After a week that featured the stomach flu and a leaking hot water heater, welcome news of two publications arrives. The first is a tribute to Spain Rodriguez, underground cartoonist, unapologetic leftist agitator, fly in the ointment, gleeful thumb in the eye of politeness, speaker of truth to power. Add Artforum to the list of publications in which I feel underqualified to have my work appear. Writing remembrances is tough work—without being dishonest, I wanted to write the way Spain might have wanted to be remembered—and I hope this piece approaches that goal.
The second is a translation of my essay “Chris Ware’s Failures” from The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing is a Way of Thinking. I was approached by the gracious Santiago García to be a part of a volume titled Supercómic. Mutaciones de la novela gráfica contemporánea from Errata Naturae Press. My Spanish was confined to a few well-meaning elementary-school lessons, but it seems as if alongside Eddie Campbell (!) and Emmanuel Guibert (!), that I’m the only one being translated. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve the honor, but “Los fracasos de Chris Ware” does have a certain ring to it. The book will be released in April, if there are any Spanish speaking readers of the blog…
… and, in news of our incredibly small, globalized world, there’s at least one: Alberto García Marcos. After I posted my lament that I’d failed to record my interview with Chris Ware at last year’s SPX, Alberto kindly emailed me that he was the translator of the only recording I was able to find: a Spanish translation on his blog. Not only did he generously allow me to share the recording he made 2012-09-16 – Bethesda – Chris Ware (I can’t listen to my recorded voice, it’s too mortifying), but he let me know that he is also appearing in the same volume as this translation (his interview with Guibert concludes Supercómic). I’m not sure which is more surprising: the coincidental nature of all this, or the unstinting generosity of comics scholars.
Okay, back to the failure book. Any guy who can make Chris Ware make this face has got to be able to talk with some authority about the authority of failure.