Seeing Enid and Rebecca on the cover of the current issue of Juxtapoz art journal reminded me of a similar feature I wrote on Daniel Clowes in the same publication in March of 2001. The Ghost World film was about to be released. Clowes was thrilled at the artistic freedom he and filmmaker Terry Zwigoff enjoyed. "We're below the radar at MGM," he observed. I was unfamiliar with young Scarlett Johansson, describing her as "a former child actress who played opposite Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer."
Who would've guessed that Clowes and Ghost World would go on to have such a profound effect on American pop culture? Not me.
Wouldn't you like to see a full-length steampunk animated feature designed by Jacques Tardi? Yeah, so would we. Here's a teaser trailer for just such a thing currently in development, from the studio that brought you PERSEPOLIS, called LE MONDE TRUQUÉ (co-written by Tardi's COCKROACH KILLER writer Benjamin Legrand, for good measure). In English, yet. Enjoy!
• Review: "Certainly, the comic’s self-contained gag-a-day format, along with the clarity and force of Bushmiller’s compositions, can often make each strip seem like an instance of emphatic singularity, a totem to be worshipped in dumb awe. But Nancy Is Happy returns to this gag-a-day strip precisely its daily qualities, so often overlooked. There is, we rediscover, an aspect of the quotidian to Nancy, a rhythmic unfolding in time, an ordinariness repeated with such unrelenting frequency that we’ve opted to shunt it into the sublime. Reading Nancy in continuity, rather than in isolation, may be an unfamiliar experience, but it is one which reveals the strip’s patient and inquisitive reaction to the bric-a-brac and ins-and-outs of everyday life—an attentive curiosity whose effect is diminished by removing the comics from their daily or weekly contexts." – Sean Rogers, The Comics Journal [Disclosure: I stole the pull-quote from TCJ.com editor Dan Nadel – Ed.]
• Interview:Inkstuds podcast host says "Sammy the Mouse cartoonist/publisher/printer Zak Sally joined me for a comics talk that goes into some interesting directions. We cover his latest book, as well as variety of funny book topics."
• Hooray for Hollywood:Screen Daily reports that the in-development film adaptation of Jason's I Killed Adolf Hitler has a director attached, a cult-fave actor in casting talks, and a CGI Hitler
• Review: "Athos in America is a tour de force that showcases Jason’s immense talents as both an artist and a storyteller. These haunting stories will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Rating: 10 out of 10" – Edward Kaye, Newsarama
• Interview:Comic Book Resources' Shaun Manning gets the inside scoop about the I Killed Adolf Hitler film project from Jason ("I hope it will be good. Or really bad. One of those. The disappointment would be if it's a mediocre film") and screenwriter D.C. Walker ("I viewed 'IKAH' as a jewel like the french short film 'La Jetee.' All the key themes were in place, it was just a matter of expanding on them like they did in 12 Monkeys (the film 'IKAH' will most resemble).")
• Plug: "I gotta say I'm not a big fan of the illustration on this [Kolor Klimax] cover, but the design, color, and font choice made me stand up and take notice. I 'klimaxed' a little when I first saw it. Uggh, sorry, that was too much information." – Dave Johnson, Johnson's Cover Hi-lo
Fantagraphics is excited to announce that Studio Eight has optioned the film rights to the Eisner award-winning graphic novel I Killed Adolf Hitler in association with Up Country Productions. The graphic novel by acclaimed Norwegian comics artist Jason (aka John Arne Sæterøy) and published by Fantagraphics Books in 2007 revolves around a hitman sent back to 1938 by a scientist to kill the Führer and avert the Holocaust. Complications ensue.
Jamie and Alex Brown of Studio Eight have teamed on the project with screenwriter D.C. Walker of Up Country Productions, who adapted the material.
So apparently every year there's "The Black List" of the most buzzed-about unproduced Hollywood screenplays and this year's new list (published at Nikki Finke's Deadline) has Ben Schwartz, editor of The Best American Comics Criticism, and his script Home by Christmas on it. The script, which tells the story of a young Larry Gelbart (who went on to bring M*A*S*H to television) going on the USO tour with Bob Hope during the Korean War, was inspired by interviews Schwartz did for The Lost Laugh, a book of comedy history which Ben is writing for us (release TBD). Anyone want to start the casting speculation? And do we get a cut of the B.O.?
Those of you lucky enough to be in Seattle this weekend be sure to drop by Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery on Saturday, September 3. You'll be among the first in the nation to screen "Hooked on Comix 3." Los Angeles filmmakers Audrey Mandelbaum and David P. Moore have been documenting the masters of alternative comix at the peak of their prowess since 1993. Meet these exceptional filmmakers and see the latest installment of this truly wonderful documentary series, which features Dame Darcy and Tony Millionaire, two of Fantagraphics' most talented and eccentric cartoonists. The film will run continuously between noon and 3:00 PM. As an added incentive to attend — (like you need one) — we'll be offering 20% off on all books by the two stars on the film, all day long.
Fantagraphics Bookstore will be open Labor Day Monday, September 5 from 11:30 to 4:00 PM. Get all your back to school comix this weekend.
Cineplex Manager: What the hell is wrong with you? Enid: What? I was just joking around with the customers. It's my schtick. Cineplex Manager: Well, lose it! And why aren't you pushing the larger sizes? Didn't you get training about upsizing? Enid: Yeah. But I feel really weird. It's pretty sleazy. Cineplex Manager: It's not OPTIONAL! [he leaves her] Enid: [rolls her eyes] Jesus. [a customer comes up to the counter] Soda Customer: Hi, can I get a medium 7-Up? Enid: Medium? Why sir, do you not know that for a mere 25 cents more you can purchase a large beverage? And you know, I'm only telling because we're such good friends, medium is really only for suckers who don't know the concept of value.
Ohmygod. The film version of Ghost World celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Yeah, I'll just give you a second to feel really weird and old about that, like I feel right now. When Fanta Marketing Director Mike Baehr and I first moved to Seattle in 2001, we immediately went to the now-defunct Neptune Theatre to see this film before we even unpacked the moving truck!
Fantagraphics is teaming up with Reading Cinemas and the San Diego Film Critics Society to present a special 10th Anniversary screening of Ghost World at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 on Saturday, July 23 at 9:00 PM, in glorious 35mm! Thank you, Scott!
Admission is only $5 lousy bucks, and there will be a post-screening Q&A and discussion after the film!