September 12, 2011

Zone 5300: Fool’s Gold special

Filed under: Comics by Branko Collin @ 8:23 am

Woot! Fool’s Gold gets six pages in the autumn edition of Zone 5300, instead of its usual two. Like.

Frits Jonker and Milan Hulsing are assisted this time by Erik van der Heijden who waxes lyrically (and analytically) about his collection of golden age advertising key fobs. The golden age of advertising key fobs, that is, i.e. the late sixties.

There’s also a long interview with the comics intendant of the Fonds BKVB (the state sponsored Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture), Gert-Jan Pos, who got to give a lot of cash to comics makers in the Netherlands in the past two and a half years, and whose office is about to end.

Until September 21 the foundation is organising an exhibition of up and coming comics artists, among which Artez Zwolle graduate Jasper Rietman (illustration) who hopes to be published abroad in the near future.

Marcel RuijtersThere are a bunch of long(ish) stories by Marcel Ruijters (illustration, about the chess games of Teresa of Avila), Rob van Barneveld (invisible guinea pigs), and Maaike Hartjes (weddings in Hong Kong).

Another long comic is a story from Pieter van Oudheusden and Jeroen Janssen’s upcoming album (as yet nameless) loosely based on the all too short life of “perhaps the Brian Wilson of the nineteenth century” (as Van Oudheusden puts it), Franz Schubert. The short story Der Tod und das Mädchen (illustration) focuses on how Schubert got syphilis.

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April 24, 2011

Zone 5300 #93, welcome to Planet Z

Filed under: Comics by Branko Collin @ 10:56 am

This quarter the flag on the good ship Zone 5300 is a 1990s comic by Oscar Zarate and Alan Moore, I Keep Coming Back (illustration). According to the magazine’s editors the story is sort of an appendix to Moore’s From Hell, a three part series about Jack the Ripper, which was recently published in Dutch by now-defunct publisher De Vliegende Hollander.

You will also find:

  • Four pages of Maria Björklund’s Planet Z (illustration), wordless gag strips about the daily lives of Jim Woodring-esque fantasy creatures.
  • A short bit in Fool’s Gold about ‘Negro Palaces’, Dutch jazz clubs from the 1930s that employed black musicians. The editors would like to know more!
  • A Filipe Abranches story, Birds.
  • An interview with German splatter king Jörg Buttgereit.

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July 28, 2009

Zone 5300 in the land of the Dadas

Filed under: Art,Comics,Music,Nature by Branko Collin @ 8:19 am

The Summer edition of Zone 5300 contains a large retrospective of The Cramps, the psychobilly dinos that put the fun into punk, because of stiletto-heeled front-man Lux Interior’s death earlier this year. Writer Eric van der Heijden handcuffs you, then shows all the clean versions of rock ‘n’ roll and the dirty parents they sprang from. Guess where The Cramps belong?

Lars Fiske reports on a 1922 visit of Dada to the Netherlands (illustration).

What do you do if everybody is already shooting nice pics of microbes, hell, if nice pics of microbes are really old hat in your country? Stereoscopic photos of the creepy-crawlies! Plus you try to get American art schools and Dutch museums to believe your story that art can only be objectively enjoyed after you have dunked classic works and instruments in a bath full of micro-organisms. Such is the wondrous sense of humour of Wim van Egmond.

Maaike Hartjes tries her hand at photography. Eerie! Cute! How does she do it? (Maaike’s got a new blog by the by, so go check it.)

And finally a long comic of Fool’s Gold contributor Milan Hulsing about collected collectors, so you know he knows what he is talking, er, drawing about.

(Illustration: Lars Fiske.)

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January 4, 2009

Frits Jonker’s typefaces

Filed under: Comics by Branko Collin @ 2:15 pm

Fool’s Gold editor Frits Jonker is playing with typefaces, faces drawn using the letter shapes (only and all) of a person’s name. He’s got a longish Flickr photostream with just typefaces of what I assume are his friends, but the image above with Batman and Robin and Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie was taken from the latest Zone 5300.

Speaking of which, the winter issue of Zone 5300 has an exerpt from Nozzman’s “drawing book” (“not a sketch book, because even if I don’t study or research these drawings, they’re still mature”), part 1 of Mr. Mack’s very handy guide to trucker’s CB talk, Robert van Raffe’s look into dandyism, an interview with detective writer Philip Kerr, and much more.

