Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Assorted things:

Neil Gaiman's case against McFarlane is finally put to rest. Well, this one, anyway. And I find out something that is, to me at least, incredibly cool: that The Lone Ranger is The Green Hornet's uncle. :)

I can't for the life of me imagine how I missed pointing you all in Jean Snow's direction-- he's one of my favorite bloggers, and one of the blogs I've been going to for the longest time. He's a tech-boy in Tokyo, and you'd be surprised how much of his blog is made away from his PC: he could be the poster boy for moblogging (mobile blogging), with his wireless gizmos and cameras we haven't even heard of. He IS in Tokyo, after all, and is privy to all these lovely toys maybe two generations ahead of what we have readily available here. His pictures are great, and it's fascinating to see Tokyo through his lenses. So there-- go, and bookmark, and visit every so often.

Disney bought the Muppets. :( Not even all of them-- well, just take a look at the article. I don't like it, but apparently it's been in the works since Henson was still alive. But what I don't like is, if you're going to buy the Muppets, why not just buy all of them? What happens to the ones left to the Henson Company when their most famous compatriots are in the belly of the beast? Will they wallow into obscurity? The poor guys. :( I don't know why but I keep thinking of the Muppets as living things with individual personalities, and it's been an orphanage since Henson died, and now the famous kids are being sent to some other foster home.

Here's an interesting article by Jason Little about something I would really love to attend someday-- The Festival International de la Bande Dessinee, or the Angolueme Festival in France. It's the world's biggest comics festival held in a small town where the streets are named after cartoonists (Tintin's creator Herge is their main street, I think) and they have murals on walls depicting famous characters. Of course, most of the works on display are unreadable to me, but still-- to be able to walk through a crowd of people who just love comics as an art form, and not just as entertainment, would be an enormously validating feeling indeed. And as the article mentions, these are not geeks dressed in costume or teenaged fanboys or single men who haven't had dates in years and still live in their parents' basements: these are everyday people, of all ages and social classes and sexes and religions. Read the descriptions of the museum exhibits; I burn bright green with envy. Jason Little, by the way, is the author of Shutterbug Follies, a book whose coloring was assisted on by a blockmate of mine at Ateneo, Tintin Pantoja, who now studies in the School of Visual Arts under people like Klaus Janson, inker of The Dark Knight Returns & current illustrator of Batman: Death and the Maidens, Howard Cruse, author of Stuck Rubber Baby, and Will Eisner, godfather of the American graphic novel.

And may I also say that it's nice to see Indy Magazine back online, and under the editorship of Bill Kartalopolous, no less. He runs the Egon website, and was looking for a job a while ago, so this is just great. I was scared Egon might have to go under. It was through Egon that I found out about the Adrian Tomine signing in NY that Mich could go to.

Which reminds me that I never wrote about the Mars Ravelo exhibit at the Vargas museum. Forgot about it, sorry. I went with Gabby. It was certainly interesting, and informative. I realized that Ravelo, based on the works on display, had leanings more towards a cartoonist/caricaturist than an illustrator. A LOT of his comics have been turned into TV shows and movies, and not just the superhero ones, either. He was very prolific, and some of his stories were even adapted into prose by Lualhati Bautista. These books, old editions, were even on sale at the exhibit, for 65 pesos each. The thing I really loved was this picture of one of Mars's lesser-known works: This Is It!, an adult comic. The cover was a naked woman, (me: "Are those nipples!?") in a pose taken right out of Marilyn Monroe's spread in the first-ever issue of Playboy. Man, I'd love to see a copy of that! I got a nice pin with a '50s depiction of Darna.

It's incredibly depressing to think that so little material remains of Mars Ravelo's work. Ravelo, who is already one of our most important, most famous cartoonists, and who was very prolific. There's not a lot left, and the original art on display was all yellowed, and torn in most cases. I wish someone would publish a coffee-table book collecting his works. One that would examine the works in the context of the decade they were made, taking into account his biography, etc. Not just for Ravelo, too, but for Francisco Coching, and Nestor Redondo, etc. It's all interesting, and important touchstones for popular culture, but none of it is really recorded, and it's all fading from view.

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