>"To imbue comics with serious literary subtlety seems absurd to me"


Eiland in the Sky by Guy Leshinski

Eye Weekly THE PANELIST 07.14.05

The avant-garde is no place for a squeamish cartoonist — let alone two. They need unshakable faith in their medium, supreme confidence in their skill and it helps to be from Amsterdam, where razing the norm is a national pastime.

The Cultural Gutter July 28, 2005

Back home they’re known as Toob and Steef. “Over here,” says Schalken by email, “comics are mainly an infantile business and I don’t feel very comfortable in the scene.” By way of rebuttal, he and van Dinther make a serial called Eiland, published by Belgian imprint Bries, that treats the comic form like a squash ball ricocheting between its artists’ imaginations. Every issue has a cluster of stories that vary wildly in style and tone, from maundering musings to cold silence, from freehand swirls to suffocating realism. It’s an alternating current of chaos and confusion… or so it looks at first. A careful reading reveals a quietly wrought order beneath the cacography and a set of firm, if grandiose, convictions — like the malleability of time and space — that the comics’ recurring motifs and lateral presentation convey with baffling clarity.

Related Links
Stefan van Dinther’s website
Tobias Schalken’s website

filed under: Europe; Belgium; Tobias Schalken; Stefan van Dinther; Guy Leshinski; avant garde


2 thoughts on “>"To imbue comics with serious literary subtlety seems absurd to me"

  1. >Wow. These panels are absolutely gorgeous. You have quite the comic resource list, too. Thanks. Thank you for posting so much info, I never thought to look up Russian or African comic strips, but it makes so much sense. Is there a way I can add your site to mine? Like on the side or something? Thanksnarishatar


  2. >Aren’t they though?Thank you for the kind words. I try to keep the focus a little less myopic around here. I’m just discovering the Russian comics myself–some very interesting work being done there!I’ll add you is just a sec.


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