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Lots of Snow on the Ground

Nicole Rudick is back on the site, with a review of Julia Gfrörer’s Black Is the Color:

Water and time are the basic elements of the story in Black Is the Color, which involves a young sailor, named Warren, set adrift in the ocean in a small boat. Starving and alone (his likewise marooned compatriot dies quickly and is dispatched overboard), he is visited periodically by a mermaid, who provides him with companionable conversation and sex. Warren’s moments in the boat take up roughly a third of the book and are concentrated in two long sections, set, as the rest of the book is, in a six-panel grid. Many of these pages contain little or no dialogue and show Warren alone in the boat or being comforted by the mermaid, Eulalia; these particular pages draw out the passing of time, slowing it and pitting the finiteness of human life against the perpetuity of the ocean. (Gfrörer’s sense of pacing is superb—her panels advance patiently, so that the dread of her endings has the controlled pluck of a Twlight Zone episode.) Eulalia is Warren’s only reprieve from these interminable stretches: she helps carve out brief moments of humanity for him. In one such instance, she encourages him to relate the tale of his first tryst with another sailor. “What was it like?” she asks, and he tips his head back and closes his eyes thoughtfully, as though imagining himself in that moment. Over the next three panels, Gfrörer subtly alters Warren’s expressions as he moves through the memory, before concluding, with a painful, faraway look, “It was sweet.”


Elsewhere:

—Reviews & Commentary. Stephen Bissette reviews the new Miracleman reprint, and wonders why Marvel can’t always do right by their backlist creators. Rick Marshall looks back at 1934, the birth of the adventure comic. Chris Randle reviews Michael DeForge’s Ant Colony. Andrew White has two quick but solid reviews of horror comics by Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins and Sam Alden. Greg Baldino reviews two feminist/LGBT anthologies, The Big Feminist But and Anything That Loves. The Tove Jansson biography (and a recently published memoir) were both reviewed at The Guardian and the Financial Times. Dana Jennings at the Times recommends various newspaper strip reprints. Sean Kleefeld writes about Jay Jackson’s Speed Jaxon.

—News & Misc. Variety reports that a new team has purchased Heavy Metal from Kevin Eastman. The Shuster heirs were denied a rehearing. Retrofit is having a 2014 subscription drive. Tim O’Neil’s blog is ten years old.

—Interviews & Profiles. Alex Dueben talks to Jim Woodring about Fran. The Rumpus talks to Tom Motley. Ana Merino profiled Paul Gravett, and Richard Graham interviewed him, and both their stories are here. Michael DeForge and Shary Boyle both appear on a recent Hazlitt podcast. Somehow I missed this video of a conversation between Zak Sally and the late Dylan Williams:


9 Responses to Lots of Snow on the Ground

  1. Phil Larrabee says:

    “Stephen Bissette reviews the new Miracleman reprint”

    You and Sturgeon link increasingly to Facebook, which is like opening an empty refrigerator at midnight to feed a hungry traveler. Maybe in a few years all online “journalism” will consist of blowjobs traded for secret passwords, but for now it would be nice if – assuming you really want or care that people read and think about the stories you peddle – you could link to places that are at least marginally tangible, and not just imaginations in the ether.

  2. Tom Spurgeon says:

    I’ll link to wherever the fuck I want, Phil. Go fuck yourself.

  3. Tom Spurgeon says:

    Seriously: NO ONE IS PLAYING A TRICK ON YOU, you entitled goober. Some Facebook postings are open to the public and some aren’t — it’s hard to tell, and most people that link to them acknowledge this in the linking to them.

    But one way to never have this big hassle of an occasional link that doesn’t work is to go find your own goddamn links and articles.

    (Hi, Tim!)

  4. Sammy says:

    I always knew link blogging about silly bullshit would eventually throw a man off the edge. Just a matter of when.

  5. Adam says:

    You’re one response away from out-crazying him, Tom.

  6. Chris Mautner says:

    Now I’m just waiting for the chance to call someone an “entitled goober.”

  7. Phil Larrabee says:

    Whatever you say, marshmallow

  8. Tam says:

    It’s not hard to tell, actually. Just try to open the link in an Incognito tab.

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