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Sam Alden Archives | Comics Should Be Good @ CBR

The Orange Won’t Peel | Up North, casting hooks

It’s not me this week. Instead, it’s Greg Hunter. Greg writes about comics for THE COMICS JOURNAL and THE RUMPUS, so please know you’re safely in the hands of someone who can do this. The best part? Greg’s one of those writers who brings a fresh explanation to well-worn topics. I read his stuff and come away newly interested in things I’d already buried. Like Scott Snyder’s BATMAN, even.

With the following piece, Greg provides this loose sentiment for Sam Alden’s drawing approach. Alden is a young cartoonist who’s already inspired much writing, but I like what Greg does here. He nails Alden’s soft pencils into a well-described package and tumbles with the intentions behind the work. It’s a quick piece, but it says what there is to say.

Where am I? Still here, driving trucks through the Twin Cities for money. I’ve read a pile of things I’m excited to write about. You’ll know what they are next week. 

In the mean time, hang out with Greg, and tell your mother you forgive her. 

P.S. Full disclosure: I intern with Uncivilized Books, but I asked Greg to write about whatever he wanted, and he chose this book. This is not intended as a sleazy plug to impress the boss. Sam Alden is just really fucking good. 
Continue Reading »

The Orange Won’t Peel – The blur of black and white

The Open

I do it for the children.

The Feature

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 »


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