Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Do you see a prototype? Updated!

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We’ve been asked whether we recognise any comics/cartooning prototypes, or sources of inspiration, for the above-posted picture. We are somewhat at a loss. Can you help us? Please let us know what you think might have inspired the painter, or merely what the image makes you think of.

(I shall refrain from giving more information on the image for a few days, in order to let your associations wander more freely. Thanks for your help!)

UPDATE: Here’s what Anne Gregersen from J. F. Willumsens Museum in Denmark writes:

“The painting is called The Prince’s Wedding and was created by the Danish artist J.F. Willumsen (1863-1958). There’s a sixty-year span between different parts of the painting: It was first painted in 1888. After a severe criticism by the establishment and by a leading art critic, Willumsen chose to cover the central figures of the painting with a star-shaped piece of black paper. In 1948 he began a radical modification of the work. He cut out the part of the canvas covered by the star-shaped piece of paper and inserted new canvas there, as well as on the left side of the painting. And he then repainted the central figures in a completely different style, which may have been inspired by contemporary comics like Flash Gordon, Prince Valiant, Superman and Batman. Or movies like The Wizard of Oz or Robin Hood. On May 13th, the J.F. Willumsen Museum is opening an exhibition about this work, and we are very interested in hearing what kind of associations the painting brings to your mind.” Continue reading ‘Do you see a prototype? Updated!’

Apaches


Jean Giraud, one of the major figures in comics history, is still alive and kicking. Neither he nor his alias Moebius seem particularly marked by age. As a matter of fact, it seems his output has never been bigger. Most notable, probably, is his series of self-indulgent improvisations, Inside Moebius, of which five volumes have been published so far, and then there is his virtuosic — and energetic — return to Major Grubert in Chasseur Déprime (selected by Matthias Wivel, Henry Sørensen and myself amongst the comics of the year 2008).

But while Moebius after an extended period of creative insolvency (who would not rather forget the exploitation piece Le Nouveau rêve of 2001?) has only recently caught his second — or third, or fourth? — wind, Jean Giraud has never experienced this kind of crisis. Continue reading ‘Apaches’

Sacrebleu! Thorhauge Live on the Web!

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The Bunker’s own Thomas Thorhauge has finally — after all these years — gotten his act together and created a web page for himself. He has decided upon the old school Web 2.0 format of a blog, which he — inexplicably — calls Sacre Bleu! Unfortunately, it’s all in Danish, but go there and check out some of his fine work.

(This all happens just in time for the now imminent release of his second graphic novel, Kom Hjem (‘Come Home’). A magnum opus nine years in the making, one supposes this has been in emulation of his idol, the by now notoriously dilatory David Mazzucchelli, and whaddayaknow, he also has a graphic novel out! Stay tuned for much more on all this…)

Picks of the Week

“The White House knew he’d been tortured. I didn’t, though I was supposed to be evaluating that intelligence… It seems to me they were using torture to achieve a political objective. I cannot believe that the president and vice president did not know who was being waterboarded, and what was being given up.”

Former Pentagon Analyst

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Torture. The declassification of four torture memos from the US Justice Department the week before last is a good occasion to revisit the Red Cross Torture Report, which initially brought most of this information to light. And the recent New York Review of Books article on it is essential reading. Also, read this gripping article from last year detailing and assessing the information the CIA and its allies acquired from torturing a number of the high-profile terrorism suspects. This week, former FBI supervisory special agent Ali Zoufan weighed in succinctly in this op-ed piece for the New York Times, and Frank Rich wrote a scathing and impassioned editorial on Sunday that sums up the situation as well as anything.
  • Politiken: Peter Greenaway on cinema today. On a lighter side, check out this broadside aimed at contemporary cinema from one of its most uncompromising (if also unwatchable) directors. Although somewhat self-contradictory, it’s smart, caustically funny stuff.
  • Thomas Thorhauge’s Batman

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    I’ve already linked to Copenhagen cartoonists’ studio Over Floden’s current Batman tribute, but since I’ve been on the road lately and have nothing else to show for it yet, I’d like to call special attention to Bunker contributor Thomas Thorhauge’s contribution, which references John Wayne at the end of John Ford’s masterpiece The Searchers to create a poignant illustration of the Caped Crusader and his role in the comics firmament.

