December 11, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 12/4/17 to 12/10/17

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


* Caitlin Rosberg reviews Niki Smith's CROSSPLAY, "an emotional, evocative read about finding yourself and finding love". 

* Tessa Strain on I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS by Charles Forsman, "a complex piece of work and one of the most honest depictions of the emotional telescoping effect of both depression and adolescence."

* Matthias Wivel on THE GREEN HAND AND OTHER STORIES by Nicole Claveloux, "symbolist comics evoking internal states, giving fantastic flight to common emotions in colors and landscapes that border on the surreal. They are glimpses of a road not taken, in which comics evolved differently, sending their green shoots off into modalities that I would be loath outright to call feminine, but from which comics would certainly have benefitted had more women been attracted to and accommodated within the form at an earlier stage in its history."

* Tom Baker on the anthology MIRROR MIRROR II from 2dCloud. "a sexy, creepy book which is daring in the topics it addresses, its creators eliding conservative platitudes or easy explanations for parts of human behaviour which psychologists have spent decades struggling to get to the bottom of."

* Zachary Littrell on MICKEY'S INFERNO, a Disney version of Dante's 14th-century epic poem which features Mickey and Goofy going to Hell. I mostly link this because I love it when reviewers use the word "bonkers" in their reviews. Spoiler: Littrell uses the word "bonkers".

* Shea Hennum looks at PROXIMA CENTAURI by Farel Dalrymple, a book that "is as fun to rread as it is dizzying, and it's as dizzying to read as it is gorgeously drawn."

* Andy Oliver lauds praises on AS THE CROW FLIES by Melanie Gillman, saying "there's a pacing here that asks the reader to slow down their reading speed and immerse themselves in each single, evocatively coloured panel, creating a sense of lingering time as each day of the hike passes."

* Bryce Davidson introduces us to a strange book he found at a library book sale, ILLUSTRATED SALARYMAN IN JAPAN published by the Japanese Travel Bureau in the 1980s.

Ryan C. reviews ANTI-GONE by Connor Willumsen, which "returns how much you're willing to invest in it, and ends up being 'as good as you want it to be.'

* Greg Hunter on OLD GROUND by Noel Freibert, where "readers find presences where they'd expect absences, along with questions about how much agency the things they're seeing possess."

* Rob Clough on the comics of HANNAH KAPLAN, "one of a younger set of autobiographical cartoonists whom are especially frank about their mental health, their overall existential position on the world, and their sex lives."

* Alex Hoffman reviews BOTTLED by Chris Gooch which, "uses the interpersonal failing of family and friends to reflect the economic, political, and social unease of the millennial generation...".

* Finally, Emily Lauer looks at MANGA SHAKESPEARE: TWELFTH NIGHT as a jumping off point to discuss and dissect comic book adaptations of "classics".


* Dash Shaw interviews CONNOR WILLUMSEN about Anti-Gone. This is a pretty amazing conversation. You should read it.

* Brian Hibbs talks to CHARLES FORSMAN about his new book I Am Not Okay With This as part of the Comix Experience Graphic Novel Club (which you should join!)

* The Slate Book Review and the Center for Cartoon Studies announce the sixth annual CARTOONIST STUDIO PRIZE.

* Phillipe LeBlanc pens THE BEAT'S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: FOR THE INDIE AND SMALL PRESS COMICS ADMIRER -- a title which really could have been pared down to "What To Get The Best People In Your Life" if you were to ask me.

* DO YOU FEEL LUCKY, PUNK? Five Cartoonists on Guns.

* Jenny Brewer on the 2018 PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR (hint: it's not brown).

* Alex de Campi has this Storify called ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF featuring Comics Professionals discussing what they would go back and tell themselves at the beginning of their careers if they could.



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