Archive for the ‘comics’ Category

More Mazz

July 19, 2009

Thanks to everybody who has visited the blog and left comments. Comics Comics now has the audio up for the conversation here. If there are any upcoming events in the New York area you want to know more about, please let me know and I’ll do my best to provide coverage.

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David Mazzucchelli at MoCCA

July 17, 2009

David MazzucchelliDuring the course of this evening’s conversation between David Mazzucchelli and Dan Nadel, the PictureBox publisher asked the artist what he learned from working in the superhero comic book medium during the 1980s. As you will read, Mazzucchelli believed that working at Marvel and DC taught him the importance of clarity. His appearance at MoCCAwas almost as rare an occurrence as a new Mazzucchelli comic, and it’s easy to understand why he’d prefer to limit his public exposure. Making sure that you’re not misinterpreted–reinforcing that clarity–can be hard work.

It was clear, however, that tonight was an event. MoCCA quickly ran out of chairs and the small gallery space on Broadway was filled with both fans and artists, among them Dash Shaw and Frank Santoro. Sitting at a table and beneath a lousy lighting system, Mazzucchelli responded to Nadel’s questions amid the sketches and pages which make up the exhibition Sounds and Pauses: The Comics of David Mazzucchelli, which runs at MoCCA until August 23. It’s a summer of Dave. His long-awaited graphic novel, Asterios Polyp, was published in the beginning of July.

It’s an extraordinary work, situating a vain architect in exile. After a cataclysm destroys his New York apartment, he jumps on a bus for anywhere. As an priapic academic and self-regarding husband, Polyp is no innocent. Once he settles in a small town, however, he begins to piece a new life together. Dreams situate him in the grand designs of predecessors like Piranesi. Flashbacks show how his marriage to the sculptor Hana–all anxiety and smooth lines to Polyp’s impassive, nail-like form–went awry. In-between, it could be said that Mazzuchelli plays games with color–a predominantly purple line separates into reds and blues–and flirts with both autobiography and art history. It’s not hard to imagine Polyp’s status as an architect whose work only exists on paper as analogous to a cartoonist, or his bemusement at a local punk group reflecting an artist appraising his position vis-a-vis against the underground.

During his interview, Mazzucchelli made frequent reference to his interest in space and the city. He also spent much of his time attempting to give as little away as possible. After the jump are notes which attempt to approximate his answers.

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More MoCCA: Panter Audio, Dorkin Bitch, Kerschbaum Plea

June 9, 2009

John Kerschbaum

Wow. It was very strange reading some of my favorite comics blogs this morning and learning they had linked to my Gary Panter post. I guess I should do these reports more often. Too bad MoCCA only comes ’round once a year.

Thanks to those who have linked to me and those who have left encouraging comments. Here’s a few more things I’ve gleaned from today’s reading.

The great Comics Comics blog has the audio from the Panter and Santoro talk up.

I’ve been an Evan Dorkin fan since listening to him pull a Don Rickles on the Inkstuds guys. A hilarious interview which is a must-hear. Here he sums up his thoughts about the festival. Bottom line: It was hot and lacked personality. And was hot.

Bigger isn’t always better, but it’s also easy for me to say, because I’m not 22 with comic stars in my eyes and insatiable energy and excitement. But here’s what bothers me about the Armory, take it with however much salt you’d like, because obviously some folks loved the new venue. Or liked it. Anyway: the show lost it’s personality. No, seriously, that sounds stupid, but it’s true, in my mind. It lost it’s identity, and it’s killer app, in a similar way to the way SPX faltered, for me, when they monkeyed with the days and chopped the Sunday get-together. I didn’t even love the get-together, it wasn’t why I went, just like the parties were never a reason I went, but they helped define that show and make it special. MOCCA is still special for a lot of folks, I’m sure newbies and first-time exhibitors were in heaven. A hellish heaven, but later for that. I don’t discount that opinion, I don’t discount anyone thinking contrary to what I’m laying out here. My blog, my opinion, keep that in mind. Okay, so, instead of the lovely Puck Building with white walls and light and an intimate atmosphere, the Armory provided a darker, gymnasium style con floor that made the layout look exactly like a flea market. God-awful lighting that made everything look sallow (but helped mask my awful shaving mishap scar, som,e folks said, so, hey). And…no air conditioning.

Quite a few interesting things here: Dorkin cites organizational problems and mentions the late start. Saturday started an hour late, although I think it ended late as well. No reason was given for opening the doors at noon-ish. I thought it may have had to do with traffic issues preventing exhibitors from showing up, as there was one of New York’s street festivals going on in Lexington. Dorkin has other ideas.

One more piece of business. During the show, I picked up a wonderful “Family Map” for the Metropolitan Museum of Art drawn by John Kerschbaum. An excerpt of it is above. It is dense. It is brilliant. It can also be downloaded here. Kerschbaum is probably best known for Petey and Pussy. He’s looking to get the promotional poster blown up to a larger size and sold through the Museum’s bookstore. Shoot these people an email: pr.merchandising@metmuseum.org.