Monthly Archive for October, 2008

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Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Congrats to Paul Krugman! This year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, Krugman is an economics professor at Princeton and has done groundbreaking research. We mortals however know him best as the New York Times‘ most consistently excellent op-ed columnist, so what better way to celebrate than read his latest column, on the British bailout plan?
  • Old School (mostly for our Danish readers). Finally on the Tube: DR’s great documentary on the origins of hip hop in Denmark: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Lidtekstra baggrund her.
  • New York Times. Michael Pollan, one of the best writers on the intersection of food/culture/politics these days, offers up a stirring policy manifesto.
  • Shuffling it Right

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    Forty years ago, British modern dance was essentially nonexistent. Today several of its choreographers are internationally renowned, among them Michael Clark, Akram Khan, and not least Richard Alston, artistic director of London’s first (and still foremost) centre for modern-dance training, the Place. Alston trained at the Place himself, as a student in the ‘60s, and created his first dances there. Forty years on, Alston has conceived a new program for his Richard Alston Dance Company that is partly a retrospective, partly an offering of new work, as a kind of reverse present in honor of his 60th birthday.

    Simply titled 40/60, the show premiered last week in London and is now on a short UK tour through the fall. The company’s performances last week at the Cambridge Arts Theatre provided eager audiences with the chance to see anew—or indeed to encounter for the first time (the stalls at Tuesday’s show held a conspicuously youthful crowd; a dance school mass-booking perhaps?)—the vital place that Alston holds in British dance history. Other choreographers’ work might be more theatrically interesting, more morally charged, and certainly more “cutting edge”: it is hard to find anything even mildly provocative about Alston’s work, unless you are a pre-adolescent girl set atwitter at the mere sight of toned thighs in tights. But none more than Alston can convey such a relentless, expansive delight in dance-making itself. Inherent to his style is a joy in the body’s sheer expressive range, manifest (in his best pieces) in masterful footwork, rich ensemble patterning, high-stretching lines, and sharp, precisely delineated individual performances. Plenty of these qualities were on display in 40/60, and both the new offerings and the retrospective survey struck high notes of invention and charm. Continue reading ‘Shuffling it Right’

    Reads: Joe Daly

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    OK, so it totally passed me by when Fantagraphics published it last year, but I’ve now read Scrublands by South African cartoonist Joe Daly in French, no less. Nice edition by L’Association and all, but kinda stupid not to read it in the original language. Anyway, it’s kind of a sleeper hit with me. Though by no means a major work of comics, it has distinctive, and these days rather rare qualities that I appreciate more and more, the more I think about them. Continue reading ‘Reads: Joe Daly’

    Hype: Alice in Paris

    flyer_alice.jpgIf you’re in Paris and in search of something to do tomorrow (Thursday) night, my buddy, the sculptor Paul Toupet, is part of a show based on Alice in Wonderland that opens that evening.

    I just visited him last week and saw his sculptures for the exhibition — Alice and the White Rabbit (he’s doing the croquet scene) — and they were damn cool. So I know they’re worth going for. Plus I’m sure some of the other artists have also contributed interesting work.

    So do go, it’s at the gallery L’Art de rien (MySpace) at 48 rue D’orsel (Métro Abbesses) from 6 PM onwards. The show runs till 9 November.

     
     
     

     
    Flyer for the show.

    Hype: The Return of Domingos!

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    Portuguese comics critic Domingos Isbelinho, who some years ago made the web, and especially the Comics Journal message board, unsafe for comics nostalgics and genre enthusiasts has now reemerged after what seems to have been a rather long silence. His new blog, The Crib Sheet, has hit the ground running, and trust Domingos to bring us lots of interesting content, including comics that most of us are guaranteed to have never seen before and — hopefully — the trademark trenchant and stimulating POV.

    Keep an eye on it!

    Image: Detail of Chago Armada’s painting Lo amorfo y descorazonador del diálogo vacío. More from Armada, who also did a fascinating-looking cartoony comic strip, at the link.

    Vil I til MoCCA?

    This just in: Henrik Rehr gør opmærksom på, at Det Danske Generalkonsulat i New York igen i år sponsorerer en stand på MoCCAs Artfest, som normalt afholdes sidste weekend i juni og bestemt er et besøg værd (undertegnede var der i 2004).

