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Blaise Larmee!

At one point in the interview below, the 26-year-old cartoonist Blaise Larmee says that everyone plays a character all the time. I think that goes a long way to explaining what’s fascinating about Larmee—not so much about his comics, which are beautiful, thoughtful, and unique enough to get by on their own, but about the sort of artist Larmee presents himself as on Comets Comets, a group blog which also features artists Austin English, Jason Overby, and Caroline Bren, and which displays a relentless obsession less with making art than with what making art means. While this online performance often takes the form of lengthy essays about form, content, and history, it also has a merry-prankster aspect, from the title of the blog itself (a play on our TCJ.com overlords Dan Nadel and Tim Hodler’s Comics Comics magazine and blog) to a penchant for anonymous comment-thread trollery and a bogus, since-deleted Twitter account for Christopher Forgues (aka C.F.), the artist with whom Larmee has been most frequently compared. For his part, Larmee seems to enjoy playing with the trappings of youth-Internet culture and design — Helvetica, “scare quotes,” Bren’s recent Geocities-style redesign of the blog, and so on. Larmee is not one to let his work speak for itself; he uses new media to pile layers and layers of self-interrogatory dialogue on top of it.

Which is either funny or unfortunate (depending on the mood I’m in), because his comics can speak for themselves. His striking debut graphic novel, the 2009 Xeric Grant-winning Young Lions, dials down the fantastical and edgier elements of his C.F. influence to tell a straightforward, relatable story of three young artists at a personal and aesthetic crossroads, with lush and sensual figure work drawn in delicate, smudgy pencil. And his webcomic 2001 eschews his usual studious distancing techniques with enormously immersive and innovative design and layouts—full-bleed back backgrounds with tiny white stars or snowflakes dotting it into the distance, eating up the entire screen—and energetic, even passionate physical choreography between the two friends who are its main characters. And then there is the debut book of his Gaze Books publishing imprint, Aidan Koch’s The Whale, which displays great promise from an aesthetically like-minded artist. In short, Larmee has the chops and the vision in his comics to act pretty much however he wants outside of them. Why does he act this particular way, then? I asked him.

Sean T. Collins: Let’s talk about 2001, because I think even more than Young Lions or the Xeric you won for it or the creation of Gaze Books, 2001 seems to be the work of yours that’s gotten the biggest, most effusive response. Personally, I’d never seen anything like it. Can you walk me through the thought process a bit in terms of how you chose to design the comic in that way?

Blaise Larmee:
I think the design is pragmatic.

Collins: How so?

Larmee: The panels are squares because squares are the most simple and adaptable shapes to work with online and in print. Each panel represents the face of an 8′ x 8′ cube of space in one-point perspective. The vanishing point is located in the center of the panel. The background is digitally projected.

Collins:
What are you drawing it with? With the white-on-black construction, it’s difficult to tell. It’s not just scanned and darkened pencils, is it?

Larmee: I draw with a ballpoint pen.

Collins: How’s that working for you? The change to pen from pencil seems like it would entail a shift in head space as well as technique.

Larmee: I used pencil as an inker would use a pen.

Collins: What’s the plan for 2001? How long will it last? And since it’s basically all you see when you go to your main website, what happens to it, and to the site, when it’s over?

Larmee: I insist on staying in the present moment. 2001 exists, for me, in real time. This is different than Young Lions. For Young Lions I asked myself, “how will I win the Xeric grant?” and every subsequent action was structured toward this specific thing/event. Now my questions change in each panel and are always in relation to my characters and their environment.

Collins: Had you come up with the idea for Young Lions prior to deciding to apply for the Xeric, and that decision simply shaped how it turned out? Or did Young Lions originate entirely from “I want a Xeric”?

Larmee: I imagined after I got the Xeric that I would either write a different graphic novel to publish, or pocket the money. I ended up liking Young Lions.

Collins: What’s your background, Blaise? By that I mean where you’re from and your family situation, but also your history with reading and making comics. I realize that the only thing I know about you, and by “know” I mean “assume,” is “art school.”

