Posts Tagged ‘Blaise Larmee’

Support 2dcloud’s Summer 2017 Kickstarter

August 20, 2017

My wonderful publisher 2dcloud is currently conducting a kickstarter for its next round of books, which people who pledge will get before anyone else. Today they suffered a theft of books at a festival they’re attending, so this would be a great day to take the plunge. 2dcloud publishes comics unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Place an order with their kickstarter and see!

Comics Time: ALT COMICS

June 17, 2011

Editor unknown, to me at least, but it sure seems like a Comets Comets production
May 2010-present
Read it at

“Comics is any art you can read.”—Sean T. Collins

Seen through an RSS reader, the Tumblr dashboard, or the crisply laid out collection of thumbnails that is its Tumblr archive, ALT COMICS is like any other image-based tumblelog. Viewed at its own address? It’s a black hole. Hold down the spacebar and you’ll rapidly scroll through literally thousands of images, frequently but by no means entirely of the “alt comics” persuasion, with the many many images that aren’t sort of averaging out in that direction. But they’re not meant to be sampled as eye candy, or as proof of the blogger’s excellent taste. Each one is blown up to the same massive screen-spanning size regardless of its original size, scale, or resolution. The result digitally distorts many of the images, makes most of them far too big to take in all at once, and erases any of the tumblr artifacts — permalinks, note counts, tags, sources — that tell you where one post ends and the other begins. The result? Pure images, pure juxtaposition, stripped of almost any context other than what’s immediately visible on the screen at the moment, and the cumulative effect of the accumulation of those moments. Taking that endless scroll to the blog’s all but unreachable bottom is a journey into the sheer pleasure of seeing lines on paper (or “paper”), seeing words mixed up with art, seeing styles collide and fracture and explode and detourne and corrode. It also invites you to deduce a method to the madness. Are the giant photos of James Kochalka, Jeffrey Brown, Matt Madden & Jessica Abel, and the Harkham/Crane/Ryan/Hernandez/Regé/Santoro L.A. comics crew intended as the equivalent of Johnny Rotten’s “I HATE PINK FLOYD” shirt? Which does the author of the blog like more: Jonny Negron or Goodnight Moon, Chris Ware or some poorly photoshopped internet-age visual noise, Scott Pilgrim or Harold Gray, a Devo album cover or the cast of Daria, Scott McCloud or Dr. Manhattan or Olivier Schrauwen or page after page of Blaise Larmee or or or or or…? Pure images isn’t even the right term for it — presented without comment or context, one size fits all, a digital haze rendering craft more or less moot as a reference point, you’re looking at the idea of images more than images themselves. That’s telling. It’s also telling that this project of re-presenting other people’s image-ideas is perhaps the strongest work I’ve seen from the Co-Mix crew so far.

Comics Time: “2001”

February 18, 2011

Blaise Larmee, writer/artist
self-published on the web, January 2011-
Read it at

What a thrilling comic. It’s worth noting, I suppose, that the white-on-black presentation of Blaise Larmee’s gorgeous webcomic “2001” largely removes Larmee’s work from the pencil-smudged, fragile-lines-on-white, Darger/CF context in which it’s previously been located. But far more interesting to me than how the comic operates versus Larmee’s other stuff is how it operates in and of itself. The vastness of the full-bleed images, the fact that they occupy the entire page, the way the starfield/snowfall background is a big black nothing that appears to isolate the characters in infinity, is immediately impactful, even awe-inspiring, maybe the most striking use of the webcomic medium I’ve ever seen. Now that enough pages have accrued, however, we discover that Larmee isn’t just tracking bodies in space, but bodies in a particular space. The big geometric planes of white and black that interrupt the snow/stars, we can now tell, are a building or structure of some sort — the white its roof, the black its walls — around which our two heroines twirl and leap and walk and peek. Storywise, there’s not much more to it at the moment, beyond some almost Bendisesque cute dialogue about how “very May ’68” the place is and how they’ve got tea but want coffee instead. But there needn’t be more to it than what there is: An innovative, arresting, and beautiful way to arrange movement on a comics page, and to arrange a comics page, period.

Comics Time: Studygroup12 #4

February 2, 2011

Studygroup 12 #4
Zack Soto, Steve Weissman, Eleanor Davis, Michael DeForge, Trevor Alixopulos, T. Edward Bak, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Farel Dalrymple, Vanessa Davis, Theo Ellsworth, Jason Fischer, Nick Gazin, Richard Han, Jevon Jihanian, Aidan Koch, Amy Kuttab, Blaise Larmee, Corey Lewis, Kiyoshi Nakazawa, Tom Neely, Jennifer Parks, Karn Piana, Jim Rugg, Tim Root, Ian Sundahl, Angie Wang, Dan Zettwoch, writers/artists
Zack Soto, editor
Milo George, editorial/technical advisor
Published by Jason Leivian and Zack Soto, December 2010
80 pages
Buy it from Zack Soto

This is going to come out sounding waaaay more like a diss than it’s intended to, but in flipping through the comeback installment of this Zack Soto-edited alt/artcomix anthology a few weeks after my initial read-through, I realized I didn’t remember anything in it prior to cracking the covers once again. Which is fine, I think! Looking at it now, Studygroup12 #4 seems to me to be much more an art book than a comics anthology. For one thing it’s exquisitely made: Beautiful screenprinted neon-pink-and-aqua covers inside covers (trust me, it’s much glowier than the scan above suggests); a gallery of impactful pink/blue/purple splash pages to kick things off and close things out, including some of the most striking images Jon Vermilyea and Dan Zettwoch have ever constructed out of their customary melty-monster and diagram styles respectively; pages printed in the vivid, inky blue-purple of a carbon copy. It’s a lovely package even compared to the similar approaches of Mould Map and Monster. My point is simply that all these things point to a book that works better from moment to moment as a catalog of images and illustrations rather than one whose strength arises from the cumulative impact of individual sequential narratives. Flipping through, I’m struck by the weird mystical sensuality of Aidan Koch’s portraiture and triangular caption boxes; the Renee-French-on-a-photocopier haze of Jennifer Parks’s creepy little strip; the pleasure of seeing Tom Neely images reproduced at a much larger size than his customary minicomics; the strength of the way Vanessa Davis designs leering faces, something that’s much clearer to me here than its ever been in the comics I’ve seen from her elsewhere, which frankly have never bowled me over the way they have so many readers; some funny punk/thrash/metal/trash pastiches from Vice Magazine’s mustache-at-large Nick Gazin (I wish a HAUNTED HOLOCAUST: “THE TEENAGE TITS TOUR” t-shirt actually existed). But much of what really reads as comics does so rather weakly — an uncharacteristic experimental misfire from Michael DeForge; the return of USApe, my least favorite Jim Rugg character; diminishing returns from Vermilyea’s anthropomorphized breakfast gang, which here get a little too Milk and Cheese-y; a Farel Dalrymple strip that’s drowned out by its over-shading; etc. Ultimately it’s really only Blaise Larmee’s riotously confrontational anxiety-of-influence comic, in which one of his trademark prepubescent/elfin protagonists navigates her way through some sort of abstract geometric maze only to stand in front of a menacing reproduced photograph of Charles Schulz (!!!), that hits me hard as comics; perhaps not coincidentally it’s the first time I’ve seen anything from his whole Comets Comets crew that makes good on their kill-yr-idols gotta-make-way-for-the-homo-superior internet trolling. As a look at the Portland-helmed turn-of-the-decade artcomix look, it’s swell; as a look at their comics, and where they might take everyone else’s, it’s only a start.

Comic of the Year of the Day: Young Lions

December 22, 2010

Every day throughout the month of December, Attentiondeficitdisorderly will spotlight one of the best comics of 2010. Today’s comic is Young Lions by Blaise Larmee, self-published with a Xeric Grant — the emergence of an aesthetic is a joy to behold.

…when I said Larmee is dragging the beauty of this art style forward, I meant that literally: As opposed to CF’s side-scrolling distance, we’re in constant close-up close quarters with this quartet. Their reclining bodies occupy entire panels, their upturned, closed-eye’d faces appear inches away from our own, the background details are all but nonexistent. It’s tough to stand in judgement of people you’re seeing primarily through the POV you’d get if you were about to make out with them, you know?

It’s that intimacy that makes Young Lions successful, that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, these are assholes. But who–especially among artists and arts-interested people of the sort who’d buy a Xeric-winning self-published graphic novel such as this one–hasn’t been an asshole? Who hasn’t been friends with assholes, worked with assholes, been impressed by the creative output of assholes, been disappointed with the creative output of assholes, fallen in and out of love with assholes?

Click here for a full review and purchasing information.