- After reading her short comic, “The Squirrel Mother,” I am a new fan of Megan Kelso. Check out this interview, where she talks about wanting to do something with pictures and words, but not finding the form of comics until her 20s.
- The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Project blog has cool posts on everything from drawing animals to creating storyboards for TV.
- I just got Craig Yoe’s book in the mail yesterday. Wacky stuff exploring the link between fine art and comics.
- Whitney Matheson loves Y: The Last Man, and points to an excerpt. I’ve been reading it on and off in the break room.
- You will be able to watch some of Bonnaroo via webcast.
- Search the plays of Shakespeare with Google.
- Graphic novels in libraries? Of course. But the 741.45 dewey decimal has got to go. They deserve their own section.
- Eduardo Galeano has a new book out. I can’t recommend SOCCER IN SUN AND SHADOW enough.
“Leonardo, “an unlettered man,” as he described himself, had a difficult relationship with the written word. His knowledge was without equal in all the world, but his ignorance of Latin and grammar prevented him from communicating in writing with the learned men of his time. Certainly he thought he could set down much of his science more clearly in drawings than in words. “O writer, with what letters can you convey the entire figuration with such perfection as drawing gives us here?” he wrote in his notebooks on anatmony. And not just in science but also in philosophy, he was confident he could communicate better by means of painting and drawing. Still he also felt an incessant need to write, to use writing to investigate the world in all its polymorphous manifestations and secrets, and also to give shape to his fantasies, emotions, and rancors–as when he inveighs against men of letters, who were able only to repeat what they had read in the books of others, unlike those who were among the “inventors and interpreters between nature and men.” He therefore wrote more and more. With the passing of the years, he gave up painting and expressed himself through writing and drawing…”
—Italo Calvino on Leonardo da Vinci, “Exactitude,” SIX MEMOS FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM
- Another 900-page academic book proves what most artists already know to be true: that “talent is highly overrated,” “practice makes perfect,” and “when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love.” The key, what some of us might not be so aware of, is “deliberate practice”: “setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.”
- Later this month, Michael Silverblatt is going to interview Stuart Dybek. Listen to a previous interview on Bookworm.
- Barry Yourgrau will be the guest blogger on Powell’s this week. Read a previous essay on writing his latest book.
- Emmy The Great’s new single was produced by my old friend Jeremy. You can listen to it at MySpace.
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again.
—William Faulkner, “Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech”
I got my copy of George Saunder’s In Persuasion Nation in the mail a couple days ago, but I’ve found it really hard to get into, because I’ve already read most of the stories elsewhere. (“CommComm“, “Adams“, “Bohemians”, “The Red Bow,” “Christmas,” “93990,”…if you’ve got the Complete New Yorker you’re halfway there.) It’s like an album of previously released singles. The new website has a bunch of goodies on it, including a chapbook of non-fiction and an MP3 of Tony Danza (!) reading “The Barber’s Unhappiness.”
I’m also listening to Kevin Brockmeier’s THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD. He got the idea for the novel from the epigraph of one of my favorite books in high school: Jame Loewen’s LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME. Here’s a list of songs about death that Brockmeier likes, and the original story from the New Yorker.
I am still very excited for the new Walkmen album.
- A trio of Peter Orner stories available to read online: “On a Bridge Over the Homochito“, “Off the C-34: Stories from Goas Farm“, and “Meyer and Silla.”
- Vonnegut on Bookworm.
- The latest project from FOUND’s editor Jason Bitner is a collection of 18,000 studio portraits taken of people living in a small town over four decades called LaPorte, Indiana.
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, reasons why UT Austin is right at the top of our list for grad schools. (Other than the cool name.)
- Too weird: the VU matched with Lawrence Welk footage.
- For fun yesterday at work I sat and stared at the poster for National Poetry Month. I think it would make a good format for a comic…
- My sketchbook’s new favorite site: Artnatomy.
- Say it ain’t so, Martin!
- Recipe for a kick-ass drive to work: Black Sabbath’s PARANOID. (First heard, coincidentally, in Sean’s Golf.) I can usually get through “War Pigs” and “Paranoid” by the time I get to the library. Most people only credit Ozzy’s vox and Tommy Iommi’s guitar work for Sabbath’s greatness, but the rhythm section was unbelievably heavy and tight. Just listen to the way the bass moves under the power chords in “Paranoid.” Awesome, dude.
- Unrot your brain with video games? (Thanks, Don.)
- The Fez has been with everyone. (Don, again.)
- Lynda Barry is coming to Oberlin.
- And speaking of Lynda Barry, how the crap did I never see Matt Groening’s LIFE IN HELL comics? (Barry and Groening are friends.) A lot of his chart-like comics in one of the books remind me of Kenneth Koch… Check out this cool map charting the similarities between Springfield and Groening’s hometown of Portland.
- Don’t forget the reading tonight at Mac’s Backs.
- Best job in the world: writing about Ghostface Killah for lame-o New Yorker readers. I’ve heard the album, and it is great. (A fun note: Ghostface comes right after George Saunders on my Ipod artists menu.)
- If your eyeball pops out of socket…panic. (I would.)
- Anders Nilsen’s illustrations for Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales.
- Chapter One of Naomi Klein’s NO LOGO, which I read ages ago, but still think is brilliant. Search the whole book on Google Books.
- “Actually, a lot of these poses in these panels I took from freeze-framing the Fly Girls on In Living Color.” – R. Crumb
- Meghan says KID A is the ultimate work-in-the-studio-with-headphones album. If, like me, you’ve been out of touch with your Radiohead fandom, check out their blog. Lots of cool pictures recording the new album. Also, check out Stanley Donwood’s slowly downward. His photoshop work and site design for Radiohead…big inspiration for me when I was 17.
- Ray Kurzweil on Science Friday: the singularity is near.
- Short story: Eric Puchner reading “Animals Here Below.”
- Short story: Etgar Keret, “Actually, I’ve had some phenomenal hard-ons lately.”
- Sean on “Tonight You Belong to Me,” from The Jerk.
- Virtual drum machines. Awesome.
- Great interview with Dan Savage from a while back.
- Oh, Project Runway. It was probably the safe bet to give Chloe the money, but damn, I really liked Santino. (Andre and Tim at Red Lobster, Tim Gunn singing Closer, the musical numbers…)
meghan’s bookshelf. (it’s official, folks!)