These are in no specific order, they are all just totally amazing!!!
Haz War — Jason T. Miles
This thing is collosal! It’s like this tiny book that you expect maybe a few humorous anecdotes and a couple sketches out of & then all of a sudden you open it up and bam! your mind is cracked in half and is separated into 2 extreme values! It feels like when you grow up knowing two siblings whose mannerisms are identical and their vocabulary is the same, but as it turns out one of them was adopted & they only seem so similar because they were raised the same! This is the kind of art raised by T. Miles that I have come to expect! I love it!
Tigard Force #2 - 5 — Amriel Simpson
Okay so this person is basically a legend! This person made a comic like a bajillion years ago, so I undertand, that was amazing and The genius Tim Goodyear saw it! Then Goodyear finds this cat again and tells them to make more comics and bring them to Floating World! THANK YOU TIM GOODYEAR! I don’t want to confuse you with all the details I know about this artist or it’s going to come out like a game of telephone. Part of me believes this artist is none other than Goodyear himself! What I do know is this is some highly cerebral post modern magic that I am way feeling! You have a world where Richard Scarry characters are manipulating your mind with medication, and you are getting subliminal messages in pop songs at the club from Cobra Commander’s finest! Alll the while you are ducking out at a camp where your only reliable companion Skipper delivers you spaghetti. I am so crazy in love with these. Issues 2-5 came out this year & they are 65 cents each! Only 50 copies of each issue so get them NOW!!!!
It’s Snowing Down South (A Lame Talisman) — Andrice Arp
This is a tricky work of art! You need to read this one a few times to get what you are getting into. At 1st one might assume this is a series of disconnected gags written by an alien from another dimension that feel vaguely relatable, spattered with drink recipes and some odds & end that you are tickled by but afraid of. On second read… well I am going to give the audience the benefit of the doubt. You are smart people. The cover gives you many clues. It’s snowing down south….. Or your slip is showing… Wait are we being given the slip!? Or is this just a sleight of hand? Wait! Whose hand is showing?
Poems to Crush Your Soul — Skinner
Previously for me Skinner’s work sat along with a bunch of stuff I am not interested in. I was always grabbed by his color use and his form & ability to constuct massive epic imagery, but sadly it was lost for me in the muck of the Juxtapoz mold. But then I met Skinner this year and we got awesome together and had a handful of amazing coversations that made me totally fall in love with this man and realize what I was missing out on! He handed me this book of poems he made and I have been busting up over them for months!!!! I love this!!!
Social Discipline Vol. 6 — Ian Sundahl
This guy is a master! Sometimes I think the joke is on me, sometimes I think I’m the only one who understands the joke, only to discover I’ve understood something about myself! This guy is a master of illusion! The darkness, and the light lines, the artistry & the wit are just endlessly brilliant! ENDLESSLY!!!
Black is the Color — Julia Gfrörer
Okay so, when am I not talking about Julia? I know. But seriously, friendship aside, Black is the Color is one of the richest reads imaginable! She did all the things it requires to get to me. 1. You craft a delicious romance that is tender, almost cute but uncomfortable with elements that feel tense & dark at the same time. 2. Characters must have intimate and odd attraction mixed with likewise eroticism. 3. Somewhere there must be otherworldy dealings that are difficult to traverse and may be evil depending on where you stand. 4. One or more characters has to make experimental music at some point or at least talk about it and this music must tie in conceptually to the theme. She covered all of these and more & I will never stop loving it! I have to quit this, I don’t want her head to get big.
End of the Rainbow Vol. 2 Fake News — Erin Tanner
This book is dark. It’s really dark…… I don’t want to use the great OZ analogy, but there is a strange hand behind this that is not what it seems. Erin Tanner is a true master of almost everything I can think of. This book hypnotically passes you through the most wondrous of imagery and then takes you to the depths of fear or despair and shoots you out of a street drain in the form of a rainbow over and over and over again until you finally get life. You actually come out getting to understand a little more about how the world is. Erin will never stop, and nothing can stop him! I can’t wait until he makes Star Wars!
