01/09/2017

A month of diary comics by Hannah Kaplan; Simon Reinhardt’s Mystery Town; Michael Deforge’s twitter comics; Gary Panter; Dash Shaw on Moonlight; Robyn Chapman’s 2016 Micro-Press Survey; Weird chat robot theater; and daily strips by Juan Fernandez, Caleb Orecchio and Gabriella Tito.


Juan here. It’s getting bone chillingly cold here in Pittsburgh. We’re starting to burn the shitty minicomics to stay warm…it’s getting rough out here. Hope you’re warm at least, dear reader!

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  • The 2016 Micro-Press Survey is now live! If you’re a micropublisher, would you take a moment to fill it out? Robyn Chapman puts this together every year and its an invaluable resource for the scene as it ebbs and flows in energy and size. New for the 2016 Yearbook: Publishers that only publish anthologies will now be included in the Micro-Press Yearbook. If you only publish anthologies, please complete the regular 2016 Survey. If you’d like to recommend some anthology publishers for the list, please contact Robyn at robertaraechapman (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • Weird robot theater – You can now watch Two Google home bots chat live. They go at it on a variety of topics, usually bickering back and forth. There’s a text stream in case you can’t quite make out what they’re saying. If you want a fun comics excercise, jot down some of their exchanges and use them as the fuel for a dialogue in a strip. Weird AI (fueled by cleverbot‘s AI) that creates a quiet, DADAist bit of chat logs you could imagine Samuel Beckett scripting.

  • Philadelphia based cartoonist Hannah Kaplan is making a diary comic everyday this month. Catch up with the past week and tune in for the rest of the month. Highly recommended if you like the work of Gabrielle Bell, Julie Delporte or Sacha Mardou.

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Did you know Simon Reinhardt released twelve issues of Mystery Town in 2016? 1 Every month. You can read them all (plus the first two issues, from 2015) right here: http://mystery-town.tumblr.com/all Featuring guest comics from Luke Healy, Reilly HaddenNik James, Dean Sudarsky, Aaron Cockle and yours truly.

The diligence and commitment of a King Cat zine with the far out obliqueness of comics by CF.

Simon Reinhart has been putting out these monthly issues in a really fun and smart distribution model for zines. He makes the print ready PDF available online for free for you to print at home and brings copies around with him to give away wherever he exhibits. It’s clever in that the physical version of these comics is available for distribution anywhere, without him having to do a crazy amount of work printing and distributing.

What I think is the most beautiful part of this is the nature of distortion in these zines. He’s playing around with different kinds of visual distortion and abstraction of images through his cartooning and the digital and analogue reproduction techniques he uses. Physical drawings scanned, photographed, halftoned, dithered… And of course, each zine comes out printed differently according to the kind of printer that is being used by the reader at home.
So, hop on over to Mystery Town, print some issues out, staple them together, have a read and leave it somewhere for someone to find it.

CW students, here’s my word to the wise:  Consider self-publishing a monthly zine. Whatever writing or drawings you make that month, include it in the zine. Give it a cool name like SIRK or DEEP GIRL.  Hold yourself to that deadline. Keep production simple. Black and white xerox it. Some months will be great, some months will be not so great. That’s ok. What’s most important is that you’ll be processing your world on your own terms through your comics. You can do it.

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Michael DeForge is publishing a new comic on his Twitter thread…! The first episode is shown above, and there have been further updates since then. Check it out – follow Michael on Twitter – @michael_deforge.

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Moonlight – Dash Shaw

Dash Shaw was one of a number of contributors to a cool feature on Talkhouse Film – The 2016 Talkies: Talkhouse Film Contributors’ Top Films of the Year. The favorite theatrical releases of 2016 were voted on and then graphic and written responses were shared, including Dash’s illustration for the movie Moonlight (above). Check out the rest of the list HERE.

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The pages pictured above are from Gary Panter’s ground-breaking and totally hilarious Cola Madnes.

Cola Madnes was created by Panter primarily for his Japanese audience (who named a cafe in Nagoya ‘Gary Panter Squar’ in his honor) using a manga-style two-panel-per-page layout that paid silent and respectful homage to the work of Toho Studios (creator of Godzilla) and comic book legend Jack “King” Kirby. Cola Madnes was Gary Panter’s artistic “holy mission” way back in 1983. A project that was spawned from sketch-book jottings to rise up phoenix-like 18 years later as a smoldering piece of graphic and literary art that deserves to be stacked alongside J.G. Ballard’s Crash and William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch.” – via Fantagraphics.com

Gary Panter generously donated this seminal book – along with 100 Drawings, where Gary documents many of his best commissions – to Comics Workbook to help support the Rowhouse Residency and our other projects. Get copies of both at the school store – HERE.

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1-9-2017 – by Juan Fernández

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Joanie and Jordie – 1-9-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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Suzy and Cecil – 1-9-2017 – by Gabriella Tito

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