Jan Baetens near name checking my book 4 years ahead of publication

…what abstraction finally shows is also the possible frailty of narrative. Even when it is present in apparently hegemonic ways, narrative can always collapse in order to give way to something totally else.

–Jan Baetens, Abstraction in Comics. Quoted in Bennett, Comics Poetry: the art of the possible

I swear, I hadn’t read this when I concocted the concept for When the last story is told – the sentiment is the same, though. From the description for my book:

[The] very title suggests a potential end of narrative, but also  that something else may fill the gap, a still-fluid substance or undefined fictional construct forming …

Guess I was on the right track? If anyone has Baetens’ contact info please pass it along, I’ll be happy to send him a copy.

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Updated: High praise from @badgetoon

You know, I value all comment on my work, positive and negative, but sometimes there’s that little extra that makes a morsel of praise stand out. This one from Mark Badger came in the mail today, in response to When the last story is told:

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Update 16 Sep 2015: Badger posted a very flattering review of my book on his blog. I’ll give you the bulk of the first paragraph here and let you enjoy the entirety on Mark’s website:

Comics have characters, places and things, a plot with events no matter how surreal. […] If you remove the characters, the empathy, the narrative drive traditionalists think there is nothing there. But it’s a rich nothing that has paper, ink, paint, a cartoonist, a reader, pages, things that make a book. Can that basic of a book exist outside of narrative traditions?

The only downside to this acclaim is that I’ll have to let my own review of Mark’s Abstract Kirby sit for awhile so it doesn’t look like a communal back patting… End of update

Thanks, Mark! 🙂 You may know Mark’s work for Marvel and DC Comics, personally I first encountered his art on Martian Manhunter in the late ’80s (I guess? The books ran ads for single issues of Watchmen, if memory serves me), and his approach to drawing blew my mind, it was so far from what I expected in a superhero comic book.

Years later, I found Mark to be a contributor in what has become my desert island book, Fantagraphics’ Abstract comics anthology — funny how things loop back on you in irregular patterns! Nowadays Mark is drawing Abstract Kirby and Julius Caesar, which you will find at his website.

So that was Mark’s four star six-arm review of my book, above. Why don’t you get it for yourself?

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When the last story is told

[caption id="attachment_3432" align="alignleft" width="242"] When the last story is told; 68 full colour pages at 20x26cm (8x10 1/4"). Cloth bound, foil stamped hardcover with vertical title band.[/caption] When the last story is told, its absence rings with colour: Shapes & structure linger— Like the clap of thunder when the air rushes to fill the vacuum…

Grimy matrix

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Plastic OH sheet used for monotyping the previously posted greeting cards. The acrylic will soak the coloured paper and tear off part of the surface when the plastic is removed, hence the paper fragments. I’ll just let this sit around my workspace for a few days before I decide whether I’ll wash it for reuse.

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