November 30, 2016

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Pounding the Journalistic Pavement with Sarah Glidden in Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq



Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq

Written and Drawn by Sarah Glidden
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

If there’s any one thing we can take away from Sarah Glidden’s Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, it’s that time keeps on marching on and our stories and histories continue to change. Her newest book chronicles a trip to those three countries in 2010 where she and a small band of journalists wanted to report on Iraqi refugees and their lives. Back then, a large number of displaced Iraqis found refuge in Syria. And now in 2016 Syria is torn apart by war and people are fleeing that country to find refuge elsewhere, including in the United States. The situation in Syria has changed so much that Glidden addresses the march of history and wonders if her story is even relevant after recent events. But just because situations and politics change, the stories of these refugees and, indeed, all refugees becomes even more important. The stories she tells in this book aren’t just a history of 2010 but an important exploration of the ever-growing issues of refugees that are more and more part of our world.

Glidden asks herself and her readers “what is journalism?” in the opening pages of the book. Is it what her friend and travel companion Sarah, a journalist herself, describes it as- verifiable, accountable and independent? She seems to be the expert here. But to some of the Iraqis they find on the way, journalism is just a cover for American spies and having a veteran as one of their other companions seems to cast a lot of potential drama over their group? Or is Glidden’s own chronicling of her travels journalism? Or maybe the book isn’t even about journalism at all, even though that’s what Glidden wants it to be. Maybe it’s about how Americans and Iraqis view each other and Glidden’s own brand of journalism is just a tool to tell her stories.

At the center of Glidden’s journey is Dan, a guy who joined the marines for some complicated reasons. He didn’t believe in the war with Iraq but he also couldn’t let others go over to fight for America if he also wasn’t willing to. Now going to college on the GI Bill, Dan joins these journalists to go back and revisit the country and its people. A childhood friend of one of the other journalists, it’s hoped that Dan would be able to provide a unique and questioning perspective on his and his country's’ roles in the lives of these displaced people but he’s never willing to open up that much. He wants to believe that their presence in Iraq was just and that the people’s lives are better now even as he meets people whose lives have been completely uprooted and irrevocably altered by the actions of the United States.

Dan’s presence on this trip only complicates an already complicated situation. Dan is central to Glidden’s book but he’s not the focus of it. In Glidden’s travels, we meet all sorts of different people who have had to leave their homes and, in many cases, their families. Some of these people are welcoming to this small group of Americans, welcoming them into their homes and freely telling their stories. Other people treat the Americans as the surrogates for the United States and the country which attacked their homes, destroying their lives and families. Rolling Blackouts show that there are two and, often, more sides to every story and Glidden meets many of those stories. 


Glidden’s cartooning breaks down a lot of the barriers between us sitting in our comfortable homes reading this book and the lives of the refugees. In most cases, we would read accounts like this as prose, with an author painting these images with words and phrases. But like Joe Sacco, her spiritual predecessor when it comes to this type of comic storytelling, Glidden has the power of the images. She shows people eagerly answering their questions or pulling back when they learn they are talking to Americans. The observational and conversational nature of her cartooning makes these complex politics and emotions easy to follow. For as complicated as the issues that Glidden covers are, her approach to telling these stories is as clear and concise as possible. It’s this clarity that makes Rolling Blackouts a must read to understand the lives of refugees around the world.

At the end of the book, Glidden circles back to her questions about journalism and she doubts her own ability for it in the stories that she’s just told. There may be elements of independence, accountability, and veracity in her work but because of how much time has passed since 2010 and now, she questions her own work. Syria in 2016 is a lot different than the Syria of 2010 but the stories of these people still need to be told. The lives of the refugees, whether they’re in Syria or Germany or France or the United States (or wherever they may settle) share these experiences and Glidden’s book allows us to create a relationship with them. And with this relationship comes some understanding of the lives that refugees have had to give up to find safety for themselves and their loved ones.

November 18, 2016

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A New Morning in America-- (Weekend Pattering for November 18th, 2016)

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week


The flow (pun intended) to Matt Kindt's cover of Dept. H #8 makes this a stunning image.  The current set up by the character's hair moves you through this image but it pushes back on itself.  There's a lot of tension in this image as Kindt has the hair pushing back on itself.  Also, the juxtaposition of the blue of the water and the green of her skin makes nothing about this image calm or serene.  

Bonus Cover of the This Week



Look at those colors to Veronica Fish's cover on Slam #1.  Just look at them.  It's green skin again and it looks great playing against the pink of the rest of the cover.  Just superb.  This is the kind of cover that would get me to flip through a book.  

