Thurber + Tomine; Hairy Who; Drawing Center; Adversarial Elephant Networks


Adrian Tomine

ADRIAN TOMINE: Comics Work (2004-2014)
October 4 – November 11, 2018
104 E. 81st Street, NYC


Hairy Who? 1966-1969
The Art Institute of Chicago
Through January 6, 2019

Although the Hairy Who chose to exhibit together, they were six individuals with their own personal, chiefly figurative vocabularies. They each radically manipulated source material collected from everyday life—including advertisements, comics, posters, and sales catalogs—with technical virtuosity. Their sense of humor embraced idiosyncrasy and spontaneity with wordplay, puns, and inside jokes that often belied the transgressiveness of their subject matter. Ambiguous, provocative, but also strategic, their work transmitted progressive ideas that challenged prevailing notions of gender and sexuality, social mores and standards of beauty, and nostalgia and obsolescence.

Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum. Hairy Who, 1966


Opening Reception: Thursday, October 11, 6–8pm
The Drawing Center | 35 Wooster Street

For Opacity: Elijah Burgher, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Nathaniel Mary Quinn; Jennifer Wynne Reeves: All Right for Now; a… is alter(ed): Open Sessions 12

Dufala Brothers, Tic Tac Toe, 2015, video, 22:05 minutes.

a… is alter(ed): Open Sessions 12 explores the imaginative determination of “drawing” and “line” by relating it to a development process, social artifacts, psychological trace, and prosthetic memory—journals, maps, technology, and calendars. The poetics of flow between known and unknown is a feedback murmur that leads to clarity when engaging the object. a..is alter(ed) features Joeun Aatchim, Kenseth Armstead, Ludovica Carbotta, Billy and Steven Dufala, LaMont Hamilton, and Ester Partegàs. Organized Rosario Güiraldes and and Lisa Sigal, Open Sessions Curators, together with participating artists.


Detecting an elephant in a room.
Via Amir Rosenfeld, Richard Zemel, and John K. Tsotsos


We showcase a family of common failures of state-of-the
art object detectors. These are obtained by replacing image
sub-regions by another sub-image that contains a trained
object. We call this “object transplanting”. Modifying an
image in this manner is shown to have a non-local impact
on object detection. Slight changes in object position can
affect its identity according to an object detector as well
as that of other objects in the image. We provide some
analysis and suggest possible reasons for the reported

10-02-2018 – by Niall Breen


Julie Doucet; L. Nichols; Best American Comics; Richard McGuire; Everything is Connected at the Met Breuer; Art in Brussels


Dirty Plotte—The Complete Julie Doucet by Austin English

By the end of Dirty Plotte, the panels become increasingly dense and claustrophobic—beautifully so, but a trap all the same. The imposition of the rules of comics come to a head: clear, pure storytelling, the same character over and over, refine-refine-refine your style—a far remove from the infinitely open plane Doucet grafted onto the medium when Plotte began. An author of endless skill, she observed these principles and easily mastered them. Could the wide canvas of the early issues have been similarly exhausted?

Julie Doucet


L. Nichols

L Nichols: Day One


Cover by Lale Westvind

The Best American Comics 2018
Panel discussion at Strand Book Store, NYC, Wednesday, October 3, 7pm

“I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics language today. Join us as panelist Bill Kartalopoulos, Julia Gfrörer, Julian Glander, Kevin Hooyman, and Julia Jacquette talk about this year in comics.


Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire: Art for the Street – 1978-1982
September 27 – November 4, 2018; Opening: Thursday, Sept. 27, 6-8 pm
Alden Projects, 34 Orchard Street, NYC

