Monday, May 19, 2008

Indie Spotlight: Recommended

Hi All,

I thought I would clean out my "in box" a bit and recommend a few indie books I've read and enjoyed lately...

The Walking Away World by Kenneth Patchen is in some ways very much a prototype of some of the current crop of independent books -- I find a bit of his work in everything from Kevin Huizenga to Chris Ware. Patchen was a performing artist who in the late 1950s had to cut his work short following spinal surgery; the resulting back pain only allowed him to continue his art in the form of the "picture poems" in this book. Some powerful stuff; as Jim Woodring says in the introduction, his work is "not to be approached lightly."

"The Walking Away World" will be available from New Directions in July 08.

Injury #2 by Ted May, M. Jason Robards, and Jeff Wilson was a great anthology of stories that reminded me of Dan Clowes's work. I especially liked the first story, "Hair of the Dog," a tale about heavy metal gods & love sort of won and sort of lost. Would definitely pick up another issue.

Injury is put out by Buenaventura Press and can be purchased at your finer comic book stores or through here.

Ganges by Kevin Huizenga is always a pleasure to read; this magazine-sized series, part of Fantagraphics Press's Ignatz line, is a must-have. The latest issue focuses on how the employees at Kevin's old job became obsessed with a certain video game -- and how the drama of the game reflected what was going on at the company in real life.

Ganges can be purchased at finer comic book stores or here.

Soap Opera by Emily Blair is a haunting, David Lynch style one-shot rendered in a woodcut style. The plot focuses on the strained friendship of two women, and the soap opera character that mysteriously seems to be the connecting thread between the two of them. Emily Blair's work is quite a revelation.

Soap Opera can be purchased here.

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