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Author Topic: underground / art / avantgarde comics  (Read 32689 times)
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« on: February 28, 2010, 01:19:11 PM »

Not interested to read about the superman & donald duck. Keep that stuff away from the topic, thanks..

When I started my so called "underground career", it was pretty much through the comics. In finland the boom of independent zine culture walked quite a lot hand in hand with self made/self published mini comics. It was alternative outlet for creativity what walked hand in hand with a lot of punk/experimental/metal and whatever. You could go to local library and find pretty rough materials there on comic department. During the years many up's & down's been there, but the zine culture changed to direction where many guys started own publishing company, who's material is technically as high quality as anything done by major publishers.
Instead of old times, a lot of people actually focus on getting their stuff to worldwide people.

In Finland, there is little crossover with experimental sound & comic arts. As example one could say Roope Eronen, which is utmost obscure naivistic creator. If one can mention people like Mike Diana or Henry Darger with their amusing looking things, Roope Eronen is not as harsh what comes to sexual or violent content, but his technique and stories (or lack of it) are surreal and absurd. Most often they seem like childrens comics gone all wrong.

I know this thing is nowadays probably exclusively associated with "hipster noise", where the stoner doodles and stuff like that are perhaps more rule than exception. And at the same time I feel disturbed by very same "who care", "lets do some garbage" mentality what is in noise-drone-jams and aimless doodles, but I admit that there are some pretty good materials as well. When I saw the art exhibition related to NFF couple years ago, it felt like brutal let down. Perhaps couple items worth to see, but others were pretty much the culmination of all what I think is bad in doodle-arts, sketchbook pages on display and all that.


Roope Eronen:



I've seen him in noise performance. This guy have collaborated with Avarus and Pylon, which some people probably know? Lal lal lal label etc. who had festival in helsinki end of 2009.



Quite recent reading was Amanda Vähämäki "pullapelto" and maybe worth to mention, since it's been translated to english, french and I think also Swedish? Book explains in liner notes that this was part of "alice experiment", meant to explore the borders between text and pictures, dreams and reality, childhood and adulthood, language and time. Which is, like many may have noticed in my past texts, one of high interests of mine. The dominating influence of Lewis Carroll, is simply something that remains interesting for years and years. At the same time when you look at the book, you can't get much more stereotypical female "emo comics" approach, but in other hand it doesn't really matter. When you look beyond the doodled messy pencil images, many of them just constitute already individually as piece of art. Don't know how the other versions are, but Daada (recently stopped comic published in Lahti/finland) did their best to make it as artbook, rather than your typical comicbook.

Quote
The Bun Field
Amanda Vähämäki

March 2009This collection of five short comics stories by new talent Amanda V�h�m�ki is drawn together with an intriguing disjointed rhythm and delicious pencil-smudged style, and infused with a sense of abbreviated adolescence and a kind of grey sky banality. On the surface the stories are characterized by a surreal ebb-and-flow, but each also possesses a deep sense of foreboding and hurt, and maintains a biting sense of humor.

The Bun Field is V�h�m�ki�s first graphic novel, which has been published in several languages. In this story, a young girl dreams of a dinosaur eating Donald Duck; wakes to find a bald, hulking stranger sharing her breakfast; leaves to take a car trip with a bear; falls and breaks a tooth, to have it replaced by an impatient dentist�from his dog�s mouth no less; and pays back the favor by plowing a field of buns. Likewise, young people and anthropomorphic animals commingle in dreamy landscapes throughout the other tales collected in this edition, performing mundane tasks that are skewed with an absurd and fantastic edge. What do you get when you mix fish guts, jungle gyms, stamps, barmaids, soda pop and burning cities?

V�h�m�ki�s unique ideas are equally matched by her tactile drawings, creating a palpable world that is fresh and compelling. The Bun Field and Other Stories comprises an introduction to the work of a new artist not to be missed.

Paperback, 8 x 8 inches, 96 pages, b/w.