“A shadow is a strong and simple graphic,” McGuire explains. “The titles evolved from a Burroughs-esque cut-up method — just grabbing selected phrases that caught my ear. I would make lists. Later, I made a stencil. I would see what worked best with that image as a ‘sound picture’.” Incorporating cryptic phrases such as “Moved Then Set on Fire” (1979); “Holes and Corners” (1980); “Doubles are Inevitable” (1980); and “Different Nervous Rhythms (1981); McGuire’s Ixnae Nix drawings transmogrify the layout and content of quotidian newspapers into personalized tabloids in which the central silhouette appears with “a crypto-mystical graphic style, a great touch,” to borrow Glenn O’Brien’s 1981 praise in Interview magazine. The stream-of-consciousness poetics of McGuire’s Ixnae Nix drawings share explicit aesthetic dialogue with Basquiat and his early poetics, but later, these conversations arguably go both ways. McGuire’s Incident Instantly Becomes Memory [1979], to name one, shared a pivotal stage with Basquiat, Haring, and others at the New York / New Wave show, curated by Diego Cortez at P.S. 1, Queens in 1981, and clearly anticipates some of Basquiat’s later pictorial developments. The Ixnae Nix drawings also confabulate with Keith Haring’s early street-based work, particularly with the latter’s Xeroxed collages of cut-up newspaper headlines, which he began in 1980. McGuire stopped his wheatpasting activities in early 1981—around the same time that Haring first began making chalk drawings in the subway.


Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy

The first half of the exhibition comprises works by artists who hew strictly to the public record, uncovering hidden webs of deceit—from the shell corporations used by New York’s largest private landlord, interconnected networks encompassing politicians, businessmen, and arms dealers. In the second part, other artists dive headlong into the fever dreams of the disaffected, creating fantastical works that nevertheless uncover uncomfortable truths in an age of information overload and weakened trust in institutions.



09-25-2018 – by Niall Breen


Old Drawings; Flocks; ‘Against Clarity’; Her garden, a mirror; RM; NYABF 2018


An abstract drawing from the 73,000-year-old levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa
Christopher S. Henshilwood, Francesco d’Errico, Karen L. van Niekerk, Laure Dayet, Alain Queffelec & Luca Pollarolo // https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0514-3

This South African cave stone may bear the world’s oldest drawing

Other finds have included 100,000- to 70,000-year-old pigment chunks engraved with crosshatched and line designs, 100,000-year-old abalone shells containing remnants of a pigment-infused paint and shell beads from around the same time.


Shea Hennum reviews the new book by L. Nichols, Flocks

The way that Nichols visually renders these pleasures is similarly worth noting. Throughout the book, Nichols signals emotional states by drawing arrows towards himself. These arrows sometimes take the form of lightning bolts, scraggly and castigating lines, or straight lines annotated with mathematical formulae. Whenever he is made to feel bad, insulted, or harassed, he represents this by drawing a line—literally—from the elicitor to himself, as if to say that these figures are pushing in on him, enforcing themselves on him. The lines coming at him are signs of oppression and hate. He reverses this to represent the love he feels in communion with God, rendering those scenes with a halo of lines emanating outward, emerging from within himself. This is part and parcel of Nichols’ broader aesthetic, which merges expressionistic portraiture with elements of naturalistic cartooning. The world is, by and large, rendered realistically so that it resembles the world and the people resemble people. Nichols renders himself, however, as a doll—alternately resembling a ragdoll and a crash-test dummy. This method of portraiture makes Nichols’ self-image infinitely pliable, and, I imagine, less emotionally taxing for him to manipulate. We see his body altered—in some cases, expressionistically disfigured; in some cases, literally disfigured—and Nichols can be explicit without being graphic. He can affect us deeply without it repelling us with viscera. The story is a deeply emotional one—that is, it is about emotions, emotional turmoil and distress—and Nichols affectively renders that core thematic visually. He makes it felt in not just what he draws but also in the way he draws it.

L. Nichols


Megan Kelso

Against Clarity
Austin English continues his deep dive into comics, art, and art comics, this time looking at work by Megan Kelso, William Blake, 400 year-old paintings from India, and some contemporary political cartoonists (to name a few).

A masterpiece like “Three Trees of India”, an illuminated 16th-century manuscript (sometimes on view at the Met), feels like a grand lost artifact of sequential art that, again, fits uneasily with contemporary comics’ self-conception as vessels of clarity. The peaks and valleys of emotion that this work suggests has been traded for a photocopy of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, which in theory sounds fine, as Bushmiller’s simplicity rivals the complexity of Blake. Yet few (if any) cartoonists are Bushmiller.

