Sally here, with a new comic from Glynnis Fawkes, an interview with Julia Gfrörer, the latest escapades of Street Angel, a gallery visit with Alyssa Berg, further details about the Comics Workbook Composition Competition, and a look at Mary Fleener.
The 4th annual COMICS WORKBOOK COMPOSITION COMPETITION was announced on Wednesday, and has inspired a lot of excitement already. You can feel the collective steam coming out of the ears of cartoonists everywhere as they dig into that grid…(pictured above)!
From Frank Santoro‘s competition guidelines:
Original art page size: 5.5 x 8.5 inch originals with a 5 x 7.5 inch live area. Three equal “landscape” oriented panels. No exceptions. Each panel will be 5 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall. The “Tezuka Grid”. MEANING: YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE PANEL SIZES. 14 pages with 3 panels per page means you only have 42 panels to tell your story. And two covers.
These “specs” were derived from Osamu Tezuka’s proportions for his first manga, The Mysterious Underground Men. It is a classic 2:3 proportion which is the same as traditional North American comic books. See above photos–I determined the live area and then scaled up to a standard North American size which is affordable to print. See my ideas about the two most used comic book proportions HERE.
Complete competition guidelines can be found HERE. Deadline is August 30th at midnight (EST).
Over on The Le Sigh Rachel Davies interviewed Julia Gfrörer recently, getting into her dream projects, the nature of collaboration, and where the social media handle she’s gone by for 15 years – thorazos – came from, among other things. From the interview:
TLS: How does your approach differ depending on where the work is displayed (ie online, in a mini print zine, or on the human body, in tattoo form)?
JF: I’ve never created comics with the web in mind, and the original pages aren’t really precious to me either. The final version of the work is always a printed book. When my comics are posted online, or displayed in a gallery, I think of that more as documentation, and the book is still the actual thing. (And even the book is only stack of paper, the actual story happens elsewhere.) The way I make comics is influenced a lot by the effect of cheap photocopies, and I don’t really obstruct the artifacts of that process – if you compare, for example, this image from Dark Age that was scanned from the original drawing with the same image as it appears in the zine, you can see how blotchy all the fine lines have become. I think that’s beautiful. You can see how it struggled to exist. To me there’s a sense of urgency in handmade things. I make zines because I believe in the Cheap Art Manifesto– I believe part of my calling is to make artwork that is more than an object of commerce.
In case you missed it, Jim Rugg is publishing a new Street Angel story – Alcatraz, Jr. – and updates appear on his website MONDAY and THURSDAY. The panels above are from yesterday’s post. What happens next in the lunch room?? Find out HERE.
Alyssa Berg visited the Adam Baumgold Gallery in Manhattan recently and wrote about the current show hanging there for Comics Workbook. The show is called IN A SERIES and features the work of a whole slew of 20th Century and contemporary artists, many among them cartoonists. Alyssa focuses her report on work by Chris Ware, Lynda Barry, and Renée French. Read it HERE. And if you’re in New York, you can check out the show through August 12th.
MUTHA Magazine is currently featuring Glynnis Fawkes in their comics section. She draws some highly relatable stories – suitably titled No Fair Comics – about the trials of being a mother and the tribulations of being a child. Check them out HERE. A taster:
This week I’ve been reading old comics by Mary Fleener – mostly her Slutburger stories from the early 90’s, published by Drawn and Quarterly. I dig her “cubismo” style and the stories are painfully funny.
On her website Fleener writes that she was –
“…born in Los Angeles when smog was at an all time high, Hollywood was still glamorous, and every woman’s ambition was to own a mink coat. Inherited good art genes from my mother and never wanted to do anything else. Attended Cal State University at Long Beach and majored in Printmaking, but I really learned NOTHING and consider the work I do today as Self Taught.
In 1984, after reading an article in the LA Weekly by Matt Groening about “the new comics”, I started drawing and writing my own comic stories. I’d always harbored a secret desire to be a cartoonist, and was greatly influenced by Robert Crumb and MAD MAGAZINE, so I started self-publishing my own “mini comics”. First solo comic was HOODOO (1988), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance writer, Zora Neale Hurston.” – Mary Fleener
Fleener’s work appeared in numerous well-known publications, among them Weirdo, Wimmen’s Comix, and Oddballs. Aline Kominsky-Crumb wrote an intro to Slutburger #1 in 1990, and said “As a woman ‘ahtist’ I’m inspired by Mary’s work…but does she show this stuff to her mother?!”
Fleener currently lives in Encinitas, CA, where she plays bass and dulcimer in the band Wigbillies, paints (often on velvet, which is PERFECT), and makes comics. Catch up with her mischief HERE.
Enjoy your (probably real hot…) summer weekend! Sally, out.