Raymond Macherot RIP

I meant to write some words on the passing of the great Belgian cartoonist last week earlier, but then figured that since I was going to Paris over the weekend, I’d pick up a couple of his classic comics to reacquaint myself with some of those stories that meant so much to me as a kid and which I’ve only ever read in Danish translation. To my not inconsiderable indignation I discovered, however, that the French-language market, despite overflowing with product these years, apparently still can’t support extensive reeditions of its classics. It appears that only very little of Macherot’s work is in print, and none of it was available at the otherwise reliable stores I frequent in the City of Lights.

On the other hand such utter mediocrities as Jean Graton’s Michel Vaillant, Tibet’s Ric Hochet and Eddy Paape’s Luc Orient are available in archival editions. It’s depressing. Macherot is a
a master on the level of his distinguished colleagues Peyo, creator of Johan et Pirlouit and the Smurfs, and Morris, the co-creator and artist of Lucky Luke. His best work is not only immaculately crafted, but intelligent, personal, fun and not a little unsettling.

Paul Newman RIP

Goodbye to a class act.

Here’s the climactic scene from The Hustler (1961) in which Newman had his first great role. A fine mix of self-confidence and vulnerability. And then there’s the slightly surreal egg-eating scene from Cool Hand Luke (1967), in which he interestingly, and quite hilariously, subverts his own macho image.

Rejsen til Saturn: The Movie

… er som ventet ikke særlig god; her en lynhurtig spontananmeldelse i kølvandet på gallapremieren, som min søster havde været så elskværdig at invitere mig med til:

Men lidt sjov er der dog: inkluderingen af en astronaut med indvandrerbaggrund åbner for en del relativt morsomme indslag om integration, Muhammed-krise og den slags, og enkelte gagscener er ret sjove, men på et komplet konventionelt plan. Den generelt respektløse og platte humor forekommer måske umiddelbart som en fin versionering af Deleurans stil, men hurtigt opdager man at fyndigheden, underfundigheden og det lune, øh, glimt i øjet ganske mangler.

Hype: I Love Graffiti

My man Lars has started an English version of the sterling German graffiti blog, I Love Graffiti. And he has hit the ground running, blogging several posts a day and neatly providing both writers and enthusiasts with a one-stop entry point to the world of graffiti and related arts. He is amongst the foremost authorities on the field, so go bookmark.

Top, archive image from legendary Copenhagen writer SEK; below it, illegal burner by Brazilian master Os Gemeos.

Ilden i Stengade

Det virker som var det i en anden tidsalder, men første gang jeg var på Rubadub var der 20 mennesker, maximum. De var spredt rundt i lokalet; nogle hang i baren, andre stenede i de midt på dansegulvet anbragte sofaer og en ensom Hydepark stod oppe på scenen og spillede reggae, som så mange gange før. Det var første sommer, i 2002, og forholdene skulle snart ændre sig.

Kurt Westergaard: “I Regret”

In an interview, Kurt Westergaard regrets his appearance at the Danish People’s Party’s annual convention. He states that he “understands the principle that employees of independent media shouldn’t identify themselves with a political party“. But at the same time he complains that people make “primitive identifications” when someone — himself — speaks to different people, ie. the Danish People’s Party. I personally think that Westergaard’s got a fair point, but that’s just not how things work in the media these days (context matters!). And someone at Jyllands-Posten ought perhaps to have told him.

I’m glad Westergaard said sorry, but something’s still a little quirky here…

Picks of the Week


The picks of the week from around the web.

  • The Nation. D.D. Guttenplan: “An Inky, Well-Paneled Place” — a thoroughly informed review of recent books on comics by David Hajdu and Douglas Wolk that situates its criticism in the broader context of the cultural history of comics. Why is there still little writing of this calibre in comics criticism?
  • Brother Ali freestyle on Live On B96. Check out this for a stunning rap performance from a freestyle master. What are you waiting for?
  • David Bordwell: “Some Cuts I’ve Known and Loved” and “They’re Looking for Us.” I link to David Bordwell’s amazing blog way too rarely, but seeing that the new, umpteenth revised edition of the his and Kristin Thompson’s excellent textbook Film Art: An Introduction is coming out, I thought I would. Explore the important minutiae of what makes films work through the eyes and mind of a master.
  • Alan Moore: “Magic is Afoot.” Perhaps one of the five best Alan Moore interviews ever published, this one which appeared in the free paper Arthur five years ago has now popped up online again. It’s the most concise, yet substantial presentation of his views on ontology, magic and creativity.