Saturday, August 25, 2018

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 8/17/18 to 8/24/18

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

* Louis Skye writes a mixed review of A PROJECTION by Seekan Hui, at one point stating "Where writer and artist Seekan Hui could have easily hammered in the book’s theme, she instead chooses to reveal details slowly. One gets to dwell in the atmosphere of the surreal setting before realizing that there is more happening here than meets the eye. And there is a lot happening in this book."

* Alex Hoffman looks at OUTSIDE WITH THE CUTIES by Mariana Pita, saying "These comics are joyful and strange, like a flower blooming at night."

* Mackenzie Pitcock has this personal review of MY SOLO EXCHANGE DIARY by Nagata Kabi, writing "Nagata has come a long way with herself, but still has a long and arduous path of healing ahead of her, and the reader is not left with much confidence that she’ll be able to succeed."

* Rachel Cooke names Liv Strömquist’s FRUIT OF KNOWLEDGE the Graphic Novel of the Month over at The Guardian, saying "If her strips are clever, angry, funny and righteous, they’re also informative to an eye-popping degree."

* Billie Muraben writes about Kaye Blegvad's DOG YEARS: "The book, 'a story about owning a dog', is a visual essay about experiencing depression, told via the metaphor of owning a bad dog and learning how to live with it."

* John Seven reviews THE GREAT NORTH WOOD by Tim Bird, noting that "Bird has concocted a beautiful book with invigorating research and poetic observation. It’s brief and deceptively simple, but it gives a sprawling examination of human history — and the human future — in terms of artful depth that might inspire any of us to take a closer look around at our surroundings."

* Matt Seneca looks at POOCHYTOWN by Jim Woodring, writing "Through it all, perhaps the most impressive thing is how the story never stops unfolding, how Woodring keeps us moving through his world alongside his characters, chasing after something that we can't identify because it doesn't exist in reality. "

* Andy Oliver on Lucy Sullivan's 1IN4 ZINES, "For a set of zines that eschew panels this is still a project that embodies the purest form of comics, the perfect union of words, imagery and the tools unique to the form, even if the sequential element is largely within the confines of a single illustration."  Oliver also reviews Ryan Heshka's MEAN GIRLS CLUB: PINK DAWN which "gives us a comics parable that, for all its sense of ’50s warped nostalgia, has very contemporary echoes."

* Philippe LeBlanc reviews Pat Aulisio's INFINITE BOWMAN, saying "it manages to become an absolutely stunning sci-fi epic that interrogates how power corrupts, how boredom overtakes even the gods and how the pettiness and shortsighted nature of man refrains us from accomplishing great things."

* Ryan Carey looks at ANGLOID by Alex Graham, "the tone Graham adopts can often veer toward the bleak — but it’s never dull, never without its moments of keen observational wit, and never too far removed from the prospect of complete metaphysical transformation."

* Kevin Bramer on Caitlin Cass' REST STOP BROCHURES FOR THE NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE, writing "Sure, it’s bleak at times, but these are still some darkly hilarious comics. And if you can’t laugh at times like these… well, that’s probably healthy. Still, you should at least try to laugh."

Rob Clough reviews three comics from Kilgore Books -- BLAMMO #10 by Noah Van Sciver, BASELINE BLVD by Emi Gennis, and SEPTEMBER 12TH AND OTHER STORIES by Robert Sergel

* (shameless plug alert) I review the upcoming book by Tara Booth from 2dCloud called NOCTURNE.

WHATNOT

* Alec Berry breaks down the latest shit-show in comics in a piece on TCJ called RAPE, SEXUAL HARASSMENT ALLEGATIONS PROMPT DEFAMATION SUIT FROM SMALL-PRESS COMICS PUBLISHER CODY PICKRODT.

* Oliver Sava has this preview of Keiler Roberts' new book coming out from Koyama Press called CHLORINE GARDENS.

* It's another week, so, thankfully, that means ANOTHER Seo Kim comic on Vice. This one is a little gem called URINE SAMPLE.

* Another comic on Vice is by Tara Booth -- this one titled BYE DARLA wherein Booth pays tribute to her beloved dog.

* Jamaica Dyer has put up this beautiful watercolored comic on Spiralbound called TOTAL MADNESS that is something you should certainly read right now.

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