Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snow, and Comics, Old & New

10 inches of fresh snow in Windsor, VT and it's still gently coming down... a genuine Vermont/New England winter continues. But that's not what I care to share with you this morning -- it's all about comics (and animation) today!

Service Industry: The world as it is in the Bakosphere?

Center for Cartoon Studies fellow T. Edward Bak aka Bak scored in 2007 with Drawn & Quarterly's publication of Bak's graphic novel Service Industry.

  • Check out Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter interview with Bak, linked here.

  • The Last Hotel: Don't mess with Maria!

    Bak's now hard at work on a new project, The Last Hotel, and he's opened the hotel for public scrutiny.

    Check out
  • The Last Hotel: "Being for the sake of posterity an account of anecdotes, profiles, histories, artistic endeavors and engagements compiled by the staff, guests and residents of the Hotel Ticonderoga."

  • Here, Bak is concocting the entire Last Hotel universe, cast of characters, and metafictional ripples from the rooms, hallways, lobby and lives.

    "The Hotel Ticonderoga of legend emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s when she was regarded as a premier lodging for artists, writers and activists in the city. But prior to that colorful and storied era when the famous (and infamous) called her home and she served as a cradle to the innumerable creative--and frequently incendiary--works conceived within her rooms, the Ticonderoga's legacy was already renowned...."

    Check it out, and do so regularly to sample and savor Bak's current creative process via this innovative blog.

  • Photo: "Bak wears his sunglasses at night," October 19, 2007, by Sarah Oleksyk, at Sarah Oleksyk's Photostream.

  • In related CCS fellow news, our 2008-9 fellow Alec Longstreth is visiting CCS (for the umpteenth time; he's a vet) this Thursday, offering his own brand of high-octane creativity via a session with the seniors in Professional Practices class and a CCS-wide Visiting Artists chalk talk we're all looking forward to. He'll have a tough time topping Bak's January Visiting Artists presentation, but I'm sure Alec's up to the challenge. This appearance promising the smoothest transition between CCS fellows yet; we're all getting the hang of it after three years... whatever the trolls at the Comics Journal board blather.

    An Insider's View of Animation in the '40s?

    Maybe yes, maybe no. In any case, it's a crackling comics story!

    Panel from the animation 'Crimebusters' story linked below: Script by Fleischer Brothers Studio vet Charles Biro, art by Norman Maurer, Joe Kubert's partner on many St. John comics in the early '50s and future Three Stooges management partner.

    Animation and Golden Age comics devotees, take note! Thanks to CCS senior Dane Martin, there's this terrific ASIFA Hollywood link to share this AM featuring a very cool full-length comic story about animation industry intrigue and crime from the early '40s.

  • Savor this "Crimefighter" gem -- it's a full story! -- from Boy Comics #39, April 1942, by Charles Biro and Norman Maurer,
  • and enjoy!

    Waddling through Wednesday, I remain your humble servant...

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