Having been frustrated myself by hearing so many great things about books I could never seem to find, I went directly to the source: Stephen Robson, who pretty much is Fanfare. In a lengthy transatlantic chat via phone and e-mail a few weeks before NYCC, Stephen explained the difference between Fanfare and Ponent Mon, why his books are so expensive, and what it’s like being on the ground floor of the nouvelle manga revolution.
Her clenched, emphatic style echoes German Expressionist woodblock in its powerful contrasts of black and white, and her female faces — especially those of her thinly disguised surrogate, The Bunch, and her relatives — have a sometimes uncontainable fierceness. Consider “The Bunch Her Baby and Grammaw Blabette,” of 1982, in which a monstrous rendering of the artist’s saw-toothed mother consumes the final four panels of the strip. (The Bunch’s name derives from HoneyBunch Kominsky, a character invented by her husband before they met.)
Ms. Crumb is unsparingly, often hilariously honest about her painful adolescence (Long Island, no nose job); her Jewishness; her various sexual adventures and her marriage; her mood swings and relationship with food (traced back to her childhood in a strip titled “Moo Goo Gai Pan”); and her love affairs with many things French (including a few Frenchmen), which induced her to relocate her family to a small village in Provence in 1991.
§ The Telegraph profiles Frank Miller:
This idea of heroic sacrifice is central to Miller’s work. It has driven sales of his comics and, along with their intense visual splendour, is the key to their success on the screen. His heroes dispense fierce, no-nonsense justice, and, however dark their deeds, are invariably driven by a noble motive – to sacrifice themselves saving something or someone that they love.
“Heroic sacrifice is the essence of civilisation,” claims Miller, “which is in many ways a series of compromises that we make. For example, while growing up, I always hated the phrase ‘crime doesn’t pay’. Because it was clearly visible that it pays like crazy, and yet that’s not really the reason not to do it. The reason is that we have a contract among ourselves not to do certain things, and to do certain other things, because that is what makes society possible.”