Picks of the Week


The picks of the week from around the web.

  • New York Times: Errol Morris — “Bamboozling Ourselves”. Famously, the picture above was sold to Göring as a Vermeer at an astronomical sum in 1943. Hard as it is to believe, it had prominent experts fooled. Read the story behind one of the most high-profile fine arts frauds and the man who painted the picture in this both fascinating and horrific series on the psychology of deception and the Nazi plunder of European art collections. Scroll down and start at the bottom.
  • David Lynch: The Interview Project. This week saw the premiere of the filmmaker’s American road trip through interviews with people encountered along the way. It may turn out somewhat uneven, but especially the first of the two interviews posted this week — with Jess, in Needles, CA — is gripping.
  • From Wonderland with Love at MoCCA

    fromwonderland.jpgThe MoCCA Art Festival, this coming weekend, will see the debut of the English language anthology of Danish comics, From Wonderland with Love, published jointly by Fantagraphics and Danish small press publisher Aben Maler. This book contains some great work by the cream of Danish cartoonists working today, and a handful of them will even be on hand to push the book at the Art Festival. On the occasion of the release, here’s a short interview with editor and publisher at Aben Maler, Steffen P. Maarup.

    Can you briefly describe Wonderland?

    The book’s subtitle sort of says it all: Danish Comics in the Third Millennium. It’s basically the best short comics of the past decade, selected and edited by me. 19 artists, 176 pages. There’s quite a range of different material in there: from funny, satirical newspaper cartoons to crazy, graphically experimental contributions — but all with an indie, graphic novel sensibility. Fantagraphics are publishing the book in the US, and my own publishing company, Aben maler, is putting it out in Denmark.

    Den bedste af alle mulige verdener

    I 1984 lokaliserede Ivar Gjørup Gud i det enkelte menneske. Tegneserien Egolands ene centrale figur — Gud i menneskets billede, Divus Madsen — ankom til virkelighedens galeanstalt og blev prompte indlagt for storhedsvanvid. Under sin første samtale med Overlægen, blev han spurgt “Hvad får Dem til at tro De er Gud?”, til hvilket han naturligt svarede “Hvad får Dem til at tro De er overlæge?” Her lå stribens eksistensgrundlag, i selve den menneskelige erkendelse og den ramme af betydning, vi skaber ved at tro.

    25 år senere, få uger inden stribens sidste buk, i dag, bundfældede pointen sig så hos Overlægen. Forladt af Gud på en strand, med tidevandet om anklerne, indså han, at meningen med livet er den betydning, der går forud for al forklaring — den troens ramme der er vilkåret for al mening. Som han konstaterede, er det “så hjerteskærende banalt”“Ordkloden er det eneste sted i mio. af lysårs omkreds hvor betydning findes!!”

    I Egoland har Gjørup udforsket denne betydning på alle tænkelige niveauer, fra det lavkomiske til det højpandede.

    Carlsen slår sprækker, exit Jens Trasborg

    Metabunkeren er kommet i besiddelse af en intern email, i hvilken Lindhardt & Ringhofs øverste chef Anette Wad oplyser, at Carlsens forlagschef Jens Trasborg har opsagt sin stilling, og at Trasborg som følge af opsigelsen har sidste arbejdsdag i dag, d. 26. maj. I meddelelsen oplyses det endvidere, at Trasborg fremover skal være ansvarlig for forlaget Modtryks børnebøger, og at han i øvrigt tager de to Carlsen-redaktører Heidi Brun og Jonas Holm Hansen med sig.

    Som Metabunkerens læsere måske erindrer, resulterede Egmonts opkøb af Bonniers forlagsdivision for et par år siden i en langvarig og opslidende undersøgelse af monopolforholdene, som endte med at EU-kommissionen beordrede Egmont til at frasælge Carlsens tegneserieudgivelser (dog med manga som en dybt mærkværdig undtagelse, siden Egmont som bekendt netop har monopol på japanske tegneserier i Danmark), hvilket resulterede i forlaget Cobolt, der med Kurt Damgaard og Carsten Søndergaard ved roret viderefører Carlsens tegneserieudgivelser, mens Carlsen-redaktør Johnnie McCoy simultant (og prisværdigt) har opstartet en ny tegneserieproduktion i Carlsen-regi.

    Metabunkeren er ikke nærmere informeret om Trasborg & co’s bevæggrunde, men vi holder os ikke for gode til at videregive vedholdende rygter om at Egmonts opkøb af Bonnier har været en særdeles frustrerende proces for Carlsen.

