Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

A bunch of quick comics links this week.

  • Tom Spurgeon on Chester Brown’s Paying for It. D&Q only brought 25 copies of Brown’s long-awaited new book to MoCCA, so it was sold out before I arrived, but I got a chance to leaf through. Looks amazing. And it has occasioned a thorough, intelligent critical review from Spurgeon, which makes one wish that he would do it more often.
  • Tim Kreider on the state of editorial cartooning. Good, heartfelt essay by a fine essayist.
  • Matt Seneca on color harmonies in comics. That guy’s on fire, man. I’m not sure this quite works, but whoa.
  • Anders Nilsen interviewed. Fine interview with one of comics best and brightest!
  • “Seed Toss, Kick it Over.” New DIY book from the Warren Craghead. Need I say more?
  • Kubrick! Another excellent critic and essayist, Chris Lanier, has penned this piece on Jack Kirby’s weird adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And in other Kubrick content, I dug this look at some of his 1950s reportage photographs from Chicago.
  • Jeet Heer on racism in comics. These pieces offer plenty to think about and interesting information on such classic cartoonists as Harold Gray and Frank King.
  • Photo by Stanley Kubrick.

    Back.


    I’m sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve posted much of anything here. Emigrating to the States has taken some effort and time.

    I’m now living in New York, working an honest-to-God jacket-and-tie job for the first time since forever. It’s pretty great, actually. An opportunity to offset all those years spent in the splendid isolation of research and development.

    Plus, it’s just great to be back in the city. Last time I arrived here, I wrote a short piece on my then platform, the editorial section of Rackham (Danish alert!). As most things revisited after more than a half decade, it’s pretty embarrassing, if nothing else for being so overwritten, but I find the kaleidoscopic sense of possibility in, and the relentless commercial edge of, this city, that I was trying to evoke last time around, as fully palpable now as it was then.

    There are still a few kinks to be worked out in terms of fully settling here, and work places different demands on my time than I’ve been used to, but I nevertheless hope to maintain a steady presence here at the Bunker as well as around my other internet haunts (+ newly at Twitter @Metabunker) for the foreseeable future.

    Don’t touch that dial.

    Drawing for the cover of Ben Katchor’s great Julius Knipl book, The Beauty Supply District. New York in the vein.

    Jan Gossaert i Weekendavisen


    I denne uges Weekendavis står min anmeldelse af den store udstilling af Jan Gossaerts værker på Londons National Gallery at læse. Check det ud, og se endelig udstillingen hvis I har muligheden.

    Jan Gossaert, Portræt af en handelsmand (Jan Jacobsz. Snoeck?). Olie på træ, 63,6 x 47,5 cm., Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art.

    Eddie Campbell Speaks!


    Last week the Hooded Utilitarian ran a roundtable discussion on Eddie Campbell’s Alec comics. Plenty of good stuff on there, though my favourite was definitely Caroline Small’s discussion of Campbell’s prose (go read it; as a critique it goes well beyond Campbell).

    Anyway, as part of the roundtable I conducted an in-depth interview with Cambell, which has now been posted over there. Go check it out — the man has a lot of interesting things to say!

    Above: from Campbell’s The Dance of Lifey Death (1990-94).

    Picks of the Week

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Better late than never: the new Comics Journal is off to a strong start, with plenty of interesting material posted in its first weeks. My favorites have been the first instalment of Ryan Holmberg’s history of alternative comics in Japan, Jeet Heer’s notes on racism in comics, Ken Parille’s reading of a story by Moto Hagio (smartly contested by Noah Berlatsky at HU), and Patrick Rosenkrantz’ history of autiobiographical comics.
  • No one does the comics numbers like du9’s Xavier Guilbert. And his annual analysis of the French-language comics market for the year 2010, published in January — his most detailed yet — is now available in English.
  • I also found this piece on an alleged American-run wartime concentration camp in Chonquing intriguing. The writer, Xujun Eberlein, admirably attempts to untangle decades of Chinese propaganda to figure out what actually went on there and to what extent Americans were involved in massacres against Chinese communists carried out in the area.
  • Above: Youth Magazine (May 24, 1970), cover drawing by Chiba Tetsuya, design by Yokoo Tadanori. From Holmberg’s article, linked above.

    Nate Dogg 1969-2011


    The melodic voice of the G-Funk era, Nate Dogg, alias Nathaniel D. Hale, died on Tuesday. He had been suffering from strokes, apparently, but I haven’t seen any report on the cause of death.

    Nate Dogg, best known for his classic duet with Warren G “Regulate” (1994), on which the two of them put words on what was becoming known as G-Funk: “It’s the G-Funk eeera, funked up with a gangsta twist!” He had, however, already been given his big break by Warren’s stepbrother and gangsta rap mastermind Dr. Dre. Featured on the groundbreaking and legacy-making Chronic album (1992), he sang the hook to the street banger “Deeez Nuuuts”, which had his Long Beach homie Snoop Dogg and his cousin Daz Dillinger on the mic with Dre: “IIIII can’t be faded, I’m a nigga from the muthafuckin’ streets!”

    Open hands : Cézanne at the Met


    Throughout his life, Paul Cézanne nurtured an ambition to paint figure compositions in the renaissance tradition. At various points in his career he thus attempted to populate his otherwise open landscapes with anonymous, lumpy nudes, often bathing. There is something uncomfortable, something unresolved, about these paintings — they seem an intellectual aspiration toward a pastoral that was beyond him, not to mention his time.

    His shyness only complicated matters — not since his years as a student had he spent any sustained time drawing from the nude, and he was unwilling to hire models to pose for him. Late in life however, in the early 1890s, he began paying the gardeners and hired hands at his estate in Aix-en-Provence to sit for his pictures. The result was a number of monumental portraits and group compositions of card-playing peasants that arguably more than any other group of works in his oeuvre succeeded in capturing the grandeur of his great historical paragons.

    A small, exquisite exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, organised in collaboration with the Courtauld Gallery in London where I saw it in the fall, focuses on these pictures.