Deconstructing Comics #557: Thi Bui and “The Best We Could Do”

The Best We Could DO


Our friend Matt Silady is back with us for the first time in five years, and he’s here to introduce us to a friend: Thi Bui, who recently completed her decade-long quest to create a graphic novel about three generations of her family in the context of Vietnamese and American history. After catching up with Matt, Tim talks with Thi about the book, The Best We Could Do, and how she now finds herself teaching comics!

Deconstructing Comics site

Deconstructing Comics #556: Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis

Vanessa Davis is an L.A.-based creator of autobio comics Spaniel Rage, Make Me A Woman and Out of Time. Koom has been an admirer of her work, and this week he talks with her in depth about whether she sees herself as part of a “movement”; the pitfalls of reporting in your comics on what your family members do (like that time with her mom in the museum…); how her parents affected the direction of her art; and much more.

Deconstructing Comics site

ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 65: Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME

Ah, FUN HOME. Of all of the graphic novels out there, this is one of the all-stars. If you haven’t read it, someone you know probably has. You may have noticed it on the syllabus of any number of literature classes. You may even have heard of the Tony-Award winning musical that was directly adapted from it. Yet under all the mega-hype and adulation, there is real, unfiltered power in FUN HOME.  For all of its award-winning façade of academia and popularity (it was considered “Best Book of the Year” by over 22 publications!), at the core of FUN HOME’s power is its refreshing honesty and its unrelenting, yet subtle, emotion, the praises of which we here at ComicsVerse have only added to in this podcast.

LISTEN: Want podcasts on more graphic novels like FUN HOME? The gang gets into Craig Thompson’s BLANKETS!

The artistic and literary brainchild of Alison Bechdel, creator of comic strip, DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR, FUN HOME finds itself in the extended medium of the graphic novel, the medium of choice for many a graphic autobiography. FUN HOME is a story of discovery, both of the self and of her family history. It is also a tale of exploration; Bechdel does not finish her autobiography with any set convictions or beliefs—only questions, which arguably is what makes the graphic novel relatable to so many readers who are themselves struggling with explorations of their own identities.

HEAR: More discussion of love and sexuality in Adrian Tomine’s SHORTCOMINGS!

Bechdel handles the toughest topics: sexuality, mental health, suicide, and family dynamics, with the ease and subtlety of the art itself, which is delivered in a melancholic slate blue. By the nature of the autobiographical beast, we also talk a lot about Bechdel herself in this podcast, along with the links between her artistic style and the content of the work: a beautiful alchemy of ingredients that result in deft parallels and allusions that hint at her literary background. Analyzing FUN HOME is always a special treat because there’s always more to the richness of Bechdel’s work. Listeners to the podcast, snap on your headphones, turn up your speakers, and indulge in that richness as well.

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source: http://comicsverse.com/episode-65-alison-bechdels-fun-home/

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ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 57: BLANKETS by Craig Thompson

At ComicsVerse, we have talked before about BLANKETS by Craig Thompson when it was featured as a topic in a podcast on our ‘Comics We’re Thankful For’ series. Still, we felt there was more to peel back and discover about this moving story. That’s why we have picked up this beautifully illustrated book once again. In this podcast, we dive deep into this ground-breaking graphic novel. Discussing the book are Kathy Wisneski, (Ms.) Jamie Rice, Chris Massari, Brian Delpazo, Angela Yih and me, Chris Galvin, in my very first ComicsVerse podcast!

BLANKETS is an autobiographical look at Thompson’s life, his slow drift away from his Christian upbringing and his first love, Raina. This thought-provoking story of an awkward teen and the lessons he learns along the way deals with themes of love, loss, art, hope, faith, and family. The story poses some tough questions without offering easy answers, yet it offers an eye-opening look at life and perspective.

Our discussion of this book led us to reflect and share upon our own experiences of love, faith, religion and relationships with our families while growing up. One of the biggest draws of the story is the author’s relationship with Raina, a girl he builds a relationship with before spending two weeks with her and her family. We looked at how Thompson perceived her versus how she actually was in reality. As an artist, he uses his art to express his feelings about her and at times creates this heavenly creature that cracks under scrutiny. BLANKETS is an honest look at Thompson’s life and the difficult truths he learns along the way. His art style in telling this story is beautiful, told in whimsical inks. He uses no color, which only makes the story more involving.

But don’t just take my word for it. Listen and make your own mind up! Leave us a few comments, and please post this around the web!

For your convenience, the ComicsVerse Podcast is also located on iTunes:

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source: http://comicsverse.com/episode-57-the-best-comics-youve-never-read-craig-thompsons-blankets/
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