If you read German, there’s a recently released textbook, Comics und Graphic Novels: Eine Einführung by Julia Abel and Christian Klein (Publisher: J.B. Metzler. ISBN: 978-3-476-02553-1), that has a bit about abstract comics in one chapter on medium, form and narrative - “Was ist ein Comic?” :
Over the past few months I've been working on a graphic novel called 'Found Forest Floor'. From that, I took a sample of pages to make a mini-comic/zine called 'Found Forest', which I've been working over with inks and paint to make something new, which is called 'Sugar Forest Fire'. I've made the PDF available for download here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4SfW4B59VgnTUwwUzNNNkRqQms/view
I'm planning to continue this process over the coming month, continuously redeveloping the original pages, just to see what happens, really.
just a short note to show show you an image an old (1972) "proto-abstract comic" (for lack of a better word) Maël Rannou made me discover some time ago. Each page contains a unique image similar to this one:
Maël has published 2 thirds (EDIT: the third part is also available) of this 22 (EDIT: 28) pages book on its tumblr, the first part is here:
Despite an unfortunate twist in its last page, which renders the story much more down to earth, I still find it a very interesting example of early (almost) abstract comics.
But actually I feel a bit awkward talking about it myself, since Maël knows this work and this author much better than I do, and since he moreover regularly emails me with other such examples, I think it would be a better idea to simply invite him to contribute to this blog. (Maël is also a small press publisher and did produce some zines of its own.)
On Abstract Comics: The Anthology (Currently SOLD OUT):
The artists assembled by Andrei Molotiu for his anthology ABSTRACT COMICS (Fantagraphics, $39.99) push “cartooning” to its limits... It’s a fascinating book to stare at, and as with other kinds of abstract art, half the fun is observing your own reactions: anyone who’s used to reading more conventional sorts of comics is likely to reflexively impose narrative on these abstractions, to figure out just what each panel has to do with the next.
--Douglas Wolk, New York Times Book Review, Holiday Books edition, December 6, 2009 The collection has a wealth of rewarding material... it is a significant historical document that may jump-start an actual new genre.
--Doug Harvey, LA Weekly It becomes a treat to take a page of art - or a simple panel - and consider how the shapes, texture, depth, and color interact with one another; to reflect on how, when one takes the time, the enjoyment one ordinarily finds in reading a purely textually-oriented, narrative-driven written story can - with the graphic form - be translated into something completely different.
--Adam Waterreus, Politics and Prose, "Favorite Graphic Literature of the Year."
...this arresting book is like a scoop of primordial narrative, representational mud. Which is to say, it has vitaminic powers.
For years, comics (at least American ones) have doggedly refused for one reason or another, to consider other schools of art and beyond mere representation. It's only now we see artists attempting to branch out and try to push at the edge's of the medium's definition. As such I found Abstract Comics to be a revealing, thought-provoking and genuinely lovely book that I'll be sure to be rereading in the months to come.