Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NPR Goes MetaMaus with Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman talks about his new book about "the book" MetaMaus"on NPR's Talk of The Nation with the always excellent Neal Conan.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Grant Morrison: "Chris Ware's attitude stinks..."

I can't say I disagree with Morrison on this. Although he needn't be defensive or self-conscious when comparing his comics criticism to that of the 'college boys" at The Comics Journal, because TCJ really hasn't been relevant or even readable in print in some 15 years at least. I always thought the magazine would catch its second (third?) wind eventually under some fiery new editor but that certainly never happened and it lapsed into toothless dotage; finally little more than the Fantagraphics promotional arm so many people had accused it of being even when it wasn't.


There have been histories of comic books, but your book Supergods is all superheroes. It's a counter-narrative to the idea that comics need to outgrow this superhero stuff.
I can appreciate someone like Chris Ware for his artistry, which I think is beautiful, but I think his attitude stinks, it just seems to be the attitude of somebody really privileged, and honestly, try living here, try living on an Indian reservation and shut up, and really seeing all that nihilistic stuff, it really makes me angry, it's unhelpful to all of us, and it's coming from people who have money and success to talk  like that and bring those aspects of the way we live in favor of all the  others, and it's indefensible.

So I never liked that stuff, I  always thought that I had a real Scottish working class thing against  the fact that these were done by privileged American college kids, and  they were telling me the world was flat. "You're telling me the world is  flat, pal?" And it's not helpful, it doesn't get us anywhere. OK, so it  is, then what? What are you going to do about it, college kid? My book wasn't academic. I can't take on those Comics Journal guys, they flattened me, as they did, it's just defensive, smartass kids.

This is what I'm into, and here's how, through my eyes, it's exalted. You may look at the same thing and just see trash, toilet paper, I'm  looking at this and seeing William Blake angels. This is how it looks  through these eyes, this is all I've got, I can't talk about it in half  degrees, but I can talk about it in the sense of a practitioner of it,  someone who has thought about it intensely for an awful long time, and  again, I thought, "What can I make, a book that reads the way Nick Kent talks about music," those guys, it at least gives you a personal  connection to someone who takes this very seriously.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grant Morrison in Rolling Stone: The Toilet Paper of Angels

I picked up a copy of Grant Morrison's new book Supergods last week and my first thoughts at a glance were that it is surprisingly coherent. In fact in many ways Grant Morrison the critic/comics historian/biographer reads a bit like Douglas Wolk (who virtually worships the druggy incoherence of Morrison's The Invisibles). So anyway, I haven't read Supergods yet but was pleasantly surprised to see an interview ith Morrison in the brand new Rolling Stone. Here are the best revelations (which may be old hat of diehard Morrison-heads).:
Grant's comic book scripting and occasional screenplays have now afforded him FOUR homes. He tours the RS writer Brian Hiatt through his 130-year-old town house situated in a "wealthy enclave known as 'Millionaire's Row.'"
Morrison is pals with Deepak Chopra, which explains why Chopra gave him a blurb for Supergods.
Morrison is pals with My Chemical Romance's singer Gerard Way (who seemingly idolizes Morrison).
Morrison was in a band that once opened for The Jesus & Mary Chain (which is pretty solid rock & roll cred, especially for a comic book scribe).

Morrison with Nine Inch Nails' superhero Trent Reznor (center) and Morrison's wife Kristan

People say kids can't understand the difference between fact and fiction but that's bullshit. Kids understand that real crabs don't sing like the ones in The Little Mermaid. But you give an adult fiction and the adult starts asking fucking dumb questions like "Why can Superman fly?" How do those eyebeams work? Who pumps the Batmobile's tires? It's a fucking made-up story, you idiot! Nobody pumps the tires!"
There is also a clear reason why Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman books were among the best mainstream comics in recent memory, while his grim ugly and tedious All-Star Batman is decidedly not. "When I write Superman it was like contemplating the Buddha. I really felt elevated. Everything seemed more beautiful, more precious. Batman is different.  I try not to go into Batman that much because he's nutty, and I don't really want to feel like Bruce Wayne. "

