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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Future Nobels

Now that the Nobel Prize for Literature is open to popular songwriters, who might be next up after Bob Dylan?

Paul McCartney, maybe, but I think "Ebony and Ivory" might get him an automatic disqualification. Combined with "Live and Let Die"...

I don't think John Lennon has a similarly disqualifying moment (maybe some of the Yoko songs), but being dead is a high barrier to the Nobel.

Leonard Cohen, certainly on the short list. I don't think we can hold SHREK, or the general overuse of covers of "Hallelujah" as a "this is a poignant moment" signifier in movies and tv shows, against him...

Whoever it was in Van Halen (Van Hager?) who wrote "Only time will tell if we stand the test of time", he might get my vote.

Joni Mitchell, maybe? But "Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels"? That's got to lose her some points...

Bruce Springsteen? Some good stuff, but not sure about someone Chris Christie likes that much. Guilt by association, it's a terrible thing...

Paul Simon? Sure, but only for the work with Art Garfunkel. None of that Ladysmith Black Mambazo jazz.

Mick and Keith? Do we really want to see a Nobel go to the writers of "You make a dead man come"?
Yes, actually, I think, yes we do...

Pete Townshend? I could see a case for that, if all his songs weren't eventually going to be CSI theme music (for CSI TORONTO, I want "Pinball Wizard")

"Bono Vox"? Do we really need something to give him an even more elevated opinion of himself? And he'd hold out for a joint Peace/Literature Prize, I'm sure. Maybe even Economics...

Well, how about Neil Peart of Rush?  Hmmm, I've got no joke for this one. I think he might be the one.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bob Dylan funnies

Well, the comic book and me, just us, we caught the bus.

In the world of music, congratulations to Bob Dylan for winning $900,000. And also, apparently, some sort of metal object. But if I know Dylan (and about 15% of the music on my hard drive, over 800 tracks, is Dylan, so I think I do), the money is what he cares about most. I like to picture him diving into it like a porpoise, burrowing through it like a gopher, tossing it up and letting it hit him on the head.

In keeping with the general comics theme of this weblog, probably my favourite Doonesbury strip of all time:

(original strip, first strip of sequence)

I know those are Garry Trudeau's words, but I like to imagine that's close to his reaction to the prize.

Not quite my favourite Peanuts strip, but certainly right up there:

(original strip)

With all due apologies to Charles Schulz, this is how I imagined a lot of people reacted to the news:

And among my favourite of Evan Dorkin's many hundreds of "House of Fun" comic strips:

(From DORK #5, but wait until next year when Dark Horse releases a big book of all the non-Eltingville DORK / HOUSE OF FUN material).

The most famous Dylan references in comics, of course, are the quotes at the end of two chapters (plus the matching chapter titles) of WATCHMEN by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore:

So now DC can call WATCHMEN a "Nobel Prize winning book". Or "The Nobel Prize winning sequel to BEFORE WATCHMEN".

A more subtle reference was one that originally bugged me:

When I first read WATCHMEN, I thought the most unrealistic thing was that Bob Dylan licensed one of his most iconic protest songs to a perfume company. But then, decades later, Dylan licensed that very song for a bank commercial. And then he appeared in a lingerie ad with another of his songs. And I think the song even appears in the movie which shares a name with the book.

Alan Moore does, indeed, know the score.

So now I think the most unrealistic thing in the book is the (spoiler alert) squid. But if Moore was right about Dylan...

That's going to keep me up at nights.

I'm currently reading Jeff Smith's RASL (I began it before, but Smith didn't continue publishing it in the format I was buying it in). So just before I heard the news about Dylan's prize, I re-read this early scene which really sold me on the book:

And I have to say, RASL works so much better in colour than it did in black and white. More on that later, maybe.

I haven't verified it, but I think Bob Dylan is the first Nobel Laureate in Literature to have a three part unauthorized comic book biography of him:

I have to specify "in Literature" there because of Ho Che Anderson's KING, about Martin Luther King, Jr. And I wouldn't be surprised if there are some of Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and a few others (hey, checking the list, I'd forgotten that Barack Obama got a Peace Prize for "not being George Bush". And Henry Kissinger got it, I guess sarcastically?).

And I close with this.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The first great comic of 2017...

Just announced from Dark Horse for March of 2017, the long awaited fourth volume of LARRY MARDER'S BEANWORLD, with the intriguing subtitle "Hoka Hoka Burb'l Burb'l". A 152-page comic, here's what we know so far:

The most peculiar comic book experience returns in an all-new volume--Beanworld Volume 4: Hoka Hoka Burb'l Burb'l! The Boom'r Band coaxes a new healing power out of Chow, leading to a visit from Dreamishness's relatives--the Windy Songsterinos--who bring their gift of rain. The storm causes great changes to Mr. Spook, Beanish and the Pod'l'pool Cuties. Marder's deceptively simple artwork illustrates a self-contained ecological fantasy realm with its own unique rules and lingo. Beanworld has delighted readers from grade school to grad school for more than a generation, earning a spot on the New York Times Graphic Books Best Sellers List.

ISBN-10: 150670218X
ISBN-13: 978-1506702186

That's a lot to take in. It'll be over seven years since the third book, "Remember Here When You Are There", came out, finishing up the "Spring" cycle of stories, and only a thin colour one-shot of mostly reprints since, so I'm very eager to finally get some more.
Weblog by BobH [bobh1970 at gmail dot com]