Last week, I was emailing with MOME contributor Derek Van Gieson, who also happens to be a New Yorker contributor. He was bringing me up to speed on his next MOME story's progress, and mentioned to me that in the course of working on something for Vol. 13, he abandoned several panels. I told him I was sorry to learn he had worked hard on something only to abandon it, and later that day he told me not to worry, he'd found another home for part of it at The New Yorker. I half-jokingly told him I took a certain pride in knowing the New Yorker was publishing MOME's castoffs, and asked him to tell me more. It was an interesting story and insight into an author's process, so I asked him if he'd wanted to write something up about it for Flog. Derek's piece in MOME 12, "Parallelograms," is his MOME debut and I thought it would be an interesting way to draw some attention to his comics work. He was gracious enough to oblige...
I guess this can be best summed up as a "you got chocolate in my peanut butter" type situation. Let me explain — on my drafting table there lays the divide. On my right sits my Fantagraphics work for Mome, and on my left, a pile of drawings designated for the weekly Tuesday showing with Bob Mankoff at The New Yorker. The work for both differs so greatly, that the separation of these approaches could lead to artistic schizophrenic whiplash, yet through the power of cheap hooch, I persevere.
And yet, there I was- slaving away on Mome 13 when all of a sudden a break in style happened. All of the seriousness was sucked out of the room as one of my characters was positioned on a dock, engaged in fisticuffs with a rather silly looking shark. Sam Gross has a great expression regarding a situation like this- in cartoons you either have "funny drawings or you draw funny." Usually, you'd aspire to the former; in this case I think that actually happened, unintentionally. That shark is pretty goddamn ridiculous looking, it was indeed a funny drawing. Needless to say, it was clearly a cartoon and therefore didn't fit the story in progress about marriage and murder and ultimately sat awkwardly in limbo.
And then came the siren call of the New Yorker Cartoon Lounge with an assignment: the worst aspects about summer. At first I thought of a four-panel gag- the three you'll most likely become acquainted with, along with an unseen fourth panel involving a killer butterfly. I drew it a few times- it didn't look pissy enough and then I discarded it. But the other three panels are where it's at.
The first panel is the one I discussed above regarding the shark. I've seen some strange shit at Coney Island and so it seemed a great starting point- somewhat abstract and out of nowhere, what Mankoff would regard as my "Dada stuff". Lately I was told to lay off cats, werewolves, and aliens for my submissions but that's another story. The second panel is TRUTH. The summer is filled with random and spontaneous liquor choices, most of them against long standing convention. I know for a fact when I drew this panel I was indeed hung over, in this particular case from Harry Nilsson Brandy Alexander night at my apartment with fellow New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake. It seemed appropriate to document this, as it was a consistent aspect of my summer. The third panel, which you'll find on the New Yorker website here, refers to Sid Harris having gave hell to another cartoonist about his appearance from the waist down. It was pretty funny and deserved documentation. I wear trousers to avoid such ridicule, however chummy.
Included here are the first two panels of the gag along with a preview of what I've been working on for Mome 13. It's pen & ink with coffee washes. If I don't drink it, it goes into the drawing. Have I mistakenly taken a swig from the ink and coffee wash cup? The answer is yes.
-Derek Van Gieson
1) Panels 1 & 2 of "The 3 Worst Things About Summer" (panel 3 here):
2) Sample page from "The Marriage Tree," from the forthcoming MOME 13 (November 2008).
Special thanks to DVG for doing this for Flog readers.
We're celebrating our 2008 Eisner Award winners by putting them on sale — along with selected Eisner Award-winning titles from past years! Save 20% off this selection of titles through 11:59 PM Pacific time, August 31, 2008.
If you couldn't make it to the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery last night to see Zak Sally and Nate Denver perform, here's a little taste of what you missed: above, Zak plays "My Secret World" from his unreleased solo album Fear of Song. Nate won the crowd over with songs like "Snuggle Tummy" and "4 Horsemen," his tribute to Slayer, while Zak electrified with acoustic versions of his solo songs and a Beat Happening cover to close out the evening. Comics were signed, books on Zak's excellent La Mano imprint were sold, the amazing David B. exhibit "My Story, My Stories" was on display, and much fun was had by all. Click here for more photos.
UPDATE: Check out more photos from our own Eric and Janice.
The controversial cartoonist Rory Hayes was a self-taught dynamo of the underground comics revolution. Attracting equal parts derision and praise (the latter from the likes of R. Crumb and Bill Griffith), Hayes emerged as comics’ great primitive, drawing horror comics in a genuinely horrifying and hallucinatory manner (some have called him the Fletcher Hanks of the underground). He has influenced a generation of cartoonists, from RAW to Fort Thunder and back again.
This book, the first retrospective of Hayes’ career ever published, features the best of his underground comics output alongside paintings, covers, and artifacts rarely seen by human eyes — as well as astounding, previously unprinted comics from his teenage years and movie posters for his numerous homemade films. The Art and Comix of Rory Hayes also serves as a biography and critique with a memoir of growing up with Rory by his brother, the illustrator Geoffrey Hayes, and a career-spanning essay by Edwin Pouncey (a.k.a. Savage Pencil). Also included is a rare interview with Hayes himself.
The eagerly anticiwaited fourth volume of Thrizzle does something no comic magazine has ever done before... it helps your family organize its entire day! Every page is dedicated to a half-hour of an average 16-hour cycle, allowing it to compliment and entertain along the way. with Pagus, Twain and Einstein, The Scaredy Kids, and Jungle Princess!
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