16.2.2015. review album br 13: panel patter’s, robert m. kirby

16.2.2015. recenzija albuma/ panel patter’s, robert m. kirby – minneapolis, minnesota

Monday, February 16, 2015

Panel Patter Anthology Quick Hits: Komikaze 13, Wild Ocean, Here We Go and Felony Comics 01

Long-time Panel Patter readers know that anthologies are something that site founder Rob McMonigal really enjoys reading. When they’re not busy putting one together themselves, the rest of the Panel Patter team are also voracious readers of comic collections. Here’s a few anthologies we’ve digested recently, with a few quick thoughts on them for you to consider. Starting us off is an expert on anthologies, Queer editor Rob Kirby, talking about a Balkan anthology, Komikaze, that sounds really cool!

Komikaze #13
Edited by Ivana Armanini
Published by Komikaze

Komikaze, founded in 2002 and registered as an association in 2008, is a Balkan comics collective/anthology based in Croatia. Like the Latvian Kuš anthology series, which came along later, it is dedicated to furthering the art of comics in the region and creating support and camaraderie with other creators around the globe. Komikaze’s presentation is darker in look and feel than most Kuš books, displaying a more oppositional/political bent. When I asked Main Editor/Art Director Ivana Armanini about Komikaze’s mission statement, she wrote: “…resisting the progressive globalization and the increasing taste of institutionalized artistic production, (the) Komikaze program represents free and altruistic activities of artists from different geo-strategic areas, which connects independent and uncompromising attitude, called the alternative, in relation to the existing dominating artistic practice.” That strong activist bent puts me in mind of the classic long-running stateside anthology, World War 3.

Released late last year, issue #13 is a nicely produced 128-page paperback volume, featuring 48 pages in color, with the work of Balkan artists presented alongside others from Germany, France, Spain, Japan, Mexico, and the US. There are a good deal of elliptical, wordless art pieces, as well as intense political comics by editor Armanini and Wostok&Sanja. Some of the pieces I particularly enjoyed include the eerily cryptic “Artichoke” by Argentinean artist Berliac; Portugal’s Amanda Baeza’s beautifully drawn, wildly surreal meditation on faith vs. non-faith; Croatia’s Ena Jurov’s untitled, brief but effective tale of a student experiencing cultural displacement; a lighthearted, strikingly rendered piece starring a Rubenesque woman demonstrating leg squats and other exercises (in order to become “a perfect ’10′”) by USA/Serbian cartoonist Katie Woznicki; Yves Decamps’ signature renderings of human uber-grotesques; and especially an odd, irresistibly surreal outing from Japan’s Harukichi, “DJ Cat Gosshie on Tour Now!” I’ve seen a few other Gosshie the Cat comics here and there but this is the best one yet, a surpassingly original amalgam of oddball humor with poetic visuals. Some stories and drawings are harder to decipher, generally due to language and cultural barriers, which might have been alleviated with the inclusion of an index of biographical information about the artists – something I hope the editors will consider including in future issues. All in all, Komikaze is a fascinating anthology, offering more great reasons to explore the world of European comics. Visit Komikaze’s website for ordering info, comics and more background information. (Review by Rob Kirby)

Panel Patter: Reviews and Commentary on Comics and Other Related Stuff
Robert Kirby:
Minneapolitan Robert Kirby has been drawing and publishing comics since 1990. His self-syndicated comic strip “Curbside” (1991-2008) was collected in two books: Curbside, published with the Xeric Grant in 1998, and Curbside Boys (2002, Cleis Press). His queerboy comics zine anthology Boy Trouble debuted in 1994 and there were two book collections from Green Candy Press: The Book of Boy Trouble (2006) and The Book of Boy Trouble Volume 2: Born to Trouble (2008).
The first issue of Robert’s new all-color queer comics anthology THREE debuted in 2010 and was nominated for an Ignatz award for Outstanding Anthology or Collection. In 2011 Robert published a second issue and he was announced as the 2011 recipient of the Prism Queer Press Grant for THREE. The third issue was published to more acclaim in June 2012. Since the birth of THREE he has also published 5 other minicomics: solo books King for a Day, Ginger the Wonder Dog, & Snack Pak, along with the anthologies TABLEGEDDON & PRATFALL. All 3 issues of THREE as well as  TABLEGEDDON were chosen for the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress.
Rob’s writing, interviews and reviews of comics have appeared online in Maximum Rock N Roll and continue regularly at The Comics Journal and Panel Patter.