The joy in his Superman story is as evident as the gloomy distance he maintains from Batman.
On the popularity of the superhero narrative in general: "How do we fight against the idea that we are doomed? We are fighting against it with the superhuman story. You may look at superheroes and see trash, toilet paper. I'm looking at them and seeing William  Blake angels."
“Good comics are as good as your favorite movie, as good as your favorite record, as good as your favorite TV show and are well worth [entering] the pop culture diet of any smart adult who’s living in the 21st century."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HANS RICKHEIT digitized not sanitized

Hans Rickheit, the brilliant subversive just keeps getting better, and now anyone in the world can read his comics for free (donations most appreciated however) thanks to the ever-insidious interweb. So treat yourself. And by the way if I ever had a real job I'd be buying up his lovely original art, but I don't so for the time being the window is wide open for all you capitalistic scum out there. BUY BUY!


In response to clamoring public demands, I've decided to redouble my cartooning output and release a 2nd ongoing webcomic that veers in an entirely contrary tangent to that of the critically-acclaimed ECTOPIARY,

Cochlea & Eustachia have previously appeared in numerous. well-publicized venues, including POOD, PROPER GANDER, TYPHON. LEGAL ACTION COMICS, REGLAR WIGLAR, THE STRANGER and the original run of CHROME FETUS COMICS.

It is my intention to post a new installment every Wednesday for your edification and delight. You can help this effort by visiting the Merchandise Page and purchasing my wares! Original Art is now being offered for sale from both COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA and the ongoing ECTOPIARY website. Also, pages from my other reputable graphic novels CHLOE and THE SQUIRREL MACHINE are on sale.

At the very least, you are encouraged to DONATE whatever you feel is appropriate. Even the smallest amount is gratefully appreciated!

Friends, as always, I thank you for your attention and generosity!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catastrophe in JAPAN

Don't be overwhelmed by the choices or how to help japan. Just pick one and send something.
There are many ways to help Japan but one easy way is if you simply have a Paypal account. Paypal has several $25 options ranging from The Red Cross to Tokyo Helping Hands but also allows you to choose any donation you wish, so if you only have a dollar to spare or a fiver (in which I can totally relate to you) donate that because surely every penny will help someone. The damage appears to be absolutely catastrophic and now is the time to do whatever we can to help our friends in Japan recover in this time of incredibly dire need.

Salvation Army has had a presence in Japan since 1895
Facebook's Disaster Relief Page


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


In a rather strange story about how Asian tourists are keeping Vegas afloat by playing baccarat, it seems Reuters  reporter Timothy Pratt came across a face familiar to street art and comics fans: David Choe!
 To Pratt, Choe was obviously just another Asian face in the crowd and the reporter was seemingly surprised that the artist is actually American. He also didn't realize Choe was a famous artist, nor did Choe identify himself as such. But based on the age (34) and the fact that Choe has even filmed his excursions to Vegas for Vice...this is almost certainly David "Slow Jams" Choe. here's the link but I excerpted the pertinent part featuring DC.

Afterward, one of the baccarat players, David Choe, sat slurping noodles in a Chinese restaurant no more than 20 steps away. Choe said he had heard from his casino host that the Russian had lost $1 million the night before.
Choe, 34, has been gambling since he was a teenager, starting, he said, with fake ID.
Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt with the words "New York," he is the rare U.S. native at the baccarat tables, though of Korean background. He comes from Los Angeles several times a month to play. This time, he was up around $100,000.
"I haven't counted it yet," he said.
Choe said he has seen some unusual sights at the baccarat table, including an "ossified drunk" betting $40,000 a hand.
Although he called the game "the easiest thing in the world," he allowed that many players have superstitions, ranging from not allowing anyone to touch you while playing to following the highest bettor's chips to putting money down on any streak that appears to emerge.
What is the attraction of baccarat?
"You have your own room, your own world. You can eat there, you can bet or not, you can curse if you lose, or tear up the cards. You can do whatever you want."