Sally here with new work by Ulli Lust, Redlands #1 by Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa Del Rey, a look at Simon Hanselmann’s character Booger, and more!
I have really enjoyed all of the New York Review Comics as they have come out, so I was THRILLED to discover that new work from Ulli Lust will be in my hands soon via NYRC! Look for Voices in the Dark (an adaptation of the novel The Karnau Tapes by Marcel Beyer) in October 2017. The site has a good write-up of the book and some excerpts from it – view them HERE.
“The narrative switches between two small cogs in the relentless machinery of the Reich: Hermann Karnau, a sound engineer who progresses from arranging the speakers at Nazi rallies to conducting bizarre aural experiments on concentration camp prisoners, and Helga, the eldest daughter of Joseph Goebbels, who, along with her siblings, is destined to be murdered by her parents in Hitler’s bunker. Lust’s loose, deceptively simple art, tinted in washes of faded color, creates a mood of deepening claustrophobia as the complicit Karnau and the innocent Helga descend toward the same fate. It’s a rare adaptation that, rather than simply transcribing the source material, transcends it.“
This is the English version of the comic Flughunde (Airports) which came out in Berlin in 2013. It was well received there – here’s some of the press that Ulli has collected on her website.
An excerpt from the original version:
The comic that Ulli Lust has been working on for the past 3 or 4 years will be released in Germany and France this autumn…which means we probably won’t see it in the States until 2018 if not later. Sad face.
That makes the NYRC edition of Voices in the Dark that much more exciting of course!
Vanesa Del Rey and Jordie Bellaire bring fury and flame in the opening chapter of Redlands. I like the rich red and gold and black coloring of the comic, and the way it crashes straight into a violent moment of pain and power, as a coven of witches wrenches a Floridian town out of the hands of the patriarchy.
The intentions of the creators are definitely on display in the first issue, and I can get behind the “righteous anger” that Jordie Bellaire has spoken of a couple of times. I am curious to see where the story goes, how the wrath of the first issue transitions into something more nuanced – what the “calm center” of the storm will be.
I believe I linked to this interview on Multiversity Comics with Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa Del Rey before, but reading through it again today after having seen Redlands #1 myself is interesting. This bit rings true for sure:
“Without giving too much away, this issue read completely unlike anything I was expecting. What’s it like trying to create a sense of horror in the reader when what most of the characters in the issue are afraid of are your main characters?
JB: I wanted the characters to appear very morally ambiguous and again, tie into the trope that men fear educated, strong, liberated women. If the readers are afraid of the main characters (the witches), that’s great! But they should also be afraid or at the very least disgusted by the rest of the cast. It’s a pretty upsetting place, as is the world. Everyone is an enemy of someone, anyone could be a villain.“
Read the rest of the interview HERE. And hustle to your comics shop to pick up Redlands #1 if you haven’t already!
I found this article by Sam Riedel on Medium to be a thoughtful read – Let’s Talk Comics: Booger, Gender, and Simon Hanselmann’s “One More Year”. Booger doesn’t get a lot of press time, generally, but she is one of the more complex characters in Simon Hanselmann’s wild world. Unlike many transfem characters, she is not “virtuous”. Riedel addresses that point:
“On the still-uncommon occasions that transfem characters show up in fiction (and aren’t two-dimensional stereotypes), they’re often forced to be virtuous because they represent all trans people everywhere. Who wants to be represented by a douchebag? Other marginalized communities also suffer from this tendency, an unintended consequence of “diversity casting” that maintains structural whiteness, cisnormativity, and so on. … Since our stories are so often misunderstood, there’s an implicit demand that we be shown in the most palatable light, but that robs our stories of the all-important shades of grey.“
Booger has the shades of grey covered. She is never quite as actively “bad” as the other characters, but her particular ways of being messed up are, in a way, more brutal. Read the rest of Sam Riedel’s thoughts on Booger HERE.
Other News in Brief
- The Ignatz Award nominees have been announced, and there are lots and lots of comics by women on the list! Michael Cavna shares the list on The Washington Post.
- Katie Skelly is on Episode 22 of Comic Book Decalogue – here on The Comics Journal.
- Also on the Journal, Rob Kirby reviews Glynnis Fawkes‘ Greek Diary, and Katie Skelly covers Kabi Nagata’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness.
- Jason Rhode tries to navigate the maze of gender diversity in the comics industry, doing a decent job of summarizing a lot of the conversations and controversies that have been going on in the last year, in particular, and across the decades more expansively – read the article on Paste Magazine HERE.
- Here’s a nice review of Maggie Umber‘s Sound of Snow Falling.
- Part 2 of Gabrielle Bell‘s comic Little Red and Big Bad is up on The Paris Review – read it HERE.
- Boundless by Jillian Tamaki is reviewed on Paste Magazine by Zainab Akhtar – she calls Jillian “undeniably one of the finest cartoonists of this generation.“
Suzy and Cecil – 8-18-2017 – by Gabriella Tito
Joanie and Jordie – 8-18-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio