Sally here with comics by Ulli Lust, Mai-Li Bernard, Laila Milevski, and the CW Roller Derby League, a Standing Rock and Resist! check-in, plus new stuff from Carol Tyler and Vanesa R. Del Rey.
One of my favorite comics is Ulli Lust‘s Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. I traversed it’s 450 pages again this past summer and found that I heartily agree with Jaime Hernandez’s review of the book: “Ulli Lust really nails my favorite part of storytelling. Bumming cigarettes, learning how to hitchhike – the small details that create great character.”
The haphazard travels of Ulli’s then 17-year old self from Vienna to Sicily, described in lively pencil drawings, are the “stranger than fiction” stuff that life is made out of. I’ve had similar adventures (perhaps a little less perilous) and tromping through Today is the Last Day always makes me want to get on the road again, while simultaneously making me especially grateful for my warm house and glass of wine and comparatively sane companions.
It’s been awhile now since this book was released, and it is out of print and out of stock most places. (You can amazingly still get a copy from Copacetic Comics however!) I’m always keeping an ear open for news of more work by Ulli Lust, and was thrilled when she mentioned back in September that she had drawn page 333 of her new book! Today I was poking around on her website again and I noticed that for a few months this year she was publishing a comic series in an English language magazine from Berlin, the Exberliner. She has four of the comics up on her website – here’s the first one:
You can check out the rest of them HERE – (use the arrows at the top of the page to move forward.) The second comic is pretty hilarious, and the third hit me right in the gut – I have so been there (yesterday morning, for example…read it to see what I mean!)
My internet wanderings took me from the Exberliner to a German comics blog where there was a blurb about Ulli Lust. It appears that this site – Dreimalalles – has concluded its comics reporting, but it seems to be an interesting archival document about the German comics scene in the last few years. They hosted the German version of Matt Madden’s Style Exercises: 99 Ways to Tell a Story as well as a webcomic called Pigments by Mai-Li Bernard.
Mai-Li was born in Vietnam and currently makes comics in Angoulême, France. According to her Dreimalalles bio (translated by Google…) she “playfully explores the possibilities of narrating stories with reduced means“. This is apparent in Pigments, which is about two lovers. It follows their interactions and conversations, many of which end in dark thoughts…
cafébabel interviewed Mai-Li in January of this year, right before France’s Angoulême International Comics Festival, where her book Mortelle Vinasse (Deadly Wine) was an official selection.
“cafébabel: Mortelle Vinasse is a mute comic strip. Why the choice of a story without text?
Mai-Li Bernard: I am not very comfortable with words. Paradoxically, I have a great interest in linguistic tools and everything related to the mechanisms of language. That’s why I like making comic strips without text. The subject of my Master’s dissertation was the process of reading silent comic strips.
I have to mitigate this absence of text through the way I work. In reality, there’s a lot of dialogue in my strips – they are very talkative! I use a very minimal language, quasi-autonomous, which is close to pictograms. The reader is forced to analyse the images. I built the story so that during the first reading they can appreciate all this information. I wanted something playful that called for a participatory reading.“
Mai-Li feels like she is part of the OuBaPo school of thought (which is “the artistic equivalent of OuLiPo (that emphasized self-imposed constraints in literature, ed.) created by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lyonnais.” (I used to be super obsessed with this group – I had a whole sub-category on my blog devoted to reviews of books by Raymond Queneau and Georges Perec…)
The topic of women in comics comes up in the interview, of course, as it took place right after that notorious Angoulême Grand Prix 2016 list came out… There are some other good moments in the conversation too – check it out HERE.
Laila Milevski‘s Enter, Holy Pilgrim just came out! It is the 9th book in the Ley Lines series published by Czap Books and Grindstone Comics (November 2016). It is about a troubled serf who is seeking spiritual guidance while on a pilgrimage. You can see pages from the book HERE at Laila’s website.
Also check out Drawing Antonioni, a comic series Laila drew for Comics Workbook in 2014 – the whole thing is available HERE.
I wrote about a recent Comics Workbook Roller Derby League bout – some of the gals and I copied a whole Locas story by Jaime Hernandez. It was pretty nuts to trace these highly detailed pages, to get the gestures and expressions of these familiar faces down to my satisfaction. Labor intensive, to say the least, and incredibly eye-opening for myself and the other women involved in the project – all of whom are intent on pushing themselves to new levels and continuing to develop as cartoonists.
Check out the rest of the pages HERE – mine are p.6-10.
There is a hideous lack of news coverage of the ongoing situation at Standing Rock – but The Nib featured a comic by Jen Sorensen that weighed in a bit – here’s a panel:
You can now help support the Resist! project by ordering a “supporters copy” – the proceeds will go towards production costs – more info HERE. Be sure to keep checking for the Daily Image – which is actually being updated every few hours with new comics from folks – mostly women – from around the country. Intense stuff.
Print ran a brief feature on the project – Gabe Fowler’s intent is for the project to have “a strong and powerful roar of female voices without meddling by men“, which is why he tagged New Yorker art editor Françoise Mouly to be the editor.
” “Oy! I’m so overwhelmed with work and projects as it is,” she told him. “But this is exactly the kind of project I’d drop other things for!” Mouly mentioned it to her daughter, writer Nadja Spiegelman, who immediately signed on and drew up a list of their favorite artists, and also put together a website in order to place an open call for submissions.“
This free special issue of Gabe Fowler’s Smoke Signals will be handed out “by the tens of thousands from the back of a van during the Women’s March in Washington D.C.” on January 21st, 2017.
Carol Tyler just released a teaser cover for her new book Fab4 Mania, due out from Fantagraphics late Summer/Fall of next year.
If you’re eager to stay on top of developments for this book, here’s the FB page.
I love Vanesa R. Del Rey‘s work – her drawing chops are a constant source of inspiration and sometimes jealousy to me. Her Instagram feed is one of the best, full of process posts and badass ladies. It’s been fun to be on the edges of a Comics Workbook publishing project involving her work, and I’m so excited to see the finished book – The Art of Vanesa R. Del Rey. Check out the video:
It’s high time for a new gif, but this one continues to crack me up – and it is exactly what the school email feels like. I help field applications for the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers, and can report that the Winter Semester is filling up rapidly. It starts December 29th, and you have until the 28th to submit an application – but only 12 days now to get in on the early application discount! The details:
8 week course – 500 bux – 10 spots available – apply by Dec. 13th 2016 and get $100 off course fee!
More details can be found HERE – or email santoroschoolATgmail.
Suzy and Cecil – 12-2-2016 – by Sally Ingraham
More via @suzy_and_cecil
Enjoy your weekend folks. I’ll be spending it drawing more strips like the one above, getting a start on making some Xmas presents, and hanging out at Copacetic Comics! Cheers – Sally