Comics Daze

It’s a rainy day, and I got a whole bunch of comics in the mail yesterday, so it’s comics readin’ time. (Even though I don’t really have the time.) And for today’s music: Only stuff from the 4AD record label.

Modern English: Mesh & Lace

13:37: DogHead Comics #1 by Dave Cooper (The Mansion Press)

I got a sizeable package from Italy’s The Mansion Press

… including all these er print things…

… and of course, a Who Raped My Horse? condom advertising Johnny Ryan’s book (which I didn’t buy).

Made in Malaysia.

Anyway, the Cooper book is big and handsome — larger than normal “album size”, and beautifully printed.

It’s the first of a projected six issue run, and it’s really intriguing. And it also feels a whole lot less improvised than Cooper’s stuff from the 90s? Mysterious things are happening…

And then it turns out to be a double cover thing!

The second story feels a whole lot more like Cooper from the 90s — weird, random things are happening. It’s fun and it’s wild.

Dave Cooper’s back! What more do you need to know? Get shopping, but postage from Italy is probably going to be discouraging for US readers. Does The Mansion Press have distribution in the US?

Colin Newman: Provisionally Entitled The Singing Fish-Not To

14:10: Grixly #62-64 by Nate McDonough

This is an autiobio book about a guy who sells comics. Which means that he’s buying a lot of comics, and the book is really about all the freaks he encounters while dollar box diving.

It’s fascinating in a horrible way. Fortunately, I’m a well-adjusted person and nothing at all like this parade of deplorables, so reading comics has nothing to do with turning out this way.

There are really enjoyable reads, but sometimes told with puzzling continuity — I sometimes find myself having to backtrack to see whether I’ve missed something, but it’s like he skips a beat here and there. But it’s good stuff, and a fascinating look at this world.

15:15: Me Me Me Me by Johnny P

I like the obsessive quality these have.

They feel necessary somehow.

The Wolfgang Press: The Burden of Mules

15:18: Evil Eyes Sea by Özge Samanci (Uncivilized Books)

I assumed this was autobio at the start, because it’s so filled with details about living in Turkey at the time.

But then it turns into a murder mystery, a political thriller and a heist movie rolled into one!

Colourbox: Colourbox [MAD315]

It’s really good. It’s intensely interesting — it’s not just the thriller plot, it’s all these details that keep cropping up, but not in an annoying way. It’s super exciting.

My only gripe with this is that somebody’s bound to snap it up for adaptation into an action movie set in Vancouver.

Cocteau Twins: Head Over Heels

16:52: The Red Hook X Dean Haspiel by Dean Haspiel

This is from a kickstarter.

This is a very dense 24 pages. It’s stuffing a lot of ideas into these pages, and reading it, I was wondering whether I was missing something? Or whether it would have helped to have read all of Haspiel’s previous work? (Speaking of which — I’ve been a fan for decades, but the publications have been all over the place… anybody published a Haspiel omnibus?)

The artwork’s sharp.

This Mortal Coil: It’ll End In Tears

17:06: Moonray 2 by Brandon Graham & Xurxo G. Penalta (Living the Line Books)

In the afterword, Graham talks about how a setting like this, where nothing is familiar, requires a different form of storytelling than comics set in the present time, and that’s well observed.

Dead Can Dance: Garden of the Arcane Delights

But there’s also a problem when everything is so alien that it’s sometimes hard to get into the story? I’m not sure Graham is altogether successful in making what’s going on here feel gripping, despite his obvious talents.

Dead Can Dance: Dead Can Dance

Is that an upvote troll?

Anyway, what I’m saying is that I like this book more in the abstract than as a read — towards the end, I just found myself getting impatient with it all.

But there’s several neat characters and interactions that almost carry the book.

And now I need a nap.

Cocteau Twins: Treasure

19:09: Toward a Hot Jew by Miriam Libicki (Fantagraphics)

Hey, two cancelled creators in a row. Or something.

This is something very unusual for a comic — it’s a collection of essays.

It’s a very interesting book — it’s mostly about Israel, and the by far longest essay is about Jewish Ethiopians and how they’re treated in Israel.

The Wolfgang Press: The Legendary Wolfgang Press and Other Tall Stories

But it’s also about hotness.

The artwork is mostly painted, and I think all the lettering is hand-painted, too? That’s a lot of work. But it really works — these things aren’t just illustrated essays, but something different. Good stuff. I think I’ll be doing some shopping here

Richenel: L’Esclave Endormi

21:12: Star Fruit by Gretta Johnson

Love this art.

It’s a very loopy, and quite brief parable of sort, I think? It’s fun.

Dif Juz: Extractions


21:21: Opal and Earl by Jasper Krents

Wowzers!

This is a really powerful book — it’s about obsessions and stuff. I love how it’s put together.

21:31: The Power of Our Voices by Ethan Heitner

This is from 2015, but more relevant than ever, unfortunately.

It’s a straight-up fanzine about why artists should boycott Israel, basically.

21:45: Thurd by Mavado Charon (À mains nues)

Urr… I think this is a non narrative book? I’m not sure, because I started reading it and flinched: It’s just one page after another of sexual torture. So I started flipping through it, and it’s all like that? This is the only snap of the book I found that was possible to include in this family oriented blog, because all the other pages were just horrific.

*puts on school marm uniform* “Well, that’s just not nice, is it!”

Congrats on the transgressiveness.

Dead Can Dance: Spleen and Ideal

21:52: Mind Riot edited by Karen D. Hirsch (Simon & Schuster)

This is a collection of very short stories about growing up and stuff. As you can see, they’ve got some major talent here, but also people who aren’t as well-known.

It’s from 1997 — I think Glenn Head mentioned it on Twitter or something? So I picked up a copy.

Each author gets a one page introduction.

I assumed that this would be autobio, but there’s not that many — Diane Noomin seems to be.

And Phoebe Glockner does an apparent 50s Romance Comics take on her horrifying childhood — told through the eyes of an imaginary boyfriend. Very odd.

The most successful story is this by Carol Swain, which is just one of her normal stories, and could have been made without a remit from the editor of this collection.

Carol Swain also takes a Romance Comics approach to her piece.

Despite all the great people participating here, it doesn’t really gel as an anthology. Besides a number of downright weak pieces (not shown above), it’s like everybody’s trying to cram too much into their pieces (perhaps because it’s from a Big Publisher). Very odd.

Heh. This is a library copy, and it only had three takers before being pensioned off.

It was nominated for an Eisner, though.

Colourbox: Colourbox

22:47: Panga-Rehe Stories by Jüri Arrak (50 Watts)

Oh, very odd. The font looks almost like Futura, but it’s not quite?

And the rest of this short book is also very odd — it’s a series of dreams about a creature called Maiv, and they’re strangely fascinating. It was originally published in Estonia in the 70s?

Cocteau Twins: Tiny Dynamine – Echoes in a Shallow Bay

23:10: Phantoms of the Louvre by Enki Bilal (NBM)

Oh, hm. I may have this already… I thought it was new, but it was published a decade ago.

Oh, I’ve definitely not read this before.

And I’m not really interested in reading it now, either.

Bah humbug!

23:17: The End

OK, I think I’ll call it a day. “It’s a day.” There.