Archive for September, 2008

SPX Stream


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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This weekend at SPX PictureBox will unleash some serious chaos on you. Lauren Weinstein, CF, Frank Santoro, Timothy Hodler and Matthew Thurber will be in attendance.

PictureBox will debut new zines by Dash Shaw and Santoro. AND we will have limited advance copies of the books below.

The Ganzfeld 7
Edited by Dan Nadel and Ben Jones
Art directed and designed by Ben Jones
Edition of 1000

This is the final issue of The Ganzfeld. We got excited and just skipped 6 and went straight to 7. For this one we’ve really stacked the deck. Ben Jones art directed and co-edited the whole thing, even providing covers. Inside the 288 page, full color book is new work by: Brian Gibson, Lauren Weinstein, Taylor McKimens, Andrew Jeffrey Wright, Jessica Ciocci, Chris Ware, Mat Brinkman & Joe Grillo (24 pages of collaborative drawings), Erin Rosenthal, Keith McCulloch, Peter Blegvad, Joe Buzzell, Jon Vermilyea, C.F., Eddie Martinez, Chuck Webster, and many more. There are features on Marc Smeets, Joanne Greenbaum, Heinz Edelmann and Pshaw. And there are comics by Ben Jones throughout. It’s a brick. A monument. A terror. Available at very few outlets and pretty much only online.

If that weren’t enough it comes packages with 4 more items only available as part of the package:

-Problem Solvers, the DVD, by Paper Rad. EXCLUSIVE to Ganz 7
-A 12 page zine collecting the best of Kathy Grayson’s blog
-A 24 page pamphlet examining the work of L.A. genius artist Bob Zoell by Norman Hathaway
-An 18×24 two-sided poster by Lauren Weinstein

Yuichi Yokoyama

All SPX copies are signed with a drawing by Yokoyama

In Yuichi Yokoyama’s Travel, the storyline is as linear as it is sharp: it is the long, silent and crystalline description of a train ride undertaken by three men. The subject Yokoyama depicts here is less the landscape around the train (the distance covered, the regions travelled through) than the actions within the train itself. As the train moves, the three men walk through the string of cars and are confronted with the vehicle’s architecture, its machine-like environment. By above all, they are confronted with the stares and the physical presence of other passengers. Travel is a journey into the contemporary Japanese psyche – a brilliant, wordless graphic novel. Bookforum has written of Yokoyama: “Concerned with phenomena rather than character and narrative, his comics resemble the output of a drafting machine: sequences that present multiple views of an object in action and look like exploded product diagrams. Yokoyama seems to enjoy the resulting images as much for the strange shapes that are generated as for what they reveal.” This edition features an introduction by cartoonist and historian Paul Karasik and commentary by the author.

Powr Mastrs Vol. 2

Powr Mastrs Vol. 2 follows hot on the heels of this elusive artist’s first volume– in a series of six graphic novels–which was one of last year’s most anticipated debuts. C.F. comes out of the mythic Providence, Rhode Island art and noise scene–his musical alias is Kites. In a recent profile The Comics Reporter observes, “Contrasting sharply with many of his flashier contemporaries, C.F.’s primary skill lies in overlooked nuances of comics storytelling, in particular pacing.” His distinctive voice and intricate rendering skills have attracted attention from the groundbreaking comics anthology, Kramers Ergot–he was included in the fourth issue, and featured on the cover of the fifth. Here, C.F.’s epic fantasy–an allegorical tale where power, physical identity and even gender are always in flux–picks up steam: Buell Kazee sneaks down into the cellar of the plex knowe crypt and conjures trouble; Tetradyne Cola takes a nap and dreams of Monica Glass and the lemon sparklers of star studio; members of the Marker clan compare notes on their magical crimes and the witches of Lace Temblor conspire over transmutation night.

Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby
Takashi Nemoto

“Nemoto is the undisputed master of filthy comics. His work is brutal and horrifying and sure to shock even the most jaded comics reader. And yet underneath all his absurd depravity is a beautiful and touching story of a father’s love for his giant mutant sperm son.”-Johnny Ryan

At long last, this underground Japanese classic has been translated into English. A seminal work of manga from the mid-1980s, Monster Man Bureiko Lullaby is a Candide-esque tale–if you can picture Candide as a mutated sperm brought to life by radioactivity. Unremittingly explicit, this is the comics equivalent of Henry Miller at his best: direct, honest and insightful while simultaneously beautiful and grotesque. Tokyo-based Takashi Nemoto, who was born in 1958, has been called the R. Crumb of Japan: Nemoto and Crumb share a similar, surreal drawing style and pessimistic, satirical stance, for which both have faced their share of negative criticism. Due to his unapologetically squalid subject matter, Nemoto has long been a controversial figure in Japan–clashing violently with mainstream Japanese morals–and is just now receiving some critical success there. Reviewers are finally looking past his gross-out humor to find farflung influences and connections like Mark Twain, Otto Dix and Andre Masson. Book design by King Terry.