The Invisible Hand — Anna Ehrlemark
This book was given to me when I met Anna during the Projects festival! She was one of my favorite people I met there, and also one of the biggest suprises as I had not previously seen anything of her. Aside from being a great cook (she cooked with some help for all of us who staffed the Projects festival) Her work is insane! Her line is amazing, her stories are very funny in a very wicked gnarly and fantasy-mingled way! I want people to go crazy on this stuff! She said there is so much more to come & I want it all right now!
Zebadiah Part 1 — Asher Z. Craw
This work is very important! I was lucky enough to see it in progress (and am lucky to continue to do so) & once it was done Asher delivered more than I could have ever imagined. It’s part American Gothic, with a new world love story that is so epic in proportion and so new to our realities still that Asher is among a very very small group of peers. Asher is traversing work that can only be related to Edie Fake and Jessica Johnson. However Asher is in a place all of his own where he is taking you somewhere personal, and yet outside of this world where possums make mischief and talk, religious icons of old know your name, and the souls of the world are misplaced in foreign bodies in foreign times. Asher is a prime example of a human who will not settle for a life less than awesome, and his work shines through with this spirit! I cannot wait to get part 2!
The First Sign of Anything — Kevin Hooyman
I’ll tell you, if you want to know how to live awesome style and feel any comfort in this world you need to leeve it for a bit with Kevin Hooyman. Hooyman and all of his internal friends in their externalized forms within this book are here for you! They are here to get you in shape to have the best time imaginable and learn a little about yourself and feel awesome in this lifelong journey called you.
There is also almost nothing in the world better than this book! You know why? Because it’s so jam packed with serious for reals substance that will stay with you forever! This is the sort of thing that is missing nowadays.
Outdoor — Yuichi Yokoyama (book not yet translated)
I got this one from my friend Jason at Floating World after he purchased them from a shop in Japantown in San Francisco that apparently had an amzing and beautifully decorated show of Yokoyama’s work with giant Yokoyama heads displayed to no fanfare at all :( This man is maybe the raddest man in the world! What’s the deal? Anyway this book is one of my favorite yet of his. Have you ever been to a habitrail and wished you could live there and see all of the seasons change from every compartment & play station? Well this comic is exactly that! You start following a missile that has a camera in it and we see its recorded image until we land with a bunch of rad guys to explore the habitrail world that Yokoyama provides! Yokoyama is one who understands that our manmade world is still nothing in comparison to the beauty & wonder that lies in the engineering of natural reality.
Wayward Girls 1 & 2 — Michiel Budel
I dont know how to talk about this or where to start. I love these comics, but the content makes my morals uncomfortable. It’s stories where girls have jobs working for a big brother-like tech station and meet aliens and become Hollywood stars so they can afford to buy a scale model toy haunted house game set where you watch horrors happen to a doll house, and Scott McCloud is a phantom that melts into a jar and Freud is your dad in every household on every planet, and and and you have adventures and and and then you meet aliens who fall in love with you and then you turn into ghost girls and then you do everything ever & you look like my favorite characters of Sally Forth!!! MAN! But the girls are physically of questionable age like in Henry Darger’s work living as adults with extraordinary lives. You decide?
Arsene Schrauwen — Ollie Schrauwen
OH MAN! This thing is like! MAN! OK There’s almost nothing better! This story in its 1st part is epic in vibe and so beautifully drawn! This guy has phenomenal pacing that feels akin to a P.T. Anderson film. In fact I couldn’t help but feel a strange connection between this comic & Anderson’s recent movie The Master. Maybe it was the time period both stories take place in? But I think it has many similarities in tone & pace and language. I am obsessed with this one! I feel like everyone could learn from this guy about the way the mind reads form, & symbols, and the way the mind processes time. Read it every day, read it all the way read it till you are old and gray and you will live forever gay!
Sweet Meats — Edie Fake
Edie is one of my faves & I sadly wasn’t able to meet Edie as Edie, like Johnny Appleseed, planted this comic all over town. This thing packs mountains of dream states into a very short amount of pages! The subject that is covered here again is very important. It’s a glimpse into the psyche of a still very new way of living on this earth that is a rare perspective in most mediums. I can’t wait to see how this story comes together as this is only the beginning!