Larmee: I was born in New York and grew up in Chicago. I am an only child. I went to a liberal arts college in Colorado. I’ve mostly lived in Portland and New York since then.

Collins: As I prepped for this interview I sat around trying to figure out when I first heard of you, and drew a blank. I couldn’t remember if it was from the Comets Comets site, or the announcement that you won a Xeric, or you getting in touch about sending me a review copy of Young Lions. Then, as I was writing the very first sentence, I remembered: It was when you, or a person called “Hall Hassi” (or something) who I’m reasonably sure is also you, made a bootleg minicomic version of Kramers Ergot 7 that seemed to upset Kramers’ publishers. That was my introduction to your work! And as I think I’ve probably made pretty clear in comments here and there, I’ve found your overall internet presence — the Tao Lin/Hipster Runoff syntax and “irony or sincerity” guessing game; the Comets Comets posse with their tweaking of older art-comix makers, comment thread trollery, and fake C.F. twitter accounts; the nearly relentless art-theory navel-gazing on the blog itself (perhaps that’s changed; frankly I stopped reading for “life’s too short” reasons this past fall) — pretty baffling, How integral is all that to what you do? Do you ever wish you’d started a blog that was just like, “Hey, here’s my latest drawing, hope you dig it!”?

Larmee: My internet life is very important to me. White Shasta is an anonymous person online whom I feel close to, who is responsible for most of the conceptual comments, all the C.F. tweets, and is amassing a fairly interesting online presence in general. Caroline Bren grew up on the internet and she recently re-designed the Comets Comets site in a compelling and beautiful way. Hall Hassi received legal threats for a zine she never made, the photographs of which were digitally manufactured, as was the character herself. At some point this past year I felt I changed characters—from the capitalist to the scholar. I used language which drove away readership and sought to create a semi-private space for discussion. I deleted my personal blog and Facebook account. In a way I felt my character was attempting to transition from middle class to upper class. I could afford to be withdrawn.

Collins: Well, thank you for allowing me into the inner sanctum then, sir. I have a great deal of admiration for character-based artists — David Bowie first and foremost — but I don’t have the sticktoitiveness to stay in character consistently. How do you do it?

Larmee: Everyone does it.

Collins: Do you really feel that “everyone” portrays a character? If anything, among artists these days, I think the tendency to let people behind the curtain is more pronounced now in the internet era than ever before. I suppose you’re saying, a la Kyra Sedgwick in Singles, that “not having a thing” is in itself “a thing,” but I think there’s still a distinction. Don’t you?

Larmee: What would I do to let you “behind the curtain?” How would I behave? Would I use casual language, express possibly incriminating or embarrassing thoughts as they occur, vocalize my fears and ambitions? Would I seem less academic and more “off the cuff?” The child doesn’t have a curtain / the child is nothing but a curtain // because it is not self conscious / because it is only self conscious.

Collins: I bring all this up because I remember that when I went into Young Lions, I expected it to be a lot more iconoclastic than it actually is. It’s obviously a bit of a “Art School Confidential”-type satire of art collectives, and the drawing looks enough like certain artcomix touchstones that it could be interpreted as commentary on them, but in the main it was a) simply very lovely to look at, and b) a straightforward alternative-comic-type story about young people struggling with romance, art, and self-image. I’m curious as to whether you sensed any kind of disconnect there, or is that something only we in the audience brought to the table? Are you happy if critics and readers focus on the more direct pleasures of the art and narrative, or were you hoping for more?

Larmee: Whenever I pick up Young Lions and flip through it I kind of laugh in a funny sort of way, like maybe the way one might laugh at a child who is trying to impress an adult by attempting a cartwheel.

