Essays

popimage.com column: subspecies

Soaps: “Actually, I believe they prefer to be called “daytime dramas.” But if you’re in line at the supermarket, and want to catch up with the plot convolutions of All My Children, you don’t pick up the “Daily Drama Digest,” you plop down $3.75 USD for the “Soap Opera Digest.” The industry is clearly a little schizophrenic about nomenclature.

“The parallels should already be forming.” more…

Costumes: “Despite being taller than Michael Keaton, who was — at the time — still attached to the as-of then untitled third Batman film, Peter Bielagus and I ventured into Boston to attend one of the open casting calls that casting director Mali Finn was holding to locate the Next Big Thing to play the part of Robin.” more…

Prose, part one: “Words have always been the enemy of the comic. In the past, I didn’t feel this way, blaming the lack of universal appeal on aesthetic taste. After all, an art gallery is the place where people most quickly draw lines in the sand, claiming allegiance to one stylistic camp or another with no rational explanation besides that of gut reaction. Art can leave one cold for reasons that cannot be unearthed even with fifteen years of analysis — psychological or art historical.

“Comics will never have the widespread appeal that film currently enjoys, I said, and art is at the root of this.” more…

Prose, part two: “The juxtaposition of words and images is a strange, arranged marriage. Once a person learns how to read, one is unable to see a word as its individual component letters. The associative meaning for the word supplants its physical construction. When this word is seen in the future, it is not read, it is recognized, and the brain skips straight ahead to the associations.” more…

Live in Concert: “I saw Suzanne Vega play the Lebanon Opera House a couple weekends back, and she didn’t know what to do with her hands. It must have been an awkward and uncomfortable situation that she was in, to stand onstage and sing while someone else was playing her music next to her.” more…

Proselytes: “I decided to become a comics proselyte, and I handed out copies of some of the most First Time Reader-accessible comics that I could find that I thought would suit the characters and temperament of the individual recipients. As it is the gift-giving season, and a great many people might think that this would be an optimum time to cultivate new readers, I thought I’d share my findings.” more…

Current Events: “Comic books are not great for commentary on current events. It takes a long time to get a comic book from conception to distribution. Gary Trudeau, the writer and artist of Doonesbury is frequently relegated by persnickety editors to the Editorial Page, since readers complain that thought and awareness are not what they want when the read “the funnies”. Trudeau may have a heavy political slant to his strip, but he’s at a disadvantage on the editorial page. Editorial cartoons are conceived, edited, and finished in a single day, by-and-large, and the print time is virtually immediate…

“The Lead time in a monthly comic book is considerably longer.” more…

savant magazine

Issue 36 — Help Build A Better Store: “It didn’t matter where I was coming from, or with what I had been preoccupied before that point. Everything was driven from my mind when my father looked closely at me, gauged my response, and asked me if I’d been home yet. Questions like that don’t, no matter how often the idiom is used, prepare you for the worst. They merely heighten the sensation that something terrible has happened.” more…

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