William Blake


Her garden, a mirror

Chitra Ganesh continues her exploration of gender and power in a futurist imaginary in this solo exhibition taking as a point of departure the utopian, feminist, sci-fi novella from 1905 called Sultana’s Dream by Bengali author and social reformer Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. These new works in printmaking, sculpture, and video engage art historical and literary sources to further reimagine the roles of the individual and the collective during periods of societal turbulence. Curated by Matthew Lyons.


Reclamation Project: Rob Clough reviews Josh Bayer’s RM

Bayer veers from an open page format with no panels to hand-drawn panels. He carefully employs a lot of negative space in order to let his drawings breathe a little and to make the otherwise blocky aspect of his figures more legible in terms of their actions on the page. Bayer is once again interpreting the drawings of Sal Buscema here, a master storyteller in terms of pacing, panel-to-panel transitions, and clarity, and he maintains these aspects of the original art while putting his own unique stamp.

Josh Bayer






Jason Lutes; Sharad Sharma; Dash Shaw; Comics Carousel; Brooklyn Book Festival


Jason Lutes

‘Otherwise it’s all just a bloodbath, right?’
Josh Kramer talks with Jason Lutes about the new Berlin collection:

[Kramer] What were your main narrative inspirations for Berlin?
[Lutes] From a straightforward, mechanical, storytelling perspective, the comics of Herge, right? All of my basic “Comics 101” self-education that I got was from studying Tintin both growing up and then as an adult. And then once I sort of figured out the conventions that Herge was applying, then tinkering them and changing them and making them my own in a lot of cases. In terms of like tone, for Berlin specifically, tone and technique, I think I was I was thinking a lot about Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders, which I had seen in my early 20s, which was very affecting. And the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin which takes a very kind of impressionistic view of the city at the time. And both of those works do a lot of drifting in and out of the consciousness of various people on the street. So those had a big effect on how I ended up telling the story.

And then beyond that I would have to say it’s probably a combination of any number of indie films that I absorbed when I was in art school or after. I remember I watched a lot of Jim Jarmusch. Then I remember there was this one year at the Seattle [International] Film Festival where I had press passes. I would just go walk into a movie theater and sit down and watch movies for four hours, not knowing what they were going to be. I think there was a period there where I kind of just immersed myself in cinematic visual storytelling. I think Herge, Alfred Döblin and Wim Wenders would be the three big ones that were the obvious influences.


The 222nd meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Sept. 11, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, room UL 105 (lower level). Free and open to the public. Skype presentation.

Sharad Sharma on Grassroots Comics: By the people, for the people.

Via Skype, Sharad Sharma,  will share hundred of stories of common people using Grassroots Comics that tell a local story. They are a communication tool for all citizens that can transcend the barriers of language, literacy, media access, social classes and even resources. For these reasons, grassroots comics have been extremely successful in both rural and urban, remote and low literacy areas widely in Indian subcontinent. The simple format and participatory methodology made the grassroots comics popular worldwide. In last 20 years his organization World Comics has conducted more than 1200 comics workshop in most remote and disturbed areas of the globe and trained over 1,00,000 common people. He will also share the impact of his work. www.worldcomicsindia.com


Dash Shaw

“My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” Screening and Q&A

As part of After School Special: The 2018 School of Visual Arts Alumni Film & Animation Festival, we are pleased to present graphic novelist, animator, writer, director, and SVA alumnus Dash Shaw’s first feature-length animated film, My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (2016). Shaw will be on hand following the film for a Q&A. The feature will be preceded by the short film series Makin’ Things and the world premiere of the short film Noise by another multi-hypenate artist/director and SVA alumnus, Jim McKenzie. The Q&A will be moderated by current student Stephanie Kim (BFA 2019 Illustration).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 7:30-10PM
SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011


Comics Carousel at Society of Illustrators

A special Carousel at the Society of Illustrators for the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Presentations of graphic novels and comics as read by the artists:
Jordan Crane (We Are All Me)
Maria Hoey (COIN-OP Comics Anthology)
Paul Levitz & Tim Hamilton (Brooklyn Blood)
Connie Sun (@cartoonconnie)
Ngozi Ukazu  (Check, Please!)
Kriota Willberg  (Draw Stronger)
and more! The event will be followed by a book signing.
Hosted by:
R. Sikoryak (Terms and Conditions, The Unquotable Trump)
Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd Street NY, NY 10065
Monday, September 17, 2018,  7-9pm
Tickets: $10 General Admission


