I love this playlist of some of Joe Sacco's favorite songs that he put together for the New York Times. For one, Joe cites Wings' "Magneto & Titanium Man," describing it as a song about "made-up superheroes." Joe has to be the only comic book artist in America whom I could believe loves this song yet doesn't recognize Magento and Titanium Man as the iconic Marvel super-villains that they are. Joe, your FOOM card is revoked. I also love it because Joe cites Charlie Patton's "Down the Dirt Road Blues." Around the time Joe was working on Safe Area Gorazde, after one of our hundreds of conversations about music that we've had over the years, Joe gave me a mix tape of classic delta blues that he titled, Feels Like Murder Here. It's a phrase that routinely flitters through my mind...
Announcing the STRAND Tote Bag Design Contest! WIN BOOKS from Fantagraphics, Toon Books and Drawn & Quarterly! The Strand Book Store has partnered with the School of Visual Arts, TOON Books, Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics Books to host a tote bag design contest.
Beginning today, March 1, 2010, artists from around the world are invited to submit original illustrations representing the Strand Book Store. In April 2006, a Japanese language financial newspaper named the Strand tote bag the #1 souvenir to bring home to Japan from New York City. In one month, tote bag sales tripled and have been at the same level ever since.
In June 2007, the Strand unveiled the first Artist Tote Bag: Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman loaned his iconic Maus image for the first time ever to celebrate the Strand's 80th birthday. Three years later, the Spiegelman tote bag is still a best seller! Now, the Strand Book Store wants to give emerging artists the opportunity to have their artwork featured on a Strand tote bag. One lucky winner will receive over $1000 worth of free books, with hefty runner-up prizes available as well.
One of my favorite books I've received lately is this handsome, considered little tome from Spain's Blur Ediciones, Rotulando in Spanish • Lettering en Español, collecting something that on the face of it might sound a bit loopy: lettering by the cartoonist Nono Kadáver created for the Spanish editions of work by American greats R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Johnny Ryan, Peter Bagge and Gilbert Shelton.
Nono worked throughout most of the 1990s at Barcelona's Ediciones La Cúpula, one of Spain's leading comics publishers, and was one of the last of an era when book production was done largely by hand, not computers. Nowadays, most publishers get fonts created for an artist, but thru the 1990s, Nono spent many of his days mimic-ing the lettering styles of Bagge, Crumb, etc. the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper (and maybe a lightbox). He was a real master at trying to maintain the integrity of the original artwork, putting his ego aside in an effort to seamlessly blend the Spanish text into the artist's page compositions as unnoticeably as possible. Kind of like the old saw that the best movie soundtrack is the one you don't notice, Nono's work could probably make you forget that Daniel Clowes wasn't Spanish when you're reading Bola Ocho.
I am a lettering nerd and it makes me a bit sad that hand-lettering like this is becoming a dying craft, because it can make or break a translated foreign book and typeset fonts are rarely as effective. Kadáver likens his work to a forger in the excellent introductory text:
"I feel a great admiration and respect for counterfeiters... I think that even falsifying, we leave our mark... What you have to do is forget your personal style and adapt to the artist's. This is accomplished by reading a lot, dissecting his work, and learning from it; in the end the only thing that matters is as close a possible resemblance to the author's style."
On February 16, Doc invites comic artist Ivan Brunetti to curate and introduce an evening of anarchy, featuring a screening of the zany 1941 classic Hellzapoppin'.
Originally produced by vaudeville duo Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson as a long-running Broadway revue, Hellzapoppin' is unlike any other film from the period, featuring an indescribably absurd barrage of gags, musical numbers, and special effects - which even includes a descent into Hell. Ostensibly about an aspiring scriptwriter played by a pre-Stooges Shemp Howard, the film largely eschews narrative in favor of an endless stream of self-reflexivity, continuously shattering the fourth wall.
Ivan Brunetti, a graduate of the University of Chicago, is an acclaimed comic artist best known for his series Schizo and Ho!: The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti. He has also written an instruction manual, Cartoon: Philosophy and Practice, and edited two volumes of An Anthology of Graphics Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories (Yale University Press). His drawings occasionally appear in The New Yorker, as well as a host of other publications.
Tickets cost $5, and go on sale half an hour before the screening. Doc Films is located in the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall at The University of Chicago (1212 East 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637). Persons with a disability who may need assistance can contact us by phone or email.
Doc Films Hotline: 773-702-8575 Doc Films Office: 773-702-8574
I'm a bit late with this, it somehow escaped me until last night, but the fine folks at Giant Robot need your help. Peggy Burns at D&Q already made a better case than I could as to why you might want to do this, so I'll simply direct you to her if you need reasons to help. I wholeheartedly concur with everything she wrote.
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