Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two From PictureBox

I just received two nifty publications from the wonderful publisher PictureBox, C.F.'s (Chris Forgues) City-Hunter Magazine #1, and a new Jimbo mini-comic from Gary Panter. Both of these I believe debuted at the first annual Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival earlier this year, but you can still order them directly from PictureBox, which is how I got my hands on them.

The Jimbo comic is eight pages long, with the first page of the story serving as the cover and the last page of the story as the back cover. The first two pages (the front and inside cover), and the last two pages (the back and inside cover)are a bright green, while the inside pages are bright orange. Each copy of this limited edition comic comes signed by Panter and stamped with a date and number. It's an intimate little package that Panter fans will want to have. The story concerns Panter's long running Jimbo character squatting inside a billboard, below which another character is harassed by a couple of robots who seem to be in some position of authority. Given that the story is so short (albeit densely packed with drawings and symbols), I don't want to give away the entire plot by describing exactly what happens. Suffice to say there is a lot of great Pantery stuff to look at here (Monsters, Robots, a terrific Frank King-esque full page look at Jimbo's digs inside the billboard divided into twelve panels). It's a story about Jimbo trying to find some peace in a loud and busy world populated by bullies and monsters.

C.F.'s City-Hunter Magazine #1 is something completely different, and difficult to describe. PictureBox's site describes it as a 'zine, which I suppose is a more accurate description than "comic," as it contains drawings and text pieces as well as a comics feature, "Main Dice," wherein on oddly dressed little dude explores a nameless city in a series of landscape panels. The whole package had for me the feel of an artist's sketchbook, with all of the drawings, comics, and text circling around the vague idea of community in one way or another, with a great deal of energy and humor. I didn't really know what was supposed to be going on a lot of the time, or where C.F. was coming from, but I'd love to read another issue. C.F. is one of the most original and entertaining cartoonists working right now, and there's a great deal of pleasure to be had in a magazine in which such an artist draws exactly what he wants to draw, exactly as he wants to draw it.


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