Excerpts from an “abstract” comic – partly inspired by Tom Phillips’ A HUMUMENT, where Phillips painted over the pages of W.H. Mallock’s novel A HUMAN DOCUMENT, leaving some of the words visible to form networks of what could be considered “excavated poetry” from the original prose. In my case, I took some pages from a public domain AMAZING MAN comic, drew over them, scanned them, and removed the most recognizable narrative elements, resulting in a comic composed of action lines, blanked-out word balloons, and other graphic effluvia.
I was contacted by Lynette Hunter, Professor of the History of Rhetoric and Performance at UC Davis, to adapt one of her lectures, The Face, the Mask, and Classical Tragedy in the Household, into comics form. The adaptation was published in a book of her lectures, Disunified Aesthetics, from the publisher McGill-Queen’s Press. This particular lecture was about the writer Alice Munro, and my adaptation weaves elements of Hunter’s performance with the Munro story itself.
A suite of diptychs about the development and experiences of a baby, and the parents who are raising her. On the left part of the diptych, a digital painting of the baby is overlaid by dialogue or monologue from the parents as “talking heads”; on the right part, the image of the baby is unobstructed. The format of the diptych is intended to foreground the connected, yet often parallel, experiences of parent and infant – the former existing in a world of language, the latter in a world of experience and sensation that precedes language. Exhibited at the Hobson Gallery, Reno, 2011.
Comics, published in the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, 2002-2003.
Over a period of two years, I did a handful of comics-related essays for the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, in comic-strip form. I had the entire back page of the Book Review at my disposal, which, to a cartoonist used to working at pamphlet or book sizes, seemed like acres of space. I covered George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, the publisher Last Gasp and the era of the Undergrounds, a comics show at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Keiji Nakazawa’s manga on the bombing of Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen. Then, unfortunately, the Book Review lost their last page to full-color weather reporting.
Combustion is a wordless graphic novel published by Fantagraphics Books, 1999. It’s the story of a soldier lost behind enemy lines.
Original artwork from Combustion was shown in the exhibit Silent Witnesses: Graphic Novels Without Words at The Collection, Linconshire, England, 2010. From the press release:
This exhibition brings together the work of internationally recognised artists and illustrators from around the world working in Graphic Novel form. Spanning publications from the early twentieth century to the present day, the works contained in the exhibition are distinct in that all use the capacity of images alone to communicate narrative, functioning entirely without the use of text.