07/10/2018

Panels to/for the People; Médecins Sans Frontières; Maiden Form; LAAB; Art of/for War

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Panels to the People x Vinyl Fantasy

Panels to the People is a comics reading showcasing a variety of creators. Come to Bushwick’s best comic book store Vinyl Fantasy for a night of brilliant comics. Admission is FREE!

Readings by:
Neil Dvorak (Easy Pieces)
Michael Giurato
April Malig (Goths on Ice, My Dumb Feelings)
& more TBA!

Thursday, July 12, 7-9pm at Vinyl Fantasy, 194 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, U.S.A.

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C.C. Tsai

Paintings of people I met in Mosul

Australian psychologist Diane Hanna turned to art to tell the story of the people she met while providing mental healthcare to people displaced from Mosul, Iraq, during her first field assignment with us.

Via Doctors Without Borders.

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An Interview With Heather Benjamin, Curator and Participating Artist Of “MAIDEN FORM”

[Jessica Ross] Do you have a statement about the exhibition you’d like to share, some over-arching theme or discussion you’d like to be at the forefront?

[Heather Benjamin] MAIDEN FORM is a show presenting meditations on contemporary notions of femininity. As a starting point, I’m inviting artists to interpret that and explore their own personal experiences through the lenses of any of the following perceived/desired/imposed attributes of conventional femininity, including but of course not limited to – concepts of sensitivity, purity, tenderness, deference, empathy, nurturance, beauty, sexual objectification, fragility, passivity. This is just a cross-section of some of the concepts which contribute simultaneously to the subjugation of all kinds of women, as well as provide structures which we both lean on and transgress against in order to define each of our personal womanhood.

Betty Friedan wrote in 1963 that the key to women’s subjugation lay in the social construction of femininity as “childlike, passive, and dependent”, and called for a “drastic reshaping of the cultural image of femininity”. Over 50 years later, in many ways, we have progressed past some of the “classic” stereotypes about womanhood, but in just as many ways, we still struggle to throw off the same chains – and carry new ones as well. And that struggle has never been cut and dry – we can feel pulled in so many directions as we fight to hold onto pieces of our identities and shed others, to embrace one culturally imposed facet of femininity while transgressing against another, and all this happening under the shadow of what is societally or traditionally deemed appropriate or desirable. This show is a collection of artists making work about the multifaceted nature of that struggle, which can be so different for every individual and type of woman.

My hope with the show is to create an exhibition of vibrant, poignant, and emotional work about individual experiences of femininity, different takes on personal experiences of womanhood by different kinds of women, with the goal of creating an environment where any kind of woman who walks into the gallery can find something moving and relatable within the body of work as a whole.

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LAAB, Ronald Wimberly
This was probably posted to CW already, but here’s a youtube flip through of Wimberly’s excellent LAAB magazine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfFb2RmX-I4

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A conversation with C.C. Tsai, a Chinese artist and illustrator of Sunzi’s classic “The Art of War” (Princeton University Press, 2018), translated into English by Brian Bruya

[John Ismay] What do you think people most often get wrong about “The Art of War”?

[C.C. Tsai] I think there is a basic misunderstanding that it’s not really about war — it’s about preventing war. From very early times, the Chinese attitude toward warfare was that you need to end it as quickly as possible. The way to do that was to use irregular fighting: special strategies and tactics so that you could minimize the loss of life and the damage to crops and villages and so on. This started very early in Chinese history. Sunzi says the point of warfare is not the fighting but the winning. He says that anger can turn to happiness later, but a dead person can’t be brought back to life. A country that is lost can’t be brought back either. So the main goal of war from a Chinese perspective is to avoid it at all costs, or to figure out how to win while suffering the least amount of damage.

C.C. Tsai

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Vision Box – 7-10-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 7-10-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

07/03/2018

Chitra Ganesh & Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze; English on ‘Simplification’; Some Outsider Art; Military Internet(s)

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Open Sessions at The Drawing Center
Chitra Ganesh in conversation with Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze:

CG: “I am so glad that the Drawing Center has offered alternative axes, alignments, and contexts to situate your own work, thinking and growth––I would say that its mere presence, focus and decades long commitment to that focus, has sustained me in similar ways.”
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ROA: “Drawing transcends all dividing factors, it is the most human form of expression. The DC has given me the freedom of simply being a human artist. It has been priceless to be in dialogue with other artists, who have their own relationship with the medium.”

Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze via https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkst3gBBcb-/?hl=en&taken-by=drawingcenter

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Anke Feuchtenberger with Katrin De Vries

Simplify, Stupid
Austin English continues with his wide-ranging  look at comics from the past 70 years or so.

