Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy Birthday City of Glass

Here is a link to a nice report about the presentation at Comic Arts Brooklyn celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the publication of the graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster's "City of Glass" created by David Mazzucchelli and myself. :

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/11/13/twenty-years-on-city-of-glass-is-still-avant-garde-paul-auster-art-spiegelman-paul-karasik-and-david-mazzucchelli-in-conversation-at-comic-arts-brooklyn/

Two guys named Paul

Secrets revealed!
David Mazzucchelli holding invisible water balloon.

Auster, Mazzucchelli, Karasik, Spiegelman, and moderator, Bill Kartalopoulos 

...and here's a link to a video from the event:



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Friday, February 07, 2014

Angouleme 2014

If you want some "news" about the Angouleme International Comics Festival, try checking out these reports that I wrote for The Comics Reporter.




http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/euro_comics_special_paul_karasik_in_angouleme_02/

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/euro_comics_special_paul_karasik_in_angouleme_03/


http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/euro_comics_special_paul_karasik_in_angouleme_04/


http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/euro_comics_special_paul_karasik_in_angouleme_05/


But if you just wanna look at a bunch of pics without a lot of those extra annoying words getting in the way, stick around.


1. I went to Angouleme a week prior to the festival to teach at the EESI school where they have a two year Masters program in Comics. In four day-long classes, my wonderful students made 8-page mini comics. That's writing, pencilling, lettering, inking, printing, and binding while the clock is ticking and I am drumming my fingers on the desk.


They did splendid work and then sold out their mini-comics at the Festival. We took the profits from the sales and donated them to a needy cause, 'cause we needed a party!


***

2. The crew from the Netherlands, with Joost Swarte at the helm, landed in L'espace Franquin, an exhibition space in town. They came with two suitcases and a vacuum cleaner which, when opened up and assembled, became an pop-up silk screen operation.

In three adjacent rooms, cartoonists made drawings on tracing paper which were then turned into posters and slammed all over town.

Here is Typex at work trying not to get ink on his nice yellow shirt.

Quiet! Swarte at Work!!!

Here is my drawing done of tracing paper.



And here I am with finished poster and the master behind the printshop-in-a- suitcase.

Posters as displayed around town.

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3. Camus + Munoz? Can someone please publish this book in English?!?!?


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4. Kai Pfeiffer, Peter Blegvard, Ulli Lust, and Paul Karasik recalled a time in Luzerne where we visited a squatter's house together and had a hell of a night (see previous post somewhere in the archives of this blog).
***

5. Paul Karasik, Florent Ruppert, Thierry Smolderen, Dominique Bertail after an odd film showing of remixed Louise Brooks footage with live Mozart played on the piano. All agreed that any opportunity to watch Louise Brooks must be embraced...but Dominique was wistful. "Just think all those people in all those crowd shots are dead. Even Louise Brooks: dead," he sighed.

***
6. I sat down next to this guy at the Bistro Bachelier in the covered market. We were both very involved in our duck. He was making short work of some homemade foie gras and I was tucking into some duck pâté. This concentrated labor went on for some time before he asked me who the hell I was. It turned out that he was the cartoonist named Max from Spain! A really nice guy and a hell of a draftsman. Googleimage "max spanish cartoonist" right now.

***


7. I guess that the single biggest thrill for me was meeting Herr Seele, part of the team responsible for "Cowboy Henk". I sat for a portrait that he did of me straight in ink as we chatted. He puts Luis Buñuel at the top of his list of influences and he loves Ernie Bushmiller. As a flourish, he added Cowboy Henk whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

***





8. Maybe the coolest exhibit was Guillaume Trouillard's illustrations. You had to climb up an endless stone spiral staircase to reach the exhibit space. I ran into a Saint Bernard with a small refeshing keg on the way to the top where a nurse with a respirator awaited.


***


9. I know that this looks like a portrait of cartoonist, Hugo Pratt's, famous Corto Maltese character...but it is really a Coke machine on the street. Don't know who Corto Maltese is? Save yourself the plane fare 'cause they will not let you into Angouleme.


***
Joe Lambert, Paul Karasik, Chuck Forsman, & Alec Longstreth
10. Occasionally Americans are allowed into Angouleme but only if they behave themselves or smoke or know who Corto Maltese is.

***




11. Posters displayed on the street. No comment.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Graphic Report: Menemsha Bike Ferry

Here is a Graphic Report from the front lines of the Menemsha Ferry on Martha's Vineyard that carries bicycle riders on a three minute trip across a channel in three minutes, saving them 45 minutes of danger and exertion. The print version ran in the Friday, June 5 edition of The Vineyard Gazette.

