Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Short Review: "Going Postal" by Martha Cooper

Remember when you were a kid and your favorite books didn't need any words? Introducing a picture book for the grown-up urbanite: it's Going Postal, renown street-art photographer Martha Cooper's collection of brilliant mailing label street art photography.

I'm lucky to be living in New York City, if only for the abundant array of graffiti. Part of the fun was recognizing several spotlighted artists in the book from my city meanderings, and now I'm always keeping my eyes peeled for more pieces.

My favorite is C. Damage, who shapes her stickers into precious teddy bears that brighten up those dull, dirty buildings. Faust is another artist I recognize and enjoy, with a mind-blowing collection of lettering that ranges from standard tagging to medieval script.

Released by Mark Batty Publisher this year, Going Postal captures the normally gritty, weathered art in its most refined form; crisp, vibrant photography on smooth pages and bound in hardcover. It's a sweet addition to my growing collection of graffiti books (and I have to say, the most affordable - I copped it for under ten bucks!) and has grown to be one of my most treasured because of its personal appeal and niche focus.

Click "Read More" to check out some of my favorite pieces!












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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brief! Celeb! Spottations! (John Leguizamo)

John Leguizamo and his wife, Justine Maurer, shopping in Union Square in NYC. He was the best/only worthy part of the Spawn movie, if I do say so myself.


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Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Highlights 4/17 - 4/19 (Meme!)

  1. Went to The Creek in Long Island City with Cara to watch a co-worker perform in his sketch comedy group, Murderfist. The opening stand-uppers were really funny - and Murderfist was awesome and totally gross.

  2. A night on the town in New York would not be complete without a violently ill homeless man on the subway. He vomited loudly for about five stops until we finally left the train and told a police officer. I hope he's okay - and that it's nothing some egg whites and a latte couldn't fix. Mmm, brunch.

  3. Brian Heater invited me to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see Titus Andronicus and Lucero - two bands I'd never seen before and completely fell for. Despite a weirdly out-of-place mosh pit and full cups of beer being thrown at the stage, the crowd was great, and so was the balcony view.

  4. Lucy Vonne and I discovered a mini-carnival at the high school grounds around the corner from our apartment. After Bagel Store bagels and coffee, we decided to go on a ride. After I was rejected from several rides for being taller than 4 feet, we hopped onto some terrifying spinny-whirly thing. I'm pretty sure I got whiplash.

  5. The toothless, clearly inebriated man running the spinny-airplane ride at the carnival thought I was cute. He said he'd let Lucy Vonne and I on his ride even though we were a little bigger than the rules stated. The little airplanes looked like they could maybe fit up to a medium-sized 10 year-old. I asked him what was in the cup he was holding. He grinned: "Kool Aid!"

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Comic Book Newbie

A couple of weeks ago, backstage at an Eclectic Method show at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, one-third of the video DJ phenom group made an astute, if not poignant observation.

"I read your blog," the performer said to me in that amplified British slur of his. "And I don't get it. What are you, new? It's weird - you read all these old comics that aren't...new. Like you're catching up or something."

At first, I was offended - I felt attacked, even. I tried reminding myself that the fellow was on heavy doses of psychedelics - but that made it even worse. That meant it was THE TRUTH.

Click "Read More" for the rest!

And it was. That's what my blog is ABOUT. It's about a gal who only recently really discovered the world of comic books in her twenties. Sure, I've always been enthused by "nerd" culture, comic book characters and cartoons - but did I read about it? No.

My blog has become, deliberately or not, a showcase of my graphic literary discoveries. I want it to be an inspiration to other women, people, humans to, no matter what age, pick up a book that they may just think is too nerdy for their liking. If you're just starting out, you'll probably gravitate to Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, sure - but more importantly, pick up the books from publishers you've never heard of, written by people you don't recognize. This is the art and the words of a different breed - and one I've started to enjoy profoundly more than mainstream comics.

For some, my newbie-ness will discredit me.
I take your recommendations to heart and I'm STILL blown away by the things that blew your mind maybe 15 years ago. But I'm in this universe of paneled pictures and inked letters penned with precision, and I'm looking at it with a fresh mind, bright eyes and a consistent voracity for more. Try me.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brief! Celeb! Spottations! (Robert Buckley)

Lipstick Jungle stud-muffin Robert Buckley at an NYC comic book shop with two buddies. Looks like SOMEBODY's reading up about Green Lantern for the upcoming film. Auditioning or already cast? Hmmm...


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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boston, MA: Comics Exist Here!

In the 20-plus years I spent growing up in and around Boston, there wasn't much of a comics scene past the increasingy-less-comics-focused Newbury Comics chain of shops around New England, let alone an actual committee. 

These days, there's The Boston Comics Roundtable, founded by Dave Kender, who has gathered an impressive crew of cartoonists and comic book creators to meet up, share ideas, and expand on creative and professional development (and, I'm sure, pound some beeeeaaahhhssss).

The Roundtable's just released a brilliant third issue of their comics anthology: Inbound #3, a 72-page compilation of independent love-themed art from the likes of Dave Mazur, Shelli Paroline, Charles Schneeflock Snow, Cathy Leamy and more.

Check out the first, second and third Inbound anthology here!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Short Review: Gabrielle Bell's "Cecil and Jordan In New York Stories"

Gabrielle Bell's Cecil and Jordan In New York Stories is the kind of book you want to save for certain moments: during a solitary brunch; with coffee near a sunny window; sitting in Central Park. The book is a collection of graphic novel-style tales ranging from funny, to introspective, to utterly heart-breaking.

I'd never really read anything of Gabrielle Bell's before this one, but I'd met her a few times in mutual social settings. I attended her birthday party in Brooklyn just last week that had the best spread I've ever seen: sliced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Nilla wafers to dip in vanilla frosting, a strainer full of animal crackers, and brightly-frosted cupcakes made with love.

Knowing how she speaks, and acts and even how she shakes a hand, reading her stories have a further depth to them. I see her in each one of the stories, even if she's not a character, with the sad, deep, thoughtful echo that is her trademark.

Cecil and Jordan won't be the best art you've ever seen in a book, or even the best written; but it's a simply beautiful, delicate and inspiring collection of illustrated bits of reality.

Click "Read More" for a page from one of my favorite stories from the book, "I Feel Nothing."



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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brief! Celeb! Spottations! (Jason Schwartzman)

Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited) and a huge crew filming an undisclosed movie - we know it's not Scott Pilgrim, which is filming in Toronto. Curiouser and curiouser...

Speaking of Pilgrim, I'd be a big fat liar if I didn't admit that I'm a bit psyched on the movie - I think the casting so far looks just about right: Michael Cera, Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill and newcomer Brie Larson (who's FANTASTIC on Showtime's United States of Tara) are among the expanding list of talent.

Photo taken today, April 3, around 1:00 AM

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