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ARTFORUM’s Comics-Heavy Summer Issue

The editors of ARTFORUM magazine welcomed fifteen comics and animation professionals to contribute their perspectives on the modern condition of both mediums, and, according to the summer issue’s introductory article, to “delve into the history of comics and the graphic novel and their fraught relation to contemporary art and literature….” — an ambitious endeavor that, even in steamy July, offers lukewarm results.

‘The Package,’ ‘Southern Bastards’

Sketchy line work and frenetic brush strokes nearly obscure the action early-on in new digital-only graphic novel The Package. Co-creator Alexis Ziritt’s blotty backdrops make it difficult to distinguish when a hotel’s table fan and desk chair begin and end in the first few pages, where two miserable hitmen — who are working together in dry and dusty “Vista Del Sol, Mexico” — trade threats and eventually, let their tempers get the best of them.