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21 Apr 00:03

Our Toyota was Fantastic.

by boulet

20 Apr 23:55

theairtightgarage: Career Timeline: 1973 - The Detour Published...


Career Timeline: 1973 - The Detour

Published in Pilote Magazine, and signed as Gir, this is widely considered to be his “transformation into Moebius”. Soon after, he began drawing The Horny Goof, signing his comics as Moebius for the first time since 1964.

20 Apr 23:52

Hello, I’m Shelley Duvall.

Hello, I’m Shelley Duvall.

20 Apr 23:50

blackinasia: It’s fascinating looking at representations of...


It’s fascinating looking at representations of Africans in Chinese CCP propaganda from the 60s and early 70s. During this time period, China saw itself standing in solidarity in a class struggle with POC in Africa, Asia and Latin America against white-led American and European imperialism. The CCP also saw itself as having led a revolution which could be modeled by the peoples of these nations. Representations of Africa in the propaganda of this era therefore show tremendous camaraderie and brotherhood, presenting a united front against Western imperialism and colonization.

At the same time, though, these images are also steeped in a deep sense of racialized paternalism, which the last image, “Saviour” speaks tremendously to as well. This was due in part to the fact that the CCP’s revolution came earlier and was therefore the model revolution which they were “teaching” to Africans, but it also played directly upon antiblack stereotypes of African people as explicitly primitive (see the poster in which the “silver needle of friendship” is passed) and requiring the stewardship of the Chinese CCP in their march toward freedom in their own countries. The paternalism evident in the “friendship” is clear and plays into these racist, demeaning tropes, raising up a Chinese (rather than white) savior for African peoples in the face of Mao ZeDong.

These images are therefore interesting in the ways they evoke a sense of global POC solidarity against white-led imperialist forces from America and Europe, portray African leaders in a positive and noble light, generally work to show brotherhood between Chinese and African peoples, but then also plays to racist tropes like the “noble savage” trope and positions Africans and other POC in the developing world in solidarity but ultimately under Chinese CCP stewardship with a Chinese savior (Mao ZeDong) who “gets” their struggle, rather than a white one— but still a demeaning, paternalistic savior nonetheless.

Very interesting images to examine, especially for those interested in the history of relationships between Africans and Chinese people, and all of this come courtesy of’s amazing article “Foreign Friends: African Friends.”

(h/t chineseposters

30 Mar 19:43

spx: sailorafrica: WHAT THE FUCK JOAN.

by secretprison





21 Feb 17:57

funwrecker: One of my favorites.


One of my favorites.

19 Feb 19:24

azertip: Hayashi Seiichi

18 Feb 02:35

bighatdino: chamonkee: Ok, so I did a star wars story it would...



Ok, so I did a star wars story it would be about a couple of femaie jedi who fall in love in a chaste aesthetic kind of way. All about the meeting of souls through the force during the final stages of the clone wars. As fear grips the jedi council the pair are accused of falling from the way of the jedi. Pushed into fleeing they desert pursued by agents of the council  who believe they are in league with the sith behind the conflict…

About halfway through the clone army would turn on the jedi and the chase changes from a secret fleeing into the shadows of the empire kind of thing into a helter skelter ride from an entire galaxy out to kill them. Much like a thelma and louise across the stars.

The idea would be to play on the ideas of whether love being a weakness is true or not. We hear a lot of love going sour and being a corrupting force in other stories in the starwars universe. So what if it remains true and lifts us to a better place and however bad love can make a jedi, it can also raise them higher. It’s simply the gamble that the council can not, will not make.

So happy Valentines.

I can see why Brandon Graham suggested you should do Star Wars comics for Dark Horse (well, Marvel inevitably)… :)

14 Feb 15:08

"Frankenstein" poster

"Frankenstein" poster

13 Feb 01:29


04 Feb 01:29

Haskell Wexler, the great cinematographer, is tied to actress...

Haskell Wexler, the great cinematographer, is tied to actress Sandy Dennis, on the set of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”,  to keep a constant distance between an actor and the camera.

01 Feb 19:34

noahberkley: Masaaki Yuasa comics about his youth.


Masaaki Yuasa comics about his youth.

31 Jan 01:07

Lili Des Bellons 2headedsnake: Lili Des Bellons

Lili Des Bellons


Lili Des Bellons

28 Jan 19:19

quasiarte: Monsieur Hulot - Vittorio Giardino


Monsieur Hulot - Vittorio Giardino

28 Jan 19:19

arcaneimages: Bill Sienkiewicz

27 Jan 18:31

In praise of: Boulet

by (Zainab)
Let me tell you what is significant about 2014 in terms of comics: this year will mark 10 years of Boulet's (real name Gilles Roussel) comics online. Like many others, I must admit to the arbitrary nature of keeping up with web-comics resulting in a haphazard reading of those I am interested in, but over the last 12 months in particular, Boulet's work has shown more innovation, imagination, range and technique than some do in an entire career (and I offer that statement minus hyperbole), that  a daily vigilance has been imperative.

