Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Antecedent to Abstract Comics

My wife and I were going through our back room and throwing a lot of stuff away.  We found my portfolio from freshman year of art school.  (We've moved it twice and just now looked through it.)  Most of the contents were pretty embarrassing and it is no surprise that I was not accepted into the Graphic Design department based on its merits. 

While the greater parts of the portfolio's are now residing in my garbage bin awaiting the weekly pick up on Tuesday morning, I saved this piece from the rubble.

I made it for my first design class and I remember getting a B+ for it.  Everyone looked at it and said "it looks like a comic book."  I denied this of course, because making comics in art school was about as cool as painting non-ironic unicorns.

But now I post it here for all to see that I was making abstract comics as long ago as 1999.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kirby, space and abstraction

For Kirby, cosmic scenes are occasions for some of his most powerful abstract compositions, his krackle and his motion lines filling space like Jackson Pollock's drips and splatter, his arrangements of shapes inside their frames as rigorous and as right--if not even more so--as those of any artists championed by Clement Greenberg (whom I can only dream of having been so open-minded as to realize his formal ideals had been achieved in the confines of a supposedly "kitsch" art of the kind he despised). More than that, Kirby's larger layouts and double-page spreads become formal constructs in their own right, traversed by vectors of sequential dynamism, giving us some of the earliest precursors to abstract comics. We still have a lot to learn from him.

From "2001," issues 6, 2, 4, and 7 (in that order):

Yesterday, Marvel/Disney won its suit against the Kirby estate, keeping copyright of all the characters and comics that Kirby created for them over a period of almost forty years, effectively forming the "Marvel Universe" as we know it.

I am working on a new anthology to benefit the Kirby Museum and Research Center and help keep Jack Kirby's legacy alive. I wasn't going to announce it yet, but then I figured this would be the right time to do so. More details to follow later.

EDIT: I just found the originals of two of these pages online (on Both inked by Mike Royer, I believe. Here they are:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Abstract Comics at the San Diego Comic-con

OK, so I know this is kind of last minute, and I know I've been rather remiss about posting here lately, but, if you are at SDCC, you are invited to two panels, taking place tomorrow morning, in which I'll be speaking about Ab Cmx. First I'll take part in the "Critical Approaches to Comics " discussion, from 10:30 to 11:30, and then I'll be speaking at greater length on "Abstract Comics and System Theory," as part of the "Wordless Comics" panel, from 11:30 to 1:00. Both in room 26AB. If you do come, please stop by and say hi!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Profiterolles au Four

My girlfriend Chiara cooked some profiteroles in the oven, here's what got printed on the "paper for baking" (I don't know how to call it in english). Could be an abstract comic, but anyway the most interesting part is probably the profiteroles themselves.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Latest comic from Drawingsilence Abstract 42 from series 2. Something different thought you all might be interested.