Want to find out more about Argle Bargle Books, its editor and authors? Check out this conversation with Stanley Wany, Jonathan McBurnie and Christopher Sperandio:
Jonathan McBurnie is an artist, writer and cartoonist presently based in Townsville, Australia.
McBurnie began self-publishing comic books at the age ten, and his life has been a series of constant projects ever since. Completing a PhD at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, in 2015, McBurnie’s thesis and accompanying studio works explored the shifting role of drawing in the digital age, emphasizing the discipline’s ongoing tenacity through tactility, adaptability and eroticism. These works are an argument between established high and low art forms, and question popular culture’s impact upon society, particularly in terms of shaping identity, and the ways such iconographies are used as fodder for artistic vision, as well as a means of self-expression. McBurnie approaches his work as a collision of high and low forms, and seeks the narrative propulsion and dense visual language that lies in the tension between these forms.
McBurnie is presently the Creative Director of Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery, and also writes on occasion, having been published in Eyeline, Catalogue, The Lifted Brow, Huxley, Penthouse Australia, the Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture and Sneaky, where he was the Visual Arts Editor.
Sperandio is an Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting at Rice University in Houston TX, where he founded the Comic Art Teaching and Study Workshop.
In addition to putting himself through graduate school working as a truck driver, Christopher Sperandio, half of the artist team of Grennan & Sperandio, has produced 22 comics books as artworks for museums in the US and Europe. Bridging the High/Low divide, these works include Modern Masters, a cross-over comic for the Museum of Modern Art and published by DC Comics. Other works include Life in Prison
and the Invisible City, published by Fantagraphics Books. He has been written about extensively in newspaper and magazines, as well as in books on the subject of art.
He has produced new collaborative and artworks in conjunction with museums and art centers in the US, Germany, Northern Ireland, Denmark, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and France. Commissioning institutions include MoMA/PS1, the Public Art Fund, Creative Time, London’s Institute of contemporary Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Two of the landmark art exhibitions that he participated in are listed among the fifty most influential exhibitions of contemporary art in the book, SHOWTIME. Sperandio was also the Creator and Executive Producer of ARTSTAR, an internationally syndicated documentary television series about emerging contemporary artists filmed in New York, Chicago and Miami.
Stanley Wany is a multidisciplinary artist whose main focus is writing and drawing graphic novels.
His practice also includes experimentation in painting, pen and ink, as well as digital collage. He holds a Baccalaureate on arts and design (bande dessinée) from the Université du Québec en Outaouais where he founded Trip magazine. In 2016, his first graphic novel, Agalma, received nominations for the Doug
Wright Award (Toronto Comics and Arts Festival) for best alternative comic, and for a Prix Expozine (Expozine, independent editors’ festival in Montreal). The same year, he was invited to join the Quebecois delegation at the Festival de bande dessinée de Colomiers, in France. Past trips include the Helsinki Comics Festival and the Festival de bande dessinée d’Angoulême, and in 2017 he participated an exhibition on journalism in graphic novels at Amadora BD: International Comics Festival in Portugal.
He spent a month at the Arteles Creative Centre as an artist in residence in May 2018 and in the latter part the same year, he was awarded a creation grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for the production of his next graphic novel.
Stanley Wany’s graphic style is inspired by the works of renowned Italian comic book author Sergio Toppi, and artists Gustav Klimt and Gustave Doré. He combines figurative drawings with surrealist collages featuring imagery drawn from symbolist and mythological sources. Over the years, his extensive research in mythology and myths drew him to writings and lectures by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung. The ideas he found in these writers’ works are ingrained in his practice and are felt throughout the visual and narrative aspects of his graphic novels. Standalone works, such as illustration and experimentations also reveal the same sensitivities.
Stanley has lived in Montreal and Ottawa and now resides in Chelsea with his partner and two boys. For the past ten years, he has also worked as an independent comic book publisher with Trip Comix, which he co-founded.