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SAVAGE SYMPOSIUM: WILSON by DAN CLOWES

Abhay Khosla

Dan Clowes is the cartoonist and author of a considerable number of the most celebrated comics of the past 20 years, including GHOST WORLD, DAVID BORING, ICE HAVEN and THE DEATH RAY, all of which originated in his EIGHTBALL anthology series.  His most recent publication is WILSON, his first original graphic novel published by DRAWN & QUARTERLY and released on April 28, 2010. WILSON prompted the following Savage Critic round-table discussion, which took place via the internet between May 2 and May 9, 2010.

Favorites: All-Star Superman

Sean T. Collins

All-Star Superman Vols. 1 & 2 Grant Morrison, writer Frank Quitely, artist DC, 2008-2010, believe it or not 160 pages each $12.99 each The cheeky thing to say about the brand-new out-of-continuity world Grant Morrison constructed to house his idea of the ideal Superman story is that it’s very much like the DC Universe we already know, but without backgrounds. Like John Cassaday, another all-time great superhero artist currently working, Frank Quitely isn’t one for filling in what’s going on behind the action. One wonders what he’d do with a manga-style studio set-up, with a team of young, hungry Glaswegians diligently constructing a photo-ref Metropolis for his brawny, beady-eyed men and leggy, lippy women to inhabit. But, y’know, whatever. So…  Read More…

Favorites: Blankets, plus a Tori Amos video

Sean T. Collins

[This is a reconstructed post from Google Cache; originally posted by Sean!] Greetings, fans of savagery! Been a long time since I posted here, and I’m barely doing so now, even. I just wanted to direct your attention to an interview I did with Tom Spurgeon as part of The Comics Reporter’s holiday interview series on the Books of the ’00s. Mine was about Craig Thompson’s Blankets, a book I’d eventually have gotten around to writing about for my Favorites series here at SC. So if that’s the sort of thing you’re interested in, check it out. On a semi-related note, here’s Tori Amos performing her song “Bells for Her” in 1994 — it’s both my favorite Tori Amos song…  Read More…

Savage Critics on the Reporter!

Brian Hibbs

It is a Savage Critic Four-fer (is that a word?) as Tom Spurgeon interviews Jog on Death Note, Douglas on Invincible Iron Man, Tucker on Ganges, and Sean on Blankets! All of them (as well as all of the non-Savage Critic interviews as well!) are definitely must-read pieces! Spurge initially asked me to do an interview, as well, but then he suddenly decided to do this one-critic-one-book series, and he asked if we could do our general survey of the business of comics later in 2010. I’m certainly looking forward to the chances of doing that sometime in the next month or two, I hope! -B

Favorites: The Dark Knight Strikes Again

Sean T. Collins

Years ago I came across an eye-opening quote from Jaron Lanier in the liner notes of the reissued Gary Numan album The Pleasure Principle. Google reveals that it was pulled from this Wired essay. Here’s what it said: “Style used to be, in part, a record of the technological limitations of the media of each period. The sound of The Beatles was the sound of what you could do if you pushed a ’60s-era recording studio absolutely as far as it could go. Artists long for limitations; excessive freedom casts us into a vacuum. We are vulnerable to becoming jittery and aimless, like children with nothing to do. That is why narrow simulations of ‘vintage’ music synthesizers are hotter right…  Read More…

The funniest comic I’ve ever read: Boy’s Club #3

Sean T. Collins

Boy’s Club #3 Matt Furie, writer/artist Buenaventura Press, 2009 40 pages $4.95 Buy it from Buenaventura Press It might seem premature to cover a comic I read for the first time a little over a week ago in my “Favorites” series. It might be premature—if that comic weren’t Boy’s Club #3. Find out why I’m breakin’ all the rules after the jump. Two Fridays ago some friends and I gathered ’round the flatscreen for a drunken, junk-food-laden, back-to-back marathon viewing of Crank 2: High Voltage, RoboCop, and Road House. At least, that was the plan. Unfortunately we’re not as young and irresponsible as we once were, so fully half the group punched out after the first (AMAZING, SEE IT RIGHT…  Read More…

