Goya by Diego Olmos

29 October 2011

Diego Olmos is mostly known in the US & Spain for his works with DC comics (he’s behind the Supernatural adaptation of the TV series, or Batman in Barcelona, Catwoman.. for ex), but from time to time he finds himself producing his very own projects like the gorgeous H2Octopus.

Presented last Monday Diego unveiled “Goya”, his very own personal view on one of the the best-known Spanish painters… Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. He’s decided to focus on probably the most intriguing and perturbing part of his life… towards the end of his life, when he was half-dealf, his wife had recently died and while tormented and going mental he decides to capture his worst nightmares.

Goya by Diego Olmos
Goya by Diego Olmos

Olmos suggests an alternative explanation to all those dark paintings and disfigured monsters… apparently Satan came to visit Goya one day, as a self-confessed admirer the devil asks Goya for a portrait… an offer Paco will decline with a not-very-positive outcome as you can imagine… Satan would appear himself every night in Goya’s dreams to torture him with horrific images…. the images we love the most from the painter and possibly the ones who’ve made him world famous.

He was many times accussed of being Frenchified
He was many times accused during his life of being Frenchified

Published under Ediciones B (Spanish only for now boooho) Goya will get you to the phantasmagoric world of  smiley witches, witty devils and anthropomorphic animals… maybe you should give it a go.

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Modern Toss 7

28 September 2011

And after Issue 6… comes issue 7!

The most disgustingly irreverent Brit humor from the past decade (Mick Bunnage and Jon Link) is back to a new print edition of Modern Toss. Once again partly funded by the advanced subscriptors, Mick & Jon bring the most grotesque and rudest situations they could imagine of into town, and because we’re in need of serious shit to counterbalance the excess of omnipresent happy psychedelic pop we highly recommend you go for it. It’s only £6 after all.

And as there are no public plans of bringing their Channel 4 series back Modern Toss need other revenue sources, that’s why they’ve recently started collaborating with The Guardian to “give their take on the big happening of the week”… each Saturday, good enough while we wait for issue 8… and we expect maaaaaaaaany months ahead of us before such rudeness becomes available & makes kids cry again. Cheers Jesus yeah!

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4 September 2011

What things do has instantly become our new comic poles, after discovering earlier this summer DeForge’s Spotting Deer we regularly visit this small paradise with a very select list of American contributors.

Kevin Huizenga posted earlier this year the first part of a series adapting Giorgio Manganelli’s Centuria: 100 Ouroboric Novels. A post-apolitical book comprised of 100 two-page narratives with a clear influence of the period Manganelli lived in Rome during the Fascist era, through WW II and the decades of its chaotic aftermath.

And last month the second chapter of Rumbling came out on wtd (both of course for sale and self-edited as mini-comics for 3$). A b&w joy taking his usual character  Glenn Ganges to this atemporal future filled with scientifically based wars and some disturbing questions.

Both chapters aren’t fully available on wtd, but as we pointed out before you can get them for a very affordable fee via USS Catastrophe website like most of his other works while wtd prepare their own store.

oh and his Ganges #4 (about insomnia this time) will be out next month…

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shorts on the go

5 August 2011

We know a bit about “shorts on the go”, “take away shows” or “sushi films”, our French friend Vincent Moon (Mathieu) knows a bit about this too and has been filming single-shot performances for years @ his Blogoteque. Now you and your Upian friends have a competitor Vincent!

Or sort of, or not really but… nearly! ComicCinema are Korean sushi films (what’s their equivalent of sushi there?) which attempt to portrait the comic scene in South Korea each 2 months. Not that we’re very used to Korean comics (yet!) but this is one good thing about globalization.

Diary of a shooting Angkko (extract)

Yorick & Hwang Woo Hyun  went for a quick talk with Ancco (Choi Gyeong-jin) who is not only popular in SKorea but in over here in Europe too, where’s she’s seen a few of her works being published (France, Spain, Germany…). Hopefully they’ll interview Park Kun-woong (the one behind Massacre at Nokunri) next!

Besides their shorts (2nd one should come shortly) you should definitely check their blog too, a good source for the trending South Korean comic scene.

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Everything we miss

22 July 2011

Breaking up with someone doesn’t have to be painful, not even messy, it can just flow naturally, a born relationship on top of the mountains & dead when it gets to the sea. This is what Luke Pearson’s Everything we miss is about… drying figs, fuckfriends, dancing pine trees, crazy monsters and  a failing relationship.

