Posts tagged mindless ones
Posts tagged mindless ones
Still fired up from February’s discussion of what’s worth watching on American TV, Mindless twinset Mark (Amypoodle) and Adam (Adam) have written an Experts Guide to HBO’s ‘True Detective’ and weird comic book fiction for Comic Alliance.
There’s a lot of great stuff about Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, H.P. Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti in that post – if you’ve read any of Mark or Adam‘s stuff before, you’ll know what to expect, and if not you’re going to enjoy finding out!
Kieron Gillen let the mask slip a little at the start, when he positioned this comic as the anti-ASS, as a refutation of Superman’s central place in 20th Century history, in a spiel designed to mark Über out as being a comic free of the sort of self-commentary that defines so many modern superhero comics. “It’s probably the least ironic book I’ve ever written,” he said:
It has nothing to say about superhero comics. In fact, its utter negation of that genre-criticism may be the closest it comes to commentary. I’ve read many books which seem to labour under the delusion that the conception of Superman was the most important moment in the 1930s. This isn’t one of them. My only interest is in how I can use this genre’s conceit to create metaphors to explores aspects of WW2…
This comment, buried as it was in the mix of metatextual soul searching and historical gamesmanship of Über‘s backmatter, provides the key to understanding the uncanny dynamics of this comic. In attempting to ward off irony and meta-commentary, Gillen negated any possibility of this comic escaping the superhero meta-conversation. Which, it turns out, is actually quite fitting in the end. Carefully researched as Über might be, with everything from troop movements to weather conditions having been taken into account, this WW2 with superheroes fantasy is still a superhero fantasy, and as such it manages the odd trick of destroying both history and genre conventions and reinforcing them at the same time.
I saw these videos during my trip to Newcastle last Saturday and loved them - it only took me a week to write about them, but I got there in the end!
Seriously though, not writing about this comic will save your “shift” and “;” keys from taking a hideous battering.
People complained that Eddie Campbell’s review of Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life didn’t discuss the art in enough detail, but in praising the sustained consistency of Lust’s line, Campbell identified the book’s strongest aspect: its cumulative effect.
In Lust’s hands, scenes of cruel realism like this one…
…and bursts of pained expressionism like this…
…feel of a piece as equally true depictions of her experience, separated by a couple of hundred pages of hurt and by a trail of footsteps that lead from one country to another and back again.
The unified nature of Lust’s approach underlines the lacerating consistency of her encounters with men; to notice one is to be barbed by the other.
That this sense of sustained, wearying horror doesn’t quite manage to define the long adventure chronicled in Today Is The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life is a testament to the desire for freedom and knowledge that lead her on this journey in the first place, and which is articulated in every line on every page of this long, difficult autobiographical comic.
Marc-Antoine Mathieu – 3″
A murder mystery that takes place in three seconds and 900,000 kilometres, 3″ exists in that strange borderland where something that would seem like a novelty item if it was less professionally produced attains a certain experimental aura by virtue of its execution.
Marc-Antoine Mathieu manipulates the reader’s experience of this interzone with astonishing ease, putting them in the position of a particle of light as it zips through a crime scene in a series of relentless zooms. This is the sort of comic that teaches you how to read it as you go; if 3″ is to be read at all it must be read in a state of heightened attention.
Then again, the same could be said of Where’s Wally?
I wrote about comics by Harvey Pekar, Joseph Remnant, Moogs Kewell, Marc-Antoine Mathieu and Ulli Lust for the Mindless Ones tonight.
Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland and Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life are two of the best comics I’ve read in the last year, and I can only hope that I’ve done them justice here.