The Financial Crisis 101

For those of us who have a hard time wrapping our heads around what exactly the underpinnings of the current financial crisis are, I will continue my recent spree of linking to the New York Times (yeah, I know, not exactly the best kept secret when it comes to sources of information, but anyway). This introduction is quite good.

And for comics fans who read Danish and aren’t already aware of it, daily newspaper Politiken‘s most recent and rather promising new cartoonist, Philip Ytournel, did a delightful summary in comics form last week.

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

    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.

    Reads: Joe Daly

    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.

    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!

    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

    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?