Thursday, December 13, 2012

Julie Morstad, The Wayside, 2012

I haven't posted anything here in a year, but a strange book that arrived in the mail yesterday prompts me to revive this blog. The Wayside, by Julie Morstad, published by Drawn and Quarterly, dedicated to innovative comics and illustration. I mistook it for a sketchbook, essentially an advertisement for a commercial advertiser. Then I "read" it. And tweeted my enthusiasm. Like so:

I thought I didn't care bout Julie Morstad's THE WAYSIDE, review copy sent by . Threw away publicity 1-pager. Then, oh my, I looked!

THE WAYSIDE's just a book of illustrations. Like Henry Darger was just a janitor. Comparison apt: serious little girls, eerie games.

But unlike Darger's, Julie Morstad's girls are clothed, & seem to possess their own imagination rather than representing artist's.

Publisher  compares Julie Morstad to Edward Gorey and Virginia Woolf. Yes, and. And but -- well, oh.

At which point urgent news interrupted:

Whooping Cough Epidemic Declared in Vermont 

There's a digression here. Two, really, since I live in Vermont. But the first is obvious enough. The second has to do with the source, Charles Johnson, once one of the most popular bloggers on the internet, an ardent supporter of the "War on Terror" and a virulent anti-Islam polemicist. At some point he had a change of heart. Now he's a lefty and a critic of his former comrades. But he still pays attention to news he deems dire. I got in an online fight with him once, and posted something about it; I was almost immediately deluged with hatemail from his followers, some of it menacing, much of it obscene, plenty of it just silly, declaring me a "moonbat," a special term of Little Green Footballs. Now those same zealots declare Johnson a moonbat. "Moonbat" almost works to describe some of Morstad's drawings, but they're all isolated on blank white pages -- clean white spaces.

Anyway, there was one last tweet, inconsequential:

Julie Morstad's THE WAYSIDE really just a collection of drawings. But a line like a hair, or a hair like a line, binds them.