Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Life With Mr. Dangerous. Paul Hornschemeier. Villard Press. 160 pages. Full Color. Hardcover. $22.00.
I’ve been reading delicious bits of Paul Hornschemeier’s Life With Mr. Dangerous for years now as they were published in MOME and I was delighted to see it finally collected beautifully all in one book.
Life With Mr. Dangerous is, in essence, a story about twenty-six year old Amy, a newly single girl (again) with a cat, who works in a mall clothing store somewhere in the Midwest, not unlike her divorced mother before her. Amy’s obsession with a cartoon program called Mr. Dangerous drives much of her life, too much, and she’s aware of this, though unable and perhaps unwilling to escape it as she’d like.
Apparently March is a month in which Gabrielle Bell bewitches the minds of writers, as my post today, a spotlight on Gabrielle Bell, is following up Brian’s “A Year Of Cool Comics – Day 73″ post of just yesterday. I considered pulling my post (and asked Brian if he’d prefer it) but he said I should go ahead and jump on the bandwagon…so here you go…more Gabrielle Bell! I’ll try my best to talk about different stuff than Brian, though his post about her was insightful and smart, so it’ll be hard to avoid copying him.
Yesterday Brian said in his post:
“As I’ve said in the past, what I love most about Gabrielle Bell’s artwork is that she is an autobiographical artist whose work cuts to the core of the story rather than the surface – what i mean is, her style depicts the FEELING of a particular scene, rather than some photo-realistic view of what it it “should” look like.”
And this really cuts to the core of what works to me about Bell’s comics, because while Bell does not feel like a writer more than an artist, or vice versa, there is the feeling that her images are wholly there to service her storytelling. She doesn’t seem interested in the crazy bells and whistles that sometimes come with comic art – especially independent comics which often includes wild experimentation with the form, instead Bell seems mostly interested in storytelling. And there’s something I really love about that.
There is some mild nudity below the cut, so read with caution.
Thanks to being hopped up on cold medicine for the last few days you guys almost got an aggressive potentially polarizing article about objectification of women in comics and why I’m so sick of being told to ‘just accept it’. Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed, and though I’m sure I’ll someday post some version of that article, a little time and editing will hopefully make it a more insightful and less instigating piece. In the meantime I decided to post a positive column about one of the biggest rising stars in independent comics – Eleanor Davis.
For those of you that don’t read a lot of independent comics, Eleanor Davis is probably a new name for you, and it’s entirely possible her work won’t be your cup of tea (though I’d urge you to keep an open mind), but for those of you who do read a lot of independent work, you’re probably familiar with Davis as a powerhouse of a storyteller with an interesting perspective. A graduate of my same alma mater, The Savannah College of Art & Design (we do not know each other), Davis combines subtle writing and superb illustration skills with a unique vision to create some of the most brilliant and insightful comics work I’ve read in the last few years. Davis’ work ranges from the relatively dark like her short stories featured in MOME to lighter more uplifting fare such as her two most recent kids publications, Stinky and The Secret Science Alliance.
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