I hung out with my friends and they are poets, we hung out in this living room and talked about relationships with people and art and meaning and skimming the surface off of things. (When art is no longer a truth but a husk of what was true.) Ross writes poems about people and reads them directly to their face, or maybe over the phone, without telling them that the poem is about them. (Ross leans over to me, our heads almost bumping together, and says “I want to read you a poem.” He is looking for a link off of Facebook, and he reads me two Frank O’Hara poems, shouting into my ear. One ear listens to the bar and one ear reverberates with “Having a coke with you.” When the poems are finished he pulls back grinning, and Whitney Houston is blasting “I wanna dance with somebody.”) “Are you drawing everyday, now that you are at your parents’ house?” Ross asks me over the phone. They, Cory and Ross, write everyday, and share their poems with one or two people or not at all.
Review of behind every young girl’s arse… written by Sophia Foster-Dimino from the Notable Comics of 2013 post on the Comics & Cola blog:
“Cathy G. Johnson is a cartoonist living and working in Providence, RI – where I went to college (we bonded over PVD at a con once) – and I think the first comic of hers I read was “Her Name Was Prudence,” a story about relationships, literature, sex, communication… beautifully rendered in graphite. I’m generally a big fan of comics done in pencil, especially if they sort of mimic vision in motion by blurring out peripheral details, and hint at process by showing semi-erased leftovers.
I’ve read many many pages of comics this year but Cathy’s black-and-white 9-pager behind every young girl’s arse… has really stuck with me, and I’ve thought about it regularly since I first read it. Her rough pencils perfectly evoke a pitch-black night, with a fire throwing thick shadows over contorted forms. The story is brief but it hits like a heavy hammer – full of monumental desperation and rage. Even little meta-details – like shadows of other pages showing through the paper – or a format-breaking list of potential “reactions” that could easily be Cathy’s own, in her sketchbook – drive home the raw weight of this narrative. The story is bookended by two contrasting images of a naked woman, and since I have reread this story countless times in the past few months, I have compared those images again and again. My experience of this comic is cyclical. It feels like a colossal turning wheel.
behind every young girl’s arse… is published in tandem with the also excellent Until It Runs Clear in a single zine, for sale online. Her incredible watercolor webcomic Jeremiah was also collected and published this year.”
Quote by Nina Power, from She’s just not that into you:
“What, ultimately, would it mean to let the Young-Girl speak for herself and not through the categories imposed upon her by a culture that heralds her as the metaphysical apex of civilization while simultaneously denigrating her, or even the categories that Tiqqun mobilize to take her apart in a subtly different way? Behind every Young-Girl’s arse hides a bunch of rich white men: the task is surely not, then, to destroy the Young-Girl, but to destroy the system that makes her, and makes her so unhappy, whoever ‘she’ is.”
My SPX rundown of what’s going on! (I know my incredible tablemates have their own amazing stuff, but I’ll let them talk about it themselves.)
Here’s what I got debuting at SPX TABLE I1:
1) JEREMIAH’S BOOK DEBUT! ‘Jeremiah’ is the foreboding story of a teenager whose struggle with self-discovery may bring on the end of his world. A watercolor and ink graphic novel spanning 160 pages, ‘Jeremiah’ explores the conflict between the physical and the inexplicable, asking questions about faith, adolescence and sexuality.
5″ x 7″, 160 pages, full-color
2) NEW SCREENPRINT featuring a chicken and her friend, with matching mani pedis and eye-rolling attitudes.
5-layer screenprint on gray acid-free card stock, 8.5” by 11”, signed & numbered edition of 70. Comes in a clear poly sleeve with cardboard backing.
3) “WE DEFINE THE LIMITS OF OUR PERSONALITIES TOO NARROWLY. WE CONSIST OF EVERYTHING THE WORLD CONSISTS OF.” 2013 summer travel zine, spanning my time visiting friends along the East Coast and family in Finland and Sweden. This zine is CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE, meaning it’s not available online. The reason for this is because it gets personal. Come and buy one if you want to know some of my secrets. It has writing and comics and observational drawings.
5” by 8.25”, 44 pages, b&w
I’ll also have my other comics and zines, and my other screen prints. It’s probable I won’t have the space to display them, so if you know you want to buy one, you should ask me about it.
I’m leaving for a couple weeks! Here is what you need to know:
Jeremiah is updating this week Monday (today!) and Friday (double page!) Then it’s skipping a week, returning the week after with regular posts (MWF).
Then I’ll be in Minneapolis for Autoptic on August 18! I’ll be debuting “Therefore, I Believe That I Want You Immensely,” a collection of poems and drawings by Cory Aaland, Ross Hernandez and me. (Me and Ross have collaborated before…)
I’m also going to be repping the Women Warriors // Lady Knights zine there!! I only have twenty copies, so be sure to come by my table early if you want one!
Okay, keep having the best summer, ya’ll!
Here’s one of the drawings from “Therefore, I Believe That I Want You Immensely”:
Next weekend is CAKE, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, and I’m proud to announce the debut of two works:
“He fought like a little tiger in a trap,” debuting at TCAF in Toronto last month, with Chicago in June being its US debut.
8 pages, 11″ by 17″ newsprint, grayscale
Inspired by the 1940 novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. This comic takes a look at one’s sense of identity, its expression, and ultimately, the often-inhospitable conditions that tend to stifle it.
Kevin and I each wrote and drew half of the pages, splitting them horizontally. It was fun and emotional to work on this project with him, and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together.
Here is my half of the big center spread (click it view bigger):
The rest of the comic may be read on my website here.
Hope to see you in Chicago next weekend!
I will be at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair this weekend! The event is two days, but I’ll only be there on Saturday. Check out their website for more info. (the above is just a drawing and has nothing to do with the show)
A while back I made this poster, you can buy it at my store!
I have a lot on my plate right now, so many emotions running high. This city is funny and I’m still adjusting to the move. I’m excited to share new work, the weird things I’m doing. Some of them are shareable and some of them are just adding spice to the intensity of life. But I have projects, and I’m going to be at TCAF next month, maybe you’ll be there and you can ask me about them.