I’m currently wrapping up a project that I’ve been working on with Erik Craddock. The story is a 15 page comic that will appear in an upcoming anthology being printed and distributed by Ape Entertainment about the seven deadly sins; our story is “Envy”. It won’t be released until later this year, but for now I will leave you with this preview of the first “title” page. I’m yet to include dialogue, so it’s up to you to create it for now. Stay tuned for more soon! I’m also working on two other comics as well and I’ll have updates on those titles soon as well. -L
“Poetry comics (or comics poems) are unlike anything I’ve experienced before with either form by itself. Something new happens when you take the visual efficiency of comics and suffuse it with the lexical efficiency of poetry. Vice-versa, when the imagistic language of poetry is illuminated with the linework of comics, some of your synaptic junctions alight with new intensity in the process of understanding. It’s exquisite and gorgeous and graceful and a feast for your brain and your eyes.”
“Part jungle adventure, part “psychedelic sojourn”, part biblical allegory, part gender study, part contemporary commentary, Safari Honeymoon is much more than the sum of its parts; it becomes its own thing by being unlike almost anything else.” — Daniel Elkin, Comics Bulletin
“Safari Honeymoon, as an exemplar of the next generation of comics storytelling, takes the medium to a different place, a place that may be best analogous to poetry.” — Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
Look what happens when you step away from the interwebs for a few hours! An enormous, giant, epic review (on The Comics Bulletin site) of Derek Van Gieson's Eel Mansions #2! It’s so big, it needed two writers! It’s really impossible to describe, so just go and read what Keith and Daniel have to say. Here’s just a tiny excerpt about the anxiety of influence:
Maybe this is the ‘uncertainty principle’ you mentioned, Elkin, the bit about: 'uncertainty between what has come before and the possibilities of the road untraveled?’ Do these characters suffer from an anxiety of influences? Weaned on the tit of late 20th century pop culture, do they struggle to transcend these cultural touchstones that have made them who they are? And as creative folk, interpreters of our culture, mirror-holder-uppers, is this a problem? Because there’s always going to be a Jaque who asks: “Do you even like Jazz?” or “Does the funny animal genre make it easier for you to dispense your unpopular opinons?” and “How long do you intend to run away?”
My new column is up! In which I discuss some girls’ fear of comic shops and a movement that’s working to change it, as well as what your local shop can do to work towards being more accessible. ‘Cause everybody should be able to nerd out in real life!
As promised, here is the final illustration for the “Milkbread” poster. They will be selling copies of this print at their upcoming shows, where I’m sure they’d be more than happy to sign it. If you like jazz, please check them out here, http://milkbreadmusic.com/
“These crude figures, with their bare, unfleshed world, appear to my eyes much as the people of 79 AD do in imagination; sketchy, lacking detail. They are not the toga-wearing sensualists of movies and cable shows, not history’s cultural elite, enviably sophisticated yet reassuringly barbaric. They are marks on the paper of the past, drowned in ashes. All that I can comprehend of them is their humanity, their poor doomed humanity. The rest is embellishment.”
“There’s a sense of menace here, but there’s also a sense of peace and joy, kids having fun, perhaps despite the obstacles that they face. Kids abide, after all, and part of the charm of French’s Bjornstrand is in the way that it feels like a child’s dream come alive in an oblique way.” — Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
As someone who reads comics, watches art film and listens to metal, I’m in a unique position to be driven totally insane by neophytes dipping their toes into the things I’m into and having the nerve-the gall!-to call themselves “fans.” I spend a significant amount of time researching the things I’m into and going on excavation digs to find hidden gems in the various forms of art that I love, and so when someone says they’re a huge Batman fan after only having seen the Nolan movies, or when someone says they’re really into “indie” movies when the only non-blockbusters they’ve ever seen are a smattering of Wes Anderson films and Juno, or when somebody tries to claim membership to the Metal Club by holding up a Disturbed album as identification, my gut reaction is to get a little irritated, maybe even to retort with a catty putdown. After all, I’m the one who’s spent hours, years, of my life plunging the depths of the things I’ve loved. I’ve earned the right to call myself a “fan”-how dare you exercise the same privilege after such nominal involvement in that which you purport to love?
