Carnival of souls

* Matt Maxwell continues to beat the San Diego Comic Con into submission with his word-mace: here, here, here. I think Matt’s perspective is valuable in that he’s a smart guy with articulately argued taste, but also because he’s writing about the show from a the insidery perspective of a seasoned pro, but leavened with plenty of open and honest acknowledgment that he’s still in some ways an outsider. To be frank, most comics commentators are too busy swinging their dicks around to be that candid, making Matt’s observations all the more worth noting.

* Speaking of valuable perspectives on San Diego, the great Jordan Crane had a really bad time this year and may not be long for the show overall.

* Believe it or not, The Blair Witch Project–the scariest movie I’ve ever seen–is ten years old this summer. The Horror Section’s Jay Clarke rounds up reactions and memories from a variety of horror bloggers, and offers up a few of his own. As I say every time Blair Witch pops up among the horror cognoscenti, I’m really gratified to see that the movie appears to have successfully weathered its massive backlash and is on the verge of canonization, if it hasn’t made it there already. (Via Rue Morgue.)

* Wow, cartoonist Lisa Hannawalt is all over the comics internet today. In addition to my review of two of her minicomics, both Scott McCloud and Ken Parille have extremely complimentary things to say about her new comic from Buenaventura Press, I Want You.

* Tom Spurgeon interviews Lilli Carre of Tales of Woodsman Pete and The Lagoon. Did you know she has a new book out called Nine Ways to Disappear? I didn’t!

* New Kevin Huizenga book called The Wild Kingdom coming in 2010!

* Two of the best Mome contributors, Tom Kaczynski and Dash Shaw, are collaborating. This should be pretty sweet.

* Hans Rickheit shows off a copy of his Fantagraphics graphic novel The Squirrel Machine. I am awfully excited for this.

* Deep in my mental “someday, Sean, someday” file is a thinkpiece on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!‘s use of horror as comedy. We may never get there, but in the meantime there’s this interview with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim at, in which they explain that for them, the horric awfulness of a disturbing David Lynch scene and the comedic awfulness of an awkward scene from The Office are essentially playing the same notes. (Via Whitney Matheson.)

* Robot 6’s JK Parkin interviews my pal and Twisted ToyFare Theater collaborator Justin Aclin about San Diego and his book Hero House. Justin’s a friend so I’m nowhere near an unbiased observer, but I think that if you like indie superheroes, you’ll really appreciate how hard he works to give this book emotional heft within the genre by exploring how friendships begin and end.

* I ought to have linked to these before, but Douglas Wolk and Chris Mautner both reviewed David Mazzucchelli’s excellent Asterios Polyp. One thing to keep in mind about that book is that it doesn’t feel like homework at all–it’s a lot of fun to read!

* Frank Santoro wants to stick a fork in the Direct Market and its associated ways of making, selling, and convention-ing comics. Tom Spurgeon’s not so sure. The split seems to stem from whether or not you think the DM’s (d)evolution is due to irreversible trends in the North American comics marketplace and mainstream comics tradition, or due to reversible decisions made by a handful of that marketplace/tradition’s major actors.

* Tom Neely is awesome.


* Hope Larson ain’t no slouch neither.


* James D. Griffioen presents a photo gallery of “feral houses,” abandoned homes overwhelmed by encroaching nature. Griffioen is the photographer whose pictures of the ruined Detroit Public Schools Book Depository burned up the internet a while back. (Via Bryan Alexander.)


* Raekwon IS Cloverfield.


4 Responses to Carnival of souls

  1. ceri B. says:

    I’m also glad to see good thoughts for Blair Witch Project. It did its thing brilliantly, and the backlash struck me as being mostly (though not entirely) a mixture of “it’s popular so I have to hate it” and “I’m ashamed of myself for being affected by this”. To which, feh. It does its thing very well indeed.

  2. MarkAndrew says:

    Or, honestly, in my case “That wasn’t scary at all.” (And I’m a HUGE ‘ol wuss.)

    I thought it was a neat idea, but I saw it

    (by myself, in a theatre in the backwoods of Alaska at midnight, where I swear the door-handle into the place moved by itself)

    And maybe it’s just ’cause I knew the gag going in, but I just didn’t have any particular reaction to it.

  3. Matt M. says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Sean.

    And usually I keep my dick taped to my right leg so I can keep myself out of trouble. Usually.

  4. Ceri: I think that’s exactly right, although to be fair there are certainly people like MarkAndrew who just didn’t dig it.

    MarkAndrew: I knew the gag too–everyone I saw it with on the bootleg copy the Troma people got from the Blair Witch directors at Cannes knew it–yet it was still the scariest movie I ever saw, and other folks I saw it with were so frightened they actually got angry about it.

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