[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
David Lasky's LiveJournal:
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|Thursday, November 14th, 2013|
| Graphic Novel Northwest! Opening reception Saturday, 11/16
The opening reception for this exhibition of graphic novel art is on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 pm.
I curated the show (and made the poster) at the invitation of my alma mater, Shoreline CC, and chose Seattle artists who have made (or are working on) long-form comics (the literal meaning of "graphic novel"). Original artwork is on display by:
David Lee Ingersoll
Tom Van Deusen
Max Badger Woodring
The exhibition will be on display through November and December in the Administration Building (1000), near the school's main gate. Some of the work will be for sale.Shoreline Community College
is located at 16101 Greenwood Ave, North, in Shoreline, WA. By bus, the #5 from downtown ends its route at the college.
|Wednesday, October 16th, 2013|
|Comics in St Petersburg!
was recently fortunate enough to be invited to Boomfest
in St Petersburg, Russia. The festival's organizer, Dmitry Yakovlev, also publishes graphic novels
and anthologies in Russian. It's a country with a tradition of fine arts and graphic design, but not much of a history for comics, so he and a few others are pioneering the artform there. It was exciting to see the emerging scene.
I gave slide talks and workshops, and met a lot of talented young people who are interested in comics. Most of them were young women! Manga is as influential in Russia as it is elsewhere in the world, and I predict there will be a wave of great graphic novels by Russian women in the next 5 to 10 years.
One very talented young artist I met works under the name Ner-Tamin, but is also known as Julia Nikitina. She has some impressive color art on her livejournal page:http://ner-tamin.livejournal.com/
and has completed her first graphic novel, the tite of which translates as "Wandering Magician".http://spbcomics.ru/shop/comic-books/puteshestviya-charodeya/
Julia comes from the town of Salekhard, in the far north of Russia, on the Arctic Circle. One thing I really like about her graphic novel is that, even though it's a fantasy tale, it draws on folklore and dress from her region and people. At first glance, I thought she was drawing Native Americans -- there is a remarkable similarity in some of the clothing and houses. Julia's art is lovely and the story (though I can't read Russian) looks simultaneously epic and very personal. In conversation, she credited "Elfquest" (one of America's earliest independent comics) as an early influence on her comics.
Another impressive young comics artist is Maria Bogatova, who, as far as I know, has not published her work yet, but posts it online:http://mnvart.tumblr.com/
(These comics are wordless, which is a plus for readers who don't speak Russian!)
I gave a mini-comics workshop at St Petersburg's small but mighty Comics Library
, and Maria (in about an hour) made this nice little autobiographical mini-comic...http://www.flickr.com/photos/dead_pigeon/sets/72157636260452573/with/10123083956/
These are just a few of the things happening in comics in St Petersburg right now. I will try to write a few posts about Boomfest itself and my experiences in Russia (with photos). But first, I am still recovering from Petersburg-to-Seattle jet-lag...UPDATE
: A lovely watercolored comic (in English) by Ania Khazina, who was my interpreter for the workshop at the Comics Library: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anoaz/sets/72157636633035635/with/10317573634/
|Wednesday, September 18th, 2013|
|Thank you, Heeb!
A lot has happened in the summer of 2013... A LOT! And I have neglected to blog about it here. I will make amends soon, but in the mean time, I'm proud to announce that "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song," by Frank M. Young and myself, has been named one of "HEEB" Magazine's Best Comics of 5773!http://heebmagazine.com/best-5773-comics/47391
L'chaim! And happy new year, everyone!
|Sunday, June 16th, 2013|
|Tuesday, June 11th, 2013|
|Friday, May 24th, 2013|
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2013|
|Cornish BFA Show
Last night I went to Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle's premiere art school, for their annual BFA exhibition, where graduating seniors show off their final projects. There was some great illustration on display by future art stars, Lillian Beaty
and Elaine Lin
, some cool motion graphics by Minie Choi
, and the beginnings of an ambitious cyber-punk comic book by Lyta Sigmen
. There were also some mysterious zines with no name to identify the author, but I wrote down his name: Maxwell Watson.
The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery curator Larry Reid was there, and noted to me that the new graduates seemed to be divided: either going full-on into digital projects with nothing 'tactile' for the viewer, or taking a step back to look at 20th century technology (typewriters, film cameras, vinyl records, books on paper) and celebrate the more tactile analog culture.
|Sunday, May 12th, 2013|
|Mission Comics Signing Recap
On April 17, 2013, I did a signing at Mission Comics and Art
(on 20th in San Francisco's Mission District, just 12 blocks from where I lived in the summer of 1991; nice to see the old neighborhood again). I met up with Richard Berman beforehand and we talked about our high school days in Virginia and our favorite teacher, William S. Blackwell. At the signing, many more friends and family were in attendance, including my Aunt Karen and Uncle Chris (down from Petaluma!), former Pulse Magazine editor Marc Wiedenbaum, who gave me some of my earliest illustration jobs, James Masente who I once collaborated with, my brother Jason, my father and his wife Mary, and Mary's son Andrew. The big surprise of the day was the appearance one of my favorite cartoonist peers: Gabrielle Gamboa
, who came down from Santa Rosa.
