Monday, December 6, 2010

In Which Some Cool Comics, the Black Swan & Matt Groening Serve As a Mirror Inward

I like to sometimes to write about my weekend activities, in case you think I don't get out enough. Rest assured, I do try to make the most out of my days off. At least the first day - then, as is the case with this Sunday, twelve hours are set aside for delicious sleep.

So whether you want to hear it or not (forget the fact that it's easy enough to click off this page), I will happily recall my weekend experiences, in a neat listed form:

Black Swan
I was anxious to see this, and that anxiety followed me throughout it's viewing and into my dreams. As with Aranovsky's film "Requiem for a Dream," I would impart the following advice to any 1st time viewer: prepare to be unnerved.

And I was. I won't go into too much detail because a.) I trust you aren't reading this blog for a movie review (and if you are, I apologize, though it's a very good idea, come to think of it....), and b.) giving it away would be awfully rude.

I will say this: Winona Ryder is exquisitely scary, the music of "Swan Lake" is as haunting as the jaunty hand-held choreography, and the entire experience of watching this movie will make make your insides feel as dark and hollow as the cheekbones of a ballerina.
Hence, good stuff.

Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival
Conveniently located down the street from our apartment, the festival proved to be the perfect way to spend our Saturday (and our money). Crowded, yes; but filled to the brim with some awesome comic artists, which I feel compelled to share with you all, as I spent the entirety of last night adding their blogs to my Google reader and subsequently goggling at their art. And, as a bonus, may I remind you that they are all lovely ladies, which gives this sort of lovely lady hope.

  • Junko Mizuno - bought a signed copy (!) of her first manga (now out of print), "Cinderella." Cute and deadly are the words that best describe her style.

  • Jennifer Tong - alas, I could not bring myself to shell out the $50 for her beautiful neon lemonade silkscreens, but luckily I was able to see all her fruitallucinations on her site. (Yeah, that's right, I shoved that pun right in your face.)

  • Marian Churchland - though she wasn't at the festival, I felt I had to bring her up in the company of my new fave female comickers. The main squeeze of Brandon Graham (also a great artist, and the brain behind "King City"), Marian lives in Canada and brings the cuteness as she she blogs about pie and jackets. I snagged a copy of "ELEPHANTMEN: Damaged Goods" last time I was at Bergen Street Comics. Good investment!
Fittingly, Marian's cover for Brandon's "King City."
  • Aidan Koch - I passed by her table quickly, trying to keep myself from nabbing a copy of "The Whale," in all its water-colored poetic glory. Later on I find out it was actually the artist herself sitting quietly there, trying to sell her first comic ever. Now I really wished I'd bought it.

  • Jungyeon Roh - again with the expensive silkscreens! So wonderful and yet so out of reach....I really wish she had been selling her book. I understand the reasoning for the price however; >sigh< if I only I were rich enough to buy art instead of getting angry at myself for not creating it.

    • Lisa Hanawalt - I can't take complete credit for this find; for Ryan, it was love at first sight with the "Hats" sketch. I soon followed after he brought home #1 and 2 of her "I Want You" series. Not many women can get away with psycho sexual animals and subtle fart jokes...but Lisa can.  

    Click to enlarge (believe me, it's worth it to see the Irritable Bowel Syndrome hat

    Matt Groening
    This is what really made the weekend - after 3 hours of festival goodness, Ryan and I make our way to the entrance. And who is standing at the Ad House Books booth, bag full of goodies, but the creator of "The Simpsons" himself, the first artist I ever learned the name of at the tender age of 7 - in short my hero - Matt Groening. Ryan urges me on, and I sheepishly creep up behind the unsuspecting victim guy and introduce myself. (Finally, knowing the real pronunciation of his name pays off!)

    As is the case with most celebrity/hero sightings, I babble on about loving his work and seem to forget my confidence. Out pours my undying devotion for "The Simpsons" over the course of my lifetime (which coincided with the shows existence as well.) He chuckled at the image of me with a Bart doll in the crib, and I thanked him for bringing years of humorous dinner time TV to my family.

    You'll be happy to know that Mr. Groening is a perfect gentleman and all-around nice guy, who seems genuinely pleased with meeting fans; and thank goodness, as dealing with a motor mouth like me can prove to be difficult. He even asked me what I did, after I professed that my love of film mainly stemmed from his Simpsons parodies. What proceeded was my usual explanation of "Well, I'm a producer...for test commercials, but that's not what I want to do.....I actually went to school for film directing and writing, and I also did animation, but I had to ultimately choose one, and I'm still paying it all off..." yada yada. The poor man.

    And then the most insightful thing came out of his mouth: "Well, what do you want to do?"

    Apart from being completely flabbergasted at his wanting to know in the first place, I also had to stop and think. Why would he ask me that question? And why was this happening today, of all days, at the comics festival of all places? Was there perhaps something serendipitous about this particular moment?

    All I can say is that ever since he asked me, I've been wondering about the same question myself.

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