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November 2, 2008

Geometric family tree as birth announcement card

Filed under: Comics,Design by Branko Collin @ 5:35 pm

Piet Schreuders, him of the Poezenkrant (which is not about cats), designed this card in 1984 on occasion of the birth of his daughter Anna. It’s a family tree that goes back four generations, pink branches signifying girls, blue ones boys. It’s one of the reasons that the Fool’s Gold editors clamour for a Schreudermania book.

Ah, speaking of Fool’s Gold. People forgot to tell my clients that there’s an economic crisis supposed to be going on, and as a result I haven’t really had the time to review the latest Zone 5300. Issue 83 is all about Outsider Art. Like every other issue of Zone 5300. Which they sort of acknowledge in the foreword, then still power on.

The good thing though is that as part of that whole Outsider Art thing Fool’s Gold got two extra pages in full colour. Comics are mostly by the regular contributors. Lamelos’ Sam Peeters goes solo this time with In de schaduw van mijn lul (In the shade of my penis), which manages to pack armed robbery, monkeys, slipping-over-banana jokes, faeces, swamp things, camp fires, steaming hot sex, and a gruesome beheading all in six small pages, in that order. I thought you ought to know.

Zone 5300 also checks out how Teun Hocks, illustrator to amongst others The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine is doing these days. He’s doing… wait, buy the damn magazine already!

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July 5, 2008

Zone 5300, Summer 2008

Filed under: Comics,Weird by Branko Collin @ 1:43 pm

Who’s heard of Lian Ong recently? The comics artist received aclaim with her album Horizon in 1998, winning an award at the Stripdagen Haarlem. The comics book took 8 years to create, and she didn’t feel like repeating that stunt again, so she became a Tai-Chi teacher.

Another (sigh) autobiographical story by Simon Spruyt, this time about his carreer as a comic artist-god (illustration right). Revealing.

Fool’s Gold is looking for subsidies to bring out a CD with their large collection of gay songs, and are asking readers who know which ways to walk toward the state’s purse to help them out. This issue was the first time in years that Fool’s Gold writes something I’d read about before on the web (the phonautogram), a clear indication of what a good nose the two editors have for the weird and the wonderful—or a clear indication that I surf the wrong websites.

10 bonafide ways to lose your punk credibility. Number 7: Run for mayor of San Francisco (Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedies). Finish behind a drag queen called Sonic Boom Boom.

Graphical biography in which the devil tells the life story of American writer and explorer W.B. Seabrook, alleged eater of man flesh, sexual deviant, inventor of the word “wow,” and popularizer of zombies. Written and drawn by two of the magazine‘s editors, Tonio van Vugt and Marcel Ruijters.

Detectives should stay away from time travel (illustration left), that would save us a lot of problems. In Joshua Peeters’ De Rechtvaardige Rechters (The Just Judges) our heroes who do not look like another staple of Flemish comics—and we’ll keep denying it till you believe us—try and retrieve the famous panel by the Van Eyck brothers.

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April 12, 2008

Zone 5300, an abundance of bunnies

Filed under: Comics by Branko Collin @ 8:30 am

In issue 81 of Zone 5300 one Eric van der Heijden is giving Maaike Hartjes a run for her money with his own brand of tiny comics, although his intellectual absurdities remind me most of online comic XKCD. A hunter walks up to a giant rabbit, wraps his arm around its shoulders, and tells it with a big grin: “There are too many rabbits here. That’s all I am saying. Draw your own conclusions.”

There’s a four pager by Floris de Smedt where Mr. Bunny (see image above) escapes from his prison and exacts a terrible revenge from Brussels. Luckily Mr. Bunny is no match for The Professor, who has a brilliant brain and ready access to dragon eggs. No bunny can resist eggs!

Illustration by Eric van der Heijden: “Does this make you feel more of a man? Does this make you forget for a fleeting moment that your wiener is tiny?”

Toen ik klein was (When I was young) is a translation of a comic by Mr. Stocca (Milan Pavlovic) about a boy/bunny who has a crush on his school teacher, and then she dies. I love the atmospheric drawings (see below)!

