Aaron here today with Gloeckner/Gfrörer; Mirror Mirror 2; Thi Bui; Felat Delibalto; Anti-fiction, Anti-story; RIP Gustav Metzger
Why are we talking about me, anyway? Let’s talk about you!
Phoebe Gloeckner interviewed Julia Gfrörer at the TCJ blog, lots of good stuff to read and think about:
GLOECKNER: The general neutrality of their appearance makes it seem all the more normal. You could project anything onto those people.
GFRÖRER: This gets back to what to what we were talking about earlier, about how you don’t have a perception of yourself as a unique individual. To you, you’re the default, and everyone else is some weird variation on that.
Right, and interesting, therefore.
The idea that the neutral body is a thin, white body. That’s very political.
There is no neutral default body.
There is none.
That’s culturally constructed as the default.
But it feels like, in your work, like you’re neutralizing those bodies, somehow.
Yeah. Because that’s my relationship to it. That’s the body that I have. It feels neutral to me. It’s not something that I have moved outside of, because I feel so consumed by the puzzle of my own body.
If it feels neutral to you because you’re housed in the same sort of casing as your characters, then does that subtract the political meaning from it? That’s what artists do. They project themselves —
I think the political action in my work is that I want to show women as actors, rather than a receptive or decorative object.
horror / pornography / the Gothic / the abject
Additionally, Gfrörer has co-edited (with Sean T. Collins) the 2nd issue of 2dcloud’s Mirror Mirror anthology:
featuring new comics and drawings by
Lala Albert / Clive Barker / Heather Benjamin / Sean Christensen / Nicole Claveloux / Sean T. Collins / Al Columbia / Dame Darcy / Noel Freibert / Renee French / Meaghan Garvey / Julia Gfrörer / Simon Hanselmann / Hellen Jo / Hadrianus Junius / Aidan Koch / Laura Lannes / Céline Loup / Uno Moralez / Mou / Chloe Piene / Josh Simmons / Carol Swain
‘I learned about America mostly through books and TV.’
Robert Kirby reviews Thi Bui’s illustrated memoir, The Best We Could Do:
With the issue of immigration currently hitting full boil stateside, the 2017 publication of The Best We Could Do couldn’t be more timely, or more welcome. Bui’s story movingly puts a human face to new arrivals to our country, illuminating the background of their lives and struggles. Contrary to the rhetoric of the most reactionary U.S. right-wing factions, immigrants are people, not statistics–more than the sum of their homelands, more than the color of their skin. Bui depicts, with unsparing candor, the multiple traumas associated with being forced out of one’s country into the unknown.
Turkey Has Imprisoned a Political Cartoonist for Over 120 Days
Felat Delibalta via the Nib.
‘…to create a concentrated emotional impact’
Ethan Joella has some thoughts (37 of them!) on short fiction:
9 One way to flout the rules of the traditional short story has to do with length. As Philip Stevick puts it, “how short can a story be?”10 Pieces that are less than the usual length, usually referred to as “flash fiction” or “short shorts,” were originally viewed as inferior, inadequate. Critics seemed to feel as if length were a prerequisite for quality. In Stevick’s words, those stories were “likely to strike discriminating readers as gimmicky, tricksy pieces of commercial fluff whose shortness is possible only because of the slickness of their construction. How short can a serious fiction be? As short as one likes? That’s too easy an answer. A fiction must be long enough to display the art and craft of its writer, his own vision, his voice, his power. The minimal story, in fact, is an experiment no less audacious than the others.”11
10 The short but powerful story “Taboo” by Enrique Anderson Imbert is a mere snippet of a story. Only five sentences and four paragraphs long, it must have appeared to critics as a fraction of something real, an evasion of seriousness. The central character, Fabian, is warned by his guardian angel not to say the word doyen. Fabian repeats the word as a question, and the last sentence of the story reads: “And he dies,”12 a poignant climax. The value of this story actually lies in its simplicity, its directness and sharp detail.
11 Jamaica Kincaid is a groundbreaking writer. Her story “Girl,” for example, transfigures traditional fiction by toying with form. This particular story, less than three pages long, is written in only one long sentence. The piece is a series of phrases and exclamations separated by semicolons and linked by dashes: “… this is how you set a table for lunch; this is how you set a table for breakfast; this is how to behave in the presence of men who don’t know you very well, and this way they won’t recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming; be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit….”13
12 Resembling a process-analysis instructional essay, “Girl” pithily conveys the lukewarm, peremptory sentiments of a cynical mother barking orders to her daughter so she will, in some way, succeed in life. Each word seems to be chosen vigilantly for maximum effect; each exclamation is pieced together like an intricate quilt.
‘a desperate last-minute subversive political weapon … an attack on the capitalist system … an attack also on art dealers and collectors who manipulate modern art for profit’
Artist Gustav Metzger has passed away at age 90.
Mr. Metzger discovered his ideal medium for auto-destructive art with a form of action painting. Wearing a gas mask and protective goggles, he gave a dramatic demonstration of his work in the 1960s, spraying hydrochloric acid on nylon, which melted, curled and shredded into tatters. He executed the work at an outdoor site in London, revealing St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance through acid-burned holes.
“Auto-destructive art was never merely destructive,” he said in 2012. “Destroy a canvas, and you create shapes.”
We are diving into a busy 2nd year of the Comics Workbook Rowhouse Residency!
Interested in joining us for a week or more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to apply. There are still openings in May, with a wait list available for the summer months. After a break for show season we will be picking up scheduling once again in late October. 500 bux for a week and a life-changing experience.
Read some of our Residency Reports HERE. Email email@example.com for more info.
A Cosmic Journey – 3-14-2017 – by Cameron Arthur
Suzy and Cecil – 3-14-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 3-14-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio
Cozytown – 3-14-2017 – by Juan Fernandez