Most web-comics seem to fall into two categories: the daily stand alone short strip, pithy, often humorous, e.g. Cyanide and Happiness, or the ongoing narrative offered in parts, e.g. John Allison's Bad Machinery. Neither really explore or push the limits of the web-comic platform specifically, in that these comics could easily translate into print- there is little that is tailored to the web reading experience. And this is where Boulet stands largely alone: he seems to have an innate understanding of the online platform, taking an ingenious multi-media, mixed materials approach to produce comics that are unrivalled in breadth and scope. Take for example, New York Again. It's a diary/travelogue comic where Boulet visits the Big Apple. Etched in his usual black and white and infused with his trademark humour, it narrates aspects of his journey, laid out in traditional 3-panel strips. He breaks out of these to offer some observational portraiture of New Yorkers that have caught his eye. More strips and then we get this:

He cuts through the ambling of his narration by the sudden incorporation of a huge gif, thrusting the reader into a unexpected, hyper-coloured sensory experience- a gif that actively demonstrates how he felt visiting this night-club- the assault of noises and people and visuals, the strobing lights, with an overwhelmed and dazed Boulet rotating in confusion like a disco ball. It conveys the atmosphere, warmth and oppression of the room in an instant, through movement and colour. Gifs in comics aren't new, of course- Zac Gorman uses them in his Magical Game Time strips to similar effect: animating aspects that build atmosphere: a crackling, glowing fire, curtain blowing eerily- elements that aren't integral to the working of the comic as such, and that translate easily into print. But in doing so the comic loses much of what made it special in the first place: imagine the above sequence sat static on the page; striped of vitality and essence, and greatly muted.

Take Our Toyota Was Fantastic. It's a fairly short comic in which Boulet reminisces about childhood trips taken in the family's Toyota, the feeling of safety and warmth that they induced. A young Boulet lays inside the car on a night-time journey, the orange glow of the streetlights washing over him as they pass through a tunnel. The shadowy outline of trees, the moon, a neon 'Esso' sign reflected on the window, all work to evoke the thrum and movement of the car. It's a beautifully resonant comic, anchored by the final panel of an older 'present' Boulet in a taxi leaning contently against the window, as off-panel someone wonders 'I wonder why you always insist to take a taxi... The subway is far less expensive.' Boulet is a superb comics maker, but that narrative, the emotions it expresses and relays, is absolutely reliant on those interactive facets.

Let's look at another of Boulet's 'banner' comics from last year: The Long Journey. The Long Journey showcases, for me, Boulet's mindset: what can web-comic do that print comics can't? How does the platform differ? How can that be used to create comics that are web-unique? The Long Journey, rendered in a pixellated old-school video game style, see the cartoon Boulet persona in endless free-fall, through strange and exotic lands, various weathers, down, down, down. The Long Journey hinges on the reader's use of the endless scroll, the movement mirroring Boulet's trajectory, with the reader following. There's no way it could work in print: the pages breaking up the endless one-ness of the fall, and the horizontal turning of the page at odds with the continuous 'down, down, down' feeling that's harboured in the original.

Boulet was one of the first purveyors of the online comic, so it's perhaps fitting that he's 5 steps ahead of what everyone else in web-comics is doing, but it would be nice to see the parameters of the platform tested more by others, too.Where people still seem unsure or even afraid to play around or test the web-comic platform, Boulet is having a ball- producing every kind of comic you could conceivably think of. His range of art style and techniques, and the manner in which he manipulates them to show a shift in tone or feeling, a movement from place or time, via colour or layout, is astounding. Here's a quick look at a few:

Nostalgic, cutesy anthropomorphism:

More pixellated gaming influences:

Watercoloured paints:

'Classic' Boulet- the black and white sketch style with his hair proudly orange (this is taken from a hilarious CSI spoof):

Digital sci-fi art:

And there's a tonne more: photo-realism, as well as the incorporation of actual photos, videos, various painting styles, penciled art, digital, and on and on. The New York Pittsburgh diary alone has photograph, video, watercolour paintings, drawings, digital- seriously, just go look at it now. And it all works as one whole piece. Ostensibly, Boulet's comics are diary/autobiographical with a strong fictional slant, but over the years the man has written and illustrated every genre under the sun in longer and shorter length narratives: crime, sci-fi, fairy-tales,  an amazing pirate story that cuts between memory and imagination and past and future tenses, fantasy, time-travel, travelogues, wordless comics- he's done it all. Boulet's spoken of how for him 'the key is to always link the drawing to an emotion, a memory,' which is probably why most of the time, he'll insert himself into these scenarios, providing the reader and himself a point of recognition and familiarity- it's meaningful to him because he's in it, and it's meaningful to us because the Boulet person is essentially who we transpose ourselves onto. Joe Decie's comics are similar in nature: the quasi autobiographical thoughts a jump-off into the fantastical and imaginary.

