Posts Tagged ‘Joe Ollmann’

The Mid-Life Moment in Alternative Comics


Friday, March 4, 2011

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Mid-Life by Joe Ollmann

Over at the National Post, I have a review of Joe Ollmann’s new graphic novel  Mid-Life (click here to read).

A few ancillary thoughts:

The Mid-Life Theme. As can be guessed from the title, Ollmann’s book is about a mid-life crisis. Has anyone noticed how pervasive that theme has been in recent graphic novels? I’m thinking here of Clowes’ Wilson, Collier’s Chimo, Jaime Hernandez’s The Education of Hopey Glass (and the triptych of stories in Love and Rockets 3), Ware’s Acme 19 (and arguably “Jason Lint” or Acme 20, which covers the characters whole life year by year but where the central life-defining actions take place in mid-life). Perhaps related is Brown’s Paying For It, which I haven’t read yet, also hinges I’m told on a pivotal  life-decision the cartoonist made in mid-life. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the mid-life theme is so pervasive. The generation of alternative cartoonists that now dominate comics were all born in the late 1950s or 1960s and are now facing mid-life themselves. Seth’s an interesting anomaly since it could be said that he cartooned like a middle-age man even when he was young. But Seth is relevant here because he once said that he hoped his audience would grow old with him. That’s what seems to be happening with alternative comics and their audience.


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Read CNQ


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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Front half of Seth's wrap-around cover, CNQ 80

The new issue of Canadian Notes and Queries (CNQ) is now on stands and, as with the last issue, there is much in it of interest for comics fans. Seth’s design work, which premiered in the previous issue, really gels this time around. The writer Kerry Clare recently enthused that CNQ is “is the most beautifully designed magazine in the world right now, and I’m not even exaggerating.” Like the best recent graphic novels, the entire magazine hangs together visually as a total package.

Among the comics related items of interest: a gorgeous Doug Wright scene from Juniper Junction (a very different strip than Nipper or Doug Wright’s Family); Joe Ollmann’s adaptation of Marian Engel’s Bear, a novel about ursine love; and a new Seth strip featuring Hudson and Stanfield (a strip that is intriguingly linked to earlier Seth book). The wrap-around cover that Seth did is much lovelier than the little snapshot I’ve provided here.


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