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Querulous Handiwork

Today at The Comics Journal, we've got ourselves a bit of a theme. See, back when Jillian Tamaki released Boundless, she sat down with Eleanor Davis for one of our very favorite conversations. Now that Eleanor has a new book, Why Art?, we thought it made the most sense to turn the tables a bit and have them sit down again. Thankfully, both participants were up for it, and the ensuing conversation is today's must read.

What's your relationship between activism and art? Or, alternatively, what frustrates you about some of these discussions around activism and art?

Art is secondary. It should be the glue, or the gasoline, the thing that helps facilitate the change. Like, so much of what I do now is "armchair activism," posting on Facebook, writing email blasts. By itself, without a goal, that stuff is worse than nothing. But ideally it's in the service of unifying and strengthening people, putting pressure, voting the old bums out, pushing the new bums to not be bums.

I fucking LOATHE the shitty smug self-satisfied idea that art is a political means unto itself. Even if it ends up working out like that, I hate the not-getting-my-hands-dirty feel of it.

And then there's this: Jillian isn't the only person who has stopped by to talk about Eleanor's work today--we've also got the book's review, brought to you by the ever insightful Rachel Davies.

While the book remains instructional and educational about art, Davis goes on to prove that this doesn’t have to be entirely simplistic. Davis manages to discuss such complicated issues as how the burden of student loans affects one’s output, feeling far too close to an artwork, and being defined by one past artwork, into two to six page bites throughout the book.

But we've also got another reason for you to stick around today, which is this: a nice chunk of The Case of the Missing Men, a recent graphic novel release by Kris Bertin & Alexander Forbes, published by Conundrum Press. 

And with that, i'll bid you a happy Thursday. I have a five year old with a fever, and it's eating my lunch.


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