Sally here, scattering news items all down the hall of the CW headquarters in my excitement to get the stack to you! We’ve got a new Brazilian Comics Scene Report, quick conversations with Erin Curry and Ben Sears, some wisdom from Alyssa Berg, insights from Hazel Newlevant, an exciting development from both Nils Balls and Jeff Smith, and, randomly, a bunch of origami. Dive in!
The fantastic Anna Mancini is back reporting for Comics Workbook, bringing us an absolutely jaw-dropping roundup of Brazilian cartoonists and comics news – the biggest, baddest scene report you’re likely to see anytime soon. Past scene reports we’ve brought to you have been about a single US city – Anna’s report covers the entire country of Brazil, breaking it down by state and region. It is a wild, exciting ride that is sure to kindle your interest and make you seriously consider hopping on a plane and just going there.
Erin Curry spent part of January and February of this year trying to get more in touch with snow and whiteness, via the tumble of Vermont’s (not very frozen, actually, this winter) hills and vales. The Vermont Studio Center just posted a report on the studio visit they paid her, and it is lovely to get a peak into her thoughts and process. This bit especially resonated –
VSC: What does community mean to you?
EC: The community I appreciate the most is the one of makers (broadly defined). We’re agents of reflection and agency in a culture that often turns to consumption of mass produced things and entertainment for fulfillment. It’s pretty revolutionary, yeah? And then! We get to have dialogue with the rest of our communities working towards better lives.
Below is a comic Erin made for the 4PANELProject during her time in VT, which features, according to her, maybe the first figure to appear in her comics.
Inverse did a quick interview with Ben Sears this week, in anticipation of the release of Night Air, coming in May from Koyama Press. They delve into the origins of the story, discuss the “all-ages” aspect of Ben’s work, and listen to the track (also called Night Air) by Tortoise that evokes the mood of the book. And of course –
Do you have any favorite illustrations in the book?
Whenever the characters are walking into a new place, or just silently exploring, that’s my favorite stuff to draw. I’m really proud of the panels of them [a real smart-ass and his robot companion] running around town, walking into Apple Town at night, and coming up on the castle. If I had the time and financial backing, I would do a whole comic like that.
I certainly hope he can do that someday – but until then we can savor those panels in Night Air while listening to this:
Alyssa Berg released the first installment in a series of process meditations today, written exclusively for Comics Workbook. Her thoughts were inspired by a visit to a local museum.
The visit to the Rubin brought my attention to ritual, meditation and devotion in artistic practice – in other people’s practice and my own.
The daily act of going to my desk and preparing the space is an important ritual. It is the practice before the practice, the thing I do before I do the thing I do. Is calling my studio area a sacred space too heavy-handed? Well, my hands are heavy holding all this Palo Santo and sage that I am burning to clear any bad vibrations from the aforementioned sacred space.
Considering that such preparations help Alyssa produce the type of exquisite work that she is known for (see below)…everyone should attend to her words – and look forward to the rest of this series.
Hazel Newlevant revealed another page from her comic Finding Place, which will be published in the ALPHABET anthology of queer cartoonists. The story as a whole is about falling in love with comics and with girls, but this page is pointed more at some of the weird realities of being a cartoonist.
You can read the first 3 pages of the story HERE. Hazel is the editor of the anthology Chainmail Bikini, which was successfully Kickstarted and printed last year. She won a Queer Press Grant in 2013, which allowed her to make If This Be Sin, and set her on the path to support other up-and-coming queer cartoonists – and I have to say, “Thanks for what you do, Hazel!”
Nils “Balls” Hanczar has been sitting in on Pittsburgh City Council meetings for a long time, and it’s not surprising that he makes cartoons about them. Nils is the creator of the You Can Did It comics and the epic Ship of Soiled Doves, and now The Glassblock is taking him on as their official “City Council Cartoonist”. This should get interesting!
I am beside myself with excitement over this recent announcement – Jeff Smith is bringing us a little bit more BONE! Bone:Coda will be released in July, and it sounds wicked.
25 years after the first black & white issue of the self-published comic book BONE appeared on comic shop shelves, and over a decade since the concluding chapter comes a new (and completely superfluous!) adventure featuring the Bone cousins! Ride along with the boys and their friend Bartleby the Baby Rat Creature as they brave the dangerous journey across the desert back to Boneville in their rickety cow cart.
The book will include the complete, and now fully illustrated, The BONE Companion by Stephen Weiner, as well as a plethora of behind the scenes photos and memories from Jeff. I pretty much can not wait!
All right, all right, I’ll shut my trap after this and let you alone for the weekend…but lastly, I want to share a different approach to paper.
Origami artist Sipho Mabona has been folding paper since he was a child, and as you can see above, he’s pretty good at making paper figures. However, it’s what he’s doing after he folds something up that interests me. He unfolds it…and makes a whole other sort of art.
These are the creases left by folding his Cicada design, and this is the piece that gets framed. Below is his Hermit Crab, flattened.
In the tags for the piece below, Sipho uses #sequence and #evolution, in addition to #creasepattern, and somehow it all comes back to comics…
That’s a wrap on April for us here in the Comics Workbook newsroom! Spring is undeniable now, despite occasional cold spells and snow storms, and we’ll be back in May to put the garden in and water the seedling comics. Until then, cheers! – Sally