Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Film Photography: Mat Brinkman Art at The Hole Gallery in Soho

Thought SIZE MATTERS readers might dig these pics from the recently ended Mat Brinkman show at The Hole gallery here in NYC. More pictures here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Film Photography: Yoshitomo Nara's White Ghost on Park Avenue in NYC

I know a lot of comics fans enjoy Nara's work, so here's a post of his awesome White Ghost statue on Park Avenue. There are actually two of these, one on 71st and one on 67th. Pretty cool.

Yoshitomo Nara's White Ghost at Shawn Hoke Photography

PS, hope everyone had fun at SPX.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Am loving this Poladroid software as I can't afford real Polaroid film.

Fernet Branca Cocktail

Fernet Branca Cocktail

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

Brooklyn Bridge

My love is a bridge



Chloe Dog


Friday, November 06, 2009

Well it seems I've missed blogging a bit, since I started a website of film photography, primarily of places and things here in NYC. I guess it's in my blood... Anyway, really been digging the cool comic shops here in New York.

Desert Island in Brooklyn just knocks my socks off and I love the front of it. This is a shot from Fantagraphics Flickr Page.

And of course Rocketship Comics, right down the street from my new favorite whiskey bar is always a fine store to visit.

Have to admit that I've been most impressed with Bergen Street Comics, which is just a 15 minute walk from Rocketship. I love these guys. Their store is not what you normally expect from a comic shop. Inside it's all gorgeous wood and aesthetically pleasing. When Kate and I walked in the first time, she was like, "Wow, this doesn't even feel like a comic shop." She's right. It feels more like a well stocked independent book store that just happens to specialize in comics. And EVERY time I've been there, someone gets up from behind the counter, walks over to me, and politely asks, "Do you need any help finding something?" That's it. Pretty damn simple. I tell them no thanks, and they disappear like a ghost. Back to browsing... That's really nice.

Over here in Manhattan, I haven't found as many new places. The new to me Forbidden Planet in Union Square is jam packed with good stuff and TONS of mini comics. That was a nice surprise. Plus it's really close to The Strand, which means I get loaded down with comic books and book books all on one subway trip.

So, who knows. Maybe I'll get back to cranking this rusty old thing up. It's certainly been nice to get email and questions from people still about mini-comics.

In the meantime, if you are intereseted in photos of the city, check me out over at Still Life.

Hope everyone is enjoying their fall.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Contest Winner!

Hey folks, thank you SO much for all the nice comments and emails. Your kind words really mean a lot to me. I've met a lot of great people through this blog and am lucky to have my life enriched by knowing many of you.

Twenty-six people emailed to enter the contest for the box of comics and Kate picked the winning number. And the winner is... Sarah Morean. Congrats, Sarah!

It's kind of cool, because Sarah review minis too over at The Daily Crosshatch. The box of mini-comics will be on it's way shortly.

So long!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hiatus and Contest
I'm sure this will come as no surprise as I haven't updated here since late June, but I'm going to take extended time away from posting reviews on SIZE MATTERS.

Between work, exploring the city, and spending quality time with Kate, my life is embarrassingly full right now. Last year was one of those years, and I've been seriously re-evaluating things and what's important to me. I'm working on my own comic and spending a lot of time reading books and writing.

I will keep SIZE MATTERS up as a resource. Maybe I'll revisit reviewing when winter hits and I'm not out running the streets. In the meantime, I'll probably post pages of my own stuff here when I feel like sharing.

For all of you who are waiting on reviews, I'm sorry if I haven't got to your work. Luckily, there's a bunch of other reviewers who are much more dedicated to showing your stuff to the world. I started SIZE MATTERS on July 20th, 2005 when I noticed there wasn't sufficient coverage of minis. I'm so happy that has changed.

For now, it's time to move on. I've got too many other things rattling around in my head to concentrate. I'll see most of you around. I'll keep abreast of what people are doing on Facebook and I'll still check out local shows and events.

