Art and Photography
The Pervert
By Michelle Perez
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 26th 2018.
The Pervert by Michelle PerezThe description of this graphic novel on the publisher web site explains that it is about a trans sex worker in Seattle.  Some parts of this are more obscure than others when reading it. There is not much clue the story is set in Seattle, and it takes a little working out that the main character is a trans woman, at least until we see her naked. This is a melancholy narrative gives people dog and cat faces, which makes them look sad but pretty hard to read apart from that. The narrator, who is the main character, leads a brutal life trading sex for life, getting harassed and experiencing
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Portraits of Resilience
By Daniel Jackson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Daniel Jackson is a professor of computer science at MIT. Following a number of suicides at MIT he engaged in a project to document the struggle of people dealing with the pressures of life, especially when added to the strain of meeting the standards of a demanding university. The resulting book, Portraits of Resilience, features the stories of about 23 people accompanied by photos of them and the MIT campus. There are undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty, from a variety of backgrounds. The photographs are monochrome. They are conventional in style, with subjects looking at t
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Portraits of Resilience by Daniel Jackson

Not My Shame
By T.O. Walker
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Not My Shame by T.O. WalkerThis short monochrome graphic novel  doesn't so much tell a story as explore themes about the effects of sexual abuse of young people. Most pages are split into 4 panels, and have rather crudely drawn pictures showing a haunted child and abusive or passive adults.  There is writing too, expressing anger at parents and authorities who just allow abusers to do what they want. There are also images of self-harm and bottles of alcohol, with some words about the need to escape. Nearer the end of the book there are some statistics about the prevalence of sexual abuse and the low rates of r
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Early Exposures
A Photographic Memoir
By Bill Pennell
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
  A memoir (from French: mémoire: memoria, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEMOIR. The voice is first person singular: I, not we, one, or you. The memoirist is the main character, the someone for readers to be within the story. The writer's thoughts and feelings, reactions and reflections, are revealed. Many will remember one of th
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Early Exposures by Bill Pennell

Outsider Art and Art Therapy
Shared Histories, Current Issues, and Future Identities
By Rachel Cohen
Review by Mark Welch on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
Outsider Art and Art Therapy by Rachel Cohen What is (Outsider) Art, and what is Art Therapy, and where, if at all, do they intersect, overlap, coexist, sit in opposition or relate to each other? These are some of the questions that Cohen, an Art Therapist herself, looks to explore in this slim, but welcome volume. She suggests that they have shared histories, common problems of definition, and perhaps a mutually reflexive future, and in this she sees deeper currents of social construction and identity issues. Outsider Art, a term that first emerged in 1972 in direct reference to what Dubuffet called art brut, has usually been taken to
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Going Into Town
A Love Letter to New York
By Roz Chast
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 21st 2017.
Going into Town is a guide to moving to Manhattan and learning to enjoy it, although it would be equally good for tourists. It is a revised version of a booklet Chast created when her daughter moved to NYC for college. Chast wanted to explain the basics of how to get around town, what to do for entertainment, and how to appreciate the beauty of the city. It has a mixture of personal anecdote and facts about the city, illustrated in Chast's familiar style, along with a few photographs. It is entertaining and charming in its quirkiness. Chast highlights the standpipes which populate the city and
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Going Into Town by Roz Chast

The Story of Sex
A Graphic History Through the Ages
By Philippe Brenot and Laetitia Coryn
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 19th 2017.
The Story of Sex by Philippe Brenot and Laetitia CorynOriginally published in French in 2016, The Story of Sex: A Graphic History Through the Ages has now been published in translation in the USA. It starts back in prehistoric times and gives an overview of the sex lives of famous rulers and ordinary people. Later on it addresses various issues in a more didactic way, reflecting the experience of Bernot as a psychiatrist and couple's therapist. The graphics are fun and cheerful, full of nudity and sex, but nothing very explicit or detailed. The basic theme of most stories is that people want to have lots of sex and do as many different
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The Incantations of Daniel Johnston
By Ricardo Cavolo & Scott McClanahan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 12th 2016.
Daniel Johnston is known for making music and art. He is also known for having a mental illness. His work is very distinctive and it has a lot of fans. The 2005 movieThe Devil and Daniel Johnston was a good introduction to his work. This new graphic novel, The Incantations of Daniel Johnston, is much more bizarre in its style.  It is a combination of art by Richardo Cavlolo and words by Scott McClanahan, and it packs a punch. The book tells a story of Daniel Johnston's life. The art is bold in color and style, psychedelic, and funny. The words are addressed personally to the reader, and t
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The Incantations of Daniel Johnston by Ricardo Cavolo & Scott McClanahan

 
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