I just read an interesting article about a proposed solution to the problems of the comic market in Italy. For those who don’t know it, here everybody complains about comics not selling, people not reading and so on. There is little data about the market, no statistics or any kind of figures, but empirical data shows that things are not going very well.
I guess other countries have similar problems and there certainly is one thing these problems all have in common: the lack of readership. The article basically points out that there is a certain number of potential readers, people who probably would love to read a good comic if they had the chance to. Most won’t never read one because they don’t know that they could like it, so all it takes is a person to tell them. If everybody can get a couple of those people to read a comic, we’d quickly solve the problem.
For this episode of Giètzcovers I’ve tried to remember how it was when I was drawing Giètz. What was I thinking about? And what music was I actually listening to? No, I wasn’t listening to jazz most of the time. Usually I would listen to some 80s post punk stuff, like Joy Division or the Cure. If I wanted something jazzier I would play Bohren and the Club of Gore or the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.
So If I had to draw a version of Giètz that reflects what I was actually listening to in that time, it might look a bit more like this one: Nico the gravedigger who likes to play some good old Jazz while shooting some zombies… a mix between Dellamorte Dellamore and Young Man with a Horn.
When we still had that comic group called monipodio, we used to have a lot of those comic jams (or exquisite corpse comics). We produced quite an amount of collaborative comics that way.
In 2011 these “good old times” come back to my mind because of two projects I’ve been involved in. One I created myself with a friend (Andrea Beggio), it’s a musical project called 45seconds, the other one is an international underground comic book called Puck Comic Party.
Puck Comic Party
More than 170 artists from all over the world (including big names like Tony Millionaire and Bill Griffith), 3 panels each. It’s maybe the biggest comic jam published as a book. What I really liked was the mix of old school and new school comic artists, more about it on puckcomicparty.blogspot.com (mostly in Italian, which is weird for an international project like this… but hey, we’re in Italy).
This was a completely different project. Since it was all about music and the overall approach a lot more serious. On the other hand the structure was quite similar: each musician had 45 seconds and had to work with material from the preceding part.
When we first had the idea to create a collective musical project we really liked the simplicity of the surrealist cadavre exquis, but we knew that it had been done many times already. So we decided to expand the concept by introducing several variations to the original, making it evolve in new directions.
Instead of permitting free (and hence often random) collaboration, we decided to limit the possibilities of each participant, creating not only a more interesting challenge, but also a better foundation to explore the mechanics of collective creation. We assigned some simple rules to each musician to give more structure and consistency to the final piece. The assigned rules ranged from the use of variation on a predefined theme, to the use of certain compositional devices.
The musicians involved in the project all have different backgrounds ( such as circuit bending, electroacoustic or noise music) but are united by a common inclination towards experimental approaches to sound. This was definitely intended, as part of the experiment was to see how these different styles could combine and interact with each other through the project.
The track itself is nearly ready for release (through an Italian netlabel called sinewaves.it). Int he meantime check out this version where I mashed up the track by taking single loops and layering them into a new composition. It’s kind of distillate of the 10 minute track we produced, or, if you want, a horizontal version of the same.
It’s nice to see that an idea can survive the project that has produced it. I invented the Comic Battle many years ago together with the people from Monipodio! a comic artist group I was part of (and have been a founder of). The Comic Battle is basically like a breakdance battlemixed with slam poetry contest and done with comics and it’s totally fun!
My short comic Pixelfacehas just been awarded a Daily Deviation on deviantart.com. Yeah!
“*gasteropod takes pixelation to creepy new heights with his Pixelface comic comic. I particularly enjoy the clever transition of the later panels into pixels as the character transforms, and how everything is actually framed within the last panel.” (Suggested by `Iscariot-Priest and Featured by ^Cedarseed)