Feb 14, 2012

Comic Shops

In the same way that guiding a tourist round your city changes your view of it, trying to find a comic shop for a comic from the Balkans called Kuš! #9 'female secrets' (go look at it; http://www.komikss.lv/) made me remember what I found so dispiriting about trying to find a niche for my own work.
I recommended The Sticky Institute wholeheartedly, even though they don't specialize in comics. Also Minotaur slightly less eagerly after a quick look at their website; quite a lot to interest an arrested adolescent in the way of Super Heroes, games, figurines, fantasy, but grown up ladies? So other comic shops? or places like Readings or Hill of Content? Neither, both? I gave up.

Feb 1, 2012

Cute Cats

I drew the comic on the way home, and then used words cut out of an essay (written as an exercise by/for someone learning English) I found on the Upfield train about the changing role of women.

The day after I went on the gay radio I was bombarded with messages about women's changing role; two stories on Yahoo which on the face of it seem so different. 1) Old, skinny tart banned from wearing sexy clothes in local pub, and 2) Mad religious man keeps daughter in cupboard for 10 years. Except the basic message is the same; you shame us with your cunty self.

Reading two books; The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth, about the poet's ever supportive spinster sister. The phrase 'she lacked irony and self awareness' had me closing the book and giving up on her. Then the first chapter of Surface Detail by Iain M Banks, where an interesting, active female character is raped, has her throat slit and is eviscerated in the first chapter; gave up on that one too.

Finally I got to What It Is by Lynda Barry and the knot started to unravel. Diffuse, elusive, circular rather than linear; concerned with the journey, not so much with the finished object, not 'important'; playful. Women's work.

No-one can resist a comic about a cute cat, can they?

Whilst the issue of comics and why I should continue to try to make them is still spinning in my head, I made this mish mash of a three panel strip cartoon. It is a version of the cute cat logo for the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême which was on last weekend; but in a dress, so it is both a self portrait and an image of the fickle, fleeting spirit of Comix herself. From the distance of my computer the festival looks like everything one could wish for; a comic Utopia.