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Prejudicial Ink – review

21 May
A review by Joshua Santospirito of Fluid Prejudice

Various artists, edited by Sam Wallman
Published by Glass Flag 2014
Cover image Tom O’Hern featured in Island 135

I don’t know if anyone recalls an incredible serialised comics piece published in Meanjin in 2008-09 titled Their Hooks Hold Deep in Our Flesh: written by Kate Fielding and involving artists Clint Cure, Mandy Ord, Ben Fox and Elizabeth McDowell.

It arose out of the context of Rudd’s apology and it detailed a number of histories of the Portland area of the Great Ocean Road since colonisation. Fielding’s foreward stated ‘a generous, critical and impassioned engagement with our shared histories is both the joy and responsibility of all people’. Fielding and co. walked the talk; Hooks sang songs of history in multiple styles, formats and sources to create an unusual critical historical account woven from multiple voices.

Six years is a long time in the small but rapidly maturing world of Aussie comics. It’s 2014 and Melbourne’s Sam Wallman has willed a remarkable anthology of history-comics into existence entitledFluid Prejudice. ‘The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice,’ said Mark Twain. The focus of this anthology is under-represented and marginalised histories. Historical narrative shifts focus, not only because of the stories being told, but because of those who hold the pen. Perhaps the corrective biases of those whose ink flows in these pages will hold the mainstream narratives to account.

For the full article – please go to the ISLAND MAGAZINE WEBSITE (Subscribe while you’re at it). 

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Cover image – Tom O’Hern
Buy Fluid Prejudice at Glass Flag Press

Recent media for the Long Weekend

8 Oct

Since publishing The Long Weekend in Alice Springs in March of this year – the first printrun sold out … quite quickly … I admit that I was a little stunned by how quick it happened. I felt a little silly for having only printed 500 copies … but then I thought, well why do I feel silly – how could I have known??!! It’s now in its second printrun and the book is now in over 20 bookstores across Australia, which is great!!

You can also snaffle your copy from Sankessto Publications for $35-

There is also an upcoming booktour in Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide – check out the poster for details.

web 2013 Nov-Oct Book tour

Recent Media reviews and spots
Charlie Ward’s blog review - a really beautiful and considered review.
Australian Newspaper Review Magazine - a massive spotlight!!
Readings Boostore – review - great endorsement from a great bookshop!
ComicOz review - a fellow psych-nurse and comic enthusiast.
Review from the Alice Springs News - Incredibly beautiful writing on the book.
Framed Magazine interview - Interview with Josh from late 2012
Alice Online article - Another Central Australian perspective
Podcast from the Comic Spot – interview with Josh Santospirito, good fun!
Facebook page

Review in The Australian Newspaper

6 Jul

I woke up to this article this morning – it’s a picture of ME.
An amazing review of The Long Weekend written by Ronnie Scott in the Australian Review.

What a coup for San Kessto Publications!! (Is that a correct use of the word “coup”)

If you can’t be bothered buying The Australian – then just read the article HERE.
TheAustralian-July13

Review in Alice News

16 May

At this site you’ll find a thoughtful review from the Alice Springs News’ Kieran Finnane about the book The Long Weekend in Alice Springs.

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Other media stuff that the book has collected on its journey can be seen at some of these places -

The Comic Spot interview

Framed Magazine

Alice Online article

Interview on the Comic Spot

14 Apr

Interview on radio/podcast with John Retallick and Gary Chaloner at the Comic Spot – nice conversation about various issues.

Go to this link

COMICSPOT

Seth – its a great life if you don’t weaken

11 Apr

I just finished reading this gem.

The last 5 pages make the book a really magical experience … which is something I’d forgotten books can do. 

I shall be discussing this one at the next Hobart Graphic Novel Book group on Sunday the 22nd at Zum in Salamanca at 2pm for those who wish to come down and drink coffe and chat about it.

Review of David B’s stuff

20 Mar bookcover_babel

I am not a reviewer, I am a comic writer and I feel somewhat compelled to write something so that I can better get a grasp of what it is that I admire so very much about David B’s work. I first read David B a few years ago – Epileptic, which is the most widely spread piece of his work. It was translated into English in 2005, possibly not long after it was collated into the one volume. It is monumental. I have not read comics in this form before. The rich imagery and heavy, heady, symbolism is almost unbelievable. The words in the piece were very flat and almost monotone, purely descriptive. This seems to serve as an excellent foil for the fact that imagery is so heavy and symbolic and puts the words into a stark new context, turning them from something realistic and plain into something new and somehow magic. From my antipodean perspective, it seemed so French, in that their history is so littered with such pagan folklore and everyday mythology, indeed the entire of Epileptic is permeated with an animistic world-view, despite the narrator’s overt assertion that he is purely logical and rejects his mother’s search for an almost magical cure for her son’s unseen illness.

 I recently bought a few more of his works through Fantagraphics – the Armed Garden & other stories being one of them … more of the same stuff … unbelievable. I can only liken it’s content to that of the Dictionary of the Khazars, a book written by a Serbian man which is famous for the fact that you can pretty much start the book at any point and open it it at different points and piece together your own version of the events. The main similarity between the works is the settings – middle age, middle-eastern setting with strong elements of magical realism an’ surrealistic story-telling.

David Bouchard was one of the founding members of L’Association but left in the mid-2000′s due to differences with Jean-Menu Christophe, the last of the founding members to be involved with L’Association, and possibly the reason it almost imploded. After this point Bouchard’s work became more wildly distributed in the English speaking world as he began to be associated with Drawn & Quaterly, Fantagraphics, Pantheon and the like.

I recently got my hands on Babel #1 and #2 … my goodness. I’m not sure where to begin, somehow these works are so elusive in their nature, not like anything I’ve read before. Part of the beauty is, of course, the beautifully production of the Ignatz series of comics. Babel #1 was the first in the Ignatz series which currently numbers over 40 issues from an international cast of el primo comic writers. The other part of the beauty is the beautiful two-tone theme of the Ignatz series which David B puts to great use. Epileptic had been in black and white but from Babel onwards he began to use one other tone with a masterful skill that gave the themes of the works a stronger sense of mood, starkly different and somehow more subtle than his previous works. The storytelling weaves in and out of the present and the past, dreams and fables to give a sense that it is all one story. Again this feels similar in its structure, or structurelessness, to that of the Dictionary of the Khazars. There is a Jungian fervour to the story, a way of making sense of the themes of his own life that seem universal in their appeal. Babel appears to have lost the negative and headiness of Epileptic, but perhaps this is because through Epileptic, David B has found some form of catharsis and moved onto some sort of enlightenment. I look forward to Babel #3, whenever it is destined to be complete, with much anticipation. It has been some years since Babel #2 was completed, but somehow I feel that the longer the wait, the better the piece will be.

Take your time B.

All images – David B

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