Also: voyeuristic drawings of young women by Barend van Hoek, a look at artificial creatures, and the regulars (Hibou, Cowboy John, Fool’s Gold, et cetera).

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November 9, 2007

Zone 5300, 2007 autumn edition

Filed under: Comics,Design,Literature by Branko Collin @ 2:11 am

Literature opens doors, and eyes, and windows on the soul, some people say. But who is going to close all these entrances again? For instance, in the new Zone 5300 Maaike Hartjes reports from Japan that one of the most popular forms of manga for women there is gay manga for girls, including gay manga for girls set in Lord of the Ring’s Middle Earth and illustrated with a drawing of a smooching Aragorn as portrayed by Viggo Mortensen. How am I ever going to unknow that?!

Or what about this: the heyday of Holocaust porn? Let me rephrase that. What about this: Holocaust porn? Apparently quite popular in Israel during the Eichmann trial. Zone writes about tall blonde nazi women in tight leather skull adorned uniforms brandishing whips and presumably about to suck the life juices out of camp prisoners. The 2007 documentary Stalag by Ari Libsker explores the phenomenon.

At this point I am too jaded to get worked up over the fate of Virgil Mankiewicz, a man from Nebraska who got sentenced to death because his Siamese twin brother Homer got sentenced to death.

There’s also a short interview with Raoul Deleo, one of the two makers of De eenzame snelweg (The Lonely Motorway), a book describing the trip the authors took along the same route that Jack Kerouac describes in On The Road. Kerouac typed out his book on scrolls, and in true “method drawing” fashion Deleo copied that idea by constructing a case with a built-in scroll to draw on while on the road (see illustration).

Furthermore, there is a look at the fantastic work of Chuck Groenink (for instance: teabags hanging from a ceiling, dripping like corpses in a slaughterhouse), comics by Merel Barends and Jakob Klemencic, an excellent episode of Fool’s Gold (which I reported about earlier), and Wasco’s interpretation of Dick Bruna’s Zwarte Beertjes book covers (see illustration).

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October 26, 2007

Buying vinyl records from a vending machine

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 2:36 pm

[Gramophone vending machine]In their latest episode of Fool’s Gold in Zone 5300, Milan Hulsing and Frits Jonker ask their readers: was this for real? Was there ever a store in Amsterdam in the sixties where you could buy records using an outdoors vending machine? (The Dutch name of this device: grammofoonplatenautomaat. There.)

These types of vending machines are quite popular in the Netherlands, but are used almost exclusively to sell unhealthy snack food—note how inconveniently sized the compartments in the photo are for 45s, but how well they would fit a greasy meatball! I’ve also seen one such machine used by a fishing supply store, but there it made eminently sense; fishers get up at ungodly hours, so having a machine to sell them maggots and worms is better than having to get up early yourself. But did the vinyl vending machine ever exist? Perhaps it was there for bad cases of the “you have to have heard this song, man!” jones.

Answers to Fool’s Gold, P.O. Box 75459, 1070 AL Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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July 29, 2007

Zone 5300: more of same

Filed under: Art,Comics by Branko Collin @ 3:30 pm

[cover] The summer edition of Dutch “comics, culture & curiosa” mag Zone 5300 has been out for a while, but I have been a bit busy and haven’t been able to discuss the issue here before. Loads of the house comics are presented in this issue (you know, Beach Man, Maaike, Boerke, and even an Hibou). The boys from Lamelos (translation: Lemmego) have a mister Doodiehead and his friend Cheesehead guard a diamond from criminal hedgehogs (pleonasm, or an all too necessary amplification of the truth?).

Illustration by Lamelos.

Among the rare guest strips are the (autobiographic?) Love Story by Wittek, and Voodoo Koedoe (which rhymes in Dutch), in which Joshua Peeters gets in touch with his inner wigger. “Come on Dorothy, let me tell you about the missionary position.”

Illustration by Joshua Peeters.

Furthermore, an article exploring the use of corpses in art, and the usual barrage of book, music and film reviews. In Fool’s Gold, Milan Hulsing and Frits Jonker ask what happened to Die Sprechende Türkin, an early 19th century speech synthesizer built as half an android (the top half, of course), so if you know the answer, don’t hesitate to mail them.

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