Friday, October 31, 2008
G: Hi Noemie. How are you?
N: Very good thanks. I have a small cold but nothing serious.
G: I’d like to ask you some questions about Vague à larmes. From my opinion it is a beautiful book. Where did you draw it ? Did you do it in a café ? In you room ? With friends ?
N: I began the sketches and the first drawings at my job (I worked at the time in a survey institute), I was drawing whilst interviewing people on the phone. Then I drew all the other pages alone in the woods, during nice sunny days of the summer time. Actually I got the collages ready at home listening to the radio and then I moved to settle down in the woods.
G: What did you feel when you drew it? Was it this sort of lonely anguishe and the vulnerability which is present at the beginning of the book?
N: Actually I was entangled with very complicated sentimental stories which inspired me most of the book. But originally the monstrous character came from a dream. All the story "vague à larme" relates to a period of my life when I felt alone confronting existential and practical questions about love, couple relationship, and what they generated inside my body. I was confused by alcohol induced euphoria and by the exaltation of affective or sexual love stories. All that created inside of me obsessions and true drifting which I needed to flush out by means of drawing.
G: In page 5 a mysterious boy, who is into bondage, appears. He looks very cute actually. The walking girl is scared when she realises that he has spied on her. Then the boy is transformed into a grotesque but reassuring monster. I’d like to know more about this… Could it be anguishing idealisation of the unknown which is transformed after a while into reassuring but disgusting trivial fact?
N: I am going to describe this character: he doesn’t physically exist. He is the fruit of the girl’s imagination. Some kind of undisclosable phantasm which is embodied in this grotesque, mysterious and scary figure. She doesn’t know him but she has known from the beginning that he has followed her. As something which she has voluntarily repressed which is quickly coming back and which you have to cope with. Somehow it is similar to waking up from a nightmare without knowing the end of it. He keeps his mask because she doesn’t admit who he is. This character (it is kind of a revelation) will give birth to anguishes and introspections which are at the core of all the rest of the book.
G: Where does symbolism appear in the work? For example could the last drawing be an overview on different possible lives for the girl we saw at the beginning ?
N: All the images are full of symbolism. Each one reveals a fragment of my intimate life. It is more or less clear to the reader and limpid for me. Sexes represent men and women , and in a way I am the young girl. The masked character is more complex. At the beginning he is hidden, he isn’t much scary but he is intriguing, he is the repressed element which gallops in the direction of consciousness and self. He becomes then a bit more monstrous when he half unveils and his sight will bring the girl into the mazes of her thoughts and she will by that means live an introspection by revisiting her innermost soul, her fantasy, her fears, her anguishes, in short everything which disturbs her and makes her doubt about the elements of her daily life. The next to last image represents her total immersion inside of herself with the possibility to start again from the beginning. The last character who is covered with eyes is the masked man whom we saw at the beginning. He comes back as a chorus but, anyway, she has moved on because she has unmasked him, she understood him. The eye could symbolise clear or guilty conscience (inside the grave the eye was watching Cain) on the contrary the masked man at the beginning belonged to repressed feelings and unconsciousness.
G: There are pictures related to everyday life and depressed feelings in Vague à larmes. Are those drawings expressing some kind of revolt?
N: Possibly… But it is an innermost revolt. I didn’t denounce anything. I just tried to express deep feelings which I encountered at a time when I felt very lonely, very lonely in "my woman’s role". A woman who drinks is not respected, a woman who flirts is a whore, and a woman who does not want children isn’t normal, she is called a nullipara. This scientific term contains the word null ! I had to encounter criticism as often from men than from women and systematically. This book came from my incapacity to defend myself by speaking and as a consequence it could be a type of revolt.
G: Do you think intimimacy and social commitments are compatible in a work ?
N: Hem… I think the previous answer could work for this one as well. But it’s true it is difficult to be understood because when you talk about yourself, you are nourished by your own universe which could be obscure for many people. And political commitments means something only if they can be shared, or could make somebody want to share them.
G: Any plans for the future ?
N: I drew a 40 pages comic which is very dear to me and I’d like to publish it by hook or by crook.
