Cranky old bastards.
Having completed The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard I have been spending some time trying to clean up my studio. The archaeological dig has reached the 2006 level, where I find the Comics Journal of July last year. In it there is Groth's obituary of Alex Toth, with a short fragment of an unfinished interview in which Toth is at his curmudgeonly best. On Frank Miller: "I don't like to be associated with Miller in any way... I can't stand his work... I hate what he did to Batman. It's a loathsome, destructive, warped, black, dark take... The age of ugly came in."
On Frank Thorne: "He's got all the talent in the world, that guy, and he just turns out this shit... It's too warped. It's too ugly."
On Italian Franco Saudelli: "They can't do sex without violence over there. It all turns into lousy porn. And a lot of rape and torture and this and that and demeaning crap about women."
I find myself pulling a book off the shelf: The Tristan Chord; Wagner and Philosophy by Bryan Magee, and trying to find a passage that left its mark in my noodle. Magee observes a difference between the old bastard who is cranky (not Magee's actual words I hasten to add, as I cannot find the passage, having neglected to draw a lassoo around it as I normally would) because the world is no longer the way it was when he loved it (Toth), and the old bastard who is cranky because he lacked the power to make the world into what he wanted it to be:
"Paradise is permanently postponed not because of any special wickedness on anyone's part but because it was never available in the first place. To be disillusioned one needs first to have been illusioned."
Well, the teevee thing I told you about two weeks back came off well as far as Greenberg and Tan are concerned (I presume), but not so for Campbell. I can't watch these things and so listened from my studio while colouring, But I gather that the brave and imaginative attempt to explain the 'graphic novel' (from a guy who is quoted explaining it in the wikipedia entry on the subject no less) without referring to comic book culture (a strategy I have cunningly developed to avoid any references to the shit that always drags this thing down), was tossed out and they got another guy to do it sitting in Melbourne's Minotaur Comics, which I presume was the story they had worked out before I arrived and tried to divert it by doing it sitting in a pub. In fact if that very fellow, Bernard Caleo, bless him, had not mentioned the Fate of the Artist, it wouldn't have got mentioned at all, even though I did a spiel on it. So that left me on screen coming out with some tired old crap about From Hell that I got bored with eight years back. File it under noble failures, no actually let's start a label for 'cranky bastard'.
(Image from No love for me.)
Labels: cranky old bastard.