Superhero comics worth your time today

Sean T. Collins

I haven’t done a quick-hits look at the week’s front-of-Previews-type comics in literally years now. Here’s a look at some books that came out today that I enjoyed. Perhaps you will too. See you after the jump… DARK REIGN: THE LIST—X-MEN While Alan Davis isn’t my cup of tea, I fully support comics in which the Green Goblin unleashes a bioengineered sea monster as a doomsday weapon against the people of Atlantis to get back at Namor (who used to be married to the sea monster), and then Namor and the X-Men beat the sea monster (who used to be married to Namor) to death and toss its giant decapitated head through the Green Goblin’s window. I hope the Green…  Read More…

Favorites: Squadron Supreme

Sean T. Collins

Squadron Supreme Mark Gruenwald, writer Bob Hall, Paul Ryan, John Buscema, Paul Neary, artists Marvel, 1985-1986 (my collected edition is dated 2003) 352 pages $29.99 I don’t know what it is about Squadron Supreme, but I seem to read it only during times of great personal trauma. I first read the book in 2003, during my wife’s hospitalization at a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. I have vivid memories of sitting at a nearby Panera Bread between visiting hours, slowly turning the pages. And as I reread the book over the past couple of weeks, an 11-month period during which my wife suffered two miscarriages was capped off by the news that one of my cats has a chronic…  Read More…

From the vault: Asterios Polyp

Sean T. Collins

Yes, you read that headline right. Even though David Mazzucchelli’s long-awaited graphic novel Asterios Polyp doesn’t come out until tomorrow, I some how ended up with a review copy months and months ago–I wanna say 2008, for pete’s sake–so I reviewed the thing on my blog back in March. Now that it’s finally coming out officially, I figured I’d repost the review here (in part to apologize for being an absentee savage these past few months). It’s after the jump… Asterios Polyp David Mazzucchelli, writer/artist Pantheon, June 2009 344 pages, hardcover $29.95 An extraordinarily easy book to read, Asterios Polyp is, I’m finding, a nearly equally extraordinarily difficult book to talk about. Frankly I think I just feel out of…  Read More…

Favorites: The Diary of a Teenage Girl

Sean T. Collins

The Diary of a Teenage Girl Phoebe Gloeckner, writer/artist Frog, Ltd., 2002 312 pages $22.95 Heartbreak and rage: that’s what I feel when I read this book. It’s the story of one Minnie Goetze, a 15-year-old girl growing up in ’70s San Francisco, doing so in large part by having sex with her alcoholic mother’s adult boyfriend and, as time goes by, through various other increasingly drug-fueled sexual encounters. There are a couple of noteworthy tricks to the book, and I talk about them after the jump… There are a couple of tricks to The Diary of a Teenage Girl. The first is that “Minnie Goetze” is Phoebe Gloeckner. Gloeckner doesn’t so much deny that the book is autobiographical as…  Read More…

Favorites: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat

Brian Hibbs

Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, writers Jim Aparo, Jim Balent, Norm Breyfogle, Graham Nolan, artists DC, 1993 272 pages $17.99 Knightfall was the big Batman event during my time as a comics reader in the early to mid ’90s. That basically means it was the big superhero comic event for me during that time. Batman was the character that got me reading comics. The first Tim Burton movie sparked my interest in the character, and The Dark Knight Returns–the first comic book I can actually remember reading–cemented it. The comic shop I went to was called Gotham Manor, for pete’s sake. And so, a multi-series crossover pitting Batman against basically his entire rogues gallery until…  Read More…

