Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Ryan C. looks at November Garcia's MALARKEY, and writes, "it's honest, it's self-deprecating, it's witty, it's smart, it's superbly illustrated, and it's utterly devoid of pretense. Ir you were to strip away the layers of bullshit so many cartoonists surround themselves with in their portrayals of their 'real' lives, boil down the essence of the thing they get right, and filter it through a lens that sees the humor inherent in just about everything, this is what you'd get."
* Rob Clough writes what has to be the definitive review of Tillie Walden's SPINNING. Clough approaches this book with both a critical mind and an open heart, and his writing here reflects that. He ostensibly quests after meaning, but along the way comes to understand Walden as an artist on a fundamental level. This is one of my favorite bits of writing on comics that I've read in a long time.
* Etelka Lehoczky pens this plot-heavy review of I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS by Charles Forsman. I link it mostly because this book is pretty great, and second because I'm glad to see NPR getting its feet wet with small press coverage.
* Leopoldine Core reviews THE GREEN HAND AND OTHER STORIES by Nicole Claveloux, which are "darkly humorous, existential, erotic, trance-inducing -- these comics wield a rare and innovative power."
* Dominic Umile on STREET FIGHTING MEN: SPAIN VOLUME 1 which, "features reported essays on [Spain] Rodriguez's work, his reproduced art, exclusive photos, and his comix. The challenge, however, lies in coming to terms with the artist's innovative repertoire and the extent to which some of his comix revel in the sexism regularly broadcast in the era's male-authored strips." This sort of re-evaluation of the works of creators can be painful, but is absolutely necessary as a means of moving into a more inclusive future.
* John Seven praises Dave Ortega's DIAS DE CONSUELO, saying "Ortega realizes his personal vision with an art style dominated by clarity, with clean lines that capture humans and landscapes perfectly and plainly, complimented by some muted coloring that give the story the feeling of the distance past..."
* Matt Seneca reviews SHOWTIME by Antoine Cosse', saying "Books that encourage this much of a breakneck pace and still feel substantial are rare."
* Claire Napier also reviews SHOWTIME, writing "some pages -- or alright, the entire comic -- may demand or allow consideration of interpretation but there's a difference between playing Where's Wally and proofreading a document." I'm not exactly sure what Napier means by this, but I'm all in.
* RJ Casey looks at KLAUS MAGAZINE 3 by Richard Short which is "gentle without ever being cloying."
* Alex Hoffman doesn't like IT'S NO LONGER I THAT LIVETH by Francisco Sousa Lobo, finding it "overwrought and flowery without any meaningful purpose."
* Oliver Sava on ZEGAS by Michel Fiffe.
* Douglas Wolk points out a few books on the New York Times' THE LATEST IN GRAPHIC NOVELS.
* Robert Kirby presents an excerpt from DIAS DE CONSUELO by Dave Ortega.
* Phillipe LeBlanc once again has his Canadian-flavored (?) SMALL PRESS AND INDIE COMICS GALORE over on The Beat.
* Hillary Brown interviews LESLIE STEIN about her new book, Present, and "expressing the most with the least."
* Alex Dueben interviews SOPHIE GOLDSTEIN about her new book, House of Women.
* This conversation with all the folks at PEOW and ZAINAB AKHTAR about Zainab's new position as editor just fills me with hope, joy, and excitement, three emotions that have become harder and harder to fill myself with as 2017 grinds down to an end.
*Speaking of hope, joy, and excitement -- Andy Oliver previews all of the 2018 releases planned by AVERY HILL BOOKS and they all seem pretty spectacular. Check them out!
* Jeremy Sigler's PETER SAUL SABOTAGES EVERYTHING, INCLUDING HIMSELF.
* Helena Fitzgerald's 20 AUTHORS I DON'T HAVE TO READ BECAUSE I'VE DATED MEN FOR 16 YEARS.
* Sian Gibby on THE DIARIES OF ITALIAN RESISTANCE FIGHTER EMANUELE ARTOM.