Exciting happenings in magic bloggy land. First off, Grading Robot (aka, me) finished final grades for the Dread Forge, better known as the Grinding Wheel, better known as School that keeps in my cheese fries, better known as the steady paycheck that keeps me flipping-burger busy. So that's done. Though I have more grading to do before this week is over, I am no longer in high speed robot mode. Thank Eclipse. All hail the Grand Poobah of the chaotic realms.
Can you tell that I have been up since 5 a.m., have had too much coffee, and too little sleep? Is is that obvious?
The other exciting news is today's blog post feature. NEW OPTIC NERVE!!!
What is Optic Nerve you ask?
I know some alleged comic book fans who work in comic book stores who do not know what is this thing I speak of when I speak the title Optic Nerve. A few months ago, I was lauding the beauty and grace and wonder that is Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve in Fanfare, my local comic shop, and not only had my dear friend the comic vendor never heard of it, but Fanfare did not stock any of the graphic novels (let alone ALL OF THEM as they should) because [a] they do not sell; and [b] I am the only one who has ever ordered them.
Here are two pictures of me with one of the graphic novels: Sleepwalk and Other Stories (1997) and my Optic Nerve T-shirt.
I was thrilled when I did my comic order last week and discovered, on page 303 of the June Previews, a solicitation from Drawn and Quarterly Publications for the next OPTIC NERVE comic book (#13, collect them all). D&Q smartly re-issued all the awesome Tomine books and available issues of the comic, though I do not need them as I own them all.
ALSO, Tomine announced the new Optic Nerve on his web site: Optic Nerve #13.
Is my excitement obvious enough?
If my blog does anything, I hope it inspires even just one person to READ OPTIC NERVE!!! If I inpsire two or more then posting all this work without Tomine's permission has been totally worth it.
Readers of the New Yorker may recognize Tomine's art from the many covers he has drawn (see an example in the final image of today;s entry). These covers and his other illustrations were recently collected: New York Drawings.
Here's an article about Tomine and his first New Yorker cover from The Thought Fox, a great blog about Books and Culture hosted by Faber & Faber publishers.
I love my Optic Nerve T-shirt.
If I were to list my favorite artists outside mainstream, superhero comics, Adrian Tomine tops the list.
How to describe the work of Adrian Tomine and Optic Nerve? I am not sure I can do the work its due justice. Or maybe Grading Robot's batteries are too low to properly power Tower the Blogging Robot.
However, I do like this content: the Optic Nerve "stories [often] follow various socially awkward guys and girls through relationships, beatings, voyeurism, and other assorted plot lines. What seems to connect Tomine's stories throughout is the way in which each story is unnerving, some more than others...Other than being quirky, all of his characters can be characterized as being "outsiders", [sic] people who by choice or no choice exist at the fringes of our society... Each story, in some way, leaves you lingering (in a good way), mulling over the plot line and outcome of the story. I suppose what makes Tomine so intriguing is that each story is accessible to the reader, even the more extreme ones like "Pink Frosting" are, in reality, perfectly plausible in our reality" (The Graphical Neophyte, 2009).
This blogger has not blogged since 2009, but she does a very good job of capturing what makes Tomine such an excellent artist and storyteller.
There's even an Optic Nerve Wiki.
I love my Optic Nerve T-shirt.
|my first Optic Nerve mini comic|
I discovered Tomine and Optic Nerve back in its earliest days when it was still sold as mini-comics back in the early 1990s (pre-1995). I found a picture of one of these minis online and a page from my favorite ever Tomine story, which I will include here with all love and respect for the artist.
|page from my favorite Tomine story|
Is that too subtle?
Optic Nerve comics and collected graphic novels make great gifts.
Adrian Tomine's work is touching and beautiful. It is emotionally moving. I like to think that Adrian Tomine and I would be friends if we knew each other. He writes the kinds of stories that I was writing in college and would still write today if I was not doing others types of things. He and I seem to care about the same things.
I would like to think that Adrian Tomine might stumble across my blog somehow. Probably not likely, but it would be neat. If you are Adrain Tomine, and you are reading this (and cursing me for posting your art work without permission), I want to thank you. You have enriched my life in profound ways. I have read your works many, many times. Your books and comics are among my most treasured possessions, not for the owning, but for the viewing and reading and the feelings they all convey. Thank you, Adrian, for making my life and the lives of others (the world) a richer place. (Yeah, I know. I'm a dork and corny, but I can't help it when I get on a roll.)
OTHER NIFTY LINKS AND RESOURCES
Adrian Tomine Wiki
Adrian Tomine Tumblr
Tumblr dedicated to Adrian Tomine
Tomine-What Goes Into Creating a Cover
Paris Review Interview with Tomine
BUY Tomine art
Tomine on Fame, obscurity, craft, and drawing for the New Yorker
The RUMPUS: Spotlight on Tomine
Time's Summer Blonde review
Mother Jones: The Real Adrian Tomine
The Ephemerist on Tomine
The Casual Optimist - an illustration from March 12 2013
Review of 32 Stories - original mini-comics by Tomine
- chris tower - 1306.27 - 11:09