Today on the site we have Bob Levin reviewing The Adventures of Tad Martin, #Sick Sick Six.
The first story in the comic The Adventures of Tad Martin, #Sick Sick Six (Teenage Dinosaur and Profanity Hill. 2015), by Casanova Frankenstein, “the artist, formally (sic) known as Al Frank,” is entitled “Tad Martin Vs. Popeye Rape-Whistle in The Secrets of Corpse-Fucking.” The publisher believed me the perfect person to review it. One week later, a journal editor had the same idea. I was flattered by the attention. At the same time, I thought, How the hell did Creative Writing 101a get me here?
Actually TM 6 had no character named Popeye Rape-Whistle. No corpse was fucked, and no secrets about corpse-schtupping were revealed. The whole title seemed to have been a marketing decision. Which did not make me feel any more ready for the trip Frankenstein’s pages promised. I was, after all, a guy who had swallowed his publisher’s defense of the omission of the word “Pornographers” from my title Outlaws, Rebels, Freethinkers, Pirates &... by arguing it might scare off shoppers in Walmart.
The New York Times has a major feature on Drawn & Quarterly which rightly celebrates its ongoing championing of women in comics. Also included is a list of suggested reading which looks about right to me.
All hail one of my favorite Chicagoans, Anya Davidson, who has at last opened an online store. Go forth. Anya's man dude Lane Milburn has started serializing his new comic. Somewhere deep in Chi-town the internet cables are sizzling.
I plan to write a lot more about this soon, but may I recommend a few things I've been reading? Yes? Thank you.
-Stroppy by Marc Bell. We will have much more coverage soon, but jeez, people, go get this book. I love this book. Marc's visual voice is unmistakable, beautifully (and I mean, like, sharp inhale beautiful) rendered and so damn funny in the finest Edward Lear/EC Segar way.
-Comics For Nothing by Noel Freibert. On the other end of the spectrum, a gorgeously printed book of drawings that weave and flap in the breeze, making comic book panels into active elements. Close to a dance performance.
-Qviet by Andy Burkholder. Cartoon drawing as an act of daydream searching -- reminds me of Saul Steinberg in some ways. Very funny about sex and physical identity.
-Salz and Pfeffer by Emilie Gleason. Another very "free" comic, in the sense that it seems unbeholden to any particular genre -- but it is very much about cartoons and the dopey culture of it all. Funny, very nicely drawn and immersive.
-Melody by Sylvia Rancourt: Holy moly, this is a mini-revelation. A masterclass in cartooning as urgent communication. We'll have more soon.
That's all. More later.