Archive for the 'hype & linkage' Category

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Thomas Alsop i Information


I denne weekends krimitillæg til Information kan man læse min anmeldelse af Fahrenheits danske udgave af Chris Miskiewicz’ og Palle Schmidts fantasy-noir Thomas Alsop. Jeg synes serien har gode takter, samt franchisepotentiale, men den er samtidig lidt upersonlig og ikke tæt nok plottet. Der er plads til forbedring med andre ord. Stadig, værd at kaste et blik. Læs her, bag paywallen.

The Renaissance in Six Pictures

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434


A bit late here with this, but still thought I’d post it: as part of the BBC Civilisations Festival, which is approaching the end of its run, I wrote this piece on the European Renaissance, in which I try to convey as sense of its meaning and significance through close looking at six pictures from the National Gallery’s collection (the Gallery is a partner in the festival). 200 words each. Not easy, especially considering that, whether you like it or not, any such endeavour will be made in the ghostly shade of Kenneth Clark, whose original 1969 documentary series is still at high watermark in television about art, ideological criticisms be damned. Oh yeah, this all is of course prompted by the current revival of the concept at the BBC with their Civilisations, which so far I’ve found more admirable than inspiring, but still well worth watching for the many insights and the passion of its three hosts and its occasionally inspired editing.

Nina Hemmingsson i Information


Så er jeg her igen. Endnu en tegneserieanmeldelse i Informations bogtillæg. Denne gang omhandler det Nina Hemmingssons Du vil ha’ mig, hendes danske debut her, godt et dusin år efter hun brændte igennem i Sverige. Jeg gør mig lidt tanker om hvorfor det har taget så lang tid, men bruger mere tid på at forsæge at indkredse hendes fandenivoldske humor. Læs her, men der er som sædvanlig paywall.

Fuglemanden, en McGraphic Novel


Så kører det. Denne uge er der i Informations (nydesignede) bogtillæg endnu en af mine tegneserienameldelser, af Sarah Engell og Lillian Brøggers Fuglemanden. Den er er jeg ikke vild med. Hermed et kort uddrag af anmeldelsen:

Tegneserieformen konsoliderer sig for tiden i litteraturverdenen. Etablerede forlag, der mestendels gør sig i bøger uden billeder, har med fremkomsten af den såkaldte ’graphic novel’ fået færten af en form, som kan noget nyt og andet og samtidig trives i et litterært register. Forfattere, filmfolk, illustratorer og andet godtfolk prøver kræfter med tegninger og talebobler. Resultatet er det fremvoksende fænomen, man kunne kalde en McGraphic Novel.

… nu har ungdomsforfatter Sarah Engell og illustrator Lillian Brøgger – kendte og respekterede skikkelser på deres respektive felter – signeret en vaskeægte tegneserie med titlen Fuglemanden. Den er nærmest indbegrebet af en McGraphic Novel. En tegneserie i bogform, der behandler et ’alvorligt’ emne og fastholder litterær dekorum. Der er hak i alle de rigtige kasser.

Læs den her, ed abonnement.

Signe Parkins i Information


Efter laaang tid er jeg tilbage i Information med en tegneserieanmeldelse. Det gælder Signe Parkins’ helstøbte tegneserielyrik Tusindfryd. Læs her, men beware the paywall.

Michelangelo in the Burlington


This month’s issue of The Burlington Magazine (vol. 60, #1378) includes my lengthy review of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, still on for another week at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (until 12 February). Here’s a short, summary excerpt:

A curatorial triumph, with individual exhibits
selected with confidence and intelligence, the exhibition
offers an exceptional opportunity to understand and appreciate
Michelangelo’s art and creative mind at the most intimate level.
However, while this well suits those ready to devote a long
time to it, one wonders whether, for the more casual visitor, so
comprehensive an approach through sheer accumulation might
flatten the impact of individual objects – many of which would
be centrepieces in other displays.

In it, I also discuss the very forceful attribution to Michelangelo that curator Carmen C. Bambach advances for the picture illustrated above, from the Kimbell. Ostensibly Michelangelo’s first painting — executed in when he was a pre-teen or in his early teens — it is a compelling work that could be by him, but about which I am not alone in habouring certain doubts.