Julia Wertz

Brooklyn Book Festival

Comics-related Panels:

September 16, 2018, 12pm

Find Your Family

Brooklyn Historical Society Library, 128 Pierrepont St

Refugees, outcasts, inheritors of hard history — whoever we are, we all struggle to find the human connections that make us safe. Caldecott Award-winning illustrator/author David Small (Home After Dark), New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck (Passing for Human), and anthropologist Bessora (Alpha) explore the universal yearning for defining and keeping what we think of as family. Moderated by agent and editor Anjali Singh, Ayesha Pande Literary.


September 16, 2018, 1pm

TV vs. Reality

Brooklyn Historical Society Library 128 Pierrepont St

When on-air celebrity and imagery shape your earliest memories, how do you reconcile it all with the hard realities of adulthood? Catch the wide-ranging experiences, from quiz kids to musicals to stand-up comedy, of comics creators Michael Kupperman (All The Answers), Box Brown (Is This Guy for Real?), and Rina Ayuyang (Blame This on the Boogie). Moderated by Joan Hilty, Comics Editor at Nickelodeon.


September 16, 2018, 2pm

Brooklyn Historical Auditorium, 128 Pierrepont St

Two astoundingly accomplished team-ups of authors explore their many attractions to weird romance and speculative fiction, and all the things that happen when you create genre-bending graphic novels in collaboration! Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell (Bizarre Romance) and Alex de Campi and Katie Skelly (Twisted Romance) . Moderated by Tor Books editor Diana Pho.


September 16, 2018, 4pm

The Graphic City

Brooklyn Historical Auditorium, 128 Pierrepont St

In alternately gripping, funny, and tragic graphic novels about urban history, Julia Wertz (Tenements, Towers & Trash), Peter J. Tomasi (The Bridge), and Jason Lutes (Berlin) take us high up to skyscraper views of two great cities flanking the Atlantic — and beyond. Moderated by Publishers Weekly senior news editor Calvin Reid.


Cement Mixer – 9-11-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


Lisa Hanawalt Interview; Austin English at the National Gallery; Tadao Tsuge; John P. at Autoptic


Lisa Hanawalt

Illustrator Lisa Hanawalt on Her New Comic Coyote Doggirl and the Appeal of ‘Horse Girls’
Following up from Sally’s review of Lisa Hanawalt’s newest book, here is an interview with Claire Shaffer at Jezebel:

[Shaffer] I noticed that the map that you have at the beginning, at the very opening page of the book, looks vaguely like a map of L.A., but I’m not sure if that was the intent.
[Hanawalt] [Laughs]. Does it? I guess, now that I’m looking at it, it kind of does.

The way that the river forks, I’m like, “Oh yeah, that’s the L.A. River.” And that’s the Valley above the Red Mountains. Maybe I’m just projecting.
No, I did not think about that. I made this map last-thing in the book, because I was just suddenly like, “Oh god, this book should have a map in the beginning, that would be so cool.” I’ve always wanted to make a book with a map. Every good book has a map at the beginning. So I went through the whole story and tried to map out where she went, but it was really difficult. I was like, “How does this fit, and then also seem like a long journey from place to place?” So it was pretty random how it ended up. But you could totally look at it and be like, “That’s Silverlake!”

The Old Lady’s Cabin is in Silverlake.
It totally is. I live in it. I’m the old lady.


Ray Johnson

Sense of Humor at the National Gallery
Austin English looks at the current show at the National Gallery, Sense of Humor, and talk with its curator, Judith Brodie:

[English] You mention that much of this work is on view for the first time. After going through the process of making this show into a reality, do you have any insight into why museums and institutions so rarely show comic art on their walls, but have made space for film and architecture? Are there specific challenges the work poses?
[Brodie] Much of the work is being shown for the first time not because it has been hidden away but because it is new to the National Gallery’s collection, acquired within the last decade or so. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Gallery’s collection.

