Crude & crass: comics’ influence on contemporary art

If comics and cartoons already have a long tradition in art, what might explain their particular relevance to painting now?

Frieze magazine

Funny juxtaposition to this comment thread on The Comics Journal:

What is comic art? It’s a production artifact. It’s very difficult for even sophisticated curators (and perhaps more importantly, collectors) to get their heads around that. What is this wite out? Why is there rubber cement? What’s with all the blue pencil? It’s a strange class of object.

Swedish police uncovers half a ton of dynamite, nazi connection suspected

Police in west Sweden arrested two people on Tuesday following raids on a car and two apartments in the town of Falkenberg, which led to the discovery of the potentially deadly explosives.

A 30-year-old man and a 41-year-old man appeared at Varberg District Court on suspicion of breaching Swedish laws on the possession of flammable and explosive goods.

The news followed intense speculation in the Swedish media that at least one of the men linked to the case was known to support far-right groups and that Nazi propaganda was also unearthed at one of the searched properties.

And Christian Krappedal, a press assistant for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats told the TT news agency that one of the suspects was a councillor for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrat party in the Halland region


Nationalist linked to huge Swedish dynamite haul – The Local

And by the way, today is exactly 4 years since Anders Breivik set off a bomb in the Norwegian parliament and killed 77 people on Utøya. Lesson learned?

You won’t believe it’s not comics! Post by @comics212

Re: what’s comics and what isn’t, Chris Butcher wrote an insightful piece on trench digging and Othering within mainstream comics:

The success of [the early manga publications in the West was] the proof to the theories that comics could be for everyone, for women and for girls especially, and could sell in numbers that were comparable to how they sold overseas. […]
So how did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. “Manga aren’t comics,” went the discussion.

Go, read.

Radar (The day the Earth stood still)

New/old track from Secret Chiefs 3 is always a good thing. This is a cover of a Bernard Hermann soundtrack piece from the original The day the Earth stood still (1951), run through a bit of psychedelic surf grindcore by the SC3 lunatics.

Who owns Franz Kafka?

The ownership of unpublished manuscripts and novels written by Franz Kafka, the Czech-Jewish writer widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest German-language authors, is pitting Israel against Germany.


Kafka’s identity was rooted in Europe, and while he may have felt that he was on the margins of European society because of his religion, he never joined the Zionist project in Palestine, despite intense persuasion from fellow intellectuals.

Perhaps the better question is why Israel feels the need to control and dominate the legacy of non-Israeli Jews? The fact that the Zionist movement was and remains unable to compel the majority of global Jewry to participate in its colonial attempts at state-building in Palestine is a source of great frustration in Tel Aviv.

Why owning Franz Kafka means so much to Israel | The National

Excelsior, my ass

Reading Sean Howe’s Marvel Comics – the untold story lead me to a 2011 portrait of Stan Lee, refreshingly and soberly critical of his part in creating the original Marvel characters (or not), and maintaining his own claim to fame as the company’s figurehead/mascot. One particularly fitting snarkoid from the portrait:

Subheads listed under “Career” on

2.1 Early career
2.2 Marvel revolution
2.3 Later career
2.4 Action figure

Well put, right?

The Inquisition of Mr. Marvel on Grantland

“We have to take so much more responsibility for our images”: on gender and representation. #mustread

I was aware for the first time of all this[*] and more, because I had unplugged myself. I took the right-coloured pill, I came out of the gross Matrix pod and I could never look at anything the same again.

— Idil Sukan, in How I became a feminist: My origin story and the importance of meltdowns

* Long, thorough list of everyday sexism in culture and media; too long to reproduce here and too relevant to spoil.

Nearlymades: abstract found-imagery poetry comic reviewed at @brokenfrontier

This book by Simon Russell looks amazing if you ask me, and of course I find it encouraging that I’m not the only person putting out non-figurative comics with next to no narrative (fair is fair, I have only read Tom Murphy’s excellent review on Broken Frontier so far, and maybe I shouldn’t make value calls about the nature of the storytelling). I’m really looking forward to reading this…!