I finally went to a…NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium

I’m on the email list for the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium, a weekly series of slide-show lectures given by rather big-deal artists in the comics community. Its organized by Ben Katchor, a great comics artist himself who I remember   from his imaginative and sketchily-styled back page comic in Metropolitan magazine, which I subscribed to for awhile around 2006.

The evening of Sept 23rd featured the artists Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle, both from canada and Simon Hanselmann from australia in that order! I was particularly interested in Simon because I read a random interview with him the week before and he seemed very hilarious and what I saw of his art in that article (and my subsequent googling) made me laugh and got to me ~ a wacky world that made me feel strange feelings. Innocent and sometimes creepy, gross characters living out weird/boring episodes, like a warped sitcom where people do drugs a lot and are filthy but also with gags and zingers! the art is all painted, which is kind of rare for a comic – no real thick black lines – which makes the colors take on a bigger role. The colors are all so odd and good, a dungeony fun palette.

Simon himself is really a funny dude in person as well as it turns out and is kind of a showman. His talk was definitely the most entertaining out of the three and featured several different types of info/images besides just slides of his work including a tour of his hometown showing what a shithole tasmania is, images of jocks fist fighting as an example of “local culture”, a photo of his mom and him when he was little where he explained that his mom was in rehab for meth and he hoped she was doing alright while he was off touring the world (he seemed very bummed out about that understandably).  He also broke down why Megg, Mogg & Owl are so popular, pointing out that its “entirely unoriginal” and therefore appealing with elements like big bird legs (owl), penis noses (megg), berenstein bear faces (werewolf jones is a blurry berenstein bear) and “classical design” like silhouettes – all very hilarious. Also some photos of him dressed up like a lady in different outfits and his Wedding to Comics, where he, dressed like a girl, shared a kiss that  was at least 30 seconds long (according to the agreement with the other dude, a cartoonist) and I guess married comics at that point. These dudes were all so cool. I really loved seeing them and their work. Life sucks a lot of the time but thank god for cute dudes (and girls) and art.

here are the dudes




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