This past Thursday we had the customary warm fuzzies we feel every time we receive a package from kuš! comics, the Latvian based comics art anthology. In case you didn't know, kuš! publishes Latvian as well as international authors in anthologies based on a theme. They aim to popularize comics in Latvia, as well as promoting Latvian artists in the larger global sphere.
The most recent issue to be released is š! #18 'Poetry', which presents a wide variety of visual poetry from international artists. From the kuš! site: "Some of the contributions are visual adaptations of existing poems, others are collaborative efforts between poets and comic artists, but mostly they genuinely are poems as comics or comics as poems."
Included in the collection are store favourites Patrick Kyle, Julie Doucet, and Sam Alden. #18 is a particularly strong entry in the kuš! collection, with gorgeously experimental work that shows the intersections possible in the comics and poetry worlds. Sam's submission, To My Brother, was a particular favourite of mine, with its sweet lather and peach imagery and pixelation that felt like a visual representation of an old memory.
We also have 4 new mini kuš! comics for hungry kuš! collectors. All four are fantastic entries, all brilliantly witty and yet sad in their own ways. Magnetism (#25) is a sardonic science fiction from Finnish artist Roope Eronen. What I took to be group therapy ends up becoming a futuristic business meeting where an entrepreneur's strange space travel device causes unwanted effects. Swimming Pool (#24) is the quiet and sweet story of a former circus worker who now works as a pool cleaner, passing by unnoticed and staying late to enjoy the pool by herself. Lucky (#22) is brutal and surreal, with Oskars Pavlovski's sinewy, villainous Luka/Lucky letting us into his world of selling stolen rear-view mirrors and beating up scumbags.
So come pick up some of Latvia's (and the world's!) best mini comics at your friendly neighbourhood Librairie Drawn & Quarterly.