October 16, 2017

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 10/9/17 to 10/15/17

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


* Kawai Shen writes about the Koyama Press book launch and then digs deep into GG's new book I'M NOT HERE, writing "Perhaps you will find a new perspective on how identity is constructed and what happens when the environment you live in forces you to adopt identities you never wanted nor imagined for yourself."

Alex Hoffman also unpacks I'M NOT HERE by GG, which "reminds readers that we exist disjointedly, disappointedly, on the planes of what is, and what could be."

* John Seven writes this review of MIS(H)ADRA by Iasmin Omar Ata, a book about epilepsy that Seven says is "an overpowering manual that brings you into the sufferer's experience in order to not only build sympathy, but practicality."

* Annie Mok doesn't like Tom Gauld's BAKING WITH KAFKA.

* Rob Clough reviews TAKING UP SPACE by Adam Meuse, a book that provides "another way of coping with grief".

* Elizabeth Brei has this mixed review of SUGAR TOWN by Hazel Newlevant, "a frank, sweet look at a pair of queer girls getting to know each other ... that makes the story feel incomplete".

* Brian Salvatore reviews FREDDIE AND ME by Mike Dawson and writes, "the book presents a really fascinating look at family, music, memory, and the places that all three intersect."

* Jacob Shapiro writes about THE LEOPARD by Sarah Horrocks, saying "Her comics are intensely violent and sexual, and often deal with the trans experience in a bare, heavy, unsentimental way that drives in the knife and never lets up."

* Sam Thielman on Chris Ware's new book, MONOGRAPH.


* After a bit of a grimace-inducing second paragraph, Edward Haynes writes a gentle review of SPINNING by Tillie Walden.

* Nathan Evans has this opinion-laced (For example: "How refreshing to see a cartoonist eschew the shallow narcissism and sharp crassness that so often sullies autobiographical comics.") review of Leslie Stein's new book, PRESENT.


* Rebecca Fulleylove interviews TARA BOOTH about her art as a form healing and building a community.

* Alex Dueben interviews MICHEL FIFFE about his book, Zegas.

* There's a whole slew of panels from SPX 2017 up on their YouTube channel. A great place to start is ARCHITECTURE OF A PAGE moderated by J.A. Micheline, where she talks with Tillie Walden, Sloane Keong, Iasmin Omar Ata, and Chris Kindred about page layouts and "how structure can contribute to emotional content".

Julia Gfrörer is making amazing designs for T-SHIRTS (and totes) -- one a day -- for all of October.

* Weirdly, Jordan Shiveley is also making some beautifully bizarre T-SHIRTS for you to buy (have we entered The Golden Age of T-Shirts???).

Jenny Brewer tells us about the Liverpool-based initiative COMICS YOUTH who are doing good work in the area of mental health and young people.

* Charles Paul Hoffman's excellent and heart-felt HOW COMICS HELPED ME COME OUT AS NON-BINARY.

* MariNaomi and Myriam Gurba's new advice podcast ASK BI GRLZ is live.

* Rob Clough examines what made this year's CXC a success.

* Nick Hanover writes a thoughtful and powerful piece over on Loser City called WHY SO ANGRY: REFUSING TO FORGET STORIES OF ABUSE.

* The Culture Of Comics Can Be Utterly Fucking Disgusting, Y'all:
-- Nola Pfau does a great job of breaking down the shit-show of a week in the wonderful world of comics in their piece PREVIOUSLY ON COMICS: LIVING IN A HELLSCAPE. If you're a person who is not privy to how terrible the world of comics can be at times, this is a good(?) start to become acquainted with the dark side.

-- Pfau's piece should then be followed up by reading SHINE A LIGHT by Katie Skelly about the harassment she experienced at a comics event.

-- Also, Zainab Akhtar of Comics and Cola has been chased off of Twitter because of sickeningly unfettered racial and misogynous harassment. Kim O'Connor's THREAD here does a good job of breaking down what happened.


* And finally, if you grew up in Dallas in the 80s, this one is for you. Yes, that's right, some weirdo is making a documentary about The Church of The SubGenius and they are looking for funding on KICKSTARTER. You'll pay to know what you really think.

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