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Pekar's Splendor Heads Online By Brian Jacks
Modern Tales has announced that the fourth installment of its "longform comics anthology" Modern Tales Longplay is now available, with numerous features including several brand-new American Splendor stories by Harvey Pekar and longtime collaborator Gary Dumm.
Editor Joe Zabel says it's a dream come true to import the work of his former colleagues Harvey Pekar and Gary Dumm to the new frontiers of the webcomic. For a span of ten years and as many issues, Zabel worked with Pekar and Dumm on Pekar's landmark alternative comic book series American Splendor. Now, on the heels of Pekar's success with the Sundance-award-winning film version of American Splendor, Pekar, Dumm, and Zabel have teamed up again to present Eyewitness Comics, a special all-autobiographical issue of the webcomics anthology Modern Tales Longplay.
What will be new to Pekar fans in this momentous web-based event? "In a word, COLOR," says Zabel. "Or make that SIZE and COLOR. For the first time, we'll get to see page after page of Harvey's great comics stories presented in a wide variety of color stylings-- 15 full-color pages, many of them double-page spreads which, for web presentation, don't need to be sliced up the way they are in print."
"This is also the first time," says Zabel, "that Harvey's work will be presented in the context of a new generation of cartoonists, for whom autobiography is a matured, classical mode of comics writing. We've collected a body of work that is not only the best autobiographical comics, but the best comics, period."
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The full contents of this month's issue of Longplay (with descriptions from the publisher) include:
-- American Splendor on the Web by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Gary Dumm
Harv's recent comics chronicle small moments in his life and meditations on jazz music and baseball, all illustrated by Dumm in a stunning rainbow of color and shades. Dumm also provides this issues guest editorial, describing the mood on the set when the 'American Splendor' movie was being shot.
-- Tuesday by Henrik Rehr
Henrik Rehr has been doing the worldwide syndicated newspaper strip Ferd'nand since 1989, has published 15 graphic novels in Europe and has had exhibitions of his Fine Art in New York and Denmark. He lives in New York with his wife and sons, and started a newspaper strip called Castles in the Sand in 2001. This stunning 48-page graphic novel chronicles his experiences on September 11, 2001, while living in an apartment building 2 blocks from the World Trade Center.
-- Melanie's Wedding by Tom Galambos
A wedding dance inspires mixed emotions in a heartbroken attendee, in this stylistically-adventurous true-life story by Galambos, acclaimed creator of the graphic novel All the Wrong Places. Galambos currently works as a teacher and self-publisher.
-- My Uncle Jeff by Damon Hurd, illustrated by Pedro Camello
In deft and subtle strokes, this story keenly recollects a family gathering in which one of his childhood heroes is seen in a new light. Hurd is the creator and author of beta, a small-press magazine featuring original graphic novellas
-- Whoa, Mexico by Tatiana Gill
A beguiling, light-hearted charm enlivens Gill's confession of reckless misbehavior during a family outing South of the Border. Tatiana resides in Seattle and when she's not drawing comics, she's hanging her comic originals in art galleries, giving comic slide show presentations, singing, go-go dancing, dressing up like a clown, and plotting her comics take-over of the world.
-- Empathy by Neil Kleid
This revelations of personal loss transcend the physical to become a shattering tableau of psychic distress and melancholy beauty. A Detroit transplant to NYC, Kleid is a professional graphic designer who is currently researching/writing a graphic novel detailing the life of Albert Tannebaum, late of Murder Incorporated.
-- I Was a Teenage Newave Cartoonist (A History of Minicomix: 1972 - Now) by Bruce Chrislip
In this, the first major prose essay featured at Longplay, Chrislip's vantage point as the founder and first editor of City Limits Gazette gives him unique insight into the Newave subculture of the comics medium. This stunning survey of the remarkably diverse and rich minicomics tradition includes over 50 covers.