My upcoming “Artists on Art” talk at the Rubin Museum

DUE TO MY DISLOCATED KNEECAP AND RUPTURED PATELLA TENDON INJURY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR MARCH 16. See you then.

On Friday, February 24, I’ll be leading a free “Artists on Art” talk at New York City’s very own Rubin Museum. In conjunction with the current exhibition, Gateway to Himalayan Art, I’ll pick out a few pieces from the show that strike me or form some connection with my own practice. I’ll be accompanied by assistant curator Beth Citron—e.g., someone actually qualified to discuss South Asian art!

This is part of a series sponsored by the Rubin, where “speakers from New York and international contemporary art scenes interact with and informally discuss the rich artistic traditions of the Himalayas and surrounding regions in relation to their own practices and processes.” I visited the museum—which is only about seven years old—for the first time last week, and found it a really impressive and beautiful venue.

The Museum is currently exhibiting another show, Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics, and I’ll also be participating in a project centered around that. The subject is especially close to my heart because of my affection for Hergé’s Tintin in Tibet, which I’ve long considered the best of the Tintin adventures. Anyway, along with 7 other graphic artists, I will take part in an “Open Studio” (held at the museum) where we will produce an interpretive graphic version of the Tibetan Wheel of Life (also known as the Wheel of Becoming, a representation of Buddhist beliefs about life, death, and rebirth). This open studio (where I’ll be conceiving and doing preliminary work on my section of the Wheel) will take place March 21; further details to come.

Please come to both events. Here are details on my “Artists on Art” talk:

Friday, March 16, 2012, 6:15pm — FREE!
Rubin Museum of Art
150 W. 17th Street
New York, NY

Meet at the base of the spiral staircase

See you there!

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This weekend: “Framing Tintin” film series

Are you like me — excited and a bit trepidatious about Steven Spielberg’s upcoming silver screen adaptation of Tintin? The Adventures of Tintin is set to open in the U.S. on December 21 — it’s already opened to huge numbers in Europe — and just in time to prepare, Cinebeasts and the Spectacle Theater are putting together a Tintin film festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this weekend. And I’m (peripherally) involved.

The “Framing Tintin” series is an attempt to reconcile “the world-renowned boy reporter with his murky cinematic past, and [get] at the truth of why Hergé’s beloved hero has never made a perfect journey from page to screen.” The series features five French films made over a 25-year period (most of which have never before been screened in the US), as well as the 2003 documentary Tintin et Moi, “as close a psychiatric evaluation of Hergé as has ever been made public.” As the series notes, the films include “two dazzling live-action comedy adaptations, two earnest attempts at reproducing Hergé’s signature style in an animation studio, and an early stop-motion rarity.”

Guest speakers/presenters include the very brilliant Bill Kartalopolous and the very talented Jason Little; I’ll be doing a short humorous presentation on how I’ve been ripping off Tintin in one way or another my whole career.

I’m really excited to see these films — some, like The Lake of Sharks and The Blue Oranges, I have comic book adaptations of but have never seen, and many of the others I didn’t even know existed. Hard to beat the price, too: $5 admission for each movie; 2-for-1 admission for the Saturday and Sunday matinees! Here are the details, times, and dates:

FRAMING TINTIN Film Series at the Spectacle Theatre: 124 S. 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Friday 12/16
(with guest presenters Bill Kartalopolous and Josh Neufeld)
7PM: Tintin et Moi (2003)
9PM: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1947)

Saturday 12/17
3PM: Tintin and the Temple of the Sun (1969)
5PM: Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece (1961)

Sunday 12/18
(with guest presenter Jason Little)
3PM: Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (1972)
5PM: Tintin and the Blue Oranges (1964)

 

Hergé was right!

The discovery of water on the Moon proves that Tintin-creator Hergé was not only a comics genius but a scientific genius as well. Check out this panel from Explorers on the Moon, published in 1954 — over fifty years before this latest discovery (and fifteen years before the first human being actually set foot on the Moon).

Explorers on the Moon

I remember, reading this book in the 1970s and 1980s, scoffing at the silly belief that there was ever water on the "dead" lunar sphere. Who’s laughing now?