G: Thank you ! Bye.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Released on HALLOWEEN! I finally got a card series together. 27 cards featuring all sorts of Monsters, Weirdos & Creeps on one side & then comix, profiles of heroic people (like Will Elder, Ed Roth & Dr. Demento) & assorted other weirdness on the other side. 1.50 a pack ppd. 7 cards per pack. Best collector card deal in the country. The actual wax pack packaging is full of rantings & ravings for full ephemeral overload!
Get yourself some. You can paypal me 1.50 per pack to gogoblinko at gmail dot com.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This is the hanger tag for the second Mr. Sean's Halloween Showbag. The images are opposite each other in the actual version, but for the online example i flipped the top one over. The showbag consists of candy, cards, toys, mini-comics & whatever else i have lying around. I do it for the kids.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thought I'd post one of my favorite short films: Outer Space by Peter Tscherkassky. I first saw the film on the excellent anthology Experiments in Terror, and I suggest finding a copy of that DVD if at all possible -- not only because Tscherkassky's work suffers quite a bit as seen compressed here for the web, but also because the rest of the shorts on the disc are pretty amazing as well. Incidentally, Outer Space is taken entirely from the film The Entity, itself a remarkable movie with an amazing performance by Barbara Hershey.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Also, I do think my sensibilities have changed a bit over the last year or so. To be honest with you guys, I could never see another monster drawing again in my life and I'd be fine. That's not to say I don't recognize the talent behind a really good one.
I'll still drop in, of course, but I'll no longer be involved in posting or any kind of moderation.
Flickr seems to me to be the best way to share artwork with people. If you haven't done so already, Add me on Flickr
So yeah, this is really about me trying to get serious about getting things done. This whole thing might be more of a symbolic gesture ( after all, I could simply only post once per month), but I still think it's the best thing to do.
I'm sure I'll be in touch with a lot of you.
It's been fun.
The Well From Hell
There's an old well that hasn't been used for ages. The stones used to build it have a strange carved pattern, worn away from the centuries but still visible. Under the right light you can almost make out hundreds of screaming faces in the stone. A large rusted iron plate covers the opening. At the center is what looks like a keyhole. One warm summer day two boys were wading through a small stream. The well was partly hidden behind large bushes but the curious children found it. They beat on the iron covering, tried to pry it off with large sticks that snapped in half at the effort. One noticed the large keyhole and stuck a variety of twigs in with no effect. They banged on the iron, hearing the faint echo of the bangs thundering down into the abyss below. Bored, they sat on the covering for a few minutes when a terrible howling came echoing up, causing the iron covering to vibrate from the noise. The boys, terrified of the sound, ran back to their homes. They stayed away from the well from then on.
A few weeks later one of the boys found a very strange thing in his backyard while digging in the dirt. It was a large ancient key with sculpted creatures decorating it. The head of the key resembled a monster with fangs protruding out. He ran to his friends house and showed him, both knowing what it was for. Although scared of the well from the sound they'd heard before, they couldn't resist their desire to find out what was inside. While walking down the shallow stream they talked about what they hoped to find, one boy thought of lost treasure, the other hoped for a passage to another world. It was getting late and they knew they'd catch Hell from their parents if they didn't show up for dinner. But neither cared, the endless possibilities of what was hidden inside that old well was too much to wait until the next day.
The sun was setting as they approached it. One boy with the key in hand ran towards the well while the other stood near, suddenly feeling a desire to turn and go home. The boy had to poke his finger into the keyhole to clear out the dirt and dust that had built up inside the opening. He leaned over the edge and pushed the key in, the sculpted monster head with fangs sliding into the hole. The boy turned the key with great effort, hearing a loud crack as it twisted around. They feared the key had broken but both shouted with excitement as the old rusty iron covering clanked open. The boys leaned into the dark opening trying to see inside. They were disappointed that glittering pirate gold or space aliens didn't appear inside. But a tiny light could be seen far below. They watched as it grew brighter and closer to the surface, the well began trembling and growing warm. The boys fell back from the opening of the abyss as it became hot to the touch. A ray of bright yellowish red light came pouring out like a search light into the darkening sky. Not knowing what to expect the boys crawled backwards from the well, anxious to see what would come out.