Emotionally eroded and on the edge of separation, the central couple are going through the classic stages of growing apart. Absorbed by insecurity, indifference, and steadily-growing resentment, they fail to notice the strange happenings that surround their final moments together. Sometimes magical, sometimes mundane, these unnoticed fragments of existence weave together and hang disconcertingly over their lives, isolated yet all-encompassing.

As the couple move through the processes of breaking up, the line between reality and fiction is obscured. Their narrative unfolds as much through their dysfunction as through that of their environment itself: formless spectres rise through the floorboards, directly gripping their jaws and tongues in order to make their dissatisfaction audible; unbeknownst to them, their living room has become overrun by a colony of voyeuristic otherworldly creatures; outside, just for a moment, a dog whispers something under its breath; and somewhere, in someone, a cancer grows—silently and undetected (Martin Steenton).

page detail

Published by Nobrow (12£) Luke is now on a mini-tour promoting and signing his work (like big pop stars!!) across the UK and he’ll be in Leeds, Newcastle & London over the coming weeks. More info this way (we think you can order it via the NB shop as they ship pretty much everywhere).

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10 July 2011

Having a cleft head must not be easy, but you can always make the most of of the “worst” situations, just like Isaac…

Now I want to be cleft headed! But I also want to be a useless hero, go with ET to the moon or become a melting ice-cream. And endless gallery of doodled monsters brought on a daily basis by the bike lover Nathan Bulmer.

Nathan is one of those illustrators with a corrosive daily strip he’s been publishing on-line for the last couple of years, on his blog, and now on his tumblr (you know… the new cool blog platform). An illustator whose work has graced the pages of Time Out New York, Seattle Magazine, The Kansas City Star, and The Pitch Weekly. He’s even shown work in galleries like Dieu Donne in New York and Grand Arts, The Bank…. etc.


Because we need some serious alternatives to those hilarious (and also daily) sticky poultry, we thought some daily useless bike riders could be a great alternative.

So while Nathan creates a daily e-mail for us to subscribe to, we highly encourage you to visit his blog “eat more bikes”… not only a great source for a daily laugh but also for some great reggae, hip-hop & disco tunes…. and … just visit it. You wouldn’t say it goes together… but it does.

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8 July 2011

It’s not only the MIT Lab & all those trendy Jotta or Dentsu projects that make dream-useful news everyday, also smaller ideas  like this one by one of our favorite London design agencies… Berg, can bring some sort of innovation to already established (and decaying) media formats (ok Berg are sort of very famous too…so…).

SVK is their latest project, a collaboration with writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Crooked Little Vein, RED) & artist Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker (Stickleback, Lazarus Churchyard, 2000AD).

SVK in Judge Dredd Megazine (photo by Berg)

SVK has been conceived as an experimental publication, a 40-page comic which comes packaged with a UV torch… because a lot of it is printed in invisible UV ink, and therefore elements of the book can only be seen by shining the torch on the pages.

the UV torch "SVK object" essential for reading

In essence SVK uses a third ink invisible without the SVK object. The object is a UV light source which unlocks hidden layers woven throughout the comic book. Reading SVK becomes a unique and strange experience as you see the story unfold through the eyes of Thomas Woodwind.

First and foremost SVK is a modern detective story, one that Ellis describes as “Franz Kafka’s Bourne Identity”. It’s a story about cities, technology and surveillance, mixed with human themes of the power, corruption and lies that lurk in the data-smog of our near-future.

SVK comes with a foreword by William Gibson, and articles by futures expert Jamais Cascio and comics historian Paul Gravett. It seems that unfortunately for now, Berg have run out of copies, but given the success they’ll be printing new issues in the coming weeks at 10£ (+ expenses) each. More info on their dedicated page.

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Where’s Sarko?

4 July 2011

Il est partout! Us Frenchies are lucky enough to have our breakky, lunch and dinner with an omnipresent figure in our daily news…  Sarkozy! I bet only the American or maybe the Chinese presidents are slightly more hungry-media figures to rival the charming powers of Sarko…. OK, maybe Berlusconi too, but he’s about to leave the government so….

Sarko runs the NY marathon but... where is he?

He’s been the hyper-president for the past four years, way more active than Mss Merkel and probably the most recognizable figure outside Europe (and inside too, but not on a good way). Inspired by Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo (Wally, Charlie…) Albert Algoud, Pascal Fioretto & Herlé Quinquis have decided to hide Nicolas behind similar amusing situations to those of Wally.

Sarko with the Roma, Sarko at the Monaco royal wedding; at the Vatican; on Air Sarko One… imagine a place… he’s probably been there.

by the beach

“Super-Sarko is everywhere, it’s his job after all. He’s even capable of being in several places at once” explain the authors. And now you can try & find him yourself. Published under “l’Opportun” the book can be ordered for 10€, although it’s only shipped within France (boooo).

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Spotting Deer

25 June 2011

The Canadian comic & animation youth pool is prolific indeed. Maybe I should go to Trafalgar Square next July 1st… I’m sure half of the Canadians there will be animators or illustrators….

Michael DeForge just published on-line one last week his latest strip “Spotting Deer” at that great on-line Canadian source named “What things do“, one of the bests American indie comic webs out there bringing daily cartoon pills from the likes of Porcellino or Jordan Crane (who initiated this whole crazy project a couple of years ago). Now back to Michael!

This Toronto-based Ottawa born dogs-with-sunglasses lover has an on ongoing comic book series Lose which is currently published by Koyama Press. Last year he won the 2010 Doug Wright Award in the category of “Best Emerging Talent” (with Lose precisely), and we’re pretty convinced his paranormal bacteria is going to keep spreading in the coming years.

Issue 2 of Lose was released in 2010, and issue 3 is scheduled to debut at the 2011 Toronto Comics Art Festival. His influences include Jack Kirby, Eduardo Munoz Bachs, Mark Newgarden and Hideshi Hino.

Anyway…. Spotting Deer is fully on-line on this WTD page, but maybe you should check his previous (and also very recent) strips… hair-raising!

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25 May 2011

Our friend Mr Saló (remember Madrilona?) just published his latest work: Españistán.

Half way between the Greek Crisis explained & the roughest political caricatures from our daily newspaper Aleix tries once again to simplify with corrosive irony the current situation in the Iberian country.

“Welcome to Españistán, the country with the best education system across Africa. The country with the ever-growing mortgages & shrinking salaries, a young democracy capable of patenting the mop while building a terraced over a common grave trying to close historical disputes.

Welcome to the country with the best-paid European CEOs and the highest unemployment rate from the OECD. Where 65% of all the money flows printed on 500€ notes… the nation of nations with most official languages, regional dances and cocaine consumption per capita in the world…”

"you have to feed them 3 times a day, they're insatiable"

Besides being a wild satire about the Spanish current crisis “Españistán” is the story about a young worker who tries to get rid of his mortgage. For such impossible but holy task he’ll have to travel across the desert kingdom of Españistán.

As he puts it himself Españistán is a comic filled with clichés, foolish situations and many grammatical errors. But it’s fucking funny. Unfortunately it’s only in Spanish (and we really doubt it will ever get translated), but the surreal & absurd paradigms are very universal. More info this way.

I think his previous animation is way more comprehensible and shall give you an idea of his humor … please not that it may offend viewers’ sensibilities…

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Sticky Poultry

16 May 2011

Doug Savage likes most companionship animals… dogs, cats, lizards, widow spiders… the usual. But he also likes domesticated birds, especially Galliformes. He’s convinced that one of those subspecies (chickens) with more than 20 billion individuals scratching the worldwide soil for grain (as well as laying eggs) will rise one day against our fragile supremacy. That, or they’ll catch a deadly cold and then we’re all f****, pretty much.

Or maybe he’s just portraying the very essence of our human stupidity, our simplicity as earthly beings who despite thinking our western culture has reached the peak of human sophistication with all its new social structures, opportunities or dreams…. it’s just as rotten and basic as 1000 years ago.

Cocks, roosters, hens, pullets, cockerels… he loves them all equally, such a scientific passion for this species that he’s decided to dedicate them a daily note!

Behind these corporate-hater chooks, marketing-addicted fowls and existentialist-goosey chicks there’s a Vancouver-based cartoonist who seems to know very well all the nasty tricks from the office environment. And after more than 6 years of chicken love “Savage Chickens” has slowly but steadily become one of the biggest memes on the Internet.

aqnb: Hello Mr Savage, do you know why is tofu so tasteless? Continue reading Sticky Poultry

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Hágase el caos

31 March 2011

We’re in love with Spanish comics lately (ouch), and if last week we were talking about Fagocitosis let’s give some visibility today to a recently published jewel from another gifted duo: Felipe Hernández Cava & Bartolomé Seguí.