Interviews


** “Why Draw Comics About Anything Else?”: The Keiler Roberts Interview (TCJ)-- Rob Clough interviews Keiler Roberts about her work in comics, teaching and parenting.

For example, one page that people respond to in different ways is the one where I’m in the bathroom while naked Xia sits on the toilet. She says “This house is getting naughtier and naughtier.” You can figure out that she’s done something wrong, and maybe I did too. She ends the short conversation with “Don’t hurt me mommy, I’m just a little girl.” Clearly, there’s a lot of context that was left out. Some people laugh at that last line and probably see it as Xia exaggerating. When it happened, it broke my heart. Was she really afraid of me? I probably had forgotten that she was just a little girl and was treating her like a monster. I thought the conversation would have more power out of context, because the context makes it too specific. Many parents probably have a similar moment with their kid, and I wanted it to be relatable.

** ERIKA MOEN AND MATTHEW NOLAN ON OH JOY SEX TOY VOLUME THREE (The CSPH)--  The creators of Oh Joy Sex Toy talks to The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health about their comic.
Erika: I’ve become more confident talking about sex stuff since we first began. Originally, I was very averse to being called a “Sex Educator” because I just didn’t feel friggin’ qualified. I’m not formally educated in any way, I mean, I majored in COMIC BOOKS in college for goodness sake! I’m just a passionate nerd who reads a lot about sex stuff, just like there’s passionate nerds out there who read a lot about Star Wars stuff. Doesn’t mean either of us are qualified to be expert professors of the subject, y’know? All the information in OJST comes straight from Scarleteen.com, PlannedParenthood.org, Wikipedia, and my resource books, like S.E.X. by Heather Corrina (founder of Scarleteen), Changing Bodies, Changing Lives by Ruth Bell, and more. So don’t worry, I AM fact-checking from reputable sources! But I see myself more as an information recycler than an actual sex educator.


** Gene Luen Yang Thinks Superheroes Are for Everyone (New York Times)-- As someone who made his name on American Born Chinese and his recent two-part book on the Boxer revolution, Gene Luen Yang talks to the NYT about his work at DC on Superman-related books.
So much of the monthly superhero market is driven by nostalgia. But at the same time, we live in a world that’s very different than the one we grew up in. The larger readership wants our stories to reflect what America is today. If we care about diversity and representation, then the approach we need is two-pronged: We need new characters establishing new legacies, and we also need characters that use a pre-existing legacy to attract eyeballs. Ultimately, what you do is never going to please 100 percent of the audience. I do think if you tell a great story, maybe you’ll get some of them to switch over.

This and That


** CCS ONE-WEEK CARTOONING WORKOUT (CCS)-- Panel Patter favorite Alec Longstreth has designed a one-week email cartooning course for The Center for Cartoon Studies.  
Are you an aspiring cartoonist and need some help getting started? Have you been a cartoonist for a while, but need a refresher regimen to get you back into a creative groove? Whether you are interested in graphic memoir, comics journalism, or fantasy genres, this seven-day course is designed to help build your cartooning muscles.

Your Moment of Politics?

It's been a hard couple of weeks.  Honestly, the election of Donald Trump for President kind of hit us hard.  Personally, I'm still not convinced that Hillary Clinton would have been a great President but she was probably the best choice of 2016.  But of course, I live outside of Chicago, the swatch of blue amid a sea of red states.

I've been thinking a bit about what to do and think about this.  At FilmMaker, Dan Schoenbrun wrote about how all movies are political.

We need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves if the films we are making or helping to make are actually saying the things that need to be said. If they’re making people feel the things they need to feel. If they’re even reaching the people they need to reach, and if not, what we can do to change that.

And following up on that, Indiewire asked a number of film critics to respond to Schoenbrun's piece. Jen Yamato (a critic for The Daily Beast) has an answer that can also easily apply to comics.
Film critics have the power to hold Hollywood accountable for the misogyny, bigotry, and erasure of others that have never disappeared from this country and its pop entertainment, just like we wield the power to critique bad acting and terrible scripts. But most film critics don’t exercise that power. And many critics, like plenty of other humans, can’t see (through) their own veil of privilege. My hope is that we try harder, filmmakers and critics and moviegoers and non-moviegoers alike, to demand better not just for ourselves but for others in the age of President-elect Trump and beyond.
Strangely, I've found my own thoughts and writing in the past few months becoming more political in a lot of ways.  Not so much in terms of elections and power but in the ways of beliefs and behaviors.  Even this week, my review of Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire's Secret Path feels much more charged than a lot of my writing has before.  I'm not saying it's better or even good but just that it's coming from a different place than I've written about much before.  