Finding “The Search”

The SearchDid you see this piece in last Wednesday’s NY Times? It’s about a new graphic novel about the Holocaust being used as a teaching tool in German schools. What really struck me about the samples of the comic they show is how the art apes Hergé and Tintin. Outside of R. Sikoryak, this may be the best “Hergé” I’ve ever seen. Typical for a mainstream newspaper piece on comics, it took some searching to spot attributions for the book, which it turns out is drawn by a Dutch artist named Eric Heuvel (and written by Ruud van der Rol and Lies Schippers). Looks like the book is a co-production of the Anne Frank Center and will be published in English this month or next. And it also looks like the same team of authors did a previous Hergé-style Holocaust book. I must have them! As a huge Tintin fan and a WWII buff, it’s almost like these books were made just for me. I’m shocked I never heard of them before.

Centennal Heureux, M. Hergé!

Yesterday’s Beauty Bar event, MC’d by Jesse Fuchs, was a terrific way to celebrate Georges Prosper Remi’s (aka Hergé) 100th birthday (which is actually today). A crowd of about 30 folks were treated to a great show, combining entertainment and information about the great Belgian cartoonist and creator of Tintin.
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Hergé’s 100th Birthday!

May 22nd, 2007, is the 100th birthday of Georges Prosper Remi (1907-1983), better known as Hergé, the legendary Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin.

This Monday, May 21st, Beauty Bar’s The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle is celebrating Herge’s legacy with slideshow readings of original Tintin-inspired material by me, bertozzi, jasonlittle, and r_sikoryak.

The reading begins at 8pm, and will be followed by a short presentation about Hergé and Tintin, a documentary, Francophone pop, and other retro delights with DJs Stephin Merritt, Jesse Fuchs, Go-Karff, and ERL. The event is free. Please join us!

For more information, contact jesse.fuchs@gmail.com.

The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle
Monday, May 21st, 8PM
Beauty Bar 231 E. 14th St.
New York City

Come say hello to my little friends!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAfter some mix-ups with shipping, I finally received my X-mas gift from Sari, a set of curio cabinets for the small collection of toys, models, and action figures that I’ve acquired over the years. (Yes, like every other cartoonist on earth, I am at least part geek.)

So with a small amount of fanfare, I mounted one of the cabinets on the wall, and finally was able to create a home for (from top left. reading like a comic) Klinger, Hot Lips, Hawkeye, and B.J., Will Clark and Willie Mays; Boba Fett; Willie McCovey; Jack Clark; some cool Tintin chocolates; super-deformed Wolverine and Superman; the Giants Pontiac Firebird; Tintin, Snowy, and Captain Haddock; and Tintin, Snowy, and the Thompson Twins.

They all seem to be adjusting well to their new home.

24-Hour Comic: The Butler Does It

On March 9, I took part in a 24-hour-comic “lockdown” with a bunch of other folks (including man_size, Tom Hart, ellenlindner and lostbirdfound). What is a 24-hour comic? Well, besides his work as the creator of Zot! and the seminal text Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud is the inventor of what’s called the 24-hour Comic. The goal, essentially, is for one to sit down and draw a complete twenty-four page comic story in — you guessed it — twenty-four consecutive hours. (If you’d like to read more about the 24-hour Comic idea, including all the rules, go here.) I’d been toying with the idea of doing one for awhile, but I didn’t have the nerve to do it on my own. Earlier this year, on a signing tour of Massachusetts, Tom, ellenlindner, lostbirdfound and I talked about it and decided we’d set one up. So, ergo, March 9…

24-hour comicWhat an experience! Oy! I think my problem was I was a little too ambitious. I had this whole meta-fiction idea about a day in the life of Nestor, the butler in the Tintin comics. During the course of his day, he would drift in and out of episodes from previous Tintin adventures. You know, like when he answers the phone with the wrong number for Cutts the Butcher… Or when the step on the marble staircase breaks… And all drawn in my inimitable Hergé style! It was a great idea, except it was so labor-intensive that there was no way to keep on the schedule of one hour per page.

Around ten hours into it, I began to panic. I realized I would have to cheat to get back on schedule. My cheating began on page 7. Even that didn’t do the trick and I tried to cheat even more (page 12). It didn’t help. By 7 a.m. or so, I was defeated. The only thing I could do was wrap the whole thing up. So I drew page 24 — despite there being eight empty pages preceding it…

Suffice it to say that I was unable to complete all 24 pages within the allotted time. I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough. Anyway, check out the results here.