“Hágase el caos” is the story of Alex, a British (with obvious Yugolsavian origins) citizen who becomes the visible puppet of a dark plot to kill Tito. What no-one knows is the real dimension of the plot, who does Alex really work for? It’s 1953 and the SFR Yugoslavian Prime Minister Josip Tito is visiting London. A few months before Alex’ mother is run over, something that makes Alex ask himself about his human condition and his origins… the history of the Balkans since the XIX century.  A classic spy story where the darkest secrets of society are exposed (think John Le Carré or Graham Greene), where the fragility of the Balkan fraternity is deeply taken into account mixing historical facts with hypothetical “what ifs?”.

This is the first volume (from 2) from the magicians behind “The Blind snakes” who won the national comic award in 2009 and “Lux” has recently been published by Norma Editorial (13€).

You can read the first four pages of the comic with an interview here (Spanish only sorry…use G translate), but we’re pretty sure it will soon be published (at least) in France, Belgium… and who knows… maybe in the States…someday!

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23 March 2011
"Made in china.... conceived in Europe"

With Barcelona’s Ficomic expo just around the corner one of the many Spanish novelties of this year and hopefully one of the big winners for next year’s event will be the corrosive “Fagocitosis”  by Marcos Prior & Danide which was very recently published by the French publisher Glenat.

We’re a bit unsure if we’d like a world such as Fagocitosis.. where Marx Donald’s is our favourite fastfood chain or street cleaners are required to speak several languages or master the “digital environment” (even if this, unfortunately it does happen in our current world)…. the X-men have become economy x-perts and our society in general, is portrayed as a grotesque egoistic bunch of money-driven individuals (maybe more like a mirror).

street cleaner offer: Must have good level of English and at least 5 years of experience...

Marcos & Danide describe their work as a “very detailed cocktail of society & economy ironies, those we have to live with”… “those we have to phagocyte everyday”. “We came up with the idea of crying out loud the daily atrocities we experience, making this comic has been therapeutic” says Danide.

Fagocitosis (phagocytosis) is about globalization and about mass media. We know that in our modern world our brain receives more advertising impacts that those it can actually process, so Robert Guerin’s sentence saying that the amount of air we breath contains as much oxygen as ads has certainly become true at the very least.

Marcos Prior & Danide worked together in several storyboards for the advertising world (one of their main influences) and they’ve finally proved to collaborate perfectly as an artistic tandem for this highly recommended comic which they’ve even calculated how long it should take you to read: 58min and 25sec.

In the end Fagocitosis is a critic, not subtle at all, but for those willing to have a reflexive brain fixe, then you should give it a go. Very natural, very organic… it will enter your brain very very easily… and we promise you won’t forget it the next day like an ordinary ad.

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Comica Festival 2010 @ various – London

5 September 2010

London International Comics Festival is back for its 7th edition, and even though we still don’t know all the details (we’ll keep you updated) here are the first insights…

This year includes a new element: a three-month exhibition curated by Comica director Paul Gravett entitled ‘That’s Novel : Graphic Novels Now’ which will celebrate current innovations in the comics medium in Britain and internationally, both on and off the page. This evolving show will be held at The London Print Studio Gallery.

the London Print studio gallery

But the real Kick off  starts Friday 5th November for “Transitions” , a conference promoting multi-disciplinary research of comics and graphic novels, manga, bande dessinée, webcomics and other forms of sequential art. (Organized by Comica with The School of Arts at Birkbeck, University of London, in association with the British journals Studies in Comics, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and European Comic Art.

The Comica London Festival traditionally held in October – November has been running since 2003 when it was held at the ICA, other venues include the V&A museum or the Institut Francais.  Several national and international artists that go from Alan Moore to Chris Ware or Art Spiegelman have already participated in this annual celebration and even though Comica may not have the fame & renown other European festivals do (like Annecy or Salo del Comic Barcelona) it’s slowly becoming an obligated visit for all fans of the ninth art

What differentiates Comica from other European festivals is its duration: usually spread around 3 weeks (vs 3 days) it surely is an intense experience while offering a wider range of options: exhibitions, events, talks, performances, workshops, films, conferences….

Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption held at the Lazarides Gallery in Soho, London in the previous edition

As soon as we get the full line-up of invited artists, exhibitions, competitions & talks we’ll tell you! And again, if you happen to be in London from November 5th… book a day or two in your endless agenda for your favorite artists…. we will.

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