Bacc in the day.
T he new volume of Bacchus is out in Italy. That's number 6. See the covers of the other five here. This one is the equivalent of my vol. 7 (labelled 7/8), containing Hermes versus the Eyeball Kid, my big tribute to the old comic book 'slug fest' in which two big figures duke it out and destroy half the city in the process. Back in the day we used to think that was the height of jollity. There is also The Picture of Doreen Grey, my story about face transplants, accomplished through the auspices of The Body Corporation. Remember we used to think plastic surgery was invented so that Humphrey Bogart could avoid discovery in Dark Passage, instead of for something useful like reducing the disfiguring appearance of 'port wine' birthmarks. My story preceded the one in which Travolta and Cage swap faces. I distrust any story which ends with everything getting put back the way it was. There is a fundamental lie in that which i will not allow. I couldn't let the subject go without also mocking that other great cliche in which the hero and villain swap bodies, courtesy of the Soul Agency.
Speaking of Bacchus, my pal Diana Schutz, who edited my books at Dark Horse, sends me the link to this theatre review of The Rockae in which The Bacchae of Euripides is turned into a rock opera. I wonder if the author read my version, in which the young Bacchus, upon arriving in an old town to visit his mother's grave, is treated like they treated Rambo and ordered to shuffle along by the local bigwig. Naturally he incites all the dames of the burg to tear the stuffed shirt to pieces and play catch with his head. Oops, no that was Euripides' version.
wee hayley campbell links me to the Millais exhibition, "the first major solo survey of his art since the Royal Academy retrospective of 1967, and the first exhibition since 1898 that examines the entirety of his career."
Alan Moore: the wonderful wizard of... Northampton - Telegraph, UK-7 Oct.
Alan Moore, the undisputed, eccentric king of comic-book writing, made it acceptable for literary-minded adults to enjoy books about superheroes. Will his new book do the same for erotica? Susanna Clarke, the novelist and long-time Moore devotee, speaks to him about sex, magic, and why he prefers his home town to Hollywood
There's no doubt that Lost Girls is stimulating and erotic and that Gebbie's art matches the sensuality of the material, but it feels as if Moore the writer is firing on fewer than usual cylinders – which may say something about pornography's limitations as a literary form. The shape of a pornographic narrative is easily guessable in advance; the climax of the story must be, well, a climax. The early 'vegetable-sex issue' of Swamp Thing and a later issue of Promethea, which explored 'magic-sex' ('Sex, Stars and Serpents'), though considerably less explicit, pack more of an emotional punch, simply because the reader is invested in the characters and has an emotional context to fit the sex into. When the Swamp Thing and his lover pull away from each other they have been changed by the encounter. One of the assumptions of the fantasy world that pornography inhabits is that sex should be consequence-free. Pornography by its very nature has a deadening effect on story.
Moore on 'GRAPHIC NOVELS' 'That pompous phrase was thought up by some idiot in the marketing department of DC. I prefer to call them Big Expensive Comics.'
Link via wee hayley campbell, who is still missing the shift key, and who liked this bit:
susanna clarke interviewed alan moore. 'why was the first chapter of your book (voice of the fire) unreadable/written in a made up language?'
alan: 'to keep out the scum.'
LA Times on Gilbert Hernandez- October 7.
novelist Junot Diaz: "In a real world, not the screwed-up world we have now, he would be considered one of the greatest American storytellers."
(link via Tom Spurgeon.)
Biography of ‘Peanuts’ Creator Stirs Family- 8 oct. NY TImes.
Apparently Schultz was a cranky bastard. He woke up every morning full of gloom and dread. Wha?? But he was a cartoonist and an artist. It canna be so! Tell me it 's not true!!!
“I think Sparky’s melancholy and his dysfunctional first marriage are more interesting to talk about than 25 years of happiness.” She quoted her husband’s frequent response to why Charlie Brown never got to kick the football: “Happiness is not funny.”
For the world to maintain its equilibrium It is neccessary for the world's conveyers of information to tell us that the bloke who had pots of money could not possibly have been as moderately happy as the rest of us who have but wee piddling amounts. 'His wealth did not make him happy' is one of our essential myths, which is not to say that it is or isn't true, but that we are obliged to believe it religiously.