Seeing as I write journal/blog style most of the time, I hadn't considered it for my comic writing, but...moreI picked this (and issue 3) at TCAF this year.
Seeing as I write journal/blog style most of the time, I hadn't considered it for my comic writing, but it seems now like something I might consider. Harbin says that Kate Beaton had suggested diary writing to him. From what I gather it looks like a great way to practise developing a story, storyboard, and fleshing out humor from your every day.
I thoroughly enjoy Harbin's pencilling and his insight into depression from a working creative person's point of view (as opposed to just being creative). There are deadlines (mine are self-imposed, luckily, but I stick by them as best I can), and there are the things you do each day to cope (in Harbin's case, Kung Fu), but they don't "cure" the beast. I especially enjoyed his drawings on his relationships. It's a genuine perspective of "I'm a bit goofy, but hey, whatcha gonna do?" His adventures through NYC are congruent to the creative/working chaos in his head.
I have to see about ordering the rest of the set. TCAF really inspired me to push on with my comic and I look forward to reading more Dustin Harbin comics.(less)
I knew very little of Chris Marker's personal life, but I do know how much he influenced film as a story telling device. His visuals are an aesthetic...moreI knew very little of Chris Marker's personal life, but I do know how much he influenced film as a story telling device. His visuals are an aesthetic that is used in most all documentary films these days. My love for his work started with a little film I saw long ago about one of his cats, a Guilliame.
If you're looking for an inspirational fragment or centre of modern avant garde, I highly recommend reading anything or seeing anything on Chris Marker. If you're into essays, poetic forms, and the aesthetic of documenting events on film, do that as well.
I really enjoyed Nora M. Ater's three staged analysis on Marker. It gave me a thorough insight into his motivations in the film essay medium: taking visuals, all shocking and mundane alike, and recreating a giant memory snapshot on film.
It lays bare a study of this most enigmatic filmmaker and visionary.
I'm also enjoying a few of these University of Illinois Press books on Film Studies.(less)
"I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighb...more"I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up."
In the 1840s, Thoreau went to jail for not paying his taxes. He refused to. Friends paid his tax bill and during this time he wrote "Civil Disobedience." Walden struggled with trying to be an individual in society and from that he experienced and created Walden.
His dry wit and cynicism is at its best at the beginning of the book where he basically lays out his manifesto:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”"
He didn't believe people (and by people, he says "men"), had to work for a living. They should own land, cultivate it, and live each for their own world, to truly discover what was good within themselves.
Thoreau lived for years by Walden pond. Yet he did all this: the seeding, the cultivating, the work on his house...all with the help of the outside world which included his mother and Ralph Waldo Emerson who lived nearby.
I picked up Walden after watching Upstream Color, which features the novel as an ephemeral skeleton. As a fan of Nietzsche's Uberman concept, the idea of transcendentalism is appealing. However, knowing several survival and hermiting stories, I've yet to read someone or know of someone that came out of the woods completely attuned to nature and to the world around them. Sooner or later, something clicks or isn't quite right. Are we meant to be "not right"? Perhaps in my old age when no one depends on me I might challenge myself to it. It's nice to think about, and overwhelming to even start.
It's best to understand that as I read it, I rode the subways, paid for my meals via debit, listened to my tv play on the demand shows, and spent time on my big couch with all of the cares in my little world in swimming in my head. There's something to be said about living apart from everything and it's romantic to think of it. I just don't know how long I'd survive being actually alone even though I know in some corporeal sense that I will always be so. Relationships matter, yo.
I loved his style though and would like to work with Walden at some point in my scribing career.
Still parsing this after finishing it. I read it right after The Road and there is much of what I loved of that book in here. I will be continuing thi...moreStill parsing this after finishing it. I read it right after The Road and there is much of what I loved of that book in here. I will be continuing this trilogy, but I will wait to review the books until after I finish all three. (less)
It's been a while since I've read something as fluid as this was written. It came highly recommended by a few and I had put it off due to its bleak pr...moreIt's been a while since I've read something as fluid as this was written. It came highly recommended by a few and I had put it off due to its bleak premise. Not that I shy away from depressing reads, but I figured I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it.
I've been on a Hemingway kick for a while now, then someone mentioned this book and Hemingway in the same sentence. I went out and bought it. Weeks later, I picked it up. I could have broken down on the first few paragraphs. Oh dear, the child talks like my little boy. That didn't help matters.
But it wasn't the subject that hooked me in. It was the writing. McCarthy writes in a style reminiscent of writers who broke that classical model of plot. (A) happens, then climatic (B) occurs, which leads us to (C ) (be it resolution or death, but really it's a neatly wrapped up C).
My favorite short story of all time is "Clay" by James Joyce (yeah yeah - I'm a Joycean and unapologetic about it, so there). There's no real plot. It's the day in the life of a woman named Maria. So what's the point of no plot? The plot itself is in the fine details and uncovering what Maria's fate could possibly be. The meaning is in all the little things that happen in that day. Hemingway was a genius at this style.
McCarthy takes it all to a whole new level. Sure, I knew what was going to happen before it did, but it was the story, the details within it, and how connected I became to, not just the characters, but the stark world where nothing there is left, not even hope. Don't put aside the inklings of philosophical ponderings and symbolism though. They are what captures you in parts, but it isn't what The Road is about. It's about everything and nothing. It shines in its simple starkness. The curious use of language, breaking it down as everything else decays doesn't faze you until you're right in the middle of it. When it does, stop and take a breather. I think McCarthy could write a detailed description of a drab sofa and he'd still have me riveted.
I went out to my local bookshop and grabbed a copy of All The Pretty Horses as my next read. Classic western, the back cover reads. Oh I think I'm already addicted.(less)
R. Barton Palmer is a great writer. His analysis makes me want watch all of the Coen brothers films again with a critical eye. In fact, I'll go watch...moreR. Barton Palmer is a great writer. His analysis makes me want watch all of the Coen brothers films again with a critical eye. In fact, I'll go watch Barton Fink now.(less)
It was a smooth read and each story was beautifully crafted. Controversial for its time, but still perverse. I wish I had read this when I was younger...moreIt was a smooth read and each story was beautifully crafted. Controversial for its time, but still perverse. I wish I had read this when I was younger. I will re-read and maybe review then.(less)
I had the pleasure of hearing John B. Lee read from this recently. Bought it right away and had him sign it. Zipped through it on a weekend. Such eleg...moreI had the pleasure of hearing John B. Lee read from this recently. Bought it right away and had him sign it. Zipped through it on a weekend. Such elegant prose contained in his work. All about life, hockey, and yes, (extra)ordinary men.(less)