There may be something to that. Simply, (1) drawing competently is an out of the ordinary achievement people instantly recognize. The ability to (2) tell a story with drawing? Even rarer. The most elusive seems to be (3) having something unique to say with a picture story. Most of comics seems to be content with varying combinations of (1) and (2). Artists like Feuchtenberger give us (3) every time they draw something. Why work like hers is considered an aquired taste still seems odd to me, and involves a condescending attitude to readers in general. Who doesn’t (if we limit ourselves to those who care about narrative in even the most limited way) want to be engaged by a picture story that is genuinely felt and mindfully arranged? When we consider a masterpiece like Dominique Goblet’s Pretending is Lying, which is firmly in the (1) + (2) + (3) camp, we know this is a work that readers will refer to in their lives over and over again. Goblet might simplify faces in service of telling her story within the medium of comics, but to simplify her ideas would be anathema to the artist. The richness of what she has to say is, itself, the point. Her statement, a composition of relationships that fade in an out if view, isn’t grafted on to her storytelling ability, it isn’t in service of a need to finish pages to fufill a pre-existing belief that her style requires an important statement to validate it. When Goblet’s father character sways and monlogues to promote himself, his personality impresses itself upon the reader with a shrieking force, because Goblet has something specific to say (3) about a man like this.

Also, take a scroll through the comments:

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In Their Own Worlds
Sanford Schwarz looks at some recent exhibitions of ‘outsider art’.

Cartoons and comic strips—or a sense of these forms—underlie, finally, the work of the most impressive figures in the exhibition, [Henry] Darger and Adolf Wölfli. For viewers concerned with outsider art they are among the territory’s old masters. Both have been the subjects of books and have been seen, like Martín Ramírez, who is their equal, in defining and revelatory retrospectives over the last fifteen years at the Folk Art Museum. This doesn’t mean that Wölfli, who died in 1930 at sixty-six, is exactly an embraceable figure. There is a degree of flowing inventiveness and industry in his pictures, which can resemble fantasy versions of carpets, game boards, or aerial views of places, suggesting that the man was on a different wavelength from the rest of us.

Martín Ramírez: Untitled (Train), 22 1/2 × 47 inches, circa 1953

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ARPANETS
Zachary Loeb reviews Yasha Levine’s Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet

Levine highlights NBC reporting from 1975 on the CIA and NSA spying on Americans by utilizing ARPANET, and on the efforts of Senators to rein in these projects. Though Levine is not presenting, nor is he claiming to present, a comprehensive history of pushback and resistance, his account makes it clear that liberatory claims regarding technology were often met with skepticism. And much of that skepticism proved to be highly prescient.

via https://conversations.e-flux.com/t/the-secret-military-history-of-the-internet/8036

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Vision Box – 7-3-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 7-3-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

 

06/26/2018

Latinx Comics; ECTO PETROL PATROL; Saltz on Art Shows; Handbook for/of Tyranny

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Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology
Edited by Frederick Luis Aldama

In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.

New Tongues Untied
Samuel Teer (with Marina Julia), “MIXED”
Amber Padilla, “Wongo-Wongo”
Stephanie Villareal Murray, “A Veces Sueño en Español”
Lila Quintero Weaver, “La Charla”
Carlos “Loso” Pérez, “_______-American”
Adam Hernandez, “No Time for Titles”
Jandro (with DT Watson), “What Concerns Me”

Dangerous Truths . . . Clearing New Identity Spaces
Frederick Luis Aldama (with John Jennings), “It Could’ve Been . . .”
Jaime Crespo, “White Shoulders”
Breena Nuñez Peralta, “They Call Me Morena for a Reason”
Roberta Gregory, “California Girl”
Vicko, “El Entender”
José Cabrera, “el cabrón”
Serenity Serseción, “Latinx”
Ivan Velez, “Que Significa?”
John Jota Leaños (with Dustin García), “Kaleidoscopic Latinx Indigeneities”
Zeke Peña, “A Nomad’s Heart”

New Mythos
Liz Mayorga, “Brainstorming Session”
Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz, “The Witch’s Curse”
Dustin Nathanial García, “Saved”
Ilan Stavans (with Roberto Weil), “Rite of Passage”
Daniel Parada, “A Cacaopera Tale”
Myra Lara, “Forked-Tongued & Tongued-Tied”
Raúl González, “New Citizen Conqueror”
Kelly Fernandez, “The Ciguapa”
Jaime Hernandez, “La Blanca”
Eric Esquivel (with Macropoulos), “El ChupaSoyMilk”
Jason “J-Gonzo” González, “My Life as a Pocho”
Rico Cuatlacuatl, “Jaguar Warrior Astral Traveller”

Betwixt & Between
J. M. Hunter, “Lost in Triangulation”
Gilbert Hernandez, “I’m Proud to Be an American Where at Least I Know I’m Free”
Crystal González, “Latino in Disguise”
Alberto Ledesma, “My Most Significant Moment as a Latino”
Héctor Rodríguez, “Güerito”
Rafael Rosado, “El Año Que Me Divi-di En Dos / The Year I Split in Two”
Stephanie Rodriguez, “No Te Hagas La Pendeja”

Bending Time, Space, and Forms
Candy Briones, “The Mayan Prophesy”
Eric J. García, “Chicano Codices Presents”
Alejandro Juvera (with Jeremiah Lambert), “Where the Heart Is”
Andrés Vera Martínez, “Down on the Riverbed”
Mapache Studios Fernando and Rodrigo, “A Little Canción about My People”
Fernando Balderas Rodriguez, “Aztec of the City: Behind the Beginning”
Israel Francisco Haros Lopez, “Re-Membering”

Bodies That Matter
LeighAnna Hidalgo, “Reproductive Rebel”
José Alaniz, “Mordido”
Jules Rivera, “The Continuum”
Theresa Rojas, “Melva”
Celina Hernandez, “Prolactinoma”
Jaime Cortez, “El Border Xing”
Grasiela Rodriguez, “Tap Into Your True Self”
Mike Centeno, “Being Here”
Juan Argil, “Güero”

Pop Cultura Is Nosotros
David Olivarez, “Inspiration”
Miguel “Miky” Ruiz, “The Day I Discovered My Alter Ego”
John Gonzalez (with Julian Aguilera and Michele Gonzalez), “Borax Boys”
Albert Morales, “Super Impacto vs. the World”
Javier Hernandez, “Mexican-American Splendor”
Ray Zepeda (with J. M. Hunter), “Nuevo Latino”
Richard Dominguez, “Wanna Know How I Got Started?”
Carlos Saldaña, “Birth of Burrito”
Ricardo Padilla (with Javier Hernandez), “Mi Barrio, 1976”
Dave Ortega, “Your Name Is the Rio Grande”
Rafael Navarro, “Mi Voz”
William Nericcio (with Guillermo Nericcio García), “A Mexican-American

Semiotic Odyssey or Streets of Laredo Ex-Pat”
Mark Campos, “Mi Destino Es Comprenderla y No Olivdarla”
Kat Fajardo, “Gringa”
Victor Avila, “One Time, One Night”
David Herrera, “Commencement”
Chris Escobar, “A Monstrous Life”
John Picacio, “A New Loteria”

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ECTO PETROL PATROL 2018
New animation by Matthew Thurber

Matthew Thurber

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A Modest Proposal: Break the Art Fair
This is from a few weeks back, Jerry Saltz talking about the state of art fairs, small and large galleries, and staggering amounts of money.

It’s hard to say if smaller galleries could do fairs without the bigger galleries but my guess is that most bigger galleries, once they see a smaller fair picking up speed will want a piece of that action too. The smaller galleries may have more power than they think if they band together, make demands, put pressure back on the big art fairs rather than dancing exclusively to the art fair tune. The NADA and Independent fairs are now doing this nicely; more well-curated medium and small gallery fairs sprouting up might provide viable alternatives to these galleries paying gigantic costs for little return.

With all this in mind, I spoke to a number of part-owners, directors, and other functionaries of art fairs and asked whether art fairs can be fixed. All agree that things need fixing. The bad news is that I came away thinking that while I really like these people, they don’t really have the impulse to fix things because these are the things that work so well for them. Fairs as they are now aren’t broken, they say. I kept sputtering back, “They’re not broken for you yet.

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Theo Deutinger

Handbook of Tyranny
New book of infographics by Theo Deutinger, via Jonathan Bell at Wallpaper.

The breadth of information here is never less than fascinating. Discover which 14 countries ‘welcome every citizen from any country in the world with a valid passport without any visa restrictions,’ or the myriad designs for keeping people out (and in) of the world’s many contested and conflicted border zones.

This is a graphic project rich in hidden history and unsavoury elements. Aficionados of graphic design will be fascinated by the iconographic breakdown of the flags and logos of the world’s most notorious terrorist groups, from ETA to ISIL, but the shock value of a refugee camp map of Africa is much greater.

Theo Deutinger

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VISION BOX — Cameron Arthur — 06/26/2018

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Joanie and Jordie – 6-26-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

06/19/2018

Paradise Systems; NYer at SOI; Desert Island; Dank Meme Machine

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Bu Er Miao

Paradise Systems on publishing and distributing underground Chinese comics
Fei Liu spoke with R. Orion Martin about comics in China:

[Martin] says the biggest challenge with indie comics in China is the lack of a network of independent bookstores. To overcome that, many artists distribute their stories in the form of tiaoman 条漫(web based strip comics — which can sometimes be like fan works, not unlike doujinshi of Japanese manga that have amassed huge cult followings) — of which many comics Paradise Systems prints are reformatted in.

Tiaoman comics are popular on social media sites like Douban, a media site for youth culture that’s “a little like Tumblr but with Rotten Tomato’s review function” which allows for cult-like analysis and adoration. The comic artists Paradise Systems publishes are already Douban celebrities and now also have WeChat pages, which is China’s more mainstream social media network — though, finding indie comics on WeChat is often harder because you have to find and friend people already invested in the culture to see the content.

Yan Cong

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Huguette Martel

Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now

July 24-October 13, 2018, The Society of Illustrators in NYC, curated by Liza Donnelly.

In art, when the standards for what is considered  good  are broadened to include more approaches, it leads to more diversity of thought and more creativity. That’s what happened under Lee Lorenz and Harold Ross’ editorship. In addition, the increase of women cartoonists under their editorships happened during times of positive cultural change in attitudes towards women. This is happening now. As the result of an effort led by senior editor David Remnick and newly hired cartoon editor, Emma Allen, The New Yorker now has a greater percentage of women cartoonists than ever.

This exhibition is a commemoration of some of the women who drew cartoons for The New Yorker past and present. It’s a celebration of their creativity and fortitude as they pushed past cultural stereotypes to create humor and offer the world laughter from all points of view.

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Neighborhood Joint: The ‘Punk Rock’ Comic Book Shop

Beyond the meritocratic inventory system, Desert Island proselytizes offbeat creativity through its annual fall festival, Comic Arts Brooklyn, together with the Pratt Institute. It also publishes an all-illustration newspaper, which comes out a few times a year called “Smoke Signal,” now in its 29th issue. Copies of the publication, whose pages have carried works by Mad magazine legends alongside up-and-comers like Abby Jame, are free to customers.

An Rong Xu for The New York Times

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https://arxiv.org/pdf/1806.04510.pdf

Dank Learning: Generating Memes Using Deep Neural Networks
Via Abel L Peirson V and E Meltem Tolunay

We introduce a novel meme generation system, which given any image can produce a humorous and relevant caption. Furthermore, the system can be conditioned on not only an image but also a user-defined label relating to the meme template, giving a handle to the user on meme content. The system uses a pretrained Inception-v3 network to return an image embedding which is passed to an attention-based deep-layer LSTM model producing the caption – inspired by the widely recognised Show and Tell Model. We implement a modified beam search to encourage diversity in the captions. We evaluate the quality of our model using perplexity and human assessment on both the quality of memes generated and whether they can be differentiated from real ones. Our model produces original memes that cannot on the whole be differentiated from real ones.

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Thee Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers Summer Session starts NOW! Floating start date!

Apply anytime between now and July 12th 2018 to join the summer course. Email santoroschoolATgmail for more details. Ask about the Fall Course if now is too busy for you!

The course is 8 weeks – 500 bux for 8 weeks plus access to Frank’s coaching for as long as you need. Payment plans are available. Put your summer to good use!

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Vision Box – 6-19-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 6-19-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

06/12/2018

Moore/Mendes; Drnaso & Kupperman; Regé, Jr.

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Understanding Detroit: The Nonfiction Work of Anne Elizabeth Moore & Melissa Mendes
Sally linked to this last Friday, Alex Dueben’s interview with Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes, about their collaborative non-fiction comics:

What do you two think comics can do that an essay or report couldn’t?

Moore: This is a question I get a lot, since I’ve done both text-only reporting and comics journalism. There’s a particular story in Threadbare I did with Julia Gfrörer called “Let’s Go Shopping,” about fast fashion retail work. I went into a local H&M—it was years ago, now, so that worker’s not there anymore—and started chatting with one of the retail workers. Now, like factory workers, and many many other workers along the entire garment production and display assembly line, retail workers for most fast fashion outlets sign non-disclosure agreements stating that they agree that they have the right to be fired if they share information about their benefits or wages. This is a nutso clause in any contract designed to keep people from sharing information and organizing to improve their lives, and it’s basically a knife wound to the project of basic democracy, since it means that even though a LOT of people work in the garment industry, few people talk about what it’s like and so, for example, reporters usually struggle to write about it because no one will go on record.

