Today on the site: Day four of Sara Lautman's diary.
And Katie Skelly on Cathy Johnson's new book, Gorgeous.
The heart of Gorgeous’s story is a collision between ideologies on the move. In the dead of night, two reckless young punks take off after ruining some band’s set and smash head-on into an oncoming college student’s car. As they offer their assistance, the lead punk’s worldview is laid out overtly in binary dialogue; you’re rich, I’m poor; you’re girly, I’m tough, etc. The real essence of the characters is revealed by the end of the night: the “anarchist” punks feign sincerity in playing at chaos but are ultimately selfish, pillaging. The college sophomore, Sophie, who at first appears green and uncertain, demonstrates herself to be a determined, even stoic young woman on her way to self-actualization. Her circumstances (which we connote by Johnson hitting three solid, albeit somewhat-clichéd, beats of budget trouble/scholarship/student athlete) present a real chaos that demand her focus and management, or else she will succumb to a failure that will set her back irreversibly. It’s here where the length of the story eventually hobbles Gorgeous; at 60 pages there is only so much character depth Johnson can plunge into, and while we spend almost equal time with Sophie as we do the punks, the punks do little more to function as dimensionless aggressors in the end when weighed against the student’s narrative.
Elsewhere, it's a mostly non-comics link day today:
If you are in NYC, get thee to Matthew Marks Gallery to gaze upon these drawings by the late, great Ken Price, master sculptor who also made incredibly works on paper with clear affinities to Moebius, Moscoso, and, most of all, Herge.
If you are a human being interested in visual culture, take a deep dive into this newly launched online archive of work by Robert Brownjohn, one of the great post-WWII graphic designers, known for his work on Goldfinger and Let it Bleed.
If you have $25 and some wall space, buy this John Pham/Kramers 9 print.