I’m sitting in Ron Regé Jr’s apartment in Echo Park. Morning time. There is a woman below the window who is clipping, pruning the green around the white flowers. Lots of birds. Sun. I miss the sound of birds outside my window. Just the lonesome raven calls out in the desert of New Mexico.
I’ve been here 3 nights so far and Ron has been kind to host. He lives in a second story apartment in one of those pre-war white adobe corner jobs. There’s four units and it feels quite comfortable if you know and like your neighbors – and Ron does. He said it’s likeThree’s Company. The other day people just started stopping by. “This never happens,” Ron said. One after another long lost friends were appearing in the little apartment. Just as one would leave another would drop by. It was like a rolling party. It never stopped for two whole days. The second day was even funnier because a photo shoot was happening next door. So there was a make-up trailer parked outside with loads of pretty girls parading up and down the stairs. Unfortunately, I had slept through most of it – exhausted from the earlier parade.
I rummaged through Ron’s zine collection. I found a few CF zines, a Rozz Toxx manifesto, some Kaz Strepak zines, and Ron’s Cambridge Massachusettes city sponsered teen anti-drinking scratch-off postcard.
Oh hi! I’m taking a “personal day” today, so this post will be mostly promotional in content, with only a few memorable zingers for you to carry with you for the rest of the day. But really, you’ve had two epic Jog posts this week. What more do you want, people?
Earlier this week Gabrielle Bell immortalized me in comic strip form. I feel humbled, flattered, and yet exalted.
But much of the last two weeks has been taken up dealing with PictureBox stuff, which brings me to the promotional part of this post: There is a TON of new stuff in the shop, most of which will arrive by X-Mas is you order by Monday.
I have, of late, been fishing through bins and finding a few treasures, like D.O.A. Comics, the one-man anthology by the late, great Jim Osborne. Or the anonymous and amazing Junk Comics. Of course there is always some Marshall Rogers and some sweet Moebius.
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…)
An excuse: Well, it’s been a week of nothing but Brian Chippendale and CF for me. I just put the boys in a cab to JFK and tonight they will be at Floating World Comics in Portland OR, for a party and interview with Matt Fraction. Tomorrow night they’ll be at Family in Los Angeles. Let me say this: Their slide shows are pretty damn great, and not to be missed. It goes on… Just to keep the fun going, here are a couple brand new interviews with Chippendale at Inkstuds and Arthur. Compare and contrast and see if he contradicts or repeats himself. Try it at home!
An item: I direct your attention over to Same Hat, where CC pal Ryan Holmberg is doing some group research on Lone Wolf and Cub writer Koike Kazuo. Apparently he also wrote a Hulk comic book for the Japanese market in the 1970s. I would like to read that.
A recommendation: I love Denys Wortman’s New York. It’s a beautifully produced book of this forgotten cartoonist’s vivid NYC-observed cartoons. The drawings are nuanced and yet amazingly muscular and gritty. I’d never seen the work before and found myself completely absorbed in Wortman’s bygone world. Great drawings and a great historical presentation by James Sturm and Brandon Elston. Kudos to D&Q for supporting such a wonderful project. There is a an exhibition on now at The Museum of the City of New York, which I look forward to checking out asap.
End on a stupid note: A very brief “Dapper Dan’s SuperMovies Column”: Let me just say: The Green Lantern trailer totally blows, except for the monster dude that looks like the Elephant Man. That part is cool. But does everything have to be a wise cracking hunk who grows up and finds responsibility? It’s creepy! And why are ALL sci-fi sets seemingly designed by the same boring people? I want more architectural phalluses and glistening drops of liquid, not boring faux-cities. Well, the boys and I hold out hope for Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine movie. That should be good.
I wanted to do a “best of ” list that was personal favorites of this past year. The way I gauge the alt/art/fusion comics calendar is from SPX to SPX. So, a book that comes out post-SPX 2010 is on the 2011 list. Get it? Good. So, for example, The Whale, If ‘n Oof, and Powr Mastrs 3 were not out at SPX 2010 so they are on next year’s list.
