edited by Eric Reynolds and Gary Groth Yes, we have all the ususal suspects again this time around -- J. Bennett, J. Brown, Sophie Crumb, M. Cenreda, Anders Nilsen, Paul Hornschemeier, David Heatley, Tim Hensley, and some pretty amazing apocryphal neo-romance covers by R. Kikuo Johnson -- but there are a couple new entries from Europe that are quite worth noting: Lewis Trondheim makes his MOME debut with the first part of his new comics diary, Loose Ends; and Vosges Studio co-founder, Émile Bravo provides this issue's standout story, The Brothers Ben Qutuz in "Frustration Land." This ten page pantomime (no text or dialogue) story -- enabling it to be read and understood without it having to be translated -- is a startlingly succinct exegesis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as experienced at street level on the Palestinian side, that will invade your consciousness and refuse to leave; a perfect example of the value of comics as a form of commmunication.
MOME 8 - Summer 2007 is edited by Eric Reynolds and Gary Groth. This issue pretty much completes the transition to the new "Team MOME." Original members Jonathan Bennet, Sophie Crumb and Paul Hornschemeier are joined here by new comers (some of whom showed up last issue) Eleanor Davis, Ray Fenwick, Tom Kaczynski, Al Columbia, Émile Bravo and Joe Kimball, while Lewis Trondheim wraps up his three-part "At Loose Ends." Davis is the featured artist this issue with her work gracing the cover and providing the lead story, while she is the interview subject as well. Her story, "Stick and String" is a moody meditation on exogamous bonding that shows her work moving a bit in the direction of Sammy Harkham (although, in her interview, she identifies Joann Sfar as her current fave). The Copacetic pick for this issue is Tom Kaczynski's "10,000 Years," a mordant take on contemporary alienation that, while clearly indebted to Clowes, brings an original perspective to the table with its smart synthesis of dialectical materialism and post-industrial consumer culture. And we can't sign off on this issue without mentioning Émile Bravo's "Young Americans," which is certainly one of the cleverest short comics we've read in a while.
This volume represents a bit of a departure for Fanfare/Ponent Mon, who have to date primarily focused on translating and publishing the best of contemporary Japanese manga (most notably the work of Jiro Taniguchi) so that they may rest under western eyes. My Mommy is a French graphic novel that is aimed at younger readers (In addition to winning the "Essentials Award" at the 2008 Angouleme Festival, it received the 2008 Tam Tam Literary Award from Salon du Livres er de la Presse Jeunesse, in the category of comic album, age group: 8-13 years old). Readers of MOME will recognize Bravo's distinct style as it brings to life Regnaud's tale of a lonely five year-old boy who lives with his father and younger brother, but terribly misses his absent mother. Take a quick look, here.