As to why comic art is less visible on the walls of museums, are you referring to art that is humorous or specifically the art of cartoonists? If the former, I would say that it is simply less abundant, especially in terms of painting and sculpture. If you mean work by cartoonists, art museums have long kept cartoonists at arm’s length. Nevertheless, attitudes evolve, as evidenced by the National Gallery exhibition.

I meant more what are some of the unique qualities of the work that presented challenges that, say, painting or sculpture might not?
Definitely the lack of such work in permanent collections is a factor. Institutions such as the National Gallery never collected this sort of art. In truth, it wasn’t even considered art. I could be wrong in assuming this, but historically were cartoonists even aiming to be in art museum collections? It strikes me that their aim was to get their work published and most paid little regard for the original drawings. I have heard purists say that the work that we should be exhibited is the published cartoon and that curators such as myself are fetishizing the original, unique work. Also bear in mind that probably more than 90 percent of the works in the National Gallery’s collection came as donations. Our holdings reflect what our donors were collecting. This is the case at almost all art museums.


Granta has an excerpt of the new Tadao Tsuge book, translated from the Japanese by Ryan Holmberg.

Tadao Tsuge


John Porcellino blogs about the recent Autoptic Festival:

Anyhow, we went in and did the show. Autoptic is in an amazing space, some kind of massive vaulted former warehouse. In that way alone it feels very different than most comics shows. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic or oppressive. It also attracts a slightly different crowd than your average comics con. There were a lot of older people attending, as well as families and groups of friends. A number of people came to my table and told me they had just happened to be in town for the weekend and saw the show listed in the paper, and decided to check it out. So there was a kind of openness and curiosity to the attendees that I usually only feel at a zine show. (It should be noted, Autoptic has a somewhat larger scope that just a “comics show,” featuring zines, printmaking, and other small press publications as well.)


Vision Box – 9-4-18 – by Cameron Arthur


Cement Mixer – 9-4-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


L. Nichols; Risography!; NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium; Attentional Generative Networks; Ignatz Noms


L. Nichols

“Oh crap, I’m drawing myself.”
L. Nichols is interviewed by Martyn Pedler at TCJ:

[Pedler] You talked about about figuring  things out through your art. Did making Flocks change the way you thought about faith, or thought about God?

[Nichols] It was very healing. I printed out the first five chapters, made floppies of them, and had people come and tell me how much it meant to them to read it. It means so much to me to hear that. What making Flocks changed is my faith in other people. It helps me feel more connected to myself and connected to others. I always felt like my uncomfortableness about sharing it would be offset by the good that would come of it. Making this always felt like something I had to do. I needed to do this. It wasn’t easy to write. I feel like I relived so much stuff. I’m really glad that my wife is so supportive, and my in-laws are very supportive. I feel very lucky. I tried to end it on a good note. I’m a bit of a sappy person, just naturally, and I was trying to make it not too sappy. But I feel like I’ve ended up in a great place, and I have so much, and I’m so grateful that I have all that I have – so it’s hard for me to look at my past with too much pain. If I hadn’t have gone through that, I wouldn’t be here. If I changed anything, I wouldn’t be me. Writing the book has helped me embrace my past in some ways. To find new comfort in it, and new confidence in myself and who I’ve become.


The Vintage Japanese Copy Machine Enjoying an Artistic Renaissance
Atlas Obscura looks at the risograph machine and it’s use in contemporary book-making:

Independent publishing houses like Perfectly Acceptable and TXTbooks are helping turn the grainy likability of Risograph printing into a global aesthetic. The myriad color combinations that are possible (Davis’ favorite being “mint and sunflower, 100 percent,” and Terzis celebrating the mix of “any of the complementary colors, because when you put them together they really vibrate”) makes it seem like the Risograph was destined for artistic flourish all along. But Issue Press founder George Wietor challenges the idea of the Riso’s “look” overshadowing its intended purpose: “The simplicity of the Riso brings a specific kind of arts publishing within reach and allows me to work with ink and paper in a way that I would otherwise have difficulty achieving,” he says, “but I am (only very mildly) concerned about elevating the Riso to something more than it is or, I believe, should be—which is a means of production rather than a specific style.”

