[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GOBLIN GIRL’ BY MOA ROOMANOVA

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GOBLIN GIRL’ BY MOA ROOMANOVA


July 7, 2020    Ryan Carey

Hailing as she does from Stockholm, Sweden, Moa Romanova’s name isn’t one that is particularly well-known here in the US — but I have a distinct feeling that her Fantagraphics-published debut graphic novel, Goblin Girl, is going to change all that in a hurry. Toeing a tightrope-line between pure autobio…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DISILLUSIONED ILLUSIONS’ BY GREG STUMP

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DISILLUSIONED ILLUSIONS’ BY GREG STUMP


June 30, 2020    Ryan Carey

    If there’s one comic that’s taken me a damn long time to wrap my head around, it’s Greg Stump’s singularly bizarre Disillusioned Illusions, originally self-published by the cartoonist in 2009 and later re-issued by Fantagraphics Underground in 2015. Folks are fond of saying that Seinfeld was a show about nothing,…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘SPEWEY’ BY JASON T. MILES

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘SPEWEY’ BY JASON T. MILES


June 23, 2020    Ryan Carey

  If there’s one thing you can say for the work of Seattle-based cartoonist Jason T. Miles, it’s that his art is consistently challenging. And surprising. And pretty near indescribable. At times even indecipherable. And, yeah, I realize that’s more than the promised “one thing.” Still, in my own defense, if…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘SOFTER THAN SUNSHINE’ BY HARRY NORDLINGER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘SOFTER THAN SUNSHINE’ BY HARRY NORDLINGER


June 16, 2020    Ryan Carey

None of the strips in cartoonist Harry Nordlinger’s 2019 self-published “solo creator” horror anthology comic Softer Than Sunshine run more than four pages — hell, a good many of them are only a single page long — but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth contemplating. Absorbing. Soaking in. Examining your reactions…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OLD GROWTH’ BY NIV BAVARSKY AND MICHAEL OLIVO

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OLD GROWTH’ BY NIV BAVARSKY AND MICHAEL OLIVO


June 9, 2020    Ryan Carey

  One of those books that take all of fifteen minutes to read, hours to look at, and days to fully absorb, it’s almost easier to catalogue what Niv Bavarsky and Michael Olivo’s handsomely-produced new Fantagraphics Underground hardback, Old Growth, isn’t about rather than what it is — but if we were…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘MUD THIEF’ VOL. 1 BY LEX ROCKET

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘MUD THIEF’ VOL. 1 BY LEX ROCKET


June 2, 2020    Ryan Carey

  Originally conceived of and published back in 2015 but only recently making the rounds through some of the better “alternative” distros now, cartoonist Lex Rocket’s sturdy, riso-printed (although the cover may be offset?) mini, Mud Thief  Vol. 1, is at first glance an exercise in strict formalism, apportioned into…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘HERCULES AND THE ORBS OF WOAD’ BY DAVID KING

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘HERCULES AND THE ORBS OF WOAD’ BY DAVID KING


May 26, 2020    Ryan Carey

  After knocking it out of the park with his flawless all-ages comic Yellow Flag Intelligence Squadron, cartoonist and self-publisher David King came back in the latter part of last year with a decidedly more – mature, I guess? – offering in the form of the magazine-sized Hercules And The Orbs…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE GARDEN’ BY LANE YATES & GARRETT YOUNG

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE GARDEN’ BY LANE YATES & GARRETT YOUNG


May 19, 2020    Ryan Carey

  A collaborative effort between writer Lane Yates and artist Garrett Young that was self-published toward the tail end of 2019, The Garden is a curious and fascinating mini that weaves an utterly unique spell that exemplifies the notion of, with apologies to Dan Clowes, an iron first under a velvet…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘KING OF KING COURT’ BY TRAVIS DANDRO

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘KING OF KING COURT’ BY TRAVIS DANDRO


May 13, 2020    Ryan Carey

  There are any number of “child’s eye view” memoirs competing for the attention of the contemporary comics reader, but Travis Dandro’s 2019 debut graphic novel, King Of King Court, makes the most of that particular visual and narrative storytelling “hook,” even if the results are admittedly a mixed bag. How…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘FLOP SWEAT’ #1 BY LANCE WARD

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘FLOP SWEAT’ #1 BY LANCE WARD


May 6, 2020    Ryan Carey

    For his third release from Birdcage Bottom Books in under a year, Twin Cities cartoonist Lance Ward is once again going the autobio/memoir route, but taking more of a “long view” than he did with his tightly-focused graphic novel Blood And Drugs and it short companion/epilogue publication, The Truth…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TEARS OF THE LEATHER-BOUND SAINTS’ (‘TAD MARTIN’ #8) BY CASANOVA FRANKENSTEIN

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TEARS OF THE LEATHER-BOUND SAINTS’ (‘TAD MARTIN’ #8) BY CASANOVA FRANKENSTEIN


April 29, 2020    Ryan Carey

    I’ve often remarked — no, I swear, I have! — that the best cartoonists are those with no fucks left to give, but leave it to Casanova Frankenstein (or, if you’re old-fashioned, Al Frank) to prove me wrong: You see, he’s living proof that the best cartoonists are…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE BACKSTAGE OF A DISHWASING WEBSHOW’ BY KEREN KATZ