What I’m Buying

Sean T. Collins

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you! My “Favorites” post series will mostly be focusing on stand-alone book-format titles from throughout the years, and that’s a big part of how I experience comics. But I also look forward to Wednesdays for my front-of-Previews fix as much as the next nerd (even if I end up doing things a bit differently once we get there). So I thought it might be fun to take a look at the mostly superhero/”mainstream” titles I’m digging these days. Come flip through my pull list after the jump. I’ve got pretty odd and unrepresentative reading habits, I think. I switched to buying only trade paperbacks back in 2004 or so, doing so…  Read More…

Favorites: The Last Lonely Saturday

Sean T. Collins

The Last Lonely Saturday Jordan Crane, writer/artist Red Ink, 2000 Currently available from Fantagraphics 80 pages, softcover or hardcover $8 I find it both impossible and undesirable to separate The Last Lonely Saturday from the pivotal role it played in my life as a comics reader, and thus in my life in general. During the year 2001 I took a job as an editor at the A&F Quarterly, Abercrombie & Fitch’s big giant magazine/catalog/softcore porn hybrid publication. My boss there, Savas Abadsidis, was and is a big fanboy, and a chance encounter with a Wizard magazine on his desk, which contained an article teasing an upcoming revamp of the X-Men by Grant Morrison (whom I remembered favorably from my days…  Read More…

Best of the 00s/Favorites: Black Hole – A Discussion

Sean T. Collins

Dick Hyacinth here. In case you’ve forgotten, Sean and I both reviewed Black Hole for our first posts here at the Savage Critics (Sean’s post, my post). It seemed kind of silly to have two reviews of a four year old (or twelve year old, depending on how you look at it) comic on the site without something or another to tie to the two together. So over the course of a week of emailing, Sean and I discussed Black Hole and each other’s reviews. We examine gender, genre, eroticism, the horrors of adolescence, and a host of other issues after the break. DICK: One thing I didn’t really get to talk a lot about in my review was the…  Read More…

Favorites: Watchmen

Sean T. Collins

This past summer, with Watchmen movie hype already in full swing, I reread the book for the first time in a while and posted a review on my blog. Now that I’ve got a “Favorites” review series going here, and with the movie almost upon us, I figured it’s a good time to share the results with Savage Critic(s) Nation after the jump. Hope nobody minds a re-run… Watchmen Alan Moore, writer Dave Gibbons, artist DC Comics, 1987 416 pages $19.99 Like half the nerds in America, I recently re-read this graphic novel, inspired to do so by the trailer for Zack Snyder’s upcoming movie adaptation. I feel much older than I did when I first read the book during…  Read More…

Favorites: Black Hole

Sean T. Collins

Hi folks! I’ve decided I’ll use my slot as a Savage Critic to talk about my favorite comics of all time. I’m kicking things off with Charles Burns’s Black Hole–which, coincidentally, Dick Hyacinth had also chosen to use as the inaugural book for his series on the best comics of the decade. So Dick and I will be tag-teaming on this one: I’m going first, then he’ll post his thoughts without reading mine, then we’ll check out what the other guy has to say and post responses. Should be a pip. Meanwhile, I’ve also dug a review of the book I wrote for the geek-culture iteration of Giant magazine out of the archives and posted it on my blog–check it…  Read More…

Introduction; a picture of David Bowie by Ross Campbell

Sean T. Collins

Hi everybody! My name is Sean T. Collins and I am now a Savage Critic. Neat, huh? Whilst I gear up for my actual debut as a Critic here, I figured I’d let you know a bit about myself, and then bribe you with something pretty so that you’ll like me. INTRODUCTION For a very long time I’ve been blogging at Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat, mostly about comics, also about horror, also also about other pop-cultural phenomena I enjoy. I like to consider it the Internet’s premier one-stop shop for links to Anders Nilsen’s sketchbook, quotes from Clive Barker, and news about sea monsters. You may also have seen me writing about similar things for Maxim, The Comics Journal, ToyFare, The…  Read More…