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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!”

A PictureBox Bibliography

I put together a little bibliography of PictureBox. Those interested in some background could do no better than Trinie Dalton’s lovely article at The Brooklyn Rail. Otherwise, correct me if anything looks funny, but here’s the list:

PictureBox 2000-2014

2000

The Ganzfeld, Fall 2000 edited by Tim Hodler, Dan Nadel and Patrick Smith

2002

The Ganzfeld 2 edited by Dan Nadel and Peter Buchanan-Smith

2003

The Ganzfeld 3 edited by Dan Nadel and Peter Buchanan-Smith

2004

The Wilco Book by Wilco and PictureBox

2005

Paper Rad, B.J. and da Dogs by Ben Jones and Paper Rad
The Hobbit by Marc Bell and Peter Thompson
Carrot for Girls by Matthew Thurber
Batman by Ben Jones and CF
Chimera by Frank Santoro
The Ganzfeld 4 edited by Dan Nadel
Free Radicals edited by Leif Goldberg

2006

Incanto by Frank Santoro
Cold Heat 1 by Ben Jones and Frank Santoro
Cold Heat 2 by Ben Jones and Frank Santoro
Cold Heat 3 by Ben Jones and Frank Santoro
Cold Heat 4 by Ben Jones and Frank Santoro
Gore by Black Dice and Jason Frank Rothenberg
Me a Mound by Trenton Doyle Hancock
Ninja by Brian Chippendale
The Drips by Taylor McKimens
Elle-Humour by Julie Doucet
Utility Sketchbook by Anonymous
Nog a Dod: Prehistoric Canadian Psychedoolia edited by Marc Bell
Blockhead Blues by Eddie Martinez
Comics Comics #2 edited by Tim Holder and Dan Nadel

 2007

1-800 MICE #1
1-800 MICE #2
Cold Heat Special #1 by Frank Santoro, Ben Jones and Jon Vermilyea
Storeyville by Frank Santoro
Cartoon Workshop/Pig Tales by Paper Rad
Powr Mastrs Vol. 1 by CF
Maggots by Brian Chippendale
Wu-Tang Comics by Ben Jones
Some Kinda Vocation by Cheryl Dunn
Wipe That Clock off Your Face by Brian Belott
New Engineering by Yuichi Yokoyama
Trenton Doyle Handbook by Trenton Doyle Hancock
Tuff Stuff by Joe Bradley
Real Fun by Ashod Simonian
Comics Comics #3 edited by Tim Hodler and Dan Nadel
Assorted silkscreen print editions by Charles Burns, Jim Drain, Ara Peterson, Melissa Brown, Gary Panter, Paper Rad, Rebecca Bird & Matthew Thurber.

2008 

Core of Caligula Vol 1 by CF
Powr Mastrs Vol. 2 by CF
Mail Order Monsters edited by Kathy Grayson
Travel by Yuichi Yokoyama
Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby by Takeshi Nemoto
The Ganzfeld 7 edited by Ben Jones and Dan Nadel
Prospect 1: New Orleans, edited by Dan Cameron
New Painting and Drawing by Ben Jones
You’ll Like This Film Because You’re In It by Michel Gondry
We Lost the War But Won the Battle by Michel Gondry
Crazy Town by Paul Gondry
The Good Life by Taylor McKimens
Mythtym, edited by Trinie Dalton
For the Love of Vinyl by Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson
Overspray by Norman Hathaway
Gary Panter edited by Dan Nadel
The Garden by Michael Williams
The Magnificent Excess of Snoop Dogg Katherine Bernhardt by Katherine Bernhardt
Comics Comics #4 edited by Tim Hodler and Dan Nadel
Eddie Martinez and Chuck Webster by Eddie Martinez and Chuck Webster
Mail Order Monsters, edited by Kathy Grayson
Faded Igloo by Jim Drain
Cold Heat Special #4 by Frank Santoro, Ben Jones and Jim Rugg
Goddess of War by Lauren Weinstein

2009

Multiforce by Mat Brinkman
Sports Book by Jonas Wood

2010

City Hunter by CF
Xylor Jane by Xylor Jane
H Day by Renee French
My New New York Diary by Julie Doucet and Michel Gondry
Heads, 44 by Mat Brinkman
If ‘n Oof by Brian Chippendale
Powr Mastrs 3 by CF
I Was Looking for a Street by Charles Willeford

