October 6, 2018

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 9/29/18 to 10/5/18

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


* Shea Hennum reviews THE WHISTLING FACTORY by Jesse McManus, a book that is "defined by its pockmarked discontinuities and disturbances, its absences, avoidances, and alienations. It is a book where something isn’t quite right, where things cannot be made whole."

* Andy Oliver on Lottie Pencheon's SUMMER BREAK, "one of the most important comics explorations of living with mental health issues that I’ve read in that time. A quietly powerful masterpiece of the purest of comics storytelling." Oliver also reviews Simon Moreton's MINOR LEAGUES #6 which "is about local legends and history, about memories and their complex relationship with location, how the places we live in shape us and how we too shape them, but at its heart, it’s about a son’s love for his father. Universal in theme but deeply personal in specificity it’s an outstanding and expansively structured piece of autobio work; a zine that underlines that within that particularly rich seam of UK small press practice Moreton remains its most innovative, important and, crucially, most relatable artist."

* Jazmine Joyner looks at THAT BOX WE SIT ON by Richie Pope, "a refreshing and well-written comic, that expertly captures the dynamic of the two main characters with relatable and funny moments sprinkled throughout."

* Joe McCulloch writes this amazing review of Lale Westvind's GRIP VOLUME 1, saying it "stands alone as a remarkable statement, one in which the artist's own hands seem to hold the entirety of American comic book history." 

* Chris Gavaler reviews CHLORINE GARDENS by Keiler Roberts, "a fractured chronicle of self-deprecatingly hilarious yet harrowingly moving vignettes from the edge of her private yet oh-so-familiar abyss." 

* John Seven on Nora Krug's BELONGING: A GERMAN RECKONS WITH HISTORY AND HOME, a book that is "as valuable as it is personable, a reminder that humans are the ones living through history and that their lives seldom live up to the binary demands of our right or wrong way of thinking."

* Alex Hoffman writes about MOTHER'S WALK by Lauren Weinstein which "celebrates the creation of new life and the beginning of a new story, but does so fully aware that one day we will either see that story end, or see our own story end."

* Alex Thomas reviews I FEEL MACHINE, a new anthology from SelfMadeHero, which "feels more like a collection of one shots than it does an anthology and with the calibration of creators on show this allows them to explore quite complex ideas in a very interesting way, without being ham strung by a short page count."

* Kevin Bramer on Dave Kiersh's LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE, "a collection of some of his selected drawings from 2015-2017."

* Ryan Carey reviews TINDERELLA by M.S. Harkness, writing "Harkness doesn’t shy away from honest depictions of her own superficiality or insecurity, but unlike a lot of the predominantly-male autobio cartoonists of my generation and the ones preceding it, she doesn’t wallow in her flaws, either."

* Tegan O'Neil on PASSING FOR HUMAN by Liana Finck, which "gains much power from the rhythm of recurring themes and figures. The structurally ambitious framing narrative of Finck’s own attempt to tell her family’s story give the book the momentum of an orange being slowly peeled apart, skin by slice by seed. "


* Bill Kartalopoulous has the run-down on what's included in THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2018.

* Anya Davidson has a new comic up on Popula called DOUBLE CROSSED?!.

* Gabrielle Bell has a new comic up on Spiralbound called THE STORY OF NO. 16, THE 43-YEAR-OLD SPIDER.

* J. A. Micheline writes this personal and celebratory CON DIARY: THOUGHT BUBBLE 2018.

* Billie Muraben on JONATHAN DJOB NKONDO's new animation for Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down called Comfort Zone.

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