April 22, 2010
With all due respect to Superman, "Titans of the Graphic Novel" features two authors who have shown that comic books are a fertile medium for introspection and autobiography: Harvey Pekar, who for decades has chronicled his mundane adventures in "American Splendor," and Alison Bechdel, the creator of the illustrated memoir "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." UCLA's Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Westwood. 8 p.m. Fri. $24-$48. (310) 825-4401. http://www.uclalive.org.
March 20, 2010 |
Call it a clash of the titans. San Diego has been home to the wildly successful comic book and pop culture convention Comic-Con International for nearly 40 years. But with the four-day festival surging in popularity and outgrowing the San Diego Convention Center, Los Angeles and Anaheim are vying to steal the lucrative show away. "Wherever it goes, that would be a very significant convention to land," said Doug Ducate, president of the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, a Dallas-based nonprofit group that tracks the convention and trade show industry.
March 14, 2010 |
It's not enough to be illustrated and funny anymore: These days, animation is a place for subversion and hidden meaning. It's also the place for overt political posturing: Since "The West Wing" went off the air, liberalism and conservatism have been largely absent from television as prominent story lines or attributes. Live action television starring humans, that is. When the characters are drawn, partisan knives come out, even if the results often fizzle like ABC's "The Goode Family." And yet this climate comes with its own oppressions: Shows begin as clever by default rather than by design.
January 12, 2010 |
Back in 1941, a Russian immigrant named Albert Lewis Kanter had (literally) a novel idea for the fledgling medium of the American comic book -- he launched Classics Illustrated, a series that lived up to its name by converting "Ivanhoe," "Jane Eyre," "The Iliad" and scores of other bookshelf familiars into funny-book fodder. It was a high-minded mission, really, but it had its share of creaky moments; let's face it, a 52-page comic book isn't the most obvious format for "Lord Jim."
September 4, 2009 |
The reader was outraged. The thrust of her question: How dare you? Her contempt arose in response to a column I wrote praising certain graphic novels. And she was not alone in her seething censure. I heard from several other readers as well, wondering why I had allowed myself to be seduced by the easy enchantments of comic books. Frankly, they expected better of me -- given my doctoral degree in English literature and my well-known and oft-alluded-to affinity for dense, difficult, high-minded novels by the likes of Virginia Woolf and Joseph Conrad.
August 16, 2009 |
Alan Moore, the writer whose comics work includes "Watchmen" and "From Hell," is collaborating with avant-hip-hop artist Doseone (Subtle, Themselves) and Andrew Broder (Fog) on music to accompany his upcoming graphic novel "Unearthing." This is far from Moore's first foray into music: He has collaborated with Tim Perkins and David J from Bauhaus. Looking back to R. Crumb's album cover for Big Brother and the Holding Company, it's clear that comics art and music have a long, interweaving relationship.
May 31, 2009 |
Whether the day's news tells of air strikes, a new general or a surge in troops, the constantly shifting uncertainty of Afghanistan's present has demanded our attention since 2001. A graphic novel offering an entry point into the country's not-too-distant past is, then, unusual, illuminating and, in this case, breathtaking.
April 3, 2009 |
Marlene Perez's "Dead Is the New Black" is a young adult novel with a noirish pink and black cover and a supernatural plot. If it ever becomes the next sensation, give some credit to middle-schoolers such as Geneva Lish. "It has an unusual plot and a unique power," says Lish, a seventh-grader. Lish didn't buy the book online or at a store. She was among the students at J.H.S.