Sunday, July 3, 2022

Brendan McGinley:

Quisque Comoedum Est

Monologues for the Coming Plague + Manifesto: The Tao of Jiba Molei Anderson

Monologues for the Coming Plague

Deceptively simple art that is, in fact, deceptively simple and not just amateurish look a lot of independent books, Anders Nilsen’s thin, sketchy lines illustrate what are sometimes one-liners that would fit into the New Yorker, and sometimes deeply emotional meditations on existence. So it’s pretty much the typical, quality, sweetly sad book you’d expect from Fantagraphics.

One sequence, a bizarre car crash involving redrawings of two characters that simply stand there, feels like it might be live theater in lower Manhattan for an audience of 2 dozen, but becomes horrific to observe without any graphic visuals. The Buddha and Son of Jesus sequences are quite different (one changing places and times every panel, the latter extremely static), but no less touching and amusing.

Manifesto: The Tao of Jiba Molei Anderson

The aptly named Manifesto is the kind of immersing experience a sketchbook ought to be. Where most artists slap together their doodles and convention commissions into a quickly perused flipbook, Jiba Molei Anderson’s TPB-format book contains combines character designs, page roughs, pencils, inks, concept sketches, final covers, scripts, interviews, essays, anecdotes, and “director’s commentary” style analysis of the creator’s projects and artistic history. This is the format behind-the-scenes books should take.

Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.

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