May 03, 2006

Fresh items...

A number of fresh items, starting with a cool piece on THE LOST COLONY, from Mark Fossen at Focused Totality.

It's shocking and compelling, and it's all the more surprising coming from the pages of this book. The goofy characters and colorful art make The Lost Colony one of those subversive reads that disguises its intellectual payload in charm and simplicity. It is addressing a lot of issues central to the history of America: slavery, racism, the "melting pot", money, technology, trade, isolationism, and more. It never feels preachy, and with some interesting storytelling techniques in play, it never feels like it's talking down to the reader.

And continuing in his First Second serial interviews at THE COMICS REPORTER, Tom Spurgeon recently posted part 2, featuring Grady Klein discussing his life, the genesis of THE LOST COLONY, its background mulling of American history, and the editorial process along the way of its creation.

When people in the pre-Civil War South took a train north they were offended often when they crossed what would be the Mason Dixon line into Northern parts, they were often offended because the laws in the North said no African-Americans were allowed in the train cars as the whites. So in effect, segregation at that time was more severe in the North. That kind of gives me pause. We tend to categorize slavery as a Southern thing that's over now. But the more I did research the more I found overlaps in that particular area in so many different facets of peoples' lives and so many different facets of the economy, in a way I think is very parallel to contemporary issues of poeple getting exploited for cheap labor now.

And a smart reflection on THE FATE OF THE ARTIST, in a review from Ismo Santala at Ready Steady Books, also excerpted here:

The lightness of Campbell's style, already extremely effective in black and white, is further enhanced by the use of color. The book is simply a pleasure to look at. Fittingly for such a hermetically sealed book, The Fate of the Artist  welcomes the reader to leaf through the pages, savoring the choices of line and color. In the meanwhile, the organization of thematic and visual motifs — running the gamut from indeterminacy to paper clips — resolves into a breezy take on the persistent questions of autobiographical expression. This exquisite graphic novel boohoos the artist's hard lot and leaves the reader intensely unconvinced. It's a grand show. Take a bow, Mr. Campbell.


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