Caleb here with Crickets 6 and Ganges 6, comics news out of Columbus, OH, Tom Scioli, and more!
Tom Scioli’s weekly webcomic, Princess, continues to utterly mop the floor with most other contemporary genre comics. Scioli’s recent oeuvre has impressively combined the aesthetic intelligence of an “art comic,” with the most entertaining aspects of a mainstream superhero/scf-fi comic. It’s amazing to me with what he got away with on his fantastic run on Transformers vs G.I. Joe for IDW, and not to mention his current run of “Super Powers” shorts for DC’s Cave Carson.
Once a bonafide and accepted Kirby clone (or Life Model Decoy), Scioli has cracked his own code and has morphed into something more uniquely himself while continuing the Kirby tradition in a similar way Barry (Windsor-) Smith did in the early 70’s. Check out Scioli’s recently re-released love letter to Kirby, American Barbarian.
I recently got my copies of Crickets 6 by Sammy Harkham and Ganges 6 by Kevin Huizenga from What Things Do, which included an attractive print by Sammy Harkham.
I cannot say enough about just how good these two cartoonists are. In a way they make an interesting yin and yang.
Harkham’s straight-forward narrative style somehow combines the efficiency of a one-shot American comic with the lackadaisical European take-your-time-and-relax way of storytelling. Does that make sense? It’s slow and fast at the same time which creates this steady line-drive of a story that is clear, organic, and wholly satisfying to read. I particularly enjoyed (SPOILER!) and funny fist fight on a flight of stairs.
Kevin H’s comic is a line drive too, but it’s claustrophobic (in a good way) and not nearly as light and atmospheric as Harkham’s. Ganges 6, in the tradition of it’s past issues, demands that you scrutinize the comic as thoroughly as the comic scrutinizes its subjects. Every panel is crammed to the borders with information and symbols and word balloons. Most of it anyway. The parts that let us breath are welcome and help to balance the overload of information. We are just as relieved as Glenn is when he finally finds some peace before being thrown back into a world of endless thinking and distractions.
Sally touched on this particular subject last week, but I was in Columbus, OH on Saturday, just passing through on my way back from my little sister’s college graduation, where I came across a copy of Alive, Columbus’ weekly alt newspaper. It contained an article on the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum founder Lucy Caswell and the “The Billy’s” 40th anniversary, a highlight of an exhibit called “Tales From the Vault: 40 Years/40 Stories” by curators Caitlin McGurk and Jenny Robb, AND Noah Van Sciver’s weekly comic for Alive -“The Introvert’s Club”.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been passing through C’bus and found an issue of Alive that covered comics pretty heavily (granted one of those times was during CXC, but still). The folks at the Billy Ireland and the Columbus comics community in general seems to be pretty in-tune with the overall culture there. When people call Columbus “Comics Town, USA” I think it may be a bit of an overstatement, but you certainly can’t deny their involvement in their community.
If you don’t know, now you know
- British cartoonist Leo Baxendale dies at 86. The Guardian has an obituary.
- Simon Moreton reflects on 10 years of comic-making, autobio comics, and his fathers passing.
- Just Indie Comics has a preview of William Cardini’s new Retrofit book, Tales From the Hyperverse. You can preorder/support Cardini’s new book plus several other new Retrofit releases by donating to their Kickstarter. It’s probably worth it for the new English-translated Yokoyama book alone!
- TCAF is just around the corner, eh (Saturday May 13 through Sunday May 14). Check out what is planned for programming during this big honking festival.
- Here’s a review of Luke Healy’s How to Survive in the North from Women Write about Comics.
- Free Comic Book Day is this coming Saturday. Overall it’s a sucky day where I wait in line with a bunch of smelly nerds and civilian parents holding their kids’ hands just so I can get the Fantagraphics contribution. This year though I’m going for the Fanta book AND The Incal for the Humanoids FCBD debut featuring 30 pages from the classic.
Suzy and Cecil – 5-1-2017 – by Sally Ingraham
Joanie and Jordie – 5-1-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio