This is a partial and rough English version of my blog Just Indie Comics (Banner by Pat Aulisio)

sabato 17 maggio 2014

Comics Workbook Magazine

Comics Workbook is Frank Santoro's website, where the author of Cold Heat, Storeyville and Pompeii showcases comics by cartoonists such as Simon HanselmannOliver EastAidan Koch and the works of the students from his well-known Correspondence Cource for Comic Book Makers. A paper version of the website debuted last year under the name of Comics Workbook Magazine, with the editorial supervision of the same Santoro and the essential contribution of Andrew White as editor (here the review of his We Will Remain), with the help of Zach Mason as assistant and designer. The three issues published so far, on a roughly bimonthly basis and sold in Copacetic Comics webstore, puts together in sixteen pages short comics, interviews, essays and, in the latest issue, a partial transcript of the SPX 2013 panel with Frank Santor and Dash Shaw, the author of Bottomless Belly Button and New School.
Talking about the comics, the ones by Oliver East and Derik Badman show the influence of the "grid", the cornerstone of Santoro's teachings. East splits the page in eight panels without drawing the borders, while Badman opts for a twelve-panel layout, matching the photographs used in the first page with their reproductions in the second. The magazine gives also the opportunity to admire the work of two authors to watch for, Sasha Steinberg, the eclectic creator of the po(p)litical project Stonewall and editor of Queerotica antohology, and Jen Rickert, who contributes with some evocative haikus in four panels, expression of an extremely interesting trend in the alt-comics scene, in which the drawings are simple and even raw, sometimes naif, while the text uses the language of letter, diary, biography and poetry.

Among the essays there are two funny reflections by Dorothy Berry on Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy, while the contributions by Whit Taylor and Warren Craghead, respectively entitled 10 Things I've Learned from Becoming a Cartoonist and Arts Funding for Comics, will certainly be useful to aspiring artists, along with the interesting interview with Ed Luce, who explains in detail how he materially gives form to his series Wuvable Oaf, recently acquired by Fantagraphics. In these three issues we find also interviews with Sam Alden, Lala Albert, Annie Mok and with the winner of Comics Workbook Composition Competition 2013 Dave Ortega
Comics Workbook is the most interesting magazine at the moment in the North American indie scene, along with Studygroup. And who knows if one day it will grow becoming a new Comics Journal...

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