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Joe McCulloch is here as usual with his guide to the best-sounding releases new to comics stores this week, and his highlight picks this time include books by Los Bros Hernandez and Al Columbia. He also writes at length about a Finnish comic he picked up at SPX.

I was not familiar with [Anna] Sailamaa prior to this, but something about the book compelled me to pick it up entirely on a whim. Perhaps the winding, sinister title lettering reminded me a bit of Julia Gfrörer — you don’t see very many comics reminiscent of hers — though Sailamaa works in a much more removed, rather formalistic approach. The book is split into three parts (“Cleanliness”, “The Wound”, “The Clean-up”), each covering a portion of one day in the lives of young girls who live in a highly metaphorical group home environment, seemingly devoid of adult supervision. Text introductions to each section describe the characteristics of the house in great detail, both its physicality and the eternity of the space which it occupies – nothing truly changes in this place. Observational drawings of stones, water and plants accompany these preludes, as if from a science textbook, and Sailamaa maintains this aloof and observational stance as the sections play out. “Cleanliness” begins with the faces of every girl sleeping, in full splashes and four-panel grids. As they away the perspective shifts between extreme closeups of parts of their bodies, especially their hands, and side-profile images of their faces, to which most of the dialogue is attached.


Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. The most recent guest on the Virtual Memories podcast is Liza Donnelly.

—News. The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has been barred by police from leaving the country, a decision the artist has vowed to fight.

Even though I am facing nine charges under the Sedition Act, I am still not convicted since my case shall only start on the 22nd of November this year. This clearly shows gross abuse of power and blatant violation of human rights by these individuals.

Matt Furie is teaming up with the ADL to help reclaim Pepe the Frog from hate groups.

The [ADL} announced on Friday an experiment to try and reform the image, working with its creator, Matt Furie, who will create “a series of positive Pepe memes and messages” to be promoted on social media with the hashtag #SavePepe.

The winner of this year’s Emerging Artist award at CXC was Kevin Czap.


—Reviews & Commentary.
John Adcock and Huib van Ostal disagree as to whether or not A.B. Frost is responsible for some illustrations.

I’m quite sure now that all of the illustrations on all eight pages are the work of one cartoonist, probably A.B. Frost. Co-editor Huib van Opstal disagrees and believes they are simply clumsy copies, “in no way are these pen and ink drawings ever made by A.B. Frost himself.”


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