Comics Daze

Oh, deer. I’ve gotten another batch of comics, so I have to read for days. Such a harsh life.

Sophie: Nothing More To Say

06:16: The Secret Voice by Zack Soto (Floating World Comics)

Oops. I seem to have bought both the single issues from Study Group Comics as well as the collection from Floating Worlds…

Speaking of:

While unpacking packages yesterday, I was surprised to find another package from Floating World Comics — containing exactly the same books I got a couple weeks ago? They sent me the books twice? Hey, do you want them back or something? The postage from Norway to the US is probably more than they cost to buy, though… If anybody else wants this stack of comics and can drop by to collect them (I’m in Oslo), drop me a note. (I’m using a forwarding service, so I’m already out of the $$$ for shipping the books from the US to Norway with DHL.)

It’s an unusual colour scheme — yellows and purples.

Anyway, the story’s so much fun! It feels like a huge fantasy world that we’ve barely scratched the surface of, and I want more. Unfortunately, this was published in 2018, and I don’t think there’s been any further issues of the pamphlet? (Which started publishing in 2005 from Adhouse, I think?) So it’s taken over a decade to get these 140 pages…

The three issues from Study Group has the same material as the collections, and not much in the way of extras. Except this.

Cris Williamson: The Changer and the Changed

06:58: Dear Mother & Other Stories by Bhanu Pratap

This is pretty interesting graphically.

And totally fucked up. (It gets really squicky as it progresses.)

Joe Jackson: Mad At You

07:07: Georgia O’Keeffe by Maria Herreros (Selfmadehero)

What the… I swore I’d never buy another comic book artist biography? But here we are, somehow.

I quite like Herreros’ artwork.

But, as expected, it’s not a very good book. It centres everything upon O’Keeffe’s relationship with Stieglitz, and has an annoying way of insisting that it knows exactly what her intentions and thoughts are.

It’s another one of these books where you feel, after reading it, that perhaps you should have read the Wikipedia article instead, because it being a comic doesn’t really bring anything interesting to the table. But I’m glad these things keep artists gainfully employed; sure.

Dance Chapter: Anonymity

07:27: The Collected Prairie Pothole by John Porcellino (Uncivilized)

This is a collection of Porcellino’s strips from The Reader.

It’s fun to read Porcellino work in a comic strip idiom — i.e., having a sort of punch line (for some values of punch line) — instead of his usual more ruminative mode. (Which is also great.)

Tom Tom Club: Wordy Rappinghood

07:41: Hr. Vadim by Gihef & Morgann Tanco (Zoom)

This is pretty high concept — an old ex Foreign Legion guy gets bilked out of his pension (because that’s totally a thing that could happen in France and/or Belgium) and thrown out of the retirement home — and then goes on to, er, become an assassin slash vigilante.

So the storyline’s crappy, and the artwork is totally bog standard, so it’s not a very inspiring read.

David Byrne: 3 Big Songs

It’s not totally without charm, but it’s just so fucking stupid. The only plot device the authors knows about is the one called “total coincidence”, and it turns out, totally coincidentally, that everybody is involved with everybody else, so it turns into a very tangled ball of yarn. So the plot seems geared towards twelve-year-olds, while the violence level (one mobster is choked to death with a dildo) seems a bit over the top for that age segment.

I hope.

Tuxedomoon: Ninotchka

08:37: Cherry by Inéz Estrada (Kilgore Books)

I love this.

It’s so wild and fun. It’s like a proper, perfect strange little comic book.

A Flock of Seagulls: Space Age Love Song

08:47: Me & Night by Angela Fanche (Cram Books)

Heh, fun — I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book printed this way before?

The paper is folded this way, and then stapled at the other end. I love oddly printed books.

Anyway, these are diary comics. I’m quite into diary comics — when they work, they can be really interesting.

And this is pretty fantastic. It never gets into a daily grind, really (some diary comics tend towards repetition, naturally), but is endlessly varied (even if some themes are consistent).

It’s a quite harrowing reading experience, especially towards the end, when things just get more and more depressing.

It’s an amazing reading experience.

Richard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia

10:10: Nap Time

My sleeping is so fucked up these days — it might have something to do with renovations seemingly happening all around me…

Cristina: Cristina

14:01: Children of Mu-Town by Masumara Jushichi (Glacier Bay Books)

That was a long nap. And now apparently the neighbours across the street have started sawing metal pipes or something?

As usual with Glacier Bay, the book itself is just physically pleasant to read — because they use this er “detached spine” kind of thing (I have no idea what it’s called), so that you can open the pages wide. Lovely little detail.