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE BACKSTAGE OF A DISHWASING WEBSHOW’ BY KEREN KATZ


April 22, 2020    Ryan Carey

    As far as studies in contrasts go, you could make a pretty compelling argument that cartoonist Keren Katz’s latest book, The Backstage Of A Dishwashing Webshow, is precisely that: Matter-of-fact, minimalist text (and even more minimalist dialogue) juxtaposed with and/or against kaleidoscopic, fluid, complex, symbol-laden artwork that eschews borders…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BECOMING HORSES’ BY DISA WALLANDER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BECOMING HORSES’ BY DISA WALLANDER


April 15, 2020    Ryan Carey

    It might be fairly stated that Swedish cartoonist Disa Wallander appears to have one over-arching concern running through all her work, but given that said concern is the nature of the creative process itself and its centrality to the phenomenon of identity, it’s at the very least a…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE MAN WITHOUT TALENT’ BY YOSHIHARU TSUGE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE MAN WITHOUT TALENT’ BY YOSHIHARU TSUGE


March 18, 2020    Ryan Carey

Just about any and every artist that ever lived has been plagued with periods of self-doubt and creative bankruptcy, but the truly ingenious among them have found  ways to use those dark times as inspiration — after all, if you can’t rise above it, why not explore it for all…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DIARY OF A MONSTER’ BY KAREN SNEIDER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DIARY OF A MONSTER’ BY KAREN SNEIDER


March 4, 2020    Ryan Carey

  When you boil the art of cartooning down to its basic elements, you sometimes end up creating work that reminds people just why they love this medium so much in the first place — provided your sensibilities as an artist are sound to begin with, of course. When it…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘MULTO’ BY ANDREW LORENZI

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘MULTO’ BY ANDREW LORENZI


February 26, 2020    Ryan Carey

    Apparently in the works for several years before its debut at CAB late last year (at least if the catalogue number attached to it by its publisher, Retrofit/Big Planet, is to be believed — and why wouldn’t it be?), it’s perhaps easier to define Andrew Lorenzi’s visionary graphic…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘YELLOW FLAG INTELLIGENCE SQUADRON’ #1 BY DAVID KING

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘YELLOW FLAG INTELLIGENCE SQUADRON’ #1 BY DAVID KING


February 19, 2020    Ryan Carey

Some comics you hate. Some you’re indifferent to. Others you like. And then there are those, all too rare it seems, that you absolutely fall in love with. Let me introduce you to the latest object of my unbridled affection, David King’s Yellow Flag Intelligence Squadron #1.     Published under…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] “IN SPITE OF OURSELVES” BY NATALIE DUPILLE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] “IN SPITE OF OURSELVES” BY NATALIE DUPILLE


February 11, 2020    Ryan Carey

      There’s no better “relationship recharge” for a couple than getting away for a few days (at least) together — but that doesn’t mean a skilled cartoonist with a natural eye and ear for interpersonal dynamics can’t mine such an excursion for thematically-deep, if often subtle, pathos. And…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘FLOPPY’ #1 BY KARL STEVENS

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘FLOPPY’ #1 BY KARL STEVENS


February 4, 2020    Jon Abrams

    As a follow-up to his breakthrough 2018 graphic novel The Winner, illustrator supreme Karl Stevens has chosen a curious project — a deliberate throwback to the “solo anthology” comics of the 1990s, his new (-ish, the first issue came out late last year) Kilgore series, Floppy, is both nostalgic…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘WILDEST DREAM’ BY GARY PANTER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘WILDEST DREAM’ BY GARY PANTER


January 29, 2020    Ryan Carey

  Comprehensive in scope and immersive in its presentation, Brooklyn’s finest comic shop, Desert Island, has done a bang-up job in putting together Wildest Dream, a compact little hardcover collection of Gary Panter’s sketchbook drawings from 1973 through 2018 printed (at the tail end of last year) in suitably garish…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DITCH LIFE’ BY AMY LOCKHART

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘DITCH LIFE’ BY AMY LOCKHART


January 22, 2020    Ryan Carey

    Understand that what I’m about to say is being applied to an imprint that’s published Greg Stump’s Disillusioned Illusions and Gerald Jablonski’s Farmer Ned’s Comics Barn, so yeah — when I “call out” Amy Lockhart’s Ditch Life as the weirdest comic to come out under the Fantagraphics Underground label? That’s no small…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CONSTANTLY’ BY GG

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CONSTANTLY’ BY GG


January 14, 2020    Ryan Carey

    As near as I can tell, the events depicted in GG’s new book, Constantly (her last for Koyama Press and officially the first great comic bearing a 2020 copyright date) all take place within the confines of the apartment or house occupied by its nameless protagonist, but in a less literal…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] TOP TEN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2019

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] TOP TEN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2019


December 17, 2019    Ryan Carey

    As we come to the end of another year, it’s time to survey the landscape and determine what the “best of the best” was. My only rule for inclusion on this list is that the book in question has to be an original work, not serialized in single…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TULPA’ BY GRACE KROLL

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TULPA’ BY GRACE KROLL


December 11, 2019    Ryan Carey

          To the extent that I understand the term, a tulpa is an independent thoughtform created by a person that shares their brain but has thoughts, feelings, etc. of its own. Tibetan monks were — and may still be — big on these things, and David…

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