Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Stuffed Hummingbirds

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OK, so this is one of those half-baked posts that are the bread-and-butter of most blogs, but I just cannot believe that there’s even a controversy over the miraculous appearance a few years ago in a gallery in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, of five cases of deeply personal, never-before-seen work by Frida Kahlo. The cases contain more than 1.200 items, including intimate diaries, love letters, and even stuffed hummingbirds that the painter would wear around her neck when posing for her self-portraits.

A lot of this material is apparently conspicuously signed with her name in a way rarely seen in any of her other work, its provenance is dubious, to say the least — resting as it does on the claim that the artist gave it to woodcarver who made the frames for her pictures — and it’s never been seen before by anyone in her family, or even by the photographer who photographed a lot of her work while she was still alive. Is it any surprise that most of the leading specialists on Kahlo dismiss the gallerist’s claim to its authenticity? Or that the family-run trust that administers her estate have filed a criminal complaint against him? Continue reading ‘Stuffed Hummingbirds’

Picks of the Week

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The picks of the week from around the web.

  • David Bordwell on Inglourious Basterds. A great piece on one of the year’s (surprisingly) great movies. Read it. Also, check out Jim Emerson’s somewhat rambling, but thoughtful comments and the interesting debate that follows them.
  • Michael Dooley on Harvey Kurtzman. Good essay introducing the master satirist/cartoonist, which makes a number of interesting points that I hadn’t encountered before, including one about Kurtzman’s aspirations to direct film.
  • Blagojevich on The Daily Show (part 1, part 2, part 3). Stewart somehow managed to rope in Blago, who evidently believes firmly in his own innocence. There’s something troubling — almost touching — about how unhinged he comes off. Fascinating TV.
  • (…in the entertainment department, however, it doesn’t hold a candle to Gaddafi at the UN)
  • Clowes og Ware til Komiks.dk

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    Store nyheder for dansk tegneseriekultur — næste års internationale tegneseriefestival i København, Komiks.dk, bliver gæstet af ingen ringere end Daniel Clowes og Chris Ware. Clowes er manden bag mesterværker som Ghost World, Ice Haven og “The Death Ray” — førstnævnte endda udgivet i Danmark af Aben Maler. Ware har skabt den paradigmesættende Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, som er på vej på dansk, inden Komiks.dk, også fra Aben Maler.

    Der er tale om to af tidens absolut største tegneseriekunstnere — det bliver simpelthen ikke bedre. Sæt allerede nu kryds i kalenderen ved d. 21-23 maj 2010.

    Det tegner godt!

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    I mellemtiden kan du checke for, hvad vi her på siden og på hendegangne Rackham har skrevet om d’herrer gennem tiderne: Ice Haven og “The Death Ray” af Clowes, Jimmy Corrigan, ACME Novelty Datebook og ACME Novelty Library #19 af Ware. Læs også Clowes’ serie til New York Times Magazine, “Mister Wonderful”, her. Nåja, og check det her cool billede.

    Hype: Jens Thegler

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    Den uforlignelige Jens Thegler udstiller en række af sine seneste malerier på Galleri Udengaard i Århus fra og med i morgen, fredag d. 25, hvor der er fernisering mellem 16.00-18.00, til 31 oktober. Det skal ses!

    Respect the Architect

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    For this and other readers of David Mazzucchelli’s at the time almost revelatory work in Rubber Blanket and elsewhere in the rather meagre early- to mid-nineties, the wait for his Next Big Thing had become a thing unto itself, a running joke with undertones of rapt anticipation. It has been so long since we first heard of this project, since his and Paul Karasik’s better-than-the-original adaptation Paul Auster’s City of Glass (1994), that expectations could only have diminished. A few unpersuasive, short anthology pieces along the way did not help spur confidence, and neither did the fact that we saw such a proliferation of great comics by other creators in the interim.

    But now that it is here, Asterios Polyp cannot help but revive this sense of promise, especially since it makes no bones about its ambition to be a Great Work. It’s no coincidence that Mazzucchelli patterns his work on the Odyssey, or that he wears his modernist ambitions on his sleeve in a way that cannot but recall that of Joyce when he did the same thing in his medium of choice. Continue reading ‘Respect the Architect’

    The Child and the Giant – On Alex Toth and David Mazzucchelli

    The Child and the Giant – On Alex Toth and David Mazzucchelli

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    David Mazzucchelli’s “Big Man” compared to Alex Toth’s “Daddy and the Pie”, parallels are found.

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    L’Shana Tovah!

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    The sun is setting here. Happy New Year from Cambridge!

    Enter Sandman (Jump!)


    This is just to note that the Hooded Utilitarians’ enlightening roundtable on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (1989-1996) has now come full circle — hop over there to check the entries by Noah Berlatsky, Ng Suat Tong, Tom Crippen, Vom Marlowe and Kinukitty. There are lots of good thoughts there and the comments are also well worth it if you’re interested in this, one of the quintessential comics series of the 90s. If nothing else, they’ve instilled in me the fear of rereading the series, but also awakened my dormant enthusiasm for same. I hope I get around to sometime before this anniversary year is over, although that might not happen. (In the meantime, there’s my recent, somewhat meagre post on Coraline).

