Posts Tagged ‘comics’

Julia Gfrörer: A Void Does Not Exist

February 13, 2018

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The 207th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  Feb. 13, 2018 at 7pm at Parsons School of Design, Kellen Auditorium (Room N101), Sheila C. Johnson Design Center. 66 Fifth Avenue (off the lobby). Free and open to the public.

Julia Gfrorer on “A Void Does Not Exist.”

Gfrorer discusses the effect of leaving negative space in a work and how useful a tool it can be for controlling the emotional tenor of a story. People have an instinctive dread of emptiness (“horror vacui,” “nequaquam vacuum,” “nature abhors a vacuum”) which means as creators we tend to avoid it, but for a reader it can also be soothing, hypnotic, sensuous, and magnetic. A void isn’t necessarily a “nothingness”: something happens because of it. She will give examples from her own work as well as work that’s influenced her.

Julia Gfrörer is a writer and cartoonist. She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, and now lives on Long Island. She has published several handmade comics under her own imprint, as well as two longer graphic novels, Laid Waste and Black Is the Color, with Fantagraphics, a leading independent comics publisher. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, including Cicada Magazine, Arthur Magazine, Kramers Ergot 9, and two volumes of Best American Comics. She recently translated and illustrated excerpts from a medieval French heraldic text for 2dCloud’s MIRROR MIRROR II anthology, which she co-edited with her partner, writer Sean T. Collins.

This starts in like 20 minutes! If you hustle you can make it, NYC!

The Beat’s Best Comics of 2017

January 14, 2018

“In a year that many have found bleak and depressing, Mirror Mirror II managed to channel this energy into one of the most riveting visual experiences of the year….the best horror comics anthology available.” —Phillippe Leblanc

“This book should win all the design awards for 2017. It’s as magnificent as the contents are (purposely) horrific.” —Heidi MacDonald

I’m honored to that Mirror Mirror II made the Beat’s Best Comics of 2017 list twice over, once courtesy of Phillippe Leblan and again via Heidi MacDonald. Perpetually grateful and glad so see this book reaching people. Buy it here.

Rob M’s Favorite Anthologies of 2017

January 7, 2018

Mirror, Mirror II, edited by Sean T Collins and Julia Gfrorer, published by 2D Cloud
I’m not going to lie, this one really messed with me. If I were listing comics that challenged me the most in 2017 (which Alex Hoffman has done in the past), this would have been number one with a bullet. I wasn’t sure what to think when I first finished it. Did I like it? Is it the kind of anthology that can be liked? Collins and Gfrörer push to the very edge without going over it, with stories that show the strong link between eroticism and horror. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever read.

Rob McGonigal named Mirror Mirror II one of his favorite anthologies of the year at Panel Patter. Can’t beat a lede like that.

The 10 Best Comics of 2017

December 22, 2017

MIRROR MIRROR II edited by Sean T. Collins & Julia Gfrörer

Darkness is as intimate as a caress and as distant as history in this chilling anthology of horror comics….This collection doesn’t just feel haunting; it feels corrosive.

Mirror Mirror II, the comics and art anthology I co-edited with my partner Julia Gfrörer ( @doopliss ), was named one of the 10 Best Comics of the Year by The Verge. As always, I’m so pleased to learn how this book has reached people.

Mirror Mirror II – Horror and Erotica Converge in the Julia Gfrörer and Sean T. Collins-Led Anthology for 2dcloud

December 8, 2017

Mirror Mirror II is a sexy, creepy book which is daring in the topics it addresses, its creators eliding conservative platitudes or easy explanations for parts of human behaviour which psychologists have spent decades struggling to get to the bottom of (can you imagine if Freud had had access to PornHub’s stats when doing his formative work?). It does not shy away from how complex and difficult its subject matter is. It’s also a sumptuously designed, beautifully illustrated compendium of some of the most talented alternative comic creators working today. Just don’t read it on the bus.

Another wonderful review of our book Mirror Mirror II, this one from Tom Baker at Broken Frontier. I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to see this book hit exactly the way we always wanted it to.

Sean & Julia’s Cyber Monday Sale

November 27, 2017

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All of the books by my brilliant partner Julia Gfrörer are 25% off at her Etsy store, today only. This is a filthily obscene deal for incredible work. For the record, this sale includes three collaborations with me: the anthology MIRROR MIRROR II and the pornographic Edgar Allan Poe adaptations (!) IN PACE REQUIESCAT and THE HIDEOUS DROPPING OFF OF THE VEIL. If you enjoy my writing you may like them as well!

Also, everything in Julia’s Threadless store (t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, and more) is 20-30% off today only, with free shipping on orders of $45 or more if you use code “CHEER83687d”. Again, this is an insanely good deal!

