Putting the “Book” back in Comic Books

Two events spanning the history of book design and illustration this week; not quite comics, but should be at least marginally relevant and totally edifying I think!

First up on Tuesday, the New York Comics and Picture-story Symposium presents Patricia Mainardi, art history professor at CUNY, who will discuss how advances in printing in 19th century Europe helped usher in both a boom in book illustration and the invention of comics.

And on Friday, the Center for Book Arts will host the concluding talk in a series devoted to the history of book design, this time focusing on 21st century issues in the field.  Suggested donation of $10 for the talk, and free access to the Center’s three exhibits.


Ring ma bell, ring ma bell, ring ma bell, ring ma bell

This was the weekend I discovered K-Pop…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkwrdyWzyDc&w=350&h=300]

… And Two X are my new favorite band.  I feel like this masterpiece of bubbly pop could go under either Opera or Comics…  Comics cuz of the use of comic panels and pop art imagery in the video, and Opera cuz music is used to tell a story so successfully.  Of course, the story’s in Korean, so I don’t understand it.  But still.

My father suggested I should start covering K-Pop in my blog, but I’m not sure I can do it justice…  I think I’ll just stick to Korea Billboard for regular coverage…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79XvvlZ3prw&w=350&h=300]

Misguided Mercy: The War of Currents and the Electric Chair

I made this!  (That’s my lovely mumblecore voice, even!)

This was a final group project for one of my classes in library science school; pretty nifty no?  You can see three semesters’ worth of these podcasts on the miNY Stories blog, so lots of interesting quickies about New York history to choose from.

Anyway, it’s my last week of the semester, so bear with me as posts are a bit fewer and further between. I’ll be all done after next Monday! Until summer classes start at least…  : P


Chantalle Uzan, Sebastian Moya, Jenny Ferretti, and Leah Castaldi

At the turn of the 19th century, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and their associates raced to electrify the world. Out of their patent wars, company rivalries, and competing currents, the electric chair was born.

Edison and Westinghouse were fierce rivals, as businessmen and inventors. The meat of their competition lay in the electrical currents used by their companies; Edison Electric Light Company used the Direct Current while Westinghouse Electric Corporation used an Alternating Current.

“All generators produce AC internally. In this basic AC generator, the arms of the loop cut lines of force in opposite directions, causing electromotive force of opposite polarity to be generated in the conductor.”

Edison’s Direct Current was transmitted by expensive, heavy copper wires, which they buried underground. Westinghouse’s method could deliver electricity over greater distances more cheaply, but their wires were kept above ground…

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Cellists of Lincoln Center, Unite!

Cellists at Chamber Music Society. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Short notice, but the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will be live streaming tonight’s cello-only concert on their website at 5pm.  From Gabrieli to Villa-Lobos to Pärt, it sounds like an interesting, wide-ranging program, and who doesn’t love the cello?  In fact, these cellist concerts are so popular that tonight’s performance was apparently added on to the season after the other performances sold out.  So don’t miss it!  CMS live stream here.

The Wayne White Story

wayne white beauty is embarrassing

Copyright Wayne White

Missed this on PBS the other day, but seems borderline appropriate for the blog.  PBS‘ Independent Lens recently aired Beauty is Embarrassing by director Neil Berkeley, which is all about Wayne White, a former underground cartoonist, eventual designer on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and now an unexpected fine art world success.

The full documentary is available on PBS Video until Monday, Jan. 28th, so good weekend viewing.  After that, you can visit the Beauty is Embarrassing website to buy the video or learn more.

Beauty is Embarrassing – The Wayne White Story on PBS Online

gary panter last glare 2010

Copyright Gary Panter

Another interesting comics connection through Pee-Wee’s Playhouse is Gary Panter, another underground cartoonist-cum-artist (and recipient of MoCCA’s 2012 Klein Award!) who also worked on the design of that show.  I guess they knew each other?  Interesting network…

Swedes in Boston in New York

Prince William of Sweden in Boston 1927Image by Leslie Jones, Some rights reserved by Boston Public Library

I’ll be seeing Verdi‘s 1859 opera Un Ballo in Maschera at the Metropolitan tonight, so I thought I’d share a few ways for you to hear it in full from the comfort of your own home!  More free opera than you can handle after the cut… Continue reading