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

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