[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘RUST BELT’ BY SEAN KNICKERBOCKER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘RUST BELT’ BY SEAN KNICKERBOCKER


August 13, 2019    Ryan Carey

    There’s a sickness at the heart of what used to be called the “American Dream,” and we all know it : the consolidation of wealth among the so-called “one percent” has left a wide swath of devastation in its wake, entire regions of the country cast aside as…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BICYCLE DAY’ BY BRIAN BLOMERTH

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BICYCLE DAY’ BY BRIAN BLOMERTH


August 7, 2019    Ryan Carey

    With his debut graphic novel, Bicycle Day, Brooklyn-based cartoonist and commercial illustrator Brian Blomerth has set for himself a fairly daunting challenge: Not just to illustrate, but to visually communicate, a historical “first.” And not just any historical “first” at that, but one that involved entering another state of consciousness altogether…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘PIERROT ALTERATIONS’ BY C.F.

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘PIERROT ALTERATIONS’ BY C.F.


July 31, 2019    Ryan Carey

      Somewhere, at some point, for some reason, some people are building a city. Only maybe they’re not people, since at least one of them shambles about on all fours. And maybe it’s not a city because all they’ve got finished so far is part of a wall…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘EXPELLING MY TRUTH’ BY TOM VAN DEUSEN

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘EXPELLING MY TRUTH’ BY TOM VAN DEUSEN


July 21, 2019    Ryan Carey

  It’s no secret that I’ve always considered Tom Van Deusen to be one of the funniest cartoonists working today — but that’s selling him a bit short, I suppose, considering that he’s also one of the most interesting. Hiding under the modern iteration of fairly classic comic-strip style illustration that…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GALACTIC FRIENDS’ BY MEGHAN TURBITT

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GALACTIC FRIENDS’ BY MEGHAN TURBITT


July 9, 2019    Ryan Carey

      Billed by its creator and publisher, cartoonist Meghan Turbitt, as “the definitive guide to Star Wars by someone who has only seen the movies once for the first time last year,” the 2018 full-color mini Galactic Friends is pretty much exactly what it claims to be — which makes…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BLOSSOMS IN AUTUMN’ BY ZIDROU & AIMEE DE JONGH

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BLOSSOMS IN AUTUMN’ BY ZIDROU & AIMEE DE JONGH


July 3, 2019    Ryan Carey

  There’s really so much to like about Belgian writer Zidrou and Dutch artist Aimee de Jongh’s Blossoms In Autumn, recently made available in a hardcover English translation from upstart UK small press powerhouse-in-the-making SelfMadeHero — the story of late-life romance between 59-year-old widower Ulysses, recently forced into early retirement from…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CANNONBALL’ BY KELSEY WROTEN

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CANNONBALL’ BY KELSEY WROTEN


June 18, 2019    Ryan Carey

    Yup, we’ve seen it before: the college/art school, or the post-college/post-art school, memoir has been a ubiquitous fixture of the “alternative” comics scene for three decades or so — more than enough time, in fact, for people who grew up reading these sorts of things to have kids…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GENDER QUEER: A MEMOIR’ BY MAIA KOBABE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘GENDER QUEER: A MEMOIR’ BY MAIA KOBABE


June 11, 2019    Ryan Carey

    Suffused throughout with a light touch that can best be described as genuinely tender, Maia Kobabe’s Lion Forge-published Gender Queer: A Memoir comes across as anything other than the seismic shift it is in terms of consciousness-raising — and maybe that’s what makes it one in the first place. Eschewing…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BEZIMENA’ BY NINA BUNJEVAC

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BEZIMENA’ BY NINA BUNJEVAC


June 5, 2019    Ryan Carey

    There’s a sense you get from page one of Nina Bunjevac’s new graphic novel Bezimena (presented in an oversized, lavish hardcover by publisher Fantagraphics) — the idea that this is no mere foray into the depraved mind of a sexually-charged psychopath. That there’s quite a bit more going on…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CREDO’ BY PETER BAGGE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CREDO’ BY PETER BAGGE


May 30, 2019    Ryan Carey

    I’ll say one thing for the proverbial “third act” (actually, it might be more like the fourth or fifth) of Peter Bagge’s cartooning career — he picks some interesting subjects for his “graphic biographies.” From Margaret Sanger to Zora Neale Hurston to, now, Rose Wilder Lane, the women…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TACK PIANO HEAVEN’ BY CHRIS ADAMS

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘TACK PIANO HEAVEN’ BY CHRIS ADAMS


May 22, 2019    Ryan Carey

      There needs to be a new word in the English language for something less than a fixed and deliberate “event” and more than a random, happenstance “occurrence.” A middle ground of some sort that defines things that are happening, but are just — I dunno, happening. Cartoonist and musician Christopher…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘IS THIS HOW YOU SEE ME?’ BY JAIME HERNANDEZ

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘IS THIS HOW YOU SEE ME?’ BY JAIME HERNANDEZ


May 14, 2019    Ryan Carey

    It’s time to just come right out and say it: Love And Rockets is the greatest series in comics history. It’s so consistently good, in fact, that it’s often taken for granted, a part of our lives that we just assume will always be there — because, for many…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘ALL THE SAD SONGS’ BY SUMMER PIERRE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘ALL THE SAD SONGS’ BY SUMMER PIERRE


