of these comic artists is reliant on their notion of Sisterhood. They have responded to the fragmentation of feminism by recognizing the power of coalition: that the search for essential female unity is not of gender identity, but of sexual affinity. They’re connected in the realization that current representations of women’s roles, status, as well as the female body are all affected by gender norms which are growing stronger by repetition.  By experimenting with 48 sexual transgressions and trying on a variety of gender costumes they try to break and disrupts repetitive gender performances. They have realized that by imitating and expanding on each others work, they share the burden of communicating the entire feminist story. These women make up a choir that, unlike the second wave of feminism, do not make up one united voice but rather sing in canon. A canon is a musical technique where an initial melody is imitated and expanded on by others at different intervals creating a wall of sound without interruption. As one singer takes a break to inhale there are others to fill the gap and so the canon can continue in an endless loop. Like a canon these comic artists’ voices flood the media landscape with provocative female identities and carnivalesque behavior without interruption. They keep repeating them until they lose their provocative nature and start to feel acceptable.

Read the rest of The Carnival Grotesque: Representations of femininity in Swedish feminist comics HERE.

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Glynnis Fawkes takes Charlotte Brontë to yoga. What a concept! It makes for a good comic – read the whole thing on Spiral Bound.

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Rachel Masilamani

The Lines Drawn collective has a new installment of their project up on MUTHA Magazine. Part of a comic by Rachel Masilamani is pictured above. The collective states:

We are parents and teachers using comics to illustrate how we feel as adults responsible for the care and safety of children and youth in an age of continued school shootings. We hope our comics add momentum to the groundswell of students demanding solutions to end gun violence, not only in schools, but as related to police shootings of people of color, and the criminalization of African Americans. The collective includes Emilie Bess, Adam Bessie, Amy Camber, Sarah Romano Diehl, Ellen Forney, Robyn Jordan, David Lasky, Meredith Li-Vollmer, Mita Mahato, Rachel Masilamani, Annie Murphy, Amy Ongiri, Marc Parenteau, and Rachel Scheer.

This installment, posted on the anniversary of the Columbine High School Shooting, includes comics by Ellen Forney, Rachel Scheer, Sarah Romano Diehl, Adam Besie and Marc Parenteau, and Rachel Masilamani. See them all HERE.

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Extra! Extra!

  • The New York Times weighs into the conversation on the “new” Nancy, as envisioned by Olivia JaimesHERE. At The Comics Beat there is a “hits” version of the Nancy buzz – and the anticipation for the reveal of Aunt Fritzi is getting out of control…!
  • Six cartoonists look at immigration – on The Nib.
  • Graphic Novel TK talks to Annie Koyama about her life as a comics publisher – listen HERE.
  • Sloane Leong talks to Nivedita Sekar about her upcoming comic Your Mother’s Foxon The Comics Journal.
  • I haven’t been reading Natasha Alterici‘s Heathen, but after skimming this article on the upcoming film production, I feel like I need to start. A “lesbian Viking comic” about a gal named Aydis “who is intent on ending the patriarchal and oppressive reign of the god-king Odin“…? YES PLEASE!

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Suzy and Cecil – 4-27-2018 – by Sally Ingraham

04/20/2018

Sally Ingraham here with work and news from Anya Davidson, Ramona Fradon, Gabriella Tito, and many more!

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Anya Davidson, for The FADER‘s spring issue

Leah Mandel speaks to Anya Davidson about her work and the comic she made for The FADER – part of a comics feature in the spring issue where six cartoonists were asked to imagine a “future earth”.

Anya’s piece is like trading cards for the 2045 election, and she’s envisioned a race between a sea creature, the general of the Human’s Resistance Army, a cryogenics CEO, his kill-bot underling, a rat-human hybrid, and a Bernie Sanders-like Professor Roland Fredericks, Leader of the Democratic Republic of New Hampshire. Beauregard Trask, CEO of Traskorp Cryogenics, is the Republican nominee. His tagline? “Life begins after death.” All in all, not too far off.

Anya is asked why she made a one-pager comic that isn’t necessarily narrative driven. Her answer:

I feel like some people are marathon runners, some are sprinters, and some are in between. As a cartoonist, I’m a marathonist. My normal format when I’m working on books, left to my own devices, is making longform works. When I’m asked to do shorter form work, for me the idea of putting a narrative on a single page is like, How would I even…? I love writing long dialogue. I’m kind of a maximalist, so the idea of trying to fit any kind of a narrative in that small of a space — I know it’s possible and there are people who do it beautifully — but how would I fit a story on a single page?

Anya is working on a new book for Breakdown Press and doing her weekly podcast – Mindkiller – plus playing out more often with her band Lilac. She’s busy! Read more about what she’s up to and her thoughts about the future HERE.

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Ramona Fradon at Big Apple Con 2018 – photo by James Romberger

James Romberger has a con report for Big Apple Con at The Comics Beat – he snapped a pic of Ramon Fradon and scribbled this info about her:

Fradon deserves a lot of appreciation for the quality of her work and as perhaps the only female artist to rise to prominence at DC Comics in the Golden Age up through the Silver Age and beyond. She has always drawn with great fluidity and dynamism. Her beloved works include a long run on Aquaman and her co-creation, the incredibly bizarre Metamorpho and later in the seventies on Plastic Man, Super Friends and a series of moody, exceptionally expressive stories for DC horror titles. So she surely saw it all in her career, and yet she persevered in comics, eventually taking over the Brenda Starr daily/Sunday strip from 1980 to 1995.

James Romberger’s other big discovery at the con was of particular interest to me, and it is unrelated to women in comics – HOWEVER, Sy Barry (pictured above) was a guest at the con, and he turns out to be the mysterious uncredited artist behind the famous Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story comic (which I wrote about recently)…!

Now, the truth is at last revealed. Barry says that he was given the job by the Capp Studio, which was run by Li’l Abner cartoonist Al Capp’s brother, Elliot Caplin. Barry stated that his name had been on the cover of the very first edition of the MLK comic, but for later printings his signature was replaced by a text box.

Read more about this and the rest of the Big Apple Con HERE.

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Gabriella Tito has a new comic out called Heartsick. You can get a copy by emailing her – the info is above! Here’s a look inside.

Gabriella Tito is a Floridian cartoonist and an alumni of the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. She has completed two residencies in Pittsburgh at the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency, and has been co-creating the Suzy & Cecil comic strip with me (Sally Ingraham) for over a year. Keep up with her HERE and be sure to grab a copy of this rad new comic!

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While We’re on the Subject

  •  Françoise Mouly writes about Eleanor DavisWhy Art? for The New Yorkerread the review HERE.
  • Keren Katz was a recent guest on the Process Party podcast – listen HERE.
  • The Doug Wright Award nominations have been announced – among the nominees for Best Book are GG, for I’m Not There (Koyama Press), and Connor Willumsen, for Anti-Gone (Koyama Press). More details HERE.
  • Check out Jessica Campbell’s new gallery show, Who Dis?, which features her “carpet paintings” – plus a radio interview on Chicago’s WDCB 90.9 FM – HERE.
  • The Comics Journal has a feature piece on German cartoonist Olivia Vieweg. Her comic Endzeit was recently released in Germany, and is being serialized in English HERE on the web. Read about her comics and film projects HERE at tcj.com.
  • Heidi MacDonald shares thoughts on her participation on a recent comics projectThe 100 Pages that Shaped Comics list that Abraham Riesman initiated for Vulture. If you haven’t seen the list yet, it’s some good weekend reading – HERE.

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Suzy and Cecil – 4-20-2018 – by Gabriella Tito