    Hype: Emmanuel Guibert in the Comics Journal

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    Emmanuel Guibert, whose comic Alan’s War we just selected as our comic of the year here at the Bunker, is featured in the new issue of the Comics Journal (#297), both with a preview of his book The Photographer, which is about to come out in English, and an interview conducted by yours truly. There’s an excerpt available here.

    The issue cover features, somehow rather appropriately, Mort Walker, plus there’s all the usual goodness. Do check it out! And more importantly: read Guibert’s books — they’re great.

    Picks of the Week

    “Paying fair market values for the assets will not work. Only by overpaying for the assets will the banks be adequately recapitalized. But overpaying for the assets simply shifts the losses to the government. In other words, the Geithner plan works only if and when the taxpayer loses big time.”

    – Joseph E. Stiglitz

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • New York Times“Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism”. Short, sharp editorial on the Geithner-mastered bank bailouts by the Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz. Read it.
  • Ruppert/Mulot — Championnat de bras de fer. Another jam comics project from the dynamic duo that brought you the impressive Maison close. This conception of this simpler one, which sees a number of cartoonists from the French-language alternatives scene arm-wrestling each other in comics form, antedates the latter and provided the basic model for it, and finally the first round of the competition is online. Go see all your favourites strongarming each other off the page!
  • Over Floden: Batman at 70!

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    These days, the most happening cartoonist’s studio in Copenhagen is Over Floden. It counts amongst its members Simon Bukhave, Cav Bøgelund, Johan F. Krarup, Miwer, Søren Mosdal, Mårdøn Smet & T. Thorhauge. All of them do fine comics (and most of them have contributed to the upcoming Aben Maler/Fantagraphics-published antho From Wonderland with Love), but these days they are taking a breather to celebrate seven decades of Batman. The results are rather fun and pretty irreverent. Go check it out — a new cartoon will be uploaded daily until the big day, April 18th.

    So far, cartoons by Bøgelund, Smet and Over Floden guest, the great Peter Kielland, are online. More to come.

    Dave Arneson RIP (Worlds of Difference II)

    arneson_dave.jpgDave Arneson, creator of Blackmoor and co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, with Gary Gygax, just passed away. Although virtually unknown beyond old school gamer circles, the invention of the table top roleplaying game was a milestone in the development of interactive gaming, of the digital as well as the low tech kind. When Gygax died last year, I wrote an appreciation of their invention and what it has meant to me. What I wrote applies equally to Arneson, so I will refrain from adding anything here, other than warm thoughts to his friends and family. RIP.

    Photo: AP.

    Gud er død

    Det ser vitterligt ud til at Divus Madsens tid er ved at ebbe ud. Men hvem ved, måske er der et liv efter døden?

    Følg Egoland uden Madsen, her.

    The Arbiters of Taste 2008

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    By Henry Sørensen, T. Thorhauge & Matthias Wivel
    Right, so here were are again with our selection of the best comics of last year. It’s taken a while but we hope you find it useful.

    Much of what we said about the year in comics 2007 when we did this last year applies equally to 2008. It was another great year in comics in what must be described as an ongoing string of such years. Recession or not, comics are alive and doing well. We’ll have to see how it manages the lean times that are surely ahead. While the industry is already taking hits on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in Japan, where it has seen a slow, but steady decline over the last few years, and while especially comic strips are going through a phase of redefinition through newspaper death and digital translocation, the comics medium as an art form seems like it’s going to do just fine. If nothing else, the comics on our list provide ample grounds for optimism on that count, we should think.

    As usual, lots of great comics fell by the wayside in this selection, so please be advised of its fallibility and consult other recommendations of the year in comics 2008. And, well, enjoy! Continue reading ‘The Arbiters of Taste 2008′

    The Arbiters of Taste 2007

    The Arbiters of Taste 2007
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    The best comics of 2007 according to the Metabunker.

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    Hype: Academic Perspectives on Comics, Växjö

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    At the end of next week, April 16-18, Växjö University in Sweden is hosting an academic conference on comics, the full title of which is the rather torturous “Academic Perspectives on Comics, Manga & Graphic Novels as Intercultural & Intermedial Phenomena.” Don’t let that dissuade you, though — it looks pretty great and features Thierry Groensteen, Paul Gravett and Helena Magnusson as its keynote speakers. For more information, go here or check out the event’s Facebook page.

    Unrelated illustration by François Ayroles.