Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary













Home > CR Reviews

A Fistful Of Drawings
posted May 1, 2019
 

image

Creator: Joe Ciardiello
Publishing Information: FU Press, softcover, 72 pages, 2019, $25.
Ordering Numbers: 9781683962274 (ISBN13); 1683962273 (ISBN10)

****

I thought this was a beautiful and even touching book, probably the best I've read this calendar year. A graphic memoir drawn from image the well-regarded illustrator has drawn of westerns, Italian entertainers and their frequent crossovers, A Fistful Of Drawings makes an expansive case for how much art has worn a cowboy hat, how much of the western leaned into an specifically European conception of the world.

In a pair of deft strokes related to family, Ciardiello connects the live western shows of the early 20th Century and actors who lived the parts they played to collaborative film, music and television enterprises with what at one point seems a revolving cast of names changed to protect the ethnicity of the working performer. Ciardiello uses the illustrators' presentation of text as a visual element to bring the loftier achievement back into the broader landscapes presented. It is a decades-long valentine from the artist to art that may not always be reognized this way, as a collective voice, as a quiet and dignified way to understand to sort things through to finally rest. A Fistful Of Drawings is mournful in a way that only a presentation with reverence for the matter of fact progression for life can be, where personal facts and coincidences split into the back of a celebratory parade.

I liked this book when I saw right through it and loved this book its choices confused. I would love to see more.

*****

image

*****
*****