Comics Daze

I spent all day yesterday reading comics, so why not spend all day today reading comics, too? You know it makes sense.

Yoko Ono: Yes, I’m A Witch, Too

12:17: Thomas Girtin: The Forgotten Painter by Oscar Zarate (Selfmadehero)

I know, I know — these comics artists biographies are seldom any good, but this is by Oscar Zarate? Surely…

So… Selfmadehero has published biographies about all artists people have heard about (probably twice), so now they are onto er let’s say lesser known artists? So how do you do that, then?

King Crimson: Lizard

Girtin was a contemporary of Turner, and died when he was 27, and is apparently not often exhibited, and he left no writings behind. So Zarate has done the logical thing — he’s introducing three characters who are talking about Girtin a lot, but also have their own dramas going.

DJ Nigga Fox: Musica da terra

Heh heh, that looks quite a lot like what I was doing a few minutes ago… I wasn’t quite sure whether Girtin was a real painter or whether Zarate had made him up.


Anyway, Zarate’s artwork is great, and he almost manages to convince me that Girtin is worth doing a book about, but it’s not really a very compelling book.

Rocket To The Sky: To sing you apple trees

14:06: Marbakken by Anja Dahle Øverbye

This is a diary comic about depression and angst and stuff.

It’s really straightforward — and pretty funny? Good stuff.

Yakub: Let the Terror Reign

14:22: Where Have You Been? by Ivana Filipovich (Toxic Ink)

Oh, that’s an unfortunate choice for a font. It looks nice at a distance (it goes well with the artwork), but it’s just hard to read (with these old eyes)… So cramped.

Anyway, I adore this artwork. It’s gorgeous. In a strange way, it reminds me of early Hugo Pratt? I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s got a kind of 70s Italian comics vibe going on?

Boris: 1985

That’s what I always say!

Anyway, this book is a collection of shorter works by Filipovich, and the largest section is from the 90s. They are slightly vague stories, mostly set at parties, and they are enthralling. The wonderful artwork helps a lot, but the stories have got great flow, and seem to hint at bigger mysteries. They are delightful stories.

(They’ve apparently done some modernisation during the translation? There’s references to “digital detox” and “Netflix”…)

Then we get some portraits…

… and then more recent work, done in a very different duotone-ish style.

And we end with some amusing pandemic era strips (that include a cat, as they have to).

It’s a wonderful book.

Various: Fabric 80: Joseph Capriati

15:33: Sorgdikter by Klara Wiksten (Lystring)

The name of the book translates as er “Grief Poems”, I guess.

And it is indeed what it says on the tin.

The book is about a miscarriage, I think? And there’s paintings to go along with the poems.

I like it.

15:45: Out on the Girl Farms #1 by Ana Woulfe


I can’t say that I understand what’s going on here, but it’s pretty fab anyway.

15:51: What Can I Say I Demand Excellence by JF Frankel

This little mini is very funny.

15:53: Form and Deed by Scott David Finch

Well, this is a very mysterious book.

It’s got a nice flow.

15:57: Her Bark & Her Bite by James Albon (Top Shelf)

This is Albon’s first comic, but the storytelling is pretty assured already. It’s way more scratchy than his later books, but it’s still attractive.

And imaginative.

The story seems like it’s going to be a typical Magic Pixie Dream Boy thing, but the Boy doesn’t die so that the Girl can Learn A Valuable Lesson. Instead she turns out to be a rather dickish character… and I’m not quite sure Albon meant her to be? I was on the MPDB’s side.

Jon Balke: Saturation

17:01: Life’s A Party by Sean Azzopardi

I’ve bought five of these, but I’m not sure what order to read them in… er… I’ll just do random.

I got these books from Phatcomics.

I think most of these comics are from the past few years, but this one is older, I think…

Yes, these are autobio comics.

Cylob: Previously Unavailable on Compact Disc

They’re kinda slippery books? We skip from period to period in a very fluid way, and people come and go without being introduced. They’re associative… they’re very pleasant to read.

As autobio books go, they’re pretty reticent — it doesn’t really feel like we get to know Azzopardi. There’s no big deep reveals, or shocking things happening.

Which is why this scene came as a total shock.

These are good books — pretty unique in approach, and well-told.

