Sally here with comics by Nicole Claveloux, thoughts from Jackie Kirby, and lists from Abraham Riesman, among other things!
Tis the season for “Best of” lists, with every news source you can think of publishing their 10 favorite “whatevers”. I’ve already seen a dozen “best of comics” lists, but I’m just linking to Abraham Riesman’s over on Vulture, since his list is 6 out of 10 female creators, and the rest are comics I also really liked.
Riesman’s got writeups on Eleanor Davis‘s You & a Bike & a Road, Sophia Foster-Dimino’s Sex Fantasy, Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless, Thi Bui‘s The Best We Could Do, Poppies of Iraq by Brigitte Findakly (co-written and illustrated by her husband, Lewis Trondheim), and of course Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Connor Willumsen’s Anti-Gone and Gary Panter’s Songy of Paradise are also on the list, plus a few others. Look no further for your holiday gift-giving list, and if you haven’t already, add these comics to your own TBR lists ASAP.
I am eager to get my hands on Nicole Claveloux‘s The Green Hand and Other Stories, which came out in English from New York Review Comics recently. Matthias Wivel reviews it over on The Comics Journal, making me only more excited to see it myself. Nicole Claveloux made comics for about a decade in France in the 70’s/80’s, but as her work went largely unnoticed she turned to other forms of artistic expression.
“For a few brief years, Claveloux…contributed short comics to the legendary magazine Métal Hurlant – several of which were published in English in its counterpart Heavy Metal – as well as its offshoot Ah! Nana (1976–’78), which featured women creators exclusively. For the longer of these stories, she collaborated with the writer Edith Zha. The Green Hand collects most of this meager output between nifty hard covers, sensitively translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith and hand-lettered in imitation of the original by Dustin Harbin. It will hopefully be followed by a new edition of their feature-length comics album Morte-saison (1979).
The title story, signed Claveloux and Zha, is the main draw here. Published in five installments in Métal Hurlant in 1977, and in Heavy Metal the following year, it is a technicolor dreamscape drawn from life clocking in at just over forty pages. An almost elegiac portrait of the unbearableness of being. There is no great crisis detailed in its vivid narrative of attempted escape from things as they are, just crushing inevitability as the couple at its center finally submerge themselves in an inky ocean under a neon sunset.“
Read the rest of the review HERE. Also, you can check out the comic strip she drew – “Grabote, which ran in the popular children’s magazine Okapi between 1973–’82″ – in French HERE. Here’s a page from it:
I plan to see if I can track down some issues of Ah! Nana, which the Women in Comics Wiki describes:
“Ah! Nana was a French comics magazine published from October 1976 to September 1978, running nine issues. It was published by Humanoïdes Associés, best known as the publishers of Métal Hurlant, or Heavy Metal. It was the first French publication featuring work almost entirely by women (though it occasionally featured male contributors) at a time when comics were still almost exclusively male environments. It included work by such French cartoonists as Chantal Montellier, Florence Cestac, and Nicole Claveloux, as well as Americans such as Trina Robbins. It sold 15,000 copies on a print run of 30,000, before the ban on sales to minors proved fatal, due to its frequent taboo and controversial material.“
I was totally blown away by the article Jackie Kirby wrote for Comics Workbook earlier this week, which dug into the work of Lyn Hejinian as a way to talk about open comics. At one point she breaks down two panels from the comic by Lynda Barry pictured above, just as she had broken down the opening sentences of a short story, showing how each creator opened up their text/image to achieve a multitude of meanings. She goes on to say:
“Barry’s formal style requires a more simplistic, linear execution, but even in two relatively unassuming panels, we see the process of anticipation and retrospection used in a variety of ways. It is also worth noting that because I am equating the prosodic sentence with the comic panel, a degree of slippage occurs. Each of the panels above includes multiple sentences, and were I to parse them one by one it would reveal even more subtle layers of activity within the text. Most notably, though, in dissecting these panels, the notion of juxtaposition becomes increasingly complex, and the reader is required to do much more work in producing meaning from juxtaposed images and words (e.g. identifying Freddie and Marlys, locating them at a kitchen table together). Spatial placement and juxtaposition are among the most essential elements of comic making. Fortunately for my purpose, they are also critical to Hejinian’s theories of openness.“
- There is a comics journalism roundtable composed of Sophie Yanow, Iona Fox, and Joe Sacco over on Process Party – listen to episode 60 HERE.
- There’s a great interview with Stephanie Zuppo, publisher of The Ladybroad Ledger in Vermont, on the business of making comics and art – HERE on Seven Days.
- Emily Flake has a new comic up on The New Yorker – read it HERE.
- Traditionally in December Rob Clough reviews a huge stack of mini comics made by CCS grads on his blog High-Low – here’s the first set of reviews, featuring work by Sophie Goldstein, Colleen Frakes, and Amelia Onorato. He’s continued with work by Laura Terry, Tillie Walden, Joyana McDiarmid, Daryl Seitchik, and Mary Shyne, among others.
The Winter Semester of thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers starts January 18th 2018! 8 weeks – 500 bux – coaching for as long as you need. The course is hard, but Frank will push your comics making practice to a new level, getting you to think about timing and color in new ways. Makes a great holiday gift for yourself – or for a loved one who is interested in comics. Apply by midnight (EST) on Dec. 25th and get $100 off the course price.
Suzy and Cecil – 12-8-2017 – by Gabriella Tito