Then the sound of screams erupted from deep below, howls, squeels, laughter, strange shouts and groans, noises the boys suddenly became very afraid of. Then there was a deep grinding sound, like a giant bird was scraping its beak against the inside of the well from deep below screeching up with the bright fire colored light. Before the boys could turn to run, a vast array of horribly mutilated bodies flew into the sky alongside all manner of horrifying monsters. There were winged goblin creatures playing trumpets of terrible noise, horse shaped abominations with dragon tails ridden by armor plated devils. A giant flying thing resembling an owl with dozens of spider like eyes on its head flapped its wings skyward. A constant stream of endless varieties of nightmare life forms flew up into the sky. The boys hid behind the bushes, too scared to run away. Looking up, the boys saw the sky crowding with the dark shapes of all the things from inside the well, all of them flying higher and higher, their terrible noises like the crackling of thunder. So many came pouring out it started to resemble a storm cloud above, a plague of locusts rising.
There was an intense wind blowing as the stream of monsters from hell continued flying up. The children couldn't speak, they couldn't move or blink, frozen in terror and fascination. Then both were yanked into the air. It felt like an amusement park ride as they were pulled quickly into the sky. Far below they could make out the sparkling lights of the small cities below. They were both tangled in the sticky limbs of an octopus like thing with the head of a deformed pig and big black eyes dripping a black oozing blood. The last thing they thought before being torn to pieces was how fun it was to fly.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Two weeks ago an old two story brick building on the edge of town opened for business. It's a makeshift sort of Halloween prop store, the kind that close once the Halloween season is over. It's a fitting place to sell creepy props and costumes out of considering how spooky the building is to begin with. It had been abandoned for about 10 years, a drugstore being the last place of business to open its doors. Over the past century there'd been many different stores filling its walls. Back in the 70's it was a restaurant serving the average burger and fries. In the 60's it was a clothing store. Long before that back in the 30's, when the building first opened, it was a book store. But now it was host to the grotesque props of Halloween decorations and all manner of bizarre costumes and masks.
Some friends and I went into the store a few days after it had opened. There was an old couple running the register and helping customers out, I suppose they're the ones responsible for all the terrible things that have happened since then. The week the store opened was when the disappearances started. This being a small town of about six or seven thousand, just about nobody goes missing. But two weeks ago the local paper started filling up with stories and police reports of half a dozen locals who seemed to vanish into thin air. There was a three year old girl who disappeared at the grocery store, a teenage boy last seen at the movie theater, a husband and wife who had left their three children alone at home with a babysitter for a night out that they never returned from. Then there was Rob and Jason, two guys I knew from High school. If it hadn't been for the police finding Josh's car abandoned on the side of the road and Mike's cellphone on the passenger seat, their disappearance would likely have never been reported.
And then there were the strange rumors going around town. Some of these peculiar stories were coming from people I wouldn't trust, like the town nut always riding his bicycle and writing fake parking tickets on cars. His police report about seeing a Halloween mask moving by itself across the road late at night would be funny if some other folks hadn't reported seeing similar things. An old retired school teacher named Nancy had gone outside to call for her missing cat when she saw a pale white mask of a skull slowly moving across her back lawn and attack the cat, eating it whole.
Other stories around town vary wildly but all mention the strange masks, the idea was too absurd to be real. It was mentioned by the wife of an officer that police were on the look out for pranksters pulling Halloween masks with strings. I thought it was some local kids with nothing better to do as well until two days ago. I was walking down a dimly lit street at dusk a few blocks from home when I saw what at first looked like a raccoon or possum scuttling along the curb. As I got a closer I could hear an unusual mix of human like gasps and grunts. Looking down I could clearly make out the witch faced features of a Halloween mask lying face up with black knotted hair that appeared to help it move by acting like tentacles that reached forward. It was bending its rubbery head up and down in an almost maggot like motion of pulling and stretching. The eyes were black slits oozing a dark liquid. It was leaving a long trail along the edge of the curb like the tracks of a snail. Seeing this thing in front of me and realizing at that moment all those ridiculous stories must be true, I felt paralyzed. Both fascinated and terrified, I couldn't take my eyes off the mask as I stood watching it crawl away. I don't know how long I stood on that sidewalk before noticing the mask was gone. I would have thought I'd imagined it but for the slimy trail of black liquid still on the edge of the street. I couldn't bring myself to follow the trail and hurried home, making sure all the doors and windows were locked shut.
