Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crispin Glover Presents (need I say more!?)

Also from The Oregonian--

Man if I wasn't 3000 miles away I would so be there. Is there any American actor today any more mysterious, odd-mannered (ok, just weird) and iconoclastic than Glover? (and no not even Walken tops this guy).

Crispin Hellion Glover is familiar among indie-film fans for his creepy characters in "River's Edge," "Bartleby" and "Willard" (the one about the guy with the rats). Glover is also arguably the most infamous guest in the history of David Letterman's talk show. In the past few years Glover has also made films -- make-you-squirm-in-your-seat-type films. It's a bit difficult to accurately describe these movies -- 2005's "What Is It?" and the new "It Is Fine, Everything Is Fine!" -- but what's great about having Glover in person to present them is that in the Q&A afterward you can ask him, "Hey, what was that?" Chances are he will do his best to give a serious, thoughtful answer.

7 p.m. Friday-Monday at Clinton Street Theater; "It Is Fine, Everything Is Fine!" screens Friday and Sunday; "What Is It?" screens Saturday and Monday; $18 advance tickets available at theater.

Monday, January 28, 2008

JOE SACCO Retrospective

The Oregonian reviews a new JOE SACCO Retrospective
They link to a prior profile of the Sacco and describe him rather well as a cross between R. Crumb and superb CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, and summarize the show thusly:

Whether you call it journalism, comics or both, it is this holistic sense of broad history and personal narrative that elevates Sacco's comics. It's why these stories of Palestinians and Bosnians may endure far longer than the conventional reporting Sacco once aspired to.

If you're in Oregon the show runs at Pacific Northwest College of Art until Feb. 24.


Another great song and a typically clever and funny video from Jack & Meg. And it's about time someone thoroughly ridiculed the ghoulish spectacle of bullfighting! Spain and Mexico clinging to this cherished "tradition" is little different than claiming slavery or public executions are "traditions." Viva el toro!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dash Shaw must be afflicted with the comics strain of the Ebola virus as fresh new comics of an insane variety seem to be spewing forth from this boy with startling regularity. That includes his new online comics, his many illustrating gigs, his own for shits&giggles designs of board games and pirate maps, and an ever-expanding line of graphic novels. He's just posted a few different fetching covers for his forthcoming book The Bottomless Belly Button which looks like yet another departure from its predecessors.

Reading list

Just finished reading...

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
Sort of odds and ends diary of Bourdain's trips courtesy of his Travel Channel show No Reservations. The book sort of takes up where Bourdain's legendary Kitchen Confidential left off with more insights into culinary culture and the hard-nosed personalities raving the kitchen for your dining pleasure. I love Bourdain's prose and can relate to so many of his stories, but that's not to say that I agree with all of his philosophies, be it disdain for vegetarians or a sort of shoulder-shrugging grinning acceptance of various countries (particularly those in Asia) rampant unchecked thirst for wild and exotic animals. And then there's his ruthless attacks on Woody Harrelson just because the actor follows a raw food diet, and his deplorable rants against people he terms "food terrorists." That said I thoroughly enjoyed the book even if parts of it pissed me off.

Reading Comics by Douglas Wolk
I've had the book quite awhile now and while I've read most of it I was sort of saving the last few chapters for rainy days (currently when my life feels like one long "rainy day" you'd think I'd have read. I tend to drag out reading books I really like the way I drag out eating food I want to enjoy. Wolk's book is a fun and terribly insightful read, but not without a few niggling lapses here and there. But any book of such critical scope is expected to create discussion or it's likely failed. I'll probably discuss or review the book at greater length here of in print eventually.

Perla La Loca by Jaime Hernandez
Collecting early Locas stories in an attractive and affordable (only $16.95 for 280+ pages) phonebook format Fantagraphics continues to milk Love & Rockets for reprint gold; and the stories are typically irresistible. I read most of these in the original pamphlet form years ago but having missed a few issues it's fantastic to revisit them in one flowing, intoxicating dosage of pure Jaime genius. The man is a storytelling machine. Although I'm loathe to suggest ayone further filling the coffers of Fantagraphics, I have no such qualms about Los Bros (Jaime, Gilbert and Mario) getting every cent of their due.

Standard Deviations Karl Taro Greenfield
From the author of the sometimes fascinating Speed Tribes. This book started hot but after a few chapters the explicit-but-jaded tales of sexual conquests and drug abuse, and Greenfield's toxic combination of arrogance and vapidity become grating; even when you anticipate that he's setting you up for self-revelation (ie. he knows as well as anyone how he's coming off and he's matured). Anyway, despite being an easy read, I had to return this library book only partially read, but I will probably check it out again soon.

Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man by Jessica Bruder
Actually a very entertaining history of the annual mecca of ravers, wasters, wannabe Che Guevaras and tuned-in-turned-on-drop outs.. Lots of photos of some genuinely brilliant sculptures and the requisite nude mud-people; and truly funny tales of the road to Burning Man. No matter how played out or hippy-infested you might think it is, if you read this book you'll want to go there at least once.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Marvel Strikes A Deal with WGA

From Yahoo News:

Marvel Entertainment reaches an agreement with striking writers.
"Comic-book-hero movie company Marvel Studios, a unit of Marvel Entertainment Inc., and the guild also said they had reached an agreement."

Couldn't Marvel just get the comic book writers (you know the guys who create all those ideas that they make movies with) that they already have under contract to write screenplays? Sure they could.

Back again...shit

Hey, I'm back and more in love with comics than ever (even if I only read a select few). So why has the blog been so inexcusably quiet for so long, leading most people to assume I died or at least quit everything? Basically, my life was destroyed a year ago, so it would have been derailed anyway, but when Google bought Blogger for some reason it totally fucked up my account and I couldn't log in and I couldn't change my password and I wasn't that determined to get it fixed anyway. So I just opened another account and blogged a couple of times, but my meager archives were still over here...etc etc.

Anyway, was just reading an article on blogging in Giant Robot #51 and it reminded me to blog and suddenly I was able to post without the google /gmail merry-go-round. Whether I post much or not, I dunno. Nobody ever reads this; nobody ever writes. I don't care like the sound of my own voice in a vacuum. But I guess you have to build something by really being devoted to it and posting daily and often; and I haven't shown that sort of commitments likely because I haven't seen any results or gotten feedback here. But I'll try.

So yeah...comics...and music...and lotsa new projects