Kramer’s Ergot 4, published by Avodah Books, CA, USA
!!only one copy available !!
Featuring work by: ron rege renee french mat brinkman marc bell anders nilsen john hankewiticz lauren weinstein david lasky tobias schalken stefan gruber ben jones allison cole genevieve castree souther salazar sammy harkham jim drain leif goldberg jeffery brown
In the currently travelling exhibit, Comic Release, we had the world of Gallery Art make its bid to incorporate/co-opt the world of comics art. With Kramers Ergot #4, we have the reverse, and when one compares it to the Comic Release, it is clear that KE4 is a far more successful venture. Whether this is due to the innate structural qualities of the respective mediums, or whether it is just a specific instance of superiority it is far too soon to know, but we can take pleasure in the success of KE4 regardless of the eventual outcome of this comparison. The book is oversize (9” x 11”), massive (over 300 pages printed on heavy flat stock) and color throughout (with each artist given free reign to employ the capacity for color in their own way). The material runs the gamut from a comics mini-bio of the Carter family by David Lasky that strongly evokes the early years of newspaper comics, especially Gasoline Alley, to the full-blown freaky stylings of Joe Grillo, some of which are hardly recognizable as comics -- but their inclusion here forces an imagining of how they are, and that’s good. The real revelation in the book is the work of Souther Salazar: With his work in this volume he proves himself to be an honest-to-God artist. This is work to savor, work that renews itself with each viewing, work that confronts and challenges and enriches those who reach out to it. This is a book that is best consumed a bit at a time; dipped into a little bit here, and a little bit there, until, finally, it’s finished. Then, favorites can be savored, doubts and confusions can be confronted, and fresh perspectives can be discovered. It will get plenty of use, as everyone who comes into contact with it will be curious to check it out, and all but the most dogmatic will be able to find something that they can connect with.