Thursday, June 6, 2013

Self-Promotion: Big Feminist But, Studygroup Magazine

I'd like to indulge in a bit of self-promotion for some other recent projects of mine. I was a consulting editor for The Big Feminist But, an anthology edited by Shannon O'Leary and Joan Reilly. The only thing I really did was suggest a sequence for the stories in a manner that I thought made sense. While I wasn't thrilled with every story in here, there's some excellent work as well. Gabrielle Bell's "Manifestation" (her story about adapting Valerie Solanos' SCUM Manifesto) is one of my favorite stories of her career. Lauren Weinstein's heartfelt "If This Is All You Get" is a wonderful account of motherhood. Ulli Lust's autobio story about polyamory with her partner Kai Pfieffer is excellent; a mix of outrageous and strangely sensible. There are also strong pieces like the collaborations between real-life partners Vanessa Davis & Trevor Alixopulos, Josh Neufeld & Sari Wilson and former partners Jesse Reklaw & Andrice Arp. Other highlights include stories by Corinne Mucha, Virginia Paine, Justin Hall, Ron Rege', Jeffrey Brown, Emily Flake and Jen Wang. The book also contains one of Dylan Williams' last comics, and it's one of the best in the entire book. It's a fine group of artists examining a topic worthy of discussion, whether it relates to personal identity, sexual identity, marriage or child-rearing. Please consider buying a copy.

I'm also pleased to note that I have a piece in the new issue of Study Group Magazine (#2). Titled "Punk As Fuck: The Comics of Josh Bayer", this article takes a close look at a number of comics by the emerging cartoonist whose Raw Power was one of the best comics of the year. I'm not exaggerating when I feel like both the first and second issues of this magazine felt like they were being published just for me. Zack Soto is the designer and comics editor of the magazine, and his bright & powerful aesthetic can be felt in both issues. The list of artists he put together to contribute number many of my recent favorites: Aidan Koch, David King, Malachi Ward, Trevor Alixopulos, and Michael DeForge (in issue #1) and Lilli Carre', DeForge, Onsmith, Julia Gfrorer, Dan Zettwoch, Alixopulos, Sam Alden and Koch (in issue #2). None of these artists are turning in half-assed material, either; it's a-list stuff. The other great thing about SGM is that its features editor is former Comics Journal editor Milo George. George presided over one of the greatest runs in TCJ history, and seeing him with his hand back in the comics game is exciting. He was a supportive and hands-on editor whose input helped shape my article on Bayer into a piece I'm truly proud of. His process interview with Craig Thompson in #1 was fascinating. I also enjoyed his interview with Angie Wang, as well as Zack Soto's talks with Eleanor Davis and Mare' Odomo. I'd also like to single out J.T. Dockery's excellent piece on visiting John Byrne's house (!) and the way in general SGM manages to address some mainstream comics with a discerning and critical eye. This is strong and frequently cutting-edge stuff that's designed and packaged beautifully. Strongly recommended.

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