Kibbles 'n' Bits, August 20, 2012: "If we were very happy we would be like cats."

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As a tribute to the late director Tony Scott, here’s the Quentin Tarantino-scripted scene from CRIMSON TIDE where two submarine crewmen argue over Moebius and Kirby.

§ Cartoonist/director Marjane Satrapi was making the interview rounds to promote the US release of her film CHICKEN WITH PLUMS, and she’s spitting out quotables like the rockstar she is:

“Listen, to tell you the truth, I don’t think that you need a huge amount of [suffering], because if you suffer too much, normally you finish in the mental hospital. But at the same time, I have to say that sometimes — rarely, but sometimes — it happens to me that I wake up in the morning, I look at myself in the mirror, I think that I’m very beautiful. You know, the sun is shining, I’m very, very happy. This day, it’s impossible that I go to my studio and I draw and I write something. This day, I go out, I buy myself a dress, I call my friends, I have some pina colada, I never create. If we were very happy we would be like cats — we would lick ourselves and then sleep and eat and probably we would be much happier. But we would be cats.



§ NPR reviews Jeff Lemire’s UNDERWATER WELDER:

Neither can Jack Joseph, the lead character of Jeff Lemire’s wise and moving new graphic novel, The Underwater Welder. But then, Jack is plenty tense even without caffeine. His work maintaining the pipes deep below an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia is perilous, his wife is nine months pregnant, and he’s haunted — increasingly literally, as the book progresses — by his father’s mysterious disappearance, many years before, in the same cold, murky waters where Jack now makes his living.

201208200352 Kibbles 'n' Bits, August 20, 2012: "If we were very happy we would be like cats."

§ KC Carlson’s account of moving his giant comics collection will be a cherished fantasy for some, a harrowing memory for others:

Comics are actually pretty easy to move compared to things like beds (bulky) or record albums (heavy). God bless the person who invented the comic box. All of my comics are in these boxes. Short boxes — I don’t like the long boxes much: too heavy; too long for my short, stubby arms; and the poorly constructed ones have a tendency to fold in half when you’re not looking. The short boxes are so much better to deal with when you’re moving, as they’re lighter and easier to handle. During one previous Madison move, I had about a dozen various Westfielders “chain-ganging” short boxes of comics down two flights of stairs. (Downstairs is easy, going upstairs is horrible. Besides, if you have bulk amounts of comics like me, they really shouldn’t be on upper floors anyway. So says my brother-in-law, the engineer.)

§ Matt Dembicki’s cartoon history of Washington DC is profiled:

When “The Brewmaster’s Castle” was well received by the Heurich House Museum, Dembicki said he realized there are a lot of other D.C. stories that need to be told. “I think when people come to Washington, they think of politics, they think of the White House and the Capitol, but there’s more to it. There’s history here, there’s local history, there’s national history … but maybe not the stories they’re used to seeing,” Dembicki said.

§ Rick Remender talks life and craft in a CBR Sunday interview, and like many artists who find writing is more lucrative on an hourly basis, he doesn’t draw much anymore:

I know it’s been a few years since you drew a comic, but do you still draw much?

I keep little sticky pads next to my computer and when I get really wound up and tired of writing, I’ll doodle for 20-30 minutes. Sometimes that leads to pulling out a brush and pulling out a whiteout pen. I definitely miss it. I feel like I killed a part of me when I stopped drawing on a regular basis. I definitely miss it, but the realities of supporting a family is what it is, and the writing really took off for me, and I love doing it, so it’s where I’m at now. It was around 2007 I was still drawing a few books and writing a few books and drawing full time at EA and the writing offers started coming in regularly. The next thing I knew, I had to start turning down art projects until 2008 when I was exclusively writing and it’s been that way since. I’m really grateful, and got very lucky. It’s a great way to spend your day.


