Monthly Archive for November, 2007

Ild indeni

natasja_t.jpgDet er nu et par måneder siden Natasjas posthumt udsendte danske debutalbum I Danmark er jeg født udkom, og det står på ingen måde svagere, nu tragedien er kommet lidt mere på afstand. Tværtimod. Man aner konturerne af en klassiker. Et album, der med fintindstillet fornemmelse fanger sin tid og samtidig anbringer sig i dens forlængelse.

Således er åbningstracket ”Ildebrand i byen” et veritabelt anthem for den danske reggaescene før og især nu, leveret med pondus af en af dens mest vitale veteraner gennem tiden og båret frem af en hårdtpumpet Pharphar-produktion garneret med gashorn. Før havde vi Bikstok Røgsystems fornemme ”3 stks tøj”, men det her brænder igennem på et mere grundlæggende niveau. Natasja sender skud til scenens vigtigste spillere og bekræfter sine egne ord om, at det efterhånden skulle være sat på plads, at dansk reggae giver den gas. Pharphar selv giver sangen en bevægende subtekst i hvad der lyder som et posthumt indspillet vers, hvor han opregner hvad der sker i den danske dansehal og forsikrer, at Natasja vil han aldrig glemme. Continue reading ‘Ild indeni’

Linkage: Japanese Film Treasures

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Via Dirk, I was made aware of this archive and pointed in the direction of the classic films by Akira Kurosawa they have available for download, entirely legally. Hop to it — Ikiru and Rashomon are full-blown masterpieces, containing some of the great moments of the art form. Sanshiro Sugata is Kurosawa’s first film and an incredibly impressive debut at that. There is the marvelous scene of Sugata, the judo student protagonist, experiencing enlightenment looking at a lotus flower from a pool (pictured), and a stunning showdown sequence with drifting shadows at the end. Stray Dog is a tense big city drama of a conscientious cop, played by the great Toshiro Mifune, looking for his gun which is stolen from him in the first sequence. A great premise, executed with bravour. They Who Step on the Tiger’s Tail is another early work, which I haven’t seen, but now will.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, go download the free PDF of Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema, David Bordwell’s authoritative monograph on that other great Japanese master, Yasujirô Ozu. Bordwell’s one of our great scholars of cinema and a fantastic writer to boot. What are you waiting for?

Rap vs. Rap


Thoroughly entertaining to see hip hop legend KRS-One expound on how he admires Kanye West, but really feels 50 Cent a whole lot more, in this AllHipHop interview from the VH1 Hip Hop Honors show back in October. This is one of the people most fully immersed in hip hop culture, but this really shows how conservative this great innovator has become.

True to form, and invoking his by now classic terminological distinction (“rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live”), he emphasises the importance of originality, but in the same breath stresses the importance of keeping your eye at street level, if what you want to do is hip hop and not just rap. And his example of someone who’s doing this? 50 Cent! One of the worst no-talent hacks to reach the top of the pile in years. An emcee who’s just as much about business as Kanye and the ‘ringtone rappers’ KRS here warmly gives their due as money-makers but dissociates from hip hop. Talking about the ‘competition’ between 50 and Kanye, KRS laments how sales, once again, are used as a measure of success, but, uh Kris, do you remember who started that nonsense, said he would stop recording albums if he ‘lost’, and kept it going right up till the very end? Continue reading ‘Rap vs. Rap’

Diving In and Coming Up: Nick Bertozzi Interviewed


It’s been a busy year for Nick Bertozzi. 2007 saw two new graphic novels out from the New York-based cartoonist, both followed by extensive promotional touring including reading sessions, book signings and panel discussions at various conventions and book stores. Endeavours such as these of course reflect the growing interest in the graphic novel, and the continuous climb of the art form as a whole – and it’s a climb that in no small measure can be attributed to the bold experiments of Bertozzi’s generation.

