The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux is 2017’s best book in celebration of a European comics artist. Why? Glad you asked…
Because thanks to this handsome hardcover compilation, we can finally come to appreciate and admire this master of French comics; her extraordinary career from the late 1960s to early ’80s has been unjustly overlooked for way, way too long. Because her radiantly colorful renderings of illuminated late afternoon landscapes and elongated shadows conclusively prove that she’s the Salvador Dali of Pop Art cartooning. Because her interiors are beautifully, bleakly haunting. Because her figures might take on a Victor Moscoso-like amorphous organicism … just because they can.
Because Daniel Clowes did a bang-up job on the book’s design. Because Clowes also knows his stuff when he declares in his intro: “Like the early films of David Lynch, there’s a recognizable, fully-imagined world made to vibrate with genuine emotion and mystery by a fearless inward-focused artistic self-assurance and an intensely felt clarity of vision. This boldness is present throughout her work, from the fluid ease of the drawings to her dazzling stylistic shifts—from Crumb-level high detail to Heinz Edelmann-esque playfulness in the span of a few panels.”
Because this edition might inspire readers to seek out the rare few of Claveloux’s 60-plus delightful, frequently psychedelic, Push Pin Studio style European childrens’ books that had been translated into English once upon a time: Go, Go, Go, Grabote!, Gertrude’s Child, and Dracula Spectacula (Harlin Quist, you are missed). Because American publishers might now start to take a closer look at Morte Saison and more by Claveloux. Because in any event, it allows us to be grateful once again for the New York Review of Books’s comics division—publisher of Soft City, one of my 2016 Best Graphic Novel picks—for gifting us with The Green Hand this year.
This year, our brilliant Regional Design Awards judges—Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, Pum Lefebure, Ellen Lupton, Eddie Opara and Paula Scher—have pored over, puzzled over, obsessed and stressed over nearly 4,000 entries to bring you this list of their selections for the best American designs of the year. Perhaps with a bit more pressure than in years past. With this issue of Print, we say goodbye to the physical copies of our magazine, and hello to a robust and thriving online community.
As Debbie Millman says in her editor’s note, “In its 77-year history, the magazine evolved from a technical and scholarly journal aimed at the printing trade, to a mainstream magazine providing critical reporting and analysis of all facets of graphic design and visual culture.”
Grab this final copy of Print magazine today and join what Steven Heller describes as “more than a mere magazine, but a community—in a sense, a family—of shared interest that has promoted, critiqued, enlightened and introduced a broad swath of art and craft from which its readers have carved out not only careers but creative lives.”
This is not an end. This is a beginning.
About Michael Dooley
Michael Dooley is the creative director of Michael Dooley Design and teaches History of Design, Comics, and Animation at Art Center College of Design and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He is also a Print contributing editor and author.