Introducing: Ink Brick
Probably the biggest influence to my writing and comics is poetry. I am a giant reader of poetry and find the kind of poems I love have a lot in common with comics I love. I used to write poetry, but lost the knack for it when I began to write songs. Now I feel like comics have sort of returned a version of poetry to me. I consider my one page stories my version of poems. As it happens, poetry comics are a medium in itself. I first discovered this about a year and a half ago through an article about the comic poet Bianca Stone. Through the article I discovered the works of Alexander Rothman and Paul K. Tunis. Until they met each other they all thought they had invented poetry comics–and here I was thinking I was the only one!
I am excited that they got their brains together, along with Gary Sullivan, and started the first ever comic poetry journal INK BRICK. The inaugural issue came out in May and it made me so happy to see it arrive in my post office box. It is a beautiful print journal–in full color. I wish they had attached some sort of introduction or manifesto to its first issue, because its very existence feels important somehow, yet I can imagine why they didn’t–a four color print journal (of visual poetry!) is a pricy endeavor. The work itself is making the introduction–and it is clearly an effort of love.
Comic poetry as a medium feels sort of like the wild west. What is it? How does it work or not work? What makes a “good” comic poem is very much up to interpretation. What is exciting about Ink Brick is that it’s an official place to discover and work out this medium. I loved many pieces in this journal–my favorites being from Simone Kearney and Alexander Rothman.
I say “favorites,” but as I thumb through I stumble upon Simon Moreton’s gorgeous “untitled” piece and then I think how can you resist a journal who prints pages like this from Paul K. Tunis (pictured below)?
In truth all the comic poems in here are beautiful and mysterious in their form and function–even if not all of them make sense to me. This is the tangle of a new form of language–what may arrive as music to some, may make another puzzle. Still the listening, the reading is valuable. I hope that they offer subscriptions soon, because I don’t want to miss a single issue. It’s too beautiful.
Get INK BRICK here–and tell people about it!