Review: Whit Taylor’s Up Down Clown tackles mental health issues

Front cover jpg

The sad clown is a trope that has been well-used in every storytelling media there is, but Whit Taylor’s Up Down Clown from Ninth Art Press takes that trope further than usual. Rather than settling for the simple dichotomy of make-up and merriment hiding gloom, Taylor examines how a mental state might fluctuate with the […]

Must read: Whit Taylor on “A Visit to CAB” and comic arts festival sustainability

Festival poster by Tim Lane

Whitney Taylor continues to be my favorite investigative comics journalist—well, maybe investigative is too strong a word, but if “talking to a lot of people and painting a picture” is the criterion, Whit is it, as her report on Comic Arts Brooklyn shows. This was a strong show but one that experienced an unexpected glitch: a lot of people thought it was a two day show and didn’t come to the exhibits on Saturday. This resulted in a smaller crowd and, for some, lower sales. On the day there was a lot of anxiety—it’s like basing your business plan on Christmas sales and then there’s a big blizzard the day of the big sale—but everyone seems to have survived intact.

And yet, is a financial model this precarious one that is “sustainable”? I predict sustainable will be THE word of 2015, as a the last few days of posts here have been exploring. Taylor talks about the model with many publishers and creators and key behind the scenes people like publishing rep Tony Shenton, and while everyone is optimistic, there is no real consensus on whether things are working, improving or just providing a false illusion of hope:

The lot of the indie cartoonist as viewed through the 2014 Small Press Expo


Even though it’s two weeks in the rearview mirror, a lot of worthy writing has been done about this year’s Small Press Expo. I’m sure devotees have read all the following, but given all the talk about what sells at conventions and the evolving comics market, this was an important show to think about. § […]

Preview: Subcultures: A Comics Anthology


Comics anthologies are generally a good thing, but in my personal preferences, I like ones that are on a tightly focused topic better than “here are a lot of great comics by great people!” That’s just me, you can like what you want,. Thus I was intrigued when I heard about the upcoming Subcultures: A […]

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/17/14: People said things


§ This appreciation of Cliff Sterrett’s great Polly and Her Pals says many of the right things: More than 50 years later, it’s difficult to explain why Cliff Sterrett’s magnificent creation never quite took flight. To be sure, “Polly” was way ahead of its time. Sterrett’s surrealistic, ­quasi-cubist artistic style was a unique fixture on […]

Another must read: Whit Taylor ‘On Being a Black Female “Indie” Cartoonist’


There’s that social context for indie comics I was talking about a while ago. Following a twitter exchange, Ignatz nominee Whit Taylor expands on issues of race in indie comics circles: I feel slightly uncomfortable talking about my own experiences, because I don’t want to alienate or blame anyone. Indeed my work doesn’t appeal to […]