Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I like stuff

Linkblog time again.

*It's been mentioned several times already, but in case you haven't heard, Buenaventura Press will co-publish the 6th issue of Kramer's Ergot, the massive, avant-garde anthology read by hip comics cognisenti everywhere. You can see preview pages and the cover here (warning: some images not work safe). If past issues are any indication, this will easily be the most important and breathtaking anthology published this year.

Beunaventura Press also has a list of other upcoming projects on the news section of their site, which includes a new issue of Comic Art magazine, new books by Vanessa Davis and Dan Zettwoch, "Comic Book Holocaust," a collection of Johnny Ryan's raunchy parody strips, and "Elvis Road," a 30-foot narrative drawing by the duo known as Elvis Studio. I got a sneak peek at this last book at last year's SPX, and it's pretty damned impressive.

* Joe Sacco did an 8-page strip for The Guardian on torture that you can read here.

* Um, I don't think you're supposed to put a PlayStation controller there (nsfw).

*Finally, the Comic Bloggers Poll is tallied and posted. You can read the final results here. I won't get too much into the final results, as much of it might sound like sour grapes because "my horse" didn't win. I did want to make a few quick notes however:

1) On his blog Crisis/Boring Change, Poll creator Chris Tamarri and Low Road blogger Ed Cunard note that few people who say voted for Love and Rockets as best ongoing series, nominated Jaime or Gilbert Hernandez under the best artist or best writer categories.

There's a reason for that. I don't most folks think of the Hernandez brothers or any of the other number of cartooning folk that handle both word/picture chores solely as artists or writers. I know I don't. Jaime's layout, his page design and staging are all integral components of his storytelling skills. I can't separate his talent into 2 different compartments. When I think of "comics writer" I think of someone like Grant Morrison, ie. someone who is known solely as a wordsmith. Same thing for best artist; I don't think of someone like Chris Ware, I think of someone who's fame rests solely on their ability to draw, and not necessarily tell stories. Since the folks who do specialize thusly mainly work in the mainstream Marvel/DC milieu, it's no surprise that Marvel/DC books tend to take the top spot in these types of polls. I think that Chris' idea to include a "best cartoonist" category next year is a good one.

2) One of the problems with polls like these is that everything tends to skew to the middle. You may have liked Godland best. I may have preferred Love and Rockets. But by gum, we both liked All-Star Superman! And thus the accumilation of points pushes that to the top. I mean, I liked Top 10: The 49ers, really I did. But best original graphic novel? Not even close.

Gad, there I go again with the sour grapes. Sorry. Watch it turn out that I gave that book 10 points and promptly forgot.

3) I really need to do a better job keeping track of what comes out in a given year. There were a ton of books that I completely forgot about.

Despite my griping, this was a fun exercise. My sincere thanks to Chris for letting me particpate.


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