Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So this is weird

My friend Marianne emailed me the other day about something else entirely and mentioned that she'd seen a page from Big Questions reproduced as an artwork in a monograph of the artist William Pope L. I had no idea what she was talking about. I poked around on the internet a bit and found that a print of the page (400, in case you're interested – a nice round number) had been on display in his show, Forlesen, at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago a year and a half ago. On their site it looks like this:
I don't really know quite what to make of this. One thought I had was "I've been Roy Lichtensteined." But that's really not true. Whatever this is, it's not an aestheticization of mass consumer culture (I just liked the idea of turning Lichtenstein's name into a verb). The other main thought I had was: I wish someone had bothered to tell me about it. I'd have liked to have seen the show. From everything I can tell, he's a thoughtful, provocative artist (another piece from the show, a wall of ketchup mixed with joint compound is pictured below). I am very interested in the ways an artwork ceases to belong to the artist when it moves out into the world, how, if it's really successful, ownership transfers, in a very real way, to its audience. And how that phenomenon might conflict with copyright law or with the artist's own self-interest. Meanings in art are never fixed.  Which can be messy. So I like the idea that that page can resonate with unintended meanings in a new context. Part of me feels honored. And yet, being completely honest... well, it's weird to be on the other side of the process. I wrote Mr. L today, so now I'm waiting to hear what he thinks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Hawkline Monster

I just did a cover for El Monstruo de Hawkline, Blackie Books' fourth Richard Brautigan translation (I was especially happy with how the cover for In Watermelon Sugar came out). Here's the final, along with some sketches and an earlier version.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gainful Employment

I'm going to be volunteering at Magers and Quinn in Minneapolis on Saturday from 2-5. They're inviting some local authors to hang out in the store and talk books with holiday shoppers for Indies First and Small Business Saturday. So come say hello and support a great independent book seller. We can talk about comics or typography or design books, or histories of religion, or good books on atheism or human nature, or pretty much anything by Steven Pinker... or whatever. I'll even try and say something intelligent about novels, if the subject comes up. And in case you missed it, here's my little cartoon manifesto on why you should buy books in a store.

(Also speaking of buying stuff, it was just brought to my attention that the Me and the Universe print [a strip I did for the New York Times this Fall] was erroneously listed as sold out at my store site. In fact there are still a few copies there in case anyone's interested)

Friday, November 7, 2014


I'm in New York this week messing around in a studio with Adam Henry. Which means I get to go to Comic Arts Brooklyn Saturday. I'll be signing at D&Q's table from 4-5.

(Oh and by the way, everyone really really should go see Julie Doucet's beautiful little collages at Desert Island while they're in town...)