Collins: I actually think that answers my question. What artistic tradition do you consider yourself a part of, Blaise? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen you talk all that much about comics, except in that one post where you trace the influence of CF upon a generation of artists and cartoonists and defend the directness of that influence as valid. Beyond that, there’s that very funny bit you did for Studygroup12 #4 where a character seems literally trapped in a maze with Charles Schulz as the minotaur at its center. Do you feel similarly hemmed in? Is there a lineage of comics you’d feel comfortable seeing your work as a continuation of? Or are you looking more at fine art?

Larmee: I belong to distant traditions which appear to me as images. If I enter these traditions the images crumbles and I am left with the everydayness of reality. My everyday reality is an intimate relationship with images. People, places, and things become images as they remove themselves. In other words, they become screens for projection. I offer myself as such a screen and I accept all that is projected onto me.

Collins: You live in Portland, correct? What’s the “Portland scene” like? I ask because from the outside looking in, I’m not sure there is a contiguous scene – roping your work in with that of people who do revisionist sff for Image seems a bit odd. Who do you consider your peers there?

Larmee: I don’t know what the Portland Scene is like. Jason Overby and I hang out. Aidan Koch and I hang out. That’s pretty much it.

Collins: How does Gaze Books fit into this? I liked The Whale very much, and felt that between that and Young Lions, I had a rock-solid sense of the aesthetic Gaze was stewarding. Is there more in that vein on the way?

Larmee: Gaze Books exists in the present.

Collins: Be here now. It’s interesting to me that your characterizations of both 2001 and Gaze Books are so similar.

Larmee: I think I decided tonight I would put 2001 on hold indefinitely.

Collins: But it’s still rolling out. Did you have material backlogged, or did you change your mind? And why would you put it on hold?

Larmee: I had conceived of a website I wanted to make that would require a lot of time to build and maintain. I was excited about the project and excited about putting 2001 on hold indefinitely, but the next morning I found myself wanting to hang out with my characters instead.

Collins: What’s next for you?

Larmee: I accepted a fellowship at The Center for Cartoon Studies for 2011-2012. A French translation of Young Lions is slated for a fall release, to be published by Cambourakis. I am working on a zine.

Collins: Anything I missed, the floor is yours!

Larmee: The image of the internet as “fun,” “young,” “cool,” “sarcastic,” “irreverent,” etc, is a character written by old media and performed by the youth. Old media demands fetishization of the internet, which young artists are willing to manufacture. Ironically reified images of the Internet are imbued with an ironic currency which mimics old media currency. This virtual currency is acknowledged and promoted by old media because it a) refers to the real currency old media possesses, b) instantly appears in old media’s virtual coffers, c) translates into real currency, d) to the unsophisticated observer it appears to be real currency, e) attributes normativity to old media and de-emphasizes its own virtual nature. Examples: a Tumblr image with 103 notes, with the words “Facebook,” “WikiLeaks,” “Generation Y,” and “Justin Bieber” in Comic Sans in pink and blue with drop shadow and lens flare; a Dr. Phil show devoted to “the dangers of the internet;” a news article referring to Anonymous as a “group;” the presentation of Google Image Search, Yahoo! Answers, and 4chan as “readymades” or “found art.”

Collins: That is easily the longest answer anyone has ever given me when I’ve asked my traditional interview-ending catchall question. Most people just say some variation on “Nope, I think we covered it all,” or “Be sure to buy my book/visit my website.” I’ll admit I found it quite striking that given carte blanche to discuss or plug whatever you wanted, you went with what old people think of young people on the Internet. It seems as though you’re willing to give as good as you get on that score.

Larmee: :)

“Say Hello!” is a regular interview column by Sean T. Collins, spotlighting up-and-coming cartoonists.

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35 Responses to Blaise Larmee!

  1. Andrew_White says:

    I'm not sure why, but I find the idea of Blaise as a CCS fellow highly entertaining. I look forward to James Sturm's future contributions to Comets Comets.

    Also: solid interview, and great idea for a column.

