Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Public Life of Bees by Jessica Campbell

“Bee people—let’s face it, they are crazy about bees!” Now, I admit to liking bee imagery, which is what drew me to the zine in the first place. But I don’t think I qualify as a “bee person.” I am, however, an Oily Comics person and The Public Life of Bees is a black and white, quarter-size zine from their sweet dollar menu.

The text reads like into a lawnmower went several dry scientific tomes on bees, a couple of early-internet apian fan sites and maybe a yellowing copy of Weekly World News and what shot out was pieced back together by a madwoman.

It’s a quick read made charming by the drawings of Campbell, a painter. I especially like the beekeepers’ (bee people?) masked exchanges: ‘Jerry, are you a zombie?” ‘Naw, bro, I swear I’m not!”

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

you send me comics

Any idea what book this image is from?
First of all, the blog over at the The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is an amazing resource for comics lovers, especially if your tastes skew vintage. My favorite feature is "Found in the Collection" because it indulges the fantasy that working in an archives is an exciting adventure of discovery--the same fantasy that led me to get my MLIS, but perhaps that is another story for another time.

I missed Found in the Collection: E. Simms Campbell Letters when it was first posted, so it is old in internet time. The E. Simms Campbell Letters are, of course, timeless, as all good letters are. The writer, Elmer Simms Campbell, was not only the creator of the Esquire magazine mascot, but a working, African American, NYC cartoonist from the 1930s to his death. The letters speak to the cartoonist lifestyle, one of all-nighters, deadlines, loneliness, but also some pretty epic partying, life in 1950s Switzerland and the habits of some prominent jazz musicians. Reading them in full would be pretty much the best thing. Researchers, take notice!


Loved the interview with Ellen Forney over at inkstuds. They cover working in memoir, coming out as mentally ill, deadlines, drugs and doctors. I want to read Marbles, which I didn't want before I listened.

I simply like listening to Forney. Her verve for life is infectious and that is something I desperately need to catch. Her previous interview with Robin made me feel the same way.


From LWA
A postcard interview is one of the best things I've heard about in a long while. I am doing a postal-related interview for work and if deadlines were not an issue, this would be an amazing treatment. If only, if only.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The best moment of the weekend came at the very end: Almost-nine-years-old A on the yellow couch, reading Melissa Mendes' yellow Freddy Stories and laughing while the oldsters around her tried to caught our breath. I was going to take her picture, but there is something to be said for not having to model one's enjoyment.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

"florists on the edge"

Nothing here is the thing I want.

I've been reading some back issues of Cactus and Succulent Journal that I picked up for a friend and never gave her. Succulent enthusiasts have a lot of drive. I've not been reading the comics and books I stocked up on to get through this long winter. I got to use some of my newfound cactus knowledge in an article I am writing for my day job, so there's that.

I am working on a series of collages for a zine about my friend Sally. Will it be done in time for _______? Will it ever be done? This is what I think about when I think about grieving or projects. It will certainly include a page of flowers. She loved flowers and I love flowers and flowers, flowers, flowers. I thought of this treatment while considering why I was so drawn to the Cactus and Succulent Journal, so there's that.

I've been listening to a ton of genre story podcasts. They get me through days working at home or puttering nights. Maybe not on the page, but I like ghost manifestations, fairy machinations, hodgepodge time and place, and such right in my ear. When I do venture out of my lair I read HAV by Jan Morris, which fits into my desire for wispy realities, so there's that.