Archive for December, 2007

Sigh … still searching for the right comic book artist

December 31, 2007

So I’ve been looking for a comic book artist to work with for some time now, with no luck.  I actually got a lot of responses from a craigslist post, but most of them didn’t care that I made it explicitly clear it is not superhero work; another 25% were graphic artists who don’t even read the posts, and just send resumes to any post under the “art” category; the rest just didn’t feel right, after looking at art samples – way too much manga influence in many of them.  So, anyway, I am still looking for someone who would want to work on a project.  The goal would be to get 1-2 issues done and submit it to Drawn and Quarterly, Fantagraphics, and a few others; sadly, the smaller indy publishers need you to already have your team together, rather than be able to pair you with an artist. 
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Mr. Fish and The Incredible Appearing Poem

December 30, 2007

Lately I’ve been bothered with Stanley Fish’s Is There A Text In This Class; I’ve had the book for a while, and have read most of the essays long before that, but for some reason lately I’ve been picking it back up.  Mainly, I have been mulling over why I know, even if only instinctual – in my gut – why he is wrong on several of his ideas about poems.  

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The Thrill Is Gone

December 27, 2007

Well, its official: Marvel and DC have managed to ruin the really superb revival of mainstream comics that began a decade or so ago.  Following the “success” of the “best-selling graphic novel” about Superman’s death – and yes, those quotes should be read with much sarcasm, as they are self-given titles DC  uses to describe their marketing ploy that ended up being the economic nail-in-the-coffin for comic shops all over the U.S. and elsewhere (and if you don’t believe me, ask any comic shop owner how many times a week they get calls from people trying to sell their worthless Death of Superman comics, thinking they are valuable “collectables” as described on QVC and elsewhere when they bought them) – mainstream comics went dead, in terms of creative and economic viability. 
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Radiohead’s In Rainbows

December 23, 2007

In Rainbows
Radiohead
In Rainbows

A few years ago, shortly after Amnesiac had been released and digested, I asked a friend of mine what he thought the next album would be like, and he said “I don’t know, but it will be important.” It was funny, but true. Somehow, Radiohead has managed to keep that assessment accurate again, and they’ve pulled off a feat that very few musicians pull off anymore: they keep making good albums.
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Razzle-dazzle Globetrotter Calculus

December 13, 2007

Bubblegum and the Harlem Globetrotters helping Farnsworth with some razzle dazzle Quantum Calculus.
bubblegum-125x250.jpg
 

Well, Radiohead has a new album, Futurama has returned … now if someone will just revive Firefly (just one more season!) and get Swervedriver back together, it would be a perfect world.  Yes, I’m referring to two of the biggest events in geekdom this past year, perhaps longer.  My reactions to In Rainbows (Radiohead’s newest album) will come later this week, as the album’s B-sides are finally starting to come with the box sets they started shipping.  I will say this: despite what you think of the music on the album, what the band did with it was a very, very good thing.  

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The International Anti-Poetry Month movement

December 11, 2007

Here are some excerpts of a great essay by Charles Bernstein (“Against National Poetry Month As Such”); University of Chicago Press has the whole thing available online here. It’s not very long, it’s pretty funny, and despite that there is a strong degree of honesty about it.

“National Poetry Month is about making poetry safe for readers by promoting examples of the art form at its most bland and its most morally “positive.” The message is: Poetry is good for you. But, unfortunately, promoting poetry as if it were an “easy listening” station just reinforces the idea that poetry is culturally irrelevant and has done a disservice not only to poetry deemed too controversial or difficult to promote but also to the poetry it puts forward in this way. “Accessibility” has become a kind of Moral Imperative based on the condescending notion that readers are intellectually challenged, and mustn’t be presented with anything but Safe Poetry. As if poetry will turn people off to poetry.”

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Everybody wants to be a poem (part one)

December 10, 2007

I actually had to remove the tag “poetry” (and related variations) from the tag surfer feature because of the sheer amount of people’s poetry that was showing up. Arghh. Something they should tell you early in life is

1) never post any poetry online, and
2) if you do, for God’s sake don’t let other people read it, and
3) never look for comments, criticism or advice online.

At least not if you take the writing seriously. It’s hard enough to reach the “outside world” when you are in a creative writing program, much less getting the internet mixed up with it.

    Writing, poetry especially, is such a weird thing; it is so deeply associated with “feelings” that people are hesitant to actually give criticism. The legacy of modernism and the Beat poets is that when we neither understand nor like a poem, that alone isn’t enough to disqualify the poem as having failed – i.e. being a “bad” poem.  In fact, in many cases it would only reinforce the idea that the poem is up to the status quo.
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Houdini: The Handcuff King, by Jason Lutes and Nick Bertozzi

December 9, 2007

The Handcuff King

So I finally released this graphic novel from my big box of “pulled comics” at the local comic store, which is perpetually overrun with beautiful looking indy books I really want but can’t afford … just yet. But since the guys at Kingdom Comics are the coolest guys in the world, I ended up getting this for half off. Go me. Anyway, I was very excited when I first saw this many months ago, as I’m a big fan of Lutes’ work; I don’t know Bertozzi as well, and have only read pieces of Salon, but nevertheless, Lutes and the subject matter – Houdini – were enough to go on.
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