Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

How I Made it to Eighteen, by Tracy White

tracy white how I made it to eighteen

“I didn’t come here to change my style.  I came here because I want to be happy again.”

The mostly true visual diary of the author (under the pseudonym ‘Stacy Black’) who finds herself in a psychiatric hospital following a self-destructive incident.  At seventeen, living with her boyfriend, separated from her family, graduated from high school, she loses touch with herself.  After punching out panes of glass, she asks her mother to commit her to a psychiatric hospital.

Once there she tries to maintain her sense of self while coming to grips with a numbing depression, her unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend, her difficult family dynamics.  

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November 18, 2011

More action packed YA books for Girls (Celadore, Gunnerkrigg Court)

Many of the best comics produced today begin as webcomics.   The reason is simple, it costs little to nothing to post your content online seeking an audience, where back-in-the-day creators would self-publish only after maxing out credit cards for the initial print run, or going the ‘zine route and taking a job at a copy shop for the free print-outs.

Now the world is wide open, we’re in a renaissance for comics art as the technology provides both new tools for production and an instant outlet for an audience to find the work.

Granted the traditional publishing houses often overlook these series as they don’t fit the industry standards, however since the entire web-scape can track them down and lay eyeballs on the content, occasionally these books attract enough readers to encourage a real-world publisher to risk a print run.

(Better still, librarians who are searching for new books but want to get a preview may take a peek to see if the book fits their own standards).

Here are two in that category that I’d recommend you enjoy.

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November 18, 2011

Why not Comics? (Some history).

Underground, you can feel the weight of the cliff face overhead.  There is a solemn quiet in the tribe, even the bundled infants keep respectful silence.  All would be dark, but you have brought fire with you,  bundles of rivergrass twisted together burning brightly.  White Streak pours water on a pile of powders, dips his hand into the mud and strokes the wall, leaving a swatch of color.  He scratches with a burned stick, here and here.  Behold:  an animal,  then a herd, running, powerful.   Here a hunter carries a spear, here a spear has pierced the skin of a great longhorned bison that staggers and soon will die to feed the tribe.

Stories told in pictures have been with us for as long as we have recorded story in any durable form.  We are hardwired to understand images, and make stories in our heads to make sense of these images.  It is an important part of our mental heritage, and in fact one of the building blocks of ‘culture’ itself: the ability to pass on information via visual representations.

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November 2, 2011

Rust: Visitor in the Field, by Royden Lepp (also: tidbits from the NYCC).

In that vein (hunting for stories that make my eyeballs dance) I recently walked the show floor at the New York Comics Convention with my sonar pinging, sculling the aisles for hidden treasures.   I tend to walk the floor to scope things out on day one, then return on later days to pick up things I must have.

On my last day, so far empty handed, I decided to load up before heading home and stopped by the Archaia booth.  They had a buy-one-get-one sale where I stocked up on hardcovers of favorite comics for my own home shelves.

There I discovered a book that opened that barn door in my head and let the prairie sky in.

The book is Royden Lepp’s  Rust: Visitor in the Field.

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