The only other person who has come close to using the digital platform with a dexterity matching Boulet's is Emily Carroll; her horror comics require the reader to click on page elements to reveal plot facets and move the narrative further, giving them a choice to go on and making them a complicit participant.

Web-comics are getting more recognition, but it's a laborious process and the chase for attention and readers constant. Boulet, I would imagine, benefits from having built his base of readers over the years, and thus perhaps feels freer to experiment more, with his efforts paying off as his work gets wider attention. However, I don't think it's a stretch to say that on the whole, web-comics are still generally overlooked, under-appreciated and viewed as inferior to print- which would explain why he is yet to be recognised for his oeuvre. People talk about new ways of telling story, the evolution and progress of the medium, changing discourse and language, and Boulet is a perfect example of an innovator in the field. Let's, in this 10th year of Bouletcorp being online, celebrate and savour his mastery.

25 Jan 17:43

thebristolboard: Forgotten masterpiece: “An Alien in New York”...


Forgotten masterpiece: “An Alien in New York” by Alex Nino and Byron Priess from Heavy Metal magazine, January 1984.

25 Jan 02:31

Taiyo Matsumoto's Ping Pong adapted into TV anime

by (Zainab)

It's Friday, so I think it calls for something appropriately uplifting, aesthetically pleasing and not too taxing on the brain. Allow me, then, to bring you news of Taiyo Matsumoto's Ping Pong manga being adapted for a TV anime series, by Masaaki Yuasa, and scheduled to air in April this year. The 5 volume comic, originally      serialised in Shogakukan's seinen manga magazine, Big Comic Spirits, from 1996 to 1997, was previously adapted into a live action film in 2002, which was nominated for 8 Japanese Academy Awards, and looks pretty good, too. Ping Pong follows childhood friends and avid ping pong players Peko (real name: Hoshino) and Smile (real name: Tsukimoto), now in high school, charting their friendship and exploring the psychology and philosophy of life and sport. 

So here we go: a few rather gorgeous stills below- Matsumoto's arresting, slightly surreal style is well captured:

And here's the teaser trailer (you can find the website for the show here):

25 Jan 01:43

2013 comics round up: stuff what I loved

by (Zainab)
Okay, here we go: no ‘best of list’ but a completely subjective round-up of the comics I enjoyed most in 2013. Of course, I’ve not read every comic produced in 2013- March, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth and Boxers and Saints being some notable books I’ve yet to get round to, but then who has?  I’ve reviewed quite a few of these books and talked about them in other pieces and places, so apologies if some of this sounds familiar. Where I have reviewed something, I’ve linked to it via the title- just click to  read more about it if interested.
 Can we start with James Stokoe’s Godzilla? I don’t issue read, so I picked this up when the trade came out in July after months of both hearing buzz and simultaneously trying to avoid it, in an attempt to retain as much of the experience for that first encounter. The danger with hyped books is heightened expectations and the worry of being let down, but Godzilla is  bloody amazing. I’d never read a Stokoe book before, apart from the odd short comic here and there (first issue of Orc Stain, the Silver Surfer story for Strange Tales), and the full brilliance of his hyper detailed, gradient happy art is on display on every page here. Half Century War spans over 50 years, tracing Godzilla’s first appearance through to a world  reduced to a passive audience as monsters battle around them.
I can quite clearly recall my excitement  when Stephen Collins The Gigantic Beard that was Evil came through the post last summer. Collins, a cartoonist for The Guardian, produced an immensely assured debut, experimenting with panels, compositon and layouts, and combining wit, brevity, whimsy and metaphor. The tale of a spotless, tidy and clean-shaven utopia, in which one man suddenly sprouts a huge, uncontrollable, constantly growing beard, it bought to mind Roald Dahl and Raymond Briggs.  I started work in a comic book store last year and it also demonstrated how effective a good title can be- people would look at it, read it and buy it on the strength of that alone.
It’s easy to forget about anthologies in these  sort of lists, sometimes, as they’re not tied to one specific person. The Nobrow anthology can generally be relied upon to gather quality artists for some cool comics and gorgeous spreads, but volume 8, Hysteria, excelled itself- there were great comics from Zack Soto, Dustin Harbin, Dilraj Mann and illustrations from Sam Bosma, Rebecca Dart and a whole load more. They can be a bit hit and miss, but the last two volumes have been superb and are well worth picking up. Along with kus komiks s!, Nobrow’s anthology is currently the best showcase for  a taste of what comics can encompass, providing an entry-point into a  smorgasbord of styles and approaches and always a  good way to make yourself familiar with new creators.

