Posts Tagged ‘Frank Miller’

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.


Watchmen Post Mortem

March 10, 2009

watchmen1Now that the weekend is over and we’ve had a chance to try and wash this glowing blue paint off (ammonia?), the accountants are sifting through the $55 million that Watchmen has taken in. Everybody else is trying to read the film’s future in the entrails. The quick take is that even that many sheckles is still considered a disappointment.

Why? Well, the movie opened up with a massive publicity blitz on a whopping 3600 screens. And there literally wasn’t anything else to watch that weekend. (Even the Los Bros Jonas movie tumbled 80%). Plus, there is the fear that any audience for an adaptation of the 1985 Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel will have seen it on Friday and, sated, will be waiting for the upcoming DVD release, the rumored four-hour cut, and the opportunity to sit around naked in their glowing blue paint in the comfort of their own home. Did Alan Moore’s curse work? Will heads roll at Warner Bros.? The pundits have their say after the jump.