The store's owner, Leef Smith, set up a projector and screen, and I gave a talk on the making of "Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song
". Then I signed some books and left a few copies of Urban Hipster
and The Intruder
. The store was great -- I also did some shopping while I was there! So glad there is a good comic book store in a neighborhood that already sells America's best burritos.
(Oh yes, and I did indulge in a burrito before the event, and managed to spill sauce on my pant legs. I don't think anyone noticed.)
More photos are posted here
|The Surprise of my Life
So I was waiting around at Time Tested Books in Sacramento, where I was scheduled to do a signing in support of the “Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song” graphic novel. It was April 18, 2013, and I was a half hour early. I had asked the legendary cartoonist/musician Robert Armstrong to come and play a few Carter Family songs at the event. I was waiting for him to show up, in the mostly empty store, to see if he needed help setting up. A few minutes before starting time, he walked into the store, and right behind him came a bearded man in spectacles, looking very much like Robert Crumb. I quickly looked away and thought: “That can’t be Robert Crumb!” He lives in France after all. But then again, he and Armstrong used to play together in The Cheap Suit Serenaders. I looked back and found that the bearded man was indeed Robert Crumb, a man many consider to be the world's greatest living cartoonist. He shook my hand and asked if Frank (Young) was going to be there. I told him that Frank would have been there, had he known that his pen-pal R. Crumb was going to attend. I had requested that Armstrong play few Carter Family songs, then a few old time songs of his choosing. The two of them played a lot more than I’d expected, and treated the audience of 25-30 people to what felt like an hour’s worth of music. The Carter Family songs sometimes had gaps in the lyrics; Mr. Armstrong (on a Gibson L5 guitar, Mr. Crumb on Banjo) apologized, explaining that he’d had to “cram” to learn some of these songs, to meet my request. In the second half, with some instrument changes, they played material they were more familiar with, and the musical sparks started to fly.
My father was in attendance, and whispered to me: “Is that really R. Crumb?” “Yes,” I answered. “What’s he doing here?” – “I don’t know.” - “Well, you didn’t give him much of an introduction.” I had nervously introduced “The Two Bobs” and after reading a few prepared remarks about Bob Armstrong (creator of Mickey Rat), simply said: “And this is Bob Crumb, who I’m sure you all know.” So, during an instrument change, I cited my father’s admonishment and tried to give a more proper introduction… “He normally lives in France, but is making a rare appearance here tonight. He’s a comics legend, and he’s my hero; this is a big night for me.”Crumb interrupted: “Your hero?! Harold Gray is your hero.” I agreed and added Frank King to my short list of cartooning heroes. As things wound down, they asked the audience for a request. Someone said: “How about a train song?” Someone else: “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad!” Crumb jumped into "Workin' on the Railroad" and played the whole song beautifully. Armstrong commented something to the effect of: “That’s the last word in Cornball Americana.” They closed with a smokin’ instrumental.When the fun was over, I managed to sign a few books and chat with some old friends who came to the event, two from my high school, one from college, and two Pulse Magazine alums (Jackson Griffith and cartoonist Michael King). Patrons talked with Crumb and Armstrong, and I got to meet cartoonist/musician Christine Shields as well. My father talked politics with Crumb (who showed us his French medical card – “I can get treated and when I leave [the doctor’s office] there is no charge.”). My dad concluded that now it was up to us younger folks to fix all the problems. And so ended one of the best evenings of my life.One final note: The owner of Time Tested Books, Peter Keat, had told Crumb and Armstrong that the Cheap Suit Serenaders had played at his wedding about 30 years ago. Crumb and Armstrong asked the same question that was on my mind: “Has the marriage lasted?” “Yes,” said Mr. Keat, “the marriage has lasted all these years.” Crumb breathed a sigh of relief… “You managed to avoid the curse of the Cheap Suit Serenaders.”
More photos from the event are posted here
. Current Mood: Wow
|Wednesday, May 1st, 2013|
|Final April Poems
Ultimate Wonder Woman
Deflecting bullets, she is knocked unconscious,
Tied up and asked to tell the truth,
"A beautiful woman is still a person,
and wants to be treated as such,"
She escapes, ties the man up,
And demands he tell the truth,
"Men are ruled by biological urges;
Stuggling against them makes us more human."
