Robert Beatty provides candy wrapping and Ian Svenonius riffs on Susan Sontag to set the tone for this challenging collection of comics.
Kramers Ergot is the premier comics anthology of the twenty-first century. Since its inception in 2000, it has revolutionized the medium, introducing new talents, solidifying aesthetics and standing as a state-of-the-medium book. Kramers Ergot has always been a reflection of editor Sammy Harkham’s current interests in comics past and future. So it is in this spirit, with this new volume, that he severs the anthology from many of the formal and stylistic elements with which it made its name. Whereas past issues were oversize, colorful and filled with a variety of artists all designed to overwhelm the reader with raw power, Kramers Ergot 8 is a complete shift both aesthetically and physically. The size of the book is smaller, to encourage a more intimate reading of the material, and the content reflects a focus on substantial works from a small group of no more than a dozen artists who, rather than being aesthetically disparate, reflect a more specific and unified aesthetic space of discipline, sophistication and quiet power. Among the contributors are Anya Davidson, Leon Sadler, Ben Jones, CF, Sammy Harkham, Tim Hensley, Kevin Huizenga, Takeshi Murata, Robert Beatty, Chris Cilla, Gabrielle Bell, Frank Santoro & Dash Shaw and Gary Panter.
Also included outside the Beatty-framed opening section of the book is a 40-page reprint of the 1970s comic strip “Wicked Wanda” by Frederic Mullally and Ron Embleton.
Packaged in clothbound covers designed by artist Robert Beatty.
“In great part, Kramers Ergot 8 reads as an art-comics reflection on the networked age. By gathering work that creates a space to consider something other than comics, Harkham again argues successfully for the relevance of the form in a time of epochal change.” –-Bill Kartalopoulos, Print
“Kramers is a necessary journal. Its smart combination of theory, difficult new work, and historical retrospective is exactly what aspiring, ambitious comics artists and adventurous fans should be reading now.” — Lee Konstantinou, Los Angeles Review of Books
232 page hardcover. Color and black and white on a variety of papers.
Picture Box, 2012