Sunday, January 29, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 1/23/17 to 1/29/17

Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.

COMICS CRITICISM

* Keith Silva takes a long journey through HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE NORTH by Luke Healy. There are many spectacular sights along the way, though one of the best is: "It takes a Dylan-type like Healy, a storyteller, to remind us of our complexity and how the human capacity to inspire and endure runs counter to our need to destroy and to fuck up everyone and everything. It's a wonder we survive at all."

* Rob Clough calls Will Dinski's TRYING NOT TO NOTICE "one of his best" that features "a tricky, disturbing narrative," and I couldn't agree with him more.

* Alex Hoffman reviews JOYRIDE by Zoe Taylor, and says, "If anything presents itself fully in Joyride, it's the raw emotion of the work, the joy, sadness, and regret of the characters."

* I can't say enough good things about the work that Sally Ingraham, Sam Ombiri, Aaron Cockle, Juan Fernandez, and the rest of the gang over at COMICS WORKBOOK are doing with their Daily News. They've introduced me to so much spectacular stuff over the last few months and continue to do so nearly every day.


WHATNOT

* If you haven't been following Andrea Leigh Shockling's web comic THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE, this past week's installment is especially beautiful and poignant and heartfelt and understated and strong. Check it out.

* Mike Dawson and Zack Soto chat with NOAH VAN SCIVER over on Study Group's Process Party Podcast. There's a lot of talk about Van Sciver's current work, as well as BLAMMO #9 and the "Golden Age" of Alternative Comics.

* Shea Hennum interviews FRANCOISE MOULY and NADJA SPIEGELMAN about RESIST! -- the arts anthology featuring illustrations and comics from women all around the world, unified under the common theme of resisting fascism, bigotry, and injustice in all its forms. 

* Izabella Tabarovsky's piece for Tablet called THE FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST: THE FILMS OF BORIS MAFTSIR.

* Swapna Krishna's TO PUNCH OR NOT TO PUNCH A NAZI? THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION takes on a number of issues other than the rhetorical question the title asks, including the ideas of privilege and power. 

* Speaking of punching Nazis (something I could be speaking about all day), the fact that Andrea Grimes has to put a disclaimer on her NAZIS, IT'S TIME FOR A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO NOT GETTING PUNCHED IN THE FACE worries me a little.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 1/16/17 to 1/22/17

Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.

COMICS CRITICISM

Andy Oliver writes about David Biskup's SEAGRAM, "a comic of deliberate contradictions."

* Megan Purdy reviews WUVABLE OAF: BLOOD AND METAL by Ed Luce, immediately calling it "probably the raunchiest non-fuck comic I've read in recent years." Purdy also talks about this book with Joe Schmidt and Chase Magnett on Comics Bulletin's podcast, Reboot Comic Book Club.

Dominic Umile takes a look at the new graphic novel by Emil Ferris called MY FAVORITE THING IS MONSTERS.

* Philippe LeBlanc reviews the latest issue of Youth In Decline's Frontier Series, FRONTIER #14 by Rebecca Sugar, a book "permeated with the idea of motion." LeBlanc also has this wonderful review of IT'S ME by Becca Tobin.

* Alex Hoffman has been slowly compiling his six-part list of what he calls COMICS THAT CHALLENGED ME IN 2016. It's an extensive group of books that reveals as much about the quality of Hoffman's thinking in the last year, as it does about the quality of books that were released. 

* Rob Clough looks at Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art, The End of a Fence, and (In a Sense) Lost and Found in his aptly titled SLIPPING THROUGH THE SHADOWS WITH ROMAN MURADOV.

* Sarah Miller makes it personal and explains what is right and what is wrong with Koren Shadmi's LOVE ADDICT: CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL DATER.

* Thanks to Aaron Cockle over on the Comics Workbook Daily News Blog for directing me to this amazing "tumblog" called Calm Undertones Now Transmitting and this insightful review of A COSPLAYERS CHRISTMAS by Dash Shaw.

WHATNOT

* Koom Kankesan posts this smart, revealing, and informative interview with SETH

* Zack Soto and Mike Dawson interview LEELA CORMAN for Study Group's podcast, Process Party.

* MariNaomi talks about her process in creating her book I Thought You Hated Me in her article called THE MAKING OF A COMICS MEMOIR

* Thi Bui's comic for The Nib is called FEAR IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR FOR POLITICAL ACTION

* J. Hoberman discusses the East German-Bulgarian Holocaust film Sterne, in the context of other films made in Communist countries on the same subject in his article for Tablet called, THE HOLOCAUST FOR COMMUNISTS

* Christophe Casamassima's FOUR POEMS FROM THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 1/9/17 to 1/15/17

Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.

COMICS CRITICISM

* John Seven's review of Jillian Fleck's LAKE JEHOVAH, "a portrayal of what it is like to be overwhelmed by the invisible and burdened by the incoherency of the universe."

* Sarah Miller parses "the tender and tragic" LETTERS FOR LUCARDO by Noora Heikkilä.

* Ardo Omer reviews Richie Pope's FRONTIER #13: FATHERSON, which leads her to write, "There's a specificity in the expectations that crafted a father and his father before him that will follow the son after him. I like to think the comic offers a different way of being by opening up our eyes to the nuance that was always there."