Pan Terzis/Mega Press


New York Comics & Picture-story Symposium Fall 2018 Events Calendar
Presenters of potential interest to readers of this news-blog include (but are not limited to):

  • September 11: Sharad Sharma on Grassroots Comics: By the people, for the people. In the last 20 years World Comics has conducted more than 1,200 comics workshops in the most remote and disturbed areas of the globe and trained over 1,000,000 people in making comics about local issues.
  • November 13: Jason Lutes speaks about completing his two-decade-long project Berlin
  • December 4: Lala Albert will read from various short and long comics created over the past 4 years, featuring mainly works in sci-fi, erotica and sci-fi erotica genres. She will also discuss the process that went into making some or all of the comics.

Check the website for more info.



Text to Image
Via Rob Beschizza at Boingboing via AttnGAN: Fine-Grained Text to Image Generation with Attentional Generative Adversarial Networks by Tao Xu, Pengchuan Zhang, Qiuyuan Huang, Han Zhang, Zhe Gan, Xiaolei Huang, Xiaodong He.

A research team wrote about how they trained a machine-learning AI to generate images from text descriptions. When fed birds as its dataset, it got very good at painting birds…


Try it out here.


Small Press Expo Announces 2018 Ignatz Award Nominees


Cement Mixer – 8-28-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


Emil Friis Ernst; Emila Medková; José-Luis Olivares; Katsumata Susumu


Why We Don’t Use Chemical Weapons

Emil Friis Ernst at the Nib:

Emil Friis Ernst


Emila Medková

Emila Medková: The Magic of Despair

From Krzysztof Fijałkowski at Tate Papers:

Photographs such as Explosion insinuate a dry, bitter humour typical of the poems and paintings of post-war Czech surrealism, but it is not one that squares easily with André Breton’s ‘black humour’ characteristic of French surrealism during and after the 1930s. Indeed, as the Czechs already recognised, the conditions for their laughter were now radically different. Vratislav Effenberger, who had taken over effective leadership of the group after Teige’s death, was to note their shift, and how their pervasive and concrete nature made photography their appropriate witness:

I wasn’t willing to swear on the dogma of ‘liberty-love-poetry’. This utopian maxim could only have muted everything that still blazed within surrealism. … The streets in which surrealists were looking for the marvellous had changed between the wars. And from the 1940s; it was a different irrationality that I had encountered there. This irrationality, produced by a decadent rationality, burst with a humour so objective that all you had to do was place it in front of a camera or on a stage for its rationalist shell to crack open and a purifying sarcasm to leap out.


Cotton Story

José-Luis Olivares at Popula:

José-Luis Olivares


‘Fukushima Devil Fish’: A Nuclear Pastoral

Ryan Holmberg at the New York Review on newly translated work by Katsumata Susumu:

Deep Sea Fish, with its juxtapositions of familiar folklore characters and motifs with themes of displacement and nuclear industrialization, provided an elegiac window onto how the Tohoku region has struggled not only because it is more prone to natural calamities (including three major tsunamis since the late nineteenth century), but also because the land and its peoples have been subject to discrimination and exploitation by government and industrial powers in Tokyo since the advent of the modern era. Saddling Tohoku with the nation’s three largest nuclear complexes—the Fukushima Daiichi facility, the even bigger Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station in Niigata, and the behemoth fuel reprocessing and waste storage facility in Rokkasho in Aomori—is just one example. In other words, Deep Sea Fish revealed Katsumata’s personal geography and compromised pastoral landscape as a map to a better understanding of how the 2011 disaster was, above all, a disaster for northern Japan.


Cement Mixer – 8-21-18 – by Caleb Orecchio


On Vacation/Process Post


I was on vacation last week, so I don’t really have much in the way of comics news for this week. My apologies! While on vacation, I tried to get some work done, mostly sketching, but also some penciling and inking in my sketchbook, trying to keep my hand moving. I didn’t really work on anything of substance, comics-wise, I’m kind of at a point with my current work-in-progress that some time away from it would do it some good.

Here are some pictures: some of my materials, sketches, and some tracing/drawthrough exercises I did in my sketchbook.

