Aaron Cockle today with Alyssa Berg comics; Kurosawa storyboards; illuminated manuscripts; Fitch/Trecartin in Montreal; Sara (. , : ; — () – [] “” ? ! ‘’ … {}) Lautman; The Graphics of War; Burkholder/Walden/Ellsworth; Rowhouse Auction Continues


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CW’s Featured Comics continues this week with Alyssa Berg’s ALPENGLOW, from 2015. This won the Comics Workbook Composition Competition last year; info about the 2016 competition can be found here.



Akira Kurosawa: Filmmaker, Painter, Story-board Artist
Kurosawa, from his book Something Like an Autobiography, translated from the Japanese by Margaret Benton:

I intended to be a painter before I became involved in film. A curious turn of events, however, brought me to cinema, where I began my present career. When I changed careers, I burnt all the pictures that I had painted up until then. I intended to forget painting once and for all. As a well-known Japanese proverb says, “If you chase two rabbits, you may not catch even one.” I did no art work at all once I began to work in cinema. But since becoming a film director, I have found that drawing rough sketches was often a useful means of explaining ideas to my staff.



Text, Image, Image-as-Text, Text-as-Image
Via Medievalpoc’s essential People of Color in European Art History project, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Aratea (Harley MS 647, ff 2v-17v), 22 constellation figures containing extracts from Hyginus, Astronomica. England (c. 820-11th century).



Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin: Priority Innfield
For anyone living in/traveling to Montreal before September 5, an installation of Fitch/Trecartin work at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Priority Innfield is a “sculptural theater” containing four movies and an ambient sound track presented in five pavilions. The movies, Junior War, Comma Boat, CENTER JENNY and Item Falls (all from 2013), unfold at a furious pace without interruption. Shot in a direct, quasi-amateur style, they explore the potential impacts of information technologies on communication, language and identity, and offer a barrage of frenetic images, absurd retorts and exaggerated poses and movements, drawn from a culture based on constant performativity.


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Sara Lautman on the New Punctuation
On the Hairpin site it says this is a 2 minute read, but you should give yourself at least 4 minutes, maybe more. Maybe give yourself 5 minutes, if you can. Good work from Lautman, as usual.

The Graphics of War: Comics, Animation, and Simulation
If you’re  like me, any down-time at your dayjob is spent scouring the internet for random university-level course syllabi from 2011.


Culture, Art, and Technology (CAT) I
The Graphics of War: Comics, Animation, and Simulation
Professor Emily Roxworthy

As alternatives to photography and live action film, this course examines three graphic media that are not usually considered serious candidates for representing global crises such as war: comics, animated film, and videogames. We will ask whether these alternative graphic arts depart from photorealism and the passivity of media spectacles to convey unspoken truths and instill deeply felt understandings about world changing events.


ITDN, A City Inside, Other Selves
Some capsule reviews from Daniel Elkin at Comics Bulletin of some recent work by Andrew Burkholder, Tillie Walden, and Theo Ellsworth.

RE Burkholder:

There’s little to no narrative in any of the 10 comics that comprise ITDN. Burkholder uses the medium of his comics to explore ideas, raising question after question in the expedition while providing no answers. Understanding is not the point; pursuit is the only goal. Each comic is presented using its own style, form following function as a psychotropic experiment. From the tight conventions of tradition in “The Fury” to the insouciant scribbling of “FUCK THIS” to the thin-line panel transition study of “Street”, Burkholder shows a depth of understanding for the tone of ideas. Each enterprise is an agreement between thought and expression. Each takes its time to shake the reader from the stupor of preconception.

RE Walden:

Other than the incredible craftsmanship in both her art and its execution, the dream-like quality of Walden’s work is what separates it from so many others working today. This is a story about transitioning and passages, what we gather and what we leave behind, as well as an exploration of expectation and uncertainty and the need to define the self.

RE Ellsworth:

Ellsworth calls this book a “psychic chiropractic adjustment” (to be filed under: “Hand Drawn Inner-Space Documentary Comics”). Here he is an artist viewing himself as the one who is in control of creating the Other Selves of his imagination. As he probes deeper and deeper into his self-creations, though, things get weirder and weirder, layering levels of the fantastic and the imaginative, each self in control of itself. Finally his inner workings are so far out that a part of him unleashes the “Reality Control Officers” into his “Personal Imaging Zone” admonishing him to “Go back to reality! Now!” What remains is a battle between inspiration and sense, art versus logic.


Rowhouse Auction Continues
New for this week of July 11 at auction.comicsworkbook.com. Email Frank Santoro at santoroschoolATgmail for a password, if you don’t already have one. All funds go to helping keep the lights on and further developing the school.

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