Saturday, August 24, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Daniel Clowes with his mom, I knew he was a nice guy!
If you are somewhere in the USA within the next three months you are ordered by this blog to attend the big Daniel Clowes retrospective at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
If you are not, you can checketh out this great series of photos on Flickr from the opening
It must be something special for Clowes to have a major retrospective in the town he grew up in, especially if you remember the hilarious (but not exactly flattering) description of ol' Chi-town he presented in Eightball no.7
Sunday, June 9, 2013
After last weekend's exhausting coverage of Copenhagen Comics 2013, it must be acceptable to spend this weekend cosying up in your most comfortable IKEA chair, iPad resting warmly on your wiener...and relax with an excellent R.Crumb interview found in prestigious litterary magazine The Paris Review
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
This week's Premium Panels deal with the timeless issues of law, order and government!
And who could better illustrate this than one of the all time giants of comic book art: Jean "Moebius" Giraud...the above panel taken from one of his greatest creations: The Incal (or "John Difool" as it was known here in Denmark)
Facing a huge (and victorious..) army of rebels, the President of Earth (a decadent buffoon) has resolved to the "ultimate weapon", allowing the evil Technos technicians to transform him from his humanoid body into: The Necroprobe! - a giant flying saucer bristling with ray guns, atomic mines and other hardware of death and demolition.
The Necroprobe is the embodiment of steel willed and uncompromising authority. Accountable to no-one, it turns buildings and enemies into ashes in split-seconds, accompanied by the cheerful voice of the president, lauding the immense power of his new mechanical "body" while mocking the poor puny rebels who fall like toy-soldiers when facing the hyper-efficiency of this perfect police-machine, - a destroyer of worlds...
Moebius/ Giraud has masterfully depicted The Necroprobe in a style reminiscent of nineteenth-century illustration with some inspiration from Japanese woodcuts and Fritz Lang's Metropolis , turning the mayhem and murder into a fascinating scenery that is both horrifying, terrifying. And beautiful...
Fun!, Entertainment!, Law and Order!
- and ART!
Monday, June 3, 2013
Copenhagen Comics 2013 is over, but you can relive (or discover) those magic days here in the red hot photo report from the Plopish! team
Xaime Hernandez being interviewed.
Hernandez would talk about his art and how he got started as a comic book artist.
Considering his immense contribution to comic books as an art form, he was a surprisingly modest and down-to-earth person.
Ping Award winner Mårdøn Smet (left) gets in the ring with Nummer 9 blogger, Thomas Berger
Working the digiboard
German comic book artist Anke Feuchtenberger did this impressive live painting in just a few hours.
...and was later interviewed
- as was Danish comic book artist (left) Stine Spedsbjerg
Manvir Singh, preparing to answer my penetrating questions about his The Evolutionist's Doodlebook
Estonian and Finnish comic book artist's share a stand. Comics have been booming in the Baltic countries for a number of years, fortunately helped along by low costs on colour printing.
Danish comic book artist Mikkel Sommer talks to Nummer 9's Cav Bøgelund about his latest release, a collaboration with renowned author and film script writer Kim Fupz Aakeson
high spirits at comics collective and publishers Ondskabens Flydende Vatikan
relaxed attitudes at comics collective Kulkælderen
Simon Bukhave (center, red shirt) has a show coming up at MOHS Exhibit gallery (september 2013)
Johan N Pedersen signing one of his self-published albums, he has more than sixty titles to offer!
security was tight, handled by a reputable out-of-town contractor.
You are never too old for comics
- or too young
strange...can't remember taking that photo, the camera must have gone off by accident!
and last, but not least - the "pick-ups"...
Since I arrived early at the con, I had a chance to find stuff while the sellers where still setting up shop, and I gets me the rare and expensive Danish language version of John Difool nr. 5, at 1/3 of the going price! (yes, bottom corner is missing, but hey...), found at the stand run by Pegasus
Xaime Hernandez was signing later on, and I wanted him to sign one of the first Danish language L&R titles (called Mekanix), and managed to pick one up (worn and with some ball pen writing inside, but HEY!) found at an incredible 15 DKR at the stand run by www.tegneseriefreak.dk
I decided to pass over on the more expensive, hardbound stuff from the bigger publishers and instead browse around the many interesting "independent" stands, looking to pick up something rare and unusual.
Well, more about this later, for now I say goodbye and a big thanks to Copenhagen Comics for a great and well-organized event!
to be continued
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Looks like a pattern is beginning to emerge...
I'm talking about our new series here at Plopish! - Premium Panels, and the question of what it is that attracts me to these selected slices of the narrative stream we now know as "the comic book".
It must be...
Yes, and no better example than the panel above, taken from Ambassador of the Shadows, volume six of Christin and Mezieres legendary Sci-fi saga of two space agents from the future world of Galaxity, Valentin and Laureline.
Ambassador of the shadows has always been my favourite from the series, maybe because it is set in what is basically a multi-dimensional metropolis: Point Central (I actually prefer the name used in the Danish language version: "The Navel")
Around Point Central you can travel both up-down, in-out, left-right, and of course also in time and other dimensions, as Valentin and Laureline discover at the end of the story. Since Point Central is conceived as a meeting place for all races of the universe, it is bereft with endless pleasures, dangers, wonders and maladies, very much like our own metropolises here on Earth.
I'm not going to elaborate on Pierre Christin's skills at constructing a both complex, exciting and compelling story, which includes replacing the traditional element of the male hero at the very beginning of the story ("traditional" as in: dating back to Homer's The Odyssey), nor will I add too many precious lines heralding the sombre colour spaces and slinky lines of J-C Méziéres superior drawings.
Because what we're talking about here is that one remarkable panel:
Laureline is searching for Earth's ambassador and Valentin, kidnapped by mysterious thugs.Accompanied by Colonel Diol (vice-officer of Protocols, and generally useless...), she travels from cell to cell, encountering not only some highly peculiar beings, but also passing through some truly breathtaking places, like the one in the panel.
A term for these sceneries is not easy to find - "space city scapes"?.. but this particular image really caught my imagination as a teenage boy back in the 1970's, not only because of J-C Méziéres talent for creating designs that were both futuristic and organic, but mainly because of the whole idea that a construction (Point Central) could be so large that inside of it were structures of super-gigantic proportions, in fact: so large that the space between them seemed to just recede into motionless darkness. Empty space. In empty space...
And that's what Art can do, not?
(and: Point Central had a Red Light district, equally mind blowing!)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
And since we feasted on the European ligne claire virtuosity of Hergé last week, why not go to the direct opposite - the gritty darkness of American underground artist Robert Crumb!
The panel above taken from his early masterpiece "Fritz bugs out", appearing at the very last page where Crumb's character Fritz the Cat (a rambunctious, free-spirited but also egotistical proto-hippie) has to face a serious come-down from his careless escapades as he ends up in an big unknown city and staggers lonely and bewildered through its industrial wastelands.
Crumb's panel catches well the eeriness of the floodlight-lit industrial area, set against the blackness of the night sky, and is drawn in his early "easy-does-it" -style which was sloppily artistic enough to find the appreciation of the underground and counterculture crowd, but beneath the surface lies the basic craftsmanship which set Crumb apart from so many other practitioners of underground comics: control of perspective and proportion, balancing of solid areas and line, etc, etc.
Such skills were partly the product of one of Crumb's many obsessions: walking around odd and remote parts of Cleveland, where he lived in the early part of the 1960's, drawing what he saw into one of the sketchbooks he was always (and still is) carrying with him.
Fritz the Cat...party animal, tin-pan Casanova, paper maché revolutionary, master bullshitter...
Here he is, walking down a lonely and deserted street in an unforgiven environment, heading for disaster (he gets mugged in an alley a few moments later) and not really grasping any of it!
