September 22, 2018

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 9/15/18 to 9/21/18

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

(Editor's note: Sorry about missing last week, but things ... you know ... happen sometimes)


* John Seven reviews HOME AFTER DARK by David Small which provides "a psychological map for the characters to ramble through, chased by demons they don’t perceive and grasping for answers they don’t acknowledge as necessary. Is growing up directly related to the moment you realize that you grapple with the same gray terrors as your parents? Small implies that might be so." 

* John Seven also looks at Liana Frinck's PASSING FOR HUMAN, "a book that’s filled with fables, inundated with questions, one where the mysteries pile on and what answers you find are poetic ones that pose further thoughts rather than impose an ending to the process." 

* Alex Thomas on FOLLOW ME IN by Katriona Chapman, "a truly wonderful read with a really poignant heart to it"

* Andy Oliver reviews GLORIOUS WRESTLING APOCALYPSE by Josh Hicks which "retains the signature humanity and wit that has been such a strength of the run.""

* Edwin Turner on Anders Nilsen's TONGUES, writing "There's a clarity of vision here, but almost no exposition. Instead, we have to tease out the bigger plot lines from exchanges between characters. And Nilsen takes his time getting to those exchanges, allowing scenes to build slowly."

* Lisa Fernandes reviews SMALL FAVORS: THE DEFINITIVE GIRLY PORNO COLLECTION by Colleen Coover, "A happy, giddy, guilt-free ride. A raspberry blown in the direction of Freudian thought lines. And a somewhat groundbreaking representation of female sexuality in indie comix."

* Ryan Carey writes this essentially positive review of A PERFECT FAILURE: FANTE BUKOWSKI THREE by Noah Van Sciver, with this caveat: "If there’s one knock I have on this series in general (and, again, forgive me while I do my level best to refrain from “spoiling” any plot specifics) it’s the rather Tomine-esque “saviors with hearts of gold who exist solely to redeem eternally-adolescent men” portrayal of women that Van Sciver indulges in — but where his females fail to convince in terms of being fully-realized characters, they do at least (and finally) rise above being mere plot devices for the bulk of this finale even if they still, ultimately, serve that function as the metaphorical buzzer runs out. "

* Kevin Bramer has this quick review of Rob Jackson's BEYOND THICK GLASS, I SAW STARS which, from Bramer's description of it, seems like something you should read.

* And finally, up on their website, The MNT has reprinted Francesca Lyn's SEARCHING FOR MIXED-RACE IDENTITY IN COMICS from December 2017 which is a blessing because it is a piece of writing that all of y'all should read.


* Alenka Figa interviews LIZ PRINCE and HANNAH TEMPLER "about the technical and emotional processes behind collecting and coloring Be Your Own Backing Band."

* Joe McCulloch interviews JIM WOODRING about Poochytown and his "living process".

* Alex Dueben interviews IVAN BRUNETTI about his new children's book, 3X4, "the relationship between art and numbers, and what he’s thinking about next." Dueben also interviews SUMMER PIERRE about her new book, All The Sad Songs.

* Kelly Froh has a comic over on Popula called HOW IT IS NOW.

* If there's a new Seo Kim comic on Vice, I'm damn well going to link to it. This one is called SMOKE ALARM.

* Jyni Ong on DINNER FOR FEW by award-winning animation artist Nassos Vakalis, "an allegory for how 'the system' appears to run like a well-oiled machine when actually, as Nassos tells us, this system 'solely feeds the select few who eventually and foolishly consume all the resources while the rest survive on scraps from the table'".

* lark pien's IMMORTAL CHICKEN.

* Jessica Plummer has this list of 25 OF THE BEST QUEER COMICS for BookRiot which misses the enormity of queer books coming from Small Press Publishers and the Self-Published world, but I applaud Plummer for at least making a stab at this (and including a link to the Queer Comics Database).

* Over on The Beat, Philippe LeBlanc has a pretty good round-up (or run-down?) of the 2018 IGNATZ AWARD WINNERS AND SPX CONTROVERSIES. Personally, I've got a few things to say about both of these things, but I'll save them for whenever I finally find the time to do a write-up (or throw-down?) about all things SPX.

* Tony Wei Ling has this intimate piece on WWAC called YOU YOURSELF ARE AN OBSOLETE COMPUTER: READING CARTA MONIR.


* If you read nothing else on this list of Whatnots, please take a look at Alexandra Petri's SOME INTERPERSONAL VERBS, CONJUGATED BY GENDER.

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