Anyway, read the Burlington at your local art library!

Claveloux på Nummer9

Fra mesterværket "La main verte"/"The Green Hand"


På tegneseriesitet Nummer9 har jeg netop brudt med lang tids stener og publiceret en anmeldelse! OK, det er en slags genoptryk af en tekst, jeg skrev til The Comics Journal sidste år, men alligevel — hop over på Nieren og check mit take på den nyligt udkomne amerkanske udgave af Nicole Claveloux’ (og Edith Zhas) fantastiske — på enhver måde — tegneserier fra sidst i halvfjerdserne/begyndelsen af firserne. Nogle af de mest overrumplende og naturligt originale tegneserier, jeg længe har læst.

Michelangelo i Weekendavisen

Siddende mandling model, ca. 1510+12, Wien, Albertina


I dennes uges udgave af Weekendavisen anmelder jeg den store Michelangelo-udstilling på The Metropolitan Museum of Art i New York og gør mig i den forbindelse nogle tanker om Michelangelos næsten eksklusive fokus på kroppen i sin kunst. Læs avisen, hvis I har mulighed for det!

The Green Hand at The Comics Journal


So, I already have another Common Currency column up at The Comics Journal. I know, crazy right? Anyway, it’s basically a standard review of French artist and writer Nicole Claveloux’ The Green Hand, just now reissued in a handsome English-language edition by New York Review Comics. I make the case that especially the tile story is a largely forgotten masterpiece, representing a road not really taken in the form until perhaps recently. In part because comics have been so bad at accomodating woman creators, again until recently. Things are changing. Go, read.

Common Currency – The Return!


Finally, after I don’t even want to think about how long, I’m back at The Comics Journal with an installment of my column on European Comics. While I’ve been writing other things there, I have been neglecting that particular commitment. And no, my last one didn’t really count, as it was about the very non-European Chester Brown.

So, click over to read my piece on how the newfound freedom occasioned by the international New Wave of comics in the nineties and early naughts is causing some confusion among even very talented cartoonists today, resulting in a lot of spectacular-looking, ambitious-seeming comics that don’t amount to all that much. Includes reviews of work by Olivier Josso Hamel, Yannis la Macchia and Antoine Marchalot. Go go go!

Above: from Yannis la Macchia’s Des batisseurs.

Kirby i Weekendavisen


I denne uges udgave af Weekendavisen står min artikel om Jack Kirby, skrevet i anledning af 100-året for hans fødsel, at laese. Køb eller lån avisen for jeres Kirbyfix og klik videre hertil for mere om Kirby i Bunkeren.

Billede fra Devil Dinosaur #4 (1974), af Jack Kirby og Mike Royer.

Danish Comics of the Year 2016


Here’s my contribution to Paul Gravett’s annual review of international comics: the best Danish comics of 2015, in my opinion. A bit of a fallow year, but the ones that were good, were really good. Here they are:

Hvad føler du lige nu? (‘What are you feeling right now?’)
by Philip Ytournel
Aben maler
Ytournel is the brightest and probably funniest newspaper cartoonist in Denmark. At their best, his strips break the old, long-established boundaries in terms of format, medium and — most importantly — humour, demonstrating that editorial cartooning can be different and creative, in spite of prescriptive tradition. And he is just plain funny, blending political with keenly observed, social satire. He has an eye for the absurdity and vanity in the banal details of diction and posture that other cartoonists either don’t notice or find too shallow to mine for commentary. This book collects his best work from more than a decade’s worth of work at the daily newspaper Politiken, including his brilliant 2013 comics inset on Søren Kierkegaard, written and drawn on the occasion of the world-famous Danish philosopher’s bicentenary. In it, he not only provides an ‘Existentialism for Beginners-type intro, but also comments hilariously on recent reception history and attendant controversy, and most poignantly situates Kierkegaard’s relevance to the average life of an average person wanting to be a football coach.

