Posts tagged Mindless self promotion
Posts tagged Mindless self promotion
Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell – ‘Thursdays, Six to Eight p.m.’
Back at the end of April the Guardian ran an experiment to see what would happen if real writers were involved with comics, and the results were pretty much what you’d expect, ranging as they did from the mediocre (Dave “David” Eggers’ ponderous buffalo comic) to the merely gorgeous (Frazer Irving’s whatever the hell it was that Frazer Irving drew) by way of the profoundly functional (Dave Gibbons and Gillian Flynn’s clockwork deconstruction of vigilantism).
As a showcase for a variety of semi-respectable comics art styles it was a success, but as a pop culture moment it lacked a sense of novelty or excitement.
The exception was Thursdays, Six to Eight pm, a modern romance comic with a faint hint of the gothic to it. A man and woman are in love and they get married, but she can’t stop worrying about why he wants two hours to himself every Thursday night. For his part, he keeps quiet about the details, so Ellen does what we all do unless we’re sinister enough to work for the NSA already: she calls in some spies.
The result of a long-distance collaboration between Audrey Niffinegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife) and Eddie Campbell (all the best comics), this strip stood out from the others by virtue of the fact that both of the involved parties contributed to the art. Well, according to the contents page Dave “Dave” Eggers was “collaborating with himself” but this does no damage to my argument: the lines on Eggers’ pages were the work of only one artist, while the Campbell/Niffenegger strip bears the mark of two “primary” artists.
According to Niffeneger’s write-up, she drew the Charles – the guy doing the proposal in the above panel – and the two spies his wife hires to investigate him, while Campbell drew Ellen, the suspicious wife and protagonist on the right hand side of the same frame.
Even though Campbell apparently modified Niffenegger’s line work to make it look of a piece with his own, my eyes mostly confirms that these characters are not made out of the same materials. This plays into a classic romantic conceit, suggesting as it does that while these two characters may share their lives with each other they’ll always be fundamentally distant. Charles’ thin, defiantly two-dimensional features provide an impermeable barrier between the contents of his mind and the blown out, fuzzy world he lives in with Ellen – being an Eddie Campbell character, she is made out of the same fuzz and clutter as everything else.
Before we start, a warning: this is probably not a fun night at the movies for your eight-year-old, unless said child is prematurely obsessed with flat-head screws. I mention this not out of a new-found commitment to providing consumer advice but because my friend Adam was frustrated by the apparent inability of movie reviewers to clarify this matter for him.
Studio Ghibili’s long standing trust in the ability of children to stay interested in quiet moments and make sense of the senseless is admirable, but The Wind Rises seems to have been made in a different spirit from, say, Howl’s Moving Castle (which combined frantic scene-shifting with portraits of stark devastation to great effect) or Princess Mononoke (which grew slowly, steadily monstrous in front of the patient viewer).
This film is realised with the lush, painterly attention to detail that characterises Hayao Miyazaki’s other movies, but this is definitely a film of and about our world. Its magic is not of the kind likely to intrigue a child into attentiveness: its wonders are the result of late night meetings as much as they are the product of dreams, and even its most hard won miracles taste of ashes.
A collaboration with Edinburgh based artist and ghost merchant Lynne Henderson, Cut-Out Witch contains twenty five pages worth of lost souls and lo-fi monster magic – imagine a teen goth Terminus and you’ll be on the right track. Lynne provided the pictures, I added the words, but if you want to cleanse yourself with holy water after reading then I’m afraid you’ll have to bring your own bottle.
The print run is pretty much gone now (I think maybe Lynne still has a few?), but Cut-Out Witch is now available in PDF format for the princely sum of 50p!
Click here to buy it now, and trust that no ghosts were harmed in the making of this product!
“Cut-Out Witch is really good… Lovely creepy stuff” – Twitter’s own James Baker
“Almost every page made me laugh or smile or feel things” - comics’ own Ales Kot
"You do seem to be able to dash such things off quite easily, I kind of wish I could do that…" - A Trout in the Circus’ very own Plok
This started out as a Tumblr post but then it kept going so I decided to put it on the Mindless site because fuck it, we’ve been talking about putting more notcomics writing up there for a while now.
