More MoCCA! More Mazzucchelli!

Because YOU demanded it: Here are some more flix from last weekends MoCCA Art Festival and the simultaneous opening reception of the must see David Mazzucchelli retrospective exhibition. Immerse yourself in the festive moods! Savour the close-ups of great comic book art! Scroll past the pictures of people you don’t know!

The MoCCA Flix (The Mazzucchelli Report)


Set in the huge Manhattan Armoury, this year’s MoCCA festival started off slightly delayed, apparently because a shipment of books arrived too late from the MoCCA building, but never mind: the lines of people waiting to get in continued far around the block for almost the entire day. With (almost!) all kinds of comics represented, the exhibitor’s space sizzled with the electric air of the future.

The day clearly belonged to the Duke of American comics, the great David Mazzucchelli, whose long awaited graphic novel Asterios Polyp debuted at Pantheon’s booth. Saturday evening saw the opening of an almost unbelievably strong retrospective exhibition at MoCCA’s actual museum, curated by Picturebox’s boy wonder Dan Nadel — undoubtedly the absolute highlight of the festival, with original artwork from Batman: Year One, Daredevil: Born Again, Rubber Blanket stories (“Discovering America”, “Big Man”, “Near Miss”), Asterios Polyp and much more.

Although I myself participated in the lively Scandinavian panel discussion, I unfortunately missed all the other panels. Paul Karasik’s show seemed very exciting though. But on with the flix!

Picks of the Week

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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

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    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

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    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.