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Dream Baby Dream

A new week, and a new Cartoonist's Diary. This week sees the debut of Day One from Summer Pierre.

We also have Rob Clough's review of a biographical comic, Dominique Osuch and Sandrine Martin's Niki De Saint Phalle: The Garden Of Secrets.

Writing a biography in comics is tricky. How does one cram the essence of a life into under two hundred pages? Is it possible to get across just why a person is important? Furthermore, how is the task complicated with a separate writer and artist? In Niki De Saint Phalle: The Garden Of Secrets, writer Dominique Osuch and artist Sandrine Martin are able to avoid some, but not all, of the pitfalls of comics biography.

De Saint Phalle, born in 1930, was better known outside the US, despite her half-American heritage and the number of years she lived in the country. She most often simply went by Nike, a name she gave herself as a child as a kind of guardian spirit and playmate that watched over her. She was a multi-media genius and self-taught artist who worked with huge sculptures, performance art, film, and other media, and her works were frequently considered to be shocking and controversial at the time. She was an artist who boldly and directly addressed feminist issues. Her work was bright, colorful and direct. Of her many achievements, her greatest may have been The Tarot Garden in Italy, which features sculptures of varying sizes of all the Major Arcana. Niki made sure the structures and the garden itself were an integrated whole, which was a frequent theme of her work. She wanted her art to be open and available for all to see in public spaces, not stuck in a museum.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. Massachusetts outlet Malden Wicked Local interviews Keith Knight.

I’ve been on panels with cartoonists who have to leave the country because their government was going after them for a cartoon they did. So, I’m fortunate that it’s not gotten to that point here yet. But the way things are going, it wouldn’t surprise me if it did.

[It’s a scary time] for everybody. I think not only not only for people who are direct victims of this, but also the indirect reality of people who never considered themselves to be racist or fascist, but are looking around and justifying what’s going on, and saying to themselves, “Oh, OK, maybe I am fine with this. Maybe I don’t want any of this taken away” -- even though none of it will be taken away!

But if you scare people enough, saying, “Oh, you know, this caravan of people are coming and they’re gonna take YOUR job.” It’s such silly bullsh--.

—Reviews & Commentary. The Paris Review excerpts Anne Elizabeth Moore's new monograph about Julie Doucet,

D&Q released Dirty Plotte #1 in January 1991, and it was one of the more enduring titles to come out of the black-and-white boom, a period of rampant experimentation in independently published comics, when no title seemed likely to fail and thus no risks were too big for publishers. Doucet won a Harvey Award for best new series, appeared in Diane Noomin’s Twisted Sisters anthology from Penguin, and was interviewed by The Comics Journal that same year. She moved to New York shortly thereafter, relocated within a year to Seattle, then to Berlin. Lève ta jambe, mon poisson est mort! (in English, “Lift your leg, my fish is dead!,” although the title remained untranslated for the English market) came out from D&Q in 1993, compiling work from the minicomics and elsewhere. A collection of dream and fantasy stories, My Most Secret Desire, came out in 1995, also from D&Q. Doucet returned to Montreal in 1998 to complete Dirty Plotte #12, which turned out to be the last in the pamphlet series. My New York Diary came out in 1999, The Madame Paul Affair the following year, and Long Time Relationship in 2001, all from D&Q. Dirty Plotte came in at ninety-six on The Comics Journal’s 1999 list of top comics of all time. This year, D&Q released a two-volume set of her work, The Complete Dirty Plotte, including several strips previously unpublished in English, selections from her diaries, both runs of Dirty Plotte, work that was published contemporaneously with the series but appeared in other venues, and the entirety of My New York Diary and The Madame Paul Affair.

—News. V.T. Hamlin's Alley Oop strip is being relaunched with writer Joey Alison Sanders and artist Jonathan Lemon.

Sayers said she hoped to add more humor to the strip, which has created by V.T. Hamlin and focused on Alley Oop and his life in the prehistoric kingdom of Moo since its debut in 1932. In 1939, it introduced Dr. Elbert Wonmug, a 20th-century scientist who sent the cave man on time-travel adventures. “I want to make it a little zanier and just have a little more fun and draw readers in,” Sayers said. The Sunday installments, she said, would likely not involve time travel. They will be a little more slice-of-life and coming-of-age-type stories, she remarked.

The strip is preserving its history, she noted. “It’s not that the stuff in the past doesn’t exist,” she said. “It is still the same characters, but circumstances have changed. I definitely don’t want to alienate the old readers, but I want to create a starting point for new readers.”

Workers at a Goodwill in New Jersey found a 1774 newspaper with the original "Unite or Die" snake cartoon from the U.S. Revolution. (History.com also wrote about the cartoon.)

“These were very important propaganda tools,” Snyder said of newspapers and pamphlets of the era. “The viciousness then in some was as much or more as it is today. . (But) the language was more powerful in putting down the other side.”

Snyder estimates the newspaper’s value at $6,000 to $16,000. Goodwill Industries hopes to sell it to help funds its educational and job-training services, according to Heather Randall, e-commerce manager of the regional operation in Bellmawr, New Jersey.

Writer Mark Waid has been sued by one of the main people associated with ComicsGate, and is raising legal funds.


One Response to Dream Baby Dream

  1. I love Keith Knight’s work, thanks for the link! I just wish the interview were longer!

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