Tag Archive for 'Osamu Tezuka'

The Week

The week in review

The picture above reared its head again last week when the foundation dedicated to its authentication as an earlier version of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo presented new “proof” by pointing out geometric similarities with the famous picture in the Louvre. Strangely, it did not seem to occur to them that such geometric consonance would happen quite naturally in a copy, which is clearly what this is. But don’t take my word for it, here’s Leonardo specialist Martin Kemp demolishing the spurious claim.

  • This week, it was announced that the late collector and art historian Denis Mahon bequeathed 57 of his pictures, primarily Italian works of the 17th century, to a series of British museums, unfortunately with rather problematic stipulation that they be deaccessioned if the owners start charging admission. Look at the pictures here.
  • Ryan Holmberg on Osamu Tezuka’s sources. Revelatory article on how the Japanese “God of Comics” Tezuka and his collaborator Shichima Sakai more or less swiped the imagery and storytelling of their famous introductory sequence to their milestone New Treasure Island (1947) from American Disney artist Floyd Gottfredson.
  • There’s a new issue out of The Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art.
  • Donald Richie. We paid the late great film scholar, author, and Japanophile our respects yesterday, but just wanted also to share the following video of him talking about Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar. We got it from this touching tribute. Also, read some of his criticism for The Japan Times here.
  • The Week

    The week in review

    Hip hop’s making bullshit headlines again. This time over the reaction to the murder, last month, of Chicago MC Lil Jojo. After news hit that the 18-year old had been shot in a drive-by, his rival Chief Keef — with whom he had been beefing, seemingly in a grab for quick fame — went on twitter to gloat. When the shit hit the fan, Keef — perhaps advised by his record company Interscope — started claiming his twitter account had been hacked and started posting “uplifting” PC boilerplate. He also claimed not to be responsible for threats of violence against his older colleague Lupe Fiasco, who had spoken out against his behavior on the radio.

    Whether Lil Jojo’s death has anything to do with Keef or not, that’s just pathetic. Now, I know that violent rhetoric in rap has a lot to do with a violent culture, and is more a symptom than a cause — a symptom that occasionally proves to be a way out for people, and one that tells us volumes about the social breakdown of parts of American society. Attacking rap music for very real problems in society that are far bigger than hip hop is not necessarily productive, but on the other hand you sometimes miss the days when more people in the community did what Lupe, and fellow Chicago MC Rhymefest, just did and spoke out against the bullshit being perpetuated by a lot of hip hop artists, the vast majority possessed of no talent and lacking the intelligence to convert their rhetoric into hard truth. Player hating is now a bad word in hip hop, which has increasingly become a laissez-faire subculture impressed first and last by money. It used to make hip hop proud.

    If you don’t believe me, check out Keef’s biggest hit “I Don’t Like” here. It’s basically a series of inarticulate grunts over a generic beat with a sort-of effective, repetitive hook. The most interesting part is the curiously homosocial video and what it tells us about how these guys want us to see them. This cut from Lil Jojo, which was part of his PR dis campaign against Keef, is just as telling. All the same: RIP.

    Links:

  • In a week where I’ve dissed The New Yorker, I feel good being able to recommend the magazine too, this time for a lengthy article on presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
  • Comics: Xavier Guilbert interviews Anton Kannemeyer of Bitterkomix, Ryan Holmberg on Osamu Tezuka’s debut “New Treasure Island” and its American antecedents, and — from the Hooded Utilitarian’s now-finished five-year anniversary series: Noah Berlatsky on Ai Yazawa’s Nana and Joe McCulloch on Milo Manara.
  • Picks of the Week

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The Daily Show on the “Common Controversy,” parts one and two. Wednesday, Jon Stewart performed an epic takedown of the ridiculous hype machine that is Fox News. Extra hilarity ensured by the fact that the source of it all is one of the most anodyne rappers working today. First segment above, click through to the second once you’ve seen it! Also, Stewart’s crew pulled out the funniest scene from the underrated hip hop Spinal Tap spoof CB4 for their opening segment on Thursday.
  • Speaking of takedowns, this skewering of 90s po-mo and the ‘cultural turn’ by Kevin Mattson writing for Dissent Magazine is an instructive, if surely tendentious history lesson, that may seem to have it in for Andrew Ross, but actually proves redemptive too (thanks Andreas!).
  • Tezuka shorts. The ever trusty MetaFilter provides links to a handful of the great Tezuka Osamu’s short animation films.
  • Finally, I enjoyed Matt Seneca’s examination of a bunch of comics as criticism. Some good ideas and observations in there.