Tuesday, June 30, 2009

graphic poem by Michael Farrell

a page from Michael's book BREAK ME OUCH (3 Deep Publishing, Melbourne, 2006)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our first review!!!!!!!!

Australian Kris Bather from Comic Book Jesus is first out of the gate:


(Don't ask me how he got a hold of a review copy--I have no idea. I don't even think the bulk of the copies have arrived at Fanta from the printer's. But maybe the printer--located in SE Asia--ships directly to Australia, in which case the books would get there a lot faster than to Seattle.)

Thanks, Kris!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009


These were drawn at the Portland Zine Symposium in 2005 and colored today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Show Panorama

Here is a link to two slow-pan panorma things of a show I did a few years ago of "mostly abstract comics" art in Mogelsberg St. Gallen Switzerland in Ernesto Müller's gallery.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

¡words & examples at Action Yes!

lots of abstract comics action in Action Yes #10 (http://www.actionyes.org/index.htm):
my quick introduction to the area (written before this blog was born);
Andrei's introduction & several samples from the Fantagraphics anthology;
& The Barbarian Intervention.

the global take-over is on course.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rekjavik Youtube-movie

A small movie, taking you through my new book, Reykjavik, published by Danish publisher Fahrenheit today. Andrei's Nautilus is also out from the same publisher today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chinese dreamstones arranged in panels

this item is listed here: http://www.trocadero.com/ruyistudio/items/626346/item626346store.html

a pity about the poor quality photo.

dreamstones are pieces of polished marble which resemble Chinese landscape paintings. they are part of the Chinese literati tradition, along with scholars' rocks, furniture made of gnarly tree roots & calligraphy materials (inkstone, ink stick, brush & paper, as well as ornamental brush stands).

I'm not sure how common this kind of assemblage of many dreamstones is.

to me, it feels close to the more calligraphic abcomx, such as Andrei's & Draw's.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I made this today about a near-death experience.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Growing Diaspora Round-Up: Kreuter, Stafford, DeMuro, Harker

New discoveries (well, new to me, anyway) in the realm of abstract comics! We have a veritable smorgasbord today:

Back in October of last year, Chris Kreuter published Stray Thoughts, "a 12 page comic book that utilizes the comic book format as a vehicle for abstract art." Here are a couple of sample pages:

Tyler Stafford writes (back on May 7): "I've kind of been doing a lot of abstract comics lately." Here's one example of two posted on his site--I'd love to see more:

Paul DeMuro has actually been painting abstractions on old comics, apparently maintaining their original gutters:

And, last but not least, Ian Harker's latest comic ends with an entirely abstract page:

(And, no, I have no idea who Knut Mjølnirsen is either.)

May I just say that things are getting really exciting out there?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nina Roos and the suggestion of narrative

I've mentioned Nina Roos's drawings before. I love them. Here's another one:

In the comments for this particular drawing, a reader (Sarah from Everyone Can Draw)--besides mentioning this very blog--writes: "You are so good at simultaneously suggesting a narrative whilst denying it. Amazing."

Reading that, I realized that it can be seen as, more generally, a quality of all abstract comics--one of the ways in which abstract comics function: the suggestion of a drive forward, a movement, something that tells you something is happening, but without really stating or explaining what. Long before I had read that comment I subtitled one of my pieces (now in Nautilus) "a vague epic," and I realize now I was getting at the same kind of quality.

If I'm not mistaken, this is not far from what Roland Barthes called (for the literary text), "signifiance" rather than "signification." Not settled meaning, but the active process--in poetry, for example--of words bumping into words, sounds against sounds and connotations against connotations, from which meaning arises. One of the things that abstract comics can do is isolate and foreground this "signifiance" in comics.

This can be expanded, leading the way to an even more complex understanding of what abstract comics can do (and, in the process, hopefully addressing Draw's wishes for more writing on Ab Cmx); I'll save that for a later post. Let me just say that I've always thought of Barthes' notion of "signifiance" as somehow related to instrumental music--the way instrumental music can have a (formal) narrative, without ever exactly stating what the story is about. There are many other parallels between abstract comics and music that need to be drawn out and investigated, and this would be a good starting point.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Andrei!

Hey everybody, today is our editor's birthday!

I made this exactly one year ago at Andrice Arp and Jesse Reklaw's house and then when I sent it to Andrei, discovered that coincidentally, it was done on his birthday.

Best wishes, my friend. It was great to visit with you in New York - and of course, thank you again for putting together such a great book!
I like this.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's alive!!! (Part 2)

This is just a preview copy--the book should be in stores within the next 1-2 months.

[for part I, see here.]

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Early press on the preview copies of the anthology that were on display at MoCCA

Matthew Brady: "that book... looks incredible"

Yakov Hadash: "I saw breathtaking preview copies of Asterios Polyp and Abstract Comics, Wow, amazing stuff."

Madinkbeard: "The whole book looks fabulous and Jacob Covey did a beautiful job with the design. This book is going to get some attention, I think." Well, ok, this one really shouldn't count because Derik is in it. But he also adds: "Even if I weren’t in it, I’d be excited about it." So there.


Breaking News--one more:

Jog: "I ran into Andrei Molotiu, editor of Fantagraphics' upcoming Abstract Comics: The Anthology, one of the books I'm most anticipating at the moment. A preview copy was available for perusal; it's a lovely book to hold and flip through, full of varied contributions from major 'names' -- Robert Crumb, Gary Panter, Moebius, Lewis Trondheim, Patrick McDonnell, James Kochalka -- and new faces alike (not to mention comics bloggers Derik Badman & Noah Berlatsky). Andrei was very excited about the project, and for good reason." (Under no. XII)

(Unfortunately, I should point out there's no Moebius in there, that was just something that was a possibility early on but did not go further than that--though somehow it crept into early publicity material, and the rumor lives on on the internet.)


If you find more, please post the link in comments, and I'll add it to the body of this post. Or if you did see the preview copy at MoCCA, let me know what you thought!

Yours truly, interviewed about the anthology

by Shaun Manning, at Comic Book Resources, right here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

visual poetry with some comics genes

here's page 265 from Nico Vassilakis's book protracted type, which you can download freely from http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/protracted-type/6845937.

only pages 265 to 268 are in this style. the rest of the book contains many other styles of visual poetry, & short texts which explain Nico's purpose.

unlike most of you abstract comicsists, I know little about the history of comics, but do know some of the points of intersection between comics & experimental poetry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some horn-tooting (if I may)

I mentioned in my earlier post my book Nautilus that is debuting at MoCCA:

The red strip with the title is actually a band around the hardcover. On the back of the band are these two blurbs:

"Andrei Molotiu's comics are absolute marvels: hotbeds of evolving ambiguity where one never knows what disturbing or witty interaction between abstraction of objects and objects of abstraction is about to take place. Each time I've opened them I've been utterly absorbed, that is, drawn into places where I had no power other than to become what I was looking at. What he does is superb."
--Harry Mathews

"I love artists that break the rules and Andrei Molotiu breaks them all, with mind-bending and beautiful results."
--Scott McCloud