Last Day for Women’s History!

Woah!  Comics Beat is wringing the juice out of the last days of Women’s History Month with a series of short, sweet, and freqeuent features on cartoonists who happen to be female, “24 Hours of Women Cartoonists”!  Looks like a great way to get to know a bunch of new artists quick, so hop on over!  (Easter bunny pun!)

Jess Ruliffson

Copyright Jess Ruliffson

Jess Ruliffson is just one of the many featured artists (featured on BT before as well), and her journalistic biographical work with military veterans in conjunction with the Joe Bonham Project was featured in an earlier interview with Comics Beat.  Interesting stuff.

Easter(n) Cantata

Lou Harrison portrait

Lou Harrison, photo by Oscar White, 1973

Mixing things up for Easter with a 20th century composition for the occasion.


Lou Harrison‘s Easter Cantata opens with the Gamelan style chords he is most known for.  He certainly seems like an eccentric character (I mean, just look at that portrait!), and he has an interesting biography, with impressive connections to Schoenberg and Ives.  If you want to hear more, his one-act opera Rapunzel is up on Spotify:

MoCCA Fest Comes but Once a Year

Poster by Michael DeForge

Next weekend is the MoCCA Arts Fest, the first under the management of the Society of Illustrators since MoCCA was absorbed into the Society last year.  Considering the current exhibits on Harvey Kurtzman, of Mad Magazine fame, and Bill Griffith, of Zippy the Pinhead fame, as well as MoCCA Fest guest of honor Jillian Tamaki, and  you get the idea that they’re really courting the comics crowd.

Society director Anelle Miller was recently profiled in this nifty New York Times article, but we’ll see after next weekend if she’s managed to impress the discerning indie comics scene…

Anelle Miller, photo by Agaton Strom

Gender through Comics

If you like discussing gender and society and you love comics, the free Gender through Comic Books online class from Muncie, Indiana’s Ball State University may be the MOOC for you (that’s Massive Open Online Course, btw).  Taught by doctoral assistant Christina Blanch, you can see the assigned reading list on Comixology.  Sort of an appropriate way to mark Women’s History Month, even if it does start in April… 

Enroll here; class starts next week on April 2nd.

I learned about this from DC Women Kicking Ass which, despite it’s narrow-sounding focus, is still a great place for anyone concerned about representations of women and diversity in general in maisntream American comics. 

Otello Once More

Rafal Olbinski Otello poster

Copyright Rafal Olbinski, 2003

Last chance to hear  Verdi‘s Otello  from the Met this season with a live web stream tonight at 7:25 pm.  I’m more excited for next month’s schedule though:  3 streaming performances of Händel‘s Giulio Cesare, one of my faves!  It all kicks off on Thursday, April 4th, at 7:25 pm as well.

In keeping with the theme from my last Otello post, here’s another Polish graphic designer, Rafal Olbinski.  Those Poles sure are prolific poster designers

Copyright to Make you Shiver

I had to give a presentation in class on copyright in the digital library world which was a pretty intimidating topic, so I was glad to find this neat resource from the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University.

This comic, by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins and the late Keith Aoki who illustrated it, focuses on fair use of copyrighted materials in documentary filmmaking, but the lessons are still relevant for all of us as plain ol’ concerned citizens… (read it for free here, or consider paying to support their work.)

The CSPD celebrates Public Domain Day on January 1st, the day that materials’ copyrights expires and they enter the public domain.  However, in 2013 nothing entered the public domain, all thanks to aggressive campaigning on part of behemoths in the content industry to keep extending the length of their copyright.  As it stands now, a work is protected under copyright for 70 years after its creator’s death, so just about anything created in our lifetimes will only be public domain several generations later.  Pretty ridiculous…

EDIT: I almost forgot!  As testament to how much time I spend reading the funnies online, I included this little gem by Anthony Clark (aka Nedroid) in my presentation:

"The Internet" by Anthony Clark

Copyright Anthony Clark

Got some laughs, and speaks to the constant struggle of anyone who shares their work online to protect their IP from shameless thievery…   >: (

Hymn to Daylight Savings Time

Akhenaten ancient Egyptian relief

Akhenaten and family adoring the Sun.

Operabase just alerted me to the fact that Philip Glass‘ first opera, Akhnaten, premiered in Stuttgart 29 years ago today.  Here is British countertenor Paul Esswood, who originated the song singing the Hymn to the Sun (with Daylight Savings Time, I’m feeling pretty grateful for all this additional sun too).


EDIT: The sculptures in the video are the Tolerance Statues by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, located in Houston, Texas.

The last in his “portrait trilogy” of operas, the other two dedicated to Einstein and Gandhi, it was inspired by the life of Egyptian pharoah Akhenaten (given name Amenhotep IV) who reigned during the mid 14th century, BC.  He is notable these days for moving away from polytheism to a monotheism (with him as the god, natch) and being married to stone cold fox Nefertiti.

Reminder: Friday-Night Oratorio

Haydn portrait

Just to remind you that the Met (the Museum, not the Opera House) will be live streaming tonight’s 7pm performance of Haydn‘s orchestral piece for Good Friday, The Seven Last Words of Christ performed by Salzburg Chamber Soloists with projections by artist Ofri Cnaani.

Click here for Live Stream at 7pm

Don’t know if any of my readers are into this, but you can get a full free score of this and other pieces by Haydn and by tons of other folk at the IMSLP Petrucci Music Library, which shares digitized public domain sheet music.  Here’s tonight’s piece if you want to read along?

NYCO’s New Season

NYC Opera just announced their 2013/2014 season, and the modern British invasion of the New York opera scene, begun this season with the double-feature of Adès operas at NYCO and the Met, continues with the American premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage‘s 2011 Royal Opera House -commissioned Anna Nicole.

(Yes, that Anna Nicole.)  The production, a co-production with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will open their 2013 Next Wave Festival of new art.  Predictably, the original production got mixed reviews.  But I’m kind of morbidly curious?  Here are the first 10 minutes on YouTube if you want more of a teaser (there is a DVD too).

After that, NYCO will exhibit some of that operatic whiplash I love so much by going back to the 18th century to present another American premiere, of Johann Christian Bach‘s 1772 Endimione.

Tempest in a TV Set

Thomas Adès‘ The Tempest was commissioned by the Royal Opera House in 2004, as seen above with Simon Keenlyside and Cyndia Sieden going insane.  It premiered at the Metropolitan Opera this season and now PBS‘s Great Performances will show the Met‘s staging tomorrow at 9pm in New York and nationwide on Sunday at 12:30, eastern time.

The Tempest poster for Royal Opera House

The Tempest poster for the Royal Opera House Premiere.