My relationship with cats has now spanned close to ten years. I never planned it to be this way. I was always raised to be a dog person. But this is the way things go, right? Over the past decade my wife invited me to share the pleasure, horror, humor, and seriousness of co-inhabiting multiple dwellings with 2 half maine coons.
Che and Tomo, now both 13, each have had distinct experiences that have shaped their current personalities: Che hates our friends just because, Tomo lives to eat and vomit grass, Che injured Tomo enough to have his hind leg amputated, and Tomo is quick to let us know how much he enjoys being scratched with a bevy blunt objects.
We know we dote on Tomo more than Che - probably due to his gentle nature and loss of limb. I don’t think Che minds though. He’d rather sit creepily on our front porch and leer at passing neighbors. My wife comments that Che is my cat anyways, since every morning he patiently waits for me on the sofa for me to have my coffee.
So my history prior to reading 'Cats' was thoroughly primed and I felt confident to tackle even the most schmaltzy of kitteh stories. The twenty-one cartoonists in š! #15 present a range of narratives that are equal parts funny, strange, and out right tear jerking.
Edie Fake’s Beachball straddles familiar and weird territory by placing a cartoon Edie in conversation with a pumpkin headed crust punk. The two friends briefly journey through a craggy/rural landscape and explain its surroundings (a tapped wine tree!) before encountering an adorably menacing feline.
Paul Paetzel’s Walter is a silent travelogue of the titular character. Walter helps an elderly couple exterminate an anthropomorphic pest problem. After rewarded by the matriarch, we are given a rare opportunity to see where cats really go when left to their own devices.
As the title alludes, Pedro Franz’s Dead Horses Remain on the Roadside is a bleak memoir. Franz guides the reader through fragmented memories of caring for abandoned kittens, a dissolved marriage, and remembering happier moments through the appropriated craft of Seiichi Hayashi.
Weng Pixin’s This Fifteen-Year Friendship is a celebration of the bond between her and her cat, Pica. The cartoonist depicts the loving relationship between the two through condensed memories prior to Pica’s passing. This is probably one of the most poignant stories I’ve read in awhile that evokes so much empathy through such seemingly simple storytelling.
König Lü.Q.’s Cat Under a Hot Tin Roof summarizes the anthology nicely by reminding us of the true nature of cats. If anything, this terse comic should serve as a guideline for us anxiety ridden humans.
The opening spread of Edie Fake's fantastic new “Sweetmeats”, a foray into occult psychedelia and mysterious low-contrast color printing. Originally part of the Vacuum Horror anthology, this is indeed a seeming horror story, rather a departure from the (also excellent) Gaylord Pheonix series, which just saw its latest installment, and which we’ll also be posting shortly. (Found at the Needles and Pens table at the NY Art Book Fest this weekend).
paul lyons of hidden fortress press will be debuting the new monster book at SPX in bethesda, md this year! i have a comic in it, a long with a bunch of other dudes.
“the new MONSTER is finally upon us! 200 pages of comics, offset printed in two colors, with letterpress and silkscreen covers by Heather Benjamin.
here is a full list of the contributing artists:
Tom Toye, Edie Fake, Brittany Hague, Jon Vermilyea, Leif Goldberg, Mike Taylor, Sam Dollenmayer, Michael Deforge, Keith Jones, Mickey Zacchilli, Marc Bell, Molly O’Connell, Seth Cooper, Devin Flynn, Lale Westvind, Jordan Crane, Brian Ralph, Mollie Goldstrom, Paul Lyons, Mat Brinkman, Roby Newton, Walker Mettling, Andy Neal and Kevin Hooyman.
that’s a lot of talent to cram into 200 pages!
the book will be available this weekend at SPX, come by and take a look!”
Tony Greene: with contributions from Elijah Burgher, Edie Fake, Miller & Shellabarger, Paul P., Scott Treleaven, Dean Sameshima, and Latham Zearfoss. Curated by John Neff.
April 5 - May 5, 2014 Opening reception: Saturday, April 5, 7-9 p.m. Reading by Kevin Killian: Saturday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.
Iceberg Projects is pleased to present an exhibition of works by the late Los Angeles artist Tony Greene (1955 – 1990). The artist’s paintings are currently featured in a presentation at the Whitney Biennial curated by artists Richard Hawkins and Catherine Opie. Curated by John Neff, Iceberg’s exhibition will be among the first exhibitions of work by Tony Greene since the early 1990s.
During a brief but prolific career, Greene developed a hybrid method of collage painting that crossbred biomorphic abstraction, outré decorative devices, and montage techniques informed by the artist’s studies at CalArts. Diverse in their influences and sources, Greene’s works are strikingly consistent in mood and style. The art’s pervasive atmosphere of seductive dis-ease, accented by elements of camp posturing, grows as much from the writings of Denton Welch as it does from mainstream American art of its time. Marked by the AIDS crisis that threatened the artist and his world, the paintings also represent a pioneering insight into how Conceptualism’s bone-dry aesthetic might be given the wet bite of life, love, and sex. It is in this regard that – as well as being overlooked witnesses of an historical moment – Greene’s works are vital examples for contemporary audiences.
Reflecting the current revival of interest in Greene’s art - and the networks though which that interest flows - Iceberg’s exhibition will embed his paintings within a selection of work by younger artists working in his spirit and/or involved in bringing his work to light in the new millennium. These artists include Elijah Burgher, Edie Fake, Miller & Shellabarger, Paul P., Dean Sameshima, Scott Treleaven, and Latham Zearfoss.
A digital catalogue of the exhibition, including a text assembled by the curator from interviews with colleagues of the artist and scholars of his work, will be published to accompany the exhibition. The publication will include a catalogue raisonné of missing works by Greene.
A catalogue release, and a reading by San Francisco based writer Kevin Killian, will be held at Iceberg on April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Iceberg wishes to thank Richard Hawkins, and Ray Morales representing the estate of Norm MacNeil, for their assistance in realizing this project.