The news gauntlet

Two bits of Caitlín Kiernan excitement:

  • The growing gallery of Kyle Cassidy’s photographic work based on Kiernan’s next novel, The Drowning Girl, forthcoming in March. The documentary clarity of Cassidy’s photos is unsettling in combination with the uncanniness of many of the scenes, particularly when angular, predatory Eva (as portrayed by model Sara Murphy) is involved. Other shots are intimate, introspective, rich and dusky in lighting. Prints from the collection are available for purchase, and one in particular is on sale.
  • An appetite-whetting interview over at Bloody Disgusting on Alabaster: Wolves, the forthcoming Dark Horse comic featuring Kiernan’s lonely, teenaged monster hunter Dancy Flammarion. Dancy first appeared in Threshold, and later in short stories collected in Alabaster (review).

Through all her earlier misadventures, Dancy has always been guided by an angel, this seraph, unless the seraph is only an expression of insanity, or some unconscious aspect of her that, inexplicably, leads her to these creatures. In the first issue, she breaks with her guardian angel, so to speak, and is on her own for the first time. She is reborn. Her will and her wiles become her only guiding force. I don’t want to drop too many spoilers, but Alabaster: Wolves is largely about Dancy finding her own way, and it’s a much darker road than she’s ever walked. Maybe this is a book about Dancy going sane. As to other themes, I’m really trying to address the grey areas between what we call good and evil. Dancy has always struggled with the idea that maybe she’s just another sort of monsters, and possibly some of the beings aren’t necessarily evil. You’ll see a lot of that.”

The strength (/blindness) of the earlier Dancy’s convictions made her both admirable and something of a psychological cypher, since she ultimately responded to any uncertainty or self-doubt by destroying external threats, and thereby, supposedly, restoring some measure of metaphysical order. I very much look forward to the new direction that the older and “rebooted” Dancy will take.

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The Sindiecate is an artist collective (six members so far) who post tributes to independent comics, featuring a different series each week. I’ve enjoyed browsing their archives both to see art of familiar favorites (Mouse Guard, Umbrella Academy, Oglaf [link is to my favorite piece of the bunch, which is, predictably if you know Oglaf, very much NSFW]…), and to glean recommendations for future comic reads.

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Check out The Open Road for a critical symposium spotlighting Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream (review). I haven’t had a chance to read all of the essays yet, but so far I’ve particularly appreciated M. G. Stephens’ reflections on the development of Selby’s voice – one of his most remarkable assets, alongside his urgently expressed compassion for suffering – and the creative milieu he occupied in bohemian New York.

– E

Go to:
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1, by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba (2008), review by Emera
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152, by David Petersen, review by Emera
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152, by David Petersen, review by Emera
Legends of the Mouse Guard, by David Petersen and others, review by Emera

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