11. April 2018

Terry Moore: Strangers in Paradise

Terry Moore: “Katchoo”
(in full: Marie Choovanski)
SiP Vol. III No. 25 "On The Beach"
At first I had thougt SIP is the Internet phoning protocol, and Terry Moore a beautiful actress.
   But now SiP stands for Strangers in Paradise, and Terry Moore is a male cartoonist. His most famous series is and was Stragers in Paradise, ninety issues from 1993 to 2007. His SiP received the Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 1996 as well as the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award for Best Comic Book in 2003. It also won the GLAAD Award for Best Comic Book in 2001. I hadn’t known that; Wikipedia knew.
   On my way to the grocery store across Oxford Street I pass Bonn’s Comics Shop. They display unsold old comics, plastic figurines und other related paraphernalia (including dust) at reduced prices on the walkway. So after shopping I rest my heavy green bag, and I thumb through German, English or even Italian cartoons. Just today I got 16 more SiPs, published by Abstact Studio – his and his wife Robyn’s own publishing company – reduced for US$ 2.75 to one Euro each.
   I love comics, ever since my mother seduced me to Topolino back in 1949, when it became pocketable, in order better use the same printing machines as the Selezione dal Reader’s Digest. These details come from Corriere della Sera’s book Topolino Story on page 12: « Facendo di Topolino un pocket, inoltre, può ottimizzare i tempi morti della rotativa Vomag [Vogtländische Maschinenfabrik AG, Plauen im Vogtland, Germania], già impiegata per las stampa del tascabile di informazione e cultura Selezione dal Reader’s Digest, il cui primo numero è uscito nell’ottobre 1948. » – Birth of the Italian Disneys.
Topolino (Micky Mouse) as Dante in his Divine Comedy, by Guido Martina signing as Walt Disney, 1949
History aside and back to SiP. I had been aware of Terry Moore’s »strangers« since quite a while. I like his Art Noueau design. It’s not really Art Nouveau, but it hints at it. Especially women’s full hair styles lend themselves to ornaments. If you care to look at Terry Moore’s blog, you can see that. His humour sometimes suggests Norman Rockwell, especially as Moore is an expert in face expressions.
   Moore does not like color, really, as he’s a one-man show, his own penciller, inker and letterer. He would not like to be flatter and colorist as well …
   His drawings – to me – often seem simple, and remind me of children’s books like Dr. Dolittle, see here for an example. Moore is excellent with drawing people, women especially, and even more with expressions. That’s why I chose the …AAAAAANND… above as an introduction.
   Boring and self-repeating surfaces are not his favourites: the sea, wooden surfaces, sometimes even the sky result
   Astonshingly SiP is read by women more than by men. This is quite unusual for comics! Read the three webpages interview with him by Stephan van Löchtern (?) 1998. A quote: »I draw in [air]planes. When I’m in America I draw when I’m travelling all the time. I've done almost an entire issue on airplanes. But in Germany I’ve not been able to get anything done because it’s all so new to me and so pretty. It’s a pretty country. I’ve been on a lot of trains and I’m just looking out the window the whole time. We’re going up and down the Rhine river valley with all those castles. I just can’t NOT look, I can’t concentrate on a blank page while all this is going by. I’m supposed to be working on my book right now and I’ve not done a thing. So I'm in trouble (smiles).«

Francine, sitting, and Katchoo, pointing (at Drachenfels?), enjoying a view of the Rhine Valley and the »Siebengebirge« (seven hills range) – seems like (from here).

SiP gibt’s auch deutsch, mit demselben englischen Gesamttitel. Hier eine Rezension von Band 7 aus dem Jahr 2002.

SiP in the English Wikipedia
SiP in der deutschen Wikipedia

Amazon still sells the complete “strangers” as “The greatest love story ever told”, two volumes in a box, 2,128 pages, for some 120 Euro. My copy, bought cheaper, is at Siebenfahr.

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From http://www.maida.net/sip/sipstuff/calendar2000.html

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