  2. Pingback: Carnival of souls: Special “A.M.” edition, featuring Yuichi Yokoyama and Blaise Larmee interviews and a Guy Davis tribute « Attentiondeficitdisorderly by Sean T. Collins

  3. UlandK says:

    VomitsVomits.blogspot.com

  4. IanHarker says:

    Blaise has cultivated a fascination in a way that many contemporary artists do and many of the pioneers of art comics have done before him, yet I sense a hesitancy to embrace him among the writers, publishers and other institutional types who have embraced his predecessors. I mean, Ben Jones says some pretty outlandish stuff but he's warmly embraced as a "character". Is it because the sense of humor in Jones' "character" is more forefront than Blaise's? Is it because Blaise is demanding a seriousness that most observers hold dear like a firmly clenched butthole on their first day of prison? (to be crude)

    Perhaps my perspective is a little different. I remember when Blaise was just another timid artist floating around the TCJMB. I've always thought of him as a relatively mild-mannered kid who's having fun on the internet. Keep up the good work Blaise!

  5. UlandK says:

    It's sort of like that movie Inception. You can't invest in anything because there's nothing at stake. The dream-within-a-dream deal was just a pretext for deploying all kinds of special effects, for creating spaces where nothing could be resolved and everything was safe. Blaises' intellectualizations and theories are there to provide the pretext for doing what he wants to do in a space where it's impossible to criticize anything; everything is safe, nothing is at stake.It's a special effect. It's a smoke and mirror show.
    There is no real center to it. There's no real humanity ( but, like what is "real" anyway?) at the core; these theories ( if you can call them that) don't illuminate, they obscure the fact that there is nothing there to illuminate.

    Also, when he talks about how young people on the internet are perceived, I just want to make sure he knows that they aren't really perceived at all. No one really cares. No one is watching. There is no one making demands on what young media is doing. No one is demanding more irony from 20-nothing Portlanders.

    • mr. pants says:

      I know a guy whose job it is to design t-shirts of LOLcat ideas submitted by users. If a user’s idea get accepted, they get nothing except the gratification of buying his idea on a t-shirt.

    • mlitven says:

      you are so catty Uland!

      i think its short-sighted to say that "no one really cares" and that "no one is watching." this seems like the same old dismissive attitude that plagues every nascent artistic idiom from the novel, to expressionism, to today's net art (for lack of a better term).

      and regardless, i think this sort of insular navel-gazing is a perfectly healthy mode for artists working within a relatively undefined frontier. how we s'poseda proceed if we dont know where we at??

      • UlandK says:

        I'm too lazy to go back and look, but didn't Blaise suggest that what he's doing with the internet is a response to the way (presumably older) people place demands on, or "fetishize", what young people are doing online? My point was that I don't think that demand is there.

  6. IanHarker says:

    I don't really dabble in late-metaphysics anyway so Blaise's theories don't offend me. I kinda just skim them and try to figure out what he's getting at and maybe offer a different perspective. I wonder what someone who has a legit pedigree in that kind of philosophical background would think of his writing. I'm not sure if I can tell whether or not it's hackwork because it comes from such a different worldview than mine. Uland has a more traditional-metaphysical worldview so maybe that's why he finds his approach offensive.

    Like it or not (I don't) this type of thinking is pretty mainstream in contemporary art though. Whether he's performing a stirring rendition of it or not escapes me however.

    • UlandK says:

      I'm pretty willing to go along with a lot of stuff, my appreciation for traditionalism notwithstanding . I like lots of contemporary/modern fiction and film, for example. I can deal with lots of art talk too. Blaises' just doesn't ring true to me. I don't know what the premise is. I don't know what he's defending or what he's seeking to overturn or what the object of the game is.
      Again, nothing is at stake. I defy anybody to tell me what Blaise is really concerned with and why/how it's at all meaningful.
      I'm sure he's a nice guy, btw.

      • IanHarker says:

        Well, regardless of the talk I definitely think he's concerned with deconstructing the comics form. The comics themselves show that. Young Lions probably isn't a good example, but what he's doing with 2001 and some of the other short format strips that lead up to that are pretty experimental formally. That's ultimately all that matters to me in terms of making him relevant.

