Saturday, August 29, 2015
I wish I could come up with comics as good as this. Someday, when I grow up, maybe. I find this comic so good on so many levels, from the "high concept" to its "execution". It's so refreshing, inspiring and personal. Jesse Jacobs builds a cartoon world that is coherent, charming, creative, whimsical, amusing and terrifying too... and it's all his own too, like handwriting. Don't let yourself be deceived by the apparently simple façade of the ornamental and doodly-oriented art of Jesse Jacobs. Like the biological ecosystem invented and depicted right in front of the readers (and of the protagonists) eyes, within its pages, Safary Honeymoon has layers over layers of themes and questions that kept wondering about the hypothesis long after I've closed the book.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Following on our previous post and keeping on the theme of Ancient Astronauts and english language indie comics, it seems appropriate to bring up Forming. Originally a webcomic by Jesse Moynihan, one of the many creators behind one of my (if not THE) favorite contemporary cartoons - Adventure Time - this incomplete epic is one of the craziest and most inspiring comics I've had the pleasure of reading in the last few years. Moynihan's ambitions in terms of characters, multiple storylines, themes, scope and even different genres touched upon this work are dangerously close to being too much for the casual reader and, I speculate, even for his own command of the craft... as it should!
Saturday, August 15, 2015
I confess: I am a fan of History Channel's Ancient Aliens series. Not just that series specifically. I always make an effort to watch almost any documentary or read anything about UFOs, aliens, ancient astronauts and even tangentially related things like cryptozoology or paranormal phenomena. You see, I was around during the UFO craze of the late 1970's. My mom was a huge fan of the theme (and a believer, I suspect) so I was surrounded with photo magazines, books and comics about UFOs and the ancient astronauts theory from a very tender age. I read books by authors/investigators on this subject. I am a huge fan of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I wached E.T. at the cinema when it was first released. I never missed an episode of Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World on t.v. I love Jack Kirby's Eternals. Now, I have never seen UFOs, aliens or any paranormal stuff ( that I know of ) in the real world, nor can I really say I believe in these tales, but this whole mythology is in my DNA. I love it and I find it an incredible fountain of inspiration.
With all of this explained, it's fair to say this comic catched my interest from the get-go. Nevertheless, what makes it one of my favorites is the incredible combination of the theme, which as I just refered is a personal preference, with Jesse Jacobs amazing cartooning talent. Here's someone who, behind an apparently simple, cartoony, almost doodle-like style, creates a refreshing take on ancient themes, ideas and questions to the point where it almost looks like this is something new and different. With this book, Jesse Jacobs made me a fan of his work. "By this shall you know him", indeed.
Saturday, August 08, 2015
There are few cartoonists who manage to navigate with success between the sometimes opposite fields of mainstream and independent comics. Jean Giraud Moebius was one of those lucky few. Le Major is one of his works that falls clearly in the independent league: a self-published fac-simile limited edition of an A5 hardcover sketchbook he carried through the years, slowly filling it with his trademark freestyle improvisational comix and (surprise, surprise) a few collaborative panels with guests like Lorenzo Mattotti or Andre Juillard. This bijou is one of my most favorite comic objects ever and the perfect antidote to nausea inducing assembly-line comics. Although this limited original collector's edition is long sold-out, I hear there is an affordable standard spanish edition available for those interested in checking out the contents.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
This is one comic which should definitely be on the same cannon as Carl Bark's Duck stories or Goscinny & Uderzo's Astérix as far as all-ages classics of the comics medium are concerned ... and I was lucky enough to have followed it as it was being originally published. There are many comics with an epic feeling, but very few manage to be actual epics; Bone belongs to those happy few. It marvels with its scope, yet, like the best popular works in storytelling media, it is filled with a human touch and sense of humour that prevents it from falling into pretentiousness. Plus, Jeff Smith's brilliant draftsmanship doesn't get a day older as time moves on. One of the major contenders for best north-american comic book of the last quarter-century!