Wet Nightmares: a conversation with the editors of erotic horror comics anthology ‘Mirror Mirror II’

October 16, 2017

What are your thoughts around criticisms of erotic horror as a genre that sensationalizes and glorifies violence, or abstracts violence as an idea rather than damage done to real people?

J: In my life I’ve experienced and witnessed enough violence that I don’t consider my feelings about violence to be an abstraction. My experiences are my experiences. My responsibility to write something honest takes priority.

I think we we can be overzealous in condemning creators for making work about trauma – Sean and I are both abuse survivors, but we’re sometimes criticized for insensitivity towards sexual violence and doing harm to survivors in that way. And no doubt many of those critics are survivors too. It’s tiresome to have to produce a resume of trauma to prove you’re allowed to discuss it, and when you do you get it from the other side – from people who think you’re too close to the subject to handle it well. What I’m getting at is that there’s no correct way to deal with violence in art, and what harms one reader can be healing to another. I’d rather give artists the benefit of the doubt.

S: Julia pretty much says it all here. I’ll just add that it goes back to what I said earlier about different approaches within horror – similarly, there are different ways to address and convey the pain and suffering experienced by real people. Certainly my work as a writer and now as an editor is an attempt to do so, with my own pain just for starters. The great power of fantastic fiction of all kinds, perhaps horror most of all, is that it can give voice to everyday feelings, emotions, and experiences the magnitude of which is beyond the ability of everyday language to express.

My partner and co-editor Julia Gfrörer and I spoke to Minh Nguyen about our comics anthology Mirror Mirror II for AQNB. I’m ashamed of myself for not thinking of “Wet Nightmares” sooner.

STC @ NYCC

October 5, 2017

unnamed-2 unnamed-1 unnamedBecause I’m a moron I forgot to promote the ToyFare Magazine 20th Anniversary panel I hosted at the New York Comic Con today on my blogs. Ah well, dozens of people showed up to hear about a magazine that hasn’t been published in years. I got to see old friends and meet guys like Matt Senreich and Tom Root from Robot Chicken who worked there before I did. Rad. (How had I never heard the story about the suicide prank before?)

‘The Punisher’: Everything You Need to Know About Marvel’s Vigilante Antihero

October 4, 2017

Punisher comics have gotten pretty weird over the years
We know what you’re thinking: Gun-toting combat veteran goes kill-crazy against criminals after they murder his family – this concept is pure meat-and-potatoes street-level stuff, right? But we’re talking about superhero comics, folks. After a few decades of near-continuous publication, pretty much every character gets pushed out of his or her comfort zone, and our the Punisher is no exception.

Among his strangest adventures? The Punisher: Purgatory (1998-99), in which the then-dead vigilante was revived to serve as an angelic demon-slayer. The similarly supernatural FrankenCastle arrived a decade later; this knowingly screwball storyline saw the antihero, who had been killed once again, brought back as a Frankenstein-like monster, fighting alongside horror-tinged characters like Morbius the Living Vampire and Man-Thing. (In a word: No.) In 2012, the character got a sci-fi makeover in Space: Punisher – which featured, yes, the Punisher in space, punishing aliens and whatnot.

Years before his character-defining run on the character, Garth Ennis wrote the one-shot Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. The 1995 special chronicles a short, bloody alternate timeline in which Castle’s family gets killed in the crossfire of an X-Men/Avengers battle, leading him to slaughter every single superhero and supervillain in the company’s catalog. He eventually turns the gun on himself. But for sheer WTF-itude, nothing beats 1994’s Archie Meets the Punisher, a crossover between Marvel’s bloodiest antihero and Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest of the Riverdale gang. Sure, it’s just a footnote in Punisherology, but crazy stunts like this are exactly what brought Archie back to pop-culture prominence over two decades later. A crossover between the Netflix Punisher show and Riverdale doesn’t sound completely out of the question now, does it?

In anticipation of the upcoming Netflix/Jon Bernthal series, I wrote a guide to the Punisher’s many multimedia incarnations for Rolling Stone. One thing this reminded me is that the showrunner is Steve Lightfoot, who was the Ed Burns to Bryan Fuller’s David Simon on Hannibal. That bodes well.

MIRROR MIRROR II BOOK RELEASE PARTY @ DESERT ISLAND BROOKLYN

September 24, 2017

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MIRROR MIRROR II
signing and book release party

Thursday, September 28th
7-9pm
Desert Island
540 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY

featuring
Lala Albert
Sean T. Collins
Al Columbia
Gretchen Alice Felker-Martin
Julia Gfrörer
Aidan Koch
Laura Lannes

Also debuting the latest new works from these authors:
-Wet Earth by Lala Albert | Sonatina
-By Monday I’ll Be Floating in the Hudson with the Other Garbage by Laura Lannes | 2dcloud
-No End Will Be Found by Gretchen Alice Felker-Martin | Thuban Press

poster by Laura Lannes

Kirby100

August 28, 2017

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Happy 100th Birthday to Jack Kirby, now and forever the King of Comics.

