It's been a while since we've seen an installment of On the Road with Floating World, in which Floating World Comics proprietor Jason Leivian handpicks a few comics recommendations for musicians playing in town. We're happy to welcome Jason back with some recommendations for Animal Collective, who are playing tonight at the Crystal. Swing by Floating World (400 NW Couch) any time between now and 9/26, and get 10% off recommended titles by mentioning this article. Now here's Jason with tonight's recommendations....
I saw Animal Collective in Barcelona last year at the Primavera Sound Festival. They were one of the strangest bands I've ever seen. I mean really, really weird. Bizarre trance-like percussion with songs just morphing into one another. Very non-traditional sound effects and samples. Crazy melodies and hyper visuals. And here's the craziest part—they are so popular! It seemed like there were over 10,000 people there all really into this aggressively experimental, avant garde pop music.
So in that spirit I recommend a few books by outsider artists, who inexplicably have also found broad success with masses that usually aim much lower when it comes to art and entertainment.
Dal Tokyo by Gary Panter, published by Fantagraphics. This is a book almost 20 years in the making. Gary Panter won three Emmy awards for his set design work on the popular kids show Pee Wee's Playhouse. He's also designed album covers for Frank Zappa, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yo La Tengo and his own musical albums. His cartooning aesthetic combines punk rock experiments with avant garde fine-art training. It's amazing that this book exists. Dal Tokyo was a weekly strip exploring a futuristic Mars that's terraformed by Texan and Japanese workers. It debuted in 1983 in the LA Reader and then was picked up by a Japanese reggae magazine called Riddim, where it ran for over a decade. This handsome hardcover volume collects everything.
Prophet by Brandon Graham. Brandon Graham has been a cult comics favorite for a while, but until last year his work was pretty hard to track down. His popular King City series was finally collected by Image Comics, and for the past year he's been expanding his audience with the relaunched and reimagined Prophet series, which he writes and occasionally illustrates. This series highlights his trademark talent for world building and character design, but on an epic cosmic scale. The book is receiving praise across the board for its originality and quality. We're proud to host an art exhibit and book release for the upcoming issue 29, illustrated by Farel Dalrymple.
The Invisibles Omnibus by Grant Morrison. So ten years ago Grant was writing The Filth, a 13-issue series by Vertigo about a middle-aged guy suffering from depression who may actually be a 5th dimensional "garbage man" disposing of obsolete memes and meta-illnesses in society. It was a thematic sequel to his previous opus, The Invisibles, which tracked an anarchist group's adventures inside and outside of the known reality as they primed the next Buddha to beat the Archons from the Outer Church at their own game. The time and space-traveling series jumps back to the French Revolution with blood in the streets and concludes with the Mayan apocalypse in 2012, when we all transcend into the super-context. But the finale of the Invisibles also predicted their corporate success. No one can stop it because everyone wants to buy it. This has mirrored Grant's success since then. He revitalized the X-Men, Batman and Superman, becoming the top writer in mainstream comics.
And finally, a self promoting plug for our latest publication. We just published a 16-page full color broadsheet newspaper by Brenna Murphy called SKYFACE SENSRMAP. I have loved Brenna's work ever since I first saw it online. We've screened her animations at our animation fest. She was part of Oregon Painting Society/Experimental Half Hour and now makes music as MSHR with her partner, Birch. I imagine this is the type of newspaper aliens would read on another world where language is made of color and fractals and complex 3 dimensional shapes. There are some visions that just can't be put into words.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!