East Bay Express | Kelly Vance | April 5, 2007
East Bay Express mentions Bell, Huizenga and Nilsen tour
Gabrielle Bell’s Lucky series takes us into the life of an insecure New York graphic artist who frets about such things as having to kiss French people on both cheeks, and coping with an obtrusive documentary film crew – her own life, in other words. In the “Glenn Ganges Stories” collected in Kevin Huizenga’s Curses, nobody can pronounce the name of the poor schnook protagonist (Danzig? Genghis?) as he makes his way across a suburban wasteland trying to live the American dream. He may harbor Zen visions but he resembles Tintin’s slacker offspring. These comics characters are such navel gazers, so worried about everything, almost whiny. Recognizably middle-American 21st-century.
But then we come to Anders Nilsen’s Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, a diary-style account of the happy days he spent with his girlfriend Cheryl before she died of cancer, an ordeal which he also documents. It’s enough to break your heart. Then Bell’s, Huizenga’s, and Nilsen’s oeuvres come into focus simultaneously. All three graphic authors seem to arrive at more or less the same beaten, forlorn, yet hopeful juncture. Maybe that’s why their publisher, Drawn & Quarterly of Montreal, is sending them on tour as a trio to promote their respective D+Q books. All three are touted as the future of cartoon storytelling, and all three appear at Berkeley’s Comic Relief Sunday afternoon (3-5 p.m.) to show slides of their work, field questions, and sign their books. DrawnandQuarterly.com
High-profile cartoonists bring their troubles to Comic Relief.