Bits 'n' bobs
Quick recommendation: Clear Blue Tomorrows
- Christophe Blain has released a new volume of Gus! In French! Gaze at theses preview pages and offer up a small prayer to the comics gods for a translation sometime soon. I know First Second released a compact edition of the first 2 volumes back in 2008, but really somebody needs to pick up the rights and give it the larger page treatment Blain's art deserves.
- British cartoonist Matthew Petit makes work that's always worth a look, and has begun serialisation of a new comic, The Man from the Mountain, online. It updates on Sundays. You can read it here.
- Such an excellent comic from Jeremy Sorese on coping with a chronic illness, and making do with the body you have, failing bits and all. I love his colour pencil work, and also the perfectly fitting references from The Secret Garden.
- Whit Taylor on visitng her family the weekend after the US election, as part of PEN's State of Emergency series.
- Aphton Corbin with a letter to her fellow Americans.
- UK comics festival Thought Bubble announced their first wave of 2017 guests: I'm incredibly excited about James Stokoe attending! Guessing the Alien: Dark Orbit trade may be out in time for that, if Dark Horse have their act together. I'm curious, too, to see how the venue and date shift is going to affect the festival.
- I like this comic by Michelle Kwon- parts 1 and 2 can be found here, parts 3 and 4 here. I believe a final part is yet to come, but the Tumblr layout is a little confusing, so that may not be the case.
- The tale of Boulet and the Facebook faux-pas.
- Frank Sontoro's essay with Kevin Nowlan on old-school comics colouring (originally published in 2007), is an informative read for someone like me, who missed out on that period and knows very little about how things were done. I don't agree as hard as Frank that digital colouring isn't as warm due to the lack of human intervention- as with most technology it's dependent on utilisation and how people choose to employ it, but he makes salient points about the limitations of four-colour creating a short-hand, collective language, and more.
- This background scene art, by Paul Rivoche, from The New Batman Adventures is a beauty in and of itself.
- Natalie Andrewson is working on a comic adaptation of The Nutcracker with First Second. That will be a lovely-looking book.
- Thierry Martin has a new artbook out that looks the absolute business.
Quick recommendation: Clear Blue Tomorrows
It's a engaging read, made almost compulsive by the frightening state of western politics. There is no special event that makes Wilson who he is; he's just a horrible, shitty person. He has no writing talent, so Nolan applies himself to the cause, aware of what lies ahead if Wilson's path isn't diverted. He keeps at it for years, writing books and screenplays, taking no credit, while Wilson remains irredeemable: thankless, arrogant, demanding, and stupid, despite having success after success handed to him on a plate. So Nolan gives up. He's already a certain age, and having travelled back decades, he'll die before the bad stuff begins to go down. He decides to cut his losses and enjoy his life. After years of sacrifice, he chooses selfishness. The future can take care of itself.
In essence, Clear Blue Tomorrows is less an exploration of the characteristics of the opposing and opposed, and more an examination of Nolan's psyche. If the 'bad' are absolute in their unchangeable awfulness and beyond the reach of any reason, the burden of responsibility -to act-, shifts to the 'good' who become complex and compromised. How does a 'good' person respond to that wall of relentlessness? What do we expect of Nolan, and of ourselves? Ensconced in his bubble, the impact of Wilson's rule and the memory of those it will devastate begins to fade. The idea of sacrificing -to no guaranteed outcome- for something which isn't going to affect him loses appeal. In this manner, Nolan comes to represent the white moderate, ever reluctant to involve themselves in matters which may lead to a loss of their own position of comfort. Do you stop trying because it's hard; stop trying because it's not working out as you expected; stop trying because change is slow? To what extent duty, and at what cost? How much do you do, and how do you know it's enough? Does stopping mean giving up? And lurking somewhere at the centre of it all, is a whole separate discussion on the limitations of non-violent resistance in a time engulfed by violence.