And then, once that initial wash of indignation has subsided, I climb down off my high horse. I keep in mind that there are people out there who can name every title that the Buscema brothers have ever worked on, down to the issue numbers; I remember that there are film buffs out there that would laugh in my face if I told them that I had never seen a film by Bela Tarr; I consider all the black metal kids with their fathomless collections of demo tapes culled from all over the world and reflect that I will never in my life match their dedication. Fandom is a curious thing: You can’t seem to claim membership if you don’t try to kick someone else off the docket, and a lot of the time, if you’re to believe your peers, your credentials don’t seem to be as sound as you think they are, especially if you’re a woman or a teenager. Everyone is going to have to take part in a Beta-Male Headbutting Championship over the things they love at some point, but for those two groups it can practically be a given before entering a conversation.
I wrote this article for Comics Bulletin. Like everyone else in the world I was inspired to write something about Tony Harris’ absurd outburst on Facebook. I do think that elitism has a tendency to be kind of inherent in any subculture but you fight against that, for God’s sake, you don’t revel in it.
Here’s a preview of a single page spread from issue 2 of “Re-pro-duct”. The second issue is fully written and is almost completely inked, so it won’t be long before you can get your hands on both of the first issues. Each comic is 24pgs, so there’s a lot to see, meet and enjoy! Check them out! Thanks everyone!
Once again you can download our first issue for FREE from the 215Ink App found for the iPad in the iTunes store! ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/215-ink/id449585609?mt=8 ) The printed edition of the first issue will be available soon and I will be selling and signing copies at the upcoming Heroes Con in North Carolina!
Before I get to the meat and potatoes of this interview, I want to talk about the best conversation on Twitter I had with Andy Suriano. Andy was tweeting about wolf t-shirts or wildlife t-shirts. I don’t really remember. I have a t-shirt with a… #andysuriano #cosmicscoundrels #fairlyoddparents
It’s a tradition now. Every new issue of Derek Van Gieson’s Eel Mansions requires a critics round table dissecting the themes and pop cultural minutiae that snake (eel?) their way through each issue. Keith Silva and Daniel Elkin and company are up to issue 4 now. Here are a few things they say:
Eel Mansions is the closest thing to being inside another person’s head I can get, and I love it. I adore the six-panel pages, thematic establishing shots for what has come, what will come, what you wish might come. The oscillation between South Park-level expressive grotesquerie and faces like those I see every day. I can see why you guys find cannon-balling into the depths so rewarding, and like all good works you get out what you put in, but for me, Eel Mansions is an indie soap opera, too smart for cliffhangers or page-turn reveals, but nevertheless dependent on the well placed non-sequitur.
If you can’t pick ”the Mick Fleetwood statue” out of a Hellscape Bert and Chee Chee find themselves in than you don’t get it and won’t get it and that’s O.K.
Think of the Doomin P.S.A in this issue where the figure bemoans how Motown has been ruined for him(?) by corporate consumerism and over-exposure. The Doomin Dancers step in to reveal the beautiful belly underneath the behemoth. The gritty gems of R. Dean Taylor, the bat shit crazy drama of The Hit Pack, Chris Clark’s haunting “I Want To Go Back There Again” — the sound track to Eel Mansions is a love letter to the possibilities the individual creator can bring, even within the concrete dictates of corporate culture. The independent artist will always find a way. Van Gieson has all of his narrative layers infused with this realization, the heartbeat of creation, the procreant urge (again) of love.
The wonders of twitter. Comics Bulletin put out a lovely tweet about Indy comics and tagged me along with it. As I followed the link I was surprised to see that Daniel Elkin had reviewed the first chapter of my comic! Thank you so much Comics Bulletin. Makes me want to work harder to tell my story.
I’m excited to announce that I’m writing for Comics Bulletin now! I’ll still be updating this page because I love you all, but you should totally check out the work I and my fellow writers do at CB as well. Here’s the link to my first article, which is all about Richard McGuire’s Here and how he reminds us of the mortality and timelessness of memories.
After the success of the Ladies’ Night at Strange Adventures, a lot of people emailed to ask me how they might go about hosting their own! I came back from a hiatus from column-writing to put together this How To list. I’m by no means an expert, but it might give you some ideas about creating a female-friendly space at your shop!