Saturday, January 23, 2010


Let the blur stand for your peripheral vision. The far edge of panel 2 is there and not there. What I've noticed while reading the first two years of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant is how Foster experiments with caption placement to emphasize silence and the image, like in the swamp above, or to drown out a caption with comedic motion set in a deliberately larger panel, like with the horse below. Below, panels 3 and 4 are text-heavy to the point where the horse in panel 5 could very well be assaulting the glut of captions, driving the words along with Val into the ground. The fact that Foster's captions are the same size in every panel is manipulated by the sheer immensity of panel 5, which reorients prominence and subservience.
Bad scan I know. The horse is bucking after all.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5 O'Clock Shadowface

Ahhh my normal degradation in a day.

Dino Buzzati's recently restored Poem Strip (1969) is full of: rock songs that do not rock; nipples; pin-ups that want to be three-dimensional; images like verbs (melting, creeping); all the ripe twentieth-century malaises (bureaucratic, existential, masculine, sexual, urban); and a really wicked talking jacket, guardian demon of the underworld.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Went Looking for a Writer

I thought, Novelist! Novelist's gotta make it work, right, and latched onto Ian Rankin's John Constantine ditty Dark Entries for the new Vertigo Crime imprint. Already there's the benefit of its title, deliberate and mysterious. If you can buy into the loose spirituo-supernatural guff, the story's readably perverse and cute (Constantine's stoicism is reliably cute and so is the premise of Constantine as a reality show contestant). Right from the get-go, Rankin's words: "No news inside, just synapse-numbing junk." Good, I'll take it.

However, I went looking for a writer and found an artist. Manga-inspired at times, Scott McDaniel-y at others, Werther Dell'Edera has to invent new ways of laying out the many interrogation scenes. The central question: how are these reality show contestants connected? Below, the second panel shows Tom hiding his eyes, while the third panel shows Dell'Edera hiding Tom's face; the artist comes off as a sympathetic cameraperson to the reality show's all-consuming eye.
Have another drink, John.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Low Soup Clouds

(From Leela Corman's Queen's Day.)

Don't expect a hands tag. Unmoved by hands. (Not that I had much to say about faces.) These roiling broth clouds remind me of low-hanging mountain clouds in BC.

Corman is curious because she devotes space to blank space: in her panels, there's a lot of wall to take in, so much couch. Her stories are one-on-one meetings threatened by expanding voids: meeting the Baba Yaga and her ethereal soup, meeting a grandparent and your memory of death.
Couch. Wall. Jonathan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Early Edition

Sneak peek grocer cover. Fourth issue, fourth estate.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

That a Usagi Yojimbo Hand?

The last time I posted on Kevin Huizenga I chose a sequence less inventive and more subdued than his many comic frolics. I have done it again. From the paranoid romp of Ganges #3.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Hand Outstretched

(From Michael Allred's Madman Atomic Comics #14. You may enlarge.) I guess I simply appreciate the space devoted to this encounter between freaky man and spooked deer. Where else do you see something like this?