It’s all about local heroes Mogwai and the mess of quiet contradictions they contain and how none of them matter cause they play really fucking loud in concert.
I’m hoping to get some more time for bloggy writing in the next few weeks, but some Annoying Real Life Shit is eating up all my spare time right now so we’ll see.
Pages 5-7 of ‘The Blowdown of Barry Brown’, a comic strip I drew on my phone and published in Looking Glass Heights #1, a zine about hubris, housing, suicide, customer service, Frank Miller, and Eddie Campbell..
I’m pretty happy with the way it came out, given that I can’t fucking draw!
UPDATE: issue #1 is now available to buy online, if you find yourself with a few extra pennies and a sense of curiosity:
Here’s what the cool kids are saying about Looking Glass Heights #1:
“David Allison has produced something of a winner here, combining comics and essays into a powerful zine… one comic, one essay into the sociopolitical message behind it, one essay that critiques comics that have influenced the comic, and a critique of the comic itself. Jesus christ, if more comic creators did this I would be an extremely happy bunny! Though I’d also be out of a job…” – Laura Sneddon, The Beat
“…made me feel thing with a limited size and toolkit” – Twitter’s own James Baker
Quite who he thinks he’s calling a tiny toolkit I’m not sure. Just as well I’m not a hideous egomaniac in need of constant reinforcement, right?
I wrote and published a Mindless Ones post about this book yesterday that’s also about my current job situation and how both Eddie Campbell and me are probably fictional characters. I think it might actually pretty good.
Not as good as the comic, obviously, but you know: Eddie Campbell!
A new Mindless Ones post, in which bobsy puts Shaky Kane’s work on Elephantman #33 under the knife.
Shaky Kane’s work with David Hine on the first issue of The Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred is essential reading, by the way. It’s a timely warning about the dangers of using comic books as a wikipedia for life, and you really should check it out before it’s too late…
Sing it in the style of Girls Aloud or don’t sing it at …
One Song For You’s Top Five bits of Mindless Bloggery 2011:
5)Mssrs Amypoodle and Zom, with Masters Andrew Hickey, Bobsy, Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil
In which a creepy walk on a summers day got even creepier and more summery with the help of the Mindless Massive. Still the best annocoms in town, no question, and the classic classics features and Kevin O’Neil interview were pretty fucking great too.
Because it felt good to broaden the conversation about the shitty ethics of your (our?) favourite concept farms that was ongoing throughout 2011, because the ”ethical capitalism” is a tired joke to be filed alongside “military intelligence”, and because FULL COMMUNISM »» Glibertarianism, always.
Sometimes you have to work hard to break a bastard’s reasonable facade and expose the prime fucknugget within, but sometimes…. sometimes the bastards do all the hard work for you.
Brother Zom might think these posts needed more work, but for me this essay series was just more proof that my fellow Mindless Ones “get” the potential of these lurid fictions way more than most of the fatbalding awkwardmen who are paid to maintain them.
Heath Ledger? Aye, that guy’s Joker was pretty good in a prawn cocktail sort of way, but we’re talking about DINNER here, awright?
It’s a little bit annoying that my favourite bit of Mindless bloggery from 2011 didn’t actually appear on the Mindless Ones site, but on the other hand these posts are easily the best things to have graced the “pages” of the relaunched Comics Journal website so it’s not all bad!
Before I read these articles I was pretty sure I was done with The Invisibles. No comic had ever fucked me up so much before, and I didn’t (and still don’t!) expect any comic to ever fuck me up quite so much again, but at the start of 2011 The Invisibles seemed exhausted and embarrassing, like so much of my own past. And maybe it still is every bit as irrelevant to NOW as I expected it to be, but while I was reading these articles the comic seemed alive and inhabitable once more and (it sounds stupid to say it but this is how it felt so fuck it!) so did the future.
Say it once more with feeling, try to believe it: