We finally got around to importing this spirited anthology from London, England. We now have the entire (so far) run of #1 - 6 on hand. There's a wealth of variety on hand in these issues, each of which is limited to a 1000 copy print run, only a fraction of which have managed to make it across the Atlantic. From Marc Bell and Ivan Brunetti to Xavier Robel and Ron Regé, Jr. and many, many others -- quite a few of whom will be new to you -- Sturgeon White Moss is a challenging ongoing forum for new comics work from Europe and North America.
Edited, as always, by Sammy Harkham -- this time around with an assist by co-publisher Alvin Buenaventura -- this now seemingly biennial publication continues to live up to the promise made with the fourth and fifth volumes. The format follows that of the last volume: a flat matte finish (this time sans texture) flexi cover fixed to a sturdy Smythe sewn binding that holds the contents firmly in place. And what contents! Many of those talents that readers have come to associate with Kramers Ergot are here again, and have submitted work that is as engaging as ever. Sammy Harkham, C.F., Paper Rad, Marc Bell, Souther Salazar, Ron Regé, Jr., Matthew Thurber, Dan Zettwoch and Elvis Studio are joined by Vanessa Davis, Tom Gaud, Martin Cendreda, Bald Eagles and a handful of others. Also, KE Alum Gary Panter finds himself under the same covers as former fellow Raw artist, Jerry Moriarty, who is given plenty of space to present his idiosyncratic Hopperesque visions for the first time (we've seen) in many years. In addition, with this issue Kramers Ergot adds a curatorial component to its offerings for the first time, as readers are given a rare look at two great historical figures of the comics world: we get a healthy sampling of a late sketchbook by the Dutch comics artist, Marc Smeets, which is preceded by "an incomplete appreciation" by Chris Ware; and an amazing reproduction of the early and highly influential manga, Norakuro by Suiho Tagawa. All in all, it seems once again to be an essential read for anyone involved in the contemporary comics scene. Here is a preview of the front cover along with 10 sample pages.
<<•>> edited by Charles Burns; series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden <<•>> Well, Crumb is a tough act to follow, but we'll give it a shot with this star-studded anthology filled with the best and the brightest from the last twelve months of comics, as judged by Charles Burns. In a book like this, we feel that the contributor list says it best: Doug Allen, Peter Bagge, Gabrielle Bell, Matt Broersma, Daniel Clowes, Al Columbia, Robert Dennis Crumb, Sammy Harkham, Tim Hensley, Gilbert Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Katchor, Kaz, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Michael Kupperman, Jason Lutes, Tony Millionaire, Jerry Moriarty, Anders Nilsen, Gary Panter, Laura Park, Mimi Pond, Ron Regé, David Sandlin, Koren Shadmi, Dash Shaw, Art Spiegelman, Ted Stearn, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Dan Zettwoch. 'Nuff said. Well, actually, we can't help but add that while the material contained in this anthology is absolutely fabulous, the quality of its reproduction is, mysteriously, not up to the same standard as the three previous volumes in this series, which were excellent in that department. This shouldn't stop anyone from picking up this fine volume, but it is worrisome. Let's hope that this was a one time aberration and that next year we'll find the fine folks at Houghton Mifflin have figured out what went wrong and put things in the production department back on track.