Starlings in the News

Those noisy harbingers of doom in last weeks NYTimes Magazine, and here Stephen Frug writes about our feeble attempts at comixifying a startled murmuration.

Photo by Richard Barnes


Everything Must Pass/Go

We'll be shutting down the Cat Shop soon. More details to come and checks in the mail. Looking for new ways to squander our time in a good way. New younger cartoonists closer to the toner are needed to setup, agonize, box up, ship, and a half. Others: Buenaventura, New Bodega, Global Hobo, P---sheet, etc.

To clarify: we'll still be taking orders for a while, but will not be taking new submissions.

I do a lot of subdividing

"What interests us here is Lorenzo's approach to narrative. Although his chief subject is a Pietà—and not the representation we are used to—he has included in his work the suggestions of earlier events in the Gospels: the slicing of Malchus' ear, the payment of Judas, and so on, as well as presenting the objects of Christ's torture, such as the three nails and the pair of flails or cat-o'-sixtails. The various stories are reduced to symbols and laid out on a plane, like in a Wunderkammer. Fleeting occurrences are thus transformed into timeless types existing in space, easily recalled and devotional—an ars memoria in paint. And there is a real dryness about these objects; compare, for instance, Magritte's Sleeper. These hands are not beautiful; nor are they individuated, as Christ's hands are and must be. They are utilitarian, like punctuation, or like this pointer from a London street-sign.

... This is a metaphysical approach to painting. It wants to speak, but it is not interested in the dictates of physical form, nor in problems of representation."
- Conrad H. Roth

"...Whereas cartooning is making a story happen with symbols … cartoon drawings are -just by nature of how they’re used as symbols - in a lot of ways not really drawings because the information that they have is so rudimentary, or conceptual."


GROTH: Do you run into situations, for example, where you only have so much space left in the last panel, and it’s the wrong amount of space?

WARE: I do a lot of subdividing.

-Chris Ware, interviewed by Gary Groth
The Comics Journal
# 200, December 1997

(picked up here)