      • UlandK says:

        I need more than that. They need to be about something. I don't get the idea of experimenting with form unless it serves the content in a way that it needs to be served.

      • mlitven says:

        what!

        this is a goofy metaphor but bear with me. If we consider the content to be the destination, to be "the point," then we should consider the form to be the vehicle, and the study of form to be a sort of mechanical pragmatism. and then we have a guy (and I am not saying that blaise is this guy) who is just souping up the vehicle with no intention of actually taking it anywhere, or maybe he simply can't take it anywhere, but that's fine. the mechanics are still valuable, obviously, because another artist can adopt parts of that vehicle to more efficiently and effectively reach her/his destination.

        ** this type of collaborative relationship is especially prevalent within the context of the internet, which, as mentioned in the interview, is utilized (by young artists in particular) as an enormous palimpsest of creative endeavors and meanderings that spirals outwards to infinity. if you cant figure out how to drive your machine, someone else will.

      • UlandK says:

        There is no reason to build a vehicle if you don't want to go anywhere.
        If you look at Richard McGuires' HERE strip, it isn't "about" the form, per se, it uses the form in a novel way to describe an aspect of the world/human experience ( that kind of temporal weirdness you experience when you imagine the history of a specific place). The formalism allowed him to express all that in a more accurate, meaningful way. There is no applying that specific formal aspect without that specific content.It's one and the same.

        Also, I should note that I haven't read Young Lions. From what I gather, it's pretty straightforward. I don't know exactly how his rhetoric applies to his comics, and I'm mostly criticizing his rhetoric.

      • grapesgrapes says:

        I was working on a response when you deleted your comments. I'd be happy to email it to you if you like. No spam, viruses, etc., just thoughts.

        the grapesgrapes flickr is not mine and I wasn't previously aware of it. cute puppy pics though!

      • UlandK says:

        I deleted my comments after reading a bit of Young Lions and looking at his website. I was bored by them because they speak to vision of the world that I don't find challenging or at all interesting; It struck me while looking through his comics; this is what I'm arguing about?
        It was a weird time-warp experience wherein I realized that to the people who make this sort of thing or really like it, I'd be seen as old and out of touch and they just wouldn't be able to relate to what I had to say about it . I'm okay with that.

      • grapesgrapes says:

        age ≠ nothin but a number

        I don't care if you think you're out of touch. Lots of people still like Mr. Rogers. He's so far out of touch he's dead.

        All I want is: what perspective can you offer me besides: 'I don't see anything there.'

        There's always something there! That's the fun! You might no agree with something or think it was well-presented, and it doesn't bother me at all if you don't like Larmee's work or any other young whipper snappers who give you the willies, but DONT TELL ME you can't see the forest for the trees or the trees for the forest.

        Of course it's a smoke and mirror show. All great art is magic, debunking the magician is part of the show!
        To refer back to 'Young Lions' versus 'Here' by Richard McGuire, I was thinking about that comparison and while I like 'Here' very much, I think part of the success of 'YL' is that the smeared look better refers to the kind of deterioration and haze that accompanies mental imaging and recalling memory (both imperfect processes). In contrast, 'Here' is almost too perfect or too schematic to really

        ..
        rhetoric the same concept: aware of its own ephemerality, its status as fixed timeless marker but also its insufficiency to fully capture anything more than the fleeting sense of a person awash in the sea of data that is the cloud (internets)

        .ha, pretty sure whatever i see you're going to be like 'yeah, but that doesn't mean anything'

        OK. we die. X(

        oh, I really like that you said "It was a weird time-warp experience"
        AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWESOME!

      • Lastworthy says:

        @mlitven

        I think what you’re saying is less like cars and more like:

        “sure, she’s ugly and boring but I’ll still marry her because maybe she’ll die first and I’ll be able to make a coat out of her body.”

  7. greg_farrell says:

    Best thing about this interview is the link to the Phoebe Gloeckner interview on the side.

