Friday, December 11, 2009
Last night, The Tango Collection and Tango9: Love and War were both officially launched.
The turnout was remarkable, with quite a crowd braving the rain to huddle in the heat upstairs at Dante's in Fitzroy. The walls carried self-portraits and biographies of the contributing artists, so it was fun catching the backstory on people you found yourself chatting to (perhaps less so if they'd read yours :)). These are also included in the Collection.
Spendidly attired in white suit and panama hat, Tango editor Bernard Caleo gave an amazing and very entertaining heartfelt speech discussing the genesis of each book and thanking the many people involved in the creation and production of each. I'll discuss Tango9 in another post.
The Tango Collection strikes me as amazingly well-timed, and quite visionary on the part of Allen & Unwin. A number of local comic creators have had graphic novels published in recent years and many of them have short pieces in this compilation.
It's a big, thick book packed with so many of my favourite pieces from the series and exactly everything that a good comics anthology should be - this book is able to present such a fine collection by having ten years of fine material to select from. Great credit is due to Bernard Caleo, along with Erica Wagner and Elise Jones, for this care in selection.
The "Backword" explains in comic form Bernard’s original vision: he began the regular Tango comics anthology in 1997 as a forum for comic makers to have a go, with romance and all its meanings as the broad theme. With the emphasis on strong black-and-white art, these eclectic pieces have an immediacy and eloquence lacking in most mainstream comics, and are mostly aimed at a mature audience. As Dylan Horrocks says in his intuitive introduction (regarding why we do this), these are "small, secret stories that will slowly creep into your mind and haunt your dreams."
My piece in there is my one pager from last years "Love and Food," which was the only thing I drew last year, so it's heartening to find it at the beginning of this book. Maybe I should do more wordless pieces :).
This is a special and fun book, and one I hope that you will consider when buying presents!
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