This starts off in a most confusing manner…

… it’s not clear whether we’re in a dream world, or whether there’s “real” scenes and “symbolic” scenes or what, but then it all clicks into place: It’s a quite straightforward story, but with certain absurdist elements.

It’s wonderful! It’s so masterfully told, always on the brink of confusion, but then clarity. It’s an engrossing read, kinda propulsive?

And kudos to Glacier Bay for not including an essay explaining just what we just read, which is the American tradition for Japanese alternative comics — more as a vehicle for writing essays than enthusiasm for actually publishing the darn thing. (You know who.)

I should just go ahead and buy everything Glacier Bay has published already, instead of buying a book here and there via Domino.

*time passes while shopping*

Various: Special Club: Hiver 81-82

15:05: The Airy Tales by Olga Volozova (Sparkplug)

This is a unique reading experience — the panels (with text) are arranged in odd ways, and the stories have a very strange flow.

It feels like unmediated art? The way these tales are told remind me of the way I would spin fantasies when I was like 11: These are narratives, but lurch this way and that, and obsess about certain things.

Very interesting.

Phew: Phew

15:41: Tif et Tondu: Échecs et Match by Will & Desberg (Zoom)

I really have to stop buying these.

This is from 1981, and is still in 50s boys’ comics mode (which I quite like), so it’s better than a decade later, when they attempted being more grown up, but it’s still not… like… good. It’s kinda charmless? I do think I would have enjoyed certain bits of the plot when I was 11, though.

Phew: Phew

16:06: Long Gone #3 & #4 by Samuel Benson

This reminds me of 90s indie single author anthologies — but more heartfelt and less distanced.

It’s a really enjoyable read — these are pretty original little stories, and the artwork is satisfyingly messy.

Alan Vega: Collision Drive

16:27: Likbilen by Nærum / Volle (Cappelen Damm)

I like the artwork.

This is a sci-fi satire sort of thing — it feels like a retread of French 70s comics, in a way. The storytelling is pretty choppy, though, and I found it difficult to not get impatient with the story as it wound its way to the expected conclusion.

OK, I bought a whole bunch of smaller comics from Domino, so let’s put on some singles while reading those…

The Creatures: Right Now

16:46: Blah Blah Blah #2 by Juliette Collet

Love the artwork.

It’s a kind of wistful autobio book? It’s good.

Blaine L. Reininger: Playin’ Your Game

16:57: Good Night Seattle by Julia Gförer

Gförer’s published a whole bunch of these minicomics, but I can never remember which ones I’ve already bought… She should just publish a regular single author anthology already.

This is very funny, and exquisitely drawn as usual.

This Mortal Coil: Kangaroo

17:02: My Sux by Angela Fanche

It’s a lovely little book.

Junie Morrison: Techno-Freqs

17:05: Psychedelic Desert by Mia Gilling

Very tranquil.

Junie Morrison: Techno-Freqs

17:07: Skim Lizard 5 edited by Dylan Williams

This is a mini from 1994, and we open with a lovely letter from Bill Schanes.

The longest piece here is this Dave Cooper er masterpiece.

And Dave Sim writes in, too.

Colourbox: Say You

17:16: Superb Uti by Jack Reese

Wow, love this. Kinda Yokoyamaish? Not in the art style, but somehow anyway.

Colourbox: Punch

17:21: Bunny Bear by Andy Heck Boyd

Very odd (in a good way).

Colourbox: Punch

17:24: The Golem of Gabriol by Olga Volozova (Sparkplug)

This is in some ways more straightforward than that book up there (it’s a retelling of the Lilith story with some added stuff), but it’s told in a somewhat oblique manner. Interesting, though.

Colourbox: Punch

17:31: Becoming by Elif Baysak

This is really cool. It’s a narrative of sorts (on the right-hand pages)…

… but on the left-hand pages, we have top/bottom halves of strange faces, so you can construct your own. It reads really well if you just read it sequentially, flipping half page by half page, but it’s also fun to play with.

The artwork kinda reminds me of Mark Beyer? No higher praise is possible.

Hm… should I eat dinner? I should probably eat dinner. But another book first:

Cocteau Twins: The Spangle Maker

17:38: From This Flame by Oumi Konomi (Glacier Bay Books)

Uh-oh. I hope I didn’t just buy another copy of this book… uhm… yup, I did.

This is very contemplative and calm.

And gorgeous artwork.

Breathless: Waterland

17:47: Dinner

Even with the huge nap in the middle there, I’m fading, so I think I’ll call it a night.

That was a fabulous batch of comics (with a couple of exceptions, like Vadim and Likbilen). But exhausting.

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