Click on image to hide the sidebar and read entire report.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Angouleme 2013


If you are reading this in hopes of learning some news of what happened during the 2013 comics festival in Angouleme you may want to go elsewhere.  No news here.  Just stuff.

1. For the third year in a row, I arrived in Angouleme a week prior to the festival to teach a Masters Class in Comics Narrative at the EESI school. In four classes my students produced eight-page mini-comics (plus covers). 

Here you can see them assembling their comics that they then sold as collected packets at the festival. We used the proceeds to fund cartoonists in need…of a glass of wine.



2. The EESI art school is housed on the top floors of an old paper mill, directly above the rushing waters of the river which course through channels built in the bottom floor. During class, the constant whooshing can be heard below.



Yet never once did I go into the paper museum housed there until this year. It is one of the highlights of the town. Enormous pieces of papermaking equipment handsomely displayed to the soundtrack of the whoosh.

Here are some paper objects that (I think) were printed in this plant when it was actually making paper. And if they were NOT printed here, they could have been.




3. Each year the festival chooses a President for next year’s festival. The President gets the honor of being badgered and interviewed a lot and signing the Mayor’s sketchbook and having a retrospective of his work installed. These exhibits are generally lavish affairs, but this year’s President, Jean Denis, had a modest showing.

So modest that I doubt that I could lead you back to the location of the exhibit even with (ESPECIALLY with) the festival map. I just turned around at one point and there it was.

I think that this may be the entrance to the Jean Denis exposition.

There were other exhibits this year that got a lot of justified press 'cause they were landmark (the Asterix exhibit), or cooler (the stylish Finnish installation had me laughing out loud). But Denis' show was generally overlooked. Too bad.

I cannot speak with any authority about Denis’ stature in the field as I have read very little of his work since it is almost exclusively in French.  His original comics pages are extremely attractive and competent and speak to a specific era of 70s/80s French comics of disaffected youth. I imagine that for those who grew up reading Denis, this stroll down memory lane must have been balmy. But, honestly, the comics work on the first floor of the show did not send me.

I almost did not climb the circular stone staircase to the second floor of this show...but I am glad that I did. I include here a bunch of swell sketches and sketchbook pages that filled the second floor walls.











4. I took a day trip to Bordeaux to visit cartoonist, Vincente Perriot, a very nice man who has a nice girlfriend (who cooks very nicely) and who gave me a nice tour of his nice town (Bordeaux not Nice, a town I have yet to visit).
Vincente Perriot

Here are some details from the façade of St. Pierre.
Look closely.


Medieval conga line.

Exactly WHAT has been going on here for the past 1000 years?

We came upon a fine store in the heart of Bordeaux filled with old comics and books and paintings and junk. For me, a good junk store is hard to find in France. Here are two covers from some rag called Eclats de Rire. Evidently issue #26 sold so well that they came up with a clever variation for issue #29. 
Gaze and ponder the many mysteries.

5. Cartoonist, Sarah Glidden (“How to Understand Israel in 10 Days”), has been working on her new book in Angouleme for the past year and cartoonist, Ted Stearn (“Fuzz & Pluck”), has been working on a new book in Angouleme for four months. Along with Ted’s cousin, Lolly, we borrowed a car and drove to the Dordogne to go to a cave.
When in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil you may want to spend 
the night at Hotel Cro-Magnon...then again...

Betty Rubble, prop.

Available at gift shop: Cavemen action figures, crystals, 
and the Venus of Willendorf paperweights.

Now that Lascaux is closed (unless you count the plastic faux Lascaux replica that they have erected as tourist fodder), some of the best cave drawings that one could see in the 21st century are at Font de Gaume and January is a great time to go see them. At peak season you must get in line early in the day to be allowed in. Along with about eight others we waltzed in at 1:00 when the office opened and immediately went in the cave.

Lovely Futura lettering jigsawed out of wood.

The caves are in that bluff on the top of the photo.

Ted and Lolly in front of the cave.

The walls are fragile, so our superb tour guide asked us to stop waltzing and in the dimly lit caves he patiently brought the work into focus. It was a revelation. These drawings may have been done 20,000 years ago but there is nothing primitive about them. They are well-observed, anatomically correct, proportionally correct, and indicate an understanding of overlapping to suggest depth. Most importantly they are full of vigor and intelligently integrate the textures and topography of the cave into the designs.

Plus, how utterly cool is it to look at ancient drawings in their own home?



6. A short drive from the caves and a ten-minute stroll through the woods there is a ruined castle, Chateau de Commarque. Closed to clamborers in January, the castle (or what is left of it) can be enjoyed from the field below by tourists, photographers, and serfs alike.



Sarah heads towards the servant's quarters 
that face the chateau ruins.

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