* Rob Clough uses the word "bonkers" in his review of Anya Davidson's LOVERS IN THE GARDEN and talks of the "unstated theme" of guilt in Leela Corman's WE ALL WISH FOR DEADLY FORCE.

* Marykate Smith Despres' short review of KINDRED: A GRAPHIC NOVEL ADAPTATION.

* Not Small Press -- but I wanted to include a link to Tom Spurgeon's write up about TEGAN O'NEIL'S REVIEW OF MARVEL'S CIVIL WAR 2 COMICS solely because of the final sentence of his second paragraph.

WHATNOT 

* Adam Griffiths interviews JB BRAGER and features some images of his amazing work.

* Arnar Heidmar's THE "REVEAL" OF TRANS CHARACTERS IN COMICS.

* Sarah Glidden's comic for Tablet Magazine, A TEMPLE IN TIME.

* Andy Warner's comic for The Nib, THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT WAS GUTTED. HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

*Christian Lorentzen's CONSIDERING THE NOVEL IN THE AGE OF OBAMA.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 1/2/17 to 1/8/17

Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.

COMICS CRITICISM

* Nick Hanover on Pete Toms' DAD'S WEEKEND in which "he constantly juggles so much information visually and textually you get wrapped up in the dangerous beauty of it and embrace the anxiety it instills."

* Rob Clough reviews a whole SLEW OF MINI-COMICS in a manner that makes you want him to be reviewing all the comics. 

* If you've avoided Year-End-Best-Of Lists because you feel that you are morally superior to such things or you're just a smug fuck, put aside your notions of being notable and note this gathering of lists: THE BEST COMICS OF 2016 (of particular poignancy are the snappy picks of Tucker Stone).

* Given the breadth of success and achievement of the last two groups, Broken Frontier's SIX SMALL PRESS CREATORS TO WATCH IN 2017 is a list to which you should probably pay attention. Andy Oliver has picked an amazingly diverse group of cartoonists this year, and I, for one, am putting all of them on my radar as well.

* Andy Oliver also says a final goodbye to 2016 by clearly explaining why he chose these TEN UK SMALL PRESS COMICS YOU NEED TO OWN.

* Megan Purdy reviews FRONTIER #14: REBECCA SUGAR which is a book "looking back on how her own childhood and adolescent obsessions shaped her artistic and personal trajectory, no matter how embarrassing some of them may seem."

* Robert Boyd reviews IMPATIENCE AND LAPSOS by 26-year-old Mexican cartoonist Ines Estrada 

* Finally, if you have not been reading J.A. Micheline's thoughts on Criticism, you need to be doing that (seriously). In PSALM FOR THE NEWLY ANOINTED, JAM beautifully articulates one of the many problems with modern critical writing and offers an almost Nietzschean solution which provides an empowering way out for those of us engaged in writing it. It's one of her best pieces yet.

WHATNOT

* Alex Dueben interviews LUKE HEALY about his book How To Survive in The North and Artic Expeditions in general.

* MARINAOMI is on Episode 199 of the RiYL Podcast. Trigger Warning: Lots of Trump talk.

* Edie Nugent talks to So What? Press' DAVE KELLY

* Keith Knight's YOUR RIGHTS WHEN SHOT WHILE BLACK

* Ijeoma Oluo's THANK GOD FOR IDENTITY POLITICS.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 12/26/16 to 1/1/17

Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.

COMICS CRITICISM

* John Seven reviews SOFT CITY by Hariton Pushwagner.

* Rob Clough wraps up his THIRTY-ONE DAYS OF CCS feature on his High-Low blog. Clough has done some amazing work with this series and you really should check it out.

* Andy Oliver reviews KATZINE: THE BOAT ISSUE by Katriona Chapman and BOXES #1 by Todd Oliver. 

* Sarah Miller reviews LOVERS IN THE GARDEN by Anya Davidson.

* Alex Hoffman takes a look at WHAT IS OBSCENITY? THE STORY OF A GOOD FOR NOTHING ARTIST AND HER PUSSY by Rokudenashiko

* Shea Hennum picks 10 AMAZING INDIE AND SELF-PUBLISHED COMICS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED IN 2016

* The Beat Staff and some Guests pick THE BEST COMICS OF 2016 

* The Women Write About Comics Staff picks their TOP INDIES, SMALL PRESS, AND WEBCOMICS OF 2016.

*The Villiage Voice Staff picks THE LADIES OF COMICS WHO MADE 2016 A LITTLE MORE BEARABLE.

*J.A. Micheline's TOP 10 FOR 2016

* Ray Sonne's 11 COMICS THAT IMPROVED ME IN 2016.

WHATNOT

* Kat Overland talks to RAIGHNE FROM 2D CLOUD about their latest kickstarter and whatnot.

* Tom Spurgeon interviews TONY MILLIONAIRE

* Spurgeon also interviews SAMMY HARKHAM.

* Spurgeon also interviews RJ CASEY.

* LOOKING BACK ON BROKEN FRONTIER'S 2016 UK SMALL PRESS COVERAGE IN "SMALLPRESSGANGED".

* Tom Tomorrow's 2016 IN REVIEW: A COMPREHENSIVE LOOK BACK

* A.M. Gittlitz's LET THEM DRINK BLOOD.