In Milwaukee, Boswell Books has made Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses a staff pick. Along with the recommendation, the store has also posted a nice review of the book on their blog.
Of all the graphic novels and comics I’ve read, this is by far the most complete, engaging, and altruistic: Yanow is the kind of artist whose work is destined for positive global impact.
Read the whole review here. Order a copy of War of Streets and Houses from Boswell Books.
Foreword Reviews calls Sam Alden’s It Never Happened Again one of the best graphic novels of Fall 2014. You can see what other selections they made here.
Order It Never Happened Again from our website!
There’s a new review of Brian Evenson’s Ed vs. Yummy Fur at HTMLGiant.
Brian Evenson is the perfect critic for the first installment of Uncivilized Books’s Critical Cartoons series … As an author renowned for fiction and scholarship that bridges the gap between high- and low-brow cultures—after all this is the author of both Altmann’s Tongue and two Dead Space novelizations—Evenson lends a sense of legitimacy to Ed the Happy Clown as he meticulously examines Chester Brown’s work.
Read the full review here. Order Ed vs. Yummy Fur from our website.
Rob McMonigal reviewed MariNaomi’s Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories for Panel Patter, as part of the site’s coverage of SPX debuts.
One of the things I really like about Mari’s work as an autbio author is that she does change things up on a regular basis. While I enjoy the work of others, their static style means that a heartbreaking moment and a silly one can get the same panel layouts or visuals … It reminds me a lot of Anne Thalheimer or the limited work I’ve read of John Porcellino, where there’s no set form to how the comic has to look.
Read the full review here. Order Dragon’s Breath from the Uncivilized Books website.
Alexis Somerville offers a positive review of Gabrielle Bell’s Truth is Fragmentary at For Books’ Sake.
Bell’s artistic style is perfect for this type of diaristic comic – simple but lively line drawings which communicate the atmosphere of the situations … Truth is Fragmentary is a funny, thought-provoking and exquisitely observed book.
Read the full review here. Order Truth is Fragmentary from our website.
PopMatters contributing editor Hans Rollman recently penned a piece about Canadian comics and their authors, and as part of his coverage Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses was written about.
Yanow’s work is a fascinating reflection on the significance a place can have; more fascinating still as the product of an American writer writing about Canada. And even more fascinating yet as one writing about Quebec: the sometimes-rebellious Francophone province which periodically threatens to separate from the rest of the country and has historically had a very contentious relationship with its Anglophone partners.
Read the full essay here. After that, order War of Streets and Houses from our website.
The great James Romberger wrote a nice round-up of a variety of the micro-publications offered at this year’s Small Press Expo. Included in his report are two Uncivilized titles, It Never Happened Again and Houses of the Holy.
… the sweet and loose-appearing, but apparently lightboxed, pencil drawings of It Never Happened Again provide atmospheric effects that enhance the delicacy of Alden’s stories.
It is a dark fever dream, sort of on the order of The Cage, Martin Vaughn-James’s nightmarish masterwork that was recently reissued by Coach House Books. Tom K tells me that the artist of Houses of the Holy was an outstanding student of his at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and that this is an excerpt from a much longer work that Skaalrud has in process. Uncivilized Books will publish it upon completion and I will be anticipating it.
Read the full piece here. Order both It Never Happened Again and Houses of the Holy from our website.
Writer Adam Rothstein wrote a very thoughtful review of Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses. His piece appears over at The State.
The point is not to answer the questions, but to try to understand how we ended up with unanswerable questions to begin with. Like any person building a house, we can’t erase the city around us. We have to figure out how to build what we want in the environment we have.
Read Adam’s full review here. Order the Ignatz-nominated War of Streets and Houses from our website.
Over at The Comics Journal, Sean T. Collins took the time to write up a nice piece on Gabrielle Bell’s latest July Diary installment. It’s a fresh take, considering sequencing and setting’s role in Gabrielle’s overall play on anxiety.
At first glance, Gabrielle Bell’s six-panel daily diary comics don’t have a lot in common with the Mines of Moria sequence in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings . Or at any number of subsequent glances, I suppose. But the more Bell I read, the more I think they share a primary strength: a sense of space, of environment.
Read the full review here. Order Gabrielle’s latest, Truth is Fragmentary, which collects previous editions of her July Diary series.
Shawn Starr posted an insightful essay on Sophie Yanow’s War of Streets and Houses, offering commentary on Sophie’s use of the comics grid.
Yanow’s panels though are free drawn, weaving up and down, veering to the right a little or the left. It is in these inconsistencies that we see the artist’s hand first and foremost, the nature of her line, rather than the uniformity found at the edge of a ruler. This naturalism goes straight to the heart of War of Streets and Houses; the city/comics grid may have its place, but the eccentricities of the individual community or artist come through first and foremost.
Read the full piece here. Order War of Streets and Houses from our website.