This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : comics

On My Radar: Kara Passey and finding radical comics through Tumblr

Writing about my comic-reading and “professional” reviewing history last week inspired me to find some new comic delights to share this week. Here’s one for today:

Kara Passey

Kara Passey is a multimedia artist who makes feminist work with abject themes, often with a humorous twist, drawn from her own biographical experiences. She has attended the University of Manitoba for a BFA with Honours, consistently makes and shows work, curates and organizes events.

I love that she included this description:

Why yes someone did make me mad today. Don’t fetishize my body type. Don’t dictate how I should feel about myself and how I should present myself to society in order to be deemed fuckable.

I found Kara’s comics by browsing items tagged on Tumblr with “feminism,” “radical,” and “gender.” All of Kara’s comic panels that I’ve seen usually address a social issue that I don’t frequently see in the “indie” section of comic shops. I’m pointing this out because I’m just as guilty as the next person of sometimes complaining that something in popular culture doesn’t represent me. Usually I make this complaint after seeing something I don’t like or not being able to easily find someone I want.

My point is that if you can’t find what you want in popular culture/mainstream media, you should try harder to find it or make it yourself. I was looking for indie comics that touched on gender and feminist themes and BAM! I found Kara on Tumblr.

Kara is in the middle of putting together a zine of her art (I can’t wait to get a copy!). You can view more of her work by checking out the “comics” tag on her Tumblr.

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On My Radar: Comic Love and ‘No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics’ coming June 2012

I’ve been waiting for No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics since I first heard about it last summer. I just found out today that it’s not being released this month as previously announced and is coming in June. I can’t wait!

Here’s a blurb from the publisher:

Until recently, queer cartooning existed in a parallel universe to the rest of comics, appearing only in gay newspapers and gay bookstores and not in comic book stores, mainstream bookstores or newspapers. The insular nature of the world of queer cartooning, however, created a fascinating artistic scene. LGBT comics have been an uncensored, internal conversation within the queer community, and thus provide a unique window into the hopes, fears, and fantasies of queer people for the last four decades.

No Straight Lines showcases major names such as Alison Bechdel (whose book Fun Home was named Time Magazine’s 2006 Book of the Year), Howard Cruse (whose groundbreaking Stuck Rubber Baby is now back in print), and Ralf Koenig (one of Europe’s most popular cartoonists), as well as high-profile, cross-over creators who have dabbled in LGBT cartooning, like legendary NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and media darling and advice columnist Dan Savage.

No Straight Lines also spotlights many talented creators who never made it out of the queer comics ghetto, but produced amazing work that deserves wider attention.

- some of my graphic novels

It’s no secret that I love graphic novels — especially those that are informed by historical events and introduce me to new ideas. But in the beginning my inspiration was the “funnies” section of the newspaper. My father got me into collecting comic paperbacks when I was around five years old.

I would spend many a weekend at thrift stores going through their discount bins and uncovering treasures I first discovered in The Sacramento Bee like Hurray for B.C., I Love You, Broom-Hilda and other classics. I learned what social commentary was through comics, from collections like Do They Ever Grow Up? and of course MAD Magazine (I collected the paperbacks).

Inspired by my love for the TV series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” in the 90’s I started reading and purchasing comics and graphic novels again. After the show ended I admit I forgot about collecting comics and didn’t pick it up again until I started working for MTV News in 2006. It was perfect timing. There, I had the opportunity to suggest a name for the new comics blog and it was selected: Splash Page. I contributed interviews and reviews when I had the time, such as a great Q&A with The Alcoholic‘s Jonathan Ames.

After I left MTV News in 2009, I took my interest in reviewing comics and graphic novels (as well as technology-driven innovation) over to MTV Tr3s, where I created the “Comics” category on Blogamole and interviewed High Soft Lisp author Gilbert Hernandez, of Love and Rockets fame. I encouraged Tr3s’ contributing bloggers to continue pitching comics coverage after I left.

I still purchase comics and graphic novels but haven’t reviewed them on The Lair or for any of my employers in quite some time. When you work in media, it isn’t always easy to align your passion with your work commitments. I don’t have time to get as deep into comics and graphic novels as I used to, but this year I promised myself that I will review any new comic purchases I make and I will definitely be blogging about No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics when it’s finally on my shelf!

I’m thankful for the opportunities I had through MTV News’ Splash Page and at MTV Tr3s to celebrate comic culture and the people who continue to innovate in that space. I’m not an expert whatsoever — just a fan who was at the right places at the right times to contribute to the culture. If you’re looking for experts, follow my colleague Rick Marshall. He’s an excellent person to research and contact if you’re interested in learning more about a career that involves comics coverage and all sorts of geeky pop-culture opportunities.

For those of you looking to pick up and learn more about independently-published comics (and you’re within traveling distance of NYC), check out this year’s MoCCA Festival on April 28 and 29.

DISCLOSURE: My headline was inspired by this beautiful song.

Jaime Hernandez on “Love & Rockets”

Visit page on mun2
– from Mun2

This is a fab way to listen to an audio interview. I love the mix of comic art and personal photos.

…Yeah, I know. “What happened at Lollapalooza?”
Don’t worry, I will post a full report in the next few days. But first I need to relax, get a handle on some projects and hang out with friends. You can check out some of the photos I’ve uploaded to my Flickr, but I’m not done yet.

Until next time, ta ta for now.