But no one knows, or cares, what comics journalism is, so I walked into this H&M and was like, “Yeah we draw this thing and it works like this and I do need a photo for reference but we can hide your identity to protect you and if you want we can draw you in your favorite outfit even if you aren’t wearing it right now, I just need to ask you a few questions that are in complete violation of your NDA are you OK with that?” And she answered everything I asked. Because with comics we were able to protect her, but also depict her in an interesting way, and she was invested in contributing to something she would be excited about. (That Julia drew it was super helpful. She is very very popular with models and fast fashion workers.)

That’s an actual example of information that wouldn’t have been accessible without the form of comics. In “Scenes from the Foreclosure Crisis,” Melissa and I were able to do a very similar thing, depict a nonbinary figure, who still has a very clear personality, history, and set of concerns, in a way that wouldn’t bring them undue attention or frustration. Or violence, to be frank. (Detroit is very conservative, actually, so that’s a concern.) In text-based journalism, you’d have to give some kind of identifying distinction, and almost anything I could think of in this case would put my source in danger.

Also audience, of course: comics journalism is read by a far less newsy crowd. More young people. I hear from a lot of students that this was sort of their gateway drug to text-based journalism. But it takes a long time, so you have to plan it all carefully.

Mendes: Whenever I get this question I always think of Joe Sacco. There’s no way his work (Palestine, The Fixer, etc.) could ever be anything other than a comic. He’s going into these terrifying places, these war zones, and instead of just taking photos, which can be sort of voyeuristic, he’s drawing. There’s no question that it’s through his lens, that it’s his own point of view– he’s making those marks on the paper. There’s no way it could be taken as objective, while it’s possible to write or photograph or record in such a way that you forget there’s a person behind the camera or the keyboard. (I’m sure there are smarter words for what I’m trying to say but I haven’t written a college paper in like fourteen years so…) Does that make sense? Sacco is reporting, but it’s personal, and you feel that as a reader. You can’t escape it, it’s more raw somehow. The handmade aspect of cartooning makes it more human, and we are still able to protect identities, like Anne was saying.  

Anne Elizabeth Moore & Melissa Mendes

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Nick Drnaso

Can You Illustrate Emotional Absence?
Ed Park looks at recent work by Nick Drnaso and Michael Kupperman:

RE Drnaso:

With his fluid framing — fitting anywhere from two to 24 panels to a page — he dictates information delivery, allowing the mind to breathe. His drawing style is at once poetically attuned to details of neighborhoods and interiors (the lit canopy of a gas station at night, the banquette at an antiseptic diner) and deceptively plain when it comes to the people who inhabit them.

RE Kupperman:

For an artist known for his off-kilter tableaus, this book has a static look, especially in its rendering of boldfaced names from the past. More problematic are the gaps: mysteries unsolved, re-creations that collapse under the weight of a disclaimer. Of a 1943 meeting between Joel and Henry Ford (once a vocal anti-Semite), Kupperman wonders, “What did they think of each other? There’s no way of knowing.”

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Ron Regé, Jr. via

 

Ron Regé, Jr.

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Joanie and Jordie – 6-12-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

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06/05/2018

Crabapple/Hisham; Gipi; 2dcloud; Mega Press at Printed Matter; Chute/Drnaso/Tomine/Ware

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Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple & Marwan Hisham: Syria in Ink
At Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY, May 15 to Jun 30, 2018.

Crabapple’s drawings, created from 2014-2017, illustrate the pages of Hisham’s coming-of-age story, Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War, which the two co-authored (One World/ Penguin Random House, 2018) and mark their ongoing collaboration. For the 82 illustrations included in Brothers of the Gun, Crabapple drew inspiration from photos she and Hisham shot, amateur photos and videos posted on social media by Syrians involved in the conflict, Google Earth, and above all, Hisham’s memories. The artist composited references from hundreds of sources, using Hisham’s instructions, diagrams, and visual research to accurately convey the war and his experiences. BPL is pleased to present Crabapple’s original works on paper and an immersive experience of the text, along with an audio walk that includes Hisham’s reflections on the war and the artwork which emerged in response.

Molly Crabapple writes:

In creating the art displayed in Syria in Ink, I was inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War. We now live in the age of infinite photos, and Syria is perhaps the most widely documented war in history. But oppressors, whether they are governments or not, seldom allow cameras into the spaces where they inflict their oppression. The lived experience of those under them disappears into the memory hole. Thankfully, art is a slippery thing. It can evade censorship, make history visible, invest the hideous with beauty and the prosaic with force. It can reveal that which power would otherwise be able to hide. I seek to accomplish with my art what photos cannot.

