Hi! First, my usual prefaced apology for the reviews coming few and far between. I’m busy, insanely busy, and I have a years worth of mini comics to get through. Probably from here on out everything I review is long out of print and unavailable, that’s how behind I am. But I’m gonna soldier on, all for that sweet satisfaction of getting a random ‘like’ from Ed Piskor or Nick Gazin. Well, mild satisfaction. Now, Dick Debartolo, getting a 'like’ from him will make me jack off for a week! This book is from Ediciones Joc Doc and the artist is Craoman and its called 'Agarrarla’. I don’t speak French or Spanish in the slightest so I don’t’ have much to offer in terms of back story here. The artist is French, the publisher is Spanish. The book is god damn rare golden syrup style GOOD. These comics, from something like 5 years ago, are an insane mix of Marc Bell, Dave Cooper, and Mark Beyer style gooshie-ness. The dude flat out has a very 'Mojo Action Companion Unit’ (how many of ya young kids were around to buy that mini?) strip with the author portrayed in Marc Bell style hunch with backpack, skinny jeans, and knit cap 'artist-as-rambler’ style shit. I assume the tale is about the artist but am not for sure as it was in Spanish and, as said before, I don’t know Spanish. The rest of the book is filled with solid and earnest gross out stuff to the max. But not banal and simple Jonny Ryan style gross out shit, this is lovingly sculpted and studied gross out shit that comes straight from the CORE. Craoman is the drawing master and creates a world of big headed baby boys and teddy bear girls that get together for all sorts of insanity that result in such lines being said as “ Oh Lord… but… he’s having a shit… he’s having a SHIT through his DICK!!” Yeah, that kinda gold. This stuff is the stuff that occupies that place beyond rational explanation or comparison because there is just no point of reference on this green earth for this kinda shit. Its kinda like staring at the suns’ corona, I can’t properly explain it ya just needed to be there. And the book itself, the packaging, is just phenomenal. Rough paper that has these little sparkly bits of foil like material in it, ink that is all lumpy and sitting on the page, and these beautiful neon colored inserts on cardboard that just must be seen to be believed. This is a real art book, a comic book, a gross out book; this is the awesome book. If you can’t read shit like this you’re a fucking wimp, put down the social justice zine and read some real art about filling tin cans with corpses’ shit and marketing it as seaweed soup to stupid punx (another line pulled from the book). Get this fucker now, do a search for the names and you’ll find it. #jocdoc #craoman #screenprint #comix #minicomic

This first post in a while will announce that this is to be a doodle-blog, where doodles are abundant and present exclusively. Any style is allowed here. I think the most interesting drawings are made by doodling.

I usually steal my style from some artist I admire, I try to emulate someone so much that I make believe it’s my own. Most of the time, though, certain styles aren’t really personal, as when it comes to commercial illustration, where many times the artist has succumbed to the imaginary (or real) power of art-directors and editors who wish to erase any controversy out of the artists’ contribution (owing to sponsor-sensitivity and so on).

I did a job for a major US-newspaper the other day, and they were really good to work with, incredibly nice and encouraging: But even if the piece was full of controversial subject-matters I wasn’t allowed to address these issues graphically. That’s a bit confusing at first, but then you get the hang of it and start acting with your new censoring brain-function.

Anyway, I just thought that I should mention these heroes of mine so as to point you in the right direction of where to find brilliant art and artists:

In no particular order (I think):

  1. Kazuo Umezu. Anyone not getting his weird, ugly world will have a problem with my world as well. He’s the godfather of horror-manga and everyone in Japan knows his work.

  2. Aleksandra Walizsewska. Her work can be seen on tumblr alot (at least on my channels), for a good reason. She’s amazing. I can’t say I try to emulate her style but I want to learn from her. She is a major talent.

  3. Stéphane Blanquet. Maybe the most interesting contemporary french artist/comic-artist. He’s superb in his horror-surrealist style. There’s no-one like him. I made some art for his Tranchée Racine-zine last year, an immense honor for me.

  4. Marco Corona. I have gotten to know him a bit even though my Italian sucks. The stuff he did for Le Dernier and Coconino Press is amazing. He’s developed a more subtle style lately. He’s a genius at drawing.

  5. Finsta, Pike and Leolyxxx Three of Swedens’ greatest and perhaps, except Pike, unfairly overlooked graphic artists. At least Pike and Finsta have graffiti-background. I know them all, really cool and interesting people. I have learned tremendously from them, and stolen quite a lot. Pike showed me things that were essential to my development as an artist.

  6. Igor Hofbaur. The above doodle could be reminiscent of his style, though I’d say that he has something that I don’t- he’s from Belgrade. He’s goddamn amazing. Such bloody cool stuff.

  7. Craoman. I’ve met him and he acts as crazy as his drawings, which are the most insanely beautiful things imaginable. There’s no-one remotely in the same league as Craoman. I’ve tried to draw in his style, which failed in an embarrassing way. The technique he has is out of this world. He’s French, meaning that he’s got comics in his bloodstream.

There are more, but this’ll do for today. There’s only one woman there, but this isn’t about politics.

COLO BRAY-DUNES 1999, DAV-GUEDIN & CRAOMAN, DELCOURT : #chronique #romangraphique #BD #bandedessinee

Colo Bray-Dunes 1999, c’est une immersion de 3 semaines dans une colo pour adultes handicapés mentaux et moteurs. Une expérience relevé comme un défi par Dav Guedin qui la rapporte ici sans complaisance.

Le style graphique lorgne du côté de Crumb ou Dave Cooper. Il est brut, dur, sans concession. Tout ce qui fait le récit, de la morphologie grotesque des personnages aux dialogues traités en bribes, du découpage saccadé aux textes narratifs bancals soumis aux vides des planches qu’ils remplissent presque intégralement, tout cela contribue à rendre une atmosphère délirante et oppressante qui confine parfois à l’horreur.

On ne sait bientôt plus qui est malade et qui ne l’est pas. D’ailleurs le récit n’est pas avare de critique envers les autres animateurs.

On est ici plus proche de la restitution d’un souvenir fantasmé correspondant à une expérience qui à fortement marqué l’auteur qu’à une volonté documentaire. En tous les cas la folie qui se dégage de l’album est surprenante.

Par ailleurs, le récit est ponctué d’une série de portrait des pensionnaires qui en disent long sur les relations marquantes et profondément respectueuses qui se sont nouées entre eux et l’auteur et c’est un bel hommage qui leur est rendu.

Résultat : flippant mais très réussi.


Images from the artist’s house we’ve been staying at in Marseille. Luckily I didn’t get eaten by the monster couch. One of my favorite things so far has been the old keys in the old buildings. It seems like in the US were obsessed with modernizing things. Somebody would have installed new, better locks, right? But here, if it isn’t broke, why fix it? The old key is sitting on one of Croaman’s (french for caveman) screen printed comics. I have one to bring home, and I’d anybody wants to practice their French, you can borrow it. Otherwise, I’ll be asking Mr. Conley to translate.