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Tin House – Fall 2006

If there’s been a push as of late to break the glass ceiling of female graphic artists, then little magazines stand in the vanguard: this summer Marjane Satrapi was interviewed in The Believer; a little later, A Public Space came out with an excerpt from Lauren Redniss’s Century Girl. Now comes Tin House’s graphic issue, which goes further than either publication, featuring articles with Satrapi and earthy icon Lynda Barry (whose curiously scatological and entirely dualistic rumination on the nature of mental imagery graces the cover), and, later, a vignette on the dearth of female graphic artists. An interview with Satrapi follows, wherein this “queen” of graphic novels discusses how she reworked the flurry of misconceptions surrounding her Iranian heritage into the intelligent, darkly humorous Persepolis, now the subject of a movie deal.

If there’s been a push as of late to break the glass ceiling of female graphic artists, then little magazines stand in the vanguard: this summer Marjane Satrapi was interviewed in The Believer; a little later, A Public Space came out with an excerpt from Lauren Redniss’s Century Girl. Now comes Tin House’s graphic issue, which goes further than either publication, featuring articles with Satrapi and earthy icon Lynda Barry (whose curiously scatological and entirely dualistic rumination on the nature of mental imagery graces the cover), and, later, a vignette on the dearth of female graphic artists. An interview with Satrapi follows, wherein this “queen” of graphic novels discusses how she reworked the flurry of misconceptions surrounding her Iranian heritage into the intelligent, darkly humorous Persepolis, now the subject of a movie deal.

I found myself drawn, perhaps chauvinistically, to the teenaged drawings from Michael Chabon’s childhood, and Lord Whimsy’s scientific nothingnesses. Most promising, however, might be the preview of Zak Smith’s Illustrated Gravity’s Rainbow, which boasts 800 color illustrations of Pynchon’s opus, one for every page of the manuscript.

Tin House’s fictive efforts are disappointingly deterministic, though rich in imagery. But this is a truly “fun” issue of an invariably “fun” magazine, and I recommend it without reservation.

[www.tinhouse.com/index.htm]

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