Today, we have Rob Kirby's last TCJ review of the year, a piece on Glenn Head's graphic memoir Chicago:
Chicago is also an intricate, literary story, with a protagonist whose motivations are often opaque and with outcomes that are anything but expected.
As Phoebe Gloeckner points out in her eloquent introduction, the story begins and ends in a graveyard. The specter of death haunts the edges of this tale, unusual in a coming-of-age memoir. Throughout, Glenn Head’s protagonist “Glen” (one ‘n’ missing, likely allowing for some artistic license regarding “truth”), skirts the limits of mortality, stepping deliberately into dangerous situations for reasons that remain hazy, even to himself.
—Interviews & Profiles. Paul Gravett interviews Miriam Katin.
I truly did not think about catharsis as I even hate the very word being waved around at the present time. But actually, before the book, if someone asked me how we survived, I would choke up and not be able to talk. I would make an excuse for some other time. After the book I noticed that I can deal with the subject. On the other hand I created Letting It Go with the enormous need to deal with my trauma of my son moving to Berlin. The process was very difficult but most helpful. I poured my anger and fears into the story.
Sean T. Collins talks to Heather Benjamin for Adult magazine.
Now I’m making less explicit, less fully pornographic work, because it’s not the dynamics of fucking that I'm grappling with on a daily basis. I’m less interested in how other people made me feel as a result of being involved with them——unlike in Sad Sex, when I was using text in some pieces, like “you make me feel special” or “I masturbate thinking about your boyfriend,” making really blatant statements about how relations between myself and various people affected my self-perception and my experience. I’m now more interested in my own singular experiences with, and within, myself, not those that are explicitly being generated by other people in the present. It’s more introspective and nostalgic, and less about depicting something generating panic and emotion in the moment. This obviously still has a lot to do with sexuality and physicality, but less to do with sexual acts, unless they’re being performed on oneself, or are being looked back on in reflection and anxiety.
—Reviews & Commentary. I don't know why I link to things like this guide to "getting into highbrow comics" at The Guardian. Presumably everyone reading already knows most of this material... I suppose it's a way to gauge how the larger world evaluates the form.
—Misc. Finally, if you're a free-jazz musician, don't expect R. Crumb to get it:
I finally gave a listen to those LPs and the CD you sent me, of your own saxophone playing and some Swedish modern jazz. I gotta tell you, on the cover of the CD of your sax playing, which is black and has no text on it, I wrote in large block letters, in silver ink, “Torturing The saxophone—Mats Gustafsson.” I just totally fail to find anything enjoyable about this, or to see what this has to do with music as I understand it, or what in God´s name is going on in your head that you want to make such noises on a musical instrument. Quite frankly, I was kind of shocked at what a negative, unpleasant experience it was, listening to it.