November 3, 2018

ICYMI -- Small Press Comics Criticism and Whatnot for 10/27/18 to 11/2/18

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


* Robin Enrico on PENGUINS by Nick Thorburn, writing "What is, on the surface, a collection of strips where terrible things happen to dimwitted penguins is at its core a way to cope with a harshly indifferent world. His humanoid penguins are all of us at our most foolhardy or unlucky."

* Alenka Figa reviews JOHN, DEAR by Laura Lannes, which "is a horror story, one many have lived and do live. It’s also a stunningly well-crafted comic that uses gorgeous grey shading, black inks (the holes on the narrator’s body) and depth to immerse its readers completely in the story."

* J.M. Suarez on SHIT IS REAL by Aisha Franz, a book that "maintains a relatability that makes all the oddball situations resonate."

* Jami Attenberg has this personal reaction to Julie Doucet's DIRTY PLOTTE, at one point writing "Everything in Julie Doucet’s rooms is present and accounted for at all times and precisely placed. There was chaos in her world, but the detail and the precision of Doucet’s work showed it was possible to depict the messiness of life with order and control."

* Philippe Leblanc on WOMAN WORLD by Aminder Dhaliwal, wherein "Dhaliwal balances her dark premise with the precise amount of levity and wit to create wonderfully comedic situations. She also manages to squeeze as much humour out of her premise as possible, exploring various avenues in which the disappearance of men would affect society for better or worse."

* Andy Oliver reviews KINGDOM by Jon McNaught, which is "carefully and intricately designed structurally but without ever feeling sterile; every page signifying the sheer humanity of the venture. It’s an unforgettable and unlikely alchemy of idiosyncratic artistic vision and realism with a huge emphasis put on the way comics can be used to depict differing aspects of time’s passing."

* Elias Rosner on RETROGRADE ORBIT by Kristyna Baczynski, "a meditative comic that offers more the longer you think about it, filled with creativity and a tight focus."

* Alex Thomas is very enthusiastic about DARK ANGELS OF DESTRUCTION by Al Gofa, calling it "utterly unique, utterly bonkers and one of those books which you have to instantly re-read in order to fully get to grips with what the hell you’ve just read! And even then there’s no guarantee it will make any more sense – but you know you will have loved every crazy page of it!"

* Rob Clough on LOVERS ONLY #2 from Youth in Decline.

* Ryan Carey looks at GOING TO HEAVEN by Alex Graham.

* Hans Rollmann reviews UNDOCUMENTED: A WORKER'S FIGHT by Duncan Tonatiuh whose "unorthodox presentation helps to reframe its otherwise common and didactic narrative into a dramatically revolutionary form." 

* John James Dudek reviews ROAMING FOLIAGE by Patrick Kyle.

* After a long absence from reviewing, Kim Jooha is back with this amazing look at CHRISTMAS IN PRISON by Conor Stechschulte.


* Alex Dueben interviews NOAH VAN SCIVER about his new books and his current projects.

* Henry Chamberlain talks to BILL KARTALOPOULOS about working on The Best American Comics series.

* Toussaint Egan interviews ZAINAB AKHTAR about the new book from ShortBox, The Real Folk Blues (a Cowboy BeBop Anthology) being funded on Kickstarter.

* Summer Pierre is doing A CARTOONIST'S DIARY over on The Comics Journal this week.

* Tara Booth's comic on Vice this week is called NIPPLE HAIR.

* Gabrielle Bell has a comic up on Spiralbound called NOCTURNAL GUESTS. It's about Bedbugs.

* Meghan Lands has a comic on Popula called A PROFOUND MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE HUMAN BODY: THE SPLEEN which, actually, understands it pretty damn well.

* Also on Popula, Vanessa Davis has a comic called OUT THERE.

* Philippe LeBlanc talks (mostly about Canadian) comics over on The Beat with his SMALL PRESS AND INDIE COMICS NEWS GALORE. At some point, I need to get Philippe to write another review for YCE. If you're seeing this, Philippe, you've been warned.

* Following up his post on convention sales, Ken Eppstein talks numbers and money in his break-down piece titled SHOP TALK: 20 MONTHS OF WEBSITE SALES further proving that there's no money in comics.

* Your contribution to #DEFENDTHE11 is still needed. Go take care of that now if you haven't already

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