Primary Thought — Kinoko
There needs to be so much more of this in comics! This is a beautiful, thoughtful & well-delivered piece on our education system & its history as well as many alternatives. This thing is so smart and the subject is something I think about a lot. Standardizing most things is a bad idea as it leaves little room for expansion or growth and when that is stifling the future that’s real bad. This book handles the subject with great respect and tact as well, which is an extremely tricky thing to do. I recomend this for anyone who has children and then also everyone ever!
Ritual #2 — Malachi Ward
This is turning into a rad series! It is so awesome how Malachi has truly captured the Roger Corman/Twilight Zone/Close Encounters of the Third Kind spirit and has his own voice to boot! This just feels so good! Malachi is also a master of emotions! I go back and forth between absolute joy and tears with this one!
Animal Sleep Stories ABCs — Daria Tessler
Daria is one of the most creative creatures in the universe. I don’t think she is human, and I feel lucky every day to know her. She accomplished the insanely difficult task of creating the best alphabet book in the known solar system! This alphabet book is what I wish I had learned my ABCs with. I am hoping she can find a way to transport me back in time with her book so I can experience just that :) Till then, for an adult, it offers great refreshers on all 26 letters and gives your eyes the most beguiling magical treats they could ever want!
Kañe West — Cameron Hawkeye
I don’t know how to talk about this book. Cameron is an absolute joy to know, who will brighten any day or any conversation. He is insanely sharp and has a mad attention to the detail behind the details. Here he explores a very complex man we know as Kanye, who himself is a Pandora’s box! Is Kanye an artist? Is Kanye a man? Is Kanye just a rich asshole who is taking advantage of us? Is Kanye taking advantage of us and we are the art? I think Cameron is the art.
The Blonde Woman — Aidan Koch
I have known many people who are like the title character of this book, and I find comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has had experience with them. This book paces slowly through an unknowable period of time. In places it feels like days, in others you feel like you have been there an eternity and by the end you feel like you hardly were there at all and yet the ghost of the blonde woman is still haunting you. This is exactly what it’s like to know someone like the title character, and that is a difficult thing to capture.
Nurse Nurse — Katie Skelly
When these were being released as minis I was going nuts over them, thanks to Dylan and his Sparkplug distro, and so I was so happy when they decided to publish it collected! This is a rare breed of sci-fi nowadays, indebted to the old sci-fi mod aesthetic of the past, and it breathes too with its own brand of humor & madness for this modern age! I can’t wait to see what Skelly does next! I have enjoyed all of her short pieces that have been popping up in anthologies and it’s crazy to see how her drawings have grown since Nurse Nurse’s completion.
The Cartoon Utopia — Ron Rege
This is an incredibly important book! This book took ages to come together & fountains of research! I wish everyone put so much work into eveything they did but still made them materialize faster :) This book has so much amazing knowledge packed into it that I have found, every day since I started reading it, that it has had an answer or aided me in explaining something in almost every converstaion I’ve had! The imagery is so insanely intricately laid out in beautiful compositions that are similar in layout, fittingly, to a lot of illuminated scripture. It’s all black and white but somehow you feel so much warmth in these pages, that the heat itself manifests hallucinations of color. I wish I knew how to express how important this book is and how more people should try to make such strong work with so much to offer, and look outside the beaten path! Formula is a key to only one door and this book has many doors and even more keys to show you new ideas from old worlds.
The Understanding Monster — Theo Ellsworth
This Book! THIS BOOK! TTHHIISS BBOOKK!!!! Is the beginning of a world! This book is major and this book is going to lead you into life! I had the privilege to watch this book grow from its creator in a frenzy of time-traveling sweaty-browed headstands, nerve-blasting, hill-rolling, tree-climbing new life forming beauty!!!! I want the whole world to read this! This book is an example of how far the mind is capable of reaching! SO many creatures are only using small portions of their brain and Theo is able to communicate with many beings inside his, & that live inside us all, and he is able to vividly tell their stories with his monstrous hands! There is a book (I will never read) called Every Day is a World, and I personally try to live by that. Here in The Understanding Monster Theo shows you how, much like that concept, every being is a universe! If you don’t love this book I may have a hard time seeing you.