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2013.01.17

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Can you guys list the specific books you talked about in this episode? I want to read them all.

Keep up the good work.

The post-Druuna Serpieri comic I keep referring to was Les Enfers, which was translated in the January 2008 issue of Heavy Metal. No subsequent volumes have been produced.

BECAUSE YOU ASKED NICELY, JAKE:

*The Dial H comic I mention is issue #6. To be honest, much of the *specific* slamming in the comic is directed at Alan Moore, although David Allison suggested (convincingly) that the whole 'offensive Native American' angle is a tacit shot at some of Grant Morrison's Batman, Inc. stuff, which is why I mention him as well.

*Calvario Hills #1, by Marti, Ignatz line, Fantagraphics/Coconino, 2007. There was no issue #2. Pretty sure you can still buy it off the Fanta website.

*The Cabbie, also by Marti. The Fantagraphics edition from last year is easier to find, although the Catalan one might be cheaper (the translation is probably inferior, however).

*Ganges #1-4, by Kevin Huizenga, also Ignatz, 2009-11. Collect 'em all! 'Cause I have no idea when they'll be collected!

*Specifically, the Yves Chaland comic I didn't understand at first was The Will of Godfrey of Bouillon, i.e. the first segment of Humanoids' old Chaland Anthology Vol. 1 from 2004.

*The "Stan & Vince" team are Stanislas Manoukian & Vincent Roucher; the formative album of theirs to which I refer is The Imploder, translated in the July 2000 issue of Heavy Metal.

*French Comics (The Kind Men Like), 1977. With content from Fluide Glacial! I think!

*Paolo Serpieri's "Druuna" encompasses a whole series of albums, which you can pretty easily access under that banner title. Weirdly, there's never been an omnibus collection of this stuff in English. Maybe if he starts doing variant covers for Marvel...

*Leo Roa, by Juan Gimenez. Humanoids released two albums of this in 2001, which I believe makes up the entirety of the series. The story he was doing in Heavy Metal around that time was Choose Your Game, a serial about kids PLAYING FOR THEIR LIVES in an addictive video game. Never collected in English, I'm afraid.

*As mentioned above, the Serpieri comic was Les Enfers, translated as "Hell", January 2008.

*StripTease was the name of the Heavy Metal humor section in the '90s. Or, November 1992 to July 1995, exactly.

*Conquering Armies, Heavy Metal, 1978. Less than ten bucks on Amazon.

*Diosamante, Humanoids, 2012, Jean-Claude Gal & Alejandro Jodorowsky. The Igor Kordey-drawn sequel was Diosamante: La Parabole du fils perdu, published in France in 2002, not legally available in English.

*Eros Gone Wild, Humanoids, 9.5" x 12.5", 304 pages, $89.95. Out now! In comics stores shortly!

*Gasoline Alley, by Frank King, later Dick Moores. Vol. 1 of the Dick Moores (under the title "Gasoline Alley") is out from IDW, vols. 1-5 of the Frank King (under the title "Walt and Skeezix - this is the stuff we're mostly discussing) are out from Drawn & Quarterly, and a selection of Frank King Sundays are out under the title of Sundays with Walt and Skeezix, at 23" x 19.5"(!) from Sunday Press Books.

*Krazy Kat, by George Herriman. Sundays collected in their entirety by Fantagraphics across 13 softcover volumes from 2002-2012. Three limited-edition hardcover omnibus collections -- two of which are potentially impossible to find anymore -- collect the same material.

*Building Stories, by Chris Ware. And if you haven't heard of this one...

*IDW is putting out a collection of a longform storyline from The Gumps next month in The Library of American Comics Essentials Vol. 2: The Gumps - The Saga of Mary Gold. Older Gumps collections exist, but we are all about *new shit* here on Comic Books Are Burning In Hell.

Hmm. I'm really not sure if I should comment on this episode or I'd be better advised to keep my peace....

