This feature was originally posted at Your Chicken Enemy. Go there for more great small press comics coverage.
Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* Laura Stump looks at HOW TO BE ALIVE by Tara Booth, a book that “explores what a successful comic can be and who can create one.”
* Sally Ingraham on SPACE ACADEMY 123 by Mickey Zacchilli, writing “Her drawings contain and transmit the wild rush of strange emotions, the sick sense of failure, the fraying of sanity, and the bold realization of the total absurdity of life.”* John Seven reviews FLOCKS by L. Nichols, writing “Despite what the book portrays, this is a very uplifting work that strives for togetherness more than expressing rage or seeking revenge against those who wronged her. It’s very much an examination of group dynamics and how they can work against individuals, but also how that shouldn’t stop you from remaining open to a like-minded group as you walk through your life. It’s not only about acceptance but about refusing to allow those who hate you to taint your own practice of acceptance and obstruct your own quest for it.”
* Paul Lai on Sophia Foster-Dimino’s DID YOU SEE ME? writing “this book is asking questions, not wagging fingers, about our social fabrics, dramatically reconfigured by social media, and how they wrap up our quivering hearts.”
* Ryan Carey reviews MONKEY CHEF by Mike Freiheit, lauding “Freiheit’s clean and humane cartooning style, his flair for characterization, his smooth and evocative color choices, his self-deprecating wit — but the unforced, naturalistic manner in which he consistently demonstrates correlations between “monkey world” and “people world” definitely stands out as a high point among high points.” Carey also reviews THE PRINCE by Liam Cobb which “is probably best viewed as an intriguing experiment that flirts with essential reading status only to occasionally undercut itself by punching outside its weight class.”
* Dominic Umile on ESCAPING WARS AND WAVES by Olivier Kugler, writing “The animated pages in Escaping read like composites of several images, where physical geography is represented fractionally and sitting subjects look to be in motion. The story retains a sketchbook-like sensibility rather than that of formal, finalized storytelling. It’s fitting: Everyone is on the move. Their stories are far from over, and some are still waiting to be told.”
* Robin Enrico writes about SMALL PRESS EXPO 2018 — LOOKING BACK AT A WEEKEND OF TRUE COMICS COMMUNITY AT THIS YEAR’S SPX for Broken Frontier. It was so great to finally meet Robin at our little comics critics gathering on Sunday morning. And his write-up here truly captures the mood of the show.
* Seo Kim‘s comic on Vice this week is called THE FOOD YOU WANT TO EAT WHEN NO OTHER FOOD WILL DO and it is a bit too on the nose for me not to link to.
* Karen Schousboe writes about the new book by Bo Gräslund, Beowulfkvädet. Den nordiska bakgrunden, which dates the epic poem Beowulf back to AD 550 — which is just what my class of unruly High School Seniors really want to hear right now.