    Oh, and just to mark the occasion, check out the above video, shot at the recent Amanda Palmer (ex-Dresden Dolls) gig at the Union Chapel, London, last Saturday. There’s Neil, and he’s actually pretty hysterical (thanks to Richard for the heads up). Enjoy!!

    Hype: Scott Pilgrim Kører stilen!

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    1. oktober udgiver Aben Maler første bind af Bryan Lee O’Malleys vitale ungdomsserie Scott Pilgrim; første bind bærer titlen Kører stilen og vil i månedens løb blive publiceret på forlagets hjemmeside. Læs den!

    Mere Ragnarok!

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    Peter Madsen og — formoder jeg — Henning Kure, der netop har afsluttet deres store Valhalla-projekt, vil i morgen, fredag d. 18 mellem kl. 16.00-18.00, være at finde i Fantask, hvor de vil signere det nye album Vølvens syner og deres andre tegneserier. Hvis du gik glip af seancen i Faraos i sidste uge, er her endnu en chance for at trykke d’herrer i hånden for endt arbejde.

    Og så har jeg i øvrigt modtaget denne pressemeddelelse fra Mads Bluhm — formand Komiks.dk, bestyrelsesmedlem Dansk tegneserieråd, Børne- og ungdomsbibliotekar Allerød bilbiotek — om et større Valhalla-arrangement i Allerød d. 24 oktober: Continue reading ‘Mere Ragnarok!’

    Picks of the Week

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Comics criticism. This has been a pretty decent week for online comics criticism. Ng Suat Tong points out the dearth of good criticism, fowllowed by a fun debate, which he follows up by this analysis of the writing in contemporary mainstream comics at the Comics Reporter. Jog had some nice observations on Tardi, while Dan Nadel, reading the recently released reedition from Fantagraphics, has initiated a reevaluation of Hal Foster the cartoonist with a response from Jeet Heer and more debate here. Noah Berlatsky, for his part, has just started a roundtable discussion on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which promises to be interesting, and last but not least Shaenon Garrity writes affectionately and funnily on that preeminent publication of comicsa criticism, The Comics Journal, on the occasion of its upcoming 300th issue.
  • Boro Tintin. I know this is completely juvenile, but it cracks me up. The wonders of YouTube bring you Tintin à la Middlesborough. Much more here.
  • Politiken: to gode tekster om Danmark og omegn lige nu. Medieforsker Stig Hjarvard markerer sig som en af de efterhånden yderst sjældne humanister, der taler den herskende smafundsorden imod i dette interview om det, han opfatter som ‘den nye kulturelle overklasse’ i og hinsides Danmark. Jens-Martin Eriksen og Frederik Stjernfelt beskriver venstrefløjens laden Oplysningen og ytringsfriheden i stikken i kampen om vælgerne i kølvandet på højredrejningen af samfundet og konfliktsymptomer som Muhammedtegningerne.
  • A Fine Likeness

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    I was excited to learn of, and especially to see, the spectacular results the recent cleaning of a Spanish 17th-century portrait at the Metropolitan Museum have yielded. Hidden under a thick, dull varnish for ages, the picture has long been taken to be by a follower of Velázquez, but has now been upgraded to fully autograph status. I’ve only seen the images published with the press release, but it looks entirely kosher to me. Continue reading ‘A Fine Likeness’

    Gud er død, snacks i Fantask

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    Mød Ivar Gjørup i Fantask i dag mlm. 16 og 18 til signering og afsked med tegneseriens Gud i anledning af udgivelsen af det sidste Egoland-opus Fabula Rasa. En lidt sen melding herfra; hvorfor bruger Fantask ikke sociale netværksservices som Twitter og Facebook, kom nu!

    Danmarks bedste tegneseriepodcast: Ondskabens Flydende Vatikan

    … Og det er lige her, denne gang med Tegneserierådsislæt, idet rådsmedlem og redaktør af Tegneseriesiden.dk, Ulf Reese Næsborg er ugens gæst. “Ondskabens flydende vatikan” er navnet, og føj hellere til foretrukne: har du en sød tand for munterjovial, velfunderet og velgørende respektløshed, så er det her det sker. Udsendelsens bedste replik faldt da en af kardinalerne udbrød noget i retning af: “Dansk Tegneserieråd er den direkte konsekvens af den katastrofale udgivelse Nørrebronx!”…

    Not the Thing Itself

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    Just read Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002), which I often hear hailed as his best novel. I don’t know — I think the premise is good, while the execution leaves something to be desired. This is especially apparent when compared with Henry Selick’s excellent film version from earlier this year, which improves quite considerably upon the story.

    In the novel, the threat from behind the secret door in the house is almost immediately made apparent, while the film allows itself more time to portray Coraline’s attraction to the alternate life offered her on the other side. Gaiman hardly seems to have time in his plot for suggesting the dangerous allure of wish-fulfillment that drives it. The film, on the other hand provides this wondrous sensory experience to go with the narrative of the protagonist’s emotional maturation. Continue reading ‘Not the Thing Itself’