Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Kupers are not the race of turtle-like creatures that co-exist with the toads that inhabit the Mushroom Kingdom, that would be the Koopas. But if there were a race of east coast hyper intelligent, political minded illustrators, then Peter Kuper would be King.

My Nostalgia September continues with one of my all time favorites, Peter Kuper! It was The System that I first found of his that fit in with my young, anarchistic minded restlessness that needed someone like Peter to put pictures to the thoughts in my head. If you're a fan of WW2 propaganda art then you'll love Kuper's dreamy, angular stoicism that resonates a hyper sense of reality though this isn't propaganda to keep you locked in this is art to set you free. The System was a mind blowing find in my twilight teenage years, the catalyst for a revolution I wanted desperately. This book contains all stencil art, a menagerie of the downtrodden and super rich fat cats, drug smugglers, the energy and class warfare of the big city all done without words. The kinetic flow of the System still holds up today against comics too wordy for their own good. I highly doubt you'll find Princess Peach in his clutches but Peter Kuper is still king in my book!

To find out more about Peter Kuper check out his website:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


No I'm not the worlds worst speller. LOCAS is the ongoing serial narrative which follows the tangled lives of Margarita Luisa "Maggie" Chascarrillo and Esperanza Leticia "Hopey" Glass, whose on-again, off-again, open romance takes center stage in a mostly Latino community during California's punk days.
Locas is Jaime Hernandez's main contribution to this week's indie spotlight- LOVE & ROCKETS. As part of My Nostalgia September, no one can deny the generation spanning influence of the Hernandez Brothers who picked up where Crumb, Pekar, Shelton and Griffith left off. I hadn't been hip enough to catch the first release of their self published debut in 1981, I was 6 years old for god's sake reading Sad Sack & Richie Rich. In 1982 Fantagraphics picked up Love & Rockets and unlike some publishing companies, they let Los Hernandez Bros. do what they do best. Taking real life settings and putting in fictional characters that grow up with us, that mix sci-fi, sex, aging, community, love, break ups and let us in fully so that what was started as fiction becomes seemingly real, Like milestones in our own post adolescence. I didn't grow up in Oxnard California during the early days of punk but when I found Love & Rockets during the 90's in Santa Cruz, California Its fantastical realism had the same effect on me that it did when it was first hitting the scene. I had already been deep into my new found love of Adrian Tomine & Daniel Clowes so it was only natural to get to the root of the matter and see who started this whole thing. Los Hernandez Bros. like Love & Rockets are timeless so whether its early 80's Oxnard, Mid 90's Santa Cruz or 21st century Portland, Maine catch on now before Maggie & Hopey break a hip and pass into the great void to become legendary mirrors to our own human-ness.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Daniel Clowes needs no real introduction does he? Well In case you're too busy still wondering who the Red Hulk is let me fill you in on one of the most prolific comic creators of my generation. As part of My Nostalgia September I couldn't leave Clowes out in the cold. From EIGHTBALL, (the first dozen or so issues containing a number of short comedic stories featuring absurd characters such as Shamrock Squid and Grip Glutz and introduced us to Art School Confidential and Ghost World) to WILSON to ICE HAVEN. Clowes is regularly compared to David Lynch, mixing macabre surrealism with intelligent satire mixed with a modernist style.
LIKE A VELVET GLOVE CAST IN IRON, which was a storyline in EIGHTBALL, became an obsession of mine so much that my band ELKBLOOD has used it regularly for inspiration in both lyrics and the imagery. To know Clowes characters is maybe to know a little about the man himself.
You might find some familiar pessimism of Pekar in characters like WILSON
but with Clowes you get a unhealthy dose of dark humor that might make you uncomfortable to the point where you'll either love it or hate it. Call me sick but I get it and praise Clowes for giving me something to identify with, I find it cathartic, comforting even. I relate reading a Clowes comic to falling asleep in a thunderstorm while listening to Metallica's Master of Puppets without a sleeping bag buried in the dirt, right? If you're a fan of ADRIAN TOMINE CRAIG THOMPSON, TOM NEELY or even JOHNNY RYAN then you owe it to yourself and your neighbors to check out Daniel Clowes in case you haven't. If you dont, DAVID BORING might be knocking on your door soon dont say we didn't warn you!

check out this great article with Daniel found at L'autre bande dessinée

and here's a preview of WILSON in case you haven't checked this out yet

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Art school...(yea yea yea so I'm getting nostalgic today so what!) You remember, standing in a circle smoking hand rolled cigarettes, acting out scenes from My Own Private Idaho as if Gus van Sant might be around the corner rolling film. It was the 90's, manic panic, grunge making way to British invasion part 2 and the return of how cool vinyl is. It was during this adolescent maelstrom of intellectualism and pretending I understood Sartre that I found myself moving away from just comic book mutants and space aliens into a whole new world of visual storytelling in comics. As I was discovering Hal Hartley and hanging out on the Santa Cruz cliffs I feverishly read everything I could find on Adrian Tomine, mainly all the OPTIC NERVE'S my young sad bastard heart could stand!

It was in 32 Stories:
The Complete OPTIC NERVE mini comics that I drowned myself in. Tomine's work showed me a whole new world of self reflection using comics as part journal, part surreal commentary with humor and a literalness that defied what I thought comics could be. It was a time of great exploration and breaking barriers and what may seem commonplace now was a brave new world to me. I wasn't hip to Clowes and the Hernandez Brothers, It was Tomine that broke my indie comic cherry and I'm forever grateful. It only fueled my desire to know something you didn't but alas those days are over and I want you to know ADRIAN TOMINE the way that I know Tomine. Check out his website at: http://www.adrian-tomine.com

Friday, September 3, 2010


Just wanted to repost a link to Tom Neely's blog to announce a new book he's involved with. In case you dont know who Tom Neely is visit his website for more info. I WILL DESTROY YOU He's an amazing artist out of Los Angeles and one of our favorites here at Coast City Comics, check it out: