Zona #02 in the flesh, Santoro on Hanselmann, wise words from Annie Mok, Gabriella Tito reflecting on reflections, some radical zines and a couple of really, really old books.
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! The eagerly awaited Zona #02 was just released by Comics Workbook, and these things are absolutely smoking. 24 pages of Santoro story, totally unique, only 100 in the world, signed and numbered. Get thee one HERE.
I was shouting about Simon Hanselmann last week, but that was just a taster for this week’s big news – Meg & Mogg in Amsterdam was released by Fantagraphics this week, and was immediately greeted with rave reviews and general fireworks. One such firework was Frank Santoro’s review for The Comics Journal.
“Remember when you were into a show and one season was good and the other season kind of sucked? Like season two of The Wire? What a let down. They fixed it, but still. Anyways, the new season of Megg & Mogg is out and it doesn’t suck. The intensity of seeing the gang for the first time is there again the second time. The follow up to a successful season one is always tough, and Simon makes it look easy. The drawing, the jokes, the color. The cover. Preserving the format of Megahex and also the shuffling of drawing styles. All that together makes for an extremely satisfying experience.”
Buy the book HERE (which you really should, since it comes with a FREE copy of Minihex – “a collection of rare, controversial and previously unpublished work packaged in a full-color mini comic.”) And for the complete Simon experience, grab yourself a copy of thee Complete Truth Zone bootleg, only available HERE through Comics Workbook.
Also on The Comics Journal this week, Annie Mok reviews Mike Dawson’s book Rules for Dating My Daughter.
“Mike Dawson delivers an uneven collection of personal essay-style memoir comics, occasionally thoughtful, but often thoughtless in its concern for others.”
Points that Annie Mok brings up in the article mentioned above are a good lead-in to a meditation that Gabriella Tito wrote for Comics Workbook on how we, as the cartoonist, reflect ourselves in comics – intentionally or not.
“From my own experience in making abstract comics and comics without relatable humans, I realize I have drawn content from a particular emotion or thought I was feeling at the time. Maybe a song inspired me to put something on paper. You probably have done this too, given the nature of abstract works. Usually, the less I thought about the content, the more fluid the comic was.”
Check her thoughts out HERE and join the conversation.
The University of Kansas recently acquired over 1,000 zines from a “defunct radical library”, adding to a collection of over 100,000 items in KU’s Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library. The collection as a whole just turned 50 years old, and this recent acquisition marks a movement toward a larger zine focus. Frank Farmer, a professor of English who organized the transfer, had this to say about zines:
“They’ve always had a kind of amateurish and unofficial quality to them, but they are an index to a certain history, a certain strain of history in this country, about self publishing.”
There’s more info about these radical zines HERE, and you can also explore and download over 830 of the zines from the collection. Information sharing at it’s finest.
I’m sidetracking even further from comics, for a moment, here – but check out this Guardian article about two of the earliest known books written by female writers in English…!
“A new exhibition from Wellcome Collection, This is a Voice, which explores the human voice, brings them together for the first time, after the British Library agreed to the loans.”
They date from 1436 (The Book of Margery Kempe) and shortly after 1373 (Julian of Norwich’s text). This story amused me:
“Only one known manuscript exists of Margery Kempe’s story: its whereabouts were unknown from around 1520 until the 1930s, when it was discovered in the cupboard of a country-house during a game of ping-pong. One of the players stepped on the ball and while searching for another, the The Book of Margery Kempe manuscript fell out of a cupboard.”
The idea of these texts surviving somehow, and being still cherished today, made me think of something Frank wrote about a few weeks ago – the idea of making one really great comic. Maybe you only make the one, but someone out there will pick up a copy of it…and maybe it ends up in the back of a cupboard somewhere, eventually to fall on the head of a ping-pong player who will love it. Maybe…?
Finally, above is an oddly gorgeous video that shows how color and ink is created from the raw ingredients — powder, varnish, and passion. It was made by The Printing Ink Company, a small business based in Ontario, Canada, who have been making ink with absolute loving care since 1977. Pretty cool.
Until next week folks! – Sally