On the coffee table this month is a large format comic: Brian Chippendale‘s Ninja. It’s big! Try reading it on the train or the bus. Forget planes. In fact try fitting it on your coffee table next to your cup, cake and skeleton doll. It covers your torso and half of your face. You could probably hide behind it. Or it could double as furniture-a tray or portable drawing board. Think of Chippendale and you think of furniture or drawing. It is also the name of a suburb of Sydney quite close to where I live.
In the photograph there is an actual Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) skeleton doll engrossed with Chippendale’s work. There are lots of densely laid out pages of tiny panels that take some concentrated getting through and giant pages of tangled lines of images that give you no hope of finding the narrative direction home. Going round in circles and getting lost is easy with this guy. You end up making your own arrangements as to meaning and intent. Also on the coffee table is a copy of his IF’N OOF, much smaller than Ninja but a quite chunky 800+ pages. I picked this up during a trip to Adelaide and on the return flight to Sydney it was fun to see that Jack Black was aboard and looking very animated. He had played a sports stadium venue the night before with his band Tenacious D as support act for the Foo Fighters. Jack sat up the pointy end of the plane and we were down the back with the roadies. The one in our row was wearing a Brian Chippendale designed T-shirt and had actually met him at TCAF. Serendipitously, I had bought Chippendale’s IF’N OOF the previous day as my in-flight reading.
This guy really likes to draw. He has put miles of ink into these two books. It might take him awhile but he gets it done. Apparently Ninja took 3 years to draw. Both books shown in the photo were published by Picture Box, an innovative publisher of comics and graphic novels in Brooklyn. Chippendale was educated at the Rhode Island School of Design. A former member of the Fort Thunder collective he is a musician as well as an artist and has played in a couple of Noise rock bands. You can hear his vigorous drumming on the extra track Náttúra on Björk’s recent album Biophilia.
This post was first published on the Doctor Comictopus blog that has now been merged with this one, the Doctor Comics blog.
Read all the coffee table entries imported from Doctor Comictopus and now on the Doctor Comics blog: COFFEE TABLE first fix COFFEE TABLE second fix COFFEE TABLE third fix COFFEE TABLE fourth fix COFFEE TABLE fifth fix COFFEE TABLE sixth fix COFFEE TABLE seventh fix