Dansker (’Dane’)
by Halfdan Pisket
Fahrenheit
The third and final volume in Pisket’s poetic and hard-hitting biography of his Armenian-Turkish immigrant father focuses on his slow and always imperfect settlement, not only in Danish society but into his role as father. Here are links to my reviews on this site of the first volume and . Through his David B-esque blank writing and suggestive, symbolist chiaroscuro, Pisket achieves a remarkable feat of hermeneutic empathy in portraying his own young self externally — through the eyes of his traumatised, criminal and in many ways irresponsible father. We come to understand, even sympathise with him, and we sense that the cartoonist himself does too, through the act of writing and drawing it out. While this means that the more ambiguous feelings expressed through his portrayal in the more powerful earlier volumes are somewhat neglected, it is beautifully moving.

Here are my picks for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, 2014, and 2015.

The Big 3 at The National Gallery


With the Michelangelo and Sebastiano exhibition closed at National Gallery we are privileged to hold on to Michelangelo’s marble Taddei Tondo from the Royal Academy until the end of January, while they complete the bicentennial refurbishment. This has given us the opportunity to show the sculpture along with a number of paintings from our collection by Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, the three foundational figures of what we have come to know as the High Renaissance.

The display is on in room 20 of the North Galleries, smack dab in the middle of our new display of Dutch and Flemish seventeenth-century paintings, incongruously but necessarily because of logistics. If you’re in London, I encourage you to visit what I think is a compelling display telling the story of the creative and, to a lesser extent, personal interrelations of these three very different giants of art.

If you wish to know more, do check my introduction to the display via Facebook Live.

Kirby at 100


Today, Jack Kirby, one of the great artists of the twentieth century and a visionary of the comics form, would have turned 100. For those unfamiliar with this extraordinary person and artist, or merely wanting to brush up, here’s a good primer and here is the touching and informative reminiscence by Kirby’s friend and erstwhile employee Mark Evanier, and here are a couple of really good pieces on his work reposted today by two great comics critics, Ken Parille and Andrei Molotiu.

I myself will be contributing a piece to the rolling celebration taking place all week at Danish comics site Nummer9, masterminded by my friend and occasional collaborator Henry Sørensen, whose feature-length 2009 essay on Kirby leads a variety of homages and critical takes. He posted the first part of it today, soon to be followed by the second, as well as the first of a series of tributes by Danish cartoonists. Meanwhile, Danish afficionados Morten Søndergård and Kim Schou have posted a two-hour podcast on Kirby. All of this, regrettably is only available in Danish, but if you do read the language stay tuned for more, including an article by yours truly which will feature the image above (from New Gods #5, 1971) and will subsequently be posted somewhere (probably here) in English, I hope.

Oh, there have of course also been a few posts on Kirby on this site. Among them are my thoughts on Kirby’s extraordinary transitional work on the Challengers of the Unknown in the late 1950s, my take on his last Fantastic Four story with Stan Lee, and my review of Evanier’s 2008 monograph, which has just been re-released to mark the centenary. Also, there is the provocative 2007 article by aforementioned Søndergård on his possible involvement not just in the creation of Spider-Man, but the execution of some of the first comics pages featuring the character. I don’t really believe it, but it is worth your attention, as is the debate it sparked, which features Evanier (again!) as well as Blake Bell, expert Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, and others.

UPDATE: here’s my essay in Danish at Nummer9 and in English at The Comics Journal.

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Rafael i Weekendavisen


I dagens udgave af Weekendavisen anmelder jeg den store — og fantastiske! — udstilling af Rafael-tegninger på The Ashmolean Museum i Oxford (til 3 september) og gør mig nogle tanker om hvad Rafaels tegninger fortæller os om hans særlige geni — et, der har gjort ham til det nok bedste bud på den vestlige traditions kvintessentielle kunstner.

Læs anmeldelsen her, eller i avisen hvor den er bedre illustreret. Og se udstillingen hvis I kan!

Sortkridtstegningen ovenfor er fra ca. 1519–20 og tilhører The Ashmolean Museum. Jeg diskuterer den i anmeldelsen.