Hype: ZaMZaM Arts: Figurine

You in Washington DC? Have time this evening? Go to the opening of ZaMZaM Arts’ latest show, featuring work by Laura Falzon, Sangbin Im, Richard Jochum, Kevork Mourad, Aphrodite Desiree Navab, and Sarah Siddiqui, at the Touchstone Gallery. Prime mover of the project, Siddiqui, is a good friend and a firebrand organiser — her project is interesting. Go check it out.

The opening is from 6-8.30, and the show runs till May 4.

Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

Been busy this week, so not much of a selection this time around. However check these out:

  • Get your Rusty Brown on with the Legion of Lego Superheroes (above). How many of them do you recognize, without looking at the Cliff’s notes?
  • The Comic Book scare contd. Following last week’s links to Jeet Heer and Bart Beaty’s discussion of psychologist Frederic Wertham and the great comic book scare of the 1950s, here’s novelist Michael Chabon defending his portrayal of Wertham in his novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and both Heer and Beaty responding. For completeness sake: The New Republic is running a discussion between comics critic Douglas Wolk and the author of the book that started all this in the first place, David Hajdu, but it is not particularly interesting unfortunately.
  • Nico and Warhol as the Dynamic Duo.
  • Om defekte dikotomier og andet dansk tegneserievås

    mouche.jpgMan må sige, at vores bette debatindlæg i seneste nummer af Strip! har været en succes, i hvert fald i forhold til Danmarks største (og eneste) tegneserieportal. Det har tydeligvis ført til både selvransagelse, nye initiativer og så selvfølgelig de sædvanlige automatreaktioner fra visses hold.

    Det er til sidstnævnte jeg her lige ville knytte en kommentar. Jeg vil antage at den tavshed garneret med personlige fornærmelser, Bestyreren har mødt vores kritik med betyder at samme var på sin plads og er taget til efterretning. I stedet vil jeg kigge på noget mere generelt og i sidste ende væsentligt. Lad os tage et eksempel. En bruger skriver:

    “Hvad Rackham angår, rammer Carsten Søndergaard i mine øjne hovedet på sømmet, når han i sin glimrende Strip!-artikel beskriver Thorhauge og Wivels gøren og laden med udgangspunkt i tegneseriens mange fanboy-fraktioner. D’herrer er lidt simpelt sagt højt begavede indie-fanboys – med alt, hvad det indebærer af smittende og fint formidlet entusiasme for de artefakter, der falder indenfor rammerne af deres personlige definition af god smag, men også med et væld af “blinde vinkler”, de ikke virker ret reflekterede omkring. At de insisterer på at begrunde deres lejrs æstetiske og værdimæssige idealer i hensynet til selveste tegneseriens fremtid reflekterer i mine øjne en selvhøjtidelighed, der er en anelse uklædelig …”

    From His Cold Dead Hands

    So Charlton Heston died yesterday. A major figure in the 50s and 60s Hollywood blockbuster tradition, serving up some of the most bombastic and histrionic moments in American film. He deserves some kind of respect for that, even if his role in the powerful and destructive American gun lobby will forever tarnish his reputation in the eyes of many, and if his depressingly hilarious part in Michael Moore’s satirical documentary on same, Bowling for Columbine (2002), will perhaps stand as one of his most memorable performances.

    Picks of the Week

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The clip above and this one are pretty neat examples of ingenuous street art, I must say. Delightful. (Thanks, Eddie Campbell).
  • Otherwise: Lots of great comics links this week!

  • CBR — Steve Grant on the Superman ruling. The best summary article and analysis so far on the historic ruling on the rights to Superman. Also, read Dirk Deppey’s fine analysis.
  • Jeet Heer and Bart Beaty on Frederic Wertham and the comic book crackdown of the 1950s, on the occasion of David Hajdu’s new book The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America. A great read for anyone interested in this important part of American comic book history. The New Yorker has a good essay on the subject as well. UPDATE: Heer summarises and follows up.
  • London Review of Books“Into the Eisenshpritz”: Excellent, if somewhat sprawling and meandering article on graphic novels by Elif Batuman. She covers a lot of ground and hardly misses a beat in her geek-lore.
  • Jim Mooney RIP

    OK, so it’s been a couple of days since comicbook journeyman Jim Mooney passed away, but he still deserves his props from the Bunker. Incredibly prolific and surprisingly versatile, he gave a lot of mediocre books a touch of elegance, and contributed substantially to some quality ones, such as Omega the Unknown (pictured).

    Mark Evanier’s obituary, Tom Spurgeon’s obituary, 1999 interview with Comic Book Artist, 2004 interview with Daniel Best. Image culled from this article.

    Enlightenment Where?

    Saw Geert Wilders’ piece of hate-filled garbage yesterday, just before it got pulled from Liveleak. Pretending to merely be a critique of the Koran, this is straight-up racist hate speech, equating as it does the worst excesses of Islamist extremism with the over one million muslims currently living in Holland. Seriously, the animation in the Nazi propaganda flick Der ewige Jude of rats swarming over Europe has nothing on Wilders’ swelling bar charts representing the growing muslim population in Holland, here on the background of charred bodies, severed heads, and kids with bloodied faces. Yes, we may have freedom of speech, and should protect it as best as we possibly can, but this kind of hateful agitprop is clearly abuse.

    What’s more disturbing, however, is the fact that Wilders’ fortunately still rather marginal views on the Koran are becoming increasingly acceptable in the political and public mainstream these days. The notion that, because the Koran contains problematic passages dealing with holy war, the religion — and by extension potentially all muslims — contains inherently totalitarian strains. There’s plenty of vile stuff in the Bible too, if one takes it at face value, but that doesn’t mean we should consider Judaism or Christianity as inherently xenophobic or fascist. This notion that a religion could ever be static is so fundamentally misconceived that its increasing prevalence suggests rather ominous perspectives for the state of enlightenment so often trotted out as our society’s supposed bulwark against religious extremism.

    This is not at all the same thing as the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, problematic as their commission was, and good on Bomb-in-Turban cartoonist Kurt Westergaard on suing for removal of his cartoon from the film (Interview here). UDPATE: Wilders has conceded that the cartoon was used without permission and will remove it from the film, but the damage is done, says The Danish Association of Journalists who represent Westergaard.

    On The Superman Ruling

    This is great news. The heirs of Jerome Siegel (1914-1996) — who in 1938 created Superman along with artist Joseph Shuster (1914-1992) — have been granted the rights to the material published that year in Action Comics #1, the first appearance of the character, ie. the material they created free of any contract, before they sold it to the publisher, DC Comics. Their copyright interest in the character, however, will only be applied from 1999 onwards and will only apply to domestic use of the character. What exact apportionment they will be accorded remains to be seen, as does the Shuster estate’s possible claim for copyright interest. Jeff Trexler has a nice summary up, as well as a helpful FAQ, plus he’s posted the the ruling itself.