Also, Lindsey Hilsom in The New York Review of Books on ‘The Smartphone War’:

Hisham, who, after attending a religious school in a village near Aleppo, became fascinated by European soccer and literature, is the ideal interlocutor for Western readers, but the reasons he and his friends had for rising against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad were far from typical:

We were an extreme minority within Raqqa. The values we held marked us, in the eyes of our neighbors, as dangerous, un-Islamic agents of the West.

grassroots
democracy
electoral rights
respect for the ballot box,
as a basis for representation
and legitimacy

Could these words be more alien to most Syrians? Could these so-called universal values, the values my friends and I screamed for between our gas-choked curses at security officers, be far from universal indeed? Perhaps they are parochial mores, speculated about in the university campuses of European capitals. Perhaps they are as insubstantial as ghosts.

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Gipi

Land Of The Sons
New Gipi book out with an English Translation:

This unusual postapocalyptic story is often grim and violent, but by channeling the story through the brothers’ limited, cockeyed perspective, Gipi develops a naturalism and human quality often missing from SF survival fantasies. The loose, limber black-and-white artwork is a marvel; the figure drawings balance careful realism with cartoon expression, and details of the natural world—rain, water, weeds—are sketched in quick, powerful lines. Above all, the art reveals a credible vast alternative landscape of mud, water, reedy islands, makeshift boats, and strange and hostile patched-together colonies. It’s a strikingly envisioned imaginary world.

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Eli Howey

2dcloud Spring 2018
Another strong selection of work, featuring books and zines by: Christopher Adams, Alexis Beauclair, Tara Booth, Apolo Cacho, Eli Howey, Fifi Martinez,  Justin Skarhus, and Maggie Umber.

Christopher Adams

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Mega Press at Printed Matter

Poster by Panayiotis Terzis

Featuring work by Panayiotis Terzis, Yuriko Katori, Kurt Woerpel, Teng Yung han, Irkus Zeberio, Alexis Beauclair, Anna Pipes, Makiko Furuichi, Apolo Cacho, Nichole Shinn, Lane Milburn, Ben Marcus, Benjamin Brubaker, and Zebadiah Keneally.

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Why Comics? Adrian Tomine, Nick Drnaso, Chris Ware in conversation with Hillary Chute
Sunday, June 10, 2018, 1:30-2:15 PM CDT
Harold Washington Library
400 South State Street Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Chicago, IL 60605

Adrian Tomine, screenshot via

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Vision Box – 6-5-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 6-5-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

05/22/2018

Thought Bubble; Recently Closed Exhibitions: LeWitt, Nevelson, Pendleton + Hockney; English on Wood; If Crisis or War Comes (To Sweden)

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Salman Toor

THOUGHT BUBBLE
Through June 23 at Aicon Gallery, 35 Great Jones Street, NYC.

Anuj Shrestha

From NY Art Beat:

a group exhibition featuring the work of Dhruvi Acharya, Chitra Ganesh, Amitabh Kumar, Sa’dia Rehman, Nisha Sethi, Anuj Shrestha, Himanshu Suri and Salman Toor. The exhibition explores the use of comics, graphic novels, and art which unites text and image into a single work, to examine how artists from South Asia and its diaspora are deploying new ways of seeing, representing and communicating their experience in the visual realm.

Chitra Ganesh

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LeWitt, Nevelson, Pendleton
Mar 21, 2018 – May 04, 2018

Adam Pendleton, Louise Nevelson

David Hockney: Something New in Painting (and Photography) [and even Printing]
Apr 05, 2018 – May 12, 2018

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Notes Toward a Future Understanding of Wally Wood
Austin English looks at the life and work of Wally Wood:

Here’s one more sad story from The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood related by Wood’s peer and art-partner Harry Harrison, describing what it was like to work for Fox Comics in 1949:

The art director would say, ‘Well, yeah, this is great stuff but we don’t pay very much. Know what I mean? I think the rate at Fox was $23 per page for ten-page stories. And while he was talking, he’d slip you a note saying something to the effect that they also expected kickbacks of $5 a page. This made a big difference to us in the rates, of course. But all these guys took kickbacks, and if you didn’t go along with it, you wouldn’t get any work…We would slide in this ten-page pile of crap with a real good splash page for the first page on top. He would look at only the first page and count the other nine, flipping through them fast. Nobody really cared about the quality. Nobody looked at these books, no one read the things very carefully. So he’d count the pages. We’d give him the $50 or whatever it came to—-$5 a page in kickbacks—and then we’d get our check in the mail from Fox, not necessarily in a week or two but in a month or so, sometimes slower than that. The money owed would add up…

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE POPULATION OF SWEDEN

Illustration by Arvid Steen

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Vision Box – 5-22-2017 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 5-22-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

05/15/2018

Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners; Colleen Frakes; Katie Fricas; Clough/Porcellino; Park on Reynolds; Spatial Frequency Analysis

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Announcing the 2018 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award.  The award of up to $2500, named for the founding curator of the BICLM, Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, supports researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections materials of the BICLM on site.

