Sally Ingraham here with Sam Ombiri, bringing you more highlights from SPX weekend and an examination of The Act of Seeing!
SPX is always a whirlwind, but when that spinning vortex touches down now and then, you inevitably bump into someone cool. Frank careened into the great Chris Visions, who just released his Lunchtime Loosies Vol. 1 Deluxe Edition (get it here!) and Ronald Wimberly, who said that other conventions are good – but SPX is the one to beat!
Down in the Comics Workbook workshop room the likes of Charles Burns, Carol Tyler, and Jeffrey Brown regaled folks with their pen and paper choices and other process and storytelling tips over SPX weekend. Cameron Weston Nicholson (pictured above) dug into the relationship between comics and music.
“Comics are a symphonic mixture of picture & word.
Geometry to form a melodic comic (as pictured above)
the red is the “eye” or the “main tempo”
the blue is the rhythm and
the green activates the bass which brings you back to the beginning.” – Cameron Nicholson
The Comics Workbook workshop space at SPX was also a great place to meet new people – Samuel Sharpe, a DC area cartoonist, attended a “hangout” session and got his first taste of the CW index cards method. He shared some of his own comics with us –
More of Samuel Sharpe’s work can be found HERE!
Back upstairs in the expo showroom, Shannon Wright was selling copies of her comic 4-99 (which you can get as a digital download HERE if you missed it at the show!) She was tabling with Chris Kindred, who was debuting Night Hunter at the show (also available as a digital download HERE). Another one of our Richmond, VA, friends – Richie Pope – was also there, showing off his recent killer illustration work.
Whit Taylor was tabling as well, debuting her comic Wallpaper, and keeping her sharp eye on the show as a whole – we will be presenting a full report from her soon! She was interviewed by Jake Grubman at Comicsverse shortly before the show.
“By nature, being an autobio cartoonist, it’s easier for me to reveal things about myself even though I’m shy by nature. It was kind of therapeutic for me to work through those things, and…the least I could do was produce something that could be helpful to other people.” – Whit Taylor
Switching gears from SPX coverage now – we have this week’s thoughts from Samuel Ombiri –
The Act of Seeing
I like the title of the coffee table book Nicolas Winding Refn put out last year – The Act of Seeing. I never think of reading or viewing something like it’s an action I’m performing. So this title brings with it a bunch of excitement for me, and it feels like a bit of a challenge.
The book itself has a bunch of cinema posters from…the 60’s and 70’s maybe? He said he approached it no more different than the way he edits his movies. So then, what I wonder is, was he still following the same impulse of what his movies are about? That it’s more about what you don’t see than what you see, which creates, in his words “penetration of the mind”?
It reminds me of something CF said, about how when he was younger, he was looking at catalogs of comics he couldn’t get. He would think about what the comic would be like based off the cover. I don’t remember whether he did it naturally out of impulse or if it was a conscious thing he did – I think he did it out of impulse.
I kind of wonder if CF drew any comics based off what he thought was in those comics he couldn’t read; his comics have the energy, when I read it, where I feel it’s alluding to that comic book cover from that catalog he was reading (but I’m also imagining what that cover looked like, so I guess I’m just imaging reading it in whole different context…)
Maybe this will make more sense; let’s say Refn puts together a catalog of movie posters he hasn’t seen (in the video above he said he only knows 10% of the movies in the poster book, but let’s pretend he knows 0%.) Now this next part is actually true – sometimes when he would have no direction for the movie he was making, so he would look to at the posters he was accumulating for the book for inspiration. He would use the posters of the movies he didn’t know and think about what movie they’d be. (I don’t know if he was using the supposed 90% mysterious posters for this process but let’s just suppose he was – this is part of his “penetration of the mind” spiel, that it creates a new idea).
When I saw his new movie, I could imagine the poster he was looking at…the era it was alluding to…the theme…and like… the novelty of the time, from the image and the sound. I don’t want to fully grasp where it’s from, in fact I have no interest in watching these movies myself, not just because it ruins the mysterious quality, but watching those movies would just be reaaaal drag. They sound like the worst movies to watch, but that’s probably just my weakness as a viewer, but it is suddenly easier to watch them filtered through Refn. It’s also convenient, how he has pretty much taken every element that interested me in the posters. So it’s also a bit of shortcut, instead of sitting through those other movies. There are ones he alluded to that I like that are not in the same category of the movies in the book too. These allusions can give me a lot of energy and I really welcome that mystery as much as possible, but that mystery means that I’m also avoiding looking at good work.
Anyways this supposed experience – I’ve had it too. I bet I’m not the only one who it has happened to, where I draw a comic, based off of what I think a show that hasn’t aired yet will look like. One time I realized I had done 300 pages without realizing it. – Samuel Ombiri
Final note before we let you go – we now have both of Connor Willumsen’s new publications in hand! The brand new one – Portraits – and the super rare one – Swinespritzen – both limited editions, both incredible.
Proceeds from these books will help send Connor to the UK for The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival in October!