|R.I.P., Lloyd Llewellyn|
|Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Daniel Clowes||11 Jul 2011 8:35 AM|
Search / Login
Sign up for our email newsletters for updates on new releases, events, special deals and more.
As we approach the release of the 22nd and final volume of MOME, this weekend I happened to read four recent tomes that assured me that the anthology format is alive and well, present company excepted. BLACK EYE is a remarkably well-curated and lovingly packaged book by editor Ryan Standfest, featuring a host of top notch cartoonists including some MOME regulars including Al Columbia, Olivier Schrawuen, Robert Goodin, Lilli Carré, and many others. SMOKE SIGNALS is the awesome tabloid newspaper produced by Gabe Fowler of Brooklyn's Desert Island Comics; it continues to get better and better and would be worth it for new Gerald Jablonski comics alone, but there's a slew of other great stuff as well (I particularly enjoyed seeing a great, new one-pager by Marcellus Hall). LINEWORK is a relatively new endeavor, the official anthology of the cartooning students of Columbia College in Chicago, as overseen by faculty advisor Ivan Brunetti. One of the students, Nick Drnaso, also contributes to the final volume of MOME. I recommend all three of these titles to anyone eager to explore the nooks and crannies of the contemporary comix scene.
It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, the big four-zero, and I thought I'd share this awesome little card given to me by my old pals, Peter & Joanne Bagge. Pete drew it, and in true Bagge tradition, Joanne colored it:
On behalf of everyone at Fantagraphics, let me be the first to congratulate our own Jacob Covey and his beautiful wife, Liz, on the birth of their new baby daughter, Maren, who joined the ranks of the world yesterday morning. Mom, baby, and even daddy and big sister Freya are doing well. Much love from your Fantagraphics family, Coveys.
My old pal, Stevie Knight a.k.a. "Ribs" Weissman, seemed a bit sheepish when he first suggested contributing a series of Guns 'n' Roses-related strips to MOME 22. I would have liked to think he knew me better than that. I mean, c'mon, Steven, you had me at "Appetite for Delicatessen."
What's particularly odd is that Weissman is one of two MOME regulars who independently decided that Vol. 22 would be the right time to get their Axl Rose on. More on that later...
With only one issue left to put together, I knew going into MOME 22 that I had to make a last-ditch effort to fit in a few cartoonists that I'd been meaning to reach out to for while. Count Chuck Forsman on that list. I've been enjoying Chuck's Snake Oil comics and others for a few years now, and as such was thrilled when he jumped at the chance to do something for the final hurrah. His story, "Francis," highlights one of Forsman's unique talents: a pitch-perfect ear and eye for the 1980s. Which is a bit weird for someone who wasn't even born until 1982.
At Comic-Con in July, we'll be debuting the 22nd and final volume of MOME (that's one-half of Zak Sally's beautifully elegant wraparound cover of the issue, above). It's a bittersweet thing for me, but I couldn't be happier about how the last issue -- at 240 pages, about twice as long as any previous issue -- turned out, so when Mike Baehr suggested I do something for Flog about it, it seemed like a no-brainer. And when I decided the best way to do so would be to post some teaser images from the issue, it took me about half a second to realize where to start: Kurt Wolfgang.
Kurt has been essentially the one constant in MOME from the very first issue (along with myself, I guess), and his main contribution, the ongoing "Nothing Eve," is pretty much the standard-bearer of the kind of work that MOME was specifically designed to midwife into the world, and one of the things I'm most proud to have published in its pages. The simple, dramatic idea behind it -- If you knew the world was ending tomorrow, how would you spend your last night? -- is really just a launching point for what is essentially a charmingly funny and character-driven piece about the way people relate to each other. Kurt resists melodrama every step of the way, and the work is so much better for it.
Also, more than just about any other serial I can ever remember reading in an anthology, "Nothing Eve" functioned perfectly as a serial. In addition to crafting a completely hilarious and compelling graphic novel, Kurt has an innate knack for breaking his story down into compelling chapters that function on their own. You could easily enjoy any chapter of "Nothing Eve" without ever having read another. That's not an easy feat, and regular MOME readers were given a better experience for it.
The bad news is that MOME is ending before "Nothing Eve" ends. The good news, however, is that when "Nothing Eve" is eventually published, it will be that much more satisfying a read.
The best news is that Kurt prepared an alternative, "final" chapter for MOME 22 that is just about my favorite thing I've ever published in MOME. So for those of you who've been following "Nothing Eve" since the beginning, you're going to be rewarded with something truly special that won't end up in the eventual collection.
I'm very reluctant to tip my hand any further, but let's just say, it's right about with this four-panel sequence that shit starts to get unreal:
You can't even begin to guess where things go from here, but trust me in that I promise you won't be disappointed.
Over on Flickr, I've uploaded over 100 pics from my recent visit to Stockholm, Sweden, to attend the Swedish SPX Festival. I want to thank our hosts, especially Johannes Klenell of GALAGO and Kristiina Kolehmainen of the Stockholm SERIETEKET (that's "comics library" to you Yankees), for a wonderful trip. Five days in Sweden, hanging out with old pals like Dash Shaw (greatest roommate a guy could ask for), Gabrielle Bell, Brett Warnock, and others? It would have been impossible not to have a great time. Came home with a huge pile of great-looking comics (see the photo set for examples); now Kim Thompson gets to read them all for me! Oh, Kim, how I envy you.