Thanks to the generosity of the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation, we are able to give three 2018 awards in celebration of the launch of the program.  Moving forward, we will give one award per year.

We were delighted to receive a large and diverse range of proposals from both national and international scholars and artists. A panel of ten reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipients for 2018 are:

  • Dr. Daniel Worden, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’ School of Individualized Study.  He holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University.  His project is entitled “Oil Comics: Iconographies of Energy, Environment and Motion.” Worden’s research aims to chronicle the imbrication of comics with the oil industry and the normalized use of petroleum as a fuel source, from the late 19th century to the present.
  • Xavier Dapena, Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  His project is called “’They do not represent us’: Radical Imageries of Contemporary Spanish Graphic Narratives (1973-2011).” Dapena’s project centers on the intersection of graphic narratives and political imagination and seeks to understand how the political repertoire of images, symbols, and metaphors express three processes: memorialization, precarization, and legitimation.
  • Frank Santoro, creator of Pompeii, Storeyville and other comics.  He is also an educator who runs ComicsWorkbook, a training and residency program for cartoonists.  His research on “The Ohio School of Naturalist Cartooning” will look at how Billy Ireland’s influence on Edwina Dumm, Noel Sickles, Milton Caniff, and C.N. Landon informed a language of 20th century cartooning that has carried on into the 21st century.

Congrats, Frank!

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Colleen Frakes: A Cartoonist’s Diary

Colleen Frakes

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‘Stopping for Art and Conversation Along the High Line’
Katie Fricas looks at the group exhibition, Agora, in NYC.

Katie Fricas

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One night group exhibition and book release with work and new publications by:

Clark Keatley
Leon Sadler
Stuart McKenzie
Tom Sewell
Viktor Hachmang
Yannick Val Gesto

At Dinner Party Gallery, Thomas Briggs Building, 2-4 Southgate Rd, N1 3JJ. Walk past reception to the door under the stairs.

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John Porcellino

‘How do you compare the experience of taking acid with your later practice in Zen Buddhism?’
Rob Clough continues the long interview with John Porcellino, over at The Comics Journal.

[Clough] The long “Mr Dusty” letter from Mr Mike that you printed was epic. That was an intense amount of text to lay down, which made me wonder how you feel about lettering and how your lettering has developed over the years. Did you look to others for inspiration? Did you ever use any kind of guide? Have you ever considered developing your own font?

[Porcellino] When I first started King-Cat, the lettering was as sloppy as the drawing! I didn’t care about stuff like that. I was just slinging ink. As my drawing got more evolved, the lettering did too. I started to get a kick from lettering more legibly, making those E’s, S’s. When I’m doing it it can be quite enjoyable. One thing I’ve found is I have to concentrate, kind of empty my mind, and focus on things. I can tell when I’m lettering and my mind starts to wander, things get sloppy. Then I pull it back in and keep going. Just like meditation, I guess.

For guides, like a large bunch of text like a Snornose page or a letters column, I usually use the edge of a piece of paper as a ruler… line it up with the edge of the page and use it as a guide, siding it down a bit with each new line. But it’s not perfect and half the time I end up inking a page and it’s all on a slant. In my OCD days I would redraw it. Now I just kind of laugh at myself and let it go. Occasionally I’ve ruled bluelines to guide me, and at least once I used graph paper. I think that’s how  [Aaron] Cometbus does it. That sure helps, but maybe I don’t really wanna think that much about it.

When I look back at my lettering in the OCD years, it floors me, how precise it is! I was nuts! It’s beautiful, but the cost is too much maybe. I don’t know. The whole story of my post-meds career has been learning to balance that spontaneity I had before OCD with the precision I got from it. It’s taken me like ten years to start to figure it out.

Font: no.

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Chris Reynolds

Mauretania Comics
Ed Park looks at the Chris Reynolds collection, The New World.

The stories start on solid ground, then twist like dreams. Reynolds sets everything in uniformly sized panels, edged in black like funeral invitations. His impossibly thick line lends weight to these uncanny dramas of lost time. Calling the comics black and white feels insufficient; they’re more like black and white and black. This starkness, and the stabs of poetic word-image interplay, can call to mind his stateside contemporary Raymond Pettibon, while the silent, depopulated spaces that loom throughout—abandoned houses, vacant cinemas, phantom transportation—suggest any number of uneasy de Chirico vistas.