May 3, 2019    Ryan Carey

      The connective tissue linking music and memory is very strong indeed — most of us can remember fairly clearly where we were and/or what we were doing the first time we heard a favorite song; hearing one we haven’t heard in years often takes us right back…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘VAGABOND’ BY TANA OSHIMA

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘VAGABOND’ BY TANA OSHIMA


April 23, 2019    Ryan Carey

      Here’s the thing — most “indie” comics creators, and even most “indie” comics readers, fancy themselves as “outsiders,” to one degree or another. Not only do we work on, or take pleasure from, an art form that is on the “margins,” but one that is on the very…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘3D SWEETIES’ BY JULIAN GLANDER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘3D SWEETIES’ BY JULIAN GLANDER


April 17, 2019    Ryan Carey

  Somewhere on a colorful and computer-generated plane of existence, a semblance of “life” trudges along, oddly familiar in both tone and content to the world we know: the denizens navigate their way through a media-saturated landscape, waste too much time on the internet, immerse themselves in various fan “communities,”…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘JESUSFREAK’ BY JOE CASEY & BENJAMIN MARRA

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘JESUSFREAK’ BY JOE CASEY & BENJAMIN MARRA


April 9, 2019    Ryan Carey

       I’m not sure what it is about “Bible comics,” but there’s something appealing about the whole notion, even to a devout non-believer such as myself. Whether it’s the fire and brimstone of a Jack T. Chick or the scaled-down intimacy of a Chester Brown, I’m down for…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OFF SEASON’ BY JAMES STURM

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OFF SEASON’ BY JAMES STURM


April 3, 2019    Ryan Carey

    James Sturm is an important cartoonist. Why, just ask around — everybody says so. He founded CCS. He gives TED Talks. His work is parsed over in minute detail in the pages of academic journals. Those rare occasions when he releases new material are heralded as “major” publishing…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BILLIE THE BEE’ BY MARY FLEENER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BILLIE THE BEE’ BY MARY FLEENER


March 27, 2019    Ryan Carey

Can it be? Or should that read “can it bee”? It seems impossible that Mary Fleener’s new Fantagraphics-published hardcover book, Billie The Bee, could be her first proper “graphic novel,” and yet — that’s precisely the case. It took me a minute to wrap my head around that fact, as I’ve…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CULT OF THE IBIS’ BY DARIA TESSLER

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘CULT OF THE IBIS’ BY DARIA TESSLER


March 20, 2019    Ryan Carey

    The generally-held view of the ancient mystical pseudo-scientific practice of alchemy is that it was all about turning lead into gold, but my understanding is that this is a rather limited “piece” of the overall alchemical project, which was largely concerned with creating that which didn’t exist before…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OUR WRETCHED TOWN HALL’ BY ERIC KOSTIUK WILLIAMS

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘OUR WRETCHED TOWN HALL’ BY ERIC KOSTIUK WILLIAMS


March 12, 2019    Ryan Carey

    Nothing constrains Eric Kostiuk Williams. His cartooning is never less than near-infinitely adapatable, fluid, mercurial — maybe literally, as his forms, figures, even structures seem liquid at room temperature, ever in a state of joyous flux, refusing to define themselves and embracing the joyous possibilities of being whatever their…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BRAT’ BY MICHAEL DeFORGE

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘BRAT’ BY MICHAEL DeFORGE


March 6, 2019    Ryan Carey

      If there’s one thing I hate, it’s “YouTube stars.” The idea that sub-moronic loudmouths such as Pewdiepie and Logan Paul have made small (or maybe not-so-small) fortunes by broadcasting a whole lotta nothing from their living rooms makes even the most vacuous “famous for being famous” celebrities, such…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE SCAR’ BY ANDREA FERRARIS & RENATO CHIOCCA

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] ‘THE SCAR’ BY ANDREA FERRARIS & RENATO CHIOCCA


March 4, 2019    Ryan Carey

      As I write this review, “president” Donald Trump is pathetically scrambling to legitimize his inherently illegitimate so-called “state of emergency” along the US-Mexico border, a stunt undertaken in order to commandeer funds for his pipe-dream of a “wall” by executive fiat. A genuine “emergency” has been unfolding,…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] “THE ADVENTURES OF TAD MARTIN SUPER-SECRET SPECIAL” #1 BY CASANOVA FRANKENSTEIN

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] “THE ADVENTURES OF TAD MARTIN SUPER-SECRET SPECIAL” #1 BY CASANOVA FRANKENSTEIN


February 20, 2019    Ryan Carey

  Man, it’s been awhile. Not as long a while as the gap — no, make that gulf — between Casanova Frankenstein’s The Adventures Of Tad Martin #5 and The Adventures Of Tad Martin #sicksicksix, a book that was literally a couple of decades in the making, but still — four or five years, by…

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[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] G.I. JOE: SIERRA MADRE #1

[GRINDHOUSE COMICS COLUMN] G.I. JOE: SIERRA MADRE #1


February 13, 2019    Ryan Carey

  In point of fact, this is probably the sort of comic that I’m predisposed to dislike: It’s not just that I don’t give much of a shit about G.I. Joe and didn’t even when I was at the age where I was supposed to, it’s that exercises soaked in nostalgia don’t…

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