Sally here with new stuff from Sacha Mardou, wise and funny words from Dan Nadel and Alexi Worth, clowns with Nils Balls, and a Philadelphia walkabout from Meghan Turbitt.
Sacha Mardou has a double hit today on our news, with a comic she made for The Common Reader (a publication of Washington University in St. Louis) and a review she wrote for Comics Workbook.
First up, Sacha’s review of The Complete Wimmen’s Comix is a rumination on an important and challenging anthology, recently collected into a two volume set by Fantagraphics.
“Reading the two-volume release of The Complete Wimmen’s Comix made me think about those sort of cultural assumptions and blank spots. The first volume in particular feels like a powerful raw gust of real comics history. … Another aspect that occurs to me is that volume one is essentially my mother’s generation making those comics (I was born in ’75) which makes the lack of respect for cultural niceties and cartooning norms seem even more punk rock and revelatory, as well as being somewhat nostalgic. It reminds me of looking though my aunt’s closet in the early 1980’s and finding all her old platform shoes and boots. My childish trespassing got me yelled at after the event, but I’m glad to own that childhood memory of trying on and walking around in those beautiful and weird, too-big-for-me ‘space’ shoes.”
For a different look at The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, check out this in-depth review by Alex Duebin on The Comic’s Journal from March 2016. Well, I say “review”, but it includes conversations conducted via phone, skype, google chat, and e-mail over a period of a year or so with many of the women who made comics for the anthology – a true “oral history”, well worth a gander.
Sacha Mardou’s comic for The Common Reader (above) was published in “The Aging Issue”. It feels very, very real somehow…!
Art in America published a followup to Dan Nadel‘s killer essay on Paper Radio recently. It’s a conversation between Dan, Alexi Worth (who wrote an article in January for A.i.A about Jack Kirby’s superhero art) and A.i.A‘s editor Julia Wolkoff. They dig into the complexities of comics, and more specifically, the intentional and accidental wonders that appeared under a culture of crushing deadlines. As Alexi Worth describes:
“The earlier comics artists were, for the most part, pencil serfs. Kirby began as an inbetweener for film, and much of the work he produced early on wasn’t credited at all. But there was something productive and interesting about the lack of art expectations. Kirby was reflexively creative. And his creativity was, somehow, enabled by the ruinous deadlines and enormous production demands of the industry. At one point he was pretty much drawing all of Marvel himself—one guy. Instead of making him more of a hack, it made him more of an artist.“
Dan Nadel breaks out some more stories about the Paper Radio guys – Benjamin Jones and Christopher Forgues, or CF – whom he continues to call “the two most important cartoonists of their generation.”
“One famous story: they sent Gary Panter, who was their artist spirit-god, one of their early zines that was baked in chocolate. Gary thought it was LSD and immediately threw it away. It’s one of the only copies of that work they made.“
It’s good stuff – check out the whole discussion HERE.
Meghan Turbitt released her Philadelphia Sketchbook this week! Developed for Comics Workbook between 2015-2016, it features full-color sketches of her varied adventures and the details that caught her eye around the city during that period. Get a glimpse at more pages here, and a copy for yourself HERE!
See you knocking round the universe next week folks! Cheers – Sally