Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sights and sounds

1. You can perhaps imagine how excited I was to discover this. "This" takes you to a web site created by Kevin Huizenga (current crown-wearer of the grown-up comic-book kingdom), Dan Zettwoch (whose work I only know from a longish piece in an issue of "Drawn and Quarterly Presents" where he tells the story of what John Lee Hooker would describe as "the mighty flood, the mighty flood"), and someone called Ted May with whom I am not acquainted. It is in the form of a blog, so, you know, most recent at the top and all that. One of them puts up a piece. Then someone else puts up another piece. They don't necessarily flow in any kind of linear story sense (c.f. Art Spiegelman's "Narrative Corpse" project from a few years back); but it will be interesting to see where it goes.

2. Jason is doing the latest New York Times funny-pages strip. I don't know that much about Jason; his stuff has never really got under my skin. But three weeks in I think I am getting the hang of it.

3. Holy heck, Batman. The New Yorker lets you read a piece by Michael Chabon about superhero costumes, and listen to him talking about same. Which ties in neatly with something that I wanted to mention, namely that I am currently reading Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay", which is perhaps the greatest book ever written (as of today ...). It carries off the neat trick of not only being a book about creation and imagination, but also being itself full to the brim with creation and imagination, down to the ludicrous but beautiful footnotes, any one of which would have provided ample material for a book, or at least a short story, on its own.

4. And not to be satisfied with that act of generosity, the New Yorker also lets you listen to Jonathan Lethem reading and talking about a 1936 Thurber short story. Thurber you generally think of as a humourist, but really what he was was an observer. Much of what he observed was funny, or at least he could see the funny side of it. But, as this piece shows, that was not always the case.