Mr. Magic RIP


This morning, Mr. Magic will be buried in Brooklyn. He died last week of a heart attack, at age 53. Pretty much the inventor of hip hop radio, John Rivas got his start on the airwaves with the “Disco Showcase” on New York’s WHBI in 1979, hosting under the moniker Mr. Magic. In 1982 he launched the now legendary show “Rap Attack” on WBLS along with DJs Marley Marl — who would himself become a legend as the producer and helmsman of the Juice Crew — and Fly Ty. The show ran from 1982-1984, and subsequently moved around, touching down at both WHBI and WDAS. It ended sometime in the late 80s.

“Rap Attack” was the first spot on commercial radio where you could listen to hip hop and Magic launched many a career playing the demos of up and comers, some of whom would go on to great things. He quickly became associated with the Queens-based Juice Crew, which comprised such legends as MC Shan, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Roxanne Shanté, and Master Ace. Several of these would become signature artists of 80s hip hop and remain amongst the genre’s greatest.

Charles Burns til Komiks.dk

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Der er åbenbart ikke en ende på de gode nyheder for næste års internationale tegneseriefestival i København, Komiks.dk. Ware-Clowes-synergien lader til at have trukket tredje del af kløveret med sig, så festivalen nu også kan præsentere Charles Burns som officiel gæst!

Burns er endnu en af mestrene indenfor den fornyelse af tegneserien, vi har set de seneste 10-20 år. Han var fast bidrager til Art Spiegelman og Francoise Moulys legendariske Raw og er kendt derfra med serier der gik på strandhugst i hans barndoms populærkultur og americana, så de kunne agere klangbund for det underbevidsthedens følelsesregister, der animerer hans arbejde. Hans kontrastrige, rent definerede grafiske billeder er umiddelbart genkendelige, og eminente til fortættelsen af de ofte ganske ukomfortable, for ikke at sige skræmmende følelser han sætter i spil.

Den foreløbige kulmination var hans monumentale tiårsprojekt, Black Hole, som han afsluttede i 2004 — et stort anlangt ensemblestykke, der benytter mutationen som metafor for pubertetens modningsproces. Et følsomt realiseret tidsbillede, der fanger 70ernes ungdomskultur og samtidig leverer en dybt menneskelig historie med al den gru og skønhed en sådan bør indeholde.

Sort Hul, som den kommer til at hedde, er under forberedelse hos Forlaget Fahrenheit. Festivalen løber af stabelen 21-23 maj, 2010.

For mere info, check denne udgivelsesoversigt, denne profil, denne galleripræsentation og dette interview. Pressemeddelelsen er her.

Picks of the Week

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The picks of the week from around the web.

Things are on the DL here at the Bunker for the moment — last stretch of dissertation — but I do have a few nice comics links I wanted to share with everyone who hasn’t already seen them and recommend to anyone who has skipped them.

  • ASIFA: Basil Wolverton on cartoon sounds. Great essay on sound effects by a master, from the 1970s Graphic Story Magazine. Lots of eye-popping art too!
  • Comics Reporter. Tom Spurgeon offers up the best piece of criticism of the week, writing about five comics he finds value in rereading. Great stuff.
  • SPX & TCAF Panels. Sean Collins has a downloadable mp3 as well as an online transcript of the ‘New Action’ panel he moderated at SPX the weekend before last. The panelists — Frank Santoro, Benjamin Marra, Kazimir Strzepek, and Shawn Cheng — offer lots of interesting thoughts on comics storytelling. Also, Dash Shaw’s notes from the last TCAF Mainstream/Alternative panel contains some nuggets on Jack Kirby from Santoro and others.
  • Hype: Seriekritikk.no

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    Den mangeårige norske tegneseriekritiker og -aktivist Tor Arne Hegna har netop oprettet en nyt kritisk website for tegneserier, Seriekritikk.no. Det er en overbygning på det nu hedengagne Tegneserier.no, som han bestyrede mellem 2003-2007 og rummer det sites arkiv, der tæller et opbud at solide kritiske anmeldelser. Tor Arne opdfordrer til både debat og deltagelse, så kig derover og bliv oplyst!

