Making Up a Mess of Fun

Previously on Panel Patter

Cover of the Next Week

Banana Splits/Suicide Squad by Ben Caldwell

Four banana three banana two banana one
All bananas playing in the bright warm sun
Flipping like a pancake popping like a cork
Fleagle Bingo Drooper and Snork

Greatest.  Comic.  Ever.  

The Banana Splits/Suicide Squad Special #1 features a cover and interior artwork by Ben Caldwell.


Royal City by Jeff Lemire

** Jeff Lemire on the Auto Factories, Indie Rock and Mystery of Royal City (Paste Magazine)-- Tobias Carroll interviews Jeff Lemire about his newest series out of Image Comics.  One of the things that really bugged me about the first issue was the cliched author with writer's block but Lemire talks a bit about that character.
Lemire: I just thought it would be fun to base one of the characters on myself, as I’ve never done that before. But instead of him just being me, he is me if I had made all the wrong decision in my life. He is me if I had really screwed up and made bad creative choices, bad life choices, etc. It’s sort of fun to self-destruct on the page so I don’t have to in real life.
Don't know if I like this character any more or less but it's an interesting approach to a character that's similar to the author.

This and That

Scout by Tim Truman

** Dystopic Homesick Blues: Scout: The Four Monsters by Tim Truman (Loser City)-- Tim Truman's Scout is one of my favorite series of all time so I appreciate Nick Hanover's survey of the first major storyline from this series.
In a conversation about some of the themes I saw in Scout, indigenous media critic James Leask told me that in the online indigenous community there is talk of “the idea that native peoples actually ARE living in a post-apocalyptic world, given the ongoing genocide against them that fundamentally changed their societies. In the view of the contemporary indigenous world as a post-apocalyptic one, there can be pain and pride in the survival of it, and wry observation of settlers discussing it as something new or forthcoming.”

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

** The Best We Could Do (The Comics Journal)-- Panel Patter alum Rob Kirby reviews Thi Bui's book at TCJ.
In her early twenties, Bui traveled back to Vietnam to meet her extended family. It was shortly afterward that she began to record the family’s history, hoping that “if I bridged the gap between past and present… I could fill the void between my parents and me.” Her narrative flashes back and forth in time, illustrating how larger events (war, dictatorship, immigration) shaped the family’s lives. She records her father’s traumatic, uprooted childhood in the 1950s (she calls him “Bố,” or “daddy”) and how he endured periods of living as a refugee with his abusive, philandering father in a country wracked with sociopolitical turmoil and poverty. Meanwhile, Bui’s mother (“Má”) grew up in privilege as a child of a civil engineer, shielded for many years from the dire conditions of much of the country. After marrying Bố, Má gives birth to multiple children, usually under extremely difficult conditions, including her daughter, Bích, right before the Tet Offensive in 1968; a stillborn child, Thảo, in Saigon in 1974; and her son Tâm in a UN refugee camp in Malaysia in 1978.

Altcomics from 2dcloud

** Minnesota Publisher 2dcloud is Gaining Ground in U.S. Alt-comics (AIGO)-- 2dcloud's comics are some of the best comics just to look at.  Their detail in packaging, from stapled zines to nicely produced books, perfectly fits the spirit of every book that they publish.  
The best way to start an alt-comics publishing company is by just doing so. Start with an anthology; seeing how difficult it is to get work from artists with little to no financial incentives makes it hard, but it’s also realistic. It can also be thrilling to get people whose work you have long admired involved, or to pay someone their very first check (even if it is an embarrassingly small amount)—it feels incredible, and is encouraging.
2dcloud is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their Spring line of books.   You need these books.

** Quick Guide to Frank Santoro’s Grid Theories (Comic Workbook)-- Frank Santoro's concept of the grid just fascinates me.  I even ended up buying his school's handbook just to try to figure it out.  I'm putting this here just to link to a lot of his writing about how the comic page works.

Current Mood