Aaron here today with Discipline; Dykes in Print/Boiled Angel/CBLDF; Maintenance Art; Nadel/Dunham; Remembering Kim Thompson; Ford/Walden; French Comics in the USA; Portraits & Swinespritzen
Dash Shaw is posting Diary Comics this week at TCJ, where he discusses the process of his work-in-progress, Discipline:
This book is a long comic book, but it does not have any speech balloons or panel borders. The illustrations and the hand-written cursive text float on the page. This activates the negative space of the page, which lends the book a spacious stillness, or a quiet, “Quakerly” tone. This spacing relates to Civil War-era illustration, where elements hover inside of articles. Also, this allows me to write and draw all of the elements separately, so the book is easier for me to edit. With the conventional comic approach, usually the insertion of a panel throws off all of the other panels in the book. Because of the collage-like structure of my book, I can easily insert illustrative moments and pieces of text and research/write while still making new drawings.
Censorship: Don’t Do it!
In celebration (?) of Banned Books week, Pen.org has a piece by Jennifer Camper, Dykes in Print:
And the Guardian revisits the Mike Diana Boiled Angel trial and the origins of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund:
Set up in 1986, the CBLDF exists to fight censorship of comic books, protect the First Amendment right to free speech and, more pragmatically, to provide legal representation for comics creators facing prosecution.
Founder Denis Kitchen was running Kitchen Sink Press, a publisher of underground comics, when he heard about a police raid on Friendly Frank’s comic shop in Chicago. Six officers had seized seven titles, including erotic comic Omaha the Cat Dancer, Robert Crumb’s anthology Weirdo and SF-smut comic Heavy Metal, and arrested manager Michael Correa. Friendly Frank’s was shut down for five days, but not before one of the arresting officers told newspapers there was a “satanic influence” in the comics seized.
Kitchen was appalled. “I realised immediately that if police officers with built-in Satan detectors could get away with making arrests and seizing objectionable comic books, much more than the comics industry was at stake,” he says. He swiftly raised $20,000 for a fighting fund, helped by comics heavyweights like Crumb and Frank Miller. “It was gratifying to see that sudden unity among the comics community,” Kitchen says. “I was more used to people squabbling.”
Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art at Queens Museum
This first survey of Ukeles’ work is organized by the Queens Museum’s Larissa Harris and guest co-curator Patricia C. Phillips, who initiated the project in 2012. The show will span five decades, from her work as a pioneer of feminist performance to a practitioner of public art, in which Ukeles invites us to reconsider indispensable urban systems and the workers who maintain them. Ukeles is undoubtedly best-known for her 36+ year role as the official, unsalaried Artist-in-Residence at New York’s Department of Sanitation. Unprecedented when it began in 1978, this residency has now become a model for municipalities engaging with artists as creative agents.
Dan Nadel on Carroll Dunham’s drawing at Hyperallergic:
Dunham and his peers had emerged from a conceptual and process-oriented New York milieu in which a number of artists were exhibiting and redefining drawing as a primary medium, including Barry Le Va, Dorothea Rockburne (who Dunham and Kendrick assisted), Mel Bochner, and Sol Lewitt. Connecting these and other artists was the removal of both the image and the artist’s sensuous touch, replaced with rigorous conceptual procedures. In contrast, Terry Winters notes that he and Dunham “saw drawing and making things by hand as a way out of or into art. We were reconnecting with gesture and touch, and their capacities to register other kinds of information not available through logic.” They were also finding kinship with artists that were not highly considered at the time, such as the mid-20th century German painter and photographer Wols and the American post-war painter William Baziotes, both of whose work defied categorization and remained outside of the contemporary dialogue.
At the ever-enduring Comics Reporter blog, Tom Spurgeon remembers Fantagraphics publisher Kim Thompson, and looks at the aging of the ‘alt-comics’ crowd:
The thing that stuck in my head, though, throughout today, was how many people texted and e-mailed that they thought Kim was older than 60 when he passed away. I think that’s because Kim and Gary Groth and their roughly same-age peers were either the first generation of alt-comics publishers or the first generation since the first generation to enter mainstream comics in a significant way. So you have a lot of people 55-65 with trackable careers two, three, four decades long in an established arts industry, which is rare outside of a few precocious creative talents.
Sean Ford recently conducted an interview with Tillie Walden, posted on Inkstuds.
French Comics Framed Festival
NYC, 27 September-5 November
- Sept 27 – Nov. 5: French Comics Framed – Exhibition
The Cooper Union, Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, NY 10003
- Oct. 4: Panel by Asaf & Tomer Hanuka
The Society of illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, NY, NY 10065
- Oct 6-9: Meet our artists on booth #1558 at New York Comic Con and on the Artist Alley
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., NY, NY 10001
- Oct. 6, 7pm: French Comics On Screen: Film Adaptations of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives
The School of Visual Arts, 209 E 23rd St, 3rd floor
- Oct. 7, 6:30pm : How to Draw a Life: The Rise of Graphic Biography in France
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, NY 10029
- Oct. 8, 1:30-2:30pm: Drawing From the World: Franco-Belgian Comics in Global Context
New York Comic Con (room 1B03), Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St., NY, NY 10001
- Oct. 8, 7pm: Reconstructing Comix: The “Architecture” of Franco-Belgian Graphic Narratives, from Tintin to Today
The Great Hall of Cooper Union, Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, NY, NY 10003
- Nov. 1, 7pm: Panel discussion: Drawing the unspeakable
Columbia University 116th St & Broadway, NY, NY 10027
Help send Connor Willumsen to the UK for The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival in October! He will be teaching workshops with Frank Santoro and Aidan Koch while there – if you’re in the area check it out. To help him get to the show, Comics Workbook is offering two new Connor publications. Portraits and Swinespritzen – both limited editions, both incredible.