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August 08, 2008


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Craig--I'll try to write a longer reply to this later, but for now:



Fantastic post, Craig! (he said, writing from his holiday trip in Massachusetts).

Conner's work sounds fascinating. I'm especially intrigued by the reference to "found-footage" filmmaking; can you tell us what that's about? Are the found-footage films all like "Marilyn Times Five" in technique, that is, composed of elements from another film or films? Do some of the films draw from multiple filmic sources, rather than just one?

It occurs to me that your fourth example (Eddie again!) is rather like the famous Feiffer strip in which a love-making couple -- a neurotic, failed couple, of course -- is depicted solely through a page's worth of black panels. Another "discreet" bit of bedroom comedy. You know the one I'm talking about?

Andrei, good to see you here!


Well, I thought I would actually have something of some critical consequence to say, but I think all I'll be doing is free-associate (and hi, Charles!). I was at the MoMA in May, I think, and they had a few beautiful Bruce Conner drawings exhibited in the drawings department. One was a gorgeous abstract "mandala," or what he called a mandala; the other I really loved was a drawing made of only small, symmetrical rorschach blots (but not really blots, they were made up of thinner, fragile lines, like lace or filigree) that looked like pinned butterflies in a specimen box. So there, if you want, is another, more circuitous route connecting Conner to Watchmen's Rorschach. And this also reminds me that that sixth issue, with the black standing for meaninglessness, or, if you will, standing for nothing, was really important for me--I connected it in my mind with Zen painting, started experimenting with blots like that around 1990, 1991 or so--and now my website is called "blotcomics." Lastly--I had never connected, not consciously, at least, the symmetry of Rorschach's black and Ozymandias's polar white--but, now that you mention it, not only does it make sense, but also it makes me think of the very end of "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," the milkiness of the water at the end (other end--Antarctic) of the world...

frank santoro

Great post!


Great post, Craig. You may also be interested in noting another use of the 'black as blackouts' style, from Grant Morrison/Chas Truog's ANIMAL MAN #20 ("The Last Enemy") - it's a shatteringly effective usage as Buddy slips in and out of mental nothingness in the immediate aftermath of his family's death.


What of the use of purely white panels as a kind of whiteout or failed synapse? I'm thinking here of the execution of Thomas Scott in Chester Brown's LOUIS RIEL, and then again the final execution of Riel himself, on the tale's last page. Or a sequence in Jason's work that you wrote about some time back, Craig?

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