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Relax, Don’t Care

Today on the site: R.O. Blechman remembers his friendship with Maurice Sendak. TCJ 302, which we’ll preview next month, contains a lengthy interview with Sendak conducted by Gary Groth. Leading up to that, here’s the great Blechman. We hope to publish more of Blechman’s chronicles of his life and those of his colleagues and friends.

His [Sendak’s] turf could not have been more different than what passed for style in 1950s New York. Back then, walls were stripped down to the raw brick, lamps were Noguchi parchment globes, candles were stuck in  wax-encrusted wine bottles, and  occasionally, for somebody in the graphics business, there was a floor-to-ceiling cork wall. That was how we escapees-from-home lived in the ’50s. But not Maurice. He lived in a 19th Century  duplex on West Ninth Street. Dark and redolent with age, the décor was Jamesian—appropriately. His polished mahogany bookcases were lined with volume after volume of  first edition Henry James. His collection was second only to that of Leon Edel, the  eminent James biographer.

And elsewhere… I’m in Los Angeles this week for the LA Art Book Fair. I landed at noon yesterday and picked up my customary tiny rental car, though I somehow missed my customary stop at Randy’s Donuts.

First stop was the Ben Jones exhibition, The Video, at MoCA. It is a doozy. Ben commanded the space by installing massive video paintings and projections. It’s a meditative psychedelic experience.

Next stop was the Chateau Marmont for a meeting with the artist Wes Lang, who has taken up residence there for a spell. That’s a good kind residency.

And finally I landed at Sammy Harkham’s house, my home base in L.A. and favorite reading room. And so I’m here.

Now it’s off the fair to set up. I’ll be there the whole weekend. Booth S01. Ben Jones’ book is debuting, with accompanying events (a conversation on Saturday at 1 pm), and I’ll have plenty of other goodies. Come on by.


5 Responses to Relax, Don’t Care

  1. Dave says:

    What is that Tintin book?

  2. R. Fiore says:

    That’s the original French edition of The Art of Herge, which is being published in a not quite so nice English edition by Last Gasp.

  3. Stuart says:

    SoTCJ 302 is being previewed in February and then (since it’s not coming out February) doesn’t come out till the month after? Any reason for the continuous delays? I say this as a big fan who preordered last year. I understand that the two biggest features (Tardi and Sendak) have been in the bag for ages, and I’ve seen the physical copy of TCJ302 in the trailer, so why the big hold-up? Boo!

  4. Kim Thompson says:

    TCJ #302 is coming out in February. Diamond has their copies and we expect it to start shipping to comics retailers next week, or at the worst the week after. Non-comics-retailers should have it shortly after that. Subscriber and back order copies are rolling out now. (If you’re looking at the Amazon release date, which says mid-March, those are often misleading and superconservative.)

    The Last Gasp edition of THE ART OF HERGÉ is perfectly nice, it’s just a very condensed version of the crazily complete French version. You can buy all three of the Gasp editions for less than the cost of one of the seven (!) original French editions, which start at 100 Euros apiece. As a TINTIN fanatic I bought (and treasure) the French version, but you really have to be a major, major Tintinophile (and have about a thousand bucks to spend) to need that one. Fucker takes up over a foot of shelf space, too.

  5. steven samuels says:

    Ooo, that issue of “Jimbo” is going for big bucks these days. Pretty damn scarce. Don’t let it fall off the shelf.

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