Panel from Ray Bailey’s Bruce Gentry (1949) - right after Gentry’s new wife leaves him because he first chose to save a small family from dying of the flu rather than go on a vacation with her.

Panel from Ray Bailey’s Bruce Gentry (1949) - right after Gentry’s new wife leaves him because he first chose to save a small family from dying of the flu rather than go on a vacation with her.

I started research for my thesis today. I’ve yet to really flesh out any specific idea but I’m using Fredric Wertham’s influence as my jumping off point.

This article couldn’t have been more convenient for me to come across. I was just reading about the shifting intellectual changes of the 50’s, and this article grounded a lot of those ideas back into comics.

I do wish it had been more specific about how the process of reading comics subverts the New Criticism agenda, but other than that an interesting read.

Dear Gary Panter

I must have first come across your work in a comics anthology in my senior year of high school, just as I was letting myself be swallowed whole by comics. I can’t remember for sure because I’m fairly certain I was horribly put off by your work and couldn’t for the life of me understand why it was among other great artists like Chris Ware and Art Spiegelman. I found your work hideous and crude, and completely lacking in any sense of beauty or poetry.

And yet as time went on, and I fell deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit of comic’s culture and history, your name just kept popping up. When I got more interested in the avant garde scene you just became flat unavoidable. I just didn’t get it. Even for outsider comic artists you seemed way outside.

Sense you were such a stumbling block, I resigned myself to at least become more familiar with you.

Read More

Punch (2012)

This is the final piece i created for one of my classes. All of my collage work up to this point has only made use of painted paper. I’ve kind of been straying away from doing more media-based collage for several reasons. Mainly that gathering up a strong enough library of things to work from takes time, but also because I have a hard time wrapping my head around producing something that way.
I finally figured I should stop avoiding it and give it a try. Being an avid fan of comics and their history with a large catalog on my computer of golden age comics, I figured that’d be the place to go.
The obvious connection in terms of Fine Art History would be with Roy Lichtenstein, but it differs on several elements. Lichtenstein’s approach to creating his paintings was filled with irony and disregard for the comics medium. He addressed comics as a “low” art and the success of paintings only further served to mock the poorly respected comic artists.

My work doesn’t have the insincerity of Lichtenstein. It becomes simply about taking the subject and appropriating it to serve a new purpose. 

This is a comic I did at the beginning of the semester. It’s pretty traditional in that I’m not playing too heavily with style or design too much. I’m still working out how to mix the style of my other work into a longer narrative.
To read the rest check out my blog and right click on the thumbnails: http://micmitart.blogspot.com/

This is a comic I did at the beginning of the semester. It’s pretty traditional in that I’m not playing too heavily with style or design too much. I’m still working out how to mix the style of my other work into a longer narrative.

To read the rest check out my blog and right click on the thumbnails: http://micmitart.blogspot.com/

Sometimes you just got to stop resisting what’s in front of you

Something I’ve always been secretly aware of in a lot of my comics is that any time I try to draw a character’s mother I usually end up drawing my own mom. Not just in image but in many ways personality. I often try to fight it, to do something that makes it so it’s not my mom, so this character is a creature all its own, but my mom always ends up being the character I feel needs to be in the story. Resisting that only weakens the story and the character. I’m realizing this now as I’m drawing up character designs for a family and find myself facing this struggle once again.

I’m supposed to be working on a “personal” project for one of my illustration classes. Now I tend to really loathe personal projects, because to me they tend to feel less personal as they are invasive, as in I’m not actually working on a project I’m interested in but instead being forced to talk about my life in front of people whom I barely know. I find it frustrating to be asked by a teacher to do that, even if I were to choose something that wasn’t that big of deal. I’m a fairly open person but it remains my life, and I will discuss it when and how I want to, not at the beckoning of another person.

So I’ve been trying to figure out how I can slyly work around this “personal” aspect and actually do something I want. I started to settle into this story for a comic I’ve been reworking in my head since the beginnings of summer, I’ve started it twice but it just has never realized itself in a way that satisfied me. It’s fictional but involves a lot of the elements I consider to be close to me, namely life in the south in a sub-rural town, the development of a really emotional environment, youth, masculinity, gender in general, politics, and race. (I’ve become a huge fan of Faulkner if that isn’t apparent.)

I started working on the idea and developing the characters and lo and behold I start writing my mother into the story again. (I feel Freud would have a lot to say about this, but I can’t stand reading Freud long enough to find out (Freud would have a lot to say about that as well)) I suddenly realized maybe if I’m so fascinated with making my mother into a character I really should take the time to actually get to know my mother better.

She really is an incredibly fascinating person to me. She grew up in Texas, barely knowing her mother, and never knowing her father. She was raised in a pretty strict household by her Aunt who would also become her teacher. She has mentioned several times, her hands tensing just from memory, of her Aunt rapping the metal side of a ruler across her knuckles. She took college as her opportunity to get as far away from her family as she could, ended up going to Texas A&M, only to see her family pack up and move with her.

She spent 4 years at the college (eventually moving into a house with some friends) and got a degree in biology. She always had an incredible love for animals, especially horses, and wanted to become a veterinarian. Unfortunately she didn’t have the grades to get into med school. After that she spent a year in Alaska where she met a man (whom I know nothing about) and became engaged to him.

She returned to Texas and started working in a record store about the time my Dad (from New Jersey) had to drop out A&M after one year because of money issues. My mom talked about going to work everyday and passing a thunderbird (firebird? I don’t remember), without knowing whose it is. My dad and her had been working together in the store for several months without really noticing each other. However, one night it was raining when they were both getting out of work. My mom only had her bike to get back to her home, so my Dad offered to drive her home, and of course, the mysterious owner of the hot rod car was my dad (I should mention about now he also had long thick black hair that fell to his shoulders).

At some point my mom broke off her engagement and started dating my Dad. A few months later they moved back into my Dad’s hometown in Jersey, and eventually married.

I grew up knowing my Dad’s side of the family pretty well, but I almost never heard anything about my mom’s side. The fact of the matter is I think she avoided talking about them, much less speaking to them, as much as she could. I never met anybody on that side of the family until a great aunt got cancer and moved to SC for treatment. I’ve caught a few sparse stories here and there (obviously). One I’m really fascinated by is about my great grandparents and there almost comical hatred of each other, like multiple failed attempts to kill the other including once my grandfather shooting at my grandmother with a shotgun three times while she was in an outhouse. Try to tell me that’s not a story you want to know more about!

But yeah shes very reluctant to talk about any of that stuff, she’s really distanced herself from that entire part of her life, I think for good reason, but I always feel like I’ve missed out on something. I’ve only gotten fractions of this incredible story. Now that I’m confronted with the fact that I’m so obviously interested in my mother as both a person and a character, I really want to know more, and I think that’s what I’m going to do with this project. I got a break coming up so it’ll be a good chance to have an interview with her.

So essentially, in my desperate attempt not to talk about my life I seem to have found something very personal I want to talk about. I still think my life might just be God’s favorite practical joke.

fantagraphics:

——comix:

Cover by Robert Crumb.

Vice talks to R. Crumb about why The New Yorker rejected this cover illustration.

This interview is pretty interesting and then just makes the most Crumb-esque tangent at the end, and Crumb isn’t even responsible for it.

comicallyvintage:

Jealousy can be a bitch.

I mean fuck! Just look at her and look at his hands!

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