Thursday, September 11, 2014

New Reviews on Comics Alternative

Just posted on Comics Alternative are 3 of my capsule reviews on Comics Unmasked: Art & Anarchy in the UK by Gravett & Dunning, Comic Book People: Photographs from the 1970's and 1980's by Estrada, and an oldie but goodie, The Plot: the Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Eisner at

Monday, September 8, 2014

Carol Tyler at the Carnegie

Carol Tyler, Ponder.
Cartoonist Carol Tyler has created a beautifully detailed art installation as her contribution to With or Without: Challenges, an art exhibition curated by Mary Heider for the Carnegie (Covington, KY), September 5 - November 1 2015. The show presents work created by artists as a way to process and address difficult life experiences or challenges in their lives. 17 artists are included in the exhibit, along with Tyler, and the Woebegone Basketry Guild.

Tyler's installation Pages from the Graphic Novel You'll Never Know is based on her graphic novel trilogy, You'll Never Know. Tyler devoted nine years of her life to telling the emotional story of  her family, particularly her father, a World War II veteran suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a condition that was formerly known as "soldier's heart."

When I asked her to explain the contents of the installation, Tyler told me, "What is on display is a recreation of my living/workspace for the past 9 years. I created You'll Never Know in the most humble space with no budget and in between care-giving duties, a job, and various other things, mainly health problems. What is seen here is one side of the room (the process) and then the other side is a sampling of the finished art. There are 23 pages on display. The other 350+ pages live in that box below the art that Dad & I made.

The following photos were taken by Carol to document the installation:

Panel explaining the installation
Recreation of Tyler's workspace, including her drawing board.
A display of pages from the books.
Justin Green creates signage.
Tyler and her daughter Julia.
Planning a sequence
Guest sign in book for Veterans. 
Gallery visitor reading 
The photo above, of a gallery visitor reading, holds special significance to Tyler, as she explains: 'The chair was meant to display the jacket from the book, but I love how this guy sat down and read all three books. He said he couldn't stop and that he was stunned and could he please come back during the week so he could look further (made me tearful)."

Other artists included in the exhibition are Soulaf Abas, Julie Abijanac, Lynn Arnold, Ann Burrell, Steven Finke, Tim Freeman, Joe Girandola, Jamie Grauvogel, Barry Gunderson, Laurie Hughes, Kelly Malec-Kosak, Adam Maloney, Derrick Meads, Tim Rietenbach, Dana Saulnier, Nick Scrimenti, Thom Shaw, Carol Tyler, and The Woebegone Basketry Guild.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Comics Alternative: Steve Leialoha

I speak with comics vet Steve Leialoha for Comics Alternative about Seduction of the Innocent (the band), Warlock, Howard the Duck, Fables and future plans.

I learned quite a lot about working for Marvel in the 70's from Steve, and it was a great conversation. Thanks Steve, and Aloha.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Midcentury Modernism at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Yesterday I viewed Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism (at the CJM SF through 10/6) a show about how European Jewish emigres networked together around a core of design institutions across the US, inspiring a new look for architecture, furniture, textiles, dinnerware & utensils, Judaica, and graphic design.  The institutions singled out in the show were MoMA, Walker Art Center, Institute of Design (Chicago), Black Mountain College (NC), Case Study House/Art + Architecture magazine (LA), and Pond Farm (Guerneville, CA). There were many artists included in this survey and about 200 works on display; in this post,  I am sharing examples of graphic design I found interesting (all photos by me). There's a detailed press release about the entire show on the CJM web site.

Entry to the exhibit. Focus is on the 1950's, 60's, & 70's
A display of album covers by Alex Steinweiss, 1950's
Book covers for Merdian and New Directions books by Elaine Lustig-Cohen, 1950's.
Book Cover by Alan Lustig, 1940's
Aviary, a wallpaper designed by Saul Steinberg
Saul Bass poses with his best-known poster, Anatomy of a Murder
Poster for No Way Out by Paul Rand, 1950
A wall of corporate logos designed by Paul Rand, Saul Bass, and Louis Danziger
between 1938 & 1980.
Also on view is Project Mah Jongg, which explored the game's roots and how it came to be an important pastime in Jewish American life. The thing I really liked about this show was the series of drawings by local artists describing their memories of how Mah Jongg was part of their personal family life and culture (through 10/28).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Video: Comics Unmasked

Introductory video from Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK curated by Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning, which just closed at the British Library. As usual, the catalog is the artifact that remains, and it's a beauty.

Comic Art, Creativity and the Law: Video Review

We were thrilled to see this thoughtful and detailed review of Marc's new book, Comic Art, Creativity and the Law from UK Barrister Phillip Taylor MBE of Richmond Green Chambers.

Other reviews: The 1709 Blog | Art and Artifice | ICv2

Critical Insights: The American Comic Book

CI: TACB Cover
I contributed chapters on comics censorship and indie comics to this book, due to come out from Salem Press in November. It covers an impressive amount of territory and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's work. Order here.

I also contributed entries on Mort Walker and Beetle Bailey to the newly released 4 volume set from ABC-CLIO Greenwood Comics Through Time, which explores creators, titles and themes of importance from decade to decade.