Posts Tagged ‘Mat Brinkman’

A Fan’s Notes


Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Hello and welcome to CC weekend edition. I’m your host – Frankie The Wop. In an effort to understand what it takes to achieve Tom Spurgeon level of comics bloggerdom – I have moved to New Mexico. Spurge is at 6200 feet above sea level and I think that it’s the air up here that makes looking out beyond the frontier of comics possible. Wait, what? I dunno what the fuck I’m talking about. I’m high as shit and it ain’t from the altitude. The holiday season has begun. I got nuthin’ this week. (more…)

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Double Festival Weekend


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

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PictureBox will be in two places at once this weekend: SPX in Bethesda, MD and the Brooklyn Book Festival in NYC!

First: We will be at SPX in Bethesda, MD, tables G5-G8. Frank will of course be occupying one table, foisting his epic back issue selection on you, the unsuspecting yet increasingly discerning consumer!

There will be many wonderful things at PBox for you to blow your cash on:

-We will be hosting Brian Ralph and Paul Lyons as they launch the new issue of Monster, featuring work by Brinkman, Chippendale, CF, Drain, Goldberg, and many others.

-Advance copies of Renee French’s H Day and Julie Doucet and Michel Gondry’s My New New York Diary for sale!

Karl Wirsum: Drawings 1967-70 – A deluxe oversize new catalog from the master accompanying the exhibition I curated at Derek Eller Gallery, NYC.

Garo Manga: The First Decade – Ryan Holmberg’s essential history

-A new zine by Matthew Thurber and Billy Grant

-Yuichi Yokoyama’s BABYBOOMFINAL – Yokoyama’s insane art/comics heavyweight tome

-Our full line of vintage Brazilian porn

-Deep and dark publications from the Paris house United Dead Artists, including Permagel by Charles Burns

-And because no one except Jason Miles asked for it: Complete runs of the early 1980s classic: New York City Outlaws!

-We will also have one, that’s right, ONE, copy of If ‘n Oof for you to ogle and be amazed by.

If that wasn’t enough, we will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, with all of the above, and more! Come see us in Suburban D.C. or downtown Brooklyn.

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The Orange Eats Creeps


Monday, August 23, 2010

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That’s a pretty good title, right? It’s the name of a novel by Grace Krilanovich that I’ve just started reading. Here’s the cover:

Look familiar? Let me help you out. (more…)

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Softly, now…


Friday, July 2, 2010

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Commercial interruption! We are doing a soft launch of the new PictureBox site… now! Over there you will find a whole mess of new stuff. Original artwork from Real Deal and Tales from Greenfuzz, drawings and paintings by Mat Brinkman and Milton Glaser. The new Jimbo comic by Gary Panter, a brand new Yokoyama book. The famed Garo catalog by Ryan Holmberg, a Japanese Jimmy Corrigan poster by Chris Ware, tons of vintage comics and more. The site is not perfect yet, but we’re working on it.

Besides all the “new shit” there’s a whole mess of new content, with much more on the way, to be announced shortly. For now I just wanted to do a quiet test with you, the CC faithful. Ease into it and enjoy.

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Frank Takes to the Internet to Talk About Multiforce


Monday, December 21, 2009

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Go to the Comics Reporter to learn more.

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PictureBox at SPX


Monday, September 21, 2009

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Well, while PB is waiting to be bought by Disney and/or be given the rights to half of Mole Man we will be exhibiting this weekend, September 26-27, at SPX. Booth D9-11.

We will have our full range of titles and Frank Santoro and Matthew Thurber will be in attendance. Besides our newest books, including Santoro’s Cold Heat 7/8, Thurber’s 1-800 MICE 3, Mat Brinkman’s Multiforce and Gary Panter’s Pee Dog 2, we will have a stack of the phenomenal new Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror (now on sale in our shop!), featuring stories by Ben Jones, Jon Vermilyea, Thurber, Kevin Huizenga and many others. We will also have a selection of new mini-comics, zines, and the legendary comic book series Real Deal.

And, bonus: There will be a Treehouse of Horror signing with various artists on Sunday, 9/25, from noon to 1 pm.

SPX is always a fun time. Come out and see us.

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Hustling the PictureBox Merch


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

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Summer vacation was fun. But now it’s over….

Here is some shameless promotion from your sponsor, PictureBox.

