Persephone. Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky (Archaia)

A retelling of Demeter’s and Persephone’s Ancient Greek myth, this is a book for all ages, but that at the end of the day, signifies, above all else, the love and trust that should go into a parent-child relationship. Continue reading “Persephone. Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky (Archaia)”

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Strannik. Anna Rakhmanko and Mikkel Sommer (Rotopol)

In the publisher’s site, in German, the presentation text refers to it as an “insight,” the original German word being “Einblick.” Literally, this means “one glance,” singularising the look upon its subject. Indeed, this very short book – it has less than 50 pages – is a short, drawn, portrait-reportage of a man: a mid-forties, homeless Russian mixed martial arts fighter named Vyacheslav, a.k.a. “Ali Baba.”  Continue reading “Strannik. Anna Rakhmanko and Mikkel Sommer (Rotopol)”

Press Enter to Continue. Ana Galvañ (Fantagraphics)

The fantasies afforded by shows like The Twilight Zone puts us into contact with fears and anxieties brought along by the new relationships that post-industrial and post-capitalist Western societies were fostering. Now that we have an ever more intrusive and evasive technology dictating our working/waking/consuming hours (the distinctions are blurred), it is Black Mirror which has been providing a new broad metaphorical framework. Writing that something is a “post-Black Mirror something” is no surprise.  Continue reading “Press Enter to Continue. Ana Galvañ (Fantagraphics)”

Bottled. Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)

While not your dad’s hard-boiled novel, Bottled is a pretty much straightforward thriller with a tight plot. But the characters are millennials, and I can’t shake off the idea that there’s hints of sarcasm in the way plans are made in a slipshod way and any number of factors may make the characters take their eyes off the ball. None of them are particularly likeable, and I would like to say that “they grow on you,” or something like that, but they don’t. In the end, we’ll discover that the “crime” at the heart of the plot was itself the MacGuffin of a whole different thing…  Continue reading “Bottled. Chris Gooch (Top Shelf)”

In Waves. Aj Dungo (Nobrow)

The tone of Dungo’s words and the rhythm of his images, page composition and timelines’ articulation elicit a sensation as smooth and alluring as the bobbing ocean.

The ocean, or to be more precise, the rhythmic waves and what they allow for one to do upon them with a surfboard, are both the locus amoenus of the “plot,” even though the plot is tranquil, and that which helps the protagonist to focus throughout his sharing of his experiences, while not being the focus itself. Continue reading “In Waves. Aj Dungo (Nobrow)”

The Swimmer. Klaus Kremmerz (Stolen Books)

This short book adapts a 1964 short story by John Cheever, which was subsequently turned into a film with Burt Lancaster in 1968. It’s a fantastical tale, that explores issues of class, gender and the privileged ennui that only cosmopolitan, well-to-do urbanites can afford. The bubbly, brightly washes of Klaus Kremmerz’ work, made with felt-tip pens, revealing the regular waves of the colour tones trapped into solid black contours, is an apt transference of the tonality of the story.  (Mais)  Continue reading “The Swimmer. Klaus Kremmerz (Stolen Books)”

Bande dessinée et Abstraction/Abstraction and Comics. AAVV (La Cinquième Couche/Presses Universitaires de Liège)

This is a short note to let you know that a new anthology of both academic essays and artwork on abstract comics has been put out, in a joint-venture by experimental comics house extraordinaire, La Cinquième Couche, and Les Presses Universitaires de Liège, home seat to the academic collective Acme, who’ve been putting out outstanding work on a myriad, diverse types of comics. This two-volume, two-languages (some of the essays are in English, others are in French) book was specifically coordinated by Aarnoud Rommens.  Continue reading “Bande dessinée et Abstraction/Abstraction and Comics. AAVV (La Cinquième Couche/Presses Universitaires de Liège)”

Undocumented. A Worker’s Fight. Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams)

Tlacuilo is the Náhuatl term that was used in pre-Colombian, meso-American culture for the artists that were trained to create the so-called Aztec codices, as well as murals and sculptures that employed writing, images, rebuses, symbolic glyphs, portraits, and so on in a multidisciplinary approach to textual meaning-making. They were both “writers” and “painters,” calligraphers and image-makers. One should not follow Scott McCloud’s hodgepodge history of the medium of comics from a social point of view, but his bringing together Mayan codices and modern comics does make some sense, if we think of a broader (much broader) history of narrative images thought human history. Continue reading “Undocumented. A Worker’s Fight. Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams)”

Hobo Mom. Charles Forsman and Max de Radiguès (Fantagraphics)

very quick note on a small yet gut-punching book 

Hobo Mom is a real surprise. Both Charles Forsman´s and Max de Radiguès solo work is, even with their expected differences, fast-paced, high-octane, genre-hopping and –savvy fun, following adroit comics strategies to create their storyworlds and immediately captivating characters.   Continue reading “Hobo Mom. Charles Forsman and Max de Radiguès (Fantagraphics)”

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