Friday, July 17, 2009

Pondering Mazzuchelli...

Waiting for the full podcast/transcript of Mazzuchelli's MoCCA talk yesterday. One observation he made-that the work which is embedded in our collective cortex (Ditko, Kirby, Toth, Steranko etc etc) always looked so fresh and unlabored because it was done on deadline and with plenty of hustle.

There's always that paradox when artists of my generation labor to print on "just the right" degraded cardboard stock to begin to approximate the pulpy marks which seem more real to us than the so called "real" world.

Whenever I succumb to the temptation to add an additional color plate I am reminded that the masters did it with the most limited means, on the shittiest paper stock possible. (See the Neal Adams interview for more on this) But they brought to bear such intense sensibilities and such killer chops...

Think of Alex Toth working actual size on a kitchen cutting board as his drafting table.

Another great gem in passing was when D.M was asked if he preferred the "real" NY (where, alas, getting across town by webslinging or billy club rope is an insane fantasy) or the Ditko/Kirby one. He answered as we all answer. Of course the early Marvel universe is the one we prefer. The quiet understated amused tone of his matter of fact answer just underlines how much Jules Feiffer was onto years ago.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tuva Or Bust

Great video of Richard Feynman.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Terry Gilliam on Harvey Kurtzman

Really inspirational. Read it here.
At Help! I had to do everything. I had to deal with whatever went on with the magazine, so I’d be on the phone talking to people in a solemn voice: ‘Ah, yes, this is Mr Gilliam, the assistant editor of Help! magazine, I’ll have that package over to you in about, oh, 15 minutes, I’ll tell the boy to bring it in.’ But that boy was me. And I was making two dollars less than I would’ve made on the dole every week. It was wonderful.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Independence Day

"None of this surprised me," he wrote. "I already knew that the capitalist system was also sordid and money–hungry. In one of my first statements after leaving Cuba I had declared that, 'the difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.'"

Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls

Friday, July 03, 2009


"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin--impatience. Because of impatience, we are driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return."
Franz Kafka, born July 3, 1883

Biographers have said that it was common for Kafka to read chapters of the books he was working on to his closest friends, and that those readings usually concentrated on the humorous side of his prose. Wiki

"Philip Roth was once asked whether, in writing 'Portnoy,' [Portnoy's Complaint] he was influenced by the notoriously abrasive Jewish standup comics of the period Lenny Bruce, for example. He replied that, if anything, 'Portnoy' was inspired by the work of a Jewish sit-down comic, Franz Kafka." link
Franz Kafka's bday. Onion video to commemorate