We have some excellent new and recent items in the store right now: We’re pleased to announce that Cold Heat 7/8 by our beloved Frank Santoro and Ben Jones and Matthew Thurber’s 1-800 MICE #3 are now in stock! Two mighty comics series making bold returns. And Anya Davidson has returned with an excellent new comic, Cosmic Collisions.

Cold Heat 7/8!

Also, back in stock we have Yuichi Yokoyama’s Painting and his full line of posters for your gazing pleasure.

And last but certainly not least, we’re carrying vintage original printings of airbrush posters from the 1970s by Kings Peter Palombi and Charlie White III. We have limited quantities of these masterpieces, so get ’em while you can.

Other news:

ITEM: We are now offering some of our titles on the iPhone via Panelfly. So now you can read Powr Mastrs, The Goddess of War, Travel, and Storeyville on your iPhone!

ITEM: The PictureBox Gallery (online only) is bursting at the virtual seams with original art by Ben Jones, Gary Panter, CF, Charlie White III, Peter Lloyd and many others. Go have a look.

ITEM: We owe a giant thanks to all of you who pre-ordered If ‘n Oof and Powr Mastrs 3. You can look for those in March 2010.

Phew, that was a lot. Now, onto the sale!

For one week (Sept. 8-15) we are reducing our prices by up to 35% on many items in the shop, and for the first time we’re offering “Value Packs” for your shopping convenience. That’s right, we’re making it that much easier to enjoy PictureBox goodness. The sets are as follows:

The Overspray Deluxe Set: Pimp-out your bookcase and walls with a copy of Overspray: Riding High With the Kings of California Airbrush Art, as well as two enormous Peter Palombi posters: This is Why You’re Overweight and Exotic Pets.
All for just $35!

Powr Mastrs Set: Need to catch up on Powr Mastrs before the third one drops! Well, get the first two volumes and CF’s miniature masterpiece, Core of Caligula, for an even $20.

80s Grotesque Set: Pee Dog 2: The Captain’s Final Log and Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby. Feeling overwhelmed by the world? Hopeless and ruined? These two graphic romps through sexual confusion, misery and poop jokes will lift your spirits and have you up and around in no time! Cheap therapy for just $20.

Young Painters Set: Here at PictureBox we sure do love a good painting. So much so that we’ve published books with some of the best damn painters around. Get 6 publications by Eddie Martinez, Joe Bradley, Jonas Wood, Michael Williams, Chuck Webster, Katherine Bernhardt and Brian Belott for just $40. That’s a lifetime of gallery-going for one low price.

The Ben Jones Approved Set: Three books beloved by artiste Ben Jones. Mythtym, by Trinie Dalton; Travel by Yuichi Yokoyama; and Jones’ own New Painting and Drawing. See from whence Jones draws inspiration and sample these goodies. $35 is a small price to pay for a glimpse of immortality.

Rock Set: If you’re not to busy playing Rock Band, how ’bout immersing yourself in a multi-generational rock-out with these fab books. For the Love of Vinyl will teach you the meaning of album design; The Wilco Summer Tour Program will leave you in stitches; Real Fun will bring you back to your indie rock roots (or give you new ones); A fantastic Chuck Berry poster by Charlie White III will loom over you; and all of this can happen while listening to Gary and Devin whale away on their psych-country trip. Rock to build a truck on for just $50.

And that’s it. We hope to see you on the road in the next couple months, either at The Small Press Expo in Washington D.C. or The New York Art Book Fair. Thanks!

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Weekend Clean-Up


Saturday, July 11, 2009

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(Artist’s rendition of my vacation)

I was away kayaking, fishing, having water balloon fights, eating ice cream, and doing other “manly” things this past week, so I’ve been designated “weekend boy” by my compatriots. What have we learned this week?

Well, for one thing we had an off-blog discussion about the incredible Trevor Von Eeden interview in The Comics Journal. Truly the must-read of the year so far. Like the Dick Ayers autobiography or the Dave Stevens book, it’s a pretty incredible record of a cartoonist’s psyche. I mean, all the stuff about Lynn Varley alone is remarkable — almost (Ok, maybe totally) too candid. Also, it reminds me of how the TCJ interviews use to be — the totally off the cuff candor of Kaluta or Conway or Chaykin in the 1980s. I think it’s less that the Journal has changed (though it has) and more that the culture of comics has shifted so much in the last 20 years. After all, by contrast that interview with Ba and Moon (contemporary young “hot” artists) is remarkable for its contentment and happiness. I mean, the industry is still bizarre but the rewards and possibilities are so much more…lucrative. Comics isn’t small anymore, I guess, and certainly what’s left of public bitching now occurs more on message boards and blogs than it does in the old style interviews. But someone who lived through all of that could speak to this better than I.

