Blast Furnace Funnies by Frank Santoro
I got this at SPX over the weekend. Just finished reading it now. It’s really great. Has me thinking about my own childhood, the locations and environments that I grew up around.
It’s printed on newsprint. Large. You open it up wide and the spreads fill your field of view. You’re in there.
We don’t read comics in this size really. Newspaper comic strips were presented like this, sure. But never a single narrative. Just tons of different comic strips and styles fighting for your attention.
It’s very different (for me, anyway) to have a single comic be this big. I remember seeing that huge Little Nemo book that printed McCay’s comics at the large original size. Seeing the art at that size does make it feel different. Just the physicality of reading it changes how you experience it.
I found myself scanning over each large panel, my eyes doing dolly moves and pans, looking at the fields and houses Santoro drew. Perhaps the large size helped dictate the speed I read it. Or the narration broken up with “silent” panels of landscapes, trains, skies.
Whatever it was, I really dug it.
I recommend you buy a copy and read it. Preferably late at night/early in the morning when you’ve got the world to yourself. (That’s just my romanticized opinion of how you should do it…But I’m right!)