Aaron today with Breaking the Sequence; Orbiting; Structures; Birdcage Bottom Books; Outsider Art Fair
Shea Fitzpatrick’s Case Study: Breaking the Sequence, from October 2017. Juan may have posted about this already?
In a lecture, the writer and webcomics artist Daniel Merlin Goodbrey provides a helpful outline of characteristics that are distinct to comics as a visual medium. Defining the norm gave me a framework for understanding the works that deviate from it. Goodbrey’s characteristics were a useful jumping off point for articulating what the works I was collecting were doing, and why they struck me so powerfully. They are:
Juxtaposition of images
Space as Time
Closure between Images
Word & Image Blending
Reader Control of Pacing
Experimental comics, then, are works that acknowledge the traditional framework of comics but, rather than adhere to it, tend to tilt, twist, and warp it into other things. This case study offers a survey of comics that abandon one or more of these characteristics, honoring innovations by artists, video game designers, poets, and educators alike. It should go without saying that these categories are by no means mutually exclusive. There are comics that exist outside of and in between these make-shift categories. As you may expect, there are very few rules.
At Broken Frontier, Robin Enrico looks at some recent work from Penina Gal.
The means of storytelling in Orbiting then goes in a direction rarely tread by comics with the use of a single word, the word “you.” The second person, already a rarity in prose fiction is a technique almost entirely untouched upon in comics. The form lends it self so well to the third person in fiction and the first person in autobiography that even when characters do break the fourth wall and speak directly to the audience it takes on the form of a soliloquy rather than an outward address. Gal’s consistent use of the second person moves the reader to an undefined space. Who is the “you” the narrator is speaking to here? Even assuming the narrator is Gal, who is the recipient of this message: a friend, the reader, Gal themselves?
At Your Chicken Enemy, Philippe LeBlanc looks at work from Uncivilized Books.
Structures is a series that has been exploring interesting topics throughout its short publication history. From the creation of modern society, to how we destroy nature for our own purpose, to how we construct myths and how our mind behaves, Structures show that comics can achieve thoughtful explorations of philosophical topics and existential questions even in small formats. The medium is made better by work like these, each piece builds onto the previous one to create something bigger than the sum of its part. Uncivilized Books can be very proud to publish such a strong and experimental comic series.
Birdcage Bottom Books 2018 Comics Publications
There’s a nice range of work in this, including comics from Eva Müller, Jordan Jeffries, D. Bradford Gambles, Larkin Ford, Stephanie Mannheim, J.T. Yost, and CW fave Sara Lautman. Kickstarting until Feb 20.
A couple photos from this past weekend’s Outsider Art Fair.
Collected from the thousands of pages of material that Frank has left scattered all over the digital landscape, these 4 PDF collections contain Frank’s best writing on comics and comics making from the past decade. Theory and process, reviews and discoveries, journeys both physical and spiritual.