Add caption
Another anthology that stood out in 2013 was Tiny Pencil, a new all-graphite art and comics compilation, edited by Katriona Chapman and Amber Hsu. The first volume of Tiny Pencil debuted at a time when everything I was reading wasn’t bad, but getting a bit samey- and then Tiny Pencil came along and it just felt completly fresh- free of artifice and encumberment, with stunning pencilled visuals. Hsu and Chapman were unafraid to experiment too, following up that first volume with a special summer edition: 3 mini zines in a exquisitely designed box, complete with dice and colouring pencils, with the third returning to the more traditional A4 format.    The debut and subsequent books are all the more impressive when you think of how formed the identity and concept of Tiny Pencil feels in such a short space of time. Very much looking forward to what they come up with this year.
I’d be interested to read how many of the books featured on ‘best of’ lists are released in the second half of the year. That said, I don’t remember reading much at all on Graham Chaffee’s Good Dog. Released in April  from Fantagraphics, it’s a beautifully understated treatise on belonging and finding your place. It can be difficult to find nuance in animal stand-in tale, with people often going cutesy or the acute opposite, but Chaffee manages to find a line that’s at once human and animalistic, producing the most real book I read all year.
Another trade collection that came out in early 2013 was Steve Parkhouse and Pete Hogan’s Resident Alien from Dark Horse. I can’t quite articulate how much I loved this: an unshowy, solid story of an alien disguised as a human, living peacefully  on Earth after his ship crashes, and forced out of his quiet existence on the outskirts of a small town when a murder takes place. Simply very fine storytelling. I’m so glad they’re doing another series.

MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt was the second Dark Horse collection that took me completely by surprise. A tale of espionage, government conspiracies, and paranormal abilities, it shared a few thematic similarities with another Kindt book that also makes my list: Red Handed from First Second. The latter is seated more in the crime genre- an epic this how it was pulled off tale, but the twisty turny narrative strands, the various narrators who you may or not be able to trust were again present, with Kindt’s watercolours a perfect foil to his unreliable tales of forgetting and re-writing.
My knowledge of Singaporean comics is very thin, so when Singaporean publishers Epigram Books announced a comics line to be released in English, it was a very appealing entry-point. The roster was great, but the 2 books that stood out were editorial cartoonist and journalist Miel’s Scenegapore, a succinct, informative, and humorous sojourn through the country’s history and landscape and Drewscape’s (aka Andrew Tan) Monsters, Miracles and Mayonnaise, a collection of his comics work over the years, from autobiographical strips to  sci-fi and fantasy work. It was incredibly pleasing to see Tan’s talents recognised by an Eisner nomination.

Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell was a fantastic all-ages story from Top Shelf. I hate reading comics on a screen, particularly those that aren’t created specifically for the platform, i.e. review copies for print books, so taking that into account, I was about halfway through a PDF of Rob Harrells’ debut before I noticed I was smiling like an idiot and had been doing since the opening pages. Fun, silly, heartfelt, and serious, with Harrell’s wonderful cartooning bringing it all together. If you’re looking for a great kid’s comic, it doesn’t get much better than this.
It seems every ‘best of’ roundup or list featured a Sam Alden comic, and I’m afraid this one is no different. There were a few to choose from- Household, Hawaii 1999, The Worm Troll, Patron Saint, but the one that resonated with me was the pencilled Backyard, in which a group of housemates carry on uninterestedly while one of them regresses to a disturbing degree.
It’s difficult for me to comprehend that a Chrsitophe Blain book went under-apreciated, but that’s what happened with In the Kitchen with Alain Passard. Not sure whether that was comic-book-released-by-large-book-publisher syndrome, but Blain’s docu-comic/interview with the thrice starred Michelin chef was accessible, entertaining and visually interesting: border-less, white backgrounds and more text bubbles then you could shake a stick at, as well as the inclusion of 15 recipes. The dialogue between Blain and Passard is lovely, too- witty, engaging, indicative of each’s character. Something which was tonally very similar to In the Kitchen was Etienne Davodeau’s The Initiates, where Davodeau and his vintner friend swap places, with each learning abut the other’s profession. There’s a highlight of a cameo page in there by Lewis Trondheim, who steps in to explain things when Richard questions why he draws himself as a bird.

