Carnival of souls: Fluxblog 2008, Gabrielle Bell, Eleanor Davis, Grant Morrison, The Hobbit, more

* Drop what you’re doing and download Matthew Perpetua’s 8-disc Fluxblog 2008 Survey Mix. Ooftah, the first half of disc 2.

* Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is now a trilogy. Whoever tells me this and expects me to complain, he understands nothing about Sean, nothing.

* The Secret Acres hivemind weighs on in the Comics Journal/Kickstarter/SP7 fight in high Secret Acres thinkpost style, while Dan Nadel clarifies a couple of his points from the middle of what’s either the best-timed or worst-timed internet hiatus in comics history.

* Another day, another enormously dispiriting interview with Grant Morrison about (among other things) the legal issues surrounding Superman and Watchmen. This one sees Morrison go full Barkley, saying “I’m not a role model” while not-so-subtly mocking Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for the shitty contract they signed in “hey, I got mine” fashion, in addition to positioning his own refusal to stick up for Siegel & Shuster in any way besides celebrating their artistic accomplishments as a noble refusal to treat them like victims. Yeah, it’s a bummer alright, especially coming from a guy who argues that superheroes are contemporary mankind’s greatest and most inspiring artistic exemplars. Given that his goal is for all that to rub off on the culture to which he exposes them, it’s weird that he finds it so baffling his readers would expect some of that to have rubbed off on him as well.

* Semi-related: Ghost Rider creator Gary Friedrich is appealing the appallingly punitive decision against him in his copyright fight with Marvel.

* A pair of fine reviews of very important collections are up at The Comics Journal: Nicole Rudick on Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga and Brandon Soderberg on The Furry Trap by Josh Simmons. “The Sunset” in the former and “Cockbone” in the latter would make a list of my top favorite short comics of all time; “The Sunset” would top it in fact.

* Dan Clowes is going to make a show called The Landlord for HBO with the directors of that nightmarish-looking Ruby Spears thing.

* I’m kind of the opposite of Tom Spurgeon here: I knew Fantagraphics would be collecting the Ignatz series New Tales of Old Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez, but apparently I never said so on this blog, if my search function is to be believed.

* I’ve really been enjoying Dorothy Berry’s posts on Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy for Comics Workbook, like this one about how rare Nancy is as a fictional female child who is neither a tomboy nor a girly-girl. My daughter is young enough to still be in that limbo state where she dresses more or less like a girl because we buy girl’s clothes for her but her behavior is essentially genderless, and I can tell you that in flipping through the Nancy Is Happy collection, I see a lot of that kid in her.

* The Mindless Ones’ Bobsy gives the business to Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, a comic I did not like at all.

* Gabrielle Bell has wrapped up her July Diary series for the year. If it wasn’t quite the revelation that last year’s effort was, it still contained a freaking zombie comic, and a two-panel autobiography that just slays me.

* The Burning Brothel, a Raymond Pettibon tumblr, is a delightful resource for an increasingly influential-on-comics artist.

* Eleanor Davis is laying it on the line in her comics and sketches these days. Don’t miss it.

* Well, Arsene Schrauwen #1 by Olivier Schrauwen sure looks good.

* I think every artist should be required by law to do a series of Batman character portraits, and I will be introducing this legislation as the Bill Finger Bill. Jordan Crane caught Michael DeForge’s stab at it, which I’d never seen before and which is awesome. Who’s the smiley guy next to the Joker, though?

* Jonny Negron.

* I always enjoy it when Frank Santoro works a little blue.

* Nice little comic by Mr. Freibert.

* Jordan Crane’s been posting processy glimpses of an upcoming contribution to the next issue of the Fort Thunder-centric Monster anthology (! did we know this was on the way?) to his tumblr, and I know this’ll come as a huge surprise but it looks gorgeous.

* Go buy comics from Andy “q v i e t” Burkholder’s Bigcartel store. Guy’s talented. (Via Michael DeForge.)

* Jeez, C.F. makes a lot of comics.

* Real Life Horror: This is what policework in America looks like now.

* Glenn Greenwald, inspired by Chris Hayes’s book Twilight of the Elites:

I see no evidence that “rich people are very, very afraid” — at least not by their actions. And that, to me, is the problem. That fear — a lot more of it — is necessary. Their ability to rope themselves off from the society they are degrading, combined with the para-militarization of domestic police forces (aggressively displayed in response to the Occupy movement and related protests), and the rapidly increasing domestic powers of surveillance and detention (designed to intimidate the citizenry and thus deter and guard against mass protests), have convinced them, I think, that they need not fear any protest movements or social unrest, that America can and will become more and more of a police state to suppress it. An elite class that is free to operate without limits — whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior — is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power.

*Attention A Song of Ice and Fire fans who’ve read all five books: This EXTREMELY SPOILERY George R.R. Martin interview is unusually informative on various obscure but fervently debated plot points.

* I am allergic to watching anything Olympics, but I understand the opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle and music-directed by Underworld, was quite something — basically a tribute to socialized health care, rock and roll, and children’s literature. Most of the people I know from the U.K. feel about the place the way I feel about the U.S., but those people should take comfort in knowing that it’s unimaginable, unimaginable for America to conceive of itself in terms that humanistic. Anyway the soundtrack, Isles of Wonder, is out, and though most of the big famous songs I understand were in the production don’t show up here, there’s still a whole lot of terrific Underworld music, so I’m happy.

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4 Responses to Carnival of souls: Fluxblog 2008, Gabrielle Bell, Eleanor Davis, Grant Morrison, The Hobbit, more

  1. Chris Mautner says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be Solomon Grundy.

  2. Kiel Phegley says:

    1 – Yeah, I think Grundy is right. I always thought of him as a Batman villain when I was younger because he’d show up in places like The Long Halloween, and there was no JSA book back then. Who is the guy to the left of Ra’s? Is that supposed to be Gordon, or is it an obvious villain I’m forgetting?

    2 – Ruby Spears! Hahahahahahahaha. No but seriously, that movie looks terrible.

    3 – I don’t think Saga is the end all be all by any means, but I think that review is more than a little ridiculous considering you’re talking about one issue, though I’m down on reviews in general that try to be too prescriptive (note: the “I’m just giving an example of one way it COULD be done better” excuse is total bullshit). To trust the back matter of that book, BKV has been carrying this world around in his head since he was a young teen, so it doesn’t surprise me that there’s not a lot of outright twists on the “war between science and magic” angle right at the beginning, but there are plenty of wrinkles that differentiate it (reversal of the husband/wife tropes, baby narrator as both an unreliable one and as a ticking timebomb both stand out off the top of my head), and there have only been more better details added as the series went on. I mean, I get not liking the characters (though what do you expect outside of hipster-sounding rebels…it’s a fucking BKV book!), but at this point in a series like Saga, the characters is everything the series is supposed to hinge on. It’s not really a high concept book. It’s a book with a premise. Let that play out or ignore it, but don’t pretend 22 pages of a premise is enough to fully judge the series and how it operates.

  3. James says:

    I think the villain is Blockbuster, not Solomon Grundy. He was more of a Bat-villain.

  4. catullus says:

    Beside Mr. Bushmiller’s “Nancy,” there was also John Stanley’s “Little Lulu.” Dark House put out a phonebook-thick collection of strips a few years ago, and the selection in Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly’s “The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics” left me and my daughter roaring, especially when anyone mentioned “foot”.

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