To me this panel represents the dark seriousness that is part of great art like Crumb's. A basic knowledge of the sad fact that we could be partying for our lives today, only to face pain, death and destruction no later than tomorrow, and if the main ingredients of your life is to stay hip and up to the moment, you better pray that moment lasts forever.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Welcome to Premium Panels!
The brand new section here at Plopish, where on Wednesdays we'll be showcasing select panels from comic books, of course with a few lines added, explaining why we think these particular images deserve special mentioning.
And today's selection comes from non other than the great Hergé, from his 1950 masterpiece Destination Moon. And speaking of masterpieces, I would not refrain from calling this particular panel a true work of not only comic book art, but modern art.
And what do we see? - we see two mechanic-metallic vehicles, speeding down an equally metallic and brightly lit subterranean corridor, the gates they entered through closing behind them, signalling a point of no return. Where are they going?.. what lies ahead?.. the existentialist, post-Hiroshima nature of these questions are taken to the fullest by the subtle addition of, not explanatory text, not dialogue, not faces twisted in agony and despair...but the simple addition of abstract graphic symbols: two question marks.
And then, at the bottom, the signature of HERGÉ, which is found nowhere else in the entire volume...
(go on, check)
Hergé knew what he was doing. He knew that this was a powerful image, conveying a sense of mystery, unease, and wonder. Provoking thought.
don't you think?..
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Alain Voss 1946- 2011
My dad gave it to me. He had spotted it in a bargain bin at the shopping mall close to his work. His kid liked comic books.
KAR WAR - one of the best comic books I've ever read! such crisp lines, such masterfully balanced black and whites... and the story! - intergalactic rebellion! curvacious women! spaceships! motorcycles!
but who was this guy? - "VOSS"...
Alain Voss, a Frenchman born 1946 in Brazil, who moved back to France just in time to partake in the "Metal Hurlant revolution", creating pure Rock N' Roll for the eyes with comic books like
a both complex and completely tripped-out story about at rock star at the hight of megalomania who has to face inner and outer demons, making the trials of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust seem almost trivial (even if the Ziggy character obviously was an inspiration)
This was followed by other shorter stories usually related to classic "counter culture" subject matter:
Rock N' Roll, oppressive state and corporate authorities, evil villains, sexy women, drugs, science-fiction, more rock n' roll, more sexy women!
Voss stories always had a great sense of humour, and the characters had an authenticity to them making you believe that if futuristic Rock bands toured the galaxies in a far future, they would probably act out the same stupid behavior inside the "tour rocket ship" as they did in the twentieth century inside the tour bus. Voss characters were always very human and funny, as opposed to the villains who were classic underground baddies: Sadistic and stupid militarists, greedy capitalists, etc.
Like many other great comic book artists of the 70s and 80s Voss apparently toned down this type of work later on, probably due to both his age and the changing markets of the 90' and the new millennium.
In his later years he did mainly illustrations, a few of which can be seen at his DeviantArt page, which is still up.
After suffering a series of strokes, Alain Voss died May 2011 in Portugal.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
We were the children of the revolution...
Remember the seventies?... Denmark was pretty left-wing back then, and that particular world view influenced not only politics, the educational system, the unions and public opinion, but of course also - the arts!
Prominent amongst Danish political artists of the seventies was the artists collective RØDE MOR (meaning "Red Mother ") which worked in many different popular medias, in order to speak directly to The People™
Music and political theatre is what they are mostly remembered for today, their politically charged rock songs were played regularly on Danish Radio throughout the seventies and eighties. But another mass media also explored was: the comic book!
A comic book could communicate cheaply and directly to the masses, in dire need of emancipation and education about how they were being exploited and oppressed by the KKKapitalists (this was before the masses learned that capitalism doesn't do that sort of thing, capitalism is there to help you and be nice to you)
In court, the honest worker meets his enemies:
The unions, the judge, and the association of
Thus, Røde Mor published several comic books through their publishing house DEMOS, and in the volume pictured above we have two stories , the first one dealing with a group of crusty construction workers having to defend their right to strike, and the second telling a tale about a group of happy Copenhagen tenants getting evicted from their lovely (if shabby) houses and relocated to shiny new (but partly dysfunctional) high-rise buildings, erected in some dismal and barren suburbs.