It's most likely a wishy-washy punditry but it's my wishy-washy punditry and I guess I feel comfortable with that.  It's where my headspace is right now.  And honestly, I hope it's where my headspace is for a long time.  I don't want to forget these emotions, both disappointment and nervousness, and that should be a part of the way I look at the world and at comics.  

To paraphrase Schoenbrun, comics are political.  Superman is political.  Doctor Strange is political.  Love and Rockets is political.  Giant Days is political.  Transformers is political.  So our writing about these books should be political.  If these artists are willing to have a point of view that they are going to try to express through their comics, we should have a point of view about them as well that we try to express through our writing. 

To quote a 1984 election ad for President Reagan, it's morning in America.  Only in 2016, it's going to be a long days journey to get to a night when we can rest easily.

Current Mood


November 17, 2016

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Walking Down the Secret Path with Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire

Secret Path
Written by Gord Downie
Drawn by Jeff Lemire
Published by Simon and Schuster

There’s an ugliness at the center of Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire’s Secret Path, the story of a child taken away from his native home in the name of Christianity. With Downie’s lyrics and Lemire’s drawings, the book shows a boy’s desire to get home in a world that will not let him return to his parents. The book shows the resilience of the boy’s character and drive but it also shows the cruelty of the life that goes with all of that. By taking a broad approach to a very specific, historical incident, Downie and Lemire tell a universal story that provides as many lessons that we need to have today as it does lessons about the past.

Lemire takes the story that Downie tells through song (from an album of the same name) and gives it a face. The Indigenous boy, in real life named Chanie Wenjack but never actually named in the book, was taken from his family and sent to a Presbyterian school that was funded by the Canadian government. In Lemire’s silent images which speak volumes, we see the boy in this school, surrounded by other kids but more threateningly surrounded by priests and nuns and it looks like a prison. The boy is a prisoner of a piousness that has little to no regard for the boy himself or for his heritage. And for a boy who was only 9 years old, prison is what it must have felt like as these people try to teach him state-sponsored Christianity.


When the boy escapes the school with a couple of other kids, he eventually finds himself all alone, walking along a cold and isolated railroad, trying to make his way back to his home and his parents. Shaping the visual story around Downie’s lyrics, Lemire’s linework isn’t merely narrative; it’s emotional. As we’ve seen with Lemire at his best, going back to the Essex County trilogy, his art has an evocative nature to it that reflects its characters emotional states. Whether it’s the large, sunken eyes or the shaky lines, Lemire’s depiction of the boy’s journey represents his emotional state as much as it does his physical condition.

Secret Path is a very cold book. With his Payne’s gray watercolor wash over his drawings, Lemire strives to make the boy’s world a harsh place. The bluish-gray hues that color the boy’s existence, except for the few colorfully warm memories of his family, add to the cruelty of the world in the boy’s experience. Walking down that railroad track with the boy, you can feel the dropping temperatures and the boy’s own struggle for warmth. As Downie’s lyrics remind us, the boy only had a windbreaker but he’s out there in the Canadian wilderness as the temperatures continue to drop and Lemire gets you to feel everything that the boy is going through.

Downie’s plaintive lyrics never treat the boy’s story as a simple narrative but he tries to explore the boy’s experience and mindset. As presented in the book, the lyrics, set in an old-fashioned typewriter font, paint their own poetic images of the boy's journey. Each song’s lyrics breaks the story into distinct segments which, along with the artwork, centers us in this boy’s journey. It’s impossible to know what he was actually doing or really thinking from the time he separated from his friends until a few days later when his body was found by a railroad worker but Downie and Lemire create a representation of what the boy could have been feeling and thinking.


Secret Path isn’t necessarily history but a reflection of the past. But it also serves as a warning in a world that’s being fought over because of strong ideologies (or maybe even over the lack of those ideologies.) Without reading the back cover blurb or looking into the history of the stories' inspiration, Chanie Wenjack, Downie and Lemire wisely don’t ground the story to a time or a place. Instead of providing a lesson, Downie and Lemire hope to instill empathy in the reader, not just for the boy but for all of humanity. The lessons of this book aren’t just about one Indigenous boy in Canada but are far more universal in this age of demagoguery and might-makes-right.

