The versatile artist/writer Simon Fraser worked for 2000AD on Nikolai Dante and other features for more than 15 years. He’s currently featured in Dark Horse’s Grindhouse: Doors Open At Midnight, as well as continuing his webcomic Lilly Mackenzie.
“Corpse on the Imjin,” by Harvey Kurtzman, Fantagraphics. It is so wonderful to have so much classic material available, published so beautifully. Kurtzman is simply one of the great geniuses of American comics and this is some of his greatest work. I saw the Corpse on the Imjin original art at the recent Kurtzman exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, it was like seeing a holy text.
“Terry and the Pirates,” by Milton Caniff, IDW. Another classic by a great American master. I’ve been slowly working my way through the complete collection. Sure there are some cultural cringes from the ‘comical’ characters. Terry is a product of its time. It’s still a great yarn brilliantly woven, by the greatest of all storytellers.
“Blankets,” by Craig Thompson, Top Shelf. I bought this, then resisted reading this for a long time. I’m not really interested in adolescent angst any more. It’s a simple tale, told with great honesty, beauty and feeling. I enjoyed it a great deal and will seek out Thompson’s other work now.
“Fantastic Life,” by Kevin Mutch, Blurred Books. It’s always risky when you are introduced to a cartoonist at MoCCA. You end up talking and really get on well. Then you end up buying his book out of a sense of obligation. Happily in this case, the book is tremendous, though not for the squeamish. The whole thing seems to take place during an art college, drug induced, altered state so it’s not so much a narrative as a barrage of student philosophy, art theory, sex and zombies. It reminded me of Peter Bagge’s “Hate,” which I love.
“Bird: The Tattoo,” by Carlos Trillo & Juan Bobillo, Dark Horse. Juan Bobillo’s work makes me happy and I tend to buy it whenever I find it. Trillo writes an intriguing thriller about an enigmatic tattooed supermodel, but it’s Bobillo’s fabulous watercolor art that really sings here. This kind of straight thriller story is rare in American comics, but quite common in Europe. There are multiple volumes of this, but I don’t have them all…yet.
Brought to you by 13th Dimension contributor Hannah Means-Shannon, @hannahmenzies on the Twitter.