Friday, 6 March 2009

watchmen review by A.O.Scott in the NY Times:

"Speaking of acts of congress, “Watchmen” features this year’s hands-down winner of the bad movie sex award, superhero division: a moment of bliss that takes place on board Nite Owl’s nifty little airship, accompanied by Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” (By the way, can we please have a moratorium on the use of this song in movies? Yes, I too have heard there was a secret chord that David played, and blah blah blah, but I don’t want to hear it again. Do you?)"

"The only action that makes sense in this world — the only sure basis for ethics or politics, the only expression of love or loyalty or conviction — is killing. And the dramatic conflict revealed, at long last, in the film’s climactic arguments is between a wholesale, idealistic approach to mass death and one that is more cynical and individualistic.
This idea is sickening but also, finally, unpersuasive, because it is rooted in a view of human behavior that is fundamentally immature, self-pitying and sentimental. Perhaps there is some pleasure to be found in regressing into this belligerent, adolescent state of mind. But maybe it’s better to grow up."


for those who enjoyed David Apatoff's recent post on illustrator William Aylward (1875-1956), here's another sample of his art, from Jack London's The Sea Wolf, from Tales of the North, a 1979 compendium of the author's 'complete novels plus 15 short stories', from my own shelves:

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i love it. This guy's specialty is designing logos for British fried chicken takeaway establishments: (more photos at the link... how many variations can you get?)
Morris: MBC Signs started back in 1979, somewhere along that line. I used to work for a company by the name of Red Circus Signs in Harrow Road, but while working for them they moved out close to Heathrow airport and the distance was too far for me to travel. And so I got myself some premises in Kingsland Road and I set up from there.It was very hard for us to get in with some of the major fried chicken companies…the bigger boys don’t want to know. A lot of it was back-handers, he’ll stick with one company because he’s getting a ticket to Wembley or Wimbledon or something like that, and we were not in a position to make those sorts of offers. So the majority of work which we got was by recommendation from other people.
Siâron: So all the Perfect Fried Chicken and the bigger companies, that came in time did it?

Morris: Yeah, the chicken world or the fast food world started taking over in a big way about ten years ago, no the early 90s. A lot of people who were franchisees say from Kentucky Fried Chicken or something like that, maybe were feeling the squeeze. They feel as though they were working for Kentucky Fried Chicken and y’know Kentucky is so strict, whatever they says goes. And so a lot of them come out of the franchise because they know how to prepare the chicken and how to do that and what have you, a lot of them branch off and call themselves different names. So that’s why we get all these different names now. Some of them who’ve gone on like Sams Fried Chicken and things like that they’ve grown bigger and they’re now letting people use their name for which they charge a certain amount.

From Chris Breach in the first place. Hayley Campbell , who forwarded it says: "south london is 95% fried chicken. you want kebabs? you go north."
(update: see Hayley's other links in the comments)
I don't know if this is for real, but laugh anyway. Official Watchmen condoms. "We're society's only protection". And they're blue.


Thursday, 5 March 2009

i'm drawing at the same time as listening to the Benny Goodman 1933 sessions that included Billie Holiday's first time in a recording studio, and I'm trying to remember who it was that said that the best way to find out whether your ink is still wet is to drag your sleeve through it.
"so, has Snyder maintained the integrity of Watchmen, and is Alan Moore simply a grumpy old coot? Or has Snyder completely missed the subtleties and nuances of Moore’s media-specific creation, proving his theory that adaptations are "a waste of time"? Only audiences familiar with both can ultimately decide." says my local hip rag, RAVE.
"It's faithful" says my pal White.
"This is Sparta" says wee Cal.
And I trust his judgement.

The title of the blog plus the title of the post made me larf

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

this piece in The Onion made me larf

Lovecraftian School Board Member Wants Madness Added To Curriculum
"West's previous failed proposals include requiring the high school band to perform the tuneless flute songs of the blind idiot god Azathoth and offering art students instruction in the carving of morbid and obscene fetishes from otherworldly media.
Several parents attending the meeting were not impressed by West's outburst.
"Last month, he wanted us to change the high school's motto from 'Many Kinds of Excellence' to 'Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn,'" PTA member Cathy Perry said.
"We already changed the name of the school from Abraham Lincoln High to Nyalrothotep Academy," Perry added. "What more does he want?"
(link via wee hayley campbell)
It's always good fun to put Lovecraft into a regular social setting. Reminded me of this piece Mick Evans and I composed for the inside back cover of Bacchus #58:

"We'd all been looking forward to the Earth being thrown into the howling void, said Michael Evans, public relations officer and Magister of the Dark Grail... Eddie Campbell felt particularly embarrassed that Yog-Sothoth, The Eater of Souls, had not put in an appearance."
That's the wife of my bosom behind the comatose Don Juan at bottom right.


after watching the excellent Movie Chicago last night with choreography by the great Bob Fosse I found myself mulling over Beyonce's statement that her very striking 'Single Ladies' Video was influenced by a Bob Fosse piece from the Ed Sullivan show in the '60s. It got a few people trying to put the two together. These struck me as the most interesting:

The Fosse original is here. The central dancer is his wife Gwen Verdon. I recall having a minor crush on her after seeing her do 'Whatever Lola Wants' in Damn Yankees, which Fosse also Choreographed.
But for pure Fosse style, check this:

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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Mr. Unknown

"No one knows his name. Not one piece of his original art appears to exist. If you discount the fact that the magazines he worked for were reprinted until the early 1920s, none of his art has ever been reprinted outside some scattered fan magazines and websites. Yet from roughly the summer of 1901 to the winter of 1910(and possibly beyond), he produced well over 3,000 covers for some of the most popular juvenile periodicals of his day, the equivalents of the modern comic book."
Larry Latham shows around ninety covers.
(link via Dr jon)

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Bruno's art and sculpture garden

"Hidden amongst the lush rain forests North East of Melbourne, Victoria, is the rare jewel that is Bruno's art and sculpture garden."

"Unfortunately on the 7th of February 2009 a bushfire raged through the township, decimating everything in its path without mercy and claimed the lives of our friends and neighbours indiscriminately. Bruno was extremely lucky to survive and the rest of the family are safe and well."
Great website. Books and Dvds lost but hope to be replaced soon.

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