And with all of that said, Secret Path ends with a small splash of color and a bit of hope. As the weight of the collective sins of society increase with every page of the book, Downie and Lemire hint that one way or another, there is release from that pressure. While the book in no way forgives the society that took this child away from his parents and his home, Downie and Lemire allow the boy to find a peace that was denied to him by the priest and nuns who took him away. In the end, there is freedom for the boy and his soul that no one was able to take away from him.

Review extra:  Secret Path has been a fascinating project.  It's a book.  It's a music album.  And, thanks to the CBC, it's also a movie.  Below is the Youtube video from the CBC.  The first hour of this is the video of Secret Path and the second hour is a panel discussion about this part about Chanie Wenjack and this part of Canadian history.


November 14, 2016

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Get Tillie Walden's Webcomic "On a Sunbeam" On Your Reading List

So last year at Short Run Seattle, Box Brown introduced me to Tillie Walden's work. I found her art to be phenomenal. I was very excited when I heard she was starting a webcomic, and six chapters later, I'm absolutely blown away by her incredibly detailed line work and ability to use changes in color and style to striking effect.

Just look at this first set of panels of On a Sunbeam, the webcomic in question:


We start with the vastness of space, introduce a character, and show that ships have a very distinctive style to them, all with just three panels. Our character is on a quest of some kind, and it involves a space structure that looks like it popped out of an art history book. And just look at the detailing of the ship in that second panel! There's not just lines or buttons scattered randomly to create "details." There's a conscious effort made to have each panel look a bit different, using a variety of shapes and patterns.

It's breathtaking artwork, and that's just the first three panels. Each of Walden's entries, which feature pages upon pages of work, are exactly like this. She never cuts corners, making her comics ones to linger over, finding new pieces or seeing how patterns develop over the course of a chapter. There's a ton of echoing images in On a Sunbeam, due to its dual narrative of past and present. Because of the depth of each posting, they are also complete mini-stories, making this something that might appeal more to a traditional comics fan that most webcomics, which spread their story out across multiple days with smaller entries.

Here's another example of the artwork:


The first thing you notice here is the sense of scope. Thanks to figures in the foreground and a great use of perspective, we know the characters have arrived at a place that is immense. Due to the shattered stairs, cracks in the walls, and various holes, we know this place is dilapidated. And with Walden's use of colors, ranging from black to faded yellow to the multiple shades of gray, we have contrast that makes each of these elements stand out.

One more panel, this time with more figure work:


Here again, Tillie strives to use grayscale to keep the world of the characters varied, whether it's the flat black floor or changing tones to indicate the characters' clothing and other items are as varied as those we have in real life. There's not a lot of detailing in the faces of her figures, but we can still see their emotions, thanks to posing, placement, and clever panel structure.

The biggest weakness of "On a Sunbeam"--and in other Walden work I've read so far--is that while her visuals are amazing and the scope is absolutely breathtaking, she still struggles with pacing and plot. Her creative work is very much an experiment. Tillie's comment regarding the webcomic is very telling: "There are no exact plans for when this comic will end, I’m just going to keep drawing until I want to stop." What that means is that some readers may get frustrated at the meandering nature, with plot points mostly arriving as she sees fit, with many panels just exploring the world and her characters.

At some point in her career, I hope that Walden works on tightening her writing so that the quality of the story can match the quality of the artwork. That's not saying she's bad now, but once Tillie puts the two together, she will be an absolute master.

In the meantime, I'm very happy to keep reading and enjoying pages such as this one:


I hope you'll take the time to check out On a Sunbeam, especially if you're not familiar with Walden's work yet. She is going places, and I highly recommend you investigate her work now, so that when she's winning awards and getting a major book deal, you're not late to the party. Tillie has a Patreon, so if you love her work and can spare some funds, please help her keep going. Comics as a whole will be better off, and you'll be supporting an amazing young talent whose potential is as vast as the landscapes she's creating on the page.

November 8, 2016

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Graphic Nonfiction: Ellen T Crenshaw Gives You 10 Voting Quotes

Today is Election Day in the United States, and so much is at stake right now, it's not even funny. The vote today is literally a matter of life or death for so many vulnerable Americans. We can only hope that despite flirting with a total disaster candidate, that America will wake up and do the right thing today.

The Nib has been doing some great work during the campaign--I'm so glad it's back!--and here is one by Ellen T Crenshaw, featuring quotes from people relating to voting.

A few samples:




You can read the comic in full here.