  8. carniemagic says:

    Holy interminable interviews Batman. I enjoy Blaise's comic work immensely. But I find the persona he is affecting here to be extremely irritating. Condescension can be hip and entertaining. But here it just came off…"dweeby". I find the things that Blaise pretends to care about in this interview to be mind-numbingly unimportant and out of touch.

    I mean the internet as a battle between eras is in and of itself an old idea.

    Oh well. I suppose none of it actually matters. The work is good and I will continue to enjoy it.

  9. grapesgrapes says:

    some of us knew Blaise Larmee a long time ago
    some of us created a variation on a 'blaise larmee' character when we were very young + never found one

    acknowledging the unbelievable power within each human and NOT taking it seriously as 'condescension'

    Ben Jones easy to like because everyone wants to not feel guilty about enjoying TV (which is fine)
    BL not offering post-irony redemption; only unvarnished spaces = much scarier. Should = more at peace tho.

    Great interview Sean, finally a dude who actually attempts to probe cool yeh

    VomitsVomits.blogspot.com existed briefly in late 2009 as a dumping ground for alterna porn with the photoshop airbrush watermark 'Zero Reference' … did you check it out Uland? is that why you are referencing it?

    coda:
    i feel good i feel nice, what time is it
    it's time for love what time is it
    soda: Cherry Chocolate Fudge

    • UlandK says:

      They have wireless in "the space" now? What's that? Oh, You pick it up from Starbucks…
      I found your Sally Jess glasses in my papier-mâché neon pyramid, btw. I wore them to my aunts funeral and then to the Dan Deacon show.

      • grapesgrapes says:

        *Sally Jessy

        otherwise, funny story. sorry about your aunts

      • UlandK says:

        She was before your time.My apologies.

      • grapesgrapes says:

        No apology necessary. 'Sally' ran from 1983-2002. I am older than 8… u still into me? =D

        This idea that Blaise is primarily a formal deconstructionist with no story to tell is so bogus. His longer narrative work (YL, 2001) is clearly sympathetically engaged with its characters and how they relate to one another through small gestures, posture, self-presentation, and rhetoric. It's a theater of the body without politics, much like our contemporary world.

        'Young Lions' examines untested artsy types trapped in the catatonia of their own narcissism. In search of something REAL and inspiring they misattribute muse status to another person (a beautiful girl) and use her to achieve some kind of transformation or enlightenment for their crew. Naturally it doesn't work and the only character with a conscience appears to have a breakdown (see final page).
        //
        That's a real story, not a masturbatory adventure in style. The plot is not perfectly articulated at times, but that doesn't make a work vapid, just under-polished, which I find refreshing especially in 'debut' projects.
        Based on his fans and critics, I assume a large portion of Blaise's readership are young relatively untested artsy types who can probably sympathize with self-involved characters who feel overwhelmed by lived experience and are in search of both meaningful structure and transcendent revelation in their lives. That's what 'Young Lions' is 'about.'
        Its erasures and other formal experimentations suggest the world we're peering into is magical, or a forgotten fable, or mediated by the unseen narrator's foggy memory. These techniques may have the added benefit of pushing formal possibilities in comics forward and I think that's an awesome thing to do, but they also tell us something about the story and the characters and by extension, ourselves: that one day the unfolding events of our own lives and our pettiness and poor decisions and social games will become convoluted over time and eventually fade away from living consciousness entirely (cuz we die). That is sad but it is not meaningless.

        This isn't like some pompous wiener drawing crappy geometric shapes and telling the world he is investigating surface as it relates to the uncanny. someone should totally do that, by the way…

        Anyway, I'm not sure what you're looking for Uland, besides a confirmation of your own never-articulated faux-contrarian sensibilities.
        And I actually sort of like your drawings but I'm not sure how abstracted, semi-surrealist depictions of mangled tree piles (or photos of dead mice for that matter) possess any greater observations about humanity, existence, reality, etc. than anyone else's work.