As is the case with much of the political/ underground art of the seventies and later, the craftsmanship of both the stories and art is hardly impressive...but comic books like these were not meant to please the bourgeois aesthetes, but created to work as a weapon for the enlightenment of the people and help bring forth the revolution. Perhaps this also explains why there are no credits anywhere telling us just a little about who did the drawings and who wrote the story. RØDE MOR was seen as a collective effort with no room for petty bourgeois-repressive ideas about individuality and authorship.
A document of its time for sure, but today's citizens face similar challenges related to control of the workforce and housing... and the band RØDE MOR actually went on a come-back tour a few years back, to much acclaim.
So who knows, perhaps young Danish comic book talents will soon start turning out anti-capitalist comic books?
Well, until then:
FIGHT THE OPPRESSOR!
to be continued...
Sunday, April 14, 2013
HEY-HO-LET'S-GO! they shouted, and the world was never the same again...
Speaking of course of The RAMONES, legendary rockers who's reputation seems to have grown only bigger and stronger since they blasted out their last three chords back in 1996.
And what band could possibly be a better subject for a comic book than the Ramones? some cynics would even claim that they were a comic book!
Well, whatever your view on the subject, the DVD compilation Weird Tales of The Ramones released in 2005 not only included 85 songs, music videos and interviews but also a specially made comic book featuring contributions by such luminaries as Bill Griffith, Xaime Hernandez and of course John Holmstrom, co-creator of PUNK magazine, who drew the legendary April 1976 cover with Joey Ramone on it.
So, be a true punk! - download this illegally shared PDF, print it at your school or job, and bring it to the nearest taco stand so it can get covered in greasy sauce while you crumble and dog-ear the pages and your iPod destroys what's left of your eardrums, perhaps with the help of this song
to be continued...
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Moldy and bitter old men are we here at Plopish?..
YES! but that doesn't mean we aren't HIP to the latest! and if you want a piece of that (the HIPness ...) why don't you dasheth over to DeviantArt and get a preview of the latest craze: Motion Books, from Madefire
Yes, they've been babbling about "web comics" for years now, but do you really want to read a comic book on your computer or smartphone?..OF COURSE NOT, what you want is Motion Book Apps, because with these you'll also have sound, music, and movement!..."hey, I can get that watching cartoons on my TV, you lame-o!" I hear the sceptic couch potato whine from the comfort of his unmade, pizza tray filled bed, but who ever listens to those losers! oblivious to the fact that for creating this revolution of the comic book, Madefire have recruited the talents of super stars like Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons!
Yes, the task is simple: be a man! be a hero! - download Madefire Motion Books TODAY from an App store near you
to be continued...
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sunday, January 20, 2013
From The Bible Story illustrated by Basil Wolverton
Taking a small break here from Plopish, my daytime job demands my full attention for the weeks to come, so I'll be back when the time is right.
And in the meantime: don't forget to read plenty of comic books, they hold the truth!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Robert Crumb?...."he's dead ain't he?.. oh HIM, he must've gone bonkers and got locked up in an asylum somewhere - good thing!..oh yeah... the Fritz the Cat guy, he hasn't published anything since that weird bible thing...probably lives in some bombed out commune in California with the Grateful Dead and Peter Fonda..."
Wonderful as this may be, it also means there have been few new comics coming from the hand of R.Crumb..."so much work, it's strictly a media for the young..." he has stated, but as we insiders know, Crump is far from putting down his drawing tools to instead reach for a nice fresh copy of Vintage Record Collector...no way Jose! he 's still doing work, but doing it for Mineshaft Magazine
(and while you ponder if you should hit that "subscription" button, you can read all about how Mineshaft's cooperation with the old recluse came about here )
In Mineshaft # 26 you are treated to this beautiful Wallace Wood tribute by Crumb
To be continued