    Stuffed Hummingbirds

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    OK, so this is one of those half-baked posts that are the bread-and-butter of most blogs, but I just cannot believe that there’s even a controversy over the miraculous appearance a few years ago in a gallery in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, of five cases of deeply personal, never-before-seen work by Frida Kahlo. The cases contain more than 1.200 items, including intimate diaries, love letters, and even stuffed hummingbirds that the painter would wear around her neck when posing for her self-portraits.

    A lot of this material is apparently conspicuously signed with her name in a way rarely seen in any of her other work, its provenance is dubious, to say the least — resting as it does on the claim that the artist gave it to woodcarver who made the frames for her pictures — and it’s never been seen before by anyone in her family, or even by the photographer who photographed a lot of her work while she was still alive. Is it any surprise that most of the leading specialists on Kahlo dismiss the gallerist’s claim to its authenticity? Or that the family-run trust that administers her estate have filed a criminal complaint against him?

    Picks of the Week

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    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • David Bordwell on Inglourious Basterds. A great piece on one of the year’s (surprisingly) great movies. Read it. Also, check out Jim Emerson’s somewhat rambling, but thoughtful comments and the interesting debate that follows them.
  • Michael Dooley on Harvey Kurtzman. Good essay introducing the master satirist/cartoonist, which makes a number of interesting points that I hadn’t encountered before, including one about Kurtzman’s aspirations to direct film.
  • Blagojevich on The Daily Show (part 1, part 2, part 3). Stewart somehow managed to rope in Blago, who evidently believes firmly in his own innocence. There’s something troubling — almost touching — about how unhinged he comes off. Fascinating TV.
  • (…in the entertainment department, however, it doesn’t hold a candle to Gaddafi at the UN)
  • Clowes og Ware til Komiks.dk

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    Store nyheder for dansk tegneseriekultur — næste års internationale tegneseriefestival i København, Komiks.dk, bliver gæstet af ingen ringere end Daniel Clowes og Chris Ware. Clowes er manden bag mesterværker som Ghost World, Ice Haven og “The Death Ray” — førstnævnte endda udgivet i Danmark af Aben Maler. Ware har skabt den paradigmesættende Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, som er på vej på dansk, inden Komiks.dk, også fra Aben Maler.

    Der er tale om to af tidens absolut største tegneseriekunstnere — det bliver simpelthen ikke bedre. Sæt allerede nu kryds i kalenderen ved d. 21-23 maj 2010.

    Det tegner godt!

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    I mellemtiden kan du checke for, hvad vi her på siden og på hendegangne Rackham har skrevet om d’herrer gennem tiderne: Ice Haven og “The Death Ray” af Clowes, Jimmy Corrigan, ACME Novelty Datebook og ACME Novelty Library #19 af Ware. Læs også Clowes’ serie til New York Times Magazine, “Mister Wonderful”, her. Nåja, og check det her cool billede.

    Respect the Architect

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    For this and other readers of David Mazzucchelli’s at the time almost revelatory work in Rubber Blanket and elsewhere in the rather meagre early- to mid-nineties, the wait for his Next Big Thing had become a thing unto itself, a running joke with undertones of rapt anticipation. It has been so long since we first heard of this project, since his and Paul Karasik’s better-than-the-original adaptation Paul Auster’s City of Glass (1994), that expectations could only have diminished. A few unpersuasive, short anthology pieces along the way did not help spur confidence, and neither did the fact that we saw such a proliferation of great comics by other creators in the interim.

    But now that it is here, Asterios Polyp cannot help but revive this sense of promise, especially since it makes no bones about its ambition to be a Great Work. It’s no coincidence that Mazzucchelli patterns his work on the Odyssey, or that he wears his modernist ambitions on his sleeve in a way that cannot but recall that of Joyce when he did the same thing in his medium of choice.