L’homme cruel: Update

24 07 2008

This brief text, posted here shortly after it was translated on 1/15, will appear, along with other selected texts by Roland Jaccard, in a 2009 issue of Absinthe: New European Writing, thanks to editor Dwayne Hayes, in a slightly altered form, thanks to a generous read by Barbara Harshav.  The author was kind enough to send me, in thanks, a copy of his latest book, a musing on Louise Brooks. I confess to not understanding the French fetish for Louise Brooks, which approaches their national love of Jerry Lewis, and remains less famous only because that silent actress hasn’t the household-name value of the comedian… perhaps this book will enlighten me.

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It’s Good to be in Newsarama

24 07 2008

A late April review of a book that came out last October, posted in late July by a guy who hasn’t blogged in two months.

But seeing the amount of talent that ISR hosts Charlito and Mister Phil were able to assemble for this 200+ page book makes me want to hear what they’re talking about on their show. The table of contents on this thing is a Who’s Who of my favorite independent creators: Josh Cotter, Robin and Lawrence Etherington, Renee French, Sam Hiti, Blair Kitchen, Matt Kindt, Andy Runton; Ben Towle. And those are just the guys I already liked before I picked the book up. There are many more who I like now that I didn’t know much about before. Folks like Chris Schweizer, Ted Wilson, J. Chris Campbell, Sarah Oleksyk, Keith Champagne, Dev Madan, Jamie Burton, Hanvey Hsiung, Gia-Bao Tran, Dave Roman, and Raina Telgemeier…

Most of the work in this book got a positive reaction out of me though, even if it was just a feeling. Richard Tingley’s untitled story about a traveler who finds a dying badger in the woods, for example, doesn’t have much in the way of story, but it presents a beautiful, quiet, tender moment that I’m going to want to relive again. Similarly, Harvey Hsung and Gia-Bho Tran’s “We Are Not Alone” is difficult to follow, but does a beautiful job of creating a mood of tranquil wonder in its scenes of a still, urban night disturbed by an extraterrestrial visit.

Thank you, Chris Mautner Michael May! (apologies!)