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.
Post York scribe and all-around good guy James Romberger has new work out with Oily Comics. Daddy is a collaboration between he and Josh Simmons, splashed in a creepy mix of black and red. It’s horror as you’d expect from Simmons, and Romberger’s brush work gives it all the necessary texture.
The book debuted at SPX. You can order it from Oily Comics.
It’s our first-ever proper sale! Books by Gabrielle Bell, James Romberger, Crosby, Kevin Huizenga & Dan Zettwoch, Zak Sally, Jon Lewis, Derek Van Gieson & Tom Kaczynski. 20-50% OFF! Check it out!
Justin Giampaoli just posted his Best of 2013 list on Thirteen Minutes. We are proud to see two Uncivilized Books titles on the list:
Post York (by James Romberger + Crosby): Set in a post-apocalyptic New York City that thematically values humanitarianism over sheer survival, Post York seeks to re-examine man’s relationship to the natural world. This was the offering from Uncivilized Books that grabbed me by the throat and made me pay full attention to this bold new publishing house helmed by Tom Kaczynski.
Eel Mansions (by Derek Van Gieson): It’s like David Lynch on paper, flirtatious, mysterious, and dangerous. Van Gieson laces this burgeoning series with so much addictive critical bait, from cinema, to music, to cultural anthropology observations, that it quickly becomes an irresistible entryway to a never-ending conversation between the handful of people who can keep up with what Van Gieson is slinging with so much affection.
Read the rest, it’s a great list!
P.S. Check out some of our specials running until the end of the year.
The Brooklyn Book Festival is on Sunday (Sept. 22, 10-6 pm)! Uncivilized Books will be exhibiting at Booth 63 (along with publishing pals at Exterminating Angel Press & Owl Canyon Press). We’ll have all of our recent books & mini comics AND we’ll have James (Post York) Romberger and Jon (True Swamp) Lewis on hand to sign books and comics!
Additionally cartoonist & Uncivilized Books chief, Tom Kaczynski, will be participating in a panel called The Real: Comics Nonfiction:
3:00 P.M. The Real: Comics Nonfiction. Three artists represent the diverse spectrum of topics taken on by nonfiction comics-Ed Piskor’s Hip-Hop Family Tree offers an encyclopedic comics history of the formative years of hip hop; Lucy Knisley’s Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is a loving memoir of growing up gourmet and Tom Kaczynski’s Trans-Terra: Towards a Cartoon Philosophy is a mutant memoir that melds comics, politics, and philosophy. Moderated by Professor Jonathan W. Gray, John Jay College. Featuring screen projection. [at the BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY AUDITORIUM (128 Pierrepont Street)]
Check out the panel, meet the artists, stop by and say hello! See you there!
Here’s another post that got lost in the shuffle. James (Post York, 7 Miles a Second) Romberger talks with Tom Kaczynski about his Fantagraphics book, Beta Testing the Apocalypse.
James: There are the obvious correspondences in “100,000 Miles” to Crash, but some of your others like “Million Year Boom” and “976 Sq. Ft.” remind me in particular of a few of his perhaps less-known works such as High Rise and Concrete Island. Both of those books depict protagonists who become subsumed in the constructs of a society that in supposedly advancing has actually broken down, that has taken on the quality of an intolerable new “normalcy”. Is it perhaps that, like Ballard, in transitioning between disparate societies at an early age, you have a unique perspective and are able to remove yourself and see where you are in an overview of sorts, or to see around the corners, so to speak?
Tom: I definitely think that the experience of emigration gives you a different perspective on the idea of society. When you are born into one world (Communist Poland), and then are transplanted into another (USA), and then witness the utter transformation of the first (collapse of USSR & the Eastern Bloc), the idea that society can radically be changed (for better or worse) is not that far fetched. That is one reason that the US (a country of immigrants) has been such a successful and dynamic society. The recent political/economic climate in the US feels like an attempt to freeze and define the US as a specific unchanging idea. History is catching up with us, the US is no longer a ‘young’ undefined country. Even many European countries (not to mention countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America) have political & economic structures that are more malleable, that may better cope with future challenges (I got away from Ballard here… but it seemed in the end the question was less about Ballard but about ‘society’).
Read the entire interview here.
Post York was nominated in the Best Single Issue (One-Shot) category of the Eisner Awards! Congratulations to James Romberger and Crosby!!!
James Romberger’s tale of foraging survivors in New York City after the polar ice caps have melted operates within a genre that’s very near and dear to my heart. Yeah, you can classify this story as post-apocalyptic.
Romberger introduces us to his engaging world in an impressive 16-page wordless sequence that really forces the reader to study the eerie silence of New York City. The only thing you can really hear in your mind’s ear is the quiet sputter of the small boat as it trolls the streets of submerged Manhattan, or the wake gently lapping up against the overgrowth now intertwined with rubble, the man-made and natural worlds once again trying to find a symbiotic arrangement that actually works.
Romberger fashions his protagonist after his son Crosby, explicitly concerned with the world we’ll be leaving our children. The very nature of that idea is a nice gateway to the type of tension that the book explores, considering the optimal balance of the natural world and the man-made world, of selfless altruism with that pragmatically selfish survival instinct I mentioned before. In short, if either of these dynamic relationships becomes imbalanced, bad things happen.
Read the entire review here.
James Romberger’s amazing and important book, 7 Miles a Second, hit the New York Times Comics Bestseller list at #5! Congratulations to all involved! Can Post York be far behind?
James Romberger was interviewed about Post York by Comic Book Resources a while back. Somehow the post about it got lost in the internet ether. Here it is again:
CBR News: James, where did the idea for “Post York” come from? Have you written comics before this?
James Romberger: I have written some short stories; one was in the final issue of “MOME.” I have long felt that I was too dependent on other writers, so I went back to college in 2005, mainly to develop my writing. I came up with the “Post York” idea at Columbia University and used it to resolve some assignments. I wrote a few stories and made some paintings and prints, all attempts to depict what New York City would look like after the ice caps melt and the water finds its level. It seemed to me that we would become more like Venice. However, as we can see from Hurricane Sandy, most of New York is not built to withstand the strain that so much water would put on it, the old tenements would collapse and the infrastructure would fail. But, any survivors left in the city would find ways to deal with it as best they could — New Yorkers are hardy and tenacious.
How did you end up connecting with Tom Kaczynski and Uncivilized Books?
After my last efforts for the mainstream, I decided that I would be happier returning to the alt/lit world. I felt an affinity with Tom’s own work when I read it in the “MOME” books that are part of Columbia University’s excellent comics and graphic novel collection and I like what he is publishing. When I met Tom at his table at last year’s Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, I said I had some work he might be interested in, and he was. It didn’t take long for it to come together, because here we are.
Check out the whole interview here. Get a copy of Post York here, and make sure you check out the re-issue of James’ of Seven Miles A Second.