Cue the sad trumpets, Hilary. And shift the blinds. I have a nose bleed.
God, I’m getting topical.
Fantagraphics Books, the publishing beacon of alternative comics, must fund their “Spring 2014 Season” via Kickstarter, an effort publicized yesterday, resulting in an already sizable donation amount of (this writing) $64,489.
I hesitate writing this one. Not because of differing opinion, clashing the overall positive response to this work, but of the number of reviews already typed. Google “Sam Alden Backyard,” and a collection of thought-pieces bubble up, some supplied by our circle’s most-trusted judgers of taste. The sight of such response sensibly suggests to this budding essayist “no more are needed.” The work was consumed and paraphrased, already, and by our most-informed minds, mind you. Even Sam Alden is miles beyond this book, preparing new work for next weekend’s Comic Arts Brooklyn showcase. So I should go cover something different, new, obscurer, and play a role. The world needs new comics to poke at, not the same old shit.
But, really, it’s short sighted to place a topic in such brief period of relevance, especially when it’s art. We complain too often of our journalists for feeding the ever-active news cycle, spending too little time on a subject before jumping to the next news peg. Out of such speed we gain bullet points packed with generalized factoids rather than any sense of true insight, so it seems odd, in our world, that a comic should only stand review-able at a certain period of time. The work isn’t exactly locked to any particular moment, so I should subdue my anxieties. Type this fucker up. Move on.
And that’s just the plan I have. Continue Reading »
previously_A trip to the Little Book Fair in Pittsburgh_here
Our editor is dead.
previously_Main Street Seems So Lonely Now_here
Caught in the real world, I’ve missed all opportunity to write this column (sorry, Max). However, I did trek to Pittsburgh on Friday for The Little Book Fair – a small-press show organized by 23-year-old Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) student Juan Fernandez.
previously _ “Where I’m Going Tonight, No One Can Ever Hurt Me” _ here
The Warm Up
Something about that Teen Spirit allusion puts me off. Not from any point of particular malice or offense, but rather the gimmick. The size of it subdues any opportunity of homage or expansion on the initial thought, and only decadence is left as any bit of subtext because of Courtney Love and permission. Sure, “the price of fame,” but what’s different about Jay’s delivery or approach? The lyrics are the same, except a tad more agile in delivery. Watch the Throne said it better.
Allusion? Nah. A cheap lede at the head of some Arts & Living rag; another man’s words carrying another man’s song; or a hurried plea for a piggyback, and by the five minute mark you regret not listening to Nirvana instead.
We’re at zero. Momentum wasted. Team scattered. Different pictures fill the frames.
The same itch persists, hungry as ever, though slightly hesitant.
Saturday. A decision.
It’s all start-up, from here. Can’t see any finish line. Don’t want to. Let’s drift, you and I. Drift til we flip.
Listening the whole way.