Northwest Alternative Comics: Brady Davis

Unfortunately, I was ill and unable to attend the actual museum. After viewing what’s shown online, it seems like it was quite the exhibit! I’ve walked past the art museum many times and have always been interested to go in, but never have. After seeing the contents I’m especially motivated to see them in person and will make an effort to visit once the whole quarantine business is done with.

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Dirtbag by Eroyn Franklin

The first exhibit I chose was Dirtbag by Eroyn Franklin. Franklin is a comics artist, illustrator, ceramist, public artist, educator, and occasional shadow puppeteer based in Seattle. On her website, she says that “Dirtbag is an in-progress graphic memoir. In my early 20s I embraced a dirtbag lifestyle fueled by idealism and the search for authenticity in the world of drunks, radicals, and sundry riffraff.” It seems as though Franklin took a bit of a rebel stance in her youth. The illustration seems to be an over dramatized depiction of a family watching their home burn to the ground.

While I’m not sure how accurate this is to the authors intentions or the true meaning of the illustration, but from her description of the work itself, it seems like they come from a very personal place. The coloring is very bright and uses distinct bright colors. It uses lots of shapes and curves to outline the details of the house, family, etc. Color seems to be the primary outlying detail in this comic.

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Cash ’68 by David Laskey

The other comic I chose was Cash ’68 by David Lasky. Upon researching online, I couldn’t find much info on Laskey himself so I can’t really touch upon his background. The comic itself depicts a story of the life of Johnny Cash. It tells the story of how in January of 1968, following a year of debt, addictions, being a poor husband, etc. It says that Cash states he went deep into Nickajack Cave but also says that Nickajack Cave was flooded at the time Cash claims to have entered.

It goes on to tell the story of how in January of ’68 he divorced his first Vivian. Vivian then marries Dick Distin. Cash and his band, The Tennessee Three, then perform two very famous concerts at Folsom Prison with guest appearances from June Carter, The Statler Brothers, and Carl Perkins. The performances recorded by Columbia Records and later released for commercial purchase.

There is a skip to February 22 when Johnny Cash proposed to June in London, Ontario during a performance. It then shows February 29 where June is accepting the Grammy for their duet “Jackson.” It also has a text bubble revealing that June and Johnny are engaged. It then goes to March 1 when Johnny and June are married in Franklin, KY.

This work definitely uses a more classic style than the former. It has more of the boxed, clearly directed reading styles in that its left to right whereas the last one was just one image on its own. This has juxtaposed scene to scene transitions where events take place in between them. The art style itself definitely uses lots of colors to make the pictures pop, as well as lines to box everything in and make it coherent to undertand.

About Brady Davis

WSU Digital Technology and Culture 2022
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