Twin peaks party II
Same Difference gives a peek into the day-to-day lives of a group of Korean 20 somethings attempting to make their way in the world. It isn’t a huge story that knocks you over the head with a moralistic idea- instead it allows readers to glimpse the fears, insecurities, desires and humor of the characters. Kim allows his characters to be seen at their worst, in one case literally on the toilet. We join them as they drift into reverie listening to Tom Waits ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’ and see how they respond to being forcefully reunited with old high school classmates.
I recommend this title for all graphic novel readers. Parents may want to view it before sharing it with kids under high school age as it does have adult themes. Derek Kirk Kim’s mastery of illustration is evidenced not only by the variety of scenery but by the expressive quality of his characters. Poetic, funny, smart and simple, Same Difference is graphic novel as art.
Few things in any art form have made me as happy over the last several months as actor, Taran Killam's snarky 1860's film critic, Jebidiah Atkinson on Saturday Night’s Live's news segment. With requisite curled wig, wire-framed glasses and broach emblazoned neck-scarf, he rambles off problems with every film imaginable.
The last edition involved films currently nominated for Oscars as well as winners from years past. Killam’s full throttle character is as much fun to watch as he is to listen to, slight eye raises and lip movements intensify the words. Jebidiah reads from cue cards and throws them in frustration after each review. The trajectory of the cards can become as funny as what is on them. These skits are a gem and I’m thankful for the intelligence, wit and joy with which they are presented.
Creating a collection of writings about Nelson Mandela is an intimidating task. Nelson Mandela is one of the most revered figures of our time but there is also a lot of controversy surrounding him.
"He committed himself to a compelling political cause, suffered a long prison sentence, and led his violent and divided country to a peaceful democratic transition. His legacy, however, is not uncontested: his decision to embark on an armed struggle in the 1960s, his solitary talks with apartheid officials in the 1980s, and the economic policies adopted during his presidency still spark intense debate." -The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela
The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela is impressive in it’s diversity and forthrightness in covering all aspects of the man, the movement he lead, and the way that he has been represented in the media. The essays in the Companion are written by experts in history, anthropology, jurisprudence, cinema, literature, and visual studies and the specific ideas of writers with expertise in specialized areas is nothing short of fascinating.
The collection consists of 12 chapters split into 3 sections.
"They examine how Mandela became the icon he is today and consider the meanings and uses of his internationally recognizable image. Their overarching concerns include Mandela’s relation to “tradition” and “modernity,” the impact of his most famous public performances, the oscillation between Africanist and non-racial positions in South Africa, and the politics of gender and national sentiment. The volume concludes with a meditation on Mandela’s legacy in the twenty-first century and a detailed guide to further reading."
The book is set up in a way that readers and students can utilize specific sections that touch on their area of study or interest or it can be read as a solid unit to get a well rounded idea of what made Nelson Mandela the man he is. This would make a priceless addition to any high school or university library and an excellent gift for readers who want a full view of the remarkable man, Nelson Mandela.
Anne Hathaway wearing a Gucci halterneck gown. Some said it was too bling and compared it to a disco ball. If you can’t wear that to the Oscars, then where can you wear it?
Lupita Nyong’o's Prada gown had few dissenters as she wore it confidently with a small headband accent.
Julia Roberts looked age appropriate, sexy and fun in a Givenchy gown with peplum lace.
Portia deRossi was stunning in an intricately cut Naeem Khan dress.
Catherine Martin won the Oscar for costume design and her originality was on display in her unconventional yet striking dress and necklace choices.
Number one best dressed: Anna Kendrick, wearing a straight from the runway Jade Mendel dress.
The reason that artists put their work on the street is so that it can be enjoyed by everyone. Not made for those who frequent museums or galleries it often contains a political or area specific message.
(Pic by me of Umbrella Girl as seen in 2011)
The notoriously secretive and increasingly popular British artist, Banksy visited New Orleans in 2008, 3 years after the Katrina disaster took place there. His goal for the visit was to give something back to the people who were so poorly cared for after the disaster. He painted several pieces around the city, mostly in blighted areas and many have been slowly painted over, destroyed or been demolished with the buildings that the paintings existed on.
Umbrella Girl is special because it is on a corner near a particularly dangerous park at the end of the French Quarter. It’s painted on a cinder block wall directly across the street from a small convenience store. I have seen it multiple times since it was painted in 2008 and over the years