This is part of a Metabunker series celebrating a great decade in comics with Rackham by reprinting select reviews of the decades’ best comics from the Rackham archive, along with a number of new pieces.
On the first page of the story we meet the author and his brother. The former is visiting his parents; it is night and he is brushing his teeth. Suddenly a stranger steps into the bathroom. It is his brother. A moment passes before he recognizes him. It has been a long time since he has seen him in this state of undress. The big lug has lost his front teeth and most of his hair. Lack of exercise and strong medication has rendered him obese and his body is badly scarredâ€”one senses the odour of sweat about him. His stare is vacant, his memory almost gone; he only speaks with great effort, in broken sentences. Uneasily, the author leaves his brother and wishes him good night.
I was in Florence for a couple of days last week to see the two big art shows they have on at the moment — the Bronzino exhibition at the Palazzo Strozzi and the Caravaggio and Carravaggeschi show, which covers three venues (Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Villa Bardini) and closes next Sunday. I’ll write more about the magnificent exhibition at the Strozzi presently, but just wanted to say a few words about the ‘Caravaggio’ show.
I knew it wasn’t going to include much work by the master himself — the blockbuster exhibition in Rome earlier this year pretty much ruled that out — and was actually thrilled about its focus on the astonishingly pervasive influence he asserted all over Europe, during his lifetime and especially after his death. The problem, really, was that when you introduce an exhibition with the nine masterpieces by Caravaggio held in Florentine collections, and then follow them up with imitators, you have to work hard not to engender diminishing returns.
The picks of the week from around the web.
Image: Ain Sakri Lovers figurine, found near Bethlehem. More here.
We on the Danish Comics Council board are very proud to present a big roundtable debate on the number one hot button topic, and arguably the most significant one, when it comes to cartooning these days: issues of transgression and freedom of speech.
As mentioned here recently, there’s currently a fairly heated debate on drawn child pornography going in Denmark, with a number of political parties proposing restricting legislation. And at the same time, the ghost of the Mohammad cartoons is still very much alive.
The debate will focus on both these particular cases and related issues. It features a number of the highest profile public commentators on the issues in question, as well as a couple of politicians actively engaged in jurisdiction around these issues, plus of course a couple of cartoonists.
It will take place on 2 November at the Faculty of the Humanities, the University of Copenhagen 7-9 pm. Free entry.
Above is the flyer, in Danish obviously.
Around ten-and-a-half years ago, in April of 2000, the first issue of Rackham was released to a mostly indifferent Danish audience. The comics market had been in a slump for a decade, very few comics of interest were being published, the underground was struggling to find its sea legs after years of neglect, the comics internet was in its infancy, and there was no comics criticism to speak of. In its own hopelessly overblown fashion, Rackham was an attempt to set all that straight. How my co-editor, co-publisher and compadre Thomas Thorhauge and myself figured that was going to work, I don’t recall, and in any case I guess the ambition was mostly unacknowledged, even by ourselves.
“Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationales for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defenses of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families.”
— Paul Krugman
The picks of the week from around the web.