Perhaps neither of these 2 artists are something the most relevant, but just something I happened to read couple days ago, so can work as start for topic...
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 01:25:26 PM »

AARGH!
This has reminded me...I used to have one of the best, in fact only, books on underground Australian comics. "Down Underground Comics". A wonderful collection of truly filthy, scatological, political, turgid comic art from the source. I lent it to a friend...and now it's lost forever. It was a one-off and I doubt I'll ever see it again.
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 08:35:12 PM »

I've seen him in noise performance. This guy have collaborated with Avarus and Pylon, which some people probably know? Lal lal lal label etc. who had festival in helsinki end of 2009.

Roope plays also in Maniacs Dream who are pretty good at confusing/annoying people. The live performances are usually pretty nice, ranging from the very simple & mind-boggling to total "amateur-improv" where the limits of anti-musicianship are tested... The records I've heard are ok but not essential.
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 10:49:30 AM »

Angry Youth Comics. Just read the 2nd collection book of this XXX Scumbag party II. Johnny Ryan goes pretty much always there, where the level is the lowest gutter humor. Anything that seems utterly ridiculous and offensive at the same time, that's where he goes. Most of the stories are absurd, in ways like someone gets annoyed by crying baby. Kicks it out from window, baby has a boner which sticks in one of main characters ear. When baby is hanging from his ear from the boner, he gets invitation for comedy awards, as candidate of "best baby-boner in ear gag" -series. Doesn't win it, gets so mad that baby melts from heat coming from his brain. Some douchebag collects the liquid baby and uses it as fuel of his giant sexrobot which sole aim is to go and infect STD to moon. Robot flies over to space and moon fucks it and get clamps. And everybody celebrates in earth this task and heroic role of liquid baby.
In similar ways, stories don't make much sense, but they tend to be just psychelic chaos of offenses. Book is also filled with lots of one picture gags, where the humor is in level of old man separating boys from fist fight and saying "Boys boys, stop fighting! AIDS is a disease what kills both, faggots and niggers". Or guy walking on street with t-shirt saying "my parents went to concentration camp and all I got was this t-shirt".
One pretty rough story is where guy shows another, how to get rid of shitty diapers. He sligs them up to the sky, and the turd and diaper happens to hit jesus in the face who is just flying to save black people from all the persecution to live with him on paradice. The guys put blame of shooting turds with bunch of crack smoking black thugs and jesus flies back to heavens asking them to "tell the black people when you see'em that they really fucking blew it", hehe..
Or comic about "diarrheah faggots". Game box comes with 4 faggots, who you force feed spoiled food, and winner is who gets his faggot first to fart out some sloppy diarrhea.
You won't have shortage of fucking kids, niggers, faggots, violence, rape, violations, baby boners,... etc.  It says "for mature audiences only", but perhaps more accurate would immature audiences? It's quite curious that such big publisher as Fantagraphics has done this. One could assume just the language alone would make protesters walk in front of their head office?
People who like stuff such a Mike Diana, probably get something out of this. Style is more perhaps "classic humor comics" style, with pretty smooth pen works. Not such clumsy/avantgardist like M.Diana for example. It's no way nice or "talented" really. Just based on cheapest moronic humor with relatively successful drawing that is most of all about the characters and not that much about backgrounds.

Not from a book, but his site with some recent strips:

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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 09:41:29 PM »

My friends Famicon/Bonehouse Books are doing some really interesting stuff with nice production values/printing methods: http://famiconexpress.co.uk/
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 08:45:41 PM »

I'm out of touch for the past few years, but used to be a huge fan of underground comics. I still have a pretty extensive collection of late 80's and most of the 90's stuff. Chester Brown's "Ed The Happy Clown" will always be one of my favorites. Worth tracking down, for sure.



