[ I took the high-speed TGV train last week from Angoulême, France, where I live as of about a month ago, to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, to go to a comics festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the first chance I’d had to really sit and compose my thoughts about leaving my old life in Brooklyn and starting a new one in small-town France. More actual concrete details about the situation to be found below all this poetic folderol, if you’re interested.]
If possible, don’t bring small children.
I stand on the TGV platform and carefully check my ticket time, train number, car number, the chart depicting the train showing that I’m standing at point H and my car (06) will be at point K, pre-walk like a real, if overly-cautious, angoumoisine (yes that’s what they’re called). Flashbacks to getting on the TGV at Charles de Gaulle a month ago (almost exactly—2 days short) with 2 small children, 3 overstuffed luggage carts and no charts to be found showing where our car would be, running, literally, down the platform to our train car, then running back for the other cart (only 2 adults available), chucking bags, computers (oh lord), small children into a crowded vestibule, other travelers helping, getting in the way. Porters crabbing at us for having so much crap. We’re MOVING I wanted to tell them. You think this is a lot of crap? Take a look at my Brooklyn basement. Take a look at the shipping warehouse with my 77 boxes waiting for a boat. (I would like to go to Le Havre and wave hello to them when they arrive on October 15.) What am I going to do when this train arrives at Charles de Gaulle and I visit the site of this trauma? Will I have a small (petite) heart attack?
An excerpt from this strip appears in Mastering Comics, and someone (Ryan Mita) wrote the other day in capoeira solidarity…and, indeed, Matt and I did play capoiera for a few years in Mexico and right after we returned to the US in 2000. Age, the unwieldy geography of NYC (living an hour+ away from the main places people practice) and inability fo find a group that even approaches the awesomeness of Capoeira Longe do Mar all contributed to our exit. The fact that there’s a capoeira group in Angolême, where we’ll be in a few short weeks, gives hope for a new start, despite being older than ever. Maybe for our kids, anyway.
This strip ran in Pulse! Magazine, the in-house magazine of Tower Records, where many many great cartoonists published throughout the 90s under the auspices of the amazing Marc Weidenbaum. It’s one of the few collaborative comics Matt and I have ever done. Click the panel above or thumbnail below to see the full size version. (more…)
I sit here just having finished the major inking on the first volume of Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars, a task I could not have completed without a teeming studio full of assistants and interns. I salute you, Team Trash! Check out our new Trish Trash Tumblr, rollerderby + mars, featuring all the cool derby photos and science geekery we’re using to create this book (and of course sketches and work in progress).
Team Trash at work. Lydia and I are on the other end of the room.
I’m in the midst of work on a 4-page comic reportage on the Comics: Philosophy and Practice conference, that featured a series of panels with some of the greatest cartoonists of the modern era. And as anyone who’s ever done journalistic comics (and probably journalism of any kind) knows, most of your best material ends up on the cutting-room floor. So here, therefore, is a glance at my cutting-room floor.
Photo by Sarah Blauser
Art Spiegelman: It’s that rereading, that searching for the chicken fat that gives sustenance, that isn’t from about how many images and texts can you consume in 45 mins of trolling for porn on the internet, but how can you actually focus on something in a world that’s moving faster and faster. And that focus is something that books allow for. And therefore, books may have a life that’s of more interest than just what vinyl fetishism is for music listeners. There may be something specific to books that gives them a franchise on their continued existence. Continue reading
Click the photo above to see all of the drawings.
It’s not news that I’ve been working on a drawing project that I kickstarted back in November. I proposed this project as a warm up for Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars. Shockingly, it ended up competing with that for my time and attention (as you cartoonists out there would have/did predict). I’m not sorry, though. It was crucial preparation for my book, and offered me the opportunity to work on hover-derby costume designs.
I was at the University of Chicago at the Comics: Philosophy and Practice last weekend, and live-tweeted most of it. A few people have asked for a link-able, reusable version of this documentation, so here it is (after the jump). I’m working on a comics story about it, for the University of Chicago Magazine, and will update about that here. Continue reading
I’ll be at the University of Chicago this weekend for this absolutely insane comics event. I mean, please don’t let there be a terrorist attack on the NATO conference (also in Chicago this weekend!), because we’d lose the entire top tier of American cartoonists. Continue reading
The MoCCA Art Festival is likely to be the only show I go to this year until January in Angoulême. Matt and I will have a table (B3) and are running a workshop/discussion on Saturday at 1:15. Come see us! I’ll have printouts from my new scifi epic Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars to show off, new postcards from my Kickstarter, and lots of books for sale. Matt will have a new minicomic of Tic Tac Toe comics!
The big news for the show is that, although it’s not officially “out” yet, we will have copies of Mastering Comics to peruse (but not buy, unfortunately). Since that’s just too much of a tease, Matt and I put together a little giveaway contest for two lucky entrants. Make a Doodle Comic and bring it to us by Sunday at 2 to win! See the full details here, and stop by out table on Saturday for a handout/starter doodles will be available at our table. (MC will be officially released at TCAF in Toronto next week—Matt will be there.) Continue reading
First of all: a big announcement: Matt and I, and our kids, Aldara and Jasper, are picking up and moving to France in September, for a year. I have no idea how we’re technically going to achieve this feat, but one way or another, come next fall, we’re all going to be speaking French and eating pain au chocolat every morning (because it’s probably the only way we convince Aldara to come along with us). We’ve long had European ties, and I’ve tried for years to get my brain around how we could possibly move ourselves there for a stretch. I still do not have that particular answer. But we were afforded a kick in the ass by the fact that, after teaching ten years there, SVA has awarded us a sabbatical leave (rarely available outside the tenure system). We’re incredibly grateful for it, both for the vote of confidence it shows, and for the small stipend it will mean while we’re away (we’ll earn half our (not high, definitely part-time) salary while on leave).
Anyone in the central Michigan area this coming week, I hope you’ll come out to see me at the MSU Comics Forum. I’ll be giving a talk on Friday night and then “tabling” as the comickers call it, on Saturday.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Keynote Address 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday February 4, 2012
Artists Alley from 11-5
MSU Comics Forum
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI