When we’ve spoken with John Dermot Woods in the past, it’s been about his work in prose. This spring, another aspect of his work as a writer is coming to the forefront: a graphic novel called Mortals, created in collaboration with artist Matt L. Mortals follows the story of an aging stage actor named Francis, who’s found respect in his field but a general lack of commercial success. A supporting role in a film and the end of his marriage both force him to consider his legacy and his mortality, and the result is thoroughly moving. I spoke with Woods about the genesis of the project, his interest in comics, and what appealed to him about the form for this project.
And now, somehow, it’s March. We’re not sure how that happened, either. Nevertheless, it is the case, even as the weather decides to vacillate between “bitter cold” and “maybe picnic weather?” It’s a strange time. Our recommended books for the month also cover a lot of ground, from insightful looks into the art of writing to immersive forays into surreal landscapes. Read on for what we’re looking forward to this month.
This summer, I got the chance to correspond with Sarah Lopez, one of the co-owners of Radix Media, a new Brooklyn-based publisher that focuses on beautifully designed, illustrated books with a high attention to detail. So far, they’ve published speculative works by John Dermot Woods, Vera Kurian, Ashley Shelby, and others. All look and feel like collector’s items, objects that truly do justice to the ideas they contain.
In our weekend reading: interviews with John Dermot Woods and Dwight Garner, how Atticus Lish’s debut novel became a huge success, a look at Joan Didion’s iconic status, an excerpt from Steve Himmer’s new novel, and more.
New fiction from Matt Bell; thoughts on 2014 in literature and comedy; notes on a reissued Wire live album; a playlist from John Dermot Woods; revisiting a series of interviews with James Baldwin; and more.
In our Wednesday morning reading: tributes to the late founder of Coffee House Press, interviews with Scott Cheshire and Sarah Gerard, a history of the mod-punk band Chisel, the inspiration for Lolita, and more.
We’ll be off for the rest of the week, and will return on Sunday morning with new fiction. See you then.