Chicago is a city with a rich comics tradition and next month the city's Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates four current innovators in the medium with a can't-miss gallery exhibit titled New Chicago Comics:
"For the month of January, the MCA presents an exhibition of the work of four young, Chicago-based cartoonists and animators: Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carré, Paul Hornschemeier, and Anders Nilsen. In their own unique styles each of these artists expands and challenges the conventions of a visual art form for which Chicago continues to be renowned: the comic book."
Seems like the Crumbs aren't the only family of talented alternative cartoonists. Jim and Mary Woodring, together with their son Max, all have pieces in the Friends of the Nib "Medieval Thinkers" exhibition at Fantagraphics Bookstore this Saturday, December 11 — part of the store's festive fourth anniversary celebration.
Of course the Deitch family - father Gene and siblings Simon and Kim — qualify as well. We're thrilled to include an original drawing by Kim Deitch in the exhibition. In addition, the event will mark the debut of the Kim Deitch File, a portfolio published on Zak Sally's La Mano 21 imprint. See you all this Saturday.
The Printed Matter 9 art show is on now at GRSF! Steven Weissman's in it (he's got the announcement on his blog) along with some of our other favorite folks! We/you missed the opening but it's on through Jan. 12.
Norman Pettingill is the subject of a newly-opened art exhibit in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. From the announcement, as reported by NewsoftheNorth.Net: "Forty Pettingill drawings, now part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center collection in Sheboygan, are on display or the first time in 15 years and will remain so until Jan. 16. More than 100 drawings from this renowned collection are featured in Norman Pettingill: Backwoods Humorist, a new hardcover book published by Fantagraphics." (Note that the JMKAC website seems to be down at press time.)
"PARTY CRASHERS mashes up comic art and contemporary gallery culture, and features artists who pass back and forth between the two worlds. This massive two venue show results from a crosstown collaboration between AAC Director of Exhibitions Jeffry Cudlin and Artisphere Gallery Director Cynthia Connolly. The show’s two independent halves feature different types of work: Connolly’s show presents fine artists who mimic the appearance of comic art; Cudlin’s show at AAC contains: alternative comic artists who also show their original pages and drawings in art galleries; fine and comic artists working side-by-side on a national curated project (Creative Time Comics); and fine and comic artists creating avante-garde, purely abstract sequential art without words or recognizeable imagery."
Opening December 7 at NYC's prestigious Exit Art gallery, GRAPHIC RADICALS: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated, curated by World War 3 Illustrated co-founders Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman along with Susan Willmarth. This exhibit includes artwork from Peter Bagge, Steve Brodner, Sue Coe, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, and many, many others. For complete exhibit details and information on the opening reception and schedule of artists' talks, see the full press release after the jump.
• Review: "This is too much of an event to ignore: Fantagraphics, Seattle’s eclectic and prolific comics publisher,... is publishing its first volume of manga — comics that may be Japan’s most popular and influential art form. [...] A Drunken Dream and Other Stories is a four-decade anthology of graphic short stories by Moto Hagio, the 'founding mother' and premiere creator of shojo manga... Does Hagio’s work justify the hype? Her visual storytelling and graphic invention, by turns fluid, crisp, and stately, certainly do. ...Moto’s other later [stories] do indeed raise manga to literature." – Eric Scigliano, Seattle Met
• Review: "...[F]ew comics fans should have difficulty getting into A Drunken Dream and Other Stories... The stories in A Drunken Dream range from weird, powerful allegories... to dreamy tales of love and loss... But the best pieces here focus on memories of childhood, of playmates treated cruelly or parents and children misunderstanding each other. [...] Few stories in the entire history of the medium have been more overwhelming than 'Hanshin: Half-God,' a tale of conjoined twins — one haggard, one gorgeous — and their spiteful, symbiotic relationship. It’s a potent metaphor rendered with the intensity of an EC comic. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Blake Bell’s Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko set the recent standard for how to put together a coffee-table book about a legendary comics artist, and Bell takes on another innovator of the medium with Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics... Because Everett didn’t have as long or as consistent a career as Ditko, Bell doesn’t subject Everett’s work to the keen analysis he brought to Strange and Stranger. But he makes up for the diminished insight with page after page of Everett’s vivid, varied work, showing how it all emanated from a man who was a lot like his most famous creation: a destructive antihero, always a little angry at the puny humans around him. [Grade] B" – The A.V. Club
• Review: "...The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 14: 1977 - 1978... shows just how much Schulz was all over the map during that time. [...] This is still a worthwhile volume of Complete Peanuts, though; it has a charming introduction by Alec Baldwin, the usual top-quality production of the whole Fantagraphics reprint library, and some fun story arcs..." – The A.V. Club
• Review: "Only a brain incubated in the warm, nourishing goo of Looney Tunes and vintage Disney cartoons could have produced Sammy the Mouse. [...] As always, Sally’s use of silent panels and dynamic perspectives guide readers’ eyes toward nightmarish horizons and grotesque situations... A grimy, metaphysical malaise drips from every line of Sally’s lush yet unwholesome artwork, especially when he’s plundering the iconography of innocence and youth in the service of disorienting discomfort. [Grade] A-" – The A.V. Club
• Review: At What Things Do, Jordan Crane writes "In the new issue of Love and Rockets (New Stories, no.3), Jaime has a story called Browntown. It just might be the best thing he’s ever done. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, it just might be the best comic I’ve ever read. Its construction is durable yet intricate, a bunch of simple parts working together flawlessly. It’s put together like a watch."
• Review:Guttersnipe's Shawn Conner on the "Counterculture Comix" exhibit at Bumbershoot last weekend, with photos by Robyn Hanson: "Curated by Larry Reid of Fantagraphics Books, it was an eye-popping display, even if you were familiar, as I was, with most of the work..."