“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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Writing Comics as a Novelist

It’s three thirty in the morning and I’ve been up with Chris Koehler, my former professor, and the artist and co-creator of Legend, for the fifth night in a row, trying to match his capacity to function as a night crawler, as we drive towards the rapidly approaching deadline of our next issue. Legend is our debut comic book about dogs and cats attempting to rebuild a world humans destroyed. And let me tell you, after days with little sleep, […]

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The Uncanny and the Cyclical: Reading Mark Beyer’s “Agony” In 2016

In his introduction to a new edition of Mark Beyer’s 1987 graphic novel Agony, Colson Whitehead invokes one of the bleakest of Saturday Night Live recurring characters: Mr. Bill. For those unfamiliar, Mr. Bill was a man made of clay whose adventures would largely involve him being mutilated in assorted ways by an assortment of adversaries, including the seemingly kindly and softspoken Mr. Hands. A similar blend of eager optimism and soul- and body-crushing misadventures can be found in Beyer’s […]

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“That Decade Hit Me Hard and Stuck”: An Interview With Brian Chippendale

Puke Force, the new graphic novel from Brian Chippendale, is one of the most gloriously surreal comics you’re likely to read this year, with riffs on everything from low-rent superheroes to the bleaker side of social media to violent obsessions. Between this and the release late last year of Fantasy Empire, the latest album from his band Lightning Bolt, it’s been a good year for those who enjoy the often-riveting end products of Chippendale’s aesthetics. In advance of his appearance at […]

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Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá on Literary Adaptations and “Two Brothers”

Over the last decade, the comics made by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon have run the gamut from surreal spy stories to contemplative takes on life and death to unorthodox superheroes. Sometimes, the two have collaborated on their own projects, including the collection de:Tales and the deeply moving Daytripper; they’ve also worked with writers like Matt Fraction, Gerard Way, and Michael Chabon. Their latest work, Two Brothers, is an adaptation of a novel by Milton Hatoum; as the title suggests, it […]

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Historical Comics, Pulp Covers, and “Stories You Just Don’t Know”: An Interview With Kate Beaton

This month brings with it the release of Step Aside, Pops, the second collection of Kate Beaton’s excellent comic Hark! A Vagrant. (I wrote about the book for Paste.) The comics contained within range from inspired riffs on Nancy Drew to windows into history to a memorably irreverent adaptation of Wuthering Heights. I’ve been an admirer of Beaton’s work for years, and talked with her via email about the new book.

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The Book Report: Kwame Opam on “I Kill Giants”

The Book Report is a reading series that promises to deliver exactly what it promises: reports on books by the people who’ve read them. In this installment, Kwame Opam writes about the graphic novel I Kill Giants. I’ve chosen to write my report about a favorite graphic novel of mine, which I’ve been informed is a bit of a departure from the traditional book report. It’s called I Kill Giants, written by Jim Kelly and illustrated by J.M. Ken Nimura. […]

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Where Album Covers Meet Great Comics

Earlier this year, Neko Case and Kelly Hogan released a collaborative single, “These Aren’t the Droids.” The cover art came via Lynda Barry, whose distinctive style can be seen in a host of books, and whose approach to teaching has been written about in the New York Times. This was the latest example of an artist known for their work in comics taking on an album cover. It’s far from the only one, though; read on for more examples of this kind of overlap.

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