It’s Wilson Day!
Oh, comics and literature. I think the wider critical/(sub-)cultural conversation has packed lit comics stereotypes into a firm enough state by 2010 to wonder freely if Daniel Clowes isn’t on some level fucking with us by devoting this, his first-ever original graphic novel, to the seriocomic travails of an anxious schlub shuddering down a life’s path mined with those transient epiphanies that tease our appetite for wholeness. Clowes’ especial variation is twofold. First, titular Wilson rockets past depression and self-delusion into stretches of bona fide sociopathy, sending boxes full of dog shit to ex-relatives and appearing maybe half-aware at best of how his confrontational rants against absurd modernity and human avarice cause him to register.
§ Hillary Chute interviews the man in Time Out New York
What do you think about the fact that you’re always being accused of having misanthropic characters, especially, say, in Ghost World? I would hope that if you really read the work carefully, that wouldn’t be all you took away from it. Because certainly that’s not my intention. And I often don’t see the parts that people find especially grim and depressing. I usually find whatever I’m doing to be funny. And often I’m surprised when people say, “I was so depressed for two weeks after reading that comic.” Not me. When I work, my wife hears me upstairs laughing at my own stupid jokes. [Laughs]
§ LINK OF THE DAY MUST READ! Over at Trouble with Comics Guest Reviewer Month Andrew Farago uncovers the secret history of the Sanford & Son Saga
Winter 1993: Ratings skyrocket during the controversial “Death of Fred Sanford” story arc that spans the entire CBS Thursday night lineup for seven weeks.
Spring 1993: Fred Sanford returns during the controversial “Death of Bubba” story arc. Ratings continue to rise.
§ Johanna Draper Carlson gathers evidence on WB’s lack of interest in making direct-to-DVD movies starring female characters, based on this interview with Bruce Timm which has many interesting tidbits:
We were actually working on something a couple years ago that was planned to have an R Rating. It was a very popular book, I’m not allowed to say what it was, but it was before Watchmen came out. Everyone at WB was happy with it, the plan was to go ahead full force, and then Watchmen came out and tanked. The Marketing people and the exec’s said no, no more R Rated super hero films, especially not anything animated, and just like that the project was gone. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen, I’m sure at some point it is a possibility.
§ Everyone has linked to Charles Hatfield’s negative review of BLACKEST NIGHT so we will too:
What is most frustrating is that, as I follow the story’s dotted line, I cannot make out any sense of progress, or of narrative way stations or stops reached along the way. Everything seems to be taking place in a very short time and a very constricted span, despite multiple clues that it is supposed to be taking place over a long period and on a vast, cosmic scale. I cannot grasp the significance of what is happening and the story’s premise remains soupy and uncertain under foot, like quicksand. Again, there are gaps that seem to want to be filled by tie-ins — and apparently we are now above such hand-holding devices as editorial notes, sign-posting, and expository dialogue, things that would make all this confusion easier to process. I’ve guess we’re supposed to assume that we’re too grown up for that.
§ Over in the Washington Post, Ezra Klein adds “retconning to the political glossary. (Thanks to WIlliam Turner for the link)
§ Clifford Meth talks about Gene Colan and his current health issues and an ongoing benefit to help the artist through a rough patch.
1. Be normal. Or, failing that, at least act normal.
It gets even better from here.
§ In 1999 Rick Veitch predicted 2011 pretty well
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.