The Star War Against Cliché: On Malcolm Mc Neill’s “Tetra”

Science fiction abounds with stories of chosen ones, space messiahs, and figures whose stories and histories are inexorably linked to destiny. It’s made for some of the genre’s most well-known works, but it’s also served as an excuse for lazy writing and tropes that, after several decades, can feel utterly exhausting. It’s gotten to the point where the subversion of this can feel revolutionary: numerous reviews of last year’s Blade Runner 2049 singled out its handling of this trope for […]

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Dreams, Transformations, and Verdure: A Review of “The Green Hand and Other Stories”

In his introduction to Nicole Claveloux’s The Green Hand and Other Stories, Daniel Clowes makes a seemingly paradoxical statement: though he’s admired Claveloux’s work for decades, he “had never actually read one of her stories.” There’s actually a completely reasonable explanation for this, involving the poor quality of previous English editions of her work, but the contradictions in Clowes’s statement makes a weird form of sense in light of the works to come. The stories in this book abound with […]

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Comics on Prose: Eight Graphic Novels on the Art of Storytelling

What happens when a story told in one medium echoes the storytelling conventions of a different one? Comics are particularly well-suited for this: they incorporate elements of other storytelling mediums, while retaining their own narrative devices and techniques. What follows is a look at eight distinct works that evoke other methods of telling stories–literature, radio, art, television–while remaining distinctly (and proudly) comics. Expanding the boundaries of one medium while referencing another is no easy task; these eight books carry it […]

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Metaphor, Pacing, and Memory: Mimi Pond on “The Customer Is Always Wrong”

The Customer Is Always Wrong, the latest graphic novel from Mimi Pond, follows her 2014 book Over Easy. Inspired by Pond’s own experiences as a young artist working in an Oakland restaurant in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Pond neatly captures a host of facets of human experience, from protagonist Madge’s creative evolution to the shifting dynamics of her workplace to a series of harrowing drug-fueled misadventures. Pond will be in conversation with Todd Oldham at Fishs Eddy — […]

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Michael DeForge on Folk Heroes, Touring With Sadie Dupuis, and Sunday Comics

Michael DeForge’s comics veer dramatically from book to book, from absurdist slices of life to tales of uncanny transcendence. His latest, Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero, follows the adventures of the title character as she eschews human society for a surreal life in the forest; strange hijinks do, in fact, ensue. In advance of his upcoming New York appearance–March 29th at Rough Trade–I spoke with DeForge about Sticks Angelica, his tour with Sadie Dupuis, and more.

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Paul Tremblay on the Post-Apocalyptic Comic “Legend”

This week brings with it the release of the first collection of Legend, a new comic from writer Samuel Sattin and artist Chris Koehler. Legend follows a group of dogs in a postapocalyptic landscape that has been altered in a host of terrifying ways; it’s a fascinating spin on the genre. Sattin is also the author of a pair of novels, The Silent End and League of Somebodies. Today, we’re pleased to be publishing the introduction to the first Legend […]

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Slices of Life, From Punk Beginnings Onward: A Review of Ben Snakepit’s “Manor Threat”

Since 2001, Ben Snakepit has drawn an autobiographical three-panel comic strip every day. Initially he self-published these comics in zine format before they were anthologized in book form. At the start of his fifteen-year (and counting) run, Snakepit was less grounded/more aimless than he is now. Back then, he played in more bands, burned through apartments, smoked way more pot, drank himself sick. These elements are still present in Manor Threat – a hardcore pun on the Austin suburb he […]

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“Biography With One Foot in the Fantastic”: A Review of “The Incantations of Daniel Johnston”

The fist time I read The Incantations of Daniel Johnston I was stuck at San Diego International Airport on my way to LA. Airports are great places to read because they give you time, but they’re also awful places to read because you’re briefly uprooted and thus vulnerable; you’re in a non-space where people come and go at an accelerated speed and where you momentarily embody a floating signifier. The Incantations of Daniel Johnston struck me as a perfect read […]

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