The Quietus on Mirror Mirror II

August 20, 2017

“The book is an eclectic mix, beautiful and unsettling, with a strong erotic element….Mirror Mirror II is an immensely strong book, full of varied, challenging work that will not disappoint fans of the featured genres. If you come across a copy, I highly recommend picking it up.”

Pete Redrup, The Quietus

Our book Mirror Mirror II has gotten another wonderful review, for which we are very grateful. You can buy the book from our publisher 2dcloud or Amazon.

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!

Mirror Mirror II

July 21, 2017

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Our anthology Mirror Mirror II, edited by Julia Gfrörer and myself, is now officially for sale from our publisher, 2dcloud, and from our own webstore. Click here to order and see an extensive preview, or click here to buy it from Julia directly.

Contributors include Lala Albert, Clive Barker, Heather Benjamin, Apolo Cacho, Sean Christensen, Nicole Claveloux, Sean T. Collins, Al Columbia, Dame Darcy, Gretchen Alice Felker-Martin, Noel Freibert, Renee French, Meaghan Garvey, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Hanselmann, Aidan Koch, Laura Lannes, Céline Loup, Uno Moralez, Mou, Jonny Negron, Claude Paradin, Chloe Piene, Josh Simmons, Carol Swain, and Trungles.

Our contributors come from Australia, Brazil, England, France, Mexico, Russia, Wales, and the United States. The youngest is 24. The oldest is 77. The majority are women. They are trans and cis, straight and queer. They make comics, zines, fine art, music, film, literature, and journalism. For our book they made work basted around horror, pornography, the gothic, and the abject. They made dark, vulnerable work that reflects the dark, vulnerable world, in hopes that confronting it moves us toward empathy.

Here’s what people are saying about it:

One of the 10 Best Comics of 2017 – The Verge

One of the Best Comics of 2017 – The A.V. Club

One of the Best Comics of 2017 – The Beat

Starred Review – Publishers Weekly

Honorable Mention – The 2017 Publishers Weekly Graphic Novel Critics Poll

“This anthology earns that most potent of horror descriptors: it is truly, deeply unsettling.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This collection doesn’t just feel haunting; it feels corrosive.” —Juliet Kahn, The Verge, “The 10 Best Comics of 2017”

Mirror Mirror II is troubling and challenging, but it is also rewarding and stunning—a thrilling experience that readers won’t soon forget.” —Shea Hennum, The A.V. Club, “The A.V. Club’s Favorite Comics of 2017 So Far”

“In a year that many have found bleak and depressing, Mirror Mirror II managed to channel this energy into one of the most riveting visual experiences of the year….the best horror comics anthology available.” —Phillippe Leblanc, “The Beat’s Best Comics of 2017”

“This book should win all the design awards for 2017. It’s as magnificent as the contents are (purposely) horrific.” —Heidi MacDonald, “The Beat’s Best Comics of 2017”

“It awakens the long-underused [horror] genre and pushes your fear buttons in ways you could never have anticipated. It’s hard to pick the most memorably mind-devouring portion.” —Abraham Riesman, Vulture, “8 Comics You Need to Read This June”

“A sexy, creepy book which is daring in the topics it addresses…It does not shy away from how complex and difficult its subject matter is. It’s also a sumptuously designed, beautifully illustrated compendium of some of the most talented alternative comic creators working today.” —Tom Baker, Broken Frontier

“The book is an eclectic mix, beautiful and unsettling, with a strong erotic element….Mirror Mirror II is an immensely strong book, full of varied, challenging work that will not disappoint fans of the featured genres. If you come across a copy, I highly recommend picking it up.” —Pete Redrup, The Quietus

“Reading this is like dreaming — though whether you’re immersed in a nightmare or a wet dream is unclear….This book is like a porn stash you’d find in the cupboard of a medieval demon.” —Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic

Mirror Mirror II is at once a frivolous memento mori and an outright challenge to your own personal space.” —Austin Lanari, Comics Bulletin

“At a time when real, human-rights-violating terrors abound, and the collective stomach is weak…Gfrörer and Collins see the genre as a processing mechanism to sort out repressed anxieties, echoing critics such as Robin Wood who has argued that the ‘horror genre is a struggle for recognition of all that our civilization represses or oppresses.'”—Minh Nguyen, AQNB

“I’m not going to lie, this one really messed with me. If I were listing comics that challenged me the most in 2017…this would have been number one with a bullet….Collins and Gfrörer push to the very edge without going over it, with stories that show the strong link between eroticism and horror. It’s really unlike anything I’ve ever read.” —Rob McGonigal, Panel Patter

“High quality smut.” —Will Menaker, Chapo Trap House

“Kind of feeling [it]” —Kevin Huizenga (Ganges), “Notable Comics Read in 2017”

“Early contender for best graphic novel of 2017.” —Philippe LeBlanc, The Beat

“This is a book that provokes, that pushes and pulls, that strips down to the bone and re-clothes in different flesh any notions you might have about horror, pornography, and abjection. It’s wonderful….I haven’t had a book challenge me this much in a long time.” —Sarah Miller, Sequentialist

“A thought-provoking, richly entertaining collection from some of the most exciting comic artists working today. A must read for fans of the horrific and perverse.” —Bryan Cogman, Game of Thrones

“An impressive collection of beautiful depictions of grotesque things and grotesque depictions of beautiful things.” —Alan Resnick, Unedited Footage of a Bear / This House Has People in It

“Editors Sean T. Collins and Julia Gfrörer have assembled an exquisitely creepy and seductive new collection of comics with Mirror Mirror II. From Uno Moralez’s pixelated noirs to Dame Darcy’s ornate Gothic ghost stories, the wide range of horror here is fantastic, as characters creep and fuck in the shadows of unimaginable darkness throughout. It’s certainly the perfect, freaky anthology for you, your lover, and all the demons in your mind.” —Hazel Cills, MTV News / Jezebel

Mirror Mirror II invites the most innovative creators working in the form today and proves just how expansive the pornographic and gothic can be, encapsulating the pop cultural, fantastical, and realistic in one fell swoop.” —Rachel Davies, Rookie / The Comics Journal

I am so proud of this book and hope you enjoy it. 

The A.V. Club’s favorite comics of 2017 so far

June 30, 2017

Mirror Mirror II (2dcloud), anthology

As with any anthology, Mirror Mirror II features some entries that will leave more of an impression than others, but the totality of the work presented is both haunting and astounding. Collecting comics, prose, and illustrative work from such luminaries as Clive Barker and Al Columbia, as well as work by younger authors like Céline Loup and Trungles, editors Sean T. Collins and Julia Gfrörer have curated quite the book. The theme unifying all of these pieces is the convergence of the erotic and the macabre—some works being more explicit than others—but that may be the only commonality between them. Each one offers a striking aesthetic vision. And though some will resonate more deeply than others—which works stand out will most certainly depend on the reader—they accumulate to form an impressive volume. An enormity of spectacle is brought to bear on exploring the commingling of the pleasurable with the painful, the fantastic with the nightmarish, and the result is a series of truly shocking and often deeply moving images. Mirror Mirror II is troubling and challenging, but it is also rewarding and stunning—a thrilling experience that readers won’t soon forget. [Shea Hennum]

I’m proud to say that the AV Club selected Mirror Mirror II as one of its favorite comics of the year so far.  The reviews for this book have been just wonderful.

MIRROR MIRROR II @ Amazon

June 24, 2017

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Mirror Mirror II is now available for purchase at Amazon. It’s already shipped, and people have already received their copies. You can order it from Amazon, or pre-order it from our publisher 2dcloud — copies will ship soon.

I’m so glad this book is in the world for you.

8 Comics You Need to Read This June

June 14, 2017

Mirror Mirror II by various (2dcloud)

There was a time when you could rely on comic books for bone-deep terror — the early-1950s was the heyday of horror tales produced by publishers like EC Comics. Alas, that heyday was cut short by a moral panic and a subsequent regime of censorship, and horror comics never quite recovered as a phenomenon. Thank goodness, then, for Mirror Mirror II, a new collection of short horror pieces edited by Sean T. Collins (who is a contributor to Vulture) and Julia Gfrörer. It awakens the long-underused genre and pushes your fear buttons in ways you could never have anticipated. It’s hard to pick the most memorably mind-devouring portion: Is it cartoonist Mou’s tale of a guy who one day finds himself painfully ejaculating letters that spell out a set of cryptic sentences? Or filmmaker Clive Barker’s painted vignettes of savaged and distorted human figures? Or Al Columbia’s unnerving single-panel depictions of old-timey cartoon characters engaging in unspeakable acts? Open wide and decide for yourself.

Abraham Riesman included our book MIRROR MIRROR II in his list of the month’s must-read comics for Vulture. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to get it one way or the other — retail or online — either at the very end of the month or the very beginning of July. I can’t wait till you all can see it.