I really like how Crenshaw makes sure that the images are large enough that we don't just rush over and read the quote. There's enough heft that we want to see how she handles Lincoln's mole, for example, or the way in which she poses Sarah Vowell in a manner that suggests some wry expression to match the quote. Her final quote, featuring President Obama, really highlights his demeanor when he speaks.

Additionally, Crenshaw also works the lettering to keep it varied, both between the quotes and within them. The Lincoln speech bubble has four different lettering fonts, for example.

We can't know what will happen today, but we can encourage you to vote. Al Franken, who is now one of the nation's best Senators, was elected by a margin of 311 in his first Senate race. With so much riding on the outcome, now is not the time to hesitate--as these speakers from Crenshaw's drawings say--Vote! Vote! Vote!

November 4, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for November 4th, 2016-- Remembering Steve Dillon (1962-2016)


I'm waiting for the day when Box Brown does a comic chronicling the 2016 Cubs/Indians World Series.  It would be a great third part if he wanted to consider his Andre the Giant and Tetris books as the first two parts of a trilogy.  Just saying...

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week


Doom Patrol #3 cover by Simon Bisley

Let's step back to the heady days of the early 1990s, when a young whippersnapper named Grant Morrison took over DC's Doom Patrol comic from Paul Kupperberg.  You can't really say that the two writers were kindred spirits in any way.  For the first handful of Morrison's Doom Patrol comics, Richard Case handled both the interior art and the covers but as the comic embraced its Dadaistic leanings, Simon Bisley took over the cover work.  Bisley's covers look like Dave McKean's Sandman covers, only on acid.

With Gerard Way's ode to all things Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol, it's only fitting that Bisley should be doing a variant cover for the new series.

It just feels right to see Bisley's Robotman gracing the cover of a comic book again.

Bonus Cover of the Next Week

Cometbus #57 cover by Jeffery Lewis

Aaron Cometbus's fanzine deserves an extra call out.  It's been available through online dealers for a couple of months now but it looks like the latest issue of Cometbus is hitting direct market stores next week.  The book is full of all kinds of great interviews with NYC-based comic people.  

Interviews



** An Interview with Sophie Campbell (The Comics Journal)-- From Wet Moon to Jem and the Holograms, Sophie Campbell has built an interesting career.
I’ve talked about this in other interviews where people ask me if there’s a social agenda with what I’m doing, and it’s yes and no. Yes because I’m thinking about that stuff so it can’t not have that aspect to it. Some decisions–just to have a fat character for example–are inherently political and you can’t avoid it and I think there’s some responsibility to be aware of it. But I didn’t really start thinking about that kind of thing until partway through my career. Looking back, now I can see how my work fits together with intersectionality and feminism, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I was like, “this is what I want to see, this is what I want the characters to be like,” and that was the extent of it. I tried to do what I wanted to see in comics, and what I saw in the world around me. But since having learned so much in the past however many years, I can look back at my work and see it more clearly.

** This Westworld and Captain America Writer Just Wrote Your New Favorite Graphic Novel (GQ)-- So, Ed Brubaker is just turning up everywhere, particularly when the episode of Westworld that he wrote aired on HBO.  But this interviews concentrates on his and Sean Phillips' excellent comic The Fade Out and its exploration of Hollywood.
It’s interesting: social media has changed the way we look at stars a little bit, but let’s not pretend, if you follow some movie star on Twitter, that it isn’t a completely curated experience from their end. I’m sure some are not, but most movie stars are probably not running their own Twitter account. [Laughs] That’s the interesting side of it: the picture that is presented to the world. You know, I saw a lot of parallels between The Fade Out and something like Deadwood, in a way, because it was about a place and a time, but Hollywood in the post-war years felt like the Gold Rush. Everybody was coming to Hollywood to try to become a movie star or a writer, and the amount of names of people who came to Hollywood to try to become a writer and wound up tossed out the other side doesn’t end with Dashiell Hammett and William Faulkner. I think Raymond Chandler was the only one who figured out how to game the system and make a living, and not actually have to live in Hollywood!

This and That

** CXC 2016: Report Card (Comics Workbook)-- Whit Taylor shares her thoughts about the recent CXC 2016, looking at how it stacks up to some of its goals.
When I asked Spurgeon what he wanted for this festival in coming years he said he hoped that CXC would “not just [be] having a strong show but driving attention to the entire world of comics in a kind of Cannes Film Festival way.” He talked of developing a housing program as well. “I’d love for the show to become successful enough we can aim it at some of comics intractable problems!”
Also at Comics Workbook, Juan Fern├índez ruminates on what a Comics Festival could look like.
Why? Because as it stands, in it’s current, commodity focused culture, comics are facing a cultural choking point with respect to the role that comics making can play in broader cultural discussions. We need to give comics making and comics reading practices more breathing room. To grow. To continue expanding. We need to nurture interdisciplinary approaches to experiencing comics. We need our festivals to make this a guiding principle.



