Last week I bought the book Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a retrospective of his most iconic and radical designs. One particular quote gave substance to my own feelings about his work, and really really spoke to his emphasized, supeheroic fashion aesthetic.
“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”
“When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there’s a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off.”
“It’s almost like putting armor on a woman. It’s a very psychological way of dressing.” Continue Reading »
If you haven’t already read Henry & Glen Forever & Ever, you’re going to want to hit your local comic book store to try and find this weird little indie book, because there hasn’t been such a compellingly silly pairing since Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple. Fantastic, diverse pin-ups and stories pack the black and white pages, painting a vivid portrait of a disturbingly believable neighborhood.
Last night in my dreams, The Orphan from X-Statix was asked to do an interview. In the way of dreams, I don’t remember what it was about. But I do remember that he didn’t say what he was asked to say, and while Spike Freeman wasn’t happy about it, the team loved it. I woke up gagging to get back to reading my giant comic book.
Yesterday, amongst some media attention, Marvel announced an impending gay wedding. I can’t help but notice that there are no fairytales that begin with the main characters’ wedding. When there are weddings, they are the payoff, the money shot, and definitely the grand finale of the fairytale. No one wants to read a fairytale that begins with a wedding, because then it would be about domestic tedium, heated discussions about whose turn it is to fold the laundry or change the diapers. Weddings are how fairytales end. The exciting part of the story is how we get there, how people meet and surmount obstacles. No fairytales begin with the line “and they lived happily ever after”, because that is not as interesting as all the parts before they settle down. The wedding is the clear sign to the reader to stop paying attention because the story is over.
Some books simply demand the stark simplicity of no color, the absence of any warmth or hope. Steve Dillon’s stunningly beautiful artwork shines in black and white. Simultaneously, Jason Aaron creates an all-encompassing bleak world view for the inhabitants of the Punisher’s world. The PunisherMAX has little use for color.
Like a lot of people, last weekend I went to see The Avengers movie (and if you haven’t, don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil any surprises here.) Anyway, I saw the movie and had a revelatory moment while watching it. Before the movie, I always thought that I was part of this big community of adults who all enjoy reading the same superhero comic books. I had assumed that all of us were basically in the same boat, enjoying the same things about them. In fact, it never really occurred to me to question what it was that I was enjoying in contrast to what other adults got out of it.
Just before I moved apartment, volume 12 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service came out. Last week I finally had time to curl up on my new couch and read this wonderful book. This time, the three short stories involved examined dolls, virtual life, and the existence of the soul. One after another they shocked, delighted, and devastated me. Now I’m hoping that I can entice some of you to give them a go.
Adapting ancient parables and mythology is a large part of current comic book lore, as writers seek to imbue their creations with weight by borrowing from more established folklore. But in doing so without context, we’re ignoring the reasons why these stories worked so well, and what they would have meant in their original eras.
This is an article in praise of the people who attended Emerald City Comicon. Last week I covered some of the basic interactions that I had, meeting and briefly talking to comic book creators at ECCC. What I missed writing about, and why I felt it worthy of a follow up article, is the fantastic crowd who attend this Seattle convention.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Emerald City Comicon is my favorite comic book convention. It truly is all about the comic books, not just for the fans but for the creators too. There is something almost thrilling about how excited everyone gets about the medium, whatever the perspective, the enthusiasm is palpable. I made a postcard about it (right), because this boy’s quiet smile and nifty, painted mask exemplify the fun everyone has at ECCC.
All comic book readers know the creeping fear that goes along with moving house and with it, moving the comic books. For me, packing has revealed the scope of my collection (which was all shelved until recently), and once I’ve moved, there’s the nagging fear that there won’t be room in the new place. And what sort of order do I put them in? Alphabetical by author, or by title, or by publisher? Chronologically organized by when I read them? Is that too chaotic or will it be more instinctive for browsing? Gah!
I feel that I ought to be thinking of something to write about that I’m really worked up about over comic books, but I can’t. Comic books are fun, I like them a lot, love them even, but I don’t have it in me to get really furious up about them right now. A lot of my friends who write about comic books are vehemently arguing about something… I’m afraid I don’t know what it is all about. In general, people seem to get very worked up about comic books and I’m beginning to wonder why. After all, wasn’t this created to be a disposable medium, a bit of fun to spice up a day? And isn’t it that very disposability that makes them so open to diverse, free, unfettered creativity? Continue Reading »
Image Expo was great fun. Perfectly formed, with a smaller space and less room for waste, every aspect of it was lovingly crafted and casually, comfortably enjoyable. Meeting talented artists and writers is a boon at any convention, but at Image Expo it was absolutely the focus. In retrospect, that is almost all I really did at the Image Expo, and it reinvigorated my excitement for comic books and conventions. Continue Reading »
The intimacy and warmth of the Image Expo last weekend reminded me that we create in order to share the love, and so I’ve posted my weird cat cartoon calendar for you to download and print.
This weekend will see the first Image Expo, a comic book convention supported by local Bay Area publishers Image Comics. Famous for their creator-owned comic books, Image Expo promises to be a very different sort of convention. With the move of Wonder Con to Southern California this year, this leaves the field wide open for something new and Image seem ready to meet the challenge. I spoke to Image Comics Publisher; Eric Stephenson about the convention and asked him some questions about what we could expect to find there.