Paul Kirchner’s The Bus is excellent. We know this, yes? Editions Tanibis sent me their copy of the surreal, philosophical strip’s first run. I’ve enjoyed going back through it again (bingeing, to be honest)—Tanibis’s volume is beautiful, crisp, and far more complete than the Imgur album that was such a hit this year.
Tanibis also sent along The Bus 2, which publishes late this month, and I’ll have a full review then (some time after Halloween), but for now, a teaser:
For the past year, I’ve run a strip from Paul Kirchner’s cult classic The Bus each Sunday. The strips come from an album posted at Imgur full of high quality scans. I posted the last scan last week.
The Bus originally ran in Heavy Metal from 1979-1985; Kirchner’s done
a few over 40 new strips over the past few years, as he notes in a recent memoir-piece at The Boston Globe. The new strips will be collected in The Bus 2 from Editions Tanibis. Editions Tanibis also has collected the original run of The Bus in an edition that’s more complete than the Imgur page.
I’ve enjoyed posting the strips tremendously. I first saw a few strips at an image forum I frequent, and quickly found the Imgur album. Posting one each Sunday was my way of, well, not bingeing on them.
The Bus is a profound strange wonderful trip. Kirchner’s visions often evoke Escher’s paradoxes, and the best of his strips make us attend closely to what we’d otherwise dismiss. The Bus is subtle and sly, occasionally (very occasionally) dark, but also, I would argue, sensitive—there’s something deeply endearing about the strip’s central human protagonist, an often passive (even hapless) passenger, a kind of late-20th century Everyman. Continue reading “The Bus, Paul Kirchner’s marvelous and surreal comic strip trip”
And here’s a topless Kirby at work on the painting: