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]

Runaway Fashions

Hey all, sorry for the long absence; I’m easily overwhelmed with school work, and now part-time work too!  So yes, I have a job in an archive…  of clothing!  I’m not the most fashionable guy, so not sure how I got hired, but I’m learning lots of fashion terminology, so very fun times…

Runaways Cover

Runaways Cover by Alphona & Strain

I’ve also lately picked up where I left off with Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona‘s Runaways, the 2003 debuting Marvel comic series about a group of LA teens who discover their parents are a group of supervillains.  I love it and I love Alphona‘s art, especially his sharp fashion sense…

That fashion sense is so sharp in fact, that I was not at all surprised to see he had a fashion tag on his (kinda out of date) blog.  Further evidence of his stylishness:

Alphona's Fashion Illustrations

Alphona‘s Toronto Fashion Week 2012 Illustrations

These illustrations from Toronto’s 2012 Fashion Week.  Snazzy.

Where’s the Runaways crew now?  Alphona had been away from comics for a while, but he’s been making a welcome comeback back at Marvel.  Brian K. Vaughan also had a prolonged comics absence but came back in a big way with the much praised Saga from Image Comics and his similarly adored pay-what-you-wish online comic, The Private Eye, with art by Marcos Martin.  Christina Strain, a near constant throughout Runaways’ run as their colorist, debuted her own comic, The Fox Sister, 2 years ago, so you can catch up with that too…

Evidence of 1982 SDCC…

This cache of pictures from the 1982 San Diego Comic Con recently posted to Flickr by Alan Light show off some then-living cartooning legends like Eisner, Kirby, & Caniff, but most of all I’m impressed by how classy everyone looks!  I thought the 80s were supposed to be ugly…

1982 San Diego Comic-Con

Barb Rausch & Terry Beatty at 1982 San Diego Comic-Con, Photo by Alan Light

Seriously though, this is a really neat collection of images.  “Digitization” is a big buzz word in library science these days, referring to the scanning of analog materials to put them online and increase accessibility in our digital age, so this is a great example of a one-man venture in that process…  Can’t imagine going through boxes of old pictures to scan them  😛

Also, Terry Beatty‘s Wikipedia page has already been updated to include this picture; increased resource retrieval at work!

show us yer boobs…

Oglaf creators Doug Bayne & Trudy Cooper provide this little gem about the unrealistic pressures women warriors nowadays have to face, re: showing their tits.

Oglaf webcomic: Glamazon Way

Oglaf copyright Trudy Cooper & Doug Bayne

This comes at a good time, given all the discussion in mainstream American comics about strong female characters and the tendency of their costumes to expose as much skin as possible…  Wouldn’t want anyone thinking they’re some kind of turbo dyke!

Depuis le Library Conference


So I’m going to a conference today about libraries and I’m reading up on the speakers, and oh wait, what’s this, one of them works at the freakin’ Metropolitan Opera Library!!!  Tanisha Mitchell, a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker, works as a music librarian in three different NY libraries, and get this, she sings opera too!  That profile on her includes a link to an unlisted YouTube video of her singing “Depuis le Jour” from Gustave Charpentier‘s 1900 opera Louise…  so here’s Leontyne Price performing the same aria at the Hollywood Bowl in 1958:


Oh man, I am going to have to geek out about opera with her…

Speaking of the Met Opera and libraries, here’s the Met Opera Online Database, with archival materials, histories of Met performers, and statistics on house repertory.  Not the most user-friendly interface, but tons of great info laying in wait…  If you want to just jump in and look at pictures, I recommend clicking on “New Photo” on the left sidebar; lots of good jumping off points from there!

After a bit of scrounging around, I did find some information on the Met premiere of Louise, in 1921.  No pictures or designs, sadly, but there is a full-text review by Richard Aldrich of the New York Times:

For the first time Charpentier’s opera of “Louise” was given at the matinee performance at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday. The audience was very large and full of curiosity and interest to witness a performance in which Mme. Farrar made her first appearance as the wayward heroine, and Messrs. Harrold and Whitehill and Mme. Bérat took the other leading parts. It was apparently pleased with the results and was liberal in its applause.

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909

Geraldine Farrar as Tosca at the Met, 1909

Peruvian Perricholi

1956 La Monnaie costume design for La Périchole by Suzanne Fabry

1956 La Monnaie costume design for La Périchole by Suzanne Fabry

Tonight and Saturday are your last chances to see the final opera in New York City Opera‘s current season, Offenbach‘s 1868 operetta La Périchole at New York City Center.

The story is inspired by the real-life 17th century Peruvian singer (and mistress to the Viceroy) Micaela Villegas.  So in addition to opulent costumes like the one above, costume designer Suzanne Fabry also got to design some altiplano cholita costumes…

1956 La Monnaie costume design for La Périchole by Suzanne Fabry

1956 La Monnaie costume design for La Périchole by Suzanne Fabry

These designs come from La Monnaie‘s super entertaining digital archives, but I’ll admit that my original motivation for the “fashion” tag was Nana Mouskouri‘s awesome get-up in her duet with Thierry Le Luron.  Oh man, 1960s French variety shows, yes please.

NYCO and director Christopher Alden‘s production leans a little more modern (and Mexican), but it looks like a riot!

Betty & Veronica Styles

Archie Comics is releasing its first ever hardcover book and it’s devoted to Betty and Veronica’s evolution over the ages, special emphasis on their fashionable get-ups.

Veronica Pin-Up by Dan De Carlo

Image by Dan DeCarlo, Copyright Archie Comics

One of the big exhibits at MoCCA when I was volunteering there was on Archie, so that was my big intro to that whole world.  It’s neat that the ladies are the first to get the hardcover treatment, but then again, who wants to see Archie or Jugheads’ ugly mugs and lazy outfits…  On the other hand, it’s really neat seeing how teen fashion evolved over the decades through the prism of super-stylish B&V.

There’s a trailer at Newsarama, and a review at Comic Book Resources.  Also, super-short notice, but there’s actually a release event & signing for the book at Strand today, 7-8pm, featuring Victor Gorelick, Editor-in-Chief and Co-President of Archie, Craig Yoe, comic book historian, along with Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz, Archie writer-artists.  Be there or be square…

Song to the (Full) Moon

It’s a full moon tonight, so what better way to celebrate than with “Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém” (that’s “Song to the Moon” for you non-Czech-speakers) from Dvořák‘s 1901 opera Rusalka.

Pretty sweet design, right?  That’s celebrated soprano Lucia Popp rocking the head-to-toe scaly look there; I don’t  envy having to wear that or having to learn to pronounce Czech : P  The world of Slavic opera, from Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, etc., is a pretty distinct, foreign world to me still, though I have enjoyed Janáček and Rimsky-Korsakov in the past and want to learn more…

I was admiring the moon yesterday, so take a break from your screens to look skyward tonight friends.

Evenings, when I go to sleep…

Sorry for my recent absence (to all my adoring fans out there!).  I don’t think I mentioned this, but this blog was actually an assignment for a class and I got caught up in work for other classes after handing it in.  I want to keep blogging though; I spend enough time thinking about comics and opera that I might as well turn it into posts!  So stick around…

I’m already running out of “good morning” arias, so here’s a nice “good night” one instead from Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck:

Lovely singing, but also some great 80s fashion which definitely holds its own against the music. LOVE IT SO MUCH.