Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Cure

Been watching some old The Cure clips on youtube. He's written some catchy songs, Robert Smith. I don't really know how to draw a guitar.

The Brain That Wouldn't Virginia Woolf

It's The Brain That Wouldn't Die meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. And... it's told backwards! Woo-hoo! Yeah, real clever... Anyway, that's something I've wanted to try a long time. I've seen it used in episodes of thirtysomething and Seinfeld. There's also the French film Irréversible, but that one I haven't actually seen. Hopefully it'll be more than just a trick, but who knows, probably not.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So Long, Mary Ann

I'll write a couple of words about each of the six stories in Athos in America. First: So Long, Mary Ann. It's quite influenced by the film noir Raw Deal, directed by Anthony Mann, with cinematography by the great John Alton. It has some of the same story elements: a prison escape, a couple on the run, a love triangle. It's a good film, but in my head I saw an other ending. There's also my version of the ultimate film noir bad guy. And yes, I stole the title from Leonard Cohen, just changing it from Marianne to Mary Ann.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Le Havre

The trailer for Aki Kaurismäki's new film, Le Havre, can be found here:

... and the back cover.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Athos cover

Here's the coverdrawing for Athos in America...

... and the sketch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

H. J. Ward

Got my copy of H.J. Ward, a collection of his pulp art from The Illustrated Press. It's just as brilliant as the Norman Saunders book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poster for sale

Romeo Is Bleeding

Gary Oldman is a corrupt cop asked by mafia boss Roy Scheider to kill Russian hitwoman Lena Olin. Also starring Juliette Lewis and Michael Wincott, directed by Peter Medak.

It's a neo-noir that tries a bit too hard to be stylish. The characters never seem like real, three-dimensional people, and the voiceover used in the film gets pretty annoying. The first hour of the film is a bit boring, actually, and then it gets really bugfuck crazy the last half hour. A very intense performance from Oldman as the cop, and Olin as the ultimate femme fatale is also very good.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Steven Wright

I went into a place to eat, it said "breakfast anytime." So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lorrie Moore

"She was trying to tease him, but it came out wrong, like a lizard with a little hat on."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Limits of Control

A man, Isaach De Bankolé, is sent on a cryptic mission somewhere in Spain. Also starring John Hurt, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch.

You don't speak Spanish, right? The film is almost hypnotic in it's slowness - visually it's amazing, but is it enigmatic or is it arty, is it deep or is it pretentious? I ended up actually enjoying the film, more so than Jarmusch's previous film, Broken Flowers. It's right on the edge of being boring, but there is also some humour. When the nude girl shows up it's almost like a parody of a French art film. There's a referances to Godard's Contempt and also to other movies, like Kaurismäki's La Vie de Bohème. I have no idea what it's really about, but that's okay. I liked the journey. And Spain shore looks purty on film.

Barbara Bouchet

No particular reason...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Charles Bukowski

Sway With Me by Charles Bukowski
sway with me, everything sad --
madmen in stone houses
without doors,
lepers steaming love and song
frogs trying to figure
the sky;
sway with me, sad things --
fingers split on a forge
old age like breakfast shell
used books, used people
used flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run away
like a horse or a dog,
dead or lost
or unforgiving.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Velvet Glove

My German publisher, Reprodukt, is celebrating their 20 years of existence by having an exhibition in Berlin. They have asked their artists to draw a page from one of the books that have been published, a book by another artist. I chose to do a page from Daniel Clowes' Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron.

James Salter

I'm re-reading James Salter's short story collection Dusk and other stories, and am again taken by his use of language. It made a big impression on me when I discovered his work in the early 90s. I especially liked the way he ended his stories, that final sentence that etches itself into your memory. Here's the last paragraph of his story The cinema:

He heard her call his name. He said nothing. He lay there becoming small, smaller, vanishing. The room became a window, a facade, a group of buildings, squares and sections, in the end all of Rome. His ecstasy was beyond knowing. The roofs of the great cathedrals shone in the winter air.

And the story Am Strande von Tanger:

Later, in bed, he listens to her sobs. He tries to comfort her but he cannot. Her back is turned to him. She will not answer.
She has small breasts and large nipples. Also, as she herself says, a rather large behind. Her father has three secretaries. Hamburg is close to the sea.

I ripped off, or tried to, as best I could, this ending in one of my own stories, a one page strip that can be found on page 56 in Pocket Full of Rain.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Leonard Cohen

I was lost
when I met you on the road
to Larissa
the straight road between the cedars

You thought
I was a man of roads
and you loved me for being such a man
I was not such a man

I was lost
when I met you on the road
to Larissa

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Norman Saunders

Just got my copy of "Norman Saunders", published by The Illustrated Press, a collection of his illustration work, from pulp and men's magazines to Topps trading cards. There's also sketches from China that he did during World War 2 and from Europe that he did on travels later in life. It's all great stuff. The book is a big, fat 360 page hardcover, so don't drop it on your foot.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I just realised...

