The Week in Review
What a week. Starting with Fantask’s fortieth anniversary celebration last weekend and ending with my participation at NNCORE’s foundational meeting with a short Berlin jaunt to see the astonishing Renaissance portraits and Hokusai shows there. I hope to return a bit to the portraits (though I can’t promise anything), but just wanted to say a few words about Hokusai here.
A huge retrospective covering the artist’s eighty-plus year career, the show really brought home just how prodigious an artist he was. He must have been drawing all the time. The kind of artist whose ambition is to understand no less than everything about the world through drawing, like Leonardo or Dürer. From the proliferating analytical notations in his manga and other instructional booklets to the elegant summaries of his brush paintings, his is a recording of human experience as such. Not the idea of it, and not really with an attempt to comment, but rather a continuous ambition to formulate a vision that suspends it within a order that grasps it all without reducing it to style. In a sense, what all cartooning should aspire toward.
Questlove’s Top 10 Life-Shaping Musical Moments. As always writing with passion and insight the Roots backbone takes us down memory lane through the songs that shaped his life and work.
Ben Katchor on picture stories. The great New York cartoonist does something similar, if less personal, for comics here. A fine thinker about comics, his recommendations contain plenty of nutrient for your dome.
Eddie Campbell on Simon and Kirby’s romance comics. The same goes for this, which serves as a reminder just how much of his career Kirby spent creating reality-based comics, and how important the romance genre used to be for comics.
That’s my man Lars in 1991 and this past Saturday, respectively. The fortieth anniversary of Fantask was a trip down memory lane for us kids, plus a milestone in Danish comics-, SF-, and gaming culture. Frederik Høyer-Christensen documented some of the day and you can see the results in his flickr stream (including a tour of the hidden corners of the store by Lars and yrs. truly.)
Dues paid: top photo by Mark Borello, bottom one by Frederik Høyer-Christensen.
Today the Copenhagen comics-, SF- and games store Fantask celebrates its fortieth anniversary. It is the oldest continually existing store of its kind in the world and an institution in Danish Danish comics, SF, and geek culture. An operation built from the ground up by its founders Søren Pedersen and Rolf Bülow (pictured) as well as the many people who have worked there or otherwise contributed over the years. It is currently being run by Marit Nim and Kenn Nielsen, who are keeping the spirit alive. One of those businesses that remain a presence, because it has heart.
Over at Nummer9 we’re celebrating forty years of Fantask. I’ve written my Fantask memoirs in shortform, while Thomas presents a gallery spanning the four decades of its existence. I’ve also interviewed Marit about the store, past, present, and future.
Oh, and if you’re around today, do drop by the store. The gang is all going to be there (plus everything is 30% off). Here’s a drink *ting!