[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
David Lasky's LiveJournal:
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|Monday, April 27th, 2015|
|Exciting Comics News
A new site for comics has just launched, and I’m excited to be a contributor. Zco.mX is a comics sharing website “for self-publishing cartoonists and their readers.” This page
gives you more info about how it works.
I will be posting my mini-comics on the site, including ones that you may have never seen before. Because I’m not paying for photocopies (and not hanging out in copy shops, which I must confess have lost their thrill for me), I’ll be able to color the comics, often for the first time. For starters, I’ve posted Manifesto Items #3
, a collection of some of my one-page comics which first came out on paper in 2013.
At the end of each issue, a request will be posted to donate a dollar, or purchase something at my online store. You don’t have to do this, but it would help me continue to make my comics if you chipped in a little something. I have it set up so the payments go to a paypal account set up for “micro-payments”, which means more of your dollar will actually reach my pocket (minus fees) than would happen with a regular paypal account.
Please check back
in a few weeks to see more of my comics, and look for updates on the ZcomX twitter page
Oh, and you may want to check out these other artists whose work I really like: Jordan Crane
, Rachel Masilamani
, Joel Orff
, John Hankiewicz
, Damien Jay
... There are a whole lot more to find when you explore the site...
|Thursday, April 16th, 2015|
|Recommended Graphic Novels
People often ask me for graphic novel recommendations. This is my basic list, but of course there is so much more out there. This is a good place to start, for grown-up readers who want to see what comics (er, graphic novels) is all about...Recommended Graphic Novels by David LaskyThere are lots of great graphic novels out there. Here are just a few of my favorites...MemoirMaus by Art SpiegelmanBlankets by Craig ThompsonFun Home by Alison BechdelPersepolis by Marjane SatrapiYou'll Never Know by Carol TylerOne Hundred Demons by Lynda BarryKing-Cat Classix by John PorcellinoHumorWimbeldon Green by SethDisillusioned Illusions by Greg StumpPassport by Saul StienbergSurrealism / FantasyWeathercraft by Jim WoodringArtichoke Tales by Megan KelsoThe Bone series by Jeff SmithSwamp Thing by Alan Moore and various artistsReportageSafe Area Gorazde by Joe SaccoA.D. New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh NeufeldUnderstanding Kafka by Robert CrumbSuperheroicsWatchmen by Alan Moore and Dave GibbonsClassic Comic StripsThe Comic Strip Century by Bill Blackbeard and Dale CrainWalt and Skeezix by Frank King (reprinting Gasoline Alley)Krazy and Ignatz by George Herriman (reprinting Krazy Kat)The Complete Peanuts by Charles SchulzBooks on how to make comics:Understanding Comics by Scott McCloudMaking Comics by Scott McCloudDrawing Words and Writing Pictures by Matt Madden and Jessica AbelWhat It Is by Lynda Barry
_____________________________________________________________________________________________ P.S. Frank Young and I made a pretty good graphic novel as well: Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song, which I heartily recommend (but of course, I'm biased).
|Wednesday, December 31st, 2014|
|Friday, December 12th, 2014|
|Saturday, November 1st, 2014|
|Wednesday, October 29th, 2014|
|Thursday, October 23rd, 2014|
|Tuesday, October 14th, 2014|
|30/30: Another Favorite Song
I am writing for 30 minutes per day this month, for 30 days (the 30/30 challenge) to help raise funds for Richard Hugo House, a center for writing in Seattle. Anyone who'd like to help me reach my $500 goal is welcome to donate to Hugo House via this page...
Today (10/13) I wrote about the #10 song on my all time favorite songs list...
performed by David Bowie
I suppose you could call this the ‘title track’ from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” a David Bowie concept album that is so well constructed, so full of youthful excitement and youthful fatalism that it grabs hold of its listeners and stays with them far beyond youth. This song is a standout on an album of standout songs. Its lyrics tell the story of Ziggy, a fictional rockstar guitar god described by the third person narrator as being “well hung with snow white tan.” Is Ziggy really Jimi Hendrix or The Silver Surfer? The answer is - he’s both (and neither). This is the rock music equivalent of a brightly colored1960’s Stan Lee and Jack Kirby comic book, where aliens emote, and humans gain unexpected powers. Ziggy could easily have been one of Kirby’s Inhumans (a secret, ancient race of superheroes who try unsuccessfully to blend in with us ordinary people). Envious musicians want to “crush his sweet hands,” and in a pop-Shakespearean power struggle, we learn that his band was broken up when “the kids” killed him. It presents a cautionary tale about talent and ego and fame. It’s a rock song about overblown rock stars that lives up to its own hype.
|Sunday, October 12th, 2014|
|My Favorite Song
"Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine"
performed by Kate and Anna McGarrigle
In the late 1990’s, I was working part-time for Fantagraphics Books, and enjoyed listening to the large library of CD’s that my boss, Kim Thompson, had made available in the office. His love of Neil Young and David Bowie matched my tastes and gave me a lot of previously unheard albums to discover. But one day I came across some albums by two sisters I’d never heard of. I popped one into the art department’s stereo and immediately fell in love with it. Who were these women, and why had I never heard of them before? (I later learned that the albums came from Kim's wife Lynn, so I have her to thank as well.) Though the entire album was great, one song, “Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine,” rose above the rest, and has stayed with me ever since.
