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Joe Coleman

Joe Coleman’s paintings and drawings employ the formal reductiveness of comic book illustration as a means of tapping into sources of irrational fear. What sets Coleman’s work apart from even avant-garde cartooning is the degree to which that sense of dread deforms the superficial charm of his illustrations, revealing the link between his adolescent terminology and a very adult ennui. His work recalls that of S. Clay Wilson, the San Francisco artist whose contributions to the legendary Zap Comix line also successfully blended a lascivious interest in horror with a finely tuned psychosis.

Coleman also shares an interest with Sue Coe and Art Spiegelman in exploring degradation through comic imagery. However, Coe and Spiegelman’s political agendas neaten their interest in degradation. Coleman, on the other hand, blankets his imagery in a hazy irony. His orientation is more confessional than

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