They mean biz.
Drexel Institute Women’s Rifle Team, 1925
Agreed. A must-read. Horrible and disturbing, of course, but a piece of American history that can’t — and shouldn’t — be ignored.
Learn about Tiger Force, the ear necklaces, and the way the government lied about it. Pulitzers abound.
YES! Well-deserved EXCELLENT review of my pal EA Bethea’s light/dark/earnest/funny/harsh/romantic comics!
Pt. 2: Tusen Hjärtan Stark #1, published by Domino Books (2013): feat. Joanna Hellgren, Elizabeth Bethea, Warren Craghead, and Wiley Guillot
“Roughly translated from Swedish as ‘a thousand strong hearts,’ this anthology attempts to present difficult, challenging work alongside the art of rarely-translated European artists in a package that is cheap and accesible.” - Domino
Read pt. 1 of this review here.
Hellgren: Joanna Hellgren’s contribution, “Neighbours” looks like a comic that could have been made last decade and I mean that in a loving way. A comic that invokes the feeling of literature by striping away all obstacles to narrative, leaving clues and portals in its wake. Rooms to explore.
Essentially, the story is a tightly sketched character study of a repressed and lonely woman overly concerned with empty spaces, internal life, and absent people (c’mon, you know that sounds like a Chris Ware comic from like 2003!) but that’s really a sad summary. The panels feel like partitions, cutting off rooms and lives and emotions. Every once in a while we get to peer through a little peephole into another space, another life, a story, to poke around a bit. And at the end of the day I think this comic asks the question of like.. what’s the point of this searching? Telling stories. What do we really find in a half-look into someone’s world? Or what are we left with upon leaving? At least these were my thoughts.
Like the best of the “literary” comics (TANGENT: wait, is that like.. finally a recognized movement or time period? I’m thinking.. the majority of alternative cartoonists that came out of the 80s-90s and blossomed into full-book artists in the 00s.. like the work that adopts a semi-formal comics grid and symbolic-cartoony drawings to tell “adult” stories in a bookish form? Has enough time passed? Can we officially say that this “happened” and is not currently happening..? Please. Or admit that it’s slowly receding?) ..um, yeah, like the best of this world, Hellgren expertly constructs a situation for the reader to inhabit. It’s very “well written” and composed. It is systematic visual storytelling with an emphasis on story. And I’m glad that Austin English included Neighbours as the centerpiece of the publication, sort of grounding the entire experience with a solidly built and familiar core, reassuring us that Domino is looking to print work based solely on its quality as opposed to the style or vogue. And there’s a real power in that. There’s a power in forgotten forms btw. Also, in working within a familiar structure and getting it right.
Bethea: Elizabeth Bethea’s work was a true surprise for me and the biggest highlight in this collection. Her pages are a series of self-contained strips that, while not narratively connected, have a spiritual unity. The work is sparse, and varied, and nuanced, and poetic, and unassuming in a way that sucked me in and left me wondering before I could even recognize what was happening or how she pulled it off. Incredible stuff.
The art has a truly crummy charm and is perfectly suited for that blend of comics expression where words and images work together to.. not recreate the reality of a moment but to resurrect the feeling of one. It’s not a representational experience but more like a collage or pastiche that pulls from the past to give a glimpse into a scene or specific viewpoint. The writing, which is the dominant force on the page, meanders like a well-timed journal entry or a revealing blog post or a setup for a street scene. Some panels are filled to the brink with text and others are left beautifully abbreviated.
Many of the strips draw on what seems like a carefully researched source or a deep personal interest, as the writing contains these tidbits of knowledge and slang that simply can’t be conjured. Like, the use of “permanganate of potash” to ward off gonorrhea. Or how Blanche Barrow was arrested, half-blinded, in jodhpurs and riding boots. Or how a prisoner would have his pants “untied” as opposed to being unbuttoned. Little things. And in this sense the work feels extremely serious.. just the thought and emotional investment involved. But also the tone and subject matter consistently point to a kind of.. grand undercurrent of struggle and sadness, or moments of rupture in our very real histories. There’s a tangible melancholy lurking here but it’s far from gloomy. There’s hope too. Life. And Bethea’s not afraid of humor. Many of the moments within these pages are deeply funny and had me quietly laughing to myself. Funny in the midst of an overall sadness or tint of blue.
Yeah, I really can’t say enough about these pages and I’d gladly read an entire book of her comics if such a thing were to exist. Any self-respecting comics fan should go out of their way to check this out. Really.
You can purchase a copy of Tusen Hjärtan Stark here. And it is currently included free of charge (3/31/13) with the purchase of any other Domino publication.
People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say ‘How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?’ I dunno, it’s your shitty kid, you fuckin’ tell ‘em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in LOVE but they can’t get married because YOU don’t want to talk to your ugly child for five fuckin’ minutes?
Louis CK (via thecountryfucker)
I adore this idea, Hotstream! Please make this comic happen again! I will throw down CA$H MONEY!
From the time I was a little kid up until high school, I used to draw comics constantly. When I went to college to study “fine art,” I threw away literally hundreds of hand-drawn comic books out of embarrassment and a well-meaning but failed attempt to become a “serious” artist. One of the comics I drew in high school was “Avenging Hathaway,” which was about Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies becoming a merciless gun-packing vigilante for justice. Her catchphrase was “When you get to Hell, tell them HATHAWAY sent you” and her personal assistant/sidekick was, for some reason, a Jamaican elephant named “Babar Rastafari.” In the spirit of returning to my painfully nerdy roots, I have resurrected them in my sketchbook today. ¡Que les disfrutan!