Of course, Von Eeden was/is very talented, which is pretty much what distinguishes it from, say, a million other interviews you could do with superhero artists and why I’m at all interested in him. That’s what I love that he talks about more or less drawing in ink, rather than tracing pencils, and that he’s unconcerned with any conceptual logic to his layouts — they seem to just evolve from whatever he feels like doing. Luckily the drawing and storytelling remains clear. I suppose that’s the trick.

Oh, and I sure liked Frank’s Brinkman review. I’m of course biased and I’ve been meaning to ask Mat to confirm a few things. Certainly Frank’s thoughts about relating to the work seems dead on. I also wanted to note that so much of what makes MF work has to do with Mat’s experiments with multiple generation xeroxing and the scale shifts throughout a page. Those are miraculous compositions which, as Frank so eloquently noted seem unimpeachable.

Finally, we learned from Lauren Weinstein that I’m against social interaction and a “killjoy” (oh, Weinstein, you’re in trouble!). She may or may not be right. Next week we’ll have a cage match about that very subject. Also, we have intuited that we will never be as cool as Al Jaffee, but oh lord we can try. Plus, we at CC have given birth (we’re competing with Lauren!) to a new feature which will be unveiled soon. The suspense must be killing you!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

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Hey CC faithful, Frank Santoro here this week with a riff on Mat Brinkman’s Multiforce. How do you write a review about someone as influential as Mat? You don’t. Well, I don’t. Won’t. Writing about Teratoid Heights would be one thing, but a Multiforce collection? Kill me now. If I do a straight review, it’ll be 5000 words. I’ve got that much to say about this book. It’s terrifyingly good and an indispensable record of possibly the most important serialized comics of the post-Ware era.

And I’m not just saying that—cuz honestly I usually prefer Brinkman the artist—the poster designer, the sculptor, the installation artist, the “draw-er”—to Brinkman the cartoonist. I could appreciate the touch and accuracy evident in the comics but … I just didn’t feel like diving in, I guess. I’d seen his first collection, Teratoid Heights, and liked it but liked it like I like most silent Jim Woodring comics. I always think, “Wow, that’s beautiful,” then flip through it in two seconds and put it down. So I mostly engaged Brinkman’s comics this way. A lot. Even when I’d see a stray Paper Rodeo laying around, I’d just read a few of the gag cartoons within Multiforce—I wouldn’t really sit with it for any real amount of time. Sometimes I’d quickly decode the sequencing and be impressed by the architecture of it all, but I still never dove in. The water looked really deep.

I guess I was more interested then in studying the other side of the Fort Thunder coin: Chippendale. Chipper’s formal grid appealed to me, then as it does now, as something to contain the energy and vitality of the drawing. Brian’s comics often fix the reader’s eye upon the protagonist and then MOVES the reader through the corridor of action sort of like a single-POV video game.

In contrast, Brinkman pulls the camera back and allows the architecture of his world to UNFOLD in its own time, at its own pace. By doing so it feels to me as though the narrative action turns back in upon itself which opens up numerous readings. The pace slows down as one sequence SCALES into the next, alternating and differentiating each moment while maintaining the whole. Brinkman creates CENTERS of visual interest and of narrative importance that ROOT the progression of the panels and map the way for the reader. The reader accumulates the story through this natural unfolding and “spiraling” back rather than being MOVED through the space like Chippendale.

So, Multiforce. Seeing the strips together completely altered my feelings towards Brinkman’s comics. I could see the complexity of his page layouts (when I would read each installment separately) but I never dreamed how beautifully it would all fit together as a serial comic strip. Each strip forms a section of the map which permits the reader to navigate the startling jumps in scale.

For the uninitiated: I’ll try and describe the plot ever so loosely. A race of Giants attack Citadel City. The Micro-Men evacuate in a Giant Mega-Mobile Man life-form. Battles abound. Chaos ensues.

