And: one of my favorites, The Walkmen, talk up their new album.
Sometimes it takes me a long while to catch on. For me, the greatest thing about Flickr is the searching capability. Up until now, I’ve been using Google image search to pull up reference photos for drawing…
So much for that. Check out Retrievr. Using a simple sketchpad interface, you can draw the shapes/colors you want to search for in Flickr, and as you add to your drawing, photos from Flickr will appear…
A great idea would be to put your comics on Flickr, right? Wrong. Flickr discriminates between photography and drawing. Bummer.
tried out on my writing group last night. hard as hell. [PDF] if you want it.
My new hobby is drawing while watching TV. I drew these pages while watching Ken Burns’ documentary on Mark Twain.
Did you know that Mark Twain kept scrapbooks wherever he went? He even patented his own “self-pasting” scrapbook. It was the only invention of his that ever made any money.
After Mark Twain got married, he said, “I’m so happy I could scalp somebody.”
Here’s a podcast featuring an interview with Ander Monson, in which he discusses Twin Peaks, book design, and Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, among other things. Talking about the graphic elements of Other Electricities:
I had originally composed this book in Pagemaker….It’s really sad now that you don’t see more books with these visual elements. Now we have all the graphic novels happening, and I think that’s a good influence on the publishing world. But even when I was trying to sell this book, I was trying to find an agent for it, and I got letters back that said, “Dude, there’s graphics in here, there’s no way I’m going to be able to sell it,” and I wanted to respond, “Have you seen what people are buying? I mean, they’re buying Chris Ware!”
And about the lack of graphic elements in modern fiction:
My guess is that it has a lot to do with the workshop model in MFA programs. Which, pretty much forbids that you have any kind of graphical element, you have to turn your stories in, in double-spaced, regular type….But I think it also has to do with the production model of traditional publishing, where it has not been reasonable for most writers to include graphic elements. We’ve only had Pagemaker for 5-10 years. So, I’ve got this pet theory that writers, now that the technology is more and more transparent, we’re going to have writers who are able to actually do good things with visual elements in ways that they weren’t able to before.
Comics is a medium founded on constraints. Our very sense of what a comic is-whether a newspaper strip, Sunday page, comic book or web comic-is to a large extent determined by formal characteristics or constraints. The project of the French group Oubapo (Workshop for Potential Comics) is to identify those constraints that already exist…and to propose and implement new constraints that can generate new comics….Oubapo is not a movement that you join or follow. Oubapo is an approach to thinking about and creating comics using constraints as a creative principle.
After watching GROUNDHOG DAY last week, I said to Meg, “Everybody talks about the religious implications of this film, but I wonder if anybody has written about the fact that this storyline could only happen inside the world of a small town?” I dug around, and sure enough, I found an essay by a film critic named Mario Sesti that beat me to the punch:
…the suspicion that behind the calm facade of small-town life hides an invisible presence or god…that may sooner or later make the place degenerate into horror has become a recurrent idea in American cinema….[Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania] is a carillon world, a universe in miniature, perfect and crazy, happy and diabolical-as if infinite repetition were the only form of eternity that our imagination knew how to represent….
Sesti goes on to describe how the character Phil Connors somehow becomes the author of his own story, as he maps the terrain of the place, gets to know his cast of characters.
A small stage, a set, a contained world in which all the characters are known, the geography is mapped, strangers come to town, and small changes are impossible not to notice: this is what the small town has to offer as a setting.