November 2nd, 2008

  • pgdf

Comic Book Subtext

Perhaps you've heard about Mark Millar's egregiously violent and sub-moronic comic book series, KICK-ASS:

It's already been optioned for film, after the success of his earlier egregiously violent and sub-moronic series WANTED, which hit the screens this year starring Angelina Jolie.

Well, I'm here to tell you now that KICK-ASS is really a clever, sophisticated, metatextual literary riff on the battle between indie, alternative graphic novels and traditional or extreme superhero comics, for the supremacy of the pictorial narrative world. What leads me to this startling conclusion?

The exact mapping of the hero of KICK-ASS onto the famous autobiographical depiction of Chester Brown, one of the indie scene's leading creators. Don't believe me? Just look at Chester Brown on the left, and the young protagonist of KICK-ASS on the right:

Surely an artist as talented as John Romita Jr could not perform such a "swipe" accidentally.

No, we are forced by this visual identicalness to conclude that somehow the senseless, tawdry and pandering events of KICK-ASS are subtly playing out the esthetic and marketplace struggle between two camps of graphic novel creators.

Now I can't wait for the film!
  • lizhand

Hell Hath No Fury ...

... like a nation of Vking's daughters dealing with their country's economic collapse.  The Guardian has had the best coverage I'ver seen of Iceland's financial crisis: here's an article that touches on the possibilty of a distaff bailout — and what would that look like?  I'm planning on going over again in February to research my new novel — too soon for the revolution, probably, but maybe I can help boost the economy.

'Women in Iceland, as elsewhere, are generally more practical than men, they have their feet more squarely on the ground and they study the consequences of the risks they take with greater diligence, says Halla Tomasdottir [president of Audur Capital, a financial services consultancy whose clients are the only ones in Iceland not only to have not lost money in recent months, but to have made some], who on the week I was in Reykjavik gave a speech on the subject that was received with almost evangelical excitement by the 100 influential women present. Among them was Oddny Sturludottir, a Reykjavik city councillor, who emerged from the meeting eyes blazing.

'We are all furious in Iceland but women especially so,' she said. 'We trusted the men at the helm and now we feel fooled, and totally convinced that if it had been women in charge we wouldn't be owing all these billions right now. They talk about the Viking model! What is the Viking model? Rapists and robbers! That's no model for the 21st century.'

And elsewhere in the Guardian, a moving interview with Patti Smith, who just completed an all-night gig with her two children at a Parisian church.  I hope she finally got some sleep, or some coffee ...