Recorded for Kate and Anna McGarrigles’ self-titled debut album in 1975, this track stands out among the sisters’ repertoire because it is one of only about a dozen songs sung in French by these English-speaking Canadian sisters. My appreciation for it is enhanced by the fact that I don’t speak French, and therefore can invent my own meanings for the words I hear. Also aiding my interpretation of the song is the fact that I am not religious, and am not really sure who Saint Catherine was. And so I listen more deeply to the intonations and beautiful harmonies of the McGarrigles. What I hear is young women who are feeling the conflict between earthly desires (most likely romantic and sexual) and spiritual purity. And perhaps this is their complaint for Saint Catherine: that their bodies were made to desire things by the same creator who, they are told in church, wants them to put those desires on hold.
Reading a translation of the lyrics, which are by poet and songwriter Philippe Tartartcheff, I must confess my surprise at how meaningless they seem. Ste. Catherine, it seems is the name of the Montreal Metro station the singer is walking past (though I did read that she is also the patron saint of single women). The repeated refrain explains that the singer has been in politics for twenty years by fighting mosquitoes. The lyrics overall seem to be about living a modest life and having fun.Which is fine, but I prefer to hold onto my own personal interpretations.
The instrumentation is a blend of folk and clunky pop, and though it is lovely, it is not something I would listen to as an instrumental. What makes this song amazing are the lead vocals by Anna McGarrigle, whose voice sounds almost like two people singing in unison, and the harmonies with sister Kate and perhaps a few other singers. The harmonies blend in an awkward but distinctly beautiful way, reminding us that some of the better recorded singing has been done by family groups. These harmonies are sexy in the way that a teenage make-out session is sexy: the listener feels strong passion combined with clunkiness, and a sense of restraint that is slowly being loosened.
I looked up “complainte”, and it doesn’t mean complaint, it means lament. Is the singer feeling sorrow for Saint Catherine because she vowed to remain a virgin all her life? Is the lament for Ste Catherine Street, a major thoroughfare in Montreal, because it is too cold for window shopping on this winter’s day (as mentioned in the lyrics)? I don’t know, and I don’t know how mosquitoes relate to politics either. It may require an understanding of Quebecois slang. Or not. I’m happy to continue to misunderstand the lyrics anew with each playing of this song.
Another great album in Kim’s library was a collection of hits by Kirsty MacColl, which included a cover version of “Complainte.” MacColl died tragically in 2000. Kate McGarrigle died of a rare cancer in 2010. Kim Thompson, sadly, died of lung cancer (though he was not a smoker) in 2013. Maybe there is some profundity in the lyrics after all, which advise us (if I’m understanding them) not to be concerned with the trappings of wealth, but to enjoy ourselves while we’re here on this earth.
This entry was written as part of the 30/30 challenge, to raise funds for Richard Hugo House... Help me reach my goal by donating here.
|Friday, October 3rd, 2014|
|Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014|
|Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014|
|Tuesday, June 10th, 2014|
|Comics classes in Seattle this summer...
I will be teaching two upcoming comics classes in Seattle...
On June 21 and 22, a weekend intensive at Gage Academy: http://lnkd.in/bSdtnM8
And on six Saturdays in July (and some of August) I'll be co-teaching "Your Personal Story in Comics Form" with Greg Stump at the Richard Hugo House: http://lnkd.in/bzUf6aJ
(Greg Stump talks about it here: http://hugohouse.org/classy-talk-greg-stump-summer-2014/ )
This is the class description:
A personal story increases in its visceral power when told in comics form. Two experienced graphic novelists will guide you through the process of creating several short comics, leading up to a finished autobiographical story. We’ll look at examples from masters of comics and cartoons while exploring different aspects of the medium through a variety of exercises and assignments. For this class, drawing ability is not as important as the desire to communicate your ideas clearly. Current Mood: excited
|Thursday, April 17th, 2014|
|Tuesday, December 31st, 2013|
|2013 / 2014
2013 has been an amazing year for me, sometimes lucky, sometimes unlucky, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. So much happened, it's kind of hard to believe it was all in the same year.