Having largely discarded both the stylistics and the contents of genre-based comics, the avant-garde of today’s comic book artists have embarked on a seemingly boundless foray into the mechanics of what constitutes great storytelling and great art. Judging from his two new books, The Salon and Houdini: The Handcuff King, 37-year-old Nick Bertozzi seems to find at least part of the answer in historical events. Continue reading ‘Diving In and Coming Up: Nick Bertozzi Interviewed’

Rootsman Massive!

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Bedre sent end aldrig! Danmarks bedste lydsystem vandt, efter et beklageligt uheld i 2005, endelig den titel de hele tiden skulle have haft, da Rootsman Hi-Fi vandt det andet Danske Soundclash-mesterskab d. 3 november. Ville have postet om det tidligere, men har ligget lidt underdrejet (og gør det fortsat). Hele aftenens program, optaget direkte fra lydpulten, ligger nu online, og er endda blevet opdelt i enkelttracks courtesy min mand GB, så download lortet og nyd lyden! Der bliver fame kogt op til kamp!

Reggae fans, go download this recording of the entirety of the Danish Soundclash Championship, which was held in Christiania, Copenhagen on November 3rd. Apart from being ruffness, it’s a great earshot of the hotter-than-ever Danish reggae scene 2007.

Image showing 2/3 of the Rootsman Hi-Fi Sound System, Ras Money and Marni, taken from their MySpace page.

Hype: Alex Holden

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Brooklyn-based cartoonist Alex Holden has just launched his brand new website, full of art! Go there, and check it out, and keep an eye out for his comic series Magic Hour — it comes Bunker recommended! Oh, and check out Holden’s blog while you’re at it.

John Romita Jr. Interviewed

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Danish Comics collector and power-enthusiast Henrik Andreasen has just posted a short interview with one of the premier American mainstream artists of his generation, John Romita Jr., over at Sequential Tart. This interview originally ran in Danish in Rackham #5, and was the result of a collaboration between Andreasen and myself, with yours truly providing Henrik with a set of written questions that he took to San Diego in 2002 and used as the basis for the interview. Good to see it being given a new lease on life!

Art from the recently published
World War Hulk #5. Romita in full form, with great Janson inks and spectacular colour work by Christina Strain (plus some schlocky lettering in the sound effects). Pity the script by Greg Pak suffers from such poor plotting.

Hype: Maria Skov!

skov_1_t.jpgSadly, there are way too few female artists on the Danish comics scene, which makes it even more awesome to discover up-and-coming Maria Skov’s work. This girl is going places! A relative newcomer to the medium, she delves into it with a joy and ease that promises great things to come!

This is her new blog which features illustration as well as short comics. Enjoy!

http://mariaskov.blogspot.com/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Book of the Moment: Tardi on the Shore

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Jacques Tardi & Pierre Siniac: Le Secret de l’étrangleur (Casterman)
Danish Edition: Kvælerens Hemmelighed (Carlsen Comics)

Get your copy now! It’s pulp! It’s fun!

Danmark i fladskærmens tidsalder (og den borgerlige anstændigheds svigt)


Hvordan kan det være at Danmark nu for tredje gang i træk går en periode med blokpolitik i møde? Er danskerne ligeglade med at blive ledt af en regering, hvis parlamentariske grundlag er et kulsort, højrepopulistisk parti? Og hvordan går det til, at danske vælgere tilsyneladende uden videre tilgiver statsministerens fatale insisteren på proaktiv udenrigspolitik i Irak? Svaret er: fladskærme.

I Anders Fogh Rasmussens to regeringsperioder har en benhård og effektiv økonomisk politik gjort Danmark og danskerne særdeles velstående. Skattestop, afvikling af udlandsgæld og øget friværdi er blandt de bedrifter, der har givet vælgerkorpset mulighed for at erhverve samtalekøkkener og bil nummer to, for ikke at glemme opsvingets måske mest lysende ikon: fladskærmen. Danskerne er i de seneste 6 år blevet mere materielt fikserede end nogensinde før; vi er vilde med mærkevarer og statussymboler.

