TCAF 2013 Comic Reviews

I promised you all I’d show off some of my TCAF swag, so here goes!

“DemonTears” by Bernie McGovern

Hic & Hoc Publications, 2012

A wonderfully surreal dreamlike exploration of the artists’ struggle for sobriety. Check out Bernie on Tumblr here and get your own copy of DemonTears from Birdcage Bottom Books here.

“Pocket Full of Coffee” by Joe Decie

Retrofit Comics, 2012

A day in the life of British diary comic artist Joe Decie and his family. Before Joe takes his son out to the park, he fills his left coat pocket with ground coffee beans to lift his spirits. I’m normally not one for diary comics, but I’ve always been a fan of Joe’s dry wit and beautiful watercolour drawings.

Check out Joe’s ongoing online diary comics “What I Drew” here and purchase his book “The Accidental Salad” from Blank Slate here.

“Revolver” Vol 1 by Salgood Sam

Spilt Ink, 2012

Ex-Marvel artist Max Douglas, aka Salgood Sam, draws this mindblowing series of shorts. Each one invokes that feeling of being lost, of searching for and recapturing that feeling of…what, exactly? Those special fleeting moments where we are really truly at peace. Through it all, Douglas’ virtuoso drawing technique grounds us in these lost distant worlds.

Follow Salgood Sam on Tumblr here and purchase your own copy of RevolveR here. Also keep an eye out for volume 1 of Dream Life, out later this year.

“The Silence” by Bruce Mutard

Allen & Unwin, 2009

The story of Choosy McBride, a Sydney art dealer and her partner Dmitri, a painter struggling with his own demons, as they follow the trail of an elusive painter from Northern Queensland. It’s one part mystery story and one part commentary on the value of art and the gallery scene. The enigmatic painter exhibits in an abandoned church known only as “The Prayer House”, where anyone is free to come and take his or her paintings. Choosy is aghast that this artist would simply give their work away, and is determined to find out who they are to introduce their work to a wider audience. Dmitri, however, suggests that she might only be thinking of her best interests, and not the artist’s – he or she obviously doesn’t want to be found, and is perfectly happy to give his or her work away.

(I was reminded of my visit to “The Museum of Everything,” a gallery of outsider art in London. Someone had written a comment in the guestbook suggesting that the artists on display were unfairly marginalized, had created their work only for themselves, and that exhibiting it went against their wishes. At the time I was outraged, but – he kind of had a point. But does art exist without an audience of some kind? Or if there truly was an artist who created breathtaking work anonymously only to give it away, is that the purest form of art there is?)

This is the kind of book that really sticks with you long after you’ve read it. Check out more of Bruce’s work and purchase his books on his website here.

“Saskatoon’s Saturday Morning Life Drawing Group” by David Collier

Wolsak & Wynn, 2013

David Collier – the man, the myth, the legend! With a body of work spanning almost 3 decades, David Collier is never seen without his sketchbook. This is a collection of drawings from a Saturday morning life drawing group done during 1997, when Collier was residing in Saskatoon, my hometown!

A drawing of my friend Lloyd Mattson also appears in this collection!

After being nominated several times, Collier finally won a Doug Wright Award this year for his latest book “Hamilton Illustrated.”

Purchase Collier’s books from Conundrum Press here.

“EVIL #1” by James Edward Clark

Evil Comics, 2013

A rip-roaring pulp adventure starring luchadore Samson the Destroyer in a battle with the Space Thunder Death Cult and the Notorious Desert Mercenary Skeleton Motorcycle Gang. Samson must rescue his love Maria before the Space Thunder Death Cult sacrifices her at midnight, unleashing demons and bringing about the apocalypse!

James didn’t have a table at TCAF, but was going around showing his work off and selling these for $5 – I am a sucker for slick, retro, 4-colour artwork and luchadores, so how could I refuse?! This comic is a hoot and I can’t wait to read more.

Check out more of James’ work on Tumblr here. (mildly NSFW)

“Not Sex Advice With Chandler Moses” by Chandler Moses

A short collection of hilariously naughty cartoons by Chandler Moses. Check out more of her work here (NSFW!)