burn down the art school
Hello, reader. I finally finished another short film that I’ve been sitting on for ages—will share later, meanwhile let me know if you can recommend any festivals worth submitting to that aren’t pure scams. Or should I just make some up and plaster it over the Vimeo preview? Wouldn’t be far removed from some of the stuff on Filmfreeway…
Anyway. Here, as promised, are some of the books I got in Angoulême:
First off, a beautifully designed catalog for Anna Haifisch’s latest exhibition. Anna is one of my favorite artists, and I’ve recently written a thing about her last comic, also published by Spector Books.
Then there’s this little zine by Saehan Park, great for fans of circles. I really admire her commitment—there were 5-or-so other zines of hers, and a children’s book, and it’s all circles all the way.
Citeville and Citeruine by Jeremy Dubois. The latter is a companion volume, in which every page of the original book has been redrawn with all the characters and dialogue taken out, a-la Spuk. Ballard would’ve appreciated the concept, I feel.
Cascade by Fabio Viscogliosi. Don’t know much about his work, but I love these layouts and drawings, they feel weirdly weightless and suspended despite the chunky linework and flat colors.
Birdbox by Silki. This zine is a record of her time as resident at the Maison BD during COVID—all those scenes of a haunted bird person sitting alone in a sparcely furnished room feel very similar to my experience years ago, except I didn’t have a global pandemic to blame for my despair.
Detective Kahn by Min-Seok Ha, published by Misma, whose entire catalogue is one banger after another. Lovely and playful, bought it to remind myself that drawing should be fun. Plus, there is a cat in a hat.
And in London I met with Peter Blegvad and his excellent daughter, and he graciously brought me some of his books. I remember first stumbling upon his work on the fronticepiece of Jarry’s Faustroll, which I picked at random in the SF library, as was my method back in the day, based on the long and weird title. Then it all wildfired into OuLiPo, Roussel and co, and the Book of Leviathan, which I slowly read over the course of many visits to the semi-secret 6th floor archive, where most of my art education took place. Time, chance, etc.
ADDITIONAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL REMINISCENCE
On one of my returns to Russia (RIP), my uncle invited himself over and, early in the course of a very tense dinner, asked me if I can draw a lion. I said yes, probably. Later on he brought it up again: so you can just sit down and draw a lion? I said it depends on whether you expect a realistic or a stylized lion of course—I don’t think I can do the former. He let it go again, but then, right before leaving he asked me once more: so you can just take a piece of paper, sit down, and draw a lion? I said do you want me to do it now? He said yes, and I took a piece of paper and sat down and drew a lion and handed it to him. My uncle looked at the drawing in silence for a good while, then handed it back, thanked us for the dinner, and left.
Having written all of this out, I now remember that he actually asked for a tiger and not a lion, but I can’t remember if what I handed him was a lion or a tiger, or something else entirely. Time, uncles, etc.
A Man of Exquisite Taste and Memory,