Essay posts

BL Roundtable: Anthropologize Me One More Time, Baby by “Kinukitty”

Posted by on June 9th, 2010 at 12:05 AM
In the first part of a three-part roundtable (with opening shots on Wednesday, a sidebar on Thursday, and conclusions on Friday), "Kinukitty" offers a yaoi fanfic writer's perspective on Boys’ Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre, Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliassotti, editors (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. Inc., 2010)

BL Roundtable: No Point, No Meaning, Maybe Tenure

Posted by on June 9th, 2010 at 12:03 AM
Boys’ Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre really helped me come to terms with my past, my regrets, my desires. Speaking as a straight white cisgendered male, I occasionally regret my transgressive decision to drop out of grad school to explore the fluid, abject jouissance of the non-(i)voried and nontowered. But then I encounter a text like this, and in its quivering, jellylike prose I remember why, though riven by radical difference, still numerous numinous heterogenous communities speak with a single pleasurable speech-act when they utter: “academics fucking suck.”

BL Roundtable: Do we really need to spill this much ink over the question of whether girls like porn?

Posted by on June 9th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
It’s fun when people get all intellectual about porn. I’m impressed by the level of research and familiarity with the subject matter in most of these papers—with a few exceptions, like Mark McHarry’s “Boys in Love in Boys’ Love,” which seems to think that yaoi is mostly shota—but at the same time there’s a running sense of the academic protesting too much. Do we really need to spill this much ink over the question of whether girls like porn?

Maybe we do.

Tales of the Founding of the National Cartoonists Society Part III

Posted by on June 8th, 2010 at 11:59 PM
Tthe National Cartoonists Society could not have been started without Goldberg, and it might very well never have survived and matured without Caniff.

click to view larger image

Tales of the Founding of the National Cartoonists Society: Part II

Posted by on June 8th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
THEY MET ON THE FOURTH WEDNESDAY of each month, and the meetings were always dinners and mostly social. They met at the Barberry Room, Toots Shor’s, 21, Moriarity’s, “and a few other saloons” (as Goldberg put it) before finally settling in on a more-or-less regular basis at the Society of Illustrators Clubhouse on East 63rd St., where they found the bar convivial and the atmosphere homey (particularly for 40 of their number for whom the Illustrators Clubhouse was an alternative organizational home, because they were members of both groups). In the custom of such clubs, each monthly dinner featured a guest speaker, a notable in a career or profession of interest to the cartoonists.

Tales of the Founding of the National Cartoonists Society Part One of Three

Posted by on June 7th, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Part I

ON FRIDAY NIGHT, March 1, 1946, 26 cartoonists assembled at the Barberry Room on East 52nd Street in Manhattan. They met at 7 p.m. for drinks and dinner, and after dinner, they waved their inky-fingered hands and conjured into being the National Cartoonists Society. Then when the voting was over, they started a heated argument about how to define a cartoonist and retired to pour cooling emollients on the conflagration.

Frazetta in Retrospect by Greg Cwiklik

Posted by on May 28th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Frank Frazetta was one of those lucky individuals born with such a surfeit of natural talent, as to make those less gifted gnash their teeth at the cosmic unfairness of it all. Nor was he overly modest regarding his abilities. Frazetta was possessed of a virtuosic style of rendering: Be it with pen and ink or oil paint or watercolor, it was quite unlike anyone else’s.

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Images of Oscar Wilde; Part Nine: Oscar Wilde: Martyr, Saint, and Superhero

Posted by on May 27th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
“The Outcast of one age is the Hero of another.” – Edward Carpenter Martyrs necessarily begin as outlaws. Wilde's trials established him as a criminal, made him a prisoner and an exile — and produced a gay icon.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight.

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Images of Oscar Wilde; Part Eight: The Tribute Mediocrity Pays to Genius

Posted by on May 26th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
"Caricature is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius," Oscar Wilde said. But in fact, Wilde had the distinction of being ridiculed by the best. Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven.

Pictures of Dorian Gray, Images of Oscar Wilde; Part Seven: Victorian Cameos

Posted by on May 25th, 2010 at 12:01 AM
Dave Sim's Wilde is a sympathetic figure — intelligent, amusing, affectionate and pitiable. He is also physically gross in both senses of the word: he is very fat, and his body is producing symptoms that are undeniably disgusting. As Sim draws him, Wilde's face is so massive and slack that it seems almost to melt onto his shoulders. But the real masterpiece of this book is the haunting, yet strangely noble, portrait of Wilde on the cover. The image shows an open bottle of wine and a near-empty glass in the foreground, ornamental wallpaper in the background. Wilde is in between, almost entirely in shadow. Half of his face — the half away from us — looks tired and gaunt. In the other half we see the outline of a skull.

Melmoth (Cerebus, Volume 6)

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six.

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