A recent initiative by bookshop Crypte Tonique is the “blowbook”, a new type of small-sized visual narrative books that “reinvent” a special type of books launched by Dutch cartoonist Alfred Mazure during the Second World War, at a moment of great paper shortage. Yet blowbooks (and there are currently already four of them) are much more than just “little books”.
There was a time, approximately around the beginning of the second half of the Twentieth Century, when comics were considered as a mere tool for entertainment. Back then, the academic debate on the use of violence in comics was mainly focused on the dangers of displaying gruesome acts by means of such a popular medium, accessed by such a young readership.
Since the scholarly production on Neorealism continues to be superabundant (and this in more than one language), the new book by Francesco Pitassio may not immediately be distinguished by all those interested in the field, but one can be sure that the outstanding qualities of this book will soon turn it into a real classic
“Abstract comics” are a vital strand of contemporary avant-garde comics, nowadays well-represented and largely accepted in various countries and traditions.
La Maison d’ailleurs (“The House of Elsewhere”) is a Swiss museum exclusively devoted to the world of science-fiction (http://www.ailleurs.ch/en/). It currently hosts a major exhibition, Mondes Imparfaits/Imperfect Worlds, on the famous Belgian comics series, The Obscure cities, by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters.
I was very jealous of this book’s title, which immediately caught my eye (the dust cover, available in three colors, is no less intriguing) and now, after reading it, I am even more than jealous of the author since Flintstone Modernism is a great read and a brilliant example of the holistic approach of art and history that represents, for me, the best of cultural studies.
There is no real English translation for the French word « fait divers », which refers to the smaller news items, often purely anecdotal and without any special interest –except for the public that has always devoured them (another French term is “les chiens écrasés”, the crushed dogs being also the traffic victims, of course).
Movie scripts are weird. They are neither the works themselves (after all, movies are supposed to replace them), nor the simple blueprint of these works (for the production of the film does not necessarily program their obsolescence).
There are countless books on “how to write”, and the number of topics they cover, the types of audiences they cater to, the dreams and ambitions they may help or fail to realize, the styles they use, the tricks of the trade they offer (for free or for sale), the profiles of authors that take the risk of giving advice to future competitors, is even bigger.
If popular culture is culture for the millions, entertaining and easy to understand, many great readers and critics are well aware of the fact that this fundamental openness is not to be confused with shallowness or lack of sophistication.