edited by Dan Nadel w/ Marc Bell & Yuki Minami You'll want to strap yourself in before cracking open the latest issue of The Ganzfeld, as the going gets going and doesn't stop until it's solid gone, and things get so far out you might wonder where it is you've gotten to. Well, the answer, if you haven't already guessed, is, of course: Japanada! The artists featured in this issue all hail from either Japan or Canada -- hence the title -- and the end result could be seen as an imaginary island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but we'll assert here that it would be more accurately described as representing a heretofore unexplored province of the mind; more a state of mind than a place on a map. This volume invites you to get away from the restrictive conformity of life in these United States and take a walk on the wild shores of Japanada where anything goes. Here you'll find artistic risk taking the like of which you aren't likely to find between any other two covers. You'll discover new and daring works by (from Japan): Saseo Ono, Shigeru Sugiura, Keiichi Tanaami, King Terry, Eye Yamatsuka, Misaki Kawui, Yuichi Yokoyama; (and from Canada) Julie Doucet, Bobo Boutin & Dominique Pétrin, "the All-Star Schnauzer Band", Tommy Lacroix, Amy Lockhart, Owen Plummer & Andrew Dick, Scott Evans, Mark Connery and Shayne Ehman. Each artist's work is prefaced by a short - or not so short -- essay to help get the reader up to speed and ready to confront the artistic frenzies of Japanada.
The Ganzfeld is a true one-of-a-kind publication and #3 is by far the best issue yet. It shouldn't really be under the comics listing, but as it is truly uncategorizable, this is as good a spot as any. The editors once again bring together a unique group of designers, illustrators, cartoonists, and artists in a coherent, strongly designed format. It features a unique collaboration between Rick Moody and Fred Tomaselli; a new picture story by designer Geoff McFetridge, and even an illustrated essay by Alfred Hitchcock. Lengthy comics and picture stories are contributed by an international group, Renée French, Ron Rege, Jr., Blexbolex, Brian Ralph. The major highlight of the book is Peter Blegvad's contribution: a highly innovative piece that is a stellar work of genius. Really, it's that good. No one compares to Blegvad. He's in a class by himself here. (If you aren't familiar with Peter Blegvad's work, do yourself a favor and check out The Book of Leviathan.) The Ganzfeld #3 also puts the spotlight on history: profiles include the inventor of the Macy's Parade Balloons; a special 40-page section devoted to the art collective The Hairy Who, and articles on Bruegel and deep space photography. Also: humorous picture stories on color theory, where we go when we die, and the lost genre of blank books. And much more, all bound together and accentuated by impeccable graphic design.
The Ganzfeld No. 4: Art History? Two years in the making, the latest issue of the Ganzfeld is finally on our shelves! It starts out with a wraparound cover and end papers by the high priestess of Canadian comics, Julie Doucet, and doesn't let up . After the lead off introductions by editor, Dan Nadel and artist extraordinaire, Peter Blegvad, the book is divided up into four sections of approximately equal length. In the first, Art History, you'll discover a lot that you hadn't known that you needed to know but will be glad to learn, including the secret history of the enigmatic cover art for Led Zeppelin's Presence that's always been a nagging question mark lurking in a back alley of your consciousness ever since you first saw it back in 1976. Next up is Drawings, by the recognized hepsters Gary Panter and Mark Newgarden, as well as others whose art you are far less likely to have previously come into contact with... but now will! "Artists on Art" is an intriguing, highly engaging and fairly unique feature which presents artists on art in art: David Sandlin's 18-page, lushly colored piece on H.C. Westermann is a tour de force of admiration, while Marc Bell's Ph.D.-thesis-in-comics-form provides a fresh, delightful and direct access to the work of Philip Guston that will be much appreciated by many. And then, finally, there's the Comics. This section starts off, semi-miraculously, with a six-page walking tour of Pittsburgh, both real and dreamed -- as a place on the map and as a state of mind -- by peripatetic former resident, Frank Santoro, and continues with fine work by Paper Rad, Leif Goldberg, Ted Stearn, Matthew Thurber, Jim Drain, Mark Newgarden, and a wild and wooly journey to the center of the mind by "C.F." The centerpiece is the amazing 22-page, "Ganmodoki," a piece from the late, surrealist period of Japanese manga legend, Shigeru Sugiura. And there you have it. Don't miss this one! Amazingly, still in stock here at The Copacetic Comics Co.