Sidetrack City

Today, Dan Nadel interviews the great Italian cartoonist Lorenzo Mattotti about his newest book, Hansel & Gretel, and many other things. Here's a small sample of their conversation:

Are these all the images you created or are there some left out?

No, normally I use everything. I did maybe two or three more images for this main subject. I did three versions. One I put inside and the other one I only used for myself. It’s incredible how this work came out. It came in a very natural way. I ‘d like to make all the books like this.

(laughs) I was just going to ask. Is that unusual for you? Is it usually more organized?

No, I’m quick for my kind of images. For my research, for my paintings. Normally, I’m quick. I make many, many images with the pen and also the brush. For my personal drawings and paintings, I’m very quick. I like illustrations I can do in two days, one day. Luckily, I’m quick. But for some books, I take my time. I do after I think after I do. And for my stories in comics, for my stories I’m very slow. For other stories like Jekyll and Hyde, I’m much more quick.

Hansel and Gretel was just one or two weeks?

More or less. Maybe less.

That’s fast.

After Hansel and Gretel, I decided that I was really interested in this kind of method, so I started to make other images in a very free way. Only black and white. There was not a story, but there was a sort of an evocation of a story. I did an exhibition in Bologna of 50 or so of these works.

We also have Robert Kirby's review of the last eight minicomics releases from Kuš!, the Latvian publishing effort. Here's his introductory paragraph:

Kuš! (pronounced "koosh"), the Latvian Comics anthology launched in 2007, recently sent me their eight most recent minicomics, half of which were released in late 2013, the rest earlier this year. Each 24-page mini is a solo effort from a different creator in their growing stable of Latvian and international artists. Each creator employs elements of fantasy or magical realism in his or her stories, with one piece being flat-out science fiction (albeit in a very whimsical fashion). Even the one comic that appears to be a straightforward, grounded-in-the-real-world story—Oskars Pavlovskis' Lucky—dips into the Twilight Zone before the final page. The comics and artists featured by Kuš! often work in an elliptical fashion; the stories revel in ambiguity, traffic in surreal imagery and storylines, and are frequently grounded in the conceptual rather than the concrete. Each mini has a brief, well-written synopsis on the back cover, which can help the uninitiated suss out some of the more abstract tales. They are all 4" x 6", in color, impeccably designed and produced, making them collectible little art objects.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. Biographer Lance Parkin has posted the final interview he conducted with subject Alan Moore in four parts so far.

In advance of CAB in Brooklyn this weekend, Al Jaffee.

Peggy Roalf at DART interviews cartoonist/illustrator Jonathon Rosen.

The latest guest on Anshuman Iddamsetty's Arcade podcast is Nina Bunjevac.

Alex Dueben talks to Copra creator Michel Fiffe.

Zainab Akhtar talks to Swedish cartoonist Erik Svetoft.

Tom Spurgeon talks to comiXology's Chip Mosher about their Submit program.

—Reviews & Commentary.
Nicholas Lezard writes about Hunt Emerson's Calculus Cat.

Martin Wisse writes about the online controversy surrounding the James Sturm comic Dan linked to yesterday.

Ruth Margalit writes about the disturbing messages of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

—News. As just about everyone reported yesterday, Bill Watterson has released the poster he has drawn to promote the next Angoulême festival, and announced via interview that he won't be attending the event. Because hers was the first post I saved, let me send you to Brigid Alverson for the details.