Dragon’s Breath reviewed at Panel Patter

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.

Truth is Fragmentary reviewed at For Books’ Sake

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 covers War of Streets and Houses for Canadian comics essay

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.

MariNaomi offers advice on ‘Writing People of Color’

MariNaomi contributed to Midnight Breakfast recently. She brought together a number of cartoonists, and had them provide advice for writers too intimated to write characters with cultural backgrounds different from their own.

Mare Odomo, Yumi Sakugawa and Whit Taylor are among those polled.

Part essay, part comics, you can read the entire piece here. Also, order Mari’s new book Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, our co-publishing venture with 2D Cloud.

James Romberger covers SPX for The Hooded Utilitarian

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.

Sam Alden tours his comics collection for Comics&Cola

For her regular feature ‘Comics Shelfie’, Zainab Akhtar hosted Sam Alden at Comics&Cola to give a guided tour of his comics collection. It’s a cool little piece, and it’s a fun reminder that everyone – from the super talented to the not – has a book shelf they sometimes stare at.

Check it out here. Also, order Sam’s book It Never Happened Again, and place it on your own, private bookcase.

The State highlights War of Streets and Houses

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.

Sean T. Collins reviews Gabrielle Bell’s July Diary 2014

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.

MariNaomi interviewed, Books and Authors with Cary Barbor

MariNaomi was recently a guest of Cary Barbor’s Books and Authors podcast. She recorded an in-studio interview to discuss Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories.

You can listen to the show here. It’s a fairly short interview, just hitting the 17 minute mark.

Order Dragon’s Breath from our website, and follow Mari on Twitter.

l’étoile interviews Derek Van Gieson

Derek (Eel Mansions) Van Gieson and Edie Overturf recently opened an exhibition with Public Functionary titled “In Search Of …”, and l’étoile, and an interesting Twin Cities arts mag, caught up with them to discuss it.

The premise for In Search Of… revolves around the act of narration and the authenticity and origin of narratives. In it, you’ve created the story of five fictional “tribes,” developed distinctively and secretively from one another and then webbed into a collaboration. Tell us a little more about the concept behind this exhibit.

DVG: Edie and I are both world builders, there’s so much mind digging going on that we aren’t particularly interested in representing what’s directly in front of us, rather, we enjoy combining the past, which is filled with so many versions of truth, fantasy and allegory, with our own imagination. The legends are fact and the facts have no history. It’s an exciting mess and the past is constantly being rewritten or re-understood. It’s a fantastic meeting place and baseline for us as artists to meet and the concept of the show was a natural progression from that. Edie’s work always asks questions and I enjoyed that, and so the show is a huge collection of questions. It’s meant to be mysterious, it’s meant for the viewer to fill in the gaps. It’s about making connections and making a point that the world’s history is shaped by the imagination.

City Pages also covered the event, which you can read here.

The exhibition will run through October 17th. The gallery space is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For more on Public Functionary, visit their website. You can read the full Q&A with l’étoile here. And, of course, pre-order Derek’s new book Eel Mansions from Uncivilized Books.