July 18, 2006
I'd seen this funky looking magazine/book at numerous stores for a while now, called Modern Arf, edited by Craig Yoe. Not know exactly what it was, and broke to boot, i passed. Luckily fate came to my rescue, in the form of Reading Frenzy proprietress Chloe Eudaley, who sold me a copy of volume one for half price, because it had a dinged cover.
I just bought the second issue (both volumes are published by Fantagraphics) at Reading Frenzy, and i'm now a certified convert. This publication is a veritable treasure trove of cool comics weirdness. Yoe is excavating long-lost and forgotten gems that truly deserve the light of day. (With some perfectly suitable contemporary work sprinkled throughout, for zest.) He's the freaking Indiana Jones of Comics.
Arf also treads into the realm of sister media, like editorial cartoons, and fine-art illustration. A philosophy that i love, and one that gets overlooked, in the larger context of comics history. The focus and bent is not unlike that of another fine publication, Comic Art, but the difference is in the presentation. Where Comic Art might expend a great deal of energy and space talking about a given subject, Arf is more prone to just throw it up on its oversized pages in all it's inky beauty, with maybe one tiny text caption of explanation.
Kudos to Craig on curating one of my favorite new things in comics in a very very long time.
Meanwhile, i just finished reading easily the most succinct short essay on The Conservative Agenda, ever. In fact, i'd be interested to read a Conservative response to this. The title of the piece is Bush Is Not Incompetent. If politics or truth don't float your boat, just skip this.