Mr. Alex Chun, the Fantagraphics Pin-Up King, was contacted a while back to be an expert for Couture King Louis Vuitton. Apparently Vuitton was looking to I.D. some old men's magazine art for use on the company's unfathomably high-priced handbags. One of those artists was Bill Wenzel, subject of Alex's fourth of eight books of classic pin-up art to date.
Of course, being that this is the haute Art world, the bags aren't credited as a Vuitton collaboration with cartoonist Bill Wenzel but a Vuitton and Richard Prince collaboration. Richard Prince being an Artiste who is cited as opening up "major discussion concerning authorship and authenticity."
Either way, the bags are remarkably unimaginative. Murakami it ain't.
Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware contribute stories to this Zadie Smith anthology of new fiction, The Book of Other People. Charles Burns illustrates the covers. It also has prose from the likes of Dave Eggers, Jonathan Lethem, and George Saunders. All of this makes for yet another beautiful Penguin Books artifact. [Note: I originally found out about this book via the great Blog Flume which has some scans of the cartoonists' work.]
This weekend I sat down with our latest Mome anthology (#10 with Al Columbia covers) and I highly recommend that every fan of the comics medium buy it if only for the brilliant piece by Dash Shaw. For me Dash came out of nowhere and now he's just burning up with unconventional story-telling and smart formal experiments. One of the more remarkable things about his work is that in general (but very specifically in Mome 10) Dash is succinctly using color the same way other cartoonists use images in addition to words-- as a means to tell more than the written word alone could convey.
Unfortunately I don't have time for a proper review of his work. Suffice it to say that I don't get excited about many comics and his Mome piece is a poetic sci-fi mindbender when Vonnegut is about as sci-fi as I usually read. His blog and Bodyworld strip are online now.
Charles E. Petit, known to the Fantagraphics offices as the longtime lawyer of Harlan Ellison, has been disbarred. Petit was found guilty of poor ethics by defrauding the family of author John Steinbeck. His defense honestly seems to have been that he's driven crazy by migraines that lead him to forget events that transpire at the time of the headaches and stuff like that. Specifically, he has been suspended for the following:
Count I, the Respondent repeatedly and knowingly made false statements to his client Nancy Steinbeck.
Count II, we find that the Respondent engaged in dishonest and deceitful conduct, and breached his fiduciary duties to his client.
Ultimately, the detail of the case that I most love is simply the name of the Court's psychiatric authority and his diagnosis of the lawyer: "Dr. Jeckel made a diagnosis of the Respondent. First, the Respondent has a Mixed Personality Disorder..."
Eric Reynolds pointed out the blog of "Antonius Radio Comix," a bewilderingly anti-comics cartoonist's blog and then Mike Baehr made the keen observation that "surely this guy is the Fletcher Hanks of comics blogging." And so I introduce to you: Antonius.
"I drew a cartoon for playboy I can not scan and neither show here, but it was that experiance in which things seemed to turn for me, and my armor first started to shred. It was their reaction to a cartoon I sent in in august for a nov or dec holiday issue. Their reaction was of a type which went beyond any dislike I ever saw before , and my mom thought, with her hatred for Hef and his published gynocological exams flying , said I got what I deserved. When you fuck a pig you get warts, she told me in Italian..."
To follow his thoughts on our Fletcher Hanks book I recommend you start with the entry of November 29 and work back: "I was once offered a jesuit scholarship due to a papers I wrote in tenth grade about Remus, the first victim of Romulus and his need for power,Leonardo, even the tuscans and such.... But for the pages I now see, I am almost speechless, they are that joyous."
And yet: "My new found love of Fletcher Hanks came to a sad bust..."
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