Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* "It's hardly the most perceptive of observations to make but one of the most powerful aspects of autobiographical comics is their ability to immerse us in a pool of shared experience; to speak to us with a profound and resonant intimacy about those recognisable rites of passage that we must all live through and to remind us that we are not alone in dealing with them." -- so begins Andy Oliver's review of Sarah Lippett's STAN AND NAN, "a graphic novel that speaks to us about the bonds of family and the importance of the lives that shape our own."
* Andy Oliver also reviews VERIPATHY by Andy Poyiadgi, "a compact comic replete with far more incisive observations on the human condition than its short page could ever suggest."
* Rob Clough reviews THE NINCOMPOOP #1 by Christoph Mueller, in which while "most of these sorts of stories tend to focus strictly on the id, being transgressive and shocking and the conflation of that kind of expression with good storytelling, Mueller avoids those masturbatory and self-indulgent tropes by acknowledging them and then taking a sharp right turn away from them."
* Jason Sacks reviews Lars Martinson's TONOHARU, whose third volume has finally come out through Top Shelf.
* Tom Spurgeon reviews COMETBUS #57, a series of interviews with New York-based cartoonists and their "struggle to find meaning and purpose and housing and time to spare."
* And finally, if you haven't yet read Claire Napier's piece, GLITTERBOMB AND HELTER SKELTER: STUDYING IMAGE FROM WITHOUT AND WITHIN, do that now. You'll thank me. I promise.
* Annie Mok interviews TILLIE WALDEN about the re-release of her book The End of Summer and her relationship with her readers.
* The title of Christian Hoffer's piece on the Direct Market, WHO'S TO BLAME WHEN A GOOD COMIC GETS CANCELLED?, is far more incendiary than his measured and thoughtful writing.
* Sacha Mardou's great essay on the comics of JULIE DOUCET and menstruation.
* "What compels female writers to include rape even when it doesn't apply to their stories?" So asks Ray Sonne in her piece, THE INESCAPABILITY OF RAPE NARRATIVES
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