§ Alex Deuben talks to the Pander Brothers on the occasion of the rerelease of their Secret Broadcast Redux, which is coming out in electronic form with soundtrack and more:

We’ve always pushed to find ways to combine our comics and film projects, and the original release of Secret Broadcast was a real multi-media vision, which has always played a major roll in our approach to projects. The original release ultimately included the comic, the CD, and music videos that we self produced for Jamal-ski and Pistel at the time, both landing airtime on MTV’s Amp.  But unless you had a major budget to cross promote these different mediums it was very difficult for them to be experienced as a cohesive whole.  A lot has changed since the original printing. Now we see all forms of media converged on the web where digital comics can cross-pollinate with YouTube videos, social networks, games and music. It really felt like the perfect time to release Secret Broadcast.


§ Retailer Amanda Emmert gets the local paper treatment:

A: I really enjoy working behind the counter at a comics and gaming store, and I had missed it since I moved back to Colorado. Through ComicsPRO I focus on industrywide, national issues in comics, but my favorite part of this business is connecting a reader with a wonderful book. Talking every day with people who love to read, and with people who enjoy community activities like tabletop games is a really rewarding job. So far, business has been great — literary and artistic communities find a lot to love in comics, and Colorado Springs also has a very active gaming community. The various groups in the city have been very welcoming and we’re building up many services, like our local art gallery and our events calendar, to get even more involved with local readers, artists and gamers.


§ Today’s focus on WB’s clouded superhero movie future. Is Lobo next on the firing line?

§ For those wishing for longer, textual critical writing about comics, Colin Smith has been turning in some long ones, like this analysis of RORSCHACH #1, which was found wanting, or this look at Luke Cage in the Defenders:

The Hero For Hire/Power Man title therefore appears to have been implying that racism is both relatively rare and associated only with particularly despicable or reactionary individuals. Even among the super-villain community, racism was, it seemed, incredibly rare. What Gerber started to do in 1975's Riot In Cell Block 12 in Defenders #39, by contrast, was to challenge such an incredibly over-optimistic representation. Instead, he drew attention to the constant babbling of bigotry which is forever being expressed in a fundamentally prejudiced society. As such, racism in Gerber's later Defenders tales was beginning to be presented as a commonplace, if never acceptable, business. Though the thug who assailed and then assaulted Cage in Times Square, for example, was hardly the most salubrious of individuals, he wasn't associated with any particular form of criminal activity beyond the smallest of scales. He was drunk, he was carrying a concealed knife, and he had a furious temper, but that's hardly the mark of a super-villain. He was simply a despicable man who approached the world as a racist would. As such, the everyday and not the remarkable is the context in which racism expresses itself in Defenders #39.


§ We were really bad at linking to the many many heartfelt tributes to Joe Kubert, but when you have some time, Comics Reporter’s Collective Memory will reward investigation. For a mere taste, here’s Rick Veitch on learning the war comic ropes from Kubert:

War comics are notoriously difficult to pull off convincingly.  Many of us were plugged into the superhero genre, so the sudden stylistic switch to gritty battle realism wasn’t easy.  But here was the acknowledged master of the form firmly guiding us every step of the way.  We’d begin with a discussion about the story; how Joe saw the staging and what elements he wanted to see pulled out.  Perhaps he might make a small thumbnail to get an idea across. Then we’d go off to break down and tightly lay out the story.  Back to Joe who would critique and direct, sometimes making his own tracings.  Often it would take a couple sessions going over layouts before a story went on to the full pencilling, lettering and inking stages.  Working through these stories, Joe was much more blunt than he was in the classroom. There was lots of reworking and more than one story of mine that went to press with panels and figures patched by him.  Sometimes after demolishing my stuff, he’d give me that sly smile and say “Not too hard on ya’, am I?” and I’d reply “Keep it up, Joe!”.  I knew I really needed that kind of no-bullshit approach to make the grade as real comic book man.


§ Speaking of long reads, last week everyone was linking to Kim O’Connor’s long look at the autobiographical comics tradition, and it was all deserved because it’s an excellent survey of the best of the genre.

§ According to wire services, a couple is to get married at this weekend’s Fan Expo Canada, and claim it is the first wedding at a comic-con. I seem to remember someone getting married at San Diego out on the back steps back in the ’90s…can anyone back me up on that?
 

§ This review of the digital ‘Elseworlds 80-Page Giant’ points out evolving trends in Big Two comics very well.