2011

King Terry’s 100 Channels by King Terry
Color Engineering by Yuichi Yokoyama
Garden by Yuichi Yokoyama
City Hunter by CF
[Title] by Jessica Ciocci
Sediment by CF
Golf Wang by Odd Future
Cockfighter by Charles Willeford
Kramers Ergot 8 edited by Sammy Harkham
Drawings 1967-70 by Karl Wirsum, edited by Dan Nadel
1-800-MICE by Matthew Thurber

2012

Pompeii by Frank Santoro
Bjornstrand by Renee French
True Chubbo by Family Sohn
Negron by Jonny Negron
Dyes by Sam Moyer
Blow Your Head by Diplo and Shane McCauley
Everything Together by Sammy Harkham
De Profundis by James Jarvis
Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters 1973-1977 edited by Mike Kelley and Dan Nadel
The Dolls Weekly and the Crawlee Things by Rory Hayes
Interiors by Jonas Wood
Conceptual Art by Peter Saul
DNA Failure by Famicon

2013

Men’s Group by Ben Jones
Coming Together, Coming Apart by Julia Chiang
In the Good Name of the Company, edited by Brian Roettinger, Jan Tumlir and Christopher Michlig
Heads Collider by Mat Brinkman
Blow Your Head Vol. 2 by Diplo and Shane McCauley
Drawings by Chris Martin
So Long, Silver Screen by Blutch
School Spirits by Anya Davidson
INFOMANIACS by Matthew Thurber
Pompeii [book] by Frank Santoro
World Map Room by Yuichi Yokoyama
Mere by CF
Walrus by Brandon Graham
Sun Ra: Space Interiors and Exteriors, 1972
The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame by Gengoroh Tagame
Wes Lang by Wes Lang
Paintings by Eddie Martinez
Thought Process by Carroll Dunham
Nudity Today, edited by Jesse Pearson
The Last of the Mohicans by Shigeru Sugiura, edited, translated and with text by Ryan Holmberg
Gold Pollen and Other Stories by Seiichi Hayashi, edited, translated and with text by Ryan Holmberg
Contact High by Richard Kern, edited by Jesse Pearson
The Mysterious Underground Men by Osamu Tezuka, edited, translated and with text by Ryan Holmberg

2014

Joe Bradley Drawings by Joe Bradley
19991 by Xylor Jane

Related Books:

What Nerve: Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present by Dan Nadel (DAP/RISD, 2014)
Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream by Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel (HarperCollins, 2014)
Karl Wirsum edited by Dan Nadel (Derek Eller Gallery, 2013)
Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art by Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel  (Damiani, 2012)
Art in Time by Dan Nadel (Abrams, 2010)
Wilco Summer Tour Program (dBpm, 2009)
Where Demented Wented: The Art and Comics of Rory Hayes (Fantagraphics, 2008)
Art Out of Time by Dan Nadel (Abrams, 2006)
We All Die Alone by Mark Newgarden, edited by Dan Nadel (Fantagraphics, 2006)
Wunderground: Providence, 1995 to the present, Dan Nadel and Helene Silverman, creative direction (Gingko, 2006)
Cheap Laffs by Mark Newgarden and PictureBox (Abrams, 2004)

Multiforce notes

Mat Brinkman’s Multiforce. How do you write a review about someone as influential as Mat? You don’t. Well, I don’t. Won’t. Writing about Teratoid Heights would be one thing, but a Multiforce collection? Kill me now. If I do a straight review, it’ll be 5000 words. I’ve got that much to say about this book. It’s terrifyingly good and an indispensable record of possibly the most important serialized comics of the post-Ware era.

And I’m not just saying that—cuz honestly I usually prefer Brinkman the artist—the poster designer, the sculptor, the installation artist, the “draw-er”—to Brinkman the cartoonist. I could appreciate the touch and accuracy evident in the comics but … I just didn’t feel like diving in, I guess. I’d seen his first collection, Teratoid Heights, and liked it but liked it like I like most wordless Jim Woodring comics. I always think, “Wow, that’s beautiful,” then flip through it in two seconds and put it down. So I mostly engaged Brinkman’s comics this way. A lot. Even when I’d see a stray Paper Rodeo laying around, I’d just read a few of the gag cartoons withinMultiforce—I wouldn’t really sit with it for any real amount of time. Sometimes I’d quickly decode the sequencing and be impressed by the architecture of it all, but I still never dove in. The water looked really deep.

