Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I just got a copy of the latest Comics Journal (#287) and it has an awesomely good review of The Blot by Chris Mautner (who may or may not be the same as this Chris Mautner).
I don't think there is a version of it online, so go get a copy and read it. The cover story is a long interview with Jeffrey Brown.
I showed the review to my friends at the shop and they said "WOW! The Comics Journal hates everything."
As I was leaving the comic shop, I was reading the review while walking down the street... and I stepped in dog-shit. So, the universe balances itself.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Wow! Douglas Wolk picked me as one of the best graphic novels of 2007 over at Salon.com. Thank you!!!
If you haven't read Wolk's book "Reading Comics", I highly recommend it. It's a great collection of essays on various cartoonists, with a couple of essays on the need for good criticism in the comics world.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's funny... two weeks ago, I was talking to someone about how I wish there was an indie comics festival in L.A. 4 years ago there was a pretty good one, but it disappeared. Then a friend mentioned that it was back and I wondered "Why the hell didn't anyone tell me?" Well, luckily I managed to get a table at the last minute and I will be exhibiting at super*MARKET L.A. this Saturday afternoon.
I'll have copies of The Blot and my 3 giclée prints available for sale.
My pal David King will be joining me with some of his mini-comics.
super*MARKET will be a great place to get some last minute holiday shopping for anyone who knows a fan of great comics. It seems like every cartoonist in L.A. will be exhibiting there.
It's at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood this Saturday, December 15th, from 11am to 6pm
Unfortunately, I'll have to leave around 3 or 4, so get there early to get my stuff!
(above illustration by Martin Cendreda)
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I'm working on a Top 5 list of comics from 2007 for another blog right now.
To help me shorten the list, I set a couple of rules for myself: I'm intentionally leaving out collections (such as Joe Matt's Spent or Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings) because they collect stories that were previously published as comic books. I'm also leaving out anthologies (such as Mome) because I don't want to single out an individual story by one artist in a book by several artists, and I've yet to read an anthology that I loved cover to cover.
Weeding it down to my favorites of the year I have a list of 13 that will have to be whittled down further for my top 5:
1. Reich by Elijah J. Brubaker (Sparkplug Comic Books)
This is one of the best biography comics I've ever read. A really good read, and the art is well done.
2. Lucky Vol. 2 # 1 Gabrielle Bell (Drawn & Quarterly)
Gabrielle continues to be one of my favorite writers in comics today.
3. The End by Anders Nilson (Fantagraphics)
I wanted to include "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow" but I loooked to find that it was published in 2006. The End is sort of a companion piece to that book, and I highly recommend both books, and everything else by Anders. He is currently my favorite contemporary cartoonist.
4. Sammy the Mouse by Zak Sally (Fantagraphics)
If you haven't read his previous book The Recidivist, go read it now. Sammy the Mouse is the beginning of what looks to be a very interesting story.
5. Injury Comics #1 by Ted May (Buenaventura Press)
I wish Ted May was the editor in chief at Marvel Comics.
6. Bat man by Josh Simmons (Josh Simmons)
The creepiest, weirdest batman story you'll never read.
7. Bluefuzz the Hero by Jesse Reklaw (Slow Wave)
Reklaw, who wrote my favorite comic of 2006 Couch Tag #3, gets some of his D&D obsessions out in this wonderful little mini-comic.
8. Reporter #6 by Dylan Williams (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Dylan is proving to be one of the most original voices in contemporary comics. He's unlike anyone else. So much so that I don't feel like I fully "get" him, but I really want to.
9. Service Industry by T. Edward Bak (Bodega)
Quite simply the best single story I've read in comics in a long time.
10. House by Josh Simmons (Fantagraphics)
Creepy... really creepy. I love horror movies, but am always disappointed with horror comiss. Not this time.
11. Windy Corner #1 by Austin English (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Austin English is a poetic genius and his new magazine is a must read.
12. Storeyville by Frank Santoro (Picturebox)
I can't put my finger on why I liked this book so much.
13. 1-800 Mice by Matthew Thurber (Picturebox)
There are a lot of people doing "Art" comics that are just confused, drug-addled wastes of paper. Thurber is giving us a confused, drug-addled masterpiece.
Other things I've loved this year are a lot of reprints such as the Popeye, Krazy Kat and Peanuts books published by Fantagraphics, Walt and Skeezix and Moomin books published by Drawn & Quarterly, all the awesome Jack Kirby hardcover omnibuses that are out now from various publishers, and King Cat Classix by John Porcelino (Drawn & Quarterly). Also of note: The Incredible Changebots by Jeffrey Brown and Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell. One more: so far I'm really liking the series Omega the Unknown by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple.
Here's hoping my book The Blot will make it into some other "Top" lists of 2007.
Lastly, my friend Aaron often ends his posts by mentioning what he's listening to lately. I like that. So, here's what I've been listening to this week: In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Hobbit (audiobook) by J.R.R. Tolkein, Love That's Last by Oxbow, The August Engine by Hammers of Misfortune and The Complete On The Corner Sessions by Miles Davis.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Ned Beauman reviews The Blot over at the Guardian UK and says:
"Neely's remarkable self-published debut pits its spindly hero against a looming black splatter that seems to have the power both to create and destroy. There's a copy of Moby Dick on the hero's bedroom floor, and the symbolic significance of the Blot is as deliberately obscure as that of Melville's whale - is it sin, fear, depression, or something more ambivalent? A series of startlingly surreal twists (and the arrival of a love interest) exploit Neely's considerable artistic gifts to their fullest."
You cant beat a comparison to Melville! For those of you that don't know, I've been mildly obsessed with Moby Dick recently. I read it 4 times in the last coupe of years, and I rarely read anything more than once because I'm a slow reader. Thus, it made sense to put the book by the bedside of the character in The Blot (one of many self-referential hints throughout the book).
I also did a really large painting of Moby Dick for a group show last summer. I may be making prints of this piece soon.