Flying off, she wonders,
"Why has it always been this way?"
I'm interested in making
A small poster
Let me know what details
You'd like on it
And if it's in color
Or black and white
A white dog
Peers over a
Tall fence expectantly
A tree has a large
Branch sagging to
A girl walks alone her
Long hair hanging
|Sunday, April 28th, 2013|
|April 27 poem
Like the samurai
Who grabs whatever is at hand
To use as a shield
Or as a weapon,
In the notes you jot down
And hidden within
A poem already written
|April 26 poem
You wear an invisible locket
That contains all the words you need,
Only you can see it
But I would guess
it's shaped like a human heart
or possibly the elevator
that bursts through the roof of
The building where chocolate is made
|Catching up on my poems
Trees rain down petals
Monsters attack each other
Draw your hand
Draw your shoe
Draw the person across from you
Draw a small object as big as you can
Let your eyes guide your hand
The same girl rides the bus:
As a sixth grader, gawky,
With her long hair, backpack,
And instrument case, and as
A high school senior, self-assured,
Neither knowing that the other is there.
|Monday, April 22nd, 2013|
|Happy 75th Birthday, Dad!
My 4/22 poem is for my father on his birthday...
In my last year of high school
I was taking a government class
But I was more interested in girls
And it seemed I might not pass
The teacher, whom we called 'Chuck'
Kindly gave me one last chance
my father, a devotee
Of great political thinkers
Poured me a coffee
(Though I was not a coffee drinker)
Went over books with me
At the dining room table we lingered
Almost all night long
Until I had a grasp
Of Marx and Engels, Locke and Hobbes,
And other things I'd missed in class,
Thank you, Dad, for urging me on,
You've always had my back.
Why the cape?
Does the mask make it hard to drive?
How do you fly?
Why the underpants on the outside?
51st and Telegraph
A sign for hardware
Advertising Dutch Boy Paints
Has outlived its store
Draw a comics page
with many panels
But not on a grid
Scatter panels around
and provide more than one
for the reader to take
in the spaces between panels
And then think about
how this affects
or doesn't affect
the sense of time on your page
Portrait of Nicole
Painted quickly, in 1990
On the field of grass facing
Jamestown Road, like most
Of my volunteer models,
She is reading
I have forgotten her last name.
"What color comes next?"
Mollie asks, "What color now?"
Painting a rainbow
Walking down Mission Street,
One man fixes shoes on the sidewalk,
Another sells churros on a corner,
"Churros, churros," "Churros, churros,"
He sings, I find the tacqueria
That Leef recommended
And put in my order, veggie burrito,
It is made by a young man
In a Ghost Busters t-shirt,
Where are the women asking
"Black beans or pinto?"
Not here, wrapped in foil it is packed
With chips and two sauces
In a small paper bag
I hold it, warm, against my chest
though it's a sunny day
After walking some blocks, wet on my hand
Sauce from the bottom, dripping,
Splashing my clean pants and black shirt
Will anyone notice?
Sunlight peeks in around the shade
But my eyelids protest
My thoughts race, I'm awake
But I fell well short of eight hours
Maybe slumber deserves another chance
|Sunday, April 14th, 2013|
|Fake Bob Dylan
Anybody could see
That it was destined to be,
A program that invents new Dylan songs.It will pick out the key,
And a good melody,
And synthesize it in the voice of Bob.Just give it some time,
And it will make up some rhymes,
Complete with guitar and harmonica,Or for variety’s sake
You could request a retake
In hard rock, jazz, blues, or symphonica.It concocts songs of love,
And the moon up above,
Though purists complained that's not Dylan-esque.And worse, it made jingles
for things like Lite BeerTM and PringlesTM,
and products even more grotesque,The listeners protested,
Said their ears’d been molested,
And requested no more fake Dylan songs.The programmers freaked,
They held a critique,
And realized they’d misread the throngs.“We need new algorithms”
“With less antagonisms”
“We’ll build a virtual synchopator,”So they sweetened the guitars,
And smoothed out the r’s,
And created a Paul McCartney generator.
[Note to the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, and various word definition websites: This is in a poetic form I call "Dylanelle", a word I invented to describe a poem that borrows its rhyme scheme from a Bob Dylan song. -David Lasky]
|Saturday, April 13th, 2013|
|Poem for 4/13/13
Untamed City There are still ridgesLooming, muddy, over housesStill gravel roads that Give way to grass and twin puddlesRoots under sidewalks Moss growing between shingles
|Friday, April 12th, 2013|
|Poem for 4/12/13
a game, a challenge
for the creator;