Sally here with reviews of work by Sophia Foster-Dimino, Tara Booth, and Katie Skelly, plus other news worth knowing.
I’ve been reading a PDF version of Sophia Foster-Dimino‘s new comic (sent out as an advance review copy), which is being released by Koyama Press in the next few weeks. It’s called Sex Fantasy and it is going to be lovely. It collects the mini comics she’s been making in limited editions for over 4 years, translating them into a little square book of 440 pages. Each page will contain a single panel, and perhaps folks will be inclined to zip through the book at speed but I recommend taking time to savor this one.
Each “sex fantasy” is a poem which manages to capture something about human interactions, attractions, anxieties, and those brief moments of connection or total disconnect. The pieces are funny, whimsical, and sad, some all at the same time. I like Sophia’s playful, but elegant line.
I made myself stop reading the PDF version since I want to thoroughly enjoy the book when it is released. If you’re curious to check it out in the meanwhile, you can see some of the pieces HERE on Sophia’s website.
Be sure to look for the entire Fall lineup of comics from Koyama Press – new work by Connor Willumsen, GG, Noel Freibert, Patrick Kyle, and Hannah K. Lee!
Tara Booth‘s How to Be Alive was part of the spring 2017 collection from Retrofit Comics, but it was only released in the past few weeks. I don’t always go for comics that go careening around a page without panels or a grid to contain them, but I do enjoy Tara’s work. The simple sequencing is effective, the gags are funny, and of course her color and patterning is exactly as loud and as bright as I like it. She captures what it’s like to be caught inside her body and emotions quite well. There is a sort of joy in her drawings and paintings, whether she is lying on the floor wracked with anxiety, popping a zit or cutting her bangs, or delighting in comfy PJs.
Katie Skelly‘s new comic from Fantagraphics is a big hardcover that collects the series she started drawing in 2015. My Pretty Vampire tells the tale of Clover, a young vampire who escapes the imprisonment of her brother to seek freedom and blood. How she became a vampire and how her brother was involved is deliberately unclear, but to me that was the only truly intriguing part of the story. Katie is playing with the horror genre, making her pretty blonde play the roll of both virginal survivor and slasher, but the comic fizzles before the end. Clover evades the pursuit of her brother and his hired detective, manages to stay out of the sun, mostly, and kills a bunch of folks. There seems to be a thread of abuse and certainly the potential for revenge, but that remains just a promise.
You can expect erotic episodes in Katie’s work, and this comic has its share, plus it features Katie’s first use of full color. She was inspired by the spot coloring in Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest, and tried to go for the grotesque effect of almost overwhelming color (according to this interview on CBR). Maybe it’s because of the large format with lots of space, but the block coloring of the piece doesn’t appeal to me. (I just keep thinking about Photoshop’s paint bucket.) There are some interesting spreads, but overall I didn’t find this comic to be as strong as I’d expected.
Of course you must judge it for yourself – get a copy of My Pretty Vampire HERE.
NPR did one of their “cover crushes” on My Pretty Vampire – see what inspired Katie’s cover design HERE.
Less Subjective News
- Emma Allen is the new humor and cartoon editor at The New Yorker. Artsy features a profile on her.
- Rob Kirby reviews Summer Pierre‘s Paper Pencil Life #5 on The Comics Journal.
- Julia Wertz offers an excerpt from her upcoming book – Tenements, Towers & Trash: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, out in October – which provides a brief history of the Village Voice.
- Speaking of the Village Voice, they recently announced that they’re discontinuing the print edition of the paper after 62 years. Lauren Weinstein‘s strip Normal Person appeared in the print edition for over a year, but I think it will continue being published online – regardless, her most recent strip details what will be lost when the Village Voice is purely virtual.
- Jessica Campbell is publishing comics on Hyperallergic (I had neglected to notice before!) – her most recent one is about Gauguin…
- Hilary Brown reviews Mimi Pond‘s The Customer is Always Wrong on Paste.
Comics Workbook is hosting workshops at SPX 2017 and I’m pleased to say that this year instead of running tech and passing out index cards, I’ll be doing that stuff PLUS leading a workshop myself, along with Audra Stang (the pair of us are pictured above).
For a complete list of the workshops VISIT THIS SITE – and please signup in advance for the workshops you want to attend, as they will fill up quickly.
Frank Santoro made a comic book about his parents and now he needs help making a handbound copy of the book for each of them. It’s a good story. Check out the Indiegogo campaign HERE – or if you want to contribute via PayPal, look at the campaign HERE.
Suzy and Cecil – 9-1-2017 – by Gabriella Tito