Since I couldn’t attend MoCCA this year, I dropped by an Indonesian analogue- KONDEFEST- this weekend. It was a loose conglomeration of thatched kiosks in a park near the marina. Very hot and not the most pleasant place to spend more than a couple of hours, so I had to admire the people who came out here to sell their comics. About 70% were selling manga-influenced minicomics- not surprising, considering translated manga is more widely avaibale here than any other comic. You’ll find piles of them in local bookstores, all printed on cheap newsprint and selling anywhere from US$0.75-1.50. The majority of artists were university students from the central Javanese college town of Bandung (about three hours away) selling photocopied minis.
§ TimeOut Chicago has a great interview with Brad Bird whose RATATOUILLE is inspiring rapture:
People have a real hard time pegging me politically, which I’m fine with. Certain liberals got upset with the lines like, “It’s not a graduation! He’s moving from the fourth grade to the fifth!” And conservatives get upset about my position about weaponry in The Iron Giant, and one guy even thought that the movie was pro-Communist, which is completely ridiculous. And I can’t do anything about how people perceive my films except to say, Well, that ain’t what I was thinkin’. Politically, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m for the individual, which definitely puts me at odds with this cultural tendency to give everyone a trophy just for showing up. I hate that, because I’m sorry, life doesn’t work that way. There are winners and losers, and losing can actually build character, and the nervousness about failure is a priceless thing that can stimulate you to do your best work.
§ Nathan Rabin at The A.V. Club takes a look at notable film flops such as Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World (1992) :
Bakshi was back! One of cinema’s great bitter, jilted cranks was suddenly overcome with a tricky emotion I believe you earthlings call “hope.” But if Bakshi’s long and tortured career had taught him anything, it’s that dreams exist to be crushed and hope is for suckers. Accordingly, the film’s producer Frank Mancusco Jr., had the film rewritten without, um, telling Bakshi. Mancusco Jr., it seems, having produced the timeless gift to cinema that is the Friday The 13th series, was burnt out on horror and seemed to linger under the misconception that it was Bakshi’s job to help realize Frank Mancusco’s vision, not the other way around.
Bakshi was so enraged, he punched Mancuso in the face during a dust-up, but in one of those dark little twists that characterize Bakshi’s surreal career, Mancuso Sr. was president of Paramount, so he had nowhere else to go.
A subsequent post looks at Tank Girl.