Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ivan Brunetti (ed.) – ‘An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons & True Stories’

That’s the one. It is pretty fine, yeah. There is a contents page, but it only has pictures and numbers – looks lovely, but pretty useless for reference purposes.

The only thing I’ve actively disliked so far is Gary Panter’s ‘Jimbo in Purgatory’. Stuff I do like: Richard McGuire’s ‘Here’ (place stays the same, year varies, sometimes within the frame, lots of intergenerational parallels); Peter Bagge - you gave me some of his comics, I think?; things even I’ve read / heard of like ‘Maus’, ‘It’s a good life if you don’t weaken’, ‘Jimmy Corrigan’; something called ‘Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer’ which confused me a fair bit but how can you not love the title?; Mat Brinkman’s ‘Oaf’ which looks like you drew it; a beautiful ‘Gasoline Alley’; a measly one ‘Krazy Kat’; James Kochalka’s ‘Sketchbook Diaries’ which are jangly; ‘Barnaby’; a whole load of ‘Peanuts’ tributes (Art Spiegelman’s is the best) but – so far – no actual ‘Peanuts’; Julie Doucet’s rather lovely (and grotty) ‘New York Diary’. Things progress thematically quite a lot: all the mid-section cartoons are about sex (mostly relationships, some fantasising, some child abuse)... except actually for ‘It’s a good life...’ which is a bit odd. Then they morph into more general diary cartoons. All the funny stuff’s at the beginning – should I be dreading the end?

Does that give you some idea? It’s a nice thing.

A comic expert responds:

Sounds good – This here website might help you in figuring out what is what.

I’m familiar with a lot of it, obviously – it’s all been anthologised somewhere before, usually in the McSweeny’s book from a couple of years ago, but it’s a nice selection. There does seem to be rather too little for me though.

I knew that you’d like both Gasoline Alley (You can get big collection of the dailies called Walt and Skeezix that are nice) and Kolchalka. The latter is jangly because he’s in a big old jangly band, called James Kolchalka Superstar, naturally. I like his superhero comic – Superfuckers. Lots of fun there.

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