From the author interview in FLOOD!, 3rd edition. Interview by Chris Lanier, originally published in The Comics Journal.
The main interest for me of the comic strip is the infinite possible links between text and image : a system of representation continually confronting , in a kind of alchemy, text and picture. [...] I try to find new reading perspectives. I dismantle a given material to make something else of it.
I landed in Leeds a bit before noon today, where I’ll be part of the Thought Bubble comics festival 2012. I’m sharing a table with Oliver East, with whom I did a remix book that will premiere this Saturday — we decided to call it East-Haverholm, more about it when I’m home and have some kind of idea how many I can put up for sale.
I’m very excited to be here, so excited in fact that I got up at 3am this morning, after 5hrs of sleep, to catch my flight. I spent the afternoon walking around the city in a daze of insomnia, trying to keep myself awake long enough that I could beat my sleep pattern back in place.
That may have worked, but in my mind I started taking notes about the British Experience that stood out for me. Kind of like, I don’t know, Xmas ornaments to a heroin addict. I would like to state again, for the record, that I was only influenced by sleep deprivation and caffeine. Ahem.
So here it is, my seven-points list of Notes About Britain so far, filtered through a lack of sleep:
I’m joining Derik Badman’s 30 Days of Comics program again this year, and because I seem to have a masochist strain (at least when it comes to work), I thought it would be fun to make a complete, comprehensive piece of work this time.
That’s basically all I have to go on, except I’d like to work within a musical frame, or what I just coined a “graphic symphony” on Twitter. That may or may not be the end result, but I’m running with that for now. I’d like some input from you guys, though.
The next few days I’ll prepare a word bag à la Lynda Barry, or perhaps Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, which will serve as random prompts for my daily output through November. What I need from you is some words to put into my bag (or envelope, actually), specifically verbs and adjectives.
Since so much of my work is non-figurative these days, I don’t think nouns will be of much use to me. Sorry nouns, I’ll do you some other time.
So please, comment with your contributions below, it’ll be a great help (and you’ll be namechecked if your prompt is used during November)! Thanks in advance!
By EC Segar. Via Ben Towle
I’ve had a revelation. No, no, read on! It’s a thing that’s been taking shape in my head for a while, and once it lodged, I achieved a certain peace of mind. It’s not a nutty theory like reptiloid aliens infiltrating our governments, but rather a simple, statistical fact. Ready for enlightenment? Here we go:
95% of everything is crap. You’re welcome!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out, or even trying to like, things that others seem to find important. But you know what? 95 percent of those people are idiots. Once you apply the 95% rule to everything, you can actually focus on the 5% that will matter to you. Some examples:
95% of all art/books/TV/movies is crap. There, you just earned yourself a full extra week of free time by not watching another season of 2½ Men.
Only 5% of all clothes that is supposed to be your size will actually fit. And out of that, you will not like 95%.
95% of the internet is stupid, or a lie. Actually, this is one of the points that make me think 95 percent is a conservative number.
95% of all music produced sucks ass. It wasn’t better before, time has just filtered out some of the crap. Plus, if Mozart had a Bandcamp page he would be pounding out a black metal album a week, and 95% of them would be shit.
5% of all IKEA furniture comes with only 95% of the required parts.
95% of everything is an utter waste of your time. It’s as simple as that. Don’t even think about how bad the Independence Day sequel is going to be, because it’ll make your soul rot and give you brain Ebola. Just don’t go there.
If you focus on the good (which, incidentally, may be the exact opposite of what I like) and entirely disregard the bad, and the stupid, and the godawful, you will find that peace of mind I was talking about, which allows you to enjoy what you like without interference.
Mind, I said earlier that 95% may be a low measure for the crap total of everything, but it allows for the unknowns, the things or people or trappings you don’t know about, but might actually like. So don’t lock yourself up with Brahms, Orwell, and a VSOP just yet.
PS, 95% of the above is conjecture.
An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus.
So I blogged very briefly on some arguments for and against freedom of representation in comics and games, in context of the recent Swedish trial whether manga art can be considered child porn. Way before that I couldn’t help touch the subject (or is that “fondle”?) writing about Lost Girls.
I’m just reading an introduction on Henry Darger, now, and considering how many nude little girls, or girl-boys, run around in his pictures, a lot of space is dedicated to different ways of saying “He wasn’t a paedo, really!” Which he wasn’t, I’m certain. Rounding off, the writer, Michel Thévoz, closes the subject beautifully, assuring us that a) while alive, Darger was never accused of sexual misdemeanors, and b)::
that pedophilia exists latently in those who wallow in reading information of this kind and who look obsessively for the occasion to be indignant about it, and indeed, that works of art have always had a sort of mirrorlike quality.
So 20+ years late to the ball, I got started on Twin Peaks. I took inn the Laura Palmer arc over a few days that, incidentally, were some of the emotionally most trying of my entire life, so I guess it served a therapeutic purpose. Especially the Log Lady introductions moved me in their theme of emotions and reality. So, thanks Lynch!
My favourite lines, however, are the following by the otherwise sarcastic, bordering on the abrasive, FBI agent Albert Rosenfield (via)
Albert Rosenfield: [to Sheriff Truman] Now you listen to me. While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love. I love you Sheriff Truman.
[he leaves the room]
Dale Cooper: [to Sheriff Truman] Albert’s path is a strange and difficult one.
For the original sequence, take a look here:
- Pornography is ‘paintings or drawings about wantons.’ Now it doesn’t say anything in there about photographs or films or shared files of wantons or children or anything else. I think a line has to be drawn between the sexual imagination and any attempt to materialize that in a photograph or whatever, and that is something that should be and is covered. We have perfectly adequate existing laws regarding coersive sex, whatever the age of the person concerned.
- [that the] cartoons in and of themselves may be considered pornographic, and that they represent children. But these are fantasy figures that can not be mistaken for real children. The criminalization of the possession of the cartoons would go beyond what is necessary with regard to the purpose which has led to the restriction on freedom of expression and freedom of information as a penal provision means.
- Oh? You think you are powerful assassins? No. You are foolish little girls. Here, see how a real man assassin puts you in your place. No, he doesn’t ‘literally’ rape them, but a male forced these (fictional) women to act in a way males would find them sexy while another male did violence to them. That is teaching women their place. That is fucked up. That is rape culture.
1) Alan Moore on the under-age sexuality on display in his and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, from this interview. 2) Google translated from this morning’s Swedish supreme court acquittal of a manga expert and translator, accused of possessing child porn. 3) Brendan Keogh exemplifying the rape culture in video games like the latest Hitman.