I guess I was more interested then in studying the other side of the Fort Thunder coin:Chippendale. Chipper’s formal grid appealed to me, then as it does now, as something to contain the energy and vitality of the drawing. Brian’s comics often fix the reader’s eye upon the protagonist and then MOVES the reader through the corridor of action sort of like a single-POV video game.

In contrast, Brinkman pulls the camera back and allows the architecture of his world to UNFOLD in its own time, at its own pace. By doing so it feels to me as though the narrative action turns back in upon itself which opens up numerous readings. The pace slows down as one sequence SCALES into the next, alternating and differentiating each moment while maintaining the whole. Brinkman creates CENTERS of visual interest and of narrative importance that ROOT the progression of the panels and map the way for the reader. The reader accumulates the story through this natural unfolding and “spiraling” back rather than being MOVED through the space like Chippendale.

So, Multiforce. Seeing the strips together completely altered my feelings towards Brinkman’s comics. I could see the complexity of his page layouts (when I would read each installment separately) but I never dreamed how beautifully it would all fit together as a serial comic strip. Each strip forms a section of the map which permits the reader to navigate the startling jumps in scale.

For the uninitiated: I’ll try and describe the plot ever so loosely. A race of Giants attack Citadel City. The Micro-Men evacuate in a Giant Mega-Mobile Man life-form. Battles abound. Chaos ensues.

Got it? Great. Basically, it’s all set up for Mat to showcase his drawing chops. But instead of going all out and just wowing the audience with carefully trained money shots, Brinkman organically spins a line of thought that spiderwebs ‘cross the page. Up, down, diagonally, inside and out, piece by piece, branch by branch the story of the Micromen and Giants spirals in upon itself and unfolds according to an incredibly articulated framework of panels and gag cartoons that run parallel to each other. This is not the steady beat and sheets of sound of Chippendale, this is some haunting vibration of cosmic strings.

And truly do the lines vibrate. Brinkman seems to be concerned with how the drawings “read.” Crisp lines, fuzzy Xeroxes, greys, blacks, noisy whites. What’s created is a language and a “vibration” for each character and each set-piece. It’s an appealing mix because the characters and the landscape really interact. This interaction creates a deep pool of activity. Our view as readers isn’t limited to a single POV, so we can choose each view. Citadel City pulses and breathes, it’s a stellar coral reef, inviting us as readers to stop and watch the aquarium contained within the page.

I really just sit and stare. It feels like reading a Sunday page comics section. But it’s all one artist, all one story. Sorta Quimby the Mouse, over-sized Acme Novelty Library in that way, if you will. Multiforce has that level of visual complexity. I am overwhelmed by that information and then drawn in by the playfulness of the story. (And contrary to some critical readings of Brinkman, there is story in spades. I’m so tired of folks saying Fort Thunder artists didn’t tell stories.) I’m freely moving my eye around the page like I am looking at an abstract painting. And what happens is I spy a simple gag cartoon that is embedded within the flow of the story, like the gag might just float free, panel-less beneath a larger grid. These vignettes, these parallel lines of thought and narrative reinforce each other and allow the story to breathe. It all moves forward, spinning in time like a living breathing world. LOOK:

The other thing for me is that this “serial Sunday page” comic speaks to me because it’s of my time, of my generation. It speaks to me more than Herriman, or Gould, or Crane for that matter. I think it’s a testament to Brinkman’s insight as a cartoonist of his time that he chose to do large format serialized comics at the moment in comics history right before all these reprint books of old serial strips are being published. He’s plugged in to the vibe, man. He, like Ware, wrestled the large format back from the dustbin of history and brought a new energy to very specific compositional and narrative “strategies” that have been laying dormant in contemporary comics for decades. I swear it reads like a multi-track recording, a harmony, some way of composing and executing that reinforces the story and, for the last time, spirals the narrative upon itself. I find it unbelievably sublime and appealing to read.

And everyone knows that the spiral contains all of the possible geometrical formations, right? So this is no pudding-school comic. The pieces of the multifaceted storyline grow together and create a life of their own. The web that’s fastened is a solid structure, a jewel that reflects each point of the story as it turns. Like some galaxy contained in an aquarium, Multiforce vibrates beyond the comic book page. Mat Brinkman may be the spiral architect of this generation of cartoonists.

-FS

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