I really need to get an office.
Right now, our living room doubles as my workspace, and that’s bad, because when I step into the room in the morning, I don’t know whether to write, or take a nap on the couch.
It’s better today, because the radio’s on, and there’s actually SUNLIGHT coming in the front window.
Yesterday I got so stir-crazy I went to Barnes and Noble with my sketchbook to work. I ended up doing little work, and a lot of reading.
I spent the majority of the time reading Ivan Brunetti‘s fantastic new anthology, GRAPHIC FICTION, CARTOONS, & TRUE STORIES. (Here is the table of contents.) If you’re a newcomer to comics, this is probably the new place to start. It’s pretty amazing. I especially like the 20-page section dedicated to Peanuts, which included Art Spiegelman’s New Yorker tribute piece, “Abstract Thought Is A Warm Puppy” and an essay by Schulz himself, “Developing A Comic Strip,” which Brunetti uses in all his classes. (WMFU had an interview with him about the book a few days ago, and here’s another with Mr. Skin.)
Yale University Press has a really outstanding line of comics-related books on the market right now. In The Studio: Visits With Contemporary Cartoonists is probably the most unique: it features monologues and skethbook work by folks like Crumb, Panter, and Brunetti, but it also includes personal artifacts from each cartoonists’ stash: old magazines and comics, toys, posters, etc. The best part is Crumb talking about his current project: he’s illustrating every story from Genesis, using three different translations, and “telling it straight.” I can’t wait to see this. It’s going to be 180 pages long, and supposedly, he’s 60 or so pages into it.
But the winner yesterday was the new “graphic” issue of TIN HOUSE. It has a ten page or so excerpt from Lynda Barry’s WHAT IT IS, a new collage/book/thingie about images in progress, and an interview with her, too, not to mention stuff from Stuart Dybek, Marjane Satrapi, and a childhood comic by Dan Chaon.
I love the fact that Lynda sells her stuff over Ebay. Even her “throwaway” sketchbook pages blow my mind:
Here’s a student summary of one of her workshops about “the image” and writing.