SOME SWEET STUFF THIS WEEK
Ah the internet, she is always a-moving! New stuff all the time, keep it coming, the internet! This week I've been under the weather, so my strip updating has been spotty as I try to catch up. But in lieu of that, I've been posting some of my early strips, which never made the jump over here when I set up a Wordpress-based site last year. You can go here to see the earliest one, my old dinosaur-mountain-rape classic Death of the Monolith, and then work forward if you like. I've also made a lot of those old strips that I still have the originals to available for sale, so if you see a price under the description, that thing is ready for you to buy it. You can find a list of all the available strips here.
My fine Canadian friend Britt Wilson posted this gorgeous comic this week. Smart people making gorgeous comics isn't really new for the internet, but I was pretty mesmerized by the typography and the line quality. My favorite comics are the kind that make you want to make your own comics. See the whole durn thing right here on Britt's Flickr.
The last few months I've been freaking out over Gabrielle Bell's comics. She's one of the few people who write with comics, like she uses the language and nuance of comics as its own thing, not just words with pictures. I feel like there are shockingly few people who do this, beyond just being clever with juxtapositions. It's like Gabrielle is drawing impressions, she creates images in your head with images on paper, and they're not the same thing. Hard to explain, I know. But anyway--her new comic, Sa Vie, is I think maybe my favorite of anything she's done. And that's saying something.
Speaking of things that are hard to explain, Matt Seneca wrote a pretty great post this week on Ebony White, Will Eisner, historical shame, and so on. I used to be an enormous Spirit fan--it was one of the first comics I "discovered" as an adult, in reprints of the old newspaper dailies. But Ebony White was just too gross for me over time. I know it's an intellectually one-dimensional position, but stuff like that just ruins my enjoyment of art.
It's not so much that I think Ebony White, or the image of the pickaninny in history, or whatever repugnant racial stereotype in whatever artform, should be expunged from history. But it just makes it impossible for me to get into something other than as an intellectual exercise. Let's face it: The Spirit isn't high art, it's escapist fantasy. It's not the best place to confront problematic cultural issues. Same with Tintin In The Congo--it's not so much that I think the works have no place in our culture. It's just that I'm not very interested in them, other than as something for us to discuss, drag into the open and examine, rather than brushing under some rug. Anyway, Matt talks about it much more eloquently than I do, although he comes at it from a different angle.
Last up, and maybe my favorite: Sarah Glidden and Domitille Collardey made a journal comic about their interface with the recent events in Egypt. By itself, it's a great comic and indicative of the experience a lot of comics-makers had over the last month, following all that stuff online. But almost better than the comic is the comment thread it spawned, split about 70/30 between people reading it from the Al Jazeera website and being excited about it, and some people hating on it for being self-centered political tourism by Sarah and Domitille. That by itself isn't that noteworthy, but Sarah's response is. It's an even-handed, mature response that covers a lot of the place of the artist and art within culture, art as comment on culture and society, issues of connectivity between cultures in the internet age, etc. etc. I'm not describing it very well, but you'll see when you read it. It made me really excited about the current generation of comics-makers. Maturity in internet discussion is always a pleasant surprise, even moreso when it's about something that actually matters, as opposed to some petty thing.