edit - I think conjuring up this story in my head gave me nightmares. After writing it I dreamed of trespassing into a pumpkin patch to steal pumpkins. I found dozens of the big orange pumpkins on the ground that had already been carved into jack-o-lanterns with intricately carved demonic faces. As I bent down to pick one up I noticed it was stuck to the ground. Then all of the carved pumpkins seemed to come to life, with thick root like claws digging out of the ground and scratching at me as I fell backwards. It was similar to the scene from Jason and the Argonauts with the skeletons, except these were giant pumpkin headed monsters with bodies made of tangled roots and dirt. They stood over 10 feet tall, circling around me. Before waking up I remember ripping off one of their claws and holding it in my hand. It felt light and dried out. I think that would make for another good story.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This photo kind of sums up alot of my philosophy of culture. Speaking of which, just watched Pee-wee's Big Adventure again the other day, fantastic, just the same as when i was a kid, & every time i see anything Pee-wee related I am completely struck at how his aesthetic is nearly the same as mine & god bless Paul Reubens & his entire milieu. He was a Punk Rocker you know? That's how he met Gary Panter who was doing Punk fliers in LA.
Also, my Twisted Sister obsession is rekindled every so-often. This time it was from watching Pee-wee's Big Adventure & watching this video over & over again. The dedication is priceless. I thought this kind of stuff didn't have impact anymore when i was in my teens & there was that whole push towards "extreme" in the 90s, but man, you go anywhere looking like these guys (in their denim & leather tough guy outfits or their stage drag) & everyone is gonna be afraid to talk to you. Twisted Sister have a direct connection to the Ramones & the Dictators so don't scoff man. They're bad ass. Dee Snider rules. He was hosting a horror oriented radio show at some point.
Scott Teplin is a great artists and a really nice guy. Check out his site HERE
1. What did you do over the weekend?
I sat in my studio like a pathetic loser - waiting for people to walk in and out during my studio building's (mandatory) Open Studio event. I also carved a cyclops pumpkin and sewed together some funny looking ghosts with my three year old. He demanded they have a mustache and singular eyebrow.
2. Do you draw everyday?
Pretty much. I almost always have access to one of my homemade sketchbooks. I learned to bind my own books because I've gotten super anal about what types of paper to draw on, how durable the book is and how flat it opens while scanning. Since we had our son - I don't get into the studio as often as before. But I can always work in my sketchbook.
3. Why drawing?
I need to feel like I'm constantly making progress. Drawing is (can be) relatively fast - and it allows me pursue lots of ideas as I think of them. It also allows me to make tons of pictures while not worrying too much about storage.
4. Do you work a day job?
Yes - but since my hours are 3 pm-10 pm - it's more of a evening job.
5. What are you reading right now? (Or, what's the last thing you read?)
Right now I'm slowly progressing through the classic "Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich" by William L. Shirer. I just finished "Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries" by Neil deGrasse Tyson. So cool. I love deGrasse Tyson.
6. I think we met a few years ago via the Comics Journal Message
board.I'm not sure if you check up on it anymore, but whenever the
"Art World" , or the confluence of Comics/Art comes up, it's often
greeted with a kind of cynicism, or something to do with an inherent
phoniness of the art world. How would you respond to that basic
I still visit the message boards occasionally - not too often anymore. I like both comics and fine art - because I find visually interesting things in both places. People will always complain about something. I "studied" printmaking in both college and grad school, and I found that printmakers often thought of themselves as the stepchildren of the art world. Later I went into 'book arts' and THEY thought of themselves in the same way. Who cares? If you want to make fine art - make it. If you want to make something - do it already. As you know, there are contexts in which comic artists show their work in fine art settings - and vice versa. Taylor Mckimens in one artist who easily crosses into both. Marc Bell too. I am not speaking for them - but I think they just make stuff they like - and it happen to fit into both. That - and they found places for their work to fit. If that makes any sense. When I see art on a gallery wall - I like for each piece to be it's own thing. But in a comic book - narrative is often more important. Every page of a comic won't necessarily hold it's own on a wall in an art gallery.