Got it? Great. Basically, it’s all set up for Mat to showcase his drawing chops. But instead of going all out and just wowing the audience with carefully trained money shots, Brinkman organically spins a line of thought that spiderwebs ‘cross the page. Up, down, diagonally, inside and out, piece by piece, branch by branch the story of the Micromen and Giants spirals in upon itself and unfolds according to an incredibly articulated framework of panels and gag cartoons that run parallel to each other. This is not the steady beat and sheets of sound of Chippendale, this is some haunting vibration of cosmic strings.

And truly do the lines vibrate. Brinkman seems to be concerned with how the drawings “read.” Crisp lines, fuzzy Xeroxes, greys, blacks, noisy whites. What’s created is a language and a “vibration” for each character and each set-piece. It’s an appealing mix because the characters and the landscape really interact. This interaction creates a deep pool of activity. Our view as readers isn’t limited to a single POV, so we can choose each view. Citadel City pulses and breathes, it’s a stellar coral reef, inviting us as readers to stop and watch the aquarium contained within the page.

I really just sit and stare. It feels like reading a Sunday page comics section. But it’s all one artist, all one story. Sorta Quimby the Mouse, over-sized Acme Novelty Library in that way, if you will. Multiforce has that level of visual complexity. I am overwhelmed by that information and then drawn in by the playfulness of the story. (And contrary to some critical readings of Brinkman, there is story in spades. I’m so tired of folks saying Fort Thunder artists didn’t tell stories.) I’m freely moving my eye around the page like I am looking at an abstract painting. And what happens is I spy a simple gag cartoon that is embedded within the flow of the story, like the gag might just float free, panel-less beneath a larger grid. These vignettes, these parallel lines of thought and narrative reinforce each other and allow the story to breathe. It all moves forward, spinning in time like a living breathing world. LOOK:

The other thing for me is that this “serial Sunday page” comic speaks to me because it’s of my time, of my generation. It speaks to me more than Herriman, or Gould, or Crane for that matter. I think it’s a testament to Brinkman’s insight as a cartoonist of his time that he chose to do large format serialized comics at the moment in comics history right before all these reprint books of old serial strips are being published. He’s plugged in to the vibe, man. He, like Ware, wrestled the large format back from the dustbin of history and brought a new energy to very specific compositional and narrative “strategies” that have been laying dormant in contemporary comics for decades. I swear it reads like a multi-track recording, a harmony, some way of composing and executing that reinforces the story and, for the last time, spirals the narrative upon itself. I find it unbelievably sublime and appealing to read.

And everyone knows that the spiral contains all of the possible geometrical formations, right? So this is no pudding-school comic. The pieces of the multifaceted storyline grow together and create a life of their own. The web that’s fastened is a solid structure, a jewel that reflects each point of the story as it turns. Like some galaxy contained in an aquarium, Multiforce vibrates beyond the comic book page. Mat Brinkman may be the spiral architect of this generation of cartoonists.

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PictureBox at MoCCA


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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MoCCA Madness

PictureBox will be at the MoCCA Festival this weekend, June 6-7, 11 am- 6 pm.

69th Regiment Armory
68 Lexington Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets

PictureBox has booths 301, 339, 338

So, without further ado:

New from PictureBox for MoCCA!

Mat Brinkman: MULTIFORCE
Yes, you read that correctly — the entire saga at full size. 22 pages of comics genius. Sneak attack.

Ed Nukey Nukes and Jocko Levent Brainiac: PEE DOG 2: THE CAPTAIN’S FINAL LOG
A 60 page opus d’filth from 1986 co-created by an artist we publish whose name rhymes with Shmary Kanter. Just 500 made.

Lane Milburn and Frank Santoro: COLD HEAT SPECIAL #9
Not a season goes by without a slice of such goodness.

Hand-collages unique objects. Just 100 made!

First printings how available!

Lauren Weinstein: TWO GHOST STORIES zine

And new work from Matthew Thurber, Anya Davidson, Taylor McKimens, and others!


Festival Signing Schedule

Special Event: Frank Santoro and Gary Panter in conversation at 3:45 on Sunday in the programming room.


11 am-12 pm: Frank Santoro
12 pm -2 pm: Lauren Weinstein and Frank Santoro
2-3 pm: Matthew Thurber
3:00 pm-5 pm: Lauren Weinstein
5 pm – 6 pm: Frank Santoro


11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lauren Weinstein
12:30 pm -1:30 pm: Frank Santoro
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m: Gary Panter and Devin Flynn
4 pm – 6 pm: Lauren Weinstein

See you soon!

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