Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Reading Gaze



From left to right: Héctor Germán Oesterheld as Ernie Pike by Alberto Breccia, Matt Marriott by Tony Weare, the character in Nejishiki by Yoshiharu Tsuge, Jules Renard by Fred, the statue of the tyrant by Guido Buzzelli in Zil Zelub, Moussa in Nègres jaunes by Yvan Alagbé

What you see above is the cover of half my book. This is part one which contains two chapters: 1. Comics Theory And Criticism and 2. The Expanded Field of Comics. It's a virtual book, for now, but maybe it doesn't matter if it will be a real book someday or not. What really matters is that it exists already and that's enough for yours truly...

Thursday, May 28, 2020

In Defence of Manuel Caldas' Honor


Brian M. Kane posted the above comment on José Villarubia's twitter account. I replied as you can also read above. Why am I posting this here? Because posts on twitter, or, as they are commonly known, twits, are quite efemeral, being rapidly replaced in the readers' atention. Is this atempt less efemeral or will I reach more people? I somehow doubt it, but you can't blame me for trying...

On the other hand, maybe thinking the matter forgotten and buried there was no answer. Maybe the fact that the straw man doesn't hold on his tiny clay feet had something to do with that too.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Did This Humble Blog Finally Put Oesterheld On The Spotlight In Europe?

Answering the question on this post's title: I don't really know, probably not, but, hey, read on...


Do you really believe that a couple, or even one decade ago, Oesterheld's name would be credited as a script influence on Hugo Pratt? No way José...

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Abstract Comics? Not By A Mile!

I'm reading the monumental Abstraction And Comics (Volume I) published by the Presses Universitaires de Liège and the Cinquième Couche and I'm surprised to see that those who wrote the essays barely mention any abstract comics and those who drew and wrote them created no abstract comics at all. This is strange indeed...

Flipping through volume one, I see: "O Arco Da Noite Branca" by Diniz Conefrey, an untitled comic by Renaud Thomas, pages by El Lissitzky and Jean Ache, comics by Jessie Bi, comics by Kym Tabulo, a couple of pages by Benoit Joly, a page by Mark Gonyea, a few pages by Gene Kannenberg and that's about it in a 450 pages book.

It's baffling to read this, for instance: "Here we encounter tall buildings, rising water, a dog that gets encapsulated by strands of material that solidify out of smoke or streams of ants." (286) If we encounter all those things one thing we certainly don't encounter is abstraction, that's for sure...

By the way, the opposite of "abstraction" is "figurative" or "representational," not "narrative." The least we can say is that this is a "creative" use of words...

More later...

Friday, November 15, 2019

Today I'm incredibly sad! I just learned that Tom Spurgeon died two days ago! You will be missed, Tom! I surely will miss you, my friend!...




Saturday, June 22, 2019

(Not Quite) The End



A little bug is flying around my head saying repeatedly to me that it's time to put this blog to rest. Looking back I fondly remember my arrival on the Internet, searching immediately for The Comics Journal site (it was 1997 or 1998, I can't remember anymore). I also fondly remember the comix@ list and the comixschl list (to which I belong to this day). I'm very grateful for these more than twenty years on the Internet, half writing this blog, but also for the opportunity to write for The Comics Journal for a brief period of time (something I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams). 

Now I must thank a lot of people:

The great José Muñoz, for giving me the honor of addressing his wonderful and unforgettable emails to me!

My gracious opponents: Kim Thompson (who left us way too soon and I miss terribly) and Tom Spurgeon on the CJ messboard and Arthur van Kruining on the comix@ list.

Noah Berlatsky, for letting me write on his blog The Hooded Utilitarian (that put me on the map, like I never was before or after). Matthias Wivel and Ng Suat Tong, for being there (love you guys!).

Håvard S. Johansen for inviting me to Comix Expo 2012 (loved it!).

Ann Miller, for her invitation to write in the European Comic Art magazine.

Frank Aveline, for inviting me to write in L'Indispensable.

Bill Kartalopoulos for  my participation on the Alternative Comics site.

John Lent, for letting me publish in the International  Journal of Comic Art.

Paul Gravett, for including me in his project 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die.

Marcos Farrajota, José Rui Fernandes and Julio Moreira for my inclusion in their Lisbon and Porto convention catalogs and Quadrado magazine. I must also thank Marcos for letting me be the curator of a Guido Buzzelli exhibition in Lisbon and José Rui for a great trip to New York!

Pedro Moura, Carlos Pessoa and Sara Figueiredo Costa for my inclusion in the Amadora convention catalog. I also thank Pedro for my inclusion in the Tinta nos Nervos exhibition catalog and several panel invitations.

Isabel Carvalho, Pedro Nora and Mário Moura for Satélite Internacional. Where have all those magazines gone?

Last, but not least, on the contrary, Miguel Falcato Alves and Manuel Caldas for publishing my first writings, insipid as they were...

Also: my supporters when the world was against me: you know who you are...
Damn you world, for giving me such a hard time! You also know who you are.

A big thank you goes to my faithful readers. I which I could say it personally to each and everyone of you! (Surely, you aren't that many...)

Will this be my last post on this blog or is my comics critic career over? I don't know, maybe... I'll write here whenever I feel like (once in a blue moon, I guess) and my days as comics critic are out of my hands. It all depends on putative invitations, but I will be forgotten, I'm sure I will... When you fight against the whole world you're sure to lose, but, as António Dias de Deus put it: the only victory possible is defeat. See you in the funny papers... Oh, and, you know... this art form deserves to die...