03/04/2016

Comin’ up next week stateside is the next installment of Carousel. Comics presented in all kinds of ways. hosted by R. Sikoryak. You don’t want to miss this.  There’s nothing quite like Carousel. (ok,ok OTHER than Chicago’s Brain Frame). This coming Wednesday, March 9th at 7:30 PM!

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If you need the deal to be sweetened for you, just know Meghan Turbitt is coming to the big city SPECIFICALLY to read to you. Don’t want to let a girl down, do you?

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Monica Johnson has written an interesting piece on the limited criteria it takes for work to be labeled as feminist work in 2016, primarily in the world of floppy comics. Interesting ideas, though there’s a great swathe of work that has been overlooked in making the article’s claim. Read it for yourself here, the comments aren’t too terrible either.

Now, just seconds from turning forty, I’m both politicized and angry, and I long for the intensity of those ’90s comics. And I look around at comics written by and about women and they seem so understated. There is still so much to be upset about—Bill Cosby for starters, or why the Angoulême festival refuses to acknowledge that women, too, make comics—yet today’s feminist comics seem much less radical, less angry, less mobilizing compared with those of decades prior. I for one would like to hear from the aggressive and hilarious Diane DiMassas and Joyce Farmers of the 2010s! Where are those attitudes? Buried deep within the metaphors of fantasy comics like Bitch Planet and Monstress? Or in mild-mannered graphic novels and memoirs like Not Funny Ha Ha or Honor Girl?

There’s a great conversation going on over on twitter, started by Celine Loup, focusing specifically on whose work Johnson’s short article is overlooking. If any of the names of the cartoonists mentioned are new to you, do yourself a favor and sit down with their work.

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On the 4, 5 and 6 of March (this weekend, sleepy heads), the 7th edition of GRAF, Barcelona’s festival celebratings comics author and independent publishing, will be going down.

A meeting of authors, publishers and independent groups that represent creative scene today more vibrant and fresh . Interestingly, for the first time GRAF will feature independent publishers from abroad. In total, there will be over 80 exhibitors with all kinds of fanzines, comics and prints for sale. On top of all that GRAF has got an extensive program of activities: round tables, meetings with authors, presentations of new books or comics and fanzines workshops for children and adults.

Good stuff if you’re in Spain. You can stay posted with the happenings by keeping up with their twitter: @Grafcomic

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The inimitable Leslie Stein was just on Inkstuds. They talked about her current return to working on Eye of the Majestic Creature, her painting and watercolor, took questions from twitter, discussed working as a bartender, her friendship with Noah Van Sciver and favorite winter birds. Fill your ears with Leslie’s optimism.

You probably know this already, but it bears repeating: no one’s going to make the world you want to see for you. You have to do it yourself.

It gets tiring, though and sometimes you need a little bit of reassurance that you’re not alone in this endeavor. Alice Bag and Allison Wolfe have your back. Listen to them  chat about their the importance of having control of the means of productions in a societal context and more broadly what it means to have lived a life with zines at their centers. Very cool talk.

 

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No one could have known that when struggling illustrator R. Crumb self-published Zap Comix #1 in 1968 and began hawking copies in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, history would be made. By the arrival of issue #4 (1969) and Crumb’s Zap collective (S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffiin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Williams, and Spain Rodriguez) fully formed, the artists had broken every Comics Code taboo imaginable — and then some. Zap spawned an entire underground comix industry, establishing an adult market for the comics medium that, in turn, set new standards for creators’ rights and ownership that one day would liberate mainstream comic books from the tyrannical grip of corporate publishers, paving the way for literary work by the likes of Art Spiegelman, Lynda Barry, Chris Ware, and Daniel Clowes, among others.

The underground is now canon, who woulda thunk it 40 years ago?

Tonight is the opening reception of the big new ZAP comics exhibit at the Society of Illustrators. Underground junkies and all of you interested in the medium’s history in the USA, you won’t want to miss this. The exhibit runs through May 7th. Learn more here!

 

Daniel Clowes and Nicole Rudick sat down on Wednesday to talk at The Strand in NYC. Clowes is on tour to promote his latest work, Patience. This is a great, widely spanning conversation between 2 deep thinkers. Great to draw or do the dishes to. Comics makers, take note around 20 minutes in for some interesting thoughts on constraints and their relationship to comics composition.

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Short Run, in Seattle, the annual curated festival which focuses on indie comix and self-published, small press, and handmade books of all kinds from the Pacific Northwest and around the world has some exciting news for ya:

Applications for Short Run’s Dash Grant are now being accepted. With the Dash Grant you can:

  • receive a $250 grant to produce your work to premiere at Short Run 2016
  • have free access to Fogland Studios silkscreen lab in Seattle to print your covers and optional instruction the week of the festival
  • receive mentorship from comic artist Trevor Alixopulos via email
  • have your artwork featured in our annual group art show at Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery
  • receive a free half table at the festival

More information is available over at Short Run Seattle’s site. Hop to it.

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Thought Bubble, the Leeds comics festival is taking applications for people to exhibit. Think you want to exhibit? Know of someone that this would be good for? Check out their site.

Screen shot 2016-03-04 at 11.46.02 AMLast but not least, there was a great sub of the 4th episode of Urasawa Naoki no Manben with author Takoa Saito that I came across thanks to @royalboiler but alas, it’s been taken down to copyright issues! The fourth episode peeks behind the curtain of Saitō’s workplace, where he has labored away at Golgo 13 for 47 years. Fingers crossed another sub floats to the surface…

For now you can dig into the first episode. The first episode looks at Akiko Higashimura (Princess Jellyfish) as she draws her warring states era manga Yukibana no Tora (“Snow Tiger”), emphasizing her speed and the teamwork with her large team of assistants. Well worth your time if you’d like to learn more about the living history and craft of the wide world of the manga-ka.

Urasawa Naoki no Manben (which, roughly translated, means “Naoki Urasawa‘s Manga Exertions”) is hosted by veteran manga artist Naoki Urasawa (Monster, Pluto,20th Century Boys) and follows different artists each episode, watching them draw their manga from scratch and exploring what differentiates their styles. Amazing show, with a great format for comics makers by comics makers.

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Hope that gives you enough to feast your eyes an ears on for the weekend.

until next time,
jf

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