Block Envy

Well, I'm in Providence for a week to install my exhibition, What Nerve! So I come to you from deep within a Hampton Inn hotel room. It's cold in here! Last night I went to a music show organized by Carlos Gonzalez over at CF's place. Here's a bad photo of the flyer:photoI was allllmost the oldest person there, topped by the only other people I knew: Brian Chippendale and Ara Peterson. Old old old.

Here are some Forcefield dudes in mid-installation. photo 2

Here's a detail of Jack Kirby's Dream Machine, which I've been living with for two days. It does not ever get old. photo 3

OK, enough of me... today on the site:

Speaking of Providence, here's Rob Clough on U.D.W.F.G.

That Fort Thunder aesthetic is kept alive in the Italian anthology series U.D.W.F.G (Under Dark Weird Fantasy Grounds). Editor and publisher Michele Nitri is obviously enamored of this style of storytelling, as he's published the first chapters of five different serials from five different artists all working in this style. Brinkman is the name most familiar to English-speaking audiences, though his visual approach will appear startlingly different to anyone who hasn't been following him in recent years. The visuals in his serial "Cretin Keep on Creepin' Creek" are dark grey smudges with a dense, black background. The video game and superhero comic elements present in his earlier work have been mostly expunged in favor of a soupy, atmospheric approach. The visuals are actually quite similar to the work he did for the Cave Evil game a couple of years ago.

And here's Sean T. Collins on Molly Colleen O'Connell's Don't Tell Mom.

In Don’t Tell Mom, Molly Colleen O’Connell successfully realigns form and function: She grants the poetically absurd sexts featured on each of this zine’s drawings of cellphones the power to derange not only the physical objects that convey them, but logic and language themselves. The message, about the distorting influence of sexual desire, is received loud and clear.


The Brooklyn Book Festival has released its slate of programming, including a panel moderated by our own Nicole Rudick.

I always love caricatures on restaurant walls, and The Palm had tons, including many by famous cartoonists. Well, not for long...

The Sunday Press is having a helluva sale on its inventory of gorgeous and enormous books.

5 Responses to Block Envy

  1. Rob Barrett says:

    >>looks up “Dream Machine” on Google<>jaw drops<<

    Why is this piece not in a major museum?

  2. Dan Nadel says:

    Ha ha! That would be nice, but with few exceptions (i.e. Crumb and the occasional item left to a museum, like The Met’s Wiggle Much collection) major museums don’t acquire comic book art. This is for a myriad of reasons, but among them: There’s no department into which said objects naturally fit (are they prints? Drawings? Book arts?); there’s almost no serious scholarship about comic art as art objects; and the comic art collectors are, with a few exceptions, not a part of the art world that is involved with museums, so there’s no connection between collectors and institutions. Plus, Crumb excluded, there are not any major dealers actively showing and selling comic book art in a way that would attract curatorial attention. It’s hard enough to get institutions interested in comics-adjacent work like Peter Saul, Karl Wirsum, et al. So there you have it. But I think this is changing as younger art collectors begin to get hip to this work… slowly it’ll change.

  3. B. Johnson Smitty says:

    Is that Kirby piece the *original* painting? Is it in four panels? Who owns it? What are the materials? Genius!

  4. Rob Barrett says:

    Yeah, Dan. This is precisely why I’ve been working to get my department’s Comics and Graphic Narratives course up and running. Spreading the Gospels of Armaghetto and Fort Thunder and Hoppers–and it seems to be working. 19/36 students the first semester (when it was brand new), 35/36 this second semester. I’m pretty sure we can run two sections a year going forward. There’s a whole crowd of under-30s who want to read comics, and the class is an education for me as well (about to teach Kurtzman for the first time, a figure I hadn’t read before last fall).

  5. jude Killory says:

    Your previews have definitely got me planning a trip to Providence! The show looks great!

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