    Sidste par år har et skiftende hold danske tegnere bemandet denne stand og du inviteres nu til at deltage, hvad enten du er tegner, tegneserieforlægger eller tegneserieinteresseret i anden egenskab. Kontakt kulturattachen på generalkonsulatet Maiken Derno: maider [at] um [punktum] dk eller Rehr selv: hrehr [at] nyc [punktum] rr [punktum] com.

    Hype: Carlo Garn

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    Jakob Rask Nielsens Carlo Garn, der vandt Berlingskes tegneseriekonkurrence sidste år uden af den grund at få lov at køre i avisen, er nu overgået til billedbogsformat.

    Det var fra starten Rask Nielsens grafiske håndelag, der gjorde at Carlo Garn til en vis grad var et forfriskende bekendtskab og det ser, hvis man skal dømme efter de eksempler han har lagt op på sin hjemmeside, ud til at han har udviklet sig ganske gevaldigt i den retning.

    Det ser, med andre ord, lovende ud. En bog jeg helt sikkert har mod på at checke for og som du måske også bør kigge på?

    Picks of the Week

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    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Introduction to Shigeru Mizuki. Matthew Penney has written a primer on the great Japanese mangaka, accompanied by a short and didactic, but touching comic on Japan’s wars in Southeast Asia (I think I got this from Dirk). Also, read the Bunker review of his great Nonnonba.
  • Isbjerg remixes hip hop classics. Retired Danish MC Isbjerg has taken to homegrown remixing, and his work is pretty fun. Check out his hypothetical 1988 version of El-P’s masterful I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, for example.
  • Information: “Lad idioterne nakke hinanden” (for our Danish readers). This is a bit old, but is well-written and delightfully sarcastic commentary on the current wild west gang war tendencies in Copenhagen by author Morten Vammen.
  • Hype: New Blogs!

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    Disorder and its Opposite, a recent addition to the comics blogosphere helmed by Ed Howard, starts out strong discussing the canon of American comic strips. Howard is both insightful and prolific as his other blog, Only the Cinema, shows. Lots of interesting writing on many a good film here. Recommended.

    Töpfferiana is a new blog on the comics of early modernity, reproducing interesting work from great cartoonists deserving of more attention. So far, proprietor Antoine Sausverd has posted work from Töpffer (obviously), Wilhelm Busch, Caran d’Ache, Alain Saint-Ogan and J. Blass. here’s hoping for much more in the future!

    Image from Howard Hawks’ Scarface (1932), discussed by Howard on his blog.

    Hype: Seed Toss, Rough Cut

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    Warren Craghead has a new comic up on his site for free download. it’s awesome as usual, so go get it.

    Raymond Macherot RIP

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    I meant to write some words on the passing of the great Belgian cartoonist last week earlier, but then figured that since I was going to Paris over the weekend, I’d pick up a couple of his classic comics to reacquaint myself with some of those stories that meant so much to me as a kid and which I’ve only ever read in Danish translation. To my not inconsiderable indignation I discovered, however, that the French-language market, despite overflowing with product these years, apparently still can’t support extensive reeditions of its classics. It appears that only very little of Macherot’s work is in print, and none of it was available at the otherwise reliable stores I frequent in the City of Lights.

    On the other hand such utter mediocrities as Jean Graton’s Michel Vaillant, Tibet’s Ric Hochet and Eddy Paape’s Luc Orient are available in archival editions. It’s depressing. Macherot is a
    a master on the level of his distinguished colleagues Peyo, creator of Johan et Pirlouit and the Smurfs, and Morris, the co-creator and artist of Lucky Luke. His best work is not only immaculately crafted, but intelligent, personal, fun and not a little unsettling. Continue reading ‘Raymond Macherot RIP’

    Hype: Manga at Louisiana

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    Louisiana, Denmark’s primary museum for modern and contemporary art, are presenting a large exhibition of manga this fall. The concept covers the history of the Japanese comics tradition, from the graphic narratives printed almost 200 years ago to the present comics industry. It opens on Thursday and runs till February 8, 2009. More information (in Danish) here and here.