Tommi Mutsuri, publisher and editor of the Finnish comics/art anthology, GLOMP, has asked artists to create works that would embrace a new dimension. The book features images like the photo above, of Jan Anderzen’s comic quilt in a larger context, as well as close ups of each panel. This tenth and final hardcover volume is available now from BoingBeing and will also be accompanied by a series of gallery exhibitions in 2009-10.
Featuring colorful and experimental art by over a dozen artists including Aapo Rapi, Amanda Vahamaki, Jan Anderzen, Janne Tervamaki, and Anna Sailamaa. The book is limited to 1000 copies and includes an exclusive cd soundtrack. More beautiful artwork by Tommi Mutsuri after the jump.
Jelle Hugaerts is a Belgian immigrant in Finland who runs the Pitkamies comic store above Tommi’s silkscreen studio and “comics center” in Helsinki. Excerpts from his Glomp introduction are reprinted with his kind permission.
Nowadays the comic pamphlet is losing its grip on the market. Bigger non-mainstream comics have even almost completely ceased to exist. It is highly unlikely that an all-round alternative comic like Eightball would ever submerge again. This is problematic because the good old ”floppy” was an ideal format for debuting artists and a good playground for experimenting. New comic artists are now expected to immediately churn out full-length novels. There is no more room to nurture the kind of skill needed to write a 200-page book. Except in anthologies, of course, or minicomics. Comic anthologies therefore will become the prominent forum where young talented artists can flex their muscles and try out art
styles while sharing their work with a bigger audience. From this perspective, it seems that anthologies will play an important role in the preservation of comics as an art medium with an edge.
The future status of anthologies is ensured. However, the format is still an open question. Lately we have seen free tabloid-sized comic anthologies popping up here and there: Diamond, Kuti, Mamba. They have taken inspiration from the Paper Rodeo tabloid started by the Fort Thunder people in the late 90’s who showed that such publications could be done for free and in big size. Since the idea of these comic tabloids is higher print run and free availability, they reach a bigger audience, and hence are perfectly suitable for opening the path for new artists. As for bigger, more book-sized anthologies, their key to success lies all the more in getting cohesive content or experimenting with the format (the latest Kramer’s Ergot was of a gigantic size, for example). But either way it seems that the role of anthologies is undisputed and necessary in a healthy comics market. Whether there will be successful and groundbreaking anthologies in the next few years lies entirely in the hands of decent editors and the creative minds of comic artists. When these meet, amazing things can happen.