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Ruye Wang

Spatial Frequency Analysis – II

The contrast sensitivity as a function of spatial frequency (called CSF) can be obtained psychophysically from the test image below [above]. You will perceive a curve which peaks at some certain optimal frequency in the middle range of the image (depending on the viewing distance) at which the visual system is most sensitive to the contrast. The sensitivity is reduced when the frequency is either too high or too low.

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Vision Box – 5-15-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 4-15-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

05/08/2018

Chitra Ganesh; Matthew Thurber; Frank Santoro: The Eulogy of Drawing

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Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh has work in Beyond Transnationalism : The Legacy of Post-Independence Art from India. Bau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, through June 19, 2018.

The exhibition ‘Beyond Transnationalism: The Legacy of Post Independent Art from South Asia’ undertaken at the cusp of India’s 70 years of independence seeks to understand the many positions of artists of South Asian descent living in the United States. The artists in this show assert new and complex aesthetic and geopolitical propositions that question, complicate and travel far beyond conventional notions of home, nations, and belonging. This exhibition seeks to question the relevance of the terms diaspora and transnationalism and their attendant significations. The term diaspora – derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to disperse’ or ‘to scatter’ its geography, or its complex geopolitics – has been a default frame used to understand and signify the mass migrations, and exoduses.

At Hyperallergic,

Although the postcolonial debate has changed, Ganesh is among the few artists to retain its original strategies to embody brown, feminist politics and critique systems of power. Her earliest, and still one of her boldest, innovations was her appropriation of the immensely popular Indian comic book series Amar Chitra Katha (which literally translates to Immortal Picture Stories). Initiated in 1967 by Anant Pai, the series was intended as a pedagogical tool to educate children on their cultural heritage through the retelling of stories from Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore and fables.

Not surprisingly, the stories reflect the racial, religious, socio-economic and gender prejudices of India’s predominantly patriarchal and religious orthodoxy, which privileges fair-skinned, upper-caste Hindu males (caste is a toxic, hereditary class system particular to the Hindu religion). The comic books were visual and narrative minefields for Ganesh’s subjective interpretations.

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The 218th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  May 8, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101, off the lobby), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue. Free and open to the public.

Matthew Thurber on “The Hallucination of the Art World”

Matthew Thurber will speak about his forthcoming book from Drawn and Quarterly, Art Comic. This graphic novel is a paranoiac-critical examination of the art world seen through the eyes of four graduates of The Cooper Union. As each student attempts to reconcile their ideals with the realities of capitalism, love, alien invasion, anarchist pigs, and sex robots, they find themselves careening toward madness, extremism, death, or becoming Matthew Barney’s stunt double.

Matthew Thurber’s unpredictable practice has included: Mining the Moon, full length musical playA novel posing as an interactive handwriting analysis project; A week of movies made in one day each; an olfactory performance, dressed as a giant nose; a mosaic labyrinth installed in an elementary school; Terpinwoe, choreographed noise dance about a carrot-based economy; innumerable illustrations and drawings; a longstanding engagement with the narrative scroll, as well as other pre-cinematic devices. In collaboration with Brian Belott he has performed at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Abrons Art Center, and in an eyeglass store. He co-founded Tomato House, an art gallery in operation from 2012-2015, with Rebecca Bird. Finally he is the author of 1-800-MICE, INFOMANIACS, and Art Comic. 

Matthew Thurber

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“Pompei” di Frank Santoro: l’elogio del disegno
The Italian edition of Frank Santoro’s Pompei is reviewed by Daniele Barbieri at Fumettologica. It’s in Italian, but, you know, it can be translated:

There is a famous historical case in the history of art. Look at the statues of Antonio Canova: their extraordinary elegance and expressiveness is offset by a classicist rigidity, which is the price that Canova pays to the trends of his time – when it was important to build a visual art that opposed the frivolities of the rococo. It is true that the immobility of his figures is compensated by a dynamic tension that often makes them extraordinary; but they are not less immobile for this, they are not less icily, neoclassically statuesque, monumental.

Now look at the Canova sketches. Small objects with very rough modeling, definitely at the antipodes of marble statues. They are made of clay or chalk; let us see the tracing of the hand or instrument that shaped the matter; we understand the afterthoughts. They are certainly private objects, tests carried out on the wave of inspiration – which then gave life only occasionally to a definitive work that may appear very different from its sketch.

Antonio Canova, Amore e Psiche giacenti (1787)

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Vision Box – 5-8-2018 – by Cameron Arthur

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Joanie and Jordie – 5-8-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio