The comic strip is a graphic writing. I break the narration, I break the layout. I take everything away pic.twitter.com/2bvPUzmbYz
— Philippe Druillet (@iamdruillet) April 28, 2023
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Since I link to one or another of his articles on an almost weekly basis, I thought it only right to give a special mention to Ryan Carey’s comics review blog, Four Color Apocalypse.
It’s currently running on Patreon with a mix of free and paywall content. Subscriptions start at a supremely reasonable one dollar per month.
Really, Carey has introduced me to so many great works over the years, acting as a tirelessly stalwart advocate for self publishers and experimental comics.
Check it out:
I’ve lately enjoyed trawling the back catalogue of Matthias Wivel’s Metabunker writings. Matthias is an always insightful critic and thinker possessed of a generosity of spirit so often lacking in high-brow comics criticism. There shall probably be a chunk of links forthcoming.
For now, I was particularly struck by this 2007 review of a monograph concerning Rodolphe Töpffer, the 19th century comics pioneer. Specifically as it includes a quote dating back to 1845 in which Töpffer offers advice to a fellow proto-cartoonist. The quote is stunning in just how early and completely it encapsulates the idiosyncrasies and unique potentials of the classical (read archetypal or mythic) approach to the comics medium.
“…for purposes of invention and composition you must likewise, if you wish to catch any action of the hop, begin by shaking off as far as possible the yoke of reality, and the logical drag of some conventional succession of events, in order to charge more into an area of livelier, quicker, and easier relationships, those that the mind grasps between pictures bound to an idea; and then the graphic contour, with its power of illusion, almost never fails to gel into a whole with enough continuity of likeness, the bold or crazy, the fantastic or even absurd. Here again the truth of the idea, the charms of the intention, the apt, witty, or novel observation, may be stitched onto this slight fabric, becoming more relevant and more valuable than [literal] truth as such could ever be.”
Mind = blown and all that.
Spearheaded by Sloane Leong (among others), the Cartoonist Cooperative launched a few weeks back. The stated goal of the co-op being to “disrupt predatory publishing practices.” Said disruption, at least to my understanding, will take the form a database of work with a showcase feature, a Discord and forum for mentoring, skills sharing, et cetera, and, perhaps most promisingly, the cooperative will also function as a kind of promotional ring, with members simultaneously promoting works via their various personal channels.
Just which cartoonists and what cartoons will be eligible for showcase or inclusion in the promotional ring will be decided by a committee. I think there’s less of a hurdle in becoming an ordinary member, participating on the forum and so on. Exercising a degree of quality control is understandable. What I find slightly less understandable are some of the criteria applied by the committee in deciding who and what work gets the nod. For example, an eligible cartoonist is described as someone who, “enjoys working collaboratively” and “receives and offers criticism well” while being “self-motivated.” Can demotivated, misanthropic cartoonists also apply? I hope so.
Broken Frontier Reviews.
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The Fifty Flip Experiment #29 by Dan Hill.
Screaming Mimi Kids Volume 1: Ghosted by Patrick Lay.
SRY not Sorry by Michael Fikaris.
Spa by Erik Svetoft, translated by Melissa Bowers.
Firebugs by Nino Bulling.
Our Colors by Gengoroh Tagame, translated by Anne Ishii.
The Last Guide to Literary Conflict You’ll Ever Need by Rachelle Meyer.
Fractures Book One by A Wolfgang Crowe.
Alice on the Run: One Child’s Journey through the Rwandan Civil War by Gaspard Talmasse and Alice Cyuzuzo.
Tales From The Richy Vegas Psychoverse #1 by Richard Alexander.
Golden Record by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell.
Another Comics Daze with Lars Ingebrigtsen.
Publishers Weekly talks to Sammy Harkham.
Daniel Clowes in the Washington Post.
The Columbus Dispatch talks to Raeghan Buchanan.
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Infinite ©uck by Josh Cotter
I Am The Law: How Judge Dredd Predicted Our Future by Michael Molcher
You’re the Center of Attention by Gina Wynbrandt
Slight Return by Brett Hamil
Womp Womp #3 by Brandon Lehmann
The Collected John G. Miller 1980-89, 1990-1999, 2000-2011
Standing Outside the Station, Sweating by Alex Potts
The Magic Necklace by Claire Napier
Rituals by Nicole Goux
We’re All Just Fine by Ana Penyas
Woman in The Woods and Other North American Stories by Various
Steve Lafler is planning on celebrating the 40th anniversary of Dog Boy with the release of Dog Boy Choice Cuts & Happy Endings. Collecting the best of 80s Dog Boy, this 328 page collection will include new cover art and sundry notes. You can get an April release copy as well as original artwork via the Dog Boy Kickstarter.
I mentioned this a few weeks back. Have you checked it out yet? The joys of being a cartoonist with a family and no money. 128pgs. Online and available for free reading. Thanks Alex! If you get something out of Ice Cream, you might consider making a contribution to the tip jar. ↓
• QUEENIE: GODMOTHER OF HARLEM by ELIZABETH COLOMBA & AURÉLIE LÉVY.
• G.I.L.T. by ALISA KWITNEY, MAURICET & ROB STEEN.
• W THE WHORE by ANKE FEUCHTENBERGER & KATRIN DE VRIES, TRANSLATED BY MARK NEVINS.
• Lars Ingebrigtsen passes comment on his latest comics haul.
• Broken Frontier: Desmond Reed’s The Cola Pop Creemees: Opening Act.
• Solrad: DEAR DIARIES MINI #1 by Jesse Reklaw.
• Multiversity Comics: Good Person Trouble by Noëlle Kröger, Translated by Natalye Childress.