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Dangerous Drawings: Interviews with Comix and Graphix Artists Paperback – March 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Based on the list of cartoonists and artists interviewed in Dangerous Drawings, you know it's bound to be a great book. But as you pour through the discussions, you'll realize that it's far more than that. The questions posed by RE/Search Books cofounder Andrea Juno are always insightful, and relatively few punches are pulled. The 14 comix and graphix artists interviewed--including Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, Julie Doucet, Chris Ware, Diane Noomin, Chester Brown, Ted Rall, and Phoebe Gloeckner--offer extremely personal revelations about art and life. Taken together, the thoughts of these artists form an interesting singular commentary on the state of comics and graphic literature: by using a popular art form that, for the most part, remains outside of the establishment's critical eye, these cartoonists are able to deliver potent, highly charged, personal work.

From Library Journal

Editor Juno (Angry Women in Rock, LJ 6/15/96) has compiled interviews with and samples from 14 leading comics artists, including Art Spiegelman (Maus), Diane Noomin (Twisted Sisters), and Anne Kominsky-Crumb (Weirdo), whose aesthetics and politics often diverge but who are linked together in their "subversive" use of a populist narrative form. A glance at the index reveals an intermingling of high and low, art and culture, sex and politics; citations range from Madame Bovary to Madame X, from Picasso to Pinocchio the Big Fag. The artists' investigations into their own work provide analysis in a field lacking in ample research and theory and reveal clues to material that is sometimes startlingly autobiographical. Each interview contains biographical data, numerous illustrations, and portraits. This often entertaining medium is revealed to contain many complex and provocative ideas, and the serious treatment it gets here makes this a worthwhile purchase for libraries collecting in popular culture and graphic art.?Heidi Martin Winston, NYPL
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Juno Books; First Printing edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965104281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965104289
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,793,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book contains a whole bunch of interviews with a whole bunch of artist, mostly comic-book artists working outside of the mainstream. The interviews themselves are quite interesting, but for me the best thing was getting a look at some work by cartoonists that I was not very familiar with. The book is filled with samples of each creator's work.
The interview with Chris Ware made me go out and buy all the issues of "Acme Novelty Library" that I could find. In fact, a single excerpt from his work (printed on page 51 of this book) made me decide. He draws in about 12 square inches what takes Scott McCloud 100 pages to describe in Understanding Comics.
The one complaint that I have is that a few of the subjects don't seem to fit. Three out of the 14 interviewees don't work in comics. While they are interesting interviews (I remember the Eli Langer case, so his interview was fascinating), they don't feel like they belong in this book. Either they should have been cut, or we should have had *more* of them. Because as it is, 11 of the 14 interviewees work in comics. And that makes the other 3 stand out oddly.
In any case, this is a great read, and it makes a good gift to people interested in cutting edge art who *aren't* into comics. It will let them know how cool some comics really are.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morgan on October 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
A nice addition to the post RE/Search works, and follows heavily in the steps laid by RE/Search. This is a collection of interviews with 14 artists, along with a single essay by Art Spiegelman that gives an alternate view of comics history than the one related in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. It seems to be a primer for non-initiates to the world of underground pop-art, especially comics.
Some of those interviewed are independent comic "gods"- Art Spiegelman, in particular, has won a Pulitzer Prize for his work Maus. Other artists, like G.B. Jones and Emiko Shimoda, expose the new reader to a world they probably had never thought about, let alone see in print. All of the artists chosen are, while working within the confines of pop-art, outside of the mainstream. Looking at familiar motifs, like comics, album covers, or even gay art (for those familiar with tom of Finland), in new and different ways is what this is all about.
Andrea's interviewing style is good; these aren't antagonistic interviews, nor are they rigid- they are open ended, to allow the artists to expound and expand on a subject. While some of the artists fall a little flat and come across as dull, there are some gems. The Chris Ware interview in particular is a great read, and will convert most who read it into Ware fans.
So, why only three stars?
Like another reviewer stated, the fact that the majority of the interviewees are comic artists makes the ones who aren't stick out like a sore thumb. Eli Langer's inclusion is especially offsetting. While his status as an "edgy" artist merits inclusion under this book's broad title, he has little in common with the other artists.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "pandabot" on May 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book for years, and I still find myself picking it back up and re-inspiring myself to be more devious in my own comic-writing.
Personally, Julie Doucet is my favorite comic book artist, and I learned about her first through this book. Eli Langer has pushed the limits so much & gotten away with it. I love his story. It's also nice to be able to put a "face to the name" and get to see the artists' mugs- which are often also quite amusing.
All that I have to suggest is that if you are not willing to expose yourself to the whole "bloody-pedophelic-rape-abused" experience, I would say don't buy this book. Otherwise, it s a great read, especially to an aspiring underground-comic artist.
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