Thursday, April 4, 2013

Assorted Plugs and Kickstarters

First on my list of things to look at and possibly support is the new comics website of Noah Van Sciver and Joseph Remnant: The Expositor. These are two of the hardest-working, most rapidly improving cartoonists in comics today, and both are essentially serializing their next book online. Noah Van Sciver's story is "Saint Cole", which is about one of his typical loser characters on the edge. This one happens to have a girlfriend and young son, and the early chapters of the story show him on the verge of either an easier life or some bad decisions. Remnant's story is "Cartoon Clouds", which is a post-art school story about a painter with little sense of direction. Both see each cartoonist at the height of their powers as mature artists.

Another interesting web site is 4Panel, a project that has a killer lineup of cartoonists all doing just four panels at a time. Michael DeForge, Dunja Jankovic, Derik Badman and a couple of dozen other artists have all been contributing to the Carousel-magazine led venture edited by Mark Laliberte. Much of it is in full color, allowing artists a full toolbox to attack the four panel grid, with the idea being that formal and poetic innovation is encouraged as opposed to standard narrative strategies. The results to date are fascinating.

Let's look at some very worthy kickstarters:  first up is LOVF New York: Destination Crisis, which is being run by Robyn Chapman. Seeing as she's being the very successful kickstarter and subsequent publication of Ariel Bordeaux's The Complete Deep Girl, it's a no-brainer that this comic by Jesse Reklaw will be excellent.

Next up is Bingo Baby, an improvised story done by five CCS cartoonists, including Joe Lambert, Amelia Onorato, Denis St. John, Bill Bedard, and Donna Almendrala. The story was improvised, with each actor playing a particular role, their performance was recorded and turned into a script and then finally became a comic. It's a fascinating concept for a comic that's a very different spin on jam comics. Jason Lutes, a member of the CCS faculty, is running this kickstarter, which is about halfway to its goal of 7K.

Finally, there's the kickstarter for the Zan Christensen-edited anthology Anything That Loves. While it's already met its goal, a firmly-defined amount of money will go to the involved artists as certain new goals are exceeded. The concept for the anthology is intriguing: tales of people in-between: bisexuals or those whose sexuality defies easy description and labeling on the Kinsey scale. It's an admirable project, and from Christensen's perspective as a gay man, he correctly notes the ways in which the gay community has been outright hostile to bi-identified men and women. There's a great lineup for this anthology, including MariNaomi, Roberta Gregory, Bill Roundy, Ellen Forney, Erika Moen and many others.

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