Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught our eye over the past week.
* Andy Oliver on NOCTURNE by Tara Booth in which "Those freeform pages and lack of traditional panelling ensure that this fever dream of a comic is a work that we react to and interact with rather than read in a traditional sense."
* Ryan Carey reviews MOTEL UNIVERSE by Joakim Drescher, writing "Perhaps most remarkably, though, given all this 10,000-light-years-per-second stuff going on, the entire book follows a clear linear through-line in terms of its narrative — but this adherence to convention doesn’t limit the scope or the ambition of the work itself, the end result instead being a deceptively accessible comic that nevertheless makes no compromises in terms of how it realizes and communicates its breathtakingly idiosyncratic vision."
* Carey also looks at CANNONBALL by Kelsey Wroten which breathes "new life into one of the most “been there, done that” types of comics under the sun and convinced even this jaded critic that what I had thought was an old warhorse may still, in fact, be a galloping stallion."
* Andrea Crow also reviews CANNONBALL by Kelsey Wroten, writing "It’s a book where the main characters spend most of their time viciously gossiping about each other at dive bars (smuggling in their own drinks in backpacks to save money), discussing whose work has been published in which low-circulation zines or journals. These conversations espouse a commitment to artistic authenticity that only thinly veils what really defines the zeitgeist of those trying to make a home for themselves in the world of arts and culture in the early twenty-first century: lack. There’s not enough to go around, and, without that, there can be no community."
* Benjamin Welton looks at RUST BELT by Sean Knickerbocker which "takes a very jaundiced look at the left-behinds—those people, both young and middle aged, who live in small towns and hollowed out industrial cities like Buffalo, New York. There is no glamor here, just the refuse of misspent lives, teenage angst, and contemporary social maladies."
* Kevin Bramer on MY TROUBLES WITH CRUMB #2 by Matt MacFarland
* Brian Salvatore reviews IN CHRIST THERE IS NO EAST OR WEST by Mike Taylor, "a fascinating, borderline inscrutable work that feels both incredibly personal and universally relatable."
* Jake Murel looks at DRAWN TO BERLIN by Ali Fitzgerald who "has a knack for visually capturing the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of both her political and human subjects. Throughout , she remains concerned with the power of images for change and revelation, a power to which her own artistic talent and social concern testify."
* Rachel Cooke on CLYDE FANS by Seth which "is nostalgic without being sentimental. But it’s his extraordinary empathy that marks this one out: the way he depicts the queasy churn of his characters’ emotional lives; their delusions and missteps and repressed rage.
* Alex Dueben interviews KELSEY WROTEN about her debut book, Cannonball, as well as "writing complicated characters, structure, and color"
* Austin English has TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH CARTOONISTS which is just a pleasure to read.
* Steve Morris interviews PAT MYERS who runs Pocket Bear Press, which put out some brilliant queer comics and zines "about Pokemon and pyjamas!"
* Robin McConnell interviews ERIC KOSTIUK WILLIAMS
* Emma Hunsinger has this amazing piece up on The New Yorker site called HOW TO DRAW A HORSE.
* Andrea Shockling has published Part Two of her comic titled ANDREA'S BARIATRIC DIARY.
* Melanie Gillman continues to post episodes of A CARTOONIST'S DIARY over on TCJ.
* Friends of YCE Jason Sacks and Keith Silva have a conversation about Cerebus and Dave Sim on Sacks' Classic Comics Calvacade podcast in an episode called SIM-PATHY FOR DAVE SIM. While Sims is a problematic figure, it's so refreshing to hear smart people talk smartly
* The Cure performs the entirety of DISINTEGRATION on the 30th anniversary of its release.