Enter Sandman (Jump!)

This is just to note that the Hooded Utilitarians’ enlightening roundtable on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (1989-1996) has now come full circle — hop over there to check the entries by Noah Berlatsky, Ng Suat Tong, Tom Crippen, Vom Marlowe and Kinukitty. There are lots of good thoughts there and the comments are also well worth it if you’re interested in this, one of the quintessential comics series of the 90s. If nothing else, they’ve instilled in me the fear of rereading the series, but also awakened my dormant enthusiasm for same. I hope I get around to sometime before this anniversary year is over, although that might not happen. (In the meantime, there’s my recent, somewhat meagre post on Coraline).

Oh, and just to mark the occasion, check out the above video, shot at the recent Amanda Palmer (ex-Dresden Dolls) gig at the Union Chapel, London, last Saturday. There’s Neil, and he’s actually pretty hysterical (thanks to Richard for the heads up). Enjoy!!

Mere Ragnarok!

Peter Madsen og — formoder jeg — Henning Kure, der netop har afsluttet deres store Valhalla-projekt, vil i morgen, fredag d. 18 mellem kl. 16.00-18.00, være at finde i Fantask, hvor de vil signere det nye album Vølvens syner og deres andre tegneserier. Hvis du gik glip af seancen i Faraos i sidste uge, er her endnu en chance for at trykke d’herrer i hånden for endt arbejde.

Og så har jeg i øvrigt modtaget denne pressemeddelelse fra Mads Bluhm — formand Komiks.dk, bestyrelsesmedlem Dansk tegneserieråd, Børne- og ungdomsbibliotekar Allerød bilbiotek — om et større Valhalla-arrangement i Allerød d. 24 oktober:

Picks of the Week

The picks of the week from around the web.

  • Comics criticism. This has been a pretty decent week for online comics criticism. Ng Suat Tong points out the dearth of good criticism, fowllowed by a fun debate, which he follows up by this analysis of the writing in contemporary mainstream comics at the Comics Reporter. Jog had some nice observations on Tardi, while Dan Nadel, reading the recently released reedition from Fantagraphics, has initiated a reevaluation of Hal Foster the cartoonist with a response from Jeet Heer and more debate here. Noah Berlatsky, for his part, has just started a roundtable discussion on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, which promises to be interesting, and last but not least Shaenon Garrity writes affectionately and funnily on that preeminent publication of comicsa criticism, The Comics Journal, on the occasion of its upcoming 300th issue.
  • Boro Tintin. I know this is completely juvenile, but it cracks me up. The wonders of YouTube bring you Tintin à la Middlesborough. Much more here.
  • Politiken: to gode tekster om Danmark og omegn lige nu. Medieforsker Stig Hjarvard markerer sig som en af de efterhånden yderst sjældne humanister, der taler den herskende smafundsorden imod i dette interview om det, han opfatter som ‘den nye kulturelle overklasse’ i og hinsides Danmark. Jens-Martin Eriksen og Frederik Stjernfelt beskriver venstrefløjens laden Oplysningen og ytringsfriheden i stikken i kampen om vælgerne i kølvandet på højredrejningen af samfundet og konfliktsymptomer som Muhammedtegningerne.
  • A Fine Likeness

    I was excited to learn of, and especially to see, the spectacular results the recent cleaning of a Spanish 17th-century portrait at the Metropolitan Museum have yielded. Hidden under a thick, dull varnish for ages, the picture has long been taken to be by a follower of Velázquez, but has now been upgraded to fully autograph status. I’ve only seen the images published with the press release, but it looks entirely kosher to me.

    Danmarks bedste tegneseriepodcast: Ondskabens Flydende Vatikan

    … Og det er lige her, denne gang med Tegneserierådsislæt, idet rådsmedlem og redaktør af Tegneseriesiden.dk, Ulf Reese Næsborg er ugens gæst. “Ondskabens flydende vatikan” er navnet, og føj hellere til foretrukne: har du en sød tand for munterjovial, velfunderet og velgørende respektløshed, så er det her det sker. Udsendelsens bedste replik faldt da en af kardinalerne udbrød noget i retning af: “Dansk Tegneserieråd er den direkte konsekvens af den katastrofale udgivelse Nørrebronx!”…

    Not the Thing Itself

    Just read Neil Gaiman’s Coraline (2002), which I often hear hailed as his best novel. I don’t know — I think the premise is good, while the execution leaves something to be desired. This is especially apparent when compared with Henry Selick’s excellent film version from earlier this year, which improves quite considerably upon the story.

    In the novel, the threat from behind the secret door in the house is almost immediately made apparent, while the film allows itself more time to portray Coraline’s attraction to the alternate life offered her on the other side. Gaiman hardly seems to have time in his plot for suggesting the dangerous allure of wish-fulfillment that drives it. The film, on the other hand provides this wondrous sensory experience to go with the narrative of the protagonist’s emotional maturation.

    Hype: Peter Madsens Ragnarok

    Sidste streg er, som nok bekendt, nu — efter 30 — år slået i Peter Madsens, Henning Kures, Per Vadmands og Hans Rancke Madsens storstilede genfortælling af de nordiske gudemyter, Valhalla, og det seneste udkomne album, nr. 15, omhandler naturligt nok gudernes endeligt, eller Ragnarok. Læs serien og mød op i Faraos Cigarer i morgen fra kl. 14.00-15.00, hvor du kan møde tegneren og den første times tid få en signatur. Fra kl. 16.00-18.00 holdes der reception, og mon ikke nogle af de andre ophavsmænd også vil være til stede?

    Metabaronen kan ikke selv være der, men sender hermed Bunkerens varmeste lykønskninger til Valhalla-holdet!

    Hvis du kan udholde dårlig opløsning, kan du evt. læse albummet her, og du kan under alle omstændigheder se mere om det her. Peter præsenterer også sin nye børnebogsserie Troldeliv, skabt i samarbejde med hustruen Sissel Bøe.

    Picks of the Week

    “the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth”

    — Paul Krugman

    The picks of the week from around the web.

    Busy times, but this week I’ve had a little time to poke around the web. Here’s what rose to the top.

  • The New York Times: “How Did Economists Get it so Wrong?” Economist, columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman offers an analysis of the developments in macroeconomic theory through the 20th Century that led us to a situation where the vast majority of influential economists were unable to predict the recession. Great, lucid writing on a complex issue.
  • The Guardian. This piece, by Rebecca Solnit, on the fourth anniversary of Katrina depressed the hell out of me, but serves as reminder of what should have been a wakeup call to the American mainstream.
  • Wired: “The Good Enough Revolution” interesting analysis of the development, last half a dozen year’s, in consumer behaviour and technology towards a preference for cheap and accessible. Think point-and-shoot digital cameras, MP3s and Predator Drones.
  • David Bordwell on Archie. The great film scholar and discrete comics fan brings his always insightful analysis to bear on the latest developments in one of America’s most resilient comics properties.
  • Bookforum: Jeet Heer on Crumb’s Genesis. Your comics link of the week is one of the best pieces of comics criticism I’ve read lately. Looking forward to that book! (please note: apparently requires registration).