Posts Tagged ‘Steve Ditko’

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.


Atlas Shrugged Gets Serious

April 1, 2009

atlas-shruggedThe Stock Market’s down. Temperatures are rising. Activists are taking to the streets to burn effigies of both bankers and politicians. The time seems right for Hollywood to cash in on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The Hollywood Reporter claims the long-gestating film is switching to development’s fast lane, with Charlize Theron the most likely candidate to play lady boss Dagny Taggart.

Producer Karen Baldwin, who has been helping to shepherd the project for Lionsgate, told the Reporter, “This couldn’t be more timely. It’s uncanny what Rand was able to predict — about the only things she didn’t anticipate are cell phones and the Internet.” With the government moving in on AIG and firing the head of GM, it’s not surprising that many are seeing Rand’s work in a fresh light. One can easily imagine this book being in Peter Chernin’s or Harvey Weinstein’s Kindle. It better be. At 1100 pages, the book is big enough to kill a small animal–and probably has.