Den privatøkonomiske bundlinje blev tilsyneladende det afgørende parameter for flertallet af vælgerkorpset, selvom præmissen for Ny Alliances dagsorden syntes at være dybt reel –- det borgerlige Danmarks voksende irritation over regeringens parløb med Dansk Folkeparti. At mangen en borgerlig vælger stemmer med pengepungen, frem for diverse politiske visioner og projekter, er en kendt sag, som der tilsyneladende ikke kan stilles meget op med –- men hvad så med disse ’anstændige borgerlige’? Continue reading ‘Danmark i fladskærmens tidsalder (og den borgerlige anstændigheds svigt)’

The Real Wants You to Shut Up!

el_jueves.jpgWhile we’re at the depressing news, I just wanted to note that the writer-cartoonist team of Guillermo Torres and Manel Fontdevila, who wrote and drew this cartoon of the Spanish Crown Prince and his wife a few months ago, have now been found guilty of “vilifying the Crown” — basically by depicting them in a completely mundane situation in which people of their age tend to find themselves on a regular basis — and fined €3.000 each. Better get in line folks, the Spanish Royal Family wants you to shut up!

 
 
 
 
As usual, Con C de Arte has the goods for people who want further information and linkage. Earlier Metabunker posts here and here.
 

Whither My Country?

The Danish people has just reelected as prime minister a guy who was once fired as minister of taxation for cooking the books and lying to Parliament about it, who went to bed with xenophobic right-wing extremists to attain power and has therefore been responsible for the harshest and most inhumane immigration policy in the EU, who has slowly but surely been eroding the traditions of solidarity the country is built on through short-sighted tax policy, and who has wholeheartedly embraced the lies used to justify the humanitarian disaster in Iraq and sent Denmark to war.

Good night, and good luck.

Comics and Critical Language

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Over on Blog@newsarama, Chris Mautner has gathered one of his roundtables, inviting critics to talk about the terminology and general language we use when writing about comics. Yours truly participates for the first time, and I therefore thought I’d hype it here. Go, read — and by all means chime in!

Image by Kevin Huizenga, from Ganges (2006).

Ingen Frygt Lancerer Asmaa-Støtteside

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Kunstnertrioen Ingen Frygt reagerer på den hetz, politikeren Asmaa Abdol-Hamid har været udsat for i forbindelse med sit kandidatur til Folketinget, og har i selskab med initiativtagere lanceret en støtteside. De skriver:

“Via nogle venner blev vi involveret i at lave denne støtteside for en engageret ung politiker, som af medier og andre politikere bliver grillet mere end nogen andre vi kan komme i tanker om herhjemme.

Vi har mødt hende og fik et stærkt indtryk af et tolerant og humoristisk menneske med nogen mærkesager der ligger meget langt fra de araberangst-spørgsmål hun konstant skal forholde sig til. Et indtryk der bliver forstærket når man besøger hendes egen hjemmeside.

Prøv at forestil jer et scenarie hvor f.eks. Bondam i stedet for at føre politik, hele tiden må være i defensiven fordi alle journalister kun vil interviewe ham om sikker sex. Om han nu er sikker på at han har det. Og hvordan han vil forholde sig til at andre politikere påstår at han i virkeligheden slet ikke er homoseksuel.

Vi mener faktisk at det er det plan, det kører på.

Siden er apolitisk – initiatiativtagerne består både af politisk aktive folk – for forskellige partier – og ikke aktive typer.”

Check siden ud — den er lagt i vanlig Ingen Frygt-stil, med musik, video, quiz, oa. Og husk at stemme til valget!

“He Gave Us Comics!” — Ditko at 80

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With that great quote from a starry-eyed Neil Gaiman in Jonathan Ross’ recent documentary on the great artist behind Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, The Question and Mr. A, the Metabunker wishes Steve Ditko a fine 80th birthday. It is great to see how much serious attention the artist is getting these days — the latest announcement, from Fantagraphics, that Blake Bell’s long-awaited monograph Strange Stranger will be released next year is but the latest piece of good news.

For more on Ditko at this site, check out Morten Søndergård’s article on the early Spider-Man comics and the debate it sparked, as well as this compilation of linkage. Also, check out this great anecdote, by DC editor Mike Gold, on Ditko’s Hands.