17:45: Varm mjölk by Jarno Latva-Nikkola (Lystring)

Whoa! Those colours.

Anyway, this book collects paintings and drawings done in a number of different styles, and they’re pretty insane. Very nice.

Finnish artists, dude.

17:54: Dear Mini by Natalie Norris (Fantagraphics)

Another autobio book — this time about a wild teenager.

The storytelling style here is something I’ve seen done before — it’s basically a letter (large cursive lettering) that’s interleaved with panels. But I’m not sure it works here. The natural thing is to read the large text first on each spread, and then go back and read the panels, and that back and forth is just annoying? Especially since the lettering is so huge that it feels like I’m being shouted at continually?

It’s a pretty horrifying story.

And there’s excerpts from her diary.

I think this book basically achieves what it sets out to do, so it’s a successful book, I guess.

Batagraf: Statements

18:56: Good Girl by Ben Wrex

This is a very brief book about dating problems.

19:00: Halfir Mir by Emuh Ruh (Cold Cube Press)

I think I read this the wrong direction first, but it’s hard to tell…

Pretty nice l2r or r2l.

19:04: It Hurts Until It Doesn’t by Kahlil Kasir


I love the artwork and storytelling on this one. It’s kinda CF-ish?

It’s the most harrowing book of the day, and there’s been some really harrowing ones already.

Excellent book; truly unique. Get it from Diskette Press.

19:16: The Scond Fake Death of Eddie Campbell by Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)

Oh, right, this has The Fate of the Artist on the flip side. I read that back when it came out (was it published by First Second or something?), but I might as well re-read it now.

Heh heh.

Oh right… I’d forgotten that it was a kind of collagey desktop publishing-ey kind of book…

Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam

But his artwork looks really attractive here.

Cat Power: Covers

But now for the new stuff… *flips book*

Eeeuhpmhm… OK, he’s doing the artwork digitally now. It kinda looks like clip art? Collage clip art? I mean, it’s actually pretty attractive, but it is a let-down because his non-computerey artwork is so lovely… But OK.

*gasp* One page of pen and ink?

Anyway! This is a lovely, lovely book. It’s so playful, and so funny — it seems effortless in the best possible way; it just seems to flow so naturally on its very wonky journey. It’s just… uhm… Yeah, it’s just incredibly charming? He’s got solid running jokes and a pretty amusing plot (!)… I didn’t think it would come together, because I thought it would be just (admittedly funny) digressions, but it does!

It’s a really satisfying book. It’s definitely a Book of the Year list thing.

Campbell is back! Better than ever? I mean, his Alec stuff will always be close to my heart, but this is up there.

I’ve never re-read his Bacchus series… I should do that. I’ve just picked up and read the issues in semi-random order, but never read the entire thing. Or perhaps just get the omnibus editions finally. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.

Burial: Antidawn

21:11: Swag by Cameron Arthur

This is a pretty puzzling book. I mean, what’s puzzling about it is that it’s so… normal. I mean, it’s a straight up family drama — no monsters, no murder, no sexual assault. I didn’t know they made comics like this any more!

I like it. It’s got a good flow.

Humcrush with Sidsel Endresen: ha!

21:32: The 3:00 Book 2020 & 2021 by Beth Heinly

She has an attractive line, but I’m with her mother…

I don’t get it.

22:00: Verge Escapement #1-2 by Mike Shea-Wright

Ooooh. This is wild. Great artwork.

There’s a lot of fighting, and then there’s philosophical bits.

Nobody likes a critic.

This is really good stuff.

Sympho-State: Fever

22:13: Näset by Hanneriina Moisseinen (Lystring)

I didn’t realise how many of the books from Lystring are works translated from Finnish…

This book is about the evacuation of eastern Finland in 1944 — they sent everybody to less exposed areas and burned down their farms as a part of the war against the Soviets, I think? (I’m pretty vague on Finnish history, and it’s not explained here.)

It’s mostly done in a realistic storytelling style, but there’s also more symbolic bits…

It’s horrifying and gruesome, and there’s also a lot of photos interspersed, and some of them are pretty eeek, but I’m not including any of those here, since this is a family oriented blog.

Gichy Dan: Beachwood #9

22:40: The End

And I’m exhausted, so I’m calling it a night a bit earlier than planned.


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