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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 09:41:50 PM »

That has been published in Finland in 1990 I guess (called: Ed Iloinen Klovni). Indeed nice comicbook with pretty bizarre story. Long out of print and I think already kind of collectible release. I got the finnish version and some of the small zines how it was originally published, but I think not the complete set..
My focus has always been that most of all Finnish independent publishing and the from foreign, mostly the obscurities and extremes or exceptionally good ones.

Some good news is that soon should be coming new collection of Kalervo Palsa.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 01:18:51 PM »

Don't know how well-known Joakim Pirinen (Swede of Finnish descent) is abroad, but he's very respected in Sweden since the 80's. Often very dark, paranoid, labyrinthine and surreal stories set in made-up Stockholm suburbias & similar.


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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 03:43:33 PM »

All material translated in Finnish and published very early. "Breakthrough" Socker-Conny(1985) as Sokeri-Sakari (1987) but already year before was that earlier album. I'd dare to say it was big influence also in Finnish comics. Got most if not all his works.  Early stuff was reprinted in 2002/2003 so this stuff very easy to get in Finland.
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 04:33:03 PM »

Pirinen is great! Another of my favourite Swedish cartoonist is Max Andersson. I don't know if any of his stuff has been properly translated and released outside of Sweden, but I found this translated piece online:

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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 05:23:02 PM »

Pixy was translated in Finnish and published by Suuri Kurpitsa in mid 90's. Pretty good. I'm quite sure his works appeared in Suuri Kurpitsa anthologies. That was good time, when several open submissions regularly published (4 times a year) magazines/anthologies were in operation. Some of my early stuff was in their publication too.
I think any relevant alternative Swedish name, and that's known (/translated) into Finnish. These days, everybody says that in Finland the comic scene and the reality of publishing is better than in Sweden. Anyone visiting Turku or Helsinki can find pretty nice shops dedicated to alternative comics.

EDIT: and USA version of Pixy and his other works in USA by Fantagraphics, so should be available just about everywhere.
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2010, 10:11:53 AM »

Comic scene in Sweden suck. During the heyday in the Eighties it was really good with guys like Pirinen and Max Andersson but today it is just emochicks (of both sexes) with no drawing skills whatsoever that's retelling their miserable lives.

I wish that Dan Park would do some comics....
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2010, 03:33:29 PM »

Comic scene in Sweden suck. During the heyday in the Eighties it was really good with guys like Pirinen and Max Andersson but today it is just emochicks (of both sexes) with no drawing skills whatsoever that's retelling their miserable lives.

Well, this is ongoing trend everywhere, isn't it? I do appreciate characters like mr. Crumb, who can put some life into autobiography style comics. But people, with no life, nothing happening, doing comics about that, is about as bad as "reality tv" or other such phenomena.
Another guy, who's comics are somewhere between totally retarded waste of time and works of genious, is Joe Matt. his "Peepshow" comics collected as books, can be pretty good. It's all about his miserable relationships, his crappy career as living out of comics (drawing comics for living about drawing comics for living.. duh!) etc. Often the neurotic and idiotic content makes you want to meet this guy and slap him in the face. But in times of stories of compulsive masturbation and porn collecting and various other "embarressing" subjects, he can be pretty entertaining. Fuck me, when I bought one of his "buddies" celebrated Top Shelf comic.. hmm. Jeffrey Brown "Clumsy" (Suom: Haparointia). It basically underlines everything what sucks ass in emogirl doodle comics. I mean, if you have a cock, please just have some dignity man. Existence of this type of people, simply drives grown man into hostile bigot. Faces should be smashed, if ever met such person in real life.
Those who don't know what I'm talking about, check http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/clumsy/180 and click the cover to preview some pages.
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 04:29:22 PM »

Yeah, it have become a common trend but when it becomes the style I just get out. There are always people who manage to take everyday things and make them into great art. Crumb for one, American Splendor is another example but the things is that a lot of people look at it and think "I could that" and start to make their very boring stuff. A bit like HNW actually... It seems easy but is hard as hell to do really good.
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 07:55:17 AM »

my good friend robin bougie and his many projects:
http://www.cinemasewer.com/
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