Comments

  1. Sean D. says:

    Re: Comic-Con weddings

    WOMANTHOLOGY’s Renae DeLiz & Ray Dillon were married at the San Diego Convention Center on the Sunday of the con. Ceremony performed by Tony Lee.

  2. There was a wedding at one of the Minnesota conventions a few years back too. I bet it’s a lot more common than people think.

  3. Rob J. says:

    I’d rather see any comic-book-related scene from True Romance to remember Tony Scott by. The Crimson Tide scene was Quentin Tarantino (whose scripts I otherwise like) attempting and failing to be too kewl for school. Two issues of Moebius’s Silver Surfer is a straw man comparison to even a journeyman like Ron Lim, much less Kirby or who the winner of a Silver Surfer art comparison should have been: John Buscema. The scene jumped me right out of the movie for ten minutes when I saw it in the theater and it stil makes me cringe. But I’d never expect Tony Scott or any other director to be aware of Tarantino’s lapse unless they were as publicly enthusiastic about comics as Tarantino is.

    Come to think of it, Tony Scott’s directing aesthetic since Top Gun is probably the most influential style on modern tentpole movies, so any random scene (other than this one) from any of the five movies Denzel made with Scott would have sufficed, too. Especially when The Beat has been known to post random non-comics-related pictures of Clive Owen from time to time just for the hell of it.

  4. horatio weisfeld says:

    Come to think of it, Tony Scott’s directing aesthetic since Top Gun is probably the most influential style on modern tentpole movies, so any random scene (other than this one) from any of the five movies Denzel made with Scott would have sufficed, too.

    >>

    @Rob J.
    >>

    I never wished Tony Scott any harm and I am not happy he got brain cancer or that he is dead — but I thought his movies (with the SOLE exception of True Romance) were nauseating in their dedication to shoveling pedestrian drivel.

    Tony Scott never seemed to have any idea of where he wanted his camera or how any scene would ultimately be cut together (he admits as much) so I don’t know how anybody could claim there was any real “style” there to imitate. If, perhaps, by “imitate”, you mean that his movies were full of brain damaging, incoherent editing, where almost every scene seemed built around meaningless (undramatic) pictures of hands swinging at people sides or feet/shoes walking (usually while characters made endless entrances and exits), or that Tony Scott seemed to be constantly cutting back and forth (and away) between all sorts totally meaningless images – to cover up the fact that he never seemed to have a truly meaningful, dramatic image in his head – and that this profound intellectual laziness rubbed off on a whole generation of neo-hack feature film directors, CSI style TV, etc – that is true — and that’s a real big part of why I don’t go to the movies anymore – or watch action shows.

    ..Somebody had to say it.

  5. Secret Identity says:

    You’re right. I don’t think the SDCC people allow marriages inside the building (where would they put them?) but I do think there has been at least one (maybe two) on the back steps/amphitheater and I think there has been at least one or two in the park behind the convention facility.

  6. Rob J. says:

    Horatio: I think you misconstrue Scott’s style. The aesthetic isn’t based on his not knowing where he wanted to place the camera because *he wanted to place it where he thought it would be most effect at any given moment.* And that’s not just a minute-by-minute, shot-by-shot thing, it’s a cut-to-cut thing, microsecond-to-microsecond thing. He focuses on the entire environment of the given scene/situation, switching back and forth between the situation and reactions to it by multiple characters, even extras in a juxtaposition that naturally *magnifies* the impact of what the subject is feeling via the given witness(es)’ ability to empathize or not with what’s happening to the main character. The best analogue in comics language that I can think of is the “aspect” storytelling of manga as explained by Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics.

    Yes, it’s overtly nonlinear storytelling by definition — a collage of emotional reactions within a selection of time — but it’s nevertheless in service of the linear whole of the story. Moreover, while Scott’s collages cycled through many more images at a faster clip, it’s still the same technique that’s used at a more sedate pace in any random episode of CSI or any other series that uses montage and juxtaposition and even DePalma-esque split-screen.

    You might be nauseated by it, but then again, I loved the shakycam technique of The Blair Witch project even though I had to leave the theater for five minutes to throw up about an hour into it. My advice: take Dramamine.

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