• Love the New York Post’s headlines: FINDING HUMOR IN A TUMOR a profile of Marisa Acocella Marchetto and CANCER VIXEN.
• SCI FI Wire has a new video of the making of 300 this time talking about special effects.
•The Independent (UK) has two comics related profiles this weekend, one of Marjane Satrapi:
“Like for this film of Persepolis. We don’t have $300m. We have $3m. You can spend $300m and produce a crock of shit like Titanic. Truffaut made wonderful films with small budgets. It’s the same with graphic novels. You get artists who are basically showing off: ‘Just look how I’ve drawn this arm – you can actually see the veins! Marvel at my virtuosity.’ That’s not me.
“In my studio,” she continues, “we are not dilettantes whose motto is: I created it therefore it is great. Nor am I one of these wannabe artists who don’t graft, and turn out absolute crap. Like the Venice Biennale last year – what a load of shite. My arse produces more interesting work than that. No ideas, no technique. Here, we work, and we work, and we work. Our film will be out next year. I believe it will be outstanding.”
From the outside, his home appears anonymous and ordinary enough, until you look a bit more closely. For a start, it’s called “Sea View”, and then you’ll notice some of the unusual plaster figures adorning the frontage. Once inside, its decor is a mix of the suburban and the esoteric. “One half I’ve kept exactly as it was when I moved in in 1988,” he says. “The other half has been progressively changed into a sort of strange Moorish palace, with coloured glass and magical artefacts.” He fixes a cup of tea in a conventional enough kitchen before settling down by the fire in the low-lit living-room, its walls hung with art and objects.
• What is it like to write the backs of baseball cards? At Slate, David Roth reveals that like most fantasies, it’s not quite what it’s cracked up to be.
Starting a job at Topps was stressful. I was about to enter, as an adult, a place I’d always imagined as a gum-scented, Willy Wonkafied dream palace. Before my first day of work, I pictured packs piled in leaning towers, slides from long-ago Darryl Strawberry photo shoots, game-worn Mickey Tettleton jerseys. When I showed up, I found a standard corporate office: cubicles, recycled air, bad carpeting, worse lighting. There was plenty of candy—Topps makes Ring Pops, Push Pops, and Bazooka bubble gum—but few cards in sight. There was little indication that this place churned out baseball cards and not, say, bath mats.
For those of you who skipped English class that week, Rushdie’s novel recounts the history of the modern state of India through the fanciful tale of 1,001 children who were born at the stroke of midnight on Independence Day—”every one of whom was, through some freak of biology, or perhaps owing to some preternatural power of the moment … endowed with features, talents or faculties which can only be described as miraculous … powers of transmutation, flight, prophecy and wizardry.”