What else? I finished Joan Didion’s Miami, about U.S./Cuba in the 1980’s:

Many Havana epilogues have been played in Florida, and some prologues. Florida is that part of the Cuban stage where declamatory exits are made, and side deals. Florida is where the chorus waits to comment on the action, and sometimes to join it. The exiled José Martí raised money among the Cuban tobacco workers in Key West and Tampa, and in 1894 attempted to mount an invasionary expedition from north of Jacksonville. The exiled Fidel Castro Ruz came to Miami in 1955 for money to take the 26 Julio into the Sierra Maestra, and got it, from Carlos Prío. Fulgencio Batista had himself come back from Florida to take Havana away from Carlos Prío in 1952, but by 1958 Fidel Castro, with Carlos Prío’s money, was taking it away from Fulgencio Batista, at which turn Carlos Prío’s former prime minister tried to land a third force in Camagüey Province, the idea being to seize the moment from Fidel Castro, a notably failed undertaking encouraged by the Central Intelligence Agency and financed by Carlos Prío, at home in Miami Beach.

And I read Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson’s novel about psychological operations and the Vietnam War:

The nights were wild with stars, otherwise empty and cold. For warmth he kept fifty-five-gallon drums full of diesel-soaked sand burning around the place. He made a circuit among the maze of conveyor belts under gargantuan crushers and was never done. The next evening the same belts, the same motions, even some of the same pebbles and rocks, it stood to reason, and the same cold take-out burger for lunch at the dusty table in the manager’s trailer at 2:00 a.m.; washing his hands and face first in the narrow john, his thick neck brown as a bear’s, sucking water up his nostrils and expelling the dust in liverish clumps. Not long after his lunch the roosters alone on neighboring small farms began to scream like humans, and just before six the sun arrived and turned the surrounding aluminum rooftops to torches, and then at six-thirty, while Houston punched out, the drivers came, and they lined their trucks nose-to-ass and one after another drove beneath the largest hopper of all to wait, shaken by their machines, while wet concrete cascaded down the chute into each tanker before they went out to pour the foundations of a city.

OK, thanks for reading. I’ll return to regularly-scheduled news posting next week.


Vision Box – 8-14-18 – by Cameron Arthur


Cement Mixer – 8-14-18 – by Caleb Orecchio



SAZ; TAZ; Dan Archer in Colombia


Cover of *bōk-: Book Review in This Bookless Age (Hong Kong: 1a Space, 2009).

Semi-Autonomous Zine
Via the Asia Art Archive:

Observing that the term zine has been in recent years co-opted to apply to nearly anything—cute, small, nicely printed, not entirely mainstream—our research led to the proposal of a new definition, one borne of conditions specific to this part of the world’s sociopolitical ecology. By exposing fluid streams of influence and proposing other possible routes for the formation of zine culture in Asia, we may begin to depart from a Western-dominated narrative and to rethink and refine what zines and independent publishing culture can be.

Jannie Kwon


Always worth a revisit, Hakim Bey’s work from the 1980’s, 1990’s:

And–the map is closed, but the autonomous zone is open. Metaphorically it unfolds within the fractal dimensions invisible to the cartography of Control. And here we should introduce the concept of psychotopology (and -topography) as an alternative “science” to that of the State’s surveying and mapmaking and “psychic imperialism.” Only psychotopography can draw 1:1 maps of reality because only the human mind provides sufficient complexity to model the real. But a 1:1 map cannot “control” its territory because it is virtually identical with its territory. It can only be used to suggest, in a sense gesture towards, certain features. We are looking for “spaces” (geographic, social, cultural, imaginal) with potential to flower as autonomous zones–and we are looking for times in which these spaces are relatively open, either through neglect on the part of the State or because they have somehow escaped notice by the mapmakers, or for whatever reason. Psychotopology is the art of dowsing for potential TAZs.


Dan Archer

Colombia’s Uncertain Road to Peace
At The Nib, Dan Archer takes a look at Colombia’s past, present, and future.


Vision Box – 8-7-18 – by Cameron Arthur


Cement Mixer – 8-7-18 – by Caleb Orecchio