Today, we are happy to publish the transcript to “Sex, Humor, and the Grotesque”, a panel discussion that took place at this year’s SPX, moderated by Katie Skelly, and involving the work of Eleanor Davis, Julia Gfrörer, and Meghan Turbitt. Here’s a bit of their conversation:
Skelly: Julia, what drew you to comics? Why are you doing this?
Gfrörer: Looking back on it, I drew comics when I was younger, but when I went to art school I wanted to be a fine artist like Egon Schiele, and I was still doing comics on the side. When I moved to Portland I met all these comics people, and I met Dylan Williams and he asked me to do a book for Sparkplug and refined how it should be, and then that book became more popular than I’d anticipated. The positive reinforcement just kept me coming back.
Turbitt: I am funny, so comics are great for people who are funny. That’s why I do it. And also because I like to be gratified easily and very quickly, and when I was painting for years, it would take me months to finish a painting, and now it’s easy to finish one page a day in a couple of hours and feel good for forty-five minutes. And then you’re like, “Oh god, what am I gonna do next?”
And then the whole cycle starts again.
Davis: That’s a good forty-five minutes, though.
Also, we have Rob Clough’s review of T. Edward Bak’s Island of Memory.
Bak’s Wild Man series initially ran in the pages of the anthology Mome. In this first volume of his story about the German naturalist and explorer Georg Steller, he’s altered the format and some of the content considerably than what was published in Mome, and created a far more coherent and powerful experience. On the surface, a historical comic about Steller and the Second Kamchatka Expedition and the harsh winter conditions he and his team faced is a fairly straightforward idea. Bak is not interested in a straightforward presentation, however, and instead carefully uses a number of techniques to expand on his themes.
—Interviews & Profiles. Shannon Maugham at Publishers Weekly has a nice piece on Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash and their upcoming children’s book, Bow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors, which is essentially a 64-page wordless comic, and one likely to be worthy of interest to comics enthusiasts of all ages.
Jed Oelbaum has a strong interview with Art Spiegelman at Good magazine, primarily focused on his Wordless! show.
Michael Cavna has another strong interview, this time with Scott McCloud about guest-editing the most recent Best American Comics anthology.
Series editor Bill Kartalopoulos talks about the same book with Graphic Novel Reporter.
Anne Ishii has posted the first of a two-part interview with Jillian Tamaki.
William Nericcio celebrates Jaime Hernandez’s birthday by way of an anecdote about an academic pursuit in the late ’80s.
—Reviews. Paul Gravett takes on a variety of recent graphic novels.
—Conventions. 2D Cloud has a report from APE. Linework NW has announced they will expand their show to two days next year.