Once again, it’s time to hype Charlottesville here at the Bunker. Wish I could be there for this one — Impera et Divide at the Second Street Gallery, featuring Frédéric Coché, Ae-Rim Lee, André Lemos, Ilan Manouach, Andrei Molotiu and Fabio Zimbres. Opening reception of Friday at 6 and it runs till April 25.
Allow me briefly to toot my own horn: This month’s issue of The Comics Journal (#296) sees the debut of my regular column on European comics, “Continental Drift.” (More importantly, it also has interviews with Lynda Barry, Dash Shaw, Frank Quitely, Mike Luckovich and David Hajdu!).
I guess it’s inevitably my attempt at filling the big shoes left by Bart Beaty, whose “Eurocomics for Beginners” ran in the magazine for years and as a whole must be counted as one of the seminal early texts on the New Wave of European comics of the 90s (which led to his fine book on the subject). Wish me luck…
The picture above is one of the colour pages from the comic of the year, Emmanuel Guibert’s La Guerre d’Alan volume 3, which was also published in English by First Second, but unfortunately in drab grey tones.
Foreningen Danske Tegneserieskabere har netop for første gang uddelt af de midler, foreningen gennem årene har modtaget i form af CopyDan-penge fra danske tegneserieudgivelser efter fondsmodel i stedet for den tidligere benyttede “beløbet-divideret-med-antallet-af-medlemmer-og-uddelt-til-selv-samme.”
Tremandsudvalget, der bestod af Peter Kielland, Lars Horneman og Jan Kjær uddelte i alt kr. 345.000 i denne omgang — efter sigende et særligt højt beløb, da der ikke har været uddelinger af nogen art i flere år. Modtagerne kan ses på Foreningens hjemmeside.
Bunkeren ønsker dem alle tillykke og held og lykke med arbejdet!
The picks of the week from around the web.
It was a relief to see French cartoonist Maurice Sinet — pen name Siné — acquitted of charges of “inciting racial hatred,” brought by The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, at the court in Lyon earlier this week. Siné was fired from his long-time employer, the venerable French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, last year, after having provocatively insinuated that President Sarkozy’s son was going to opportunistically convert to Judaism to marry the Jewish heiress of the hardware chain Darty.
To the spectator, not privy to what went on behind the scenes, this and the subsequent charges of anti-semitism on the part of several colleagues as well as a number of prominent intellectuals seemed patently absurd. The short piece Siné wrote was provocative, sure, but that’s his freaking job as a satirist, and it could definitely be described as both dumb and in bad taste, but anti-Semitic? Please.
The fabulous online comics community Scans Daily has been shut down, one assumes by its host LiveJournal. The reason, apparently, was copyright infringement — ie. posting scans whole issues or close to whole issues of new comics on the site. Seeing some of his work there got comics writer Peter David riled, and he informed his employer Marvel Comics, but he won’t assume any responsibility, saying that the plug was pulled before anyone could have acted on his complaints. Presumably, LiveJournal have been receiving similar complaints for a while and decided that this couldn’t go on. But really, I have no idea.
Whatever the reason, this is a real pity. Scans Daily was a great resource, both for getting people stopping by excited about comics, keeping them entertained, and providing amazing new discoveries, especially of older, hard-to-find stuff. I’ve greatly enjoyed lurking there, and have linked to their posts more than once here from the Bunker. Like this poster, I hope LiveJournal or whoever is responsible will reconsider this decision.
The picks of the week from around the web.
Long time since last picks. Haven’t had as much time to surf as normally. This week, however, I have a bunch of comics stuff on my mind.
I really should start paying more attention to online comics. Last fall I picked up the 2007 French book edition of Christopher Hittinger’s Jamestown because I found the drawings thrilling at first leaf-through. I’ve only now managed to read it, and I enjoyed it immensely. Turns out, of course, that it’s been available online since 2006. I’m sure I’ve even seen it linked to in several places, without taking notice. Lesson learned for this paper generation relic, I guess…
Anyway, I found this comic exciting on several levels. It’s a retelling of the first English colony in Virginia in the early 17th Century, the people involved and conflicts both internal and external, with the native Americans on whom the colony was dependent — complete with the Pocahontas story and all. Superficially it’s pretty straightforward, narrating the facts almost like a school textbook, but even if the prose is mostly utilitarian, Hittinger manages beautifully to make history come alive.
Winshluss’ Pinocchio was the big buzz book of the Angoulême festival this year and it came as little surprise that it ended up taking the Fauve d’Or award — the festival’s prize for comic of the year, and one of the greatest distinctions of its kind. It’s an impressive package — a large hardback book printed on thick, matte paper with relief printing and gold leaf on the cover. Impeccably designed, if somewhat indebted to the Ware school of production design, it is simply an immensely attractive comic.
More than anything else, however, this has to do with the art within. Winshluss has long been an energetic draughtsman, merging the subversive sensibilities of the underground movement with a palpable sense of punk abandon that owes more than a little to the great bad-taste humorist Vuillemin. The result are gruff cartoons, grimy with saturated brushwork, that refreshingly tend to reach beyond the comfort zone of the artist, resulting in a kind of frenetic energy of invention that is both spectacular and moves the story along with humour and efficiency.
This time around Winshluss may have bitten off more than he could chew, however.