I'd like to thank everyone who has read the blog over the years. Thank you, thank you. I'm really glad I was able to share some of these amazing mini-comics with you. And thank you to everyone who sent in minis for review. I've always been impressed with the creativity and energy that I've discovered in your work. You guys and gals are awesome.

Before I turn out the lights, here's a very quick look at some interesting stuff that I was hoping to review before I shut down. Please visit the links provided to find out more.

City Under Sand and Casual Sex by David Beyer Nine Gallons by Susie Cagle Big Un Visits the City by Brian Leonard Nurse Nurse 3 and 4 by Katie Skelley Candy or Medicine Volume Six by Josh Blair, et al Here's Blobby by Patrick Morgan Sunward by Jason Viola The Moth or the Flame by Joshua Ray Stephens This is a gorgeous hardcover book. Sam and Dan by Jeff Lok Exploding Head Man by Jason Overby Look at this beautiful envelope from Jason. I'm gonna miss that kind of shit. And one last thing - I have a huge box of mini-comics sitting in a sub 500 square foot apartment. I need to get rid of these beautiful little things. So, if you want a big box full of mini-comics (probably about 100 minis I would guess), drop me an email titled "I want that box of mini-comics!"

I'll have Kate pick a random number between 1 and the number of emails received between now and August 31st. The corresponding email response that matches the random number will win the comics and I'll ship them out to you.

I'll see you around.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Up a Blind Alley and Paunch by Scott Smith Scott Smith's Up A Blind Alley, subtitled "When did I get to be so boring," entertains with its deadpan humor and laconic pace. Scott's art is rather stiff, but it works well in this mini-comic. For instance, there's a panel to panel transition that has Scott talking to a girl at a boring party. It's one of those situations where he doesn't know anyone and feels awkward. In the first panel as the girl faces him, he starts to say something about teaching. Rather abruptly in the next panel, the girl's head is turned away from him. His thought bubble says, "Fair enough." The stiffness of Scott's art adds to the feeling that one might get at such an event.

The stories in the 36-page Up A Blind Alley meander into each other kind of like life unfolds. Before you know it, Scott slips off to a local pub and runs into this: I enjoyed Scott's work here. It's slice of life, autobiographical stuff that most of us can easily relate to. He records awkward moments that revolve around the unpredictability of our fellow travelers.

The pages of Blind Alley are cream colored and Scott uses some nice shading to give his art some depth. This one has a nice, deep black cover with a hand colored figure of the artist walking in a blind alley, scratching his head. It's a good juxtaposition with the content inside.

In Scott's fourth and latest issue of Paunch he steps out from the autobiographical and into more straightforward storytelling. Three of the four stories ("Cat in a Bag," "Forbes Thorpe in... Speed Date," and "Charlie Cymric: Part Four") are character pieces about a creepy old guy, a creepy younger guy, and a guy recently out of prison. In the fourth piece, Scott gets back to Scott's observations on things that bug him - some game show hosts, sunglasses worn inside, bed head, drinking tea just to be cool.

You can check out more of Scott's stuff at his blog. I'm sorry I don't see a price for these, but if you email Scott, I'm sure he can give ou the scoop. One last thing, I liked this little "Thank You" page:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yearbooks by Nicholas Breutzman, Shaun Feltz, and Raighne Hogan Flipping the mailing envelope of an ordinary SIZE MATTERS package revealed this: Inside Yearbooks, these very panels show up in a dream sequence, as main character Ryan dreams that a teacher, pushed by the emotions of the children's intense art, goes batshit insane on the kids in a classroom. Yearbooks is written by Nicholas Breutzman and Shaun Feltz, Nicholas handles the art, and Raighne Hogan adds the colors. It's a joint effort for sure, but it flows in a natural manner from start to finish. The story, from creepy dream sequence to almost apocalyptic ending, perfectly captures the creepiness and angst of high school, and Nicholas' art only adds to the effect. He does a fantastic job of capturing emotion in the character's faces, especially the creepy, blank stare of the bespectacled art teacher. When you look at this whole package, what really makes this project crackle with energy is the vibrancy of Raighne Hogan's colors. The red of Ryan's hair, the mostly green background, and the bright pink skin tones give the pages an extra pop. The subtly shifting panel layouts keep things lively as well.
The voyage that Ryan takes as he gets to know more about his art teacher resonates with that slightly off kilter vibe that marks our high school years. Everything seems a little more charged and mysterious. This is very captivating cartooning in a sleek and seductive package. It's only 40 pages for $13, but the over-sized (11"x8") landscape orientation packs in a lot of material.