I didn’t get around to picking up Greg Ruth’s solo effort,The Lost Boy, but I did buy his collaboration with Steve Niles, Freaks of the Heartland. It’s a perfect example of the unique kind of magic that comics can weave; Nile’s story of a small town birthing monstrously misshapen children and locking them away is simple enough, but it’s Ruth’s sumptuous, evocative art that elevates it, imbues it with nuance and emotion and remains with you after it’s all over.
Laura Park’s mini-comic with Uncivilised Books, Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream, debuted at Autoptic, and was available to purchase online shortly afterwards. Parks uses the format fully, giving the reader scenic full page spreads in one instance and then placing a 9-panel grid in the centre of the next. Her autobiographical strips and observations are funny and honest and make for a very satisfying slice of comicking.
Thien Pham’s Sumo, in which a college football player decides to travel to Japan to become a sumo wrestler after his plans fall through, has a lovely pared back approach with beautiful clean art- it didn’t get much attention and it deserved some.  It’s not an obvious, flashy book, and sure, it’s a familiar plotline but Pham infuses it with his own perspective, avoiding cliche.

Anyone who’s read some of my writing knows I’m the driver of the Julia Gfrorer bandwagon. Her Black is the Colour, originally serialised on Study Group Comics, was released from Fantagraphics, with a lovely thick, grainy cover and paper. Featuring Gfroer’s signature mix of mythic, supernatural elements  to throw into relief the very human facets of her characters, it’s also one of the finest mermaid iterations you’ll read.
Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: Slayground released in the tail-end of 2013, as is becoming tradition and for me, it was an improvement on the last, which was a busier affair. Slayground is a tighter, leaner affair, with anti-hero thief Parker operating alone once more, with Cook’s art fitting the retro- gangster tale like a glove. And it also had a nice fold-out spread; a map of the theme park Parker finds himself trapped in. I like those kind of little additions.
Drowntown by Robbie Morrison and Jim Murray ticked all my boxes: sci-fi, crime, anthropomorphic characters, oddball PI’S, but at the rate it was selling at the shop, that wasn’t a completely subjective preference. Jim Murrays’ art is astonishing here, really bold and hulking with character and personality (seriously, click on that image to see it bigger). Set in a flooded London of the future, with the big money in animal-human hybrid experiments and DNA science, it’s an intriguing mystery- the first part of 3 books, but appreciable on its own.

I managed to squeeze in Thomas Wellmann’s first major English language work, Pimo and Rex, in before writing this, after finally getting my hands on a copy at Thought Bubble. German publishers Rotopol Press teamed up with Blank Slate Books to give this a simultaneous German and English release (I don’t know the logistics of that, but it’d be cool to see more people try it), and it contains some of the most wonderfully coloured art I’ve seen in comics all year. It’s a zany adventure very much in the Trondheim tradition, but just click through that link to see Wellmann’s cartooning- you won’t regret it.
2013 was the year I discovered Swedish comics publishing outfit, Peow! Studio. Run by 3 talented artists and comics creators, all their publications are worth a look-see, though my favourite thing that they released was Nava, a beautifully understated tale combining myth and fantasy, drawn to sublime effect by Olle Forsloff. The most impressive thing about Nava was the various beats and tones that Lopez and Forsloff managed to achieve- the seamless transition from one act to another- meditative to adventurous. Very much looking forward to that second instalment.

A self-published work that I loved was Isaac Lenkiewicz’s Dead Cats of Plum Street. Everything about Plum Street was simply on-point- the fine-lined brush work, the cartooning, the coolest 3 girls you’ll meet. Lenkiewicz mixes together  a bit of silliness and witchiness, whilst giving his story serious attention and it works. This was without doubt one of the best things I read all year.
Ines Estrada’s mini kus, Borrowed Tails, was a fab showcase of her work. Her colouring always stands out to me- mainly because I’ve not seen anyone else achieve the effects she does with her watercolours, but she’s a fantastic cartoonist all round.
You can easily tell the standout web-comics by the rapidness with which they’re shared via social media: the ever-brilliant Emily Carroll’ deliver another interactive horror masterpiece with Out of Skin seemingly the only thing people talked about for a week in my Twitter and Tumblr feeds. The same thing happened with Pat Grant’s Tooriyama, a superb comic which recounted his relationship with his father from childhood to adulthood. Boulet was again king, with animated comics, endlessly scrolling comics, pirate stories, fairy tales, travel diaries, fine art mixed with photos- anything you could think of, he did.
And I’m going to finish with AP Quach’s and Max Landis’ comic, Boy’s Night, which sees a middle-aged Mickey, Pluto and Donald go clubbing and meditate on the course of their lives. Amusing, melancholy, and yet weirdly affirming. Here’s to another year of the crazy world of comics.

