Monday, January 18, 2016


The other day I posted a review of the graphic novel called Invisible Ink by Bill Griffith.  The Comics Journal picked it, among others, as the Top 20 comics for 2015.  The graphic novels they pick or spotlight aren't going to be mainstream stuff.  They tend to enjoy things more alternative or underground, but that's okay as I can enjoy both.

As a follow up, however, (and I meant to include this with my Bill Griffith's Invisible Ink review) there was a recent interview with Griffith's on their site, which is where I first read about his new graphic novel.  At any rate they'd done a recent interview with him, more or less promoting his new release, so here's a link to that, if interested.

While perusing TCJ site, and reading their 2015 Best Top 20 Graphic Novels list I saw the listing for Extra Good Stuff, which I may end of buying.  Back in the day when I used to be a pretty frequent comics buyer at some point I started enjoying comics away from the mainstream titles, which got into more personal stories and away from superheroes or genre like sci-fi and fantasy.  That whole movement of autobiographical, slice of life, real fiction appealed to me.  I used to follow many creators like Robert Crumb, Harvey Pekar, Chester Brown, Joe Matt, Seth, Jeff Levine, and a slew of other writers/artist.  I also enjoyed self publishing or zines for a while. I used to peruse Factsheet 5, and find small zines in it.  Among all of that though was also Dennis Eichhorn's Real Stuff comic, which was published on the Fantagraphics imprint, if I remember correctly.

Eichhorn's comic, Real Stuff, and other title, Real Smut, whether real or semi-real or imagined was a little different from some of the other comics in that genre.  His stuff was more street oriented, rough and tumble.  He was always getting himself into some sort of jam, brawl or mischief so it seemed.  I could never figure out if this was just embellishment on his part--more or less exaggerating a story to make it more interesting or if these incidents really happened to him, either way some got pretty wild.  I think  the stories fall somewhere in between and maybe even some of them he may have even heard someone else tell, but either way, they made for some fairly hilarious and interesting reading.  They sort of reminded me of some of Charles Bukowski's tales.  From what I had read and from the few pictures of Eichhorn I have seen, he appeared a pretty beefy guy, so who knows, many of the tales might have actually happened.

At any rate, TCJ listed Eichhorn's last book, Extra Good Stuff on their Best Of list as well.  While there I ran into a written interview with Eichhorn.  I can't remember if I'd read that or not, so I'll post it here so I can refer back to it too, and others can read it as well.   Here's an obituary on him from TCJ.   Here's also a strip by Eichhorn called Them Changes drawn by Seth and Chester Brown.  There are other stips on Boing Boing as well if you care to read more by him.   Here's also an interview that Boing Boing conducted with Eichhorn, it's just a short interview, but fun to hear. And finally here's an interview I found with one of his collaborative artist, Tom Van Deusen. 

By the by there's also a podcast on TCJ about the Warlock comic by Jim Starlin.  I wasn't a huge Adam Warlock or Starlin fan, though I'd picked up a few reprints of the series.  It was a little to cosmic for my taste, and sometimes didn't make a lot of sense to me at times (which they allude to in the podcast). About the first ten minutes of the Warlock podcast they more or less bullshit a bit, so you may want to toggle it forward a bit to the discussion.   It's not real in depth, though it was fun to hear.

There's one other comic I ran into today that falls into the slice of life/autobio genre by John Porcellino.  When I was reading and buying a few things out of Factsheet 5 (this was before the personal computer/internet thing).  I ran into Porcellino's King-Cat comix.  They were all small xeroxed comixs, which he'd self produced, and you had to send him some cash in the mail, and he'd send you back a comic. He had many issues and would send you a price list if you want or you could order his newest one.  His stories tend to focus on the sort of mundane things in life, which might be about something he did at work, or partying somewhere on the weekend, or going to see some band play and so forth.

At any rate he has a new graphic novel out called The Hospital Suite and I'll have to pick up a copy.  His comix tends to be minimalist, not only in the way it's drawn and presented, but also there's not a lot of text with them generally, at least when compared to older mainstream comic books.  They generally aren't hugely wordy at least when compared to a mainstream superhero novel, etc., and many of them sort of end on a sort of uplifting ending, or a Gee whiz, it's great to be alive type vibe, or they have some sort of zen insight into them.  Evidently his newest effort is more serious about him being ill for some time and coming to term with that.  I'm anxious to read a copy.

Lastly here's a little article I found on the actor, Dennis Hopper.  I didn't know he was buried in Taos, New Mexico.  I've been through there a few times, and it is a cool place.  In fact that whole area of Taos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque is fairly interesting.   I have an amusing tale to tell about when me and my brother went camping up in that area, but that might be for some other time.  


At 10:11 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Sometimes the best fishing is off the main river channel and in the side bayous.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

It's true. If you've ever read Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, he alludes to that as well.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Wow I haven't thought of Richard Brautigan in years. My 1968 copy of In Watermelon Sugar is on one of my shelves though. It's the best way to experience 1968 without dropping acid.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Brautigan was real popular in the 60's. I'm not sure how he's viewed now or even if he's very well known, but he's still one of my favorite writers. I still enjoy his poetry. His style was fairly unique, but his gentle and witty nature came through it. His style reminds me a bit of Vonnegut. I have his daughter's memoir here, You Can't Catch Death by Ianthe Brautigan, which I've been meaning to read.


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