7. Do you think you'll someday be able to make a living solely from your art?
I have no idea. Since I support a family - it's unlikely to happen soon. It's to unstable to live on art related income. Some years are good - others terrible. I don't have an adept enough mind for business to trust my earning potential. That's not to say that it wouldn't be nice - but I'm too much of a chicken to totally jump in. Maybe it would be a different story if I were single. That said - I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I get to have both a family AND an art career. Awesome. I see it as just having to pay my dues along the way (work a job) - which isn't bad because I like my job.
8. Aight. Drawer type question: Could you tell us about some of your
favorite drawing implements- pens, paper, etc..
Dr. Ph Martin's carbon black ink, wooden HB pencils, Pentel (don't know the model) .3mm mechanical pencil with HB leads, Fabriano bright white Artistico paper - hot press (140 and 300 gram), Windsor-Newton series 7 Kolinsky sable brushes, Windsor-Newton professional grade watercolor tubes, JT-21 Arrow staple gun, lots of fancy aluminum/rubber backed drafting rulers with steel cutting edges, #11 x-acto knife and blades + #11 scalpel blades, Gillott steel pen nibs, crappy plastic pen-nib-holders, gum erasers, retractable plastic erasers - in 2 different widths, PVA glue, vegetable tanned Nigerian goat-skin (for binding books).
9. Are there any artists working right now that you're a fan of?
Living? Arturo Herrera, Robert Gober, Matthew Barney, Tony Oursler, Ed Ruscha, Renee French, Chris Ware, Josiah McElheny, Walton Ford, Sarah Oppenheimer, Taylor Mckimens, Jeff Scher, Jim Woodring - and I know I'm forgetting many more.
10. You mentioned having a child earlier. I don't have a child yet,
but I'm pretty sure it's gonna happen fairly soon. I'm a little
nervous about how having a child might impact my ability to make art.
Did you experience anything like that?
I was very nervous. But you know what? If you want to make art - you will. Simple as that. It's like another weeding-out period. Kinda like art majors in college. How many kept it up after 1 year - 2 years - 10? Same with grad school. It weeds people out. Before Fritz was born - I bound an especially thick sketch book knowing I might not make it into my studio for a while. But I also folded paper into quarters and did larger drawings on my lap at home.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This is the first track from John Harrison's score of what is, in my opinion, the best horror anthology film ever made.. George Romero and Stephen King's CREEPSHOW! You can find the full album easily enough on google but each individual track can be heard on this youtube page.
Track from the episode "They're Creeping Up On You!" Gotta love those crazy moog/ synth distortion loops.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I'm working on a new card series. Name is something like "Mostly Monsters" or "Monster Mash" or something like that. It's a world of monsters & nazi bananas.
This is Myron, named for the Jerry Lewis character in "Scared Stiff".
This is Vinnie Vargr
A twenty three years old guy confessed that his sexiest fantasy was to fuck with a fellow both the twat and the arsehole of a woman with no arm and no leg. Strangely the same day his confidant –they met two days before- had to cut the four legs of a dead ewe which belly was rotund because it was beginning to ferment. He fed the dogs. The corpse was lying on its back. Its spectacular genitals were purple, grey and wide. Alas the dusk came too soon.
Their God loves you but all human beings mistrust you and you disgust the angels.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Article (in French) here.
Here's some photos of the exhibition at Le Petit Mignon gallery in Berlin.
All the work's by:
CrippaXXXalmqvist (Fin Swe/DE),Marc van Elburg (NL),Zeke S. Clough (UK).
Also there's photos of the zine, posters and flyer for the show.