light reading

January 9, 2021

For a change of pace, have a look at Comic Book Resources, where Theo Kogod recommends “5 DC Comics To Read If You Love Poetry (& 5 Indie Comics Just As Good).”

More poetry comics here.

comics, seriously

October 4, 2020

Neil Cohn thinks seriously about comics. With a Ph.D. in Psychology from Tufts University and post-doc work at U.C. San Diego, he is currently an Associate Professor at Tilburg University, in the Netherlands. His work explores the “similarities between the underlying structure of language and the structure found in the ‘visual language’ used in comics.”

Not surprisingly, those similarities extend to visual poetry.

If you’re interested in visual language, have a look at Cohn’s Visual Language Lab and his latest book, Who Understands Comics?: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension (Bloomsbury 2020).

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image by Neil Cohn

not ha ha funny

September 6, 2020

Now and then we post about the intersection between poetry and comics. One of the people working at that crossroads is Alexander Rothman. Here’s his essay, “What Is Comics Poetry?” Rothman’s website, Versequential, has a lot of examples of his work with a minimum of explanation.

If you’re particularly interested in the poetry/comics paradigm, you may enjoy “Joe Brainard’s Grid, or, the Matter of Comics” by Daniel Worden.

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image: words by Charles Olson, drawing by Alexander Rothman

Trinidad Escobar is a storyteller, poet, visual artist, and full-time cartoonist from Milpitas, California. She combines her comics/illustrations with poetry, memoir, essays, fiction, and more. See lots of examples on her website and unlock more on Patreon.

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image: Self-Portrait

Line Readings

February 9, 2020

If you’re interested in the intersection of poetry and comics, you may want to have a look at the Line Readings column by Ivan Brunetti in The Paris Review. The column “begins with a close read of a single comics unit — a panel, a page, or a spread — and expands outward to encompass the history of comics, and the world as a whole.”

While you’re browsing at The Paris Review, be sure to visit the Poetry Rx archives to see the perfect poems to heal readers’ emotional challenges as prescribed by resident poets Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz.

comic relief

February 21, 2018

In case you’re in need of some comic relief, Tom Gauld may be able to help. His comics, which often refer to literature or the writing life, may be familiar from The New Yorker, The Guardian, or New Scientist, but you can also find them on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Laugh a little. It’s good for you.

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image

Valentine

February 14, 2018

Grant Snider draws comics about writing, literature, inspiration, art, books and other elements of the human condition.

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Cycles of Love by Grant Snider

translated without words

June 19, 2017

Asymptote is a literary journal of works in translation. For your Monday, when words may still be elbowing their way out of the morass of the weekend, consider these non-verbal literary works of Iranian cartoonist and graphic artist Kambiz Derambakhsh (click View Slideshow).

Kambiz Derambakhsh is also on Facebook and on Instagram @kambizderambakhsh.

what’s so funny?

April 18, 2017

In the ever-expanding universe of poetry publications, comics poetry is gaining traction. Ink Brick Press, which will issue the 8th edition of its journal, Ink Brick, in the fall, is a micro-press dedicated to comics poetry. The Ink Brick Kickstarter campaign that ended March 1 successfully raised $12,412 with 272 backers, certainly an expression of widening interest. The journal’s comics are as varied as poetry itself. Some use words, some don’t. Few equate comics with “funnies.”

In his Indiana Review article, What is Comics Poetry?, Ink Brick publisher and co–editor-in-chief Alexander Rothman (who is also a cartoonist and poet) offers his perspective on the medium. (You may also enjoy Rothman’s personal site, Versequential.)

Comics poetry is showing up in other places. With issue 24, Drunken Boat has added a comics section. In Cordite Poetry Review, poet and artist Tamryn Bennett provides an analysis of comics poetry — both how it works and how it differs from concrete poetry, visual poetry and illustrated poetry. The The Poetry has a Poetry Comics section with occasional posts and commentary. In The Comics Grid, journal of comics scholarship, you can find Derik Robertson’s article, “Justification of Poetry Comics: A Multimodal Theory of an Improbable Genre.”

Where do you draw the line?

P.S. If you’re a professional Northwest cartoonist, check out C.L.A.W., the Cartoonists League of Absurb Washingtonians. They meet for a monthly “Open Swim” at King’s Books in Tacoma.
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artwork by Alyssa Berg

poet, amuse thyself

September 11, 2013

Apps for Poets - Ali Shapiro
Get thee to Ploughshares and check out Ali Shapiro’s comic illustrations of apps for poets.

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