The album version of The Point, Harry Nilsson‘s children’s fable, was an integral part of my childhood. I have many fond memories of listening to that record with my dad, thrilling to the story of Oblio, born pointless in a world where everything is pointed, and his adventures in the Pointless Forest. But I did not see the film version until I was older, and that one time was quite awhile ago. So it was with fresh eyes that I watched the new “Definitive Collector’s Edition” DVD, but I am very happy to report it lived up to all my expectations. Continue reading
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The setting is a ballroom, dark and perhaps sort of dingy — think the rave in Zion from the second Matrix movie, but the difference is that instead of the audience finding it unpleasant, the ravers are the ones having a bad time. They are dancing, but their facial expressions are pained and tortured. Some are crying, some are just grimacing. A few of them have facial bruises. We pan up and find burly men holding guns in the balconies, looking serious and harshly militaristic. The band is on stage, and they are performing the song neither happily or scared — they’ve got a job to do and they’re doing it, nothing more, nothing less. The song itself should be a happy, upbeat, electropoppish type number — ideally nothing lyrically to betray the unpleasant scene.
Cover of Time’s Arrow
Martin Amis‘ Time’s Arrow is a pretty cool little novella. Or maybe it’s a novel, I don’t know. It’s either a long novella, or a really short novel. You can take your pick. It’s about 170 pages, at any rate, and it’s fictional. So take those two pieces of information and come to your own conclusion. I guess you can make your own mind up as to whether or not it’s pretty cool too, but if we do that, then there’s no reason for me to write this, or for anyone to write any review, but whatever — none of this is important. What is important: It’s a book, by Martin Amis, that goes backwards in time. And it’s not Counter-Clock World by Philip K. Dick, which is the one I typically think of when I hear of a book that moves backwards. There’re probably others, though.
I’m big into film, and so I sort of have to think this is neat. But even if I wasn’t, I’d still think it’s pretty cool, since it’s your brain putting together a series of stills together and presenting it to you as motion and you don’t even know! Or, well, you know, but you can’t tell unless you actually take a look at each individual image. Which is pretty cool. I mean, I suppose this could probably go under the persistence of vision is so neat it deserves credit on its own.section since TV’s got the same principle going on but
Nick Abadzis is a writer and illustrator who wrote the 2007 instant classic Laika, the heartbreaking graphic novel about the USSR’s first space pup, profiled a few months ago on Kittysneezes. He also wrote for Marvel Comics in the 1990s, and has written for the children’s TV show Bob the Builder. His CV in the world of illustration and writing (particularly in the form of graphic novella) is extremely impressive.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Abadzis about his favorite things and various inspirations.
When James Kochalka‘s original essay “Craft Is The Enemy” appeared in The Comics Journal, it generated quite a bit of controversy. People misunderstood his point and thought that Kochalka was saying that the ability to draw well was a hinderance. He then wrote a followup, “Craft Is Not A Friend”, which clarified his position — not that drawing well is a hinderance, but that NOT drawing well wasn’t necessarily a hinderance either. The point was to make the best art that you can given the skills you’ve got — and use the fact that the more you create, the more your skills will grow, but that the SKILL itself shouldn’t be the goal. Kochalka says the goal isn’t to make good DRAWINGS, but to make good COMICS. And if good drawings come out of that, so much the better; but being a particularly good draftsman isn’t the same as being a good cartoonist.
Full Disclosure Time: This book was written by Ivan Henley, whose name you may recognize as a Kittysneezes contributor. (In fact, I’d hope you WOULD recognize it, as he wrote the piece before last.) However, I had nothing to do with this book — I hadn’t read any previous drafts or anything like that; Ivan just sent me a copy asking for a review; here is that review. Even though Ivan is a friend of mine, rest assured that this review is an HONEST one; I wouldn’t write or post anything but. But that desire for honesty forces me to be completely up front about the connections between myself, the site, and the author. Kittysneezes is not necessarily adverse to reviewing materials done by other Kittysneezes authors, but all such reviews shall be honest and done by a KS author whose only connection to the work is that s/he experienced the finished product and ONLY the finished product. Thank you for understanding.
Ivan Henley’s a busy guy. He’s got a couple webcomics, quite a few books, and he writes for this site, even. Escape From Achrinom, the first in his new Captain Exetre series, is worth checking out, particularly if you’re a genre sci-fi fan.
Osamu Tezuka truly is the god of manga. The attention to detail is simply staggering, and he produced his hundreds of the thousands of pages of manga over the decades the long, hard way. Sometimes, when reading his work, one simply must stop and marvel at the art, even during the most engrossing of tales.