22 Jan 01:04

This Fat Boys reissue is bonkers.

This Fat Boys reissue is bonkers.

21 Jan 03:50

Maybe this is a crazy question, but how did Europeans know what Africans looked like? I know that some of the paintings here are of North Africans/Middle Easterners, but others clearly depict people born south of the Sahara. I've heard of Prester John but I never imagined that medieval Europeans were aware that Prester John would have had brown skin. Am I missing something?

Like. There are a lot of things I could say here. But I’m just going to do my best to answer your question, and the answer is either very simple or very complicated, depending on your current point of view.

1. “They” knew what people with brown skin looked like because people with brown skin had been there literally THE ENTIRE TIME. Some (and father back, ALL) of “them” had brown skin themselves.

2. “People with Brown Skin” and “Europeans” are not separate and mutually exclusive groups.

3. No matter how far back you go, the mythical time that you’re looking for, when all-white, racially and culturally isolated Europe was “real”, will continue to recede from your grasp until it winkles out the like imaginary place it is.

We can just keep going back. In every area, from all walks of life, rich and poor, kings and peasants, artists and iconoclasts, before there were countries and continents, before there were white people.

Russia, 1899:


Switzerland, c. 1800:  [fixed link here]


Netherlands, 1658:


Poland, 1539:


Germany, 1480s:


Spain, 1420s:


France, 1332:


Scotland, England, France, 1280s:


France, 1220s:


England, 1178:


Belgium, 1084:


Greece, c. 1000:


Spain, 850s:


Throughout Europe, 800s-500s:


England, c. 300 AD:


Scotland, c. 100 AD:



Italy, 79 AD:


Greece, 170 B.C.:


Greece, 300 B. C.:


Greece, 400s B.C.


Greece, 500s B.C.:


Egypt, 1200s B.C.:


Crete (Minoan), 1600 B.C.:


Crete (Minoan), early 2000s B.C.:


Romania, 34,000 B.C.:


The time when “EVERYONE” in Europe was White does not exist. They knew what people with brown skin looked like because they were there. They knew what “Africans” looked like because they were there, and they weren’t “they”, they were us, or you. I think what you’re missing is something that never existed.

18 Jan 15:57

sayunclecomics: malachiward: Simon Roy has a new book out this...



Simon Roy has a new book out this year! It’s gonna be great. If you’re a sci-fi fan, or just a fan of good stuff, you must check it out.

Simon makes the cool stuff.

17 Jan 17:25

(Toripan, Nanko Torino)


quack wack quack

(Toripan, Nanko Torino)

17 Jan 02:17

And Then Theory Wept: Precarity Talk and Miley's Sadness

by (Chris Taylor)
* Who better to reveal our generalized inability to find joy in autonomy than Miley Cyrus? I was at a bar with some friends after a day of MLA and “We Can’t Stop” came on and I was drunk and relieved.  It’s our party we can do what we want / It’s our party we can do what we want. It was like us! So I had more Jameson and was happy to be away from work and with old friends and with silly pop. I began gushing about the Miley of that song as a nouveau phalansterian. “A pre-critical socialist!” I think I said—but a socialist nonetheless. Bodies creeping into a scene away from wherever, sweating in mad high contact. Bodies doing whatever, embodying pure whateverness. Miley the Queen of Quodlibet!

            -----“But it’s a really sad song,” my friend said.

            And he’s right. The repetition, the minor key, the desperate wailing at the end, the generalized sense of Fuck, we can’t stop!—it’s a really sad song. The best party in the world, the party of pure whatever-being, the party where want is act and “we run things / things don’t run we”—this party’s anthem is a dirge that cuts out right before the tears kick in.

            If Miley can’t revel in her autonomy, people, we’re fucked.

* It’s like so much theory today is just another weapon in a growing arsenal of less lethal weapons, the emotechnicsand lachrymators set to work by the state. The theme of this year’s MLA was “Vulnerable Times,” and a torrent of terms flow from the title like so many tears: abandonment, precarity, bare life, dispossession… And then theory wept. My problem isn’t that states of existential depletion, vital neglect, and necropolitical pulverization aren’t real. They are. Nor is my problem that some thinkers haven’t thought through the exposure of abandonment to the kinds of lives that get lived when bareness is what you got, when dispossession augurs an entrance into an undercommon sociality from which something new might come. They have. Even the MLA program wanted to see vulnerability “not as weakness or victimhood but as a space for engagement and resistance emerging from a sense of fundamental openness, interdependence, and solidarity.” Exposed in and through the implosion of liberal governance, vulnerability appears as an ontological condition (“fundamental openness”) that is always already post-liberal.

But what’s the payoff in recognizing that bodies can’t sustain neoliberalism, that the current iteration of the world effects an unworlding? We already knew that liberalism cannot be lived; we’re just proliferating new figures for its unlivability. Given that so much of this precarity talk is premised on narratives of the state’s devastating withdrawal, its neglect of its redistributive promise or project, theory’s tears produce an affective reinvestment in a state we will never have. But more: the functionality of much precarity talk for statist imaginaries is best evident in the fact that we rarely think of the state as such as vulnerable or abandonable. We never figure precarity as the state; we imagine that, somehow, the cold monster will endure long after it has abandoned you and me and everyone.

So this is how theory is an emotechnic of the state:  We think we’re weeping for populations abandoned by the state. We never ask: what if we’re weeping as the state abandoned by the populations it thought it had abandoned? Crying tears that Hobbes’ frontispiece sovereign might cry if it suddenly found its body depopulated by the bodies that once filled it? Crying the tears of an old lonely abandoned monster?

* Remember that crying cop, sad that he had to club kids eager to make a break for it back into the state’s arms?

* I’m writing this in the wake of the acquittal of Kelly Thomas’ murderers, the homeless ill man killed twice or thrice or countless times by the state. I’m writing this out of a feeling of fecklessness and sadness, an acute consciousness of not having done anything and not knowing what could be done. I’m writing this because abandonment is a fact, because vulnerability and precarity are differentially distributed and embodied. But I’m mostly writing it because, in the syncope of consciousness separating my recognition of the maldistribution of bodily vulnerability and my awareness of the disembodied nature of my response to this fact, I will have already forgotten what our bodies—yours and mine—can do. I’m sad that I’ve lived this forgetting as a concession to the specularity of merely witnessing what we all already know. I’m sad that I haven’t tested my bodily competency, my bodily power, that we haven’t tested our bodily competency, our bodily power, to do something about this, to fuck shit up, to go somewhere else or make something new. And I’m sad—though you might laugh at this next sadness, finding it an inevitable sadness, citing thesis 11 to tell me to get over it—that that most contemporary theory, the kind of theory that yields “Vulnerable Times” thematics, the theory I read with love everyday, hasn’t enjoined us to enjoy this power. I’m sad that one of the most important theoretical texts of our moment is frequently read as an incitement to participate in sadness rather than as an attempt to measure our capacities to unbind ourselves from it. I’m sad that theory won’t help my sadness resolve into a great burst of embodied laughter or turn into a kind of anarchist wake where we remember the dead but fight like hell for the living—and, yes, of course, always, the dead.

* I’m sad that theory never tells us what my comrades do—except that theory, that is, that doesn’t count as theory, the kind of theory read by rad grads and the odd prof, the kind of theory that you can’t even really cite, the kind that keeps faith with the possibility of radical autonomy, the kind that is less concerned with what the state does to us than what we can do to the state and more importantly with one another, the kind of theory that tells us that, when this shit happens, “we go”:

So we go. To the streets. To the occupations. To the marches – the seemingly banal and the potentially-insurrectionary alike. We go. To the barricades. Together. And if we have questions or doubts – we’ll figure it out when we get there. But we have to go. A las barricadas!

We go because we can, because we have that power, because we are abandoning as much as abandoned, and we live and act this doubleplay of refusing and being-refused together, in the joyous collective autonomy we might share after and through and within the bonecrunch of abject heteronomy.

* Nothing heroic. No Vince Lombardi speeches. That’s not what I want. Just a recognition that we still don’t know what our bodies can do, that our exposure to violence or our dispossession or bareness doesn’t exhaust or even begin to describe our potential, that we can run, walk, and wheel from a world that crushes (our very faith in) our collective autonomy because, well, we still got it, it’s still there. At this point, there’s more revolutionary value in reading descriptions of people getting up from chairs than in continuing to write power’s autobiography. Getting up from chairs: philosophy’s oldest standup routine. Kant, the third antinomy:

When, for example, I, completely of my own free will, and independently of the necessarily determinative influence of natural causes, rise from my chair, there commences with this event, including its material consequences in infinitum, an absolutely new series…

I’m not invested in a metaphysics of the will or whatever. I’m just laughing with Kant, at Kant, through Kant, at the amazing fact that some of us get up from chairs, at the amazing fact that freedom is right there—a freedom that, if not a “first beginning,” is nonetheless absolute, part of an “absolutely new series.” We run things / things don’t run we.