** The Shirley Jackson Project (The Comics Journal)-- Greg Hunter reviews the latest Rob Kirby-edited project.
One sign of a good anthology is that even the misfires are interesting, and this is true of The Shirley Jackson Project. “Merricat” by W. Woods posits a series of found sketches by Merricat Blackwood, of We Have Always Lived in the Castle—sort of a losing endeavor by default, as the novel itself takes a deep dive into Merricat’s interiority, but it’s still fun to see the choices made sketch by sketch. Jennifer Camper’s “The Guest Bathroom” begins another losing game, putting a Jackson-like figure in the center of its story about a gradual home invasion, and also adopting a Jackson-like voice for its captions. In other words, it’s particularly easy to measure this piece against Jackson’s own work. But Camper still boasts one of the collection’s most dexterous plot-level feats, weaving together strands of the Jackson stories “Like Mother Used to Make,” “Trial By Combat,” and “The Villager” within one comic.

 ** The REAL Best Comics of all-time (73)-- Reacting to Sean T. Collins list at Thrillist about the Best Graphic Novels of All Time,  Sarah Horrocks replies with her own list.  Looking at the two lists, I'm much more partial to the books on Horrocks' list but both of them contain a lot of comics that I like and a lot that I still need to catch up on.

Steve Ditko

** Steve Ditko: The Father Of DOCTOR STRANGE (Birth. Death. Movies)-- Just in time for the movie to come out, Derek Faraci profiles the one cartoonist who still toils away daily in an office in Midtown Manhattan.
In 1987, Steve Ditko was awarded the Comic-Con International Inkpot Award. He didn’t show up for the ceremony, so publisher Deni Loubert accepted it on his behalf. Loubert sent the award to Ditko, only to have it returned with a note that read “Awards bleed the artist and make us compete against each other. They are the most horrible things in the world. How dare you accept this on my behalf”.

Your Moment of Steve Dillon


Honestly, I'm still having some trouble processing the death of Steve Dillon, who passed away on October 22, 2016, at 54 years old.  While I've been reading his comics since the mid-1980s, when his stuff first started appearing in the states in Eclipse Comics' reprints of British comics, I don't know if I could ever say I was a fan of his.  Hs work was solid but for a large chunk of Dillon's work, I think I was far more interested in eye candy than his work ever was.

Preacher is the Dillon book to me and maybe that's part of the problem.  I'm just not that much of a Garth Ennis fan and Preacher is Garth Ennis to me.  The over-the-top outrageousness was just a put off to me.  But there are key aspects of Preacher that I love and a lot of that is Dillon and his depictions of the friendships and relationships of Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy.  It's probably been 16 years since I last read through the series but it's the way that Dillon showed how these characters cared for one another that's always been one of the more remarkable things to ever come out of Vertigo.

Ennis and Dillon had talked about doing a follow-up Vertigo series, City Lights, that always sounded like it was going to be the spiritual successor to Preacher and it was a book that I always wanted to see.

For as much of Preacher being about Ennis' writing, the book really succeeded because of the many ways that Dillon brought the story to life.  It was vile, disgusting, blasphemous, joyful, exuberant and beautiful.  

And you know, in hindsight, those are all words that I'd use to describe Steve Dillon's work. 

Current Mood


November 1, 2016

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Weekend Pattering for October 30th, 2016-- Cover of the Week

This and That

This is a few days late (and probably a few dollars short) but after two big comic events last week, the wind was kind of out of my sails for ruminating on links of the week.  The first was the death of Steve Dillon and the second was the shitstorm that developed around Chelsea Cain and here "feminist agenda" in Mockingbird.  With a bit of distance, I'll probably have something to say about both Dillon and Cain for the next Weekend Pattering.  

With all of that as preamble, we'll have a shortened Weekend Pattering since it's already Tuesday in most of the world.  This week we'll highlight one upcoming cover with a very important message.

Cover of the Next Week


Next Tuesday, November 8th, is election day in the United States and we highly encourage everyone to get out and vote no matter who your choice of candidates may be or no matter how much you don't think your candidate needs your vote.  

Regular linking and commentary should be back this coming weekend.