This week, Fantagraphics and comiXology are thankful to release Tim Lane's Abandoned Cars for your digital reading devices. This collection of graphic short stories, noir-ish narratives that are united by their exploration of the great American mythological drama by way of the desperate and haunted characters that populate its pages. Lane’s characters exist on the margins of society—alienated, floating in the void between hope and despair, confused but introspective. Some of them are experiencing the aftermath of an existential car crash—those surreal moments after a car accident, when time slows down and you’re trying to determine what just happened and how badly you’re hurt. Others have gone off the deep end, or were never anywhere but the deep end. Some are ridiculous, others dignified in their efforts to struggle to make sense of, and cope with, the absurdities, outrages, ghosts, and poisons in their lives.
You'll be thankful for your crowded family American holiday dinners or for the empty streets as you enjoy the week alone. Either way, this 160 pages of execllent comics from Tim Lane are available to read on the bus, train, plane or car for a mere $16.99 at comiXology.
“[Tim Lane] makes illustrations in that Brill Cream-soaked, hard-boiled, noir style with heavy hatching circa R. Crumb.” – Juxtapoz
"It’s vaudevillian and it’s Old Hollywood. It’s rock n’ roll and beat poetry. It’s introspective and depressing and quite often funny, and depicts a world that exists on the fringes of society where the American Dream meets the cold, harsh reality of life as viewed through a grimy windshield." – Chad Derdowski, Mania
“Tim Lane’s stories resonate with a dramatic intensity and emotional life that’s genuinely rare in comics today. Heartache, hope, loss and redemption — all in their naked glory on every page. And his drawing is phenomenal!” – Glenn Head
The saltiest sounds of the ocean's Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Interview: Dubbing them "The Four Horseman of AltComix" Sean T. Collins interviews Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Chris Ware and Dan Clowes all in one go onRolling Stone. What a beautiful meetup of minds. Ware says, "Well, there are better cartoonists now than there ever have been. I firmly believe that. There's some amazing work being done." While Gilbert laments the change in alt comics, "That's what was missing from alternative comics after us: The art got less and less good."
• Interview (video): George O'Connor with co-host Natalie Kim recap SPX on InkedTV, including an interview with Gilbert Hernandez, and George shows off his Love and Rockets shirt.
• Plug:Dan Clowes is interviewed on what inspires him by the NY Times : "I didn’t really listen to the Kinks growing up at all — I was just vaguely aware of them, like everybody else — so when I was in my mid-20s I bought a couple of their records, just on a whim, and got sort of obsessed with them."
• Review:Comics Alliance reviews Lorenzo Mattotti's newest collaboration The Crackle of the Frostwith Jorge Zentner. Sarah Horrocks points out,". . . what you're looking at in The Crackle of the Frost is a largely amazing new Mattotti release for North American audiences, with fantastic art that has to be seen to be believed. It is a work that is better than most of what you can get on the stands on any given Wednesday. But it's also a book that is hurt by how achingly close it gets to its own perfection."
• Review:InkedTV reviews Joe Daly's Dungeon Quest Volumes 1-3 on their new video reviews featuring Natalie Kim and George O'Connor. "You will never find a book or a series of books that is so genetalia-obssessed as this book." Take a gander at our back catalog and you might find more.
• Plug:The Comics Journal lets Philip Nel tell a bit of the tale before the legend of Crockett Johnson, from his biography on the man called Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss. Fans have their eyes on the horizon for Johnson's Barnaby, edited by Nel and Eric Reynolds. Nel writes, "But before Barnaby, there was Crockett Johnson. And before Crockett Johnson, there was David Johnson Leisk."
• Review:Broken Frontier covers King of the Flies by Mezzo and Pirus. "King Of The Flies by Mezzo & Pirus is one hell of a hardcore comic. It is noir on acid, dark and unrelenting. It is one of the most thorough examinations of the cimmerian darkness the human species can dwell on and it will hit you square in the chest." But what about Book 2? "King Of The Flies 2 : Origin Of The World is maybe even better than its original and though it bears the number 2 it can just as well be read on its own."
A new and improved website is ready to be feasted on by your eyes! Tim Lane, of Abandoned Cars and Hotwire, recently vamped his site, JackieNoName, which features original comics, as well as illustrations made for The New York Times and alt-weekly papers like the OC Weekly and Seattle Weekly.
You'll actually want to go to Summer School when Ignatz-nominated artist Tim Lane is teaching!
Professor Lane will be conducting a project-based workshop on the graphic novel and graphic short fiction for students seriously interested in producing their own graphic fiction. Participants will look at work from Tim's fellow Fantagraph-ians Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and Kim Deitch, among others.
The class runs from May 21st through June 22nd at The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts [ 1 Brookings Drive ] at Washington University in St. Louis. Registration deadline is May 15th, and you don't have to be a university student to register! Click here for more information.
The current issue of the Seattle Weekly features this über-creepy cover by Tim Lane starring Ted Bundy and far less well-known killer "Ray Jacobs" — I probably shouldn't post this late at night because I know someone who is going to read the article and then be up half the night (cough cough)...
Anyway, Tim has a bunch of great recent updates on his blog including progress on a piece he's working on for The Believer — check it out!
Tim Lane shares his breathtaking cover illustration for next week's Riverfront Times, which will feature his graphic feature narrative "Notes of a Second Class Citizen." You lucky St. Louisans will not want to miss out on getting your hands on a copy!