* So Kant goes. No doubt through Königsberg on one of his clockwork walks. But how might we rethink the current scene of social theory if we put Kant in his chair in the space of our abandoned present, and followed him from the spontaneity of a freedom that can’t be exhausted to the demo or occupation? Kant a las barricadas? What if we learned, with Kant, to take a kind of pleasure in the inherence of freedom in the ordinariness of our variegated and differentiated bodies’ praxis? I’m engaging the unfortunately ableist metaphorics of getting up from a chair not to promote a paradigm of action but to generate a new attunement of thought, one that gets up and over our contemporary inability to find joy in our autonomy.

* While the MLA vulnerability theme was playing out, a subconference of vulnerable people gathered autonomously to share and develop technologies of autonomy. I couldn't make any of it, but I heard it was a brilliant blast. 

* So, the minimal demand: Not a theory that reflects reality, that informs us of the shittiness of our present, that calculates the infinite modes by which power decimates us. We all know how shitty it is, how wasted and depleted. We want a theory that works to empower us to remake the real, that acts in the present as a force of and for affective recalibration, a theory that puts us into joyous contact with the bodily fact of inexhaustible—and therefore endlessly shareable—autonomy. A theory that puts us on the go. To the occupation, the demo, the barricades. To Miley’s party to tell her that it doesn’t have to be so fucking sad. To the MLA to tell them we get enough tear gas, thank you much, and we want a theory that joys in autonomy, the glimmers of it that remain—which might mean, sure, that for the present we just talk about vacating chairs. To the state to tell them that we’re going away for a while, probably forever, with one another. We will carry our wounded with us; sometimes they’ll carry us. We’ll pool our bodily resources and go along, laughing and dancing. We’ll let the state do the crying.

16 Jan 02:02

forgottenneighborhood: "Ifigeneia thinks she would like to fall...


"Ifigeneia thinks she would like to fall in love with an architect, who would build the most grandiose sand palaces for her."

15 Jan 01:48

Prophet dad. 

Prophet dad. 

12 Jan 04:14

Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo Vol. 2

by Spencer


As promised, further investigation into the futuristic spaces in Japanese ambient and pop music from the 1980s…


Takashi Kokubo – “Electric Fantasy (Pops)” from Electric Fantasy
Ichiko Hashimoto – “Opening the Door of the Heaven, There Overflowed the Orange Shine” from Ichiko
Yasuaki Shimizu – “Hako” from IQ 179
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – “Primordial Germination” from Ecophony Rinne
Ippu Do – “Sorrow” from Night Mirage
Joe Hisaishi – “In the Polluted Sea” from Nausicaä: Valley of the Wind OST
Haruomi Hosono – “The Truck on the Sea/Wheels on Fire” from Paradise View OST
Masashi Kitamura + Phonogenix – “Variation II” from Prologue for Post-Modern Music
Joe Hisaishi – “A Virgin & The Pipe-Cut Man” from Curved Music
Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Kokubousoushou” from Royal Space Force OST
Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Japan/Coda” from Coda
Eitetsu Hayashi – “Karabinka” from Messanger of the Wind
Hara Masumi – “Blue Night” from Imagination Exchange
Mu Projekt – “Mi Na Penda Sana Uya” from Asia Dream
Yoichiro Yoshikawa – “Nettai Gunchou Zu” from A Dream of Aku Aku
Chakra – “III” from Satekoso
Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Portfolio (Nomura Shoken CM 1988)” from CM – TV
Testpattern – “Ring Dance” from Apres Midi
D Day – “Sweet Sultan” from Grape Iris
Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Howdy (NTT CM 1984)” from CM – TV
Koharu Kisaragi – “Depato” from Tokai No Seikatsu
Haruomi Hosono – “Samidare Goma Kitou” from Tale of Genji
Sandii – “Shantih” from Eating Pleasure
Masami Tsuchiya – “Nightgulls” from Alone
Takashi Kokubo – “Playing Among the Gods” from Volk Von Bauhaus
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – “Reincarnation” from Ecophony Rinne
After Dinner – “Paradise of Replica” from Paradise of Replica

12 Jan 03:14

unatheblade: Oh look, a manga called Shuna no Tabi by Hayao...


Oh look, a manga called Shuna no Tabi by Hayao Miyazaki from 1983. Read it here

10 Jan 15:22

Halloween mondo poster by Jock.

Halloween mondo poster by Jock.

10 Jan 15:21

arecomicsevengood: tezukaspanels: Osamu Tezuka often depicted...



Osamu Tezuka often depicted cutting by sword as cutting through a frame on the page.

From Dororo.

Obsessed with this page/effect at the moment. Haven’t read Dororo yet. (I’m currently reading Tezuka’s Ayako but kind of hating it for how straightforward its storytelling is, and while it tries to sell itself as a “novel,” a literary thing, as someone who actually reads a lot of prose fiction, it does not live up to those standards.)