        @Michael L, have not seen you lurkin before, your toons are funny :)

      • UlandK says:

        I didn't realize S.J.R had such a long, illustrious career. Good Googling.

        As I wrote above, I haven't read Young Lions. It sounds like it's right up your alley.
        The subject we engaged with is Blaises' internet persona and his nonsensical theorizing.
        I don't want to read Young Lions because I don't really trust that he'd be able to provide real insight into those kinds of characters when he's engaged in the same kind of delusions himself.

        I'm not sure why you'd ascribe those motives to my Flickr page. It's really a pretty casual thing, like a lot of, uh, Flickr pages are. I have some ideas about what individual drawings are about, and I do think there are some good observations there, but it's just not of a piece with what's going on here; with Blaises' rhetoric or with what we should expect from a good comic.

        Oh, and the mouse: We had a mouse problem and one died a pretty bloody death. I took pictures of it and submitted it to a group on Flickr. Also, what is reality? Who are you, really? What about when you're in a queered space? How about that internet? Is there room for post-irony in a pre-post-historical idea-sphere?

      • UlandK says:

        Also, what is your name? How can I look you up? Do you have a "presence"?

        I feel like I'm articulating my sensibilities pretty well, btw. Because they don't play to your self-image does not mean they don't make sense.

      • sophieyanow says:

        I really like your 'breakdown' of the YL story and what Blaise is doing. I definitely initially had a sort of aversion to Blaise's identity but it was coupled with a strong desire/interest. The aversion stemmed from a perceived pomposity, but I realized later, or felt later, that I was projecting that and that the truth was I really agreed with a lot of what his essays said and was simply amazed/jealous of how well he 'pulled it off.' I had to go through some ego-loss before I sought out YL, but once I actually read it I decided that what I felt earlier on was not invalid, but no longer relevant. Now his comics are even more accessible with 2001 available to everyone with a connection. Not bad.

      • grapesgrapes says:

        Thank you Sophie. Debut attempt to summarize my thoughts on that book.

        @U, another reply on it's way, eventually.
        Hope the thread can handle this much hot live nude grapesgrapes on UlandK action!

        it's so nice where i'm at by the way, perfect day.

      • UlandK says:

        Is that you, Blaise? If not, who are you?

      • grapesgrapes says:

        I'm grapesgrapes, see handle for more info. [not Blaise]

        So, you said:

        "It's a smoke and mirror show.
        There is no real center to it."

        And:

        "I don't get the idea of experimenting with form unless it serves the content in a way that it needs to be served."

        And also:

        "I don't know exactly how his rhetoric applies to his comics, and I'm mostly criticizing his rhetoric."

        The 'center' to Blaise's rhetoric is quite simply his work.
        You admit to not having read his most celebrated comic 'Young Lions' and there is no indication that you have read his free webcomic '2001' either (available 24/7 here http://blaiselarmee.com/). If you are confused about his explanations of his work and his theorizing, I suggest you actually read his work.

        If you are still confused, consult wikipedia or your local library regarding queer or new media or literary theory or whatever other ideas you normally dismiss out of hand without engaging in a substantial way.

        By the way, I think what you said about Richard McGuire's 'Here' strip was very insightful. I agree with that assessment. I think your comparison of Blaise's rhetoric to 'Inception' was really flimsy.


        You seem to be looking for a Final Answer that you have not even begun to do the work necessary to uncover. I don't believe that you are uninterested in Blaise or his 'public persona' given that you troll his interviews and related articles consistently. Why not experience what he makes for yourself and then bring some more compelling insights to the table next time?

        I would never bring up the personal work of another commenter whom I disagreed with if they did not put so much effort into baselessly criticizing the work of others on a regular basis. But that is how I know you, as a thread troll.
        If you have a more substantial online presentation of your work than a flickr and myspace account, please provide links. If you have examples of illuminating writing of yours regarding that work, I'd be interested in reading that as well.

