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Moldy Books and Odd Endorsements

Hi there,

Today we have Cynthia Rose on the four-volume graphic novel series PABLO.

Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie’s PABLO tackles something big: what – and who – turned a young Spanish painter into Picasso? Set between 1900 and 1909, their four-volume series covers Picasso’s earliest years in Paris. It’s a true story, but one whose details are largely forgotten. Birmant presents it with sympathy for the elements at its heart: youth, love, friendship and artistic transformation.

Anglophones may know Oubrerie’s art from the Aya series (published by Drawn and Quarterly in the US and Jonathan Cape in Britain). Birmant, who penned 2010′s Drôles de Femmes (“Curious Women”), works in both television and live theatre. Together they introduce us to a Bohemian, fin-de-siècle Paris. Here, the population is eccentric: a bearded chap whose pet donkey learns to paint and ‘sing’, drug-fuelled anarchists and plenty of girls who will pose in the nude. But some of its figures – like Georges Braque, Henri Matisse and Gertrude Stein – make lasting contributions of their own to art.

And elsewhere:

The best-ever film about comics, Artists and Models, gets some love at the AV Club.

The book jacket designer Peter Mendelsund has been getting a ton of press for his two new books. Deservedly so. He’s actually a good designer, not an illustrator pretending to be a designer.

It still cracks me up when Image is cited as a mecca for “creator-owned” books. I love that that’s a thing stupid people think. I mean, you’d have to be basically an idiot? I guess? Here’s one of those people talking about one of those things in Wired, which seems to specialize in overawed coverage things of comics with little merit. In case I need to say it clearer: Ownership and character diversity in comics has existed for over 50 years. Nothing new here. Move along.

Here’s a review of a graphic novel by an artist I’ve never heard of. In the New York Times. Scooped! The comics world is just that big now.

I wonder if this documentary about The Million Year Picnic will also interview that many publishers and artists the store never paid. I’m available. It remains sad and funny to me how you can totally fuck people over in comics and get away with it. It’s in the DNA of the medium, and it helps that we eat our own. Kim Deitch wisely wrote about this recently on Facebook and the reaction was predictably not in his favor, because, y’know, artists should shut up and stop whining.

Speaking of real talk, Abhay Khosla has a couple of responses to Mike Dawson’s recent writing about his own career.


5 Responses to Moldy Books and Odd Endorsements

  1. Oliver_C says:

    If it’s shiny, ‘Wired’ will love it.

  2. Antek says:

    I saw Artist and Models a couple of years back at Bam.
    Agreed that its by far tops in the category of comic book
    films. I still wish I could get a closer look at the art work produced
    for the film, that comic book at the end looked funky as hell.

  3. N Savory says:

    What cracks ME up is that you read the Wired article, and what you took away from it was ONE sentence about Image being ‘one of the last bastions of creator owned comics’ when the entire article is about how difficult it was growing up with so few black characters in the pages of the comics for the writer to even SEE, much less to identify with.

    He then goes on to talk about how hard it was to find a publisher to get behind a black female character in a pretty racially charged storyline.

    But you didn’t see that, or at least saw fit to mention it when posting the link.

    I guess people of colour really do live in a different world.

  4. steven samuels says:

    “If it’s shiny, ‘Wired’ will love it.”

    If it’s shiny, and used by the military, ‘Wired’ will love it

  5. Leon Sadler says:

    Wow this documentary kickstarter!!??

    I’ve given up trying to sell our books in shops because so many of these useless places don’t pay!

    $10,000 ?

    what the heck???

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