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The Opposite of a Close-Up

As something of a followup to the story this site published on Tuesday, we have an interview with Dead Reckoning publisher Gary Thompson. I have to say, the appeal of this kind of comic completely eludes me.

We also have day five of Summer Pierre's very well-received run creating our Cartoonist's Diary.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Reviews & Commentary. The Paris Review excerpts Mark Dery's new biography of Edward Gorey.

On the evening of April 23, 1964, the New York City Ballet opened the doors to its new home, the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, with a gala performance of George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Stars and Stripes. It was, for all practical purposes, Edward Gorey’s new home, too, five months out of the year.

As in all the rituals that governed his life, Gorey was compulsive in his devotion to routine, arriving for eight o’clock performances at seven thirty, when the doors opened. Yet he sometimes spent long stretches in the lobby if he didn’t like one of the evening’s offerings. Gorey “had to be there on time, partly (he would say) because maybe they would change the order of the program, but I think it was just his compulsion—he had to be there,” says Peter Wolff, a ballet friend of Gorey’s who now sits on the board of the George Balanchine Foundation. “It was all part of his insane routine.”

Art in America writes about a new show featuring work by artist (and TCJ columnist) Austin English.

The fifteen single-page original panels of English’s wild comic book Tanti Affetti (2017) provided a marked stylistic contrast to [Sam] Spano’s work. Recalling the grotesque oil paintings of Claus Castenskiold, the series depicts a rag doll–like character’s hellish journey through a menacing urban realm that fractures apace with the figure’s own dissolution, page by page. English’s use of colored pencils is distinctly smudgy and grimy, while his attacks on perspective, sometimes aided by collaged insertions of additional material drawn by the artist, untether us from the picture plane. The aforementioned protagonist, whom I’ll refer to simply as the man, is first shown descending a staircase as various ghoulish figures look down from windows. The man, by way of a speech bubble emitted from his rictus, hints at the existential terror to come: looking forward to a day of half-heartedly negating myself.

—Interviews & Profiles. Nadja Sayej talks to Ralph Steadman.

“I prefer Nixon to Trump. I think anybody would because Nixon was at least a politician,” said Steadman. “A proper or improper one, doesn’t matter. Trump just isn’t, Trump is a lout. He’s a godawful disgrace to humanity, really.”

In his book, Between the Eyes, Steadman wrote about the need for optimism. “We live in a time when the world needs a powerful injection of hope and personal achievement,” he wrote. “Nothing cynical will serve our purpose now.”

Today, he feels the same way. “It has brought out the #MeToo generation, hasn’t it?” asks Steadman. “In general, people are more conscious of other people. It’s more of a world of universal acknowledgment. We’re actually there.”

—News. In an unfortunate but not shocking turn, the Chicago Sun-Times announced that it is greatly reducing the amount of space it devotes to daily comics.

Today marks some changes to the comics and classified pages of our Monday-through-Saturday print editions. Rather than three dedicated pages of comics, we’ll be publishing one comics page with the New York Times crossword and interspersing other comics and puzzles throughout the classifieds section. The Daily Bridge Club column will run on the weather page.

We earlier mentioned her nomination, and now Jillian Tamaki has won her second Governor General's Literary Award.

The Governor General's Literary Awards, one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious prizes, annually acknowledge seven English-language and seven French-language books across several categories. Each winner receives $25,000.

—RIP. Hardy Fox.


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