        If you'd like to continue this conversation in greater detail, feel free to email me:
        funkingexpress AT gmail DOT comedy

        ,,,,,,,,happy Saturday, thread!

      • UlandK says:

        "The 'center' to Blaise's rhetoric is quite simply his work."

        Brilliant. You quite simply expressed nothing with that statement. What does his work consist of? How would you describe it's qualities? Are you talking about his not-very-radical contemporary art school comics, or his elaborate, inchoate internet deal? How are the two related? How aren't they?

        "You admit to not having read his most celebrated comic 'Young Lions' and there is no indication that you have read his free webcomic '2001' either (available 24/7 here http://blaiselarmee.com/). If you are confused about his explanations of his work and his theorizing, I suggest you actually read his work. "

        What indication are you talking about? Did you check Blaises' ( who I'm pretty sure you know personally) log of IP addresses or something?
        I am not really confused, as far as I know. If I am, please explain further. What am I getting wrong?

        "If you are still confused, consult wikipedia or your local library regarding queer or new media or literary theory or whatever other ideas you normally dismiss out of hand without engaging in a substantial way. "

        You throw out those terms like they're some kind of static concept that can be slapped onto anything with elaboration. Those terms are meant to describe really diffuse and varying concepts with far-reaching applications and tons of variant readings. Is this really how you discuss things?
        Q:"Hey, did you read Bolano? What did you think?"
        A: "Marxism"
        What have I dismissed? How are those fields of study reflected in Blaises' work ( his center, I know) and to what end?

        "By the way, I think what you said about Richard McGuire's 'Here' strip was very insightful. I agree with that assessment. I think your comparison of Blaise's rhetoric to 'Inception' was really flimsy. "

        I think it holds up.


        "You seem to be looking for a Final Answer that you have not even begun to do the work necessary to uncover. I don't believe that you are uninterested in Blaise or his 'public persona' given that you troll his interviews and related articles consistently. Why not experience what he makes for yourself and then bring some more compelling insights to the table next time? "

        I am interested because I've been a part of the very small world of art comics for a long time. By the looks of your Flickr page, I'd guess that I was reading Fort Thunder comics and drawing a lot while you were being potty trained. You haven't begun to begin to know what it is to even start to look for what it means to "work" for any kind of answer, final or not.

        What insights are you offering, again? How is a criticism not a way of offering insight? Why do I have to pretend to like his work?

        I find his deal interesting in part because I can see my younger self reflected in him, and he reminds me of how I'd love to reach back through time and shake myself out of the kind of narcissistic stupor I was in. Just vapid, shallow nonsense, really.

        "I would never bring up the personal work of another commenter whom I disagreed with if they did not put so much effort into baselessly criticizing the work of others on a regular basis. But that is how I know you, as a thread troll.
        If you have a more substantial online presentation of your work than a flickr and myspace account, please provide links. If you have examples of illuminating writing of yours regarding that work, I'd be interested in reading that as well. "

        I get it: someone who consistently posts stuff you don't want to hear is a "troll", while someone who cheers along with you is a dedicated contributor.
        I can't relate to that worldview. I didn't grow up with the internet; I don't think just hearing what you want to hear is good for you, or good for any art form.
        You're free to write about whatever you can dig up on me, but it seems pretty childish and clearly beside the point.

        "If you'd like to continue this conversation in greater detail, feel free to email me:
        funkingexpress AT gmail DOT comedy "

        Why the fuck would I do that?

  10. Michael L says:

    if there's anything i'd take issue with, it'd be the self-assured terseness. on the WWW we're all so used to digesting information in these smaller and smaller bi(y)tes, so now everybody on that aphoristic tip but so much of it is hollow minutiae. thats why i relish the cometscomets dudes, cause they young but theyre not afriad to blather on.

  11. carolinebren says:

    The geocities site design is archived here http://pukelord666.blogspot.com/
    as the first rays hit…

  12. Pingback: Panelinks: 3-21-2011 | The Panelists

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