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I often wonder about this stuff (record labels in music industry springs to mind too) about how so few people can sometimes cultivate a much bigger thing. I always wonder what kinds of bands there would be if Ivo felt good enough to continue 4AD. Or if certain comics publishers had somehow survived.
I recall Pat Mills saying something about how he felt sure he could have made british girls comics a bigger thing had things went a bit differently.

I'd imagine there are lots of styles that people feel are marginalised and hope to become a future movement. Personally I want more "straight" horror and fantasy without any retro or selfconscious fixations, who are totally serious about taking their genres to new heights and/or places.

Two questions...

(1)Has anyone read Civiello's fantasy comics? Are they any good?

(2)Has anyone read Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s by Simone Castaldi? Looks interesting.


That "dude" is ambiguous to me; but I'm interpreting it as that you would have preferred more talk about Nadel and Picturebox.

Art Out Of Time really fascinated me too and I ate it up when it came out. The Verbeek stuff struck me the most and I was already a fan of Bob Powell so those reprints were welcome.

Sadly the shops I frequented barely carried much from Picturebox, so I rarely saw anything like that outside the internet. A lot of this style of comics is something that a lot of people only see on the internet because they dont know any sympathetic stores.

I also remember when people were crazy about that Fort Thunder stuff and that was the first time I was hearing about american comics that I couldnt see in my shops and it felt like it was happening in a foreign country that never exports anything. But it has been common for the last few years for all my favorite new comic artists not to be seen in my shops.
I could find Lightning Bolt music easy enough though.

I just ordered the Negron book two weeks ago because I'm a fan of him but I never saw it in the nearest shop but I'll check again next time I go in if there might be more than I thought there was.

I only discovered Comics Comics site near the end. I checked last night and this morning and the site isnt showing up for some reason.

Yeah, I have that HUGE "A Bit of Madness" collection Checker put out a decade(!) ago; definitely worth a look for the art, which falls closer to the Juan Giménez end of the painted comics sphere, in that a heart of cartooning remains beating under all the lacquer. Not really a memorable story, though; haven't revisited in years and years. Brand new copies are currently available on Amazon for the price of shipping, so I'm guessing the publisher took a bath on it.

Never read the Castaldi... probably should.

I'm with Matt, Picturebox was my intro to art comics in that my brother was giving me issues of Cold Heat before I even understood there was a "scene" to this stuff. Hell, I wasn't even aware there was an active comics internet beyond Comic Book Resources until 2011. It's a hard time being a newcomer to alt-comics in 2013, in that all the tidal waves that have shaped this insular world have passed-- Fort Thunder, Highwater, Mome, and now Picturebox. I feel like I signed on just in time for the SPX Tumblr. Which is cool, but I don't know, feels less special some how. But I get all misty eyed listening to John Porcellino talk about Factsheet 5 so maybe I'm just an old print junkie.

Also, I never knew Pat Mills had an interest girl comics. I want to believe there's an alternative universe were he's publishing magical girl detective serials drawn by Sarah Horrocks.

Did "Art Out of Time" really represent a challenge to a the calcified canon promulgated by Crumb/Spiegelman/Blackbeard/Groth? I dunno, it didn't seem that way to me at the time. I realize my perspective is a bit skewed because I spend a lot of time researching comics history, but a good chunk of the artists in "Art Out of Time" were familiar to me because they had been championed in books & magazines edited or published by ... Crumb/Spiegelman/Blackbeard/Groth. I mean both Fletcher Hanks and Boody Rodgers had appeared in RAW. Crumb and Spiegelman had championed Rory Hayes. Spiegelman had raved about The Bungle Family. Nemo Magazine, published by Fantagraphics in the 1980s, was an especially important gathering place for obscure comic strips (Richard Marschall, who is kind of forgotten, was a particularly important figure in all this). And Blackbeard's many books always included explorations of the by-ways of comics. The whole aesthetic of Weirdo was all about celebrating comics as outsider art created by fringe freaks.

So, when "Art Out of Time" came out, I didn't see it as particularly overturning a received canon as a deeper & richer exploration of world I already knew.

For me, what set "Art Out of Time" apart was 1) the excellence of the presentation 2) the putting the material together in way that suggested a tradition and 3) the general curatorial sensibility.

And I think "Art In Time" was an even better and more important work because that's where Dan's curatorial approach was really refined. He really selected the best or most revealing piece from each artist.

I think your own description sort of nails it, Jeet--you were familiar with the stuff in Art Out of Time because of exposure by a bunch of different sources, whereas Art Out of Time was one, solid volume of that stuff, collected, organized and displayed. It wasn't a splintered education, it was a refined argument against canon. It was also from a larger publisher capable of making a North American push, which isn't a claim that Nemo ever got the chance to make. It's one thing to make the argument first, quite another to make it heard.

I wholly agree with you on everything else.

Completely agree. By bringing all those cartoonists together in one beautifully designed book, Dan definitely created a new gestalt. My only point is that if you know where Dan got the stuff from, the book seems more like an organic outgrowth of what Crumb/Spiegelman/Blackbead/Groth were doing rather than a new thing.

I feel the same way about Joe's description of Picturebox as a proto-Tumblr. True -- but if you look at Weirdo (does anyone ever look at Weirdo) it really does look like proto-tumblr, a tumblr done in magazine form. It's like looking at Da Vinci's designs for airplanes, tanks and bicycles.

"It's a hard time being a newcomer to alt-comics in 2013, in that all the tidal waves that have shaped this insular world have passed."

Nah don't buy into it. This is a golden-age but the goal posts keep moving!

Picturebox and Fantagraphics are the only North American comics I seem to buy.

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