...I haven't seen a film in the cinema since True Grit. I like movies, but it seems like more and more I'll just wait for the dvd. There were two films I thought about seeing this year. I was curious about Thor, but it was only available dubbed into French and in 3D. It being in French is okay, but I don't want to see any more films in 3D. The other film was Tree of Life. Days of Heaven is propably my one favourite film, but I've been disappointed in the last two Malick films, Thin Red Line and New World, and based on the trailer, Tree of Life seemed to be more of the same. Beautiful images, "poetic voiceovers" and no story. So I didn't see it. Maybe I'll regret that when I get it on dvd and have to watch it on my tv. What else has there been? Pirates 4, Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens? Sigh... Hollywood used to make movies for adults once. I guess the next film I'm interested in seeing in the cinema is the next Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo which should be out in late December, so I'll just have to start counting the days...

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Paul Reubens is Pee-Wee Herman, a loner and a rebel, looking for his stolen bike. It's like a remake of neorealist classic The Bicycle Thief! Directed by Tim Burton.

It's Tim Burton's first film and possibly his funniest. The Burtonesque touch is there right from the beginning, but there's also a pre CGI charm that is often missing from his later films. The film is obviously made on a low budget but has a lot of imagination. I'd say the Alamo and the biker bar sequences are my favourites. Re-watching it now, I had forgotten the bit with Twisted Sister.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Baltimore, 1959. A group of guys get together at a diner, talking about life and girls and stuff. Starring a lot of actors who then went on to become famous, written and directed by Barry Levinson.

Okay, so it's mostly about guys talking, Seinfeld The Movie, sort of, but that's fine, Levinson is very good with the way people speak. The film is capturing a time and a place without getting too nostalgic. It's a bit strange to see these actors back when they were young and goodlooking - Mickey Rourke had moviestar written all over him - so it's almost impossible to watch the film without thinking about the progress of time and aging.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Planes Trains and Automobiles

Steve Martin is trying to get home to his family for thanksgiving. Unfortunately, he has to travel with fat slob John Candy. Written and directed by John Hughes.

Those aren't pillows! It's a pretty safe, non-edgy comedy extolling middle class values like marriage and apple pie, it's practically a feelgood movie for chrissake that you could see with your grandmother, is there even the utterance of a "fuck" in the film?, oh yeah, there's the great car rental scene with Steve Martin, okay, but really, it's the kind of mainstream Hollywood film that you would feel slightly embarrassed to be seen walking out of at age 17 when you saw yourself as a rebel, but less so at the age where you'd rather see a oh, I don't know, Billy Joel concert than one with Marilyn Manson or whoever is the equivalent of Marilyn Manson these days.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Big Easy

New Orleans. Dennis Quaid is a Homicide lieutenant, Ellen Barkin is from the D.A.'s office, cracking down on police corruption. Also starring Ned Beatty and John Goodman, directed by Jim McBride.

It's a cop movie that takes it's time. The first action sequence comes at 70 minutes. This was back in the days when there didn't have to be a car crashing into a helicopter full of zombies right after the title sequence or the audience will fall asleep. The film is rather carried by the chemistry between Quaid and Barkin. Being set in New Orleans, there's also some great cajun music. Maybe not a classic but a fun film.

Monday, August 8, 2011

To Live And Die in L.A.

Cops William Petersen and John Pankow try to catch criminal Willem Dafoe. Also starring John Turturro and Dean Stockwell, cinematography by Robby Muller, directed by William Friedkin.

It starts out as a pretty simple Cops and Robbers film, or Cops and Counterfeiters, actually, but then becomes something more interesting, more of an existential does the end justify the means? sort of thing. The film has a dated 80s aesthetic to it, and it doesn't help that the score is by synth popgroup Wang Chung, but besides that it holds up quite well. If you wanted a bad guy in the 80s you could do worse than hire Willem Dafoe, there's a great car chase, and the film should take it's place somewhere between Point Blank and Heat on the list of the best portrayals of Los Angeles.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The coverillustration...

... for Jason Conquers America, a 32 page comic book from Fantagraphics, to be published in October.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bad Boys

It's not the Michael Bay movie! Sean Penn is a delinquent held in juvenile detention for the accidental murder of a kid while escaping the cops. Also starring Esai Morales and Ally Sheedy, directed by Rick Rosenthal.

It's a pretty good film. It came out in 83 but has a 70s feel to it, showing a run down Chicago. The cinematography is very moody, and Penn, in one of his first roles, gives a this guy is gonna be a moviestar-performance.