Highlighting some great small press comics criticism being published, as well as other random things that have caught my eye over the past week.
* JA Micheline uses her interview with Tillie Walden as a springboard into a review of Walden’s new book, SPINNING, as well as a discussion of her work rituals and her interest in structure. It’s a short piece, but it stands as a testament to why JAM is one of the best critics in the business.
* Andy Oliver reviews Katie Skelly’s MY PRETTY VAMPIRE which “can be interpreted as both a story representing individual freedom and release and one with a far broader allegorical meaning in terms of social commentary.”
* Kim O’Connor explores PORTRAIT by Simon Hanselmann and writes, “The thing is, in a culture where everything is both universally known and impossibly obscure — as it is on the Internet, as it is in indie comics — a lot of stuff becomes plausibly deniable when your preferred mode of talking shit is encrypted.”
* Robert Kirby reviews Hannah K. Lee’s LANGUAGE BARRIER, writing “With her decoded, beautifully visualized language, Lee communicates a memorably funny, insightful and humane statement about the times in which we live and our often flailing efforts at connection.” Sounds like the perfect book for me.
* Henry Chamberlain takes a casual and breezy look at DARK SIDE OF THE MOON by Blutch, eventually calling it “an utterly mesmerizing work.”
* John Seven reviews Ulli Lust’s VOICES IN THE DARK, a book that is “Just straightforward with enough delicacy that it takes pity on the reader for having to endure what it is showing us.”
* Over on Comicon.com, I wrote two new reviews of books I picked up at SPX this year. First is STAGES OF ROT by Linnea Sterte. Next is BODY MAGIK by Scott Roberts.
* Paul Lai interviews comics poet and editor of InkBrick, PAUL K. TUNIS about comics poetry. This is a pretty great conversation.
* Alex Dueben interviews ELI VALLEY about his book Diaspora Boy.
* Kat Overland writes about celebrating diversity and community in her look back at the 2017 IGNATZ AWARDS.
* Alex Hoffman takes a look back at his SPX 2017 experience with THE FAMILY YOU CHOOSE.
* Rob Clough shares his REFLECTIONS ON SPX 2017.
* Kyle Pinion shares his haul in his piece ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS I BOUGHT AT SPX THIS YEAR.
* Heidi MacDonald shares her particular thoughts on SPX 2017 as well, calling it THE YEAR OF GETTING WOKE.
* Nick Hanover‘s DEVIN FARACI AND THE COST OF UNEARNED SECOND CHANCES is one of those incredibly well-written articles about a complex situation that boils it down in a way that leaves you with your blood boiling.
* The new SHORTBOX is available for order!
* Giles Scott‘s HIGH SCHOOL READING AS AN ACT OF MEANINGFUL AGGRESSION.