I think my favorite of this last year was CF’s City Hunter. To me, it summed up the feeling in art comics over the last few years. Again, I mean this “for me” – what I see is Christopher riffing on the genre comics I know and love: the ’80s black and white explosion comics. Their dead serious sincerity and folk art determination is very real – and Christopher, I believe, has channeled this very eloquently. It’s a mash up of scenes that may possibly look like scribbles to you but to me they speak a clear language. Lots of backgrounds with “Main Dice” the main character swinging down the street. Lots of “straight talk” from the editor of the Fantasy Empire Magazine company. It’s like Christopher made his own black & white action comic and worried more about how the indicia and logo would look than the how the story unfolded – which is exactly what most ’80s black and white explosion action comics are about – so it’s kind of perfect. Christopher summed up this approach so well that it really shut the door on this kind of thing. I think the window has possibly closed on my own nostalgia for these genre comics – CF’s re-bop re-phrasing of the whole scene just makes me want to read his incarnation of it over and over again. (more…)
Come see Brian Chippendale and C.F. release their new books into the world at 4 pm on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Ada Books in Providence, R.I. They will be inaugurating their almighty slide show talks in which they will reveal all of their secrets. I will be there nervously standing to the side, wondering what kind of vegan food I’ll be eating for dinner. The tour then rolls on, my friends, as you can see below (and yes, you’re reading that correctly, the boys will be interviewed by Matt Fraction in Portland OR).
PROVIDENCE, RI: ADA BOOKS: NOV. 14, 4 pm. Slideshow and signing
NEW YORK, NY, THE STRAND: NOV. 18, 7 pm. Slideshow and signing
PORTLAND, OR: FLOATING WORLD COMICS: NOV. 19, 6 pm, Signing, slideshow and special live interview by Matt Fraction
LOS ANGELES, CA: FAMILY: NOV. 20, 8:15 pm, Slideshow and signing
TORONTO, ON: THE BEGUILING: DEC. 2, 7 pm, Slideshow and signing
Longtime readers of Comics Comics know that this is a labor of love — and it will continue to be, at least until we figure out how to “monetize” critical discussion of Harry Lucey and old issues of ROM Spaceknight. Once we get that settled, it will only be a matter of time until we are rolling in dough, Scrooge McDuck-style.
Currently, though, we are still somehow losing money, and it’s gotten to the point where we need to try and offset some of our costs. For lack of a better idea (and enough traffic to inspire advertisers!), we are launching a PBS-style one-week pledge drive. Nothing big and nothing too obnoxious, we hope, just a quick, deep, searching grab at our readers’ cash while everyone’s flush with springtime-inspired resolutions to give to charity. We are a good cause, more or less.
We have many delightful ways for you to GIVE US YOUR MONEY, all of which allow you, the kind reader, to receive something in return.
1) Comics Comics contributors and pals have donated artwork (see below!).
All of these items are or will be available at PictureBox’s eBay store, which will be updated from now through Thursday the 27th.
2) Johnny Ryan has very generously offered to donate his drawing services to the cause. Until May 27th, for a mere $100, Johnny will draw an 8 x 10 portrait of you, the Comics Comics reader (or person of your choice), being “erotically violated.” This seems like the perfect gift for any occasion. Dedicated readers choosing this option should first order this “item” via PayPal. Send $100 to orders (at) pictureboxinc (dot) com and include your address and a message. Please also send a photograph to the same email address. Mr. Ryan will then get to work. Allow at least 60 days before delivery.
3) You can purchase “variety packs” of PictureBox books at a crazy good discount. These will also be available at the PictureBox eBay store.
4) If for some reason you’d like to support us, but don’t feel like buying anything in particular on offer, you can tip us any amount you like via the PayPal button below.
Thanks for listening in any case, and we apologize for taking up your time with something like this. We don’t plan on making this a habit, or even something that we will repeat. We just want to keep this dog-and-pony show running for a while longer. Thanks again.