I taught many art and comics classes and workshops, delivered some bread for the Tall Grass Bakery when they needed me, drew illustrations for various clients, lettered a graphic novel for Fantagraphics... One of my favorite artists ever, Robert Crumb, made a surprise appearance at the "Carter Family" book signing in Sacramento in April (see below), and I signed the book at events in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and San Francisco as well. Amazingly, I was a cultural ambassador (of comics) to both Serbia and Russia this year (photos from Russia will be posted soon). I attended Comic Con in San Diego and was surprised and very honored when "Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song" tied for the Eisner Award. (The book also won a Toonie Award at Cartoonists Northwest's annual banquet.) I made four new mini-comics (Manifesto Items 2 and 3, Spock Music, and Eyebeams). And sadly, I said goodbye to two co-worker friends, the awesome Kim Thompson at Fantagraphics, and the talented Renee French at Tall Grass Bakery, both of whom lost their battles with cancer. There were lots of other things that happened, but you get the idea: it was an eventful year.
It was so good to see old friends and make new ones, hear live music, make art, see art... Thanks to everyone who came to see me at book events, met me for coffee (or tea), joined me for a walk, emailed or sent a postcard!
I wish you all peace and happiness in the new year, 2014. LLAP (Live long and prosper)!
|Thursday, November 14th, 2013|
| Graphic Novel Northwest! Opening reception Saturday, 11/16
The opening reception for this exhibition of graphic novel art is on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 pm.
I curated the show (and made the poster) at the invitation of my alma mater, Shoreline CC, and chose Seattle artists who have made (or are working on) long-form comics (the literal meaning of "graphic novel"). Original artwork is on display by:
David Lee Ingersoll
Tom Van Deusen
Max Badger Woodring
The exhibition will be on display through November and December in the Administration Building (1000), near the school's main gate. Some of the work will be for sale.Shoreline Community College
is located at 16101 Greenwood Ave, North, in Shoreline, WA. By bus, the #5 from downtown ends its route at the college.
|Wednesday, October 16th, 2013|
|Comics in St Petersburg!
was recently fortunate enough to be invited to Boomfest
in St Petersburg, Russia. The festival's organizer, Dmitry Yakovlev, also publishes graphic novels
and anthologies in Russian. It's a country with a tradition of fine arts and graphic design, but not much of a history for comics, so he and a few others are pioneering the artform there. It was exciting to see the emerging scene.
I gave slide talks and workshops, and met a lot of talented young people who are interested in comics. Most of them were young women! Manga is as influential in Russia as it is elsewhere in the world, and I predict there will be a wave of great graphic novels by Russian women in the next 5 to 10 years.
One very talented young artist I met works under the name Ner-Tamin, but is also known as Julia Nikitina. She has some impressive color art on her livejournal page:http://ner-tamin.livejournal.com/
and has completed her first graphic novel, the tite of which translates as "Wandering Magician".http://spbcomics.ru/shop/comic-books/puteshestviya-charodeya/
Julia comes from the town of Salekhard, in the far north of Russia, on the Arctic Circle. One thing I really like about her graphic novel is that, even though it's a fantasy tale, it draws on folklore and dress from her region and people. At first glance, I thought she was drawing Native Americans -- there is a remarkable similarity in some of the clothing and houses. Julia's art is lovely and the story (though I can't read Russian) looks simultaneously epic and very personal. In conversation, she credited "Elfquest" (one of America's earliest independent comics) as an early influence on her comics.
Another impressive young comics artist is Maria Bogatova, who, as far as I know, has not published her work yet, but posts it online:http://mnvart.tumblr.com/
(These comics are wordless, which is a plus for readers who don't speak Russian!)
I gave a mini-comics workshop at St Petersburg's small but mighty Comics Library
, and Maria (in about an hour) made this nice little autobiographical mini-comic...http://www.flickr.com/photos/dead_pigeon/sets/72157636260452573/with/10123083956/
These are just a few of the things happening in comics in St Petersburg right now. I will try to write a few posts about Boomfest itself and my experiences in Russia (with photos). But first, I am still recovering from Petersburg-to-Seattle jet-lag...UPDATE
: A lovely watercolored comic (in English) by Ania Khazina, who was my interpreter for the workshop at the Comics Library: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anoaz/sets/72157636633035635/with/10317573634/
|Wednesday, September 18th, 2013|
|Thank you, Heeb!
A lot has happened in the summer of 2013... A LOT! And I have neglected to blog about it here. I will make amends soon, but in the mean time, I'm proud to announce that "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song," by Frank M. Young and myself, has been named one of "HEEB" Magazine's Best Comics of 5773!http://heebmagazine.com/best-5773-comics/47391
L'chaim! And happy new year, everyone!
|Sunday, June 16th, 2013|