Do or don't, but don't be coy. Coy doesn't work past 13.

Not trying to be coy, just worried that anything I say will come across as defensive. But putting discretion aside: I thought the discussion of Gasoline Alley was rich and thought provoking. A few specific points:
1) I like Dick Moores' Gasoline Alley well enough -- it's perhaps the last well-crafted Dickensian comic strip but I think its probably best to avoid any invidious comparisons between King's work and Moore's. If you really look at King's Walt and Skeezix (my preferred title) and compare it to Mooore's Gasoline Alley, you'll see that they are two very different strips which happen to share the same title and have characters with the same names. Moore's work is much more rambunctious and explicit, all about plot and character revelation whereas King's work is about mood and the quidities of life. At some point you guys might all want to read the IDW Gasoline Alley collection -- would love to see you engage with Moore's directly rather than as a side note to Frank King.
2) I've already gone over this in my essay for the Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking book, but I think Ware's relationship with King is much more recursive and deeply rooted than simply a case of a modern alt comic designing a collection to look contemporary. Ware was shaped by King on multiple levels --- I mean Ware's grand-dad corresponded with King and was a King fan and talked about King's work when Ware was growing up. So you have a case of King influencing Ware and then Ware designing books that make it clear that King was the founder of an artistic tradition that extends to Ware and other cartoonist.
3) But more subtly, we never view a work of art in isolation but always see it with some awareness of the tradition it belongs to. We read Donne through the prism of Eliot and Eliot through the prism of Donne, Kafka and Dickens inflect how we read each author. When we watch a 1970s spaghetti western now, we will invariably see it with Tarantino-influenced eyes. So it's natural that Building Stories shapes how we see Walt and Skeezix (and also Walt and Skeezix informs our reading of Building Stories). Those who want a "pure" reading of Gasoline Alley uninflected by Ware are really chasing after an impossible dream.
4) There is no such thing as a neutral or invisible design. All design makes an argument for how a work is to be interpreted. There's a 1976 Avon paperback which reprints some of King's Gasoline Alley along with more of Moores' work: that book (plain, utilitarian, similar to the Doonesbury collections of the period) is making an argument just as much as Ware's books are. Since all design makes a statement, my preference is for design that is done by someone passionately & intelligently engaged with the material.
5) I agree that melancholy is just one thread of King's work but I'm not sure if Chris and I overemphasized that point. My intentions in the introductions are not to emphasize melancholy or any other particular mood (since King had a rich range of emotions that he explored) but rather to document King's reliance on everyday life: hence all the photos & the dvd of home movies in volume 5.
6) I wouldn't say that King's Gasoline Alley is a novel per se. I think the more accurate description is a roman flueve, on the order of Updike's Rabbit books or Powell's Dance the Music of Time series: i.e. a multi-volume open ended work that records the flow of time. In terms of comics the closest counterpart would be Jaime's Locas and Beto's Palomar stories (I think Beto once referenced Gasoline Alley as an inspiration). Perhaps also (God help us all) Sim's Cerebus.
7) Now about Heavy Metal ... but perhaps now is the time to be coy

John F Kennedy was assassinated for one reason only - because he was obsessed with the dream of mass producing an electric car.

Other creators that got an early start in Heavy Metal include "Howie" Chaykin, Berni Wrightson, Todd Klein, Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, John Totleben, Charles Vess, Howard Cruse and William Michael Kaluta.

Creators that made the early issues a lot of fun were Caza, Paul Kirchner (especially The Bus) and Karl Kofoed's Galactic Geographic.

...and in the Fantagraphics catalog for Spring + Fall 2013, I see THE CABBIE Vol. 2 is coming out...

I'd love to see more re-examination of the Ignatz line, a la the Humanoids reviews Joe 'n' Tucker collaborated on..., especially the less high-profile ones like Baobab or Grotesque--er, not that any of them were "high profile" but y'know, not the ones by major English-language talents like Hernandez or Huizenga?

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