The New Yorker has announced a contest inviting cartoonists to design their own version of the magazine's mascot, Eustice Tilly (originally designed in 1925 by Rea Irvin for the very first issue). My favorite Tilly probably has to be the above Crumb version, which was perceived as a blasphemous betrayal of the mag's proud tradition by some of its more calcified subscribers when originally published in 1994. Now it's a decade and a half later and folks like Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Chris Ware (see his Tilly below), Adrian Tomine, and Daniel Clowes are fairly regular contributors to the mag. Mouly and Spiegelman, what hath thou wrought?!
... regarding Chris Ware's recent output. From the aforementioned publications earlier this week, to the recent film poster for The Savages, and now to obscure midwestern literary journals, he continues to shame underachievers everywhere. More here. Tip 'o the Floghat to reader A.T.
I like to play cards, so I was stoked to get this set from our pals at The Stranger. It instantly vaults past the nudie deck as my favorite. Each card features a classic cover from Strangers past, and they've had some great ones, including a bunch by Fantagraphics-published cartoonists like Jim Blanchard (who is featured on three cards, I think more than anyone), Ellen Forney, Jeremy Eaton, Charles Burns (colored by yours truly, coincidentally), and Tony Millionaire. I have no idea how to get this or if it's even for sale, so good luck. And neener-neener.
If you're in L.A. this Saturday, TRACK 16 GALLERY is hosting the opening reception of the L.A. WEEKLY BIENNIAL, featuring a four foot flying saucer painting by Esther Pearl Watson, along with a lot of other great stuff.
I was glad to hear about this show because it gives me an excuse to mention Esther on this blog. One of the books I'm most excited about for 2008 is a book collection of Esther's UNLOVABLE minicomics (also seen every month in BUST magazine). I was only peripherally aware of UNLOVABLE until last summer's San Diego Comic-Con, when Jordan Crane pretty much shoved all of Esther's minis at me and told me I had to read them. I was hooked immediately, as was just about everyone else I've forced them on since, and now we're doing the book collection at the end of 2008. UNLOVABLE is an adaptation of a diary of a teenage girl that Watson found some years ago (or so the story goes, anyway). The simple version is that it mines similar adolescent territory as some of, say, Lynda Barry or Lauren Weinstein's comics, but that kind of simplification is a disservice to all three of those exceptional artists, so excuse my laziness. But it is very funny and moving stuff, and it reads better than ever in book form. A lot of the material in the UNLOVABLE minis was presented out of chronological order, focusing on stand-alone scenes more than the longer narrative. The material in the book will be presented in the proper order, and the whole story just gets even better with the additional context.
Anyway, don't forget the art show this weekend if you're in the southland:
"SOME PAINTINGS" THE THIRD LA WEEKLY BIENNIAL curated by doug harvey January 12 - February 16, 2008 Opening reception Saturday, January 12, from 7-11 P.M.
In the last two or three weeks, I've acquired not one, not two, not three, but FOUR brand new Chris Ware books. WTF?!? First ACME 18, then the ACME 18.5 portfolio, then the second ACME Datebook. Then, yesterday I get the new issue of Virginia Review Quarterly, which features an all-new strip called "Jordan W. Lint," which continues the all-new Ware piece in the new Zadie Smith anthology that Jacob wrote about two posts back. How does he do it? Pact with the devil? Sweatshop? Computers? You know, when you have a child, your output is supposed to decrease, Chris. By my count, Ware is working on at least three graphic novels simultaneously these days: Rusty Brown, Building Stories, and Jordan W. Lint. And that doesn't even count all of the other shorter pieces he manages to put out. Anyway, right now is an embarrassment of riches for us Ware fans out there. Lap it up.
"REBEL VISIONS: The Underground Comix Revolution" Opens Saturday January 12 at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle.
All comix fans will want to see "REBEL VISIONS: The Underground Comix Revolution" opening this Saturday, January 12 from 11:30 to 8:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery in Seattle. This colorful art show will complement R. Crumb's Underground exhibition opening January 26 at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.
This is interesting: the New Yorker has set up a cartoonists' blog. Cartoonist and online cartoon editor Mick Stevens will be the blog's first "captain," and it'll rotate every month. If this means future blogging from folks like Gahan Wilson and Bruce McCall, count me in.
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