Today, we have two new reviews for you. First, Hazel Cills writes about Inés Estrada's Sindicalismo 89, a short comic documenting the lives of the residents of an apartment complex in Mexico City:
The story focuses on three very different types of city dwellers who inhabit the building. There’s Mecha and her roommate Pau, two young stoner women. Across the way live the loud Lopez family made up of Paco, Yoni, and their impatient mother. And then there’s the little old lady who lives alone with her yippy lap dog companion, just trying to live peacefully among the youthful hustle and bustle that build up outside her blinded windows.
This idea of comfortable, natural chaos reverberates through out the stories of Sindicalismo 89’s characters as they go about their days and deal with problems that range from the inane (“I want mojitos!”) to the more serious (the building is flooding.) Most of the comic centers around Mecha and Pau, the free-wheeling girls who seem to spend more of their time looking for boys to bone, throwing parties, and getting high. The privilege of their carefree fun is laid bare later in the comic when the darker, dangerous realities of Sindicalismo 89’s city setting come to light.
Then we have the return of Matt Seneca, whose encounter with the graphic-novel-length expanded version of Richard McGuire's Here has forced him out of retirement. Here's Matt:
I never really rated the original “Here”, having seen it alongside the more advanced work that Ware, along with Frank Quitely and Olivier Schrauwen (among others) produced after being shown the way by McGuire’s example. For me, anyway, “Here” the anthology short belongs with things like “A Trip to the Moon” and Naked Lunch - formally audacious, narratively light works of serious historical import that were inevitably superseded as the new ideas they brought to the table were absorbed into the mainstream. So when I learned a few years ago that Here the book was in the offing, I was pretty skeptical. It sounded like a cash-in, or maybe a failure of imagination - 300 pages of that old thing? Especially given that McGuire had made far more interesting work since 1989, it seemed a waste, so I wrote it off.
It took one look at a single spread from the new book to convince me I might have made a mistake - in the past twenty-five years, McGuire’s presentation of his concept has managed to expand as much as the comics form itself has.
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Brumsic Brandon, Jr., creator of the comic strip Luther, has passed away. The Times has an obituary.
Tom Spurgeon muses publicly about his new role as a convention organizer, and hints at potential changes at his Comics Reporter site.
Gilbert Hernandez has a new regular strip at Vice.