Hansen's Comic Recommendations: Abstract Comics

These are the comics that tend towards the top in Scott McCloud's pyramid, towards abstraction in the picture plane. (Like e.g. Picasso.) These comics experiment with new and unusual drawings, representation, story or content.

The following list is sorted alphabetically by author (drawer/painter).

[Image] Calpurnio

The Spaniard Calpurnio Pisón (real name Eduardo Pelegrín, calpurnio@sendanet.es) lives in Valencia, Spain.

He got popular with his cowboy Cutlas (sometimes also called Cuttlas), a parody of Jim Cutlass (written by Jean Giraud (alias Moebius and Gir) and Jean-Michel Charlier, drawn by Christian Rossi).

At the first glance, the crude matchstick figures, straightforward plots and misspelled words seem to be the work of a five year old child. But they have a special charm that is difficult to explain. The author simplifies wherever possible and leaves us with the essence of the archetypal comic plot: the bad guys attack the innocent and are defeated by the good guy.

At the second and third glance we start to notice the small sophisticated jokes that are hidden behind the simplicity, for example the figures discussing the script during the story or pondering what the author tried to draw ("It looks like a giant black olive." -- "Its probably just a hole in the ground." -- "Oh, it's the head of jour uncle, who's buried into the ground."). Calpurnio overflows with playfulness and constantly experiments with the medium, letting the figures climb out of their frames, talk with the readers, loose their jobs as actors playing cowboys etc..

Cutlas has been published in Spain and Japan. Calpurnio is currently working on a series of animated cartoons with Cutlas, which can be seen in Spain on Canal Plus España.

Images

Local comic: Cutlas. (Castellano original.) (Original in B&W.) (With the authors permission.)

Bibliography

Web pages dedicated to Calpurnio

[Image] Larry Marder

Larry Marder is the creator of Beanworld. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in 1951. The Beanworld books are published by Beanworld Press.

Images

Local comic: Beanworld. (Original in B&W.)

Web pages dedicated to Larry Marder and Beanworld

[Image] [Image] Frank Miller

Frank Miller was born in 1957 in Olney (Maryland, USA). He published his first comics at the age of 18 (Overkill, Call it Karma, Blazing Roscoes). In 1979 he took over and overhauled Daredevil. The first peak of his career was The Dark Knight Returns. Miller is very innovating and often rightfully credited with revolutioning the comics szence. It'a a pity his stories overflow with violence, though.

Images

Local comic: Batman and the new Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. (Original in color.)
Local comic: Elektra and Garrett from Elektra Assassin. (Original in color.)

Bibliography

Web pages dedicated to Frank Miller

[Image] Bill Sienkiewicz

Bill Sienkiewicz was born in 1958 in Blakely, Pennsylvania, USA.

Images

Local comic: Elektra and Garrett from Elektra Assassin. (Original in color.)

Bibliography

Web pages dedicated to Bill Sienkiewicz

[Image] Shannon Wheeler

Shannon Wheeler is the author of the surreal superhero Too Much Coffee Man.

Images

Local comic: Drink more coffee from Too Much Coffee Man Full Color Special #2, page 4. (Original in color.)

Web pages dedicated to Shannon Wheeler

[Image] Jim Woodring

Jim Woodring ist the author of Frank.

Web pages dedicated to Jim Woodring

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