Our third Summer Reading List comes from Inkstuds podcaster, interviewer and comics critic Robin McConnell!
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Inkstuds Summer Reading List
Unfortunately, I am currently working a couple of different jobs and then the radio show on top of that, so my list isn’t as lengthy as I would like.
Probably at the top of the list would be Craig Thompson’s Habibi. It is nearly 700 pages of beauty. I have some mixed feelings about his previous work, specifically Blankets. There are a lot of strengths to the work but the subject matter didn’t appeal to me. On the other hand, Habibi is really astounding. Just browsing through it, you can see how Craig has grown critically, analytically and narratively. This book will be very talked about when it comes out. I got an advance from Pantheon and am just letting it soak in.
A lot of what I read, is specifically for interviews. This weekend, I will be chatting with Shannon Wheeler, so I am going to sit down with as much of his work as possible, which will include his upcoming Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus from Dark Horse. That thing is huge.
Skip Williamson has been writing up about his life in comics and working for Playboy during the 70s. Skip is a really interesting idiosyncratic character, and has a lot to say. He used to have a blog with these great stories, but I think he yanked them to use in the book he is working that he will be doing as print on demand. For now, you can read the first part on Kindle.
I have been on a bit of European kick. There are 3 major groupings I want to document with Inkstuds. The first priority is Canadian, for pretty obvious reasons to anyone that reads this. Second, is the underground scene. History is very important to me. Modern comics are based on narrative tradition that goes back well over 100 years, but to me, it was the undergrounds starting with Crumb that really blew it open and expanded what could be realized. The third is Europeans. I want to try and talk to more European creators to bridge the gap and foster a greater knowledge of what his happening with comic contemporaries elsewhere. Interviewing Lorenzo Mattotti was a big deal for me. Igort is a guy that I have been emailing back and forth with and will hopefully set something up with. His Baobab looks a might pretty and I am expecting something excellent.
Anders Nilsen is coming to Vancouver at the end of July, and I couldn’t be happier. I love his comics to an usual degree. I even have a big piece of art by him in my hallway next to a little Dave Cooper print and Barron Storey painting, and below a Gary Panter dirtybird drawing. Big Questions is another big book that will blow people away. As it was coming out in issues, it was significantly overlooked. Now that it is coming out in the complete big book version, the sheer impact of how important a comic it is, will really be understood. Anders is a generationally great talent, with few immediate contemporaries.