See you this weekend!

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ramblin rose ramblin rose


Saturday, September 27, 2008

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ramblin rose ramblin rose I got a ha..ah..ah…ahhh…..

If you don’t know that song, then I’m sorry, you have to stop reading right now. You can’t sit at this lunch table.

Had a meeting with Big T — Tim Hodler, editor in chief of Comics Comics — and we batted around some format ideas for Comics Comics.

See, the problem with the giant newspaper is that stores HATE carrying it, shelving it, dealing with it. The other problem is that the readers LOVE the format. Everyone loves it. Except the stores. And, even though I’m the first to say “fuck that, we’re gonna do it our way” — it’s tough because we can’t “penetrate” certain stores, certain awesome COMICS stores that may like what we have to say about Ogden Whitney or Wacky Packs.

So, I thought I’d spit the bit and ask our rabid online following what they think. My thoughts are that we could continue to do newsprint “specials” –sort of like one-offs that would focus on a particular artist (and also similar to other 16 page Picturebox newsprint editions) and then we could try a new format that has a “spine” as they say, meaning that we could “penetrate” these book stores, comics stores that continually tell us how much they hate the format of the newspaper.

My problem with making a more book store friendly edition of Comics Comics is simply my fear that it will sort of take away from the down home comics fandom feel of the publication. I really like that we offer an alternative to more “professional” mags about comics BUT –the very stores, fans, that may really like our mag might not ever see it simply because it’s a newspaper.


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Equinox (not comics)


Monday, September 22, 2008

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John Coltrane’s birthday is being celebrated with a day long broadcast on It starts at 2AM, tonight, Monday the 22nd (technically the early morning hours of Tuesday), and will run 24 hours until after midnight on Tuesday. If you’re not familiar with Coltrane’s music or his life, I highly recommend tuning in—WKCR’s “birthday broadcasts” are history lessons of the highest order and will serve as a great primer for new students of Trane.


Hype Patrol


Thursday, September 11, 2008

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Hold on to your hats!

Item the first: Dan talks about Rory Hayes with Comic Book Resources here.

Item the second: PictureBox will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend, and Frank Santoro, Gary Panter and Lauren R. Weinstein will be signing their books. (Other notable cartoonists—Adrian Tomine, Gabrielle Bell, Miriam Katin—will be at Drawn & Quarterly’s table at the festival, too.)

Item the third: Lauren was interviewed by Bookslut this week, and her Goddess of War was reviewed by Richard Gehr at the Village Voice last week.

Item the fourth: Sometime soon, I will attempt to write a substantive post!

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Steve Ditko/Chuck Norris


Monday, September 8, 2008

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I swear, I’d never heard of this, never seen it. I about fainted when I saw it. Just thought I’d share another quarter bin find. (Still only reading dumb comic books these days, kinda tired of all the serious stuff.)


Cars, Alex Toth, and Punk Rock


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

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My good friend Mike LaVella was visiting from Oakland, CA and had me cracking up down at the comics shop tellin’ tall tales. Long ago and far away my favorite record store was actually housed in Pittsburgh’s other great comics shoppe, Phantom of the Attic, and Mike would dish out Punk Rock history while we all browsed comics and records. Anyways, Mike moved out to SF back in ’88 and soon started Gearhead Magazine, the first magazine to bring custom car culture and music together. People thought he was crazy. Fifteen years later, people are wishing they thought of it first.

Anyways, Mike was saying his mag needed comics, car comics, and I reminded him of those crazy Alex Toth car comics from the ’70s. So it looks like we’re going to do a big crossover Comics Comics/Gearhead article on Toth’s car comics and get all the grease monkeys out there excited by Toth’s economy and feeling and, uh, drive.

Economy, feeling and drive? Why, that sounds like a description of The Professionals, Steve Jones’ band AFTER the Pistols. Mike still does his Punk Rock history lessons, but now everyone can listen in. Check out Mike’s riff on Jones and co. and the video from ’80 here. And check out Mike’s “New Wave Wednesdays” on the older posts column. Great stuff!
two pager above from Drag Cartoons #8, 1964

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This Are Halftone


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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Sorry for the lack of posts from me lately—I’ve been in vacation country, reading a lot of books without pictures. Luckily, Frank and Dan have been hitting it out of the park here so often that most of you probably didn’t even realize I was gone.

Anyway, to keep the craft stuff going, check out CC4 contributor Dan Zettwoch‘s recent post on using halftone for his “Gone Fishin’!!!” strip (which is featured on our latest issue’s back cover).

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