    Her i Bunkeren ønsker vi Trasborg, Brun og Holm Hansen tillykke med de nye udfordringer, som vi glæder os til at høre mere om, ligesom vi sender de bedste ønsker til Carlsens tilbageblivende stab. Vi håber kun at Carlsen kommer ordentligt på fode igen.

    The Triumvirate in Boston

    Whew. The last three weeks have been pretty busy, and while work’s not letting up for at least another few weeks, I’m allowing myself a bit of a breather here. And what better way to do that than by not changing tack at all and just writing some more about Venetian Renaissance art?

    Thing is, I was in Boston about a month ago and there’s a fine show there, at the MFA, which compares and contrasts the interrelated careers of the three greatest masters of Venetian art in the 16th Century — Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. In the wake of the many Venetian shows across Europe these last few years, it must have been something of a challenge for the head curator, Frederick Ilchman, to secure high-quality loans, which makes the sterling assembly of works in display there all the more impressive.

    Picks of the Week

    “…the Obama strategy can… be seen, more charitably, as a prudent attempt to legitimate and thus strengthen the extraordinary powers that the president must exercise in the long war against Islamist terrorists. The president simply cannot exercise these powers over an indefinite period unless Congress and the courts support him. And they will not support him unless they think he is exercising his powers responsibly, under law, with real constraints, to address a real threat. The Obama strategy can thus be seen as an attempt to make the core Bush approach to terrorism politically and legally more palatable, and thus sustainable.”

    — Jack Goldsmith

    The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The New Republic. “The Cheney Fallacy” Former Assistant Attorney General in the Bush Administration and Harvard Professor of Law Jack Goldsmith analyses the Obama policies on terrorism and argues that they are closer to a continuation of the Bush policies of the president’s second term than a reversal, but crucially are presented much more convincingly to the public. Plus ça change…
  • The Atlantic. Inspired in part by the release of Eminem’s new album Relapse, three critics, Hua Hsu, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Gautham Nagesh discuss the state of hip hop music in this roundtable discussion, focusing on its cultural and political “relevance.” Problematic assumptions, but also a number of interesting points, are made about the onus placed on hip hop to have these qualities, while I think the fact that the music is suffering artistically more than anything else gets ignored. Still, worth reading, as is this smart review of Relapse in Norwegian Morgenbladet. Something entirely different, and old, but in many ways indirectly relevant is this 2005 interview with Doseone from The Believer, in which the MC presents a different perspective on the art form. Unearthed further to the recent news that Dose will be collaborating with Alan Moore on a multi-media project next year.
  • du9. Interview with JC Menu. Extensive quality interview with the co-founder and current sole publisher at seminal French comics publishing house l’Association, in which the publisher’s role and policy in the current French comics market, and in the broader comics culture, are discussed in detail.
  • “Cartoon Conservatism.” This interview with journalist, historian and Ph. D. student Jeet Heer on his current research on Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie and the development of his conservative ideology is fascinating reading and an interesting part of a broader integration of comics and cartooning into cultural studies these years. The recently released book on Superman creator Joe Shuster’s fetish art, edited by Craig Yoe, presents another interesting forgotten story about cartooning as a cultural phenomenon that has waited long to be told.
  • It’s… THEM!

    OK, so for about five minutes it sounded like the great Mike Patton was going to collaborate with Alan Moore for the musical part of the apparently autobiographically derived multi-media project, Unearthing, on which the Northhampton scribe has been working with photographer Mitch Jenkins (more here) and others for a couple of years. It turned out to be a rumour though, but for the three of us who care, there’s a bit of equally exciting news in the announcement of the project’s release through the quality British independent label Lex Records next year — MC Doseone is part of the project!


    Tegneseriemarkedet: Enter Rosinante

    Rosinante har netop søsat en ambitiøs tegneserielinie, med speciale i graphic novels, på det danske marked. De to første udgivelser er danske Thomas Thorhauges Kom hjem og engelske Posy Simmonds’ Gemma Bovery. Med denne satsning på dette særlige tegneserieformat, er Rosinante det første danske mainstreamforlag der følger i sporet efter amerikanske bogforlag som Pantheon og Houghton Mifflin og franske som Le Seuil, Gallimard og Hachette, der alle med succes har publiceret tegneserier de sidste 5-10 års tid og dermed har været med til at styrke det iøjnefaldende fænomen tegneserien efterhånden er blevet på det internationale bogmarked.

    Metabunkeren har taget sig en snak med Rosinantes ansvarlige redaktør Julie Paludan-Müller som i forvejen har udmærket sig i dansk tegneseriesammenhæng ved bl.a. at oversætte og bringe Marjane Satrapis Persepolis, og dermed hele graphic novel-fænomenet, til landet.