We’ve been under the weather of late, hence, the paucity of posting, but feeling better now, thanks.
§ Everyone has seen this Japanese dinosaur prank, right? The best part is how the guy really did fall down and try to scramble away just like people so in suspense movies.
§ Chris Haley and Adam WarRock made a filking version of a current song hit; their version is called “Nerd Lines.” As quoted by Comics Alliance, the lyrics are actually much better than the original.
Oh, this for the cosplayers,
For the jean greyers that I saw later
This one goes out to all the Homestuck trolls
I don’t read Homestuck, but do your thing, yo
§ Finally this video of Rob Liefeld singing the “Game of Thones” theme while sitting on the toilet has been burning up the internet like a flaming meteor in a universe made of matchsticks. Reactions have ranged from existential despair to shock that someone would do their business while wearing a hat. Let’s face it, this video does raise all kinds of questions…most of them questions we don’t really want answered.
§ There has been a great cry of late that comics reviews don’t engage with the art enough. I submit that these reviews by James Romberger, as brief as they are, present an excellent synthesis of discussing the work—ranging from Jen Vaughn to Adrian Tomine to the Civil Rights memoir March—as a whole and not divided into arbitrary parts. For instance, of Avery Fatbottom he writes:
To my mind, a good thing is that so many of the young cartoonists now emerging reject the contrived plasticity of technique and assembly-line methodology that defines contemporary mainstream comics to instead employ an auteuristic, handmade aesthetic in their work. This can be seen in the work of the cartoonists coming out of comics-oriented schools like that of the Center for Cartoon Studies. Another alumni of that program is Vaughn, who displays a breezy, humorous delivery for her comic Avery Fatbottom, a story of young renaissance fairgoers, which is expressively drawn with loose, appealing brushwork, handlettering and organic watercolor halftones.
§ Back in Weirdo #17, R. Crumb illustrated the story of SF guru Philip K. Dick’s LSD experience. The resulting comic was spectacular. If you, like me, sometimes prefer Crumb’s comic most when he’s writing least about himself, this will remind you why he’s one of the greats.
§ Ripples of Autoptic, the recent alt-comix show in Minneapolis, continue to spread across the lake of comics consciousness, and here’s Rob Clough’s very thorough report.
In speaking to the participating artists, most of them were apprehensive to begin the week. The joke of the situation was that every artist felt like they weren’t as good as their neighbor–they couldn’t draw as well or as seemingly effortlessly as everyone else. That was true from John Porcellino to Jim Rugg, representing a beautiful and minimalist style to a highly elaborate, detailed line, respectively. Critic Xavier Guilbert discussed how being forced to work with another cartoonist, especially a stranger, was a way of breaking the ice for you. You each had a project to do and had to find solutions together, which naturally led to talking about everything else. Menu noted that artists from both Europe and North America not only have drawing in common, but the common language of storytelling. Even someone like Marc Bell, who works in a kind of dream logic, is working in that common language of narrative. Being forced to engage in these games forced the artists to work in their most spontaneous and natural styles, putting down their purest line before doubt and the need to clean up lines or the urge to choke a drawing to death took over.
Autoptic seems to have inspired everyone to photograph it using Hipstamatic or Instagram; I never saw a show like that before.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.