'90s Anecdote Generator

I was
  • trying to get away from a scientologist
  • eating at a Hare Krishna joint
  • having a dinner party
  • reading about lipstick lesbianism
  • drinking chai at a warehouse party

  • that early raver
  • that sometime corporate lawyer
  • that drug dealer in school
  • that 'wigga' kid
  • that grunge band

who I haven't seen since they joined a
  • church
  • defence force
  • university
  • public service
  • gym

  • a porno got stuck in the VCR
  • they found a heavy metal t-shirt in the couch
  • we heard Kurt Cobain had died and started crying
  • 'heroin chic' was fashion
  • I saw a laserdisc

and they said
  • "Eat my shorts"
  • "I'd buy that for a dollar"
  • "Not that there's anything wrong with that"
  • "The Truth is out there"
  • "Not!"

  • they dropped their video store card
  • they told me they rollerbladed
  • a nearby payphone rang
  • I found a $2 note
  • my floppy broke

More passion for music

Clever clip, kinda picks up on an earlier post about the passion of musicians.

The Blue Nun in Piskor's Wizzywig

Had a chuckle while nearing the end of Ed Piskor's Wizzywig last night when I spotted this quote from a sample used on the Beastie Boys' Check Your Head -- my favourite of their albums for the way it mixes up their interests in punk, hiphop, Buddhism, etc.

The quote appears in the interlude track The Blue Nun, which samples On Wine: How To Select and Serve by Peter M. F. Sichel and Sondra Bianca. Found this short interview with Sichel while looking for the track on Youtube just now.

Ed Piskor is currently preparing a comic on the history of hiphop.

Craig Thompson's Blankets

Having been impressed with Habibi, I moved straight onto Thompson's earlier work Blankets.

It's a sentimental story about young love but I found it interesting as a way to get a sense of what motivated Thompson to create Habibi, assuming it's semi-autobiographical. There's a similar story of unrequited love, references to a religious text and many wry observations beautifully drawn.

The style of the drawing is a bit different than Habibi, a bit more Charles Burns maybe. Dunno, that's not really a fair comparison since Burns has a very different aesthetic, like the dreaminess in the following panel would probably involve insects.

Work Nude Day

Today is Work Nude Day, which is great because it's supposed to get to 30C degrees.

Craig Thompson's Habibi

Just finished reading Craig Thompson's book Habibi and I think it might be the best book I've read this year. It's one of the few where I wished it wouldn't finish and there was a richness to it that really elevated the graphic novel form.

The story follows the lives of two former slaves, one a girl forced into marriage and the other a boy. Their relationship becomes complicated, they're torn apart and find each other again -- yeah, I'm trying to avoid spoilers here so let's settle on it being an epic love story of sorts.

It's set somewhere in a timeless Middle East and I was quite conscious of the 'orientalism' in the representation of Arabian culture but in many ways the book seems a response to 9/11 and the fear of Muslims which followed and it's written by an American who is trying to help others understand an old culture. The book isn't really about any of these themes but that's the context in which it appears I guess.

This interview with Thompson is a great read after the book because he faces orientalism and other arguments while explaining his motivations and interest in the story.

The storytelling is great, particularly the way Thompson develops the lead female character Dodola, and the discussion of the Qur’an and calligraphy. All of these threads are woven together with the most awesome artwork and it reminded me of this panel from another great graphic novel Alice In Sunderland about the way that comics are actually richer than many texts through using multiple forms of representation.

Do yourself a favour and buy a copy of the book. I'm surprised to find it can be delivered worldwide for less than $30AUD and am resisting the urge to buy a heap of copies for friends and family this month.

Floppy mail

One of my banks has started sending out entertaining direct mail marketing, which isn't normally the sort of thing I condone but I've started opening their envelopes to see what they're up to.

Today this package made to look like a floppy disk arrived and I marveled at the embossing used to create the look of the disk. Shame to see them waste so much money posting this crap out to people but I guess it succeeded in interesting me for a few minutes.