Get your own copy at the 2D Cloud website.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jim8Ball's Carnival of Comics This could be the best deal in mini-comics: 25 black and white minis with color covers packed into a circus-inspired box for $20. Feast your eyes on this: I sat down and opened this box of minis from Jim Coon over the weekend, expecting to find a handful of good minis and a pile of stinkers. No such luck. I smirked and laughed my way through almost all of them, except for a three issue series called Super Soap that just didn't do it for me.

Jim's art is professional and deadly consistent. He's been making his own comics since the Reagan administration, so the consistency is understandable. But it's still nice to see that each of these minis are so solid. Most of them are quarter page format, with a few eighth of a page size ones thrown in. I started with the smaller format and a couple of them were my favorites - It Came From the Sea and Robot vs. Alien. Both of these 16-pagers are heavily indebted to the monster movies that Jim and I probably both grew up watching and both feature single panel per page layouts with captions telling the story.
I also really enjoyed the five-issue series Tail of the Tomcat Samurai. This felt a bit like Stan Sakai's awesome Usagi Yojimbo series, but Jim's tongue is a little firmer in cheek than Stan's. Each issue has a "to be continued" drop that makes you wonder what's about to happen next. Issue two has a particularly heinous surprise for Meowki San aka the TomCat Samurai. These eight-page minis are packed with shifting panel structures and an abnormal amount of action.

Lola and the Spaceman is probably the simplest of these minis, but it's also one of the best. A spaceman lands on Lola's planet and the two of them fall in love. Unfortunately spaceman's oxygen tank is limited. Poor Lola just wants to help her new love, but sometimes love hurts... This one is wordless, but Jim does a great job of showing the two character's emotions as the story unfolds.
Get more information at Jim's blog. He has multiple deals on this page, including a slightly risque mature audience pack. I would suggest the Robot and Monster Pack for $4 for starters. You can buy individual comics or any combination at his Etsy store.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lost Kisses and Worms by Brian John Mitchell These minuscule mini-comics are adorably sized. The cute factor ends there, however. Inside it’s sci-fi dread and hard-core issues of hate, guilt, and anger.

I love that each mini is barely larger than a postage stamp. And it’s also nice that they come in snug, clear plastic sleeves. Brian gets an A for packaging. Inside things don’t go so well. The two issues of Lost Kisses deal with a stick figure character’s feelings about an ex-girlfriend. Over two disturbing issues, the guy finds that he may or may not have indirectly led to his ex’s house being broken into, which leads to her being beaten into a coma.

Over 40-single panel pages, the main character talks to the reader in word balloons; underneath Brian types captions that usually telegraph the action above, but sometimes lead you in a different direction. It’s a bit disconcerting at times. For instance, at some point in issue 8 the ex goes from being in a coma to actually being dead. After rereading, I couldn’t figure out where it happened, where she went from coma to dead, but it did happen. I think. Brian’s art in Lost Kisses is stick figure drawings with minimal props and no background. It’s serviceable to the story, but unfortunately as flat and lifeless as the computer font in the captions.

Worms, with artwork by Kimberlee Traub, is physically similar to Lost Kisses. The panels are one per page and the mini-comic is tiny. The art is livelier, but still very basic. Her line is thicker and her drawings are more varied. Worms is the third part of a tense story where a girl wakes up in an ICU with an IV bag full of worms. The captions totally mimic the action drawn above, which gets tedious, but the story does grab you and move along quite nicely. You can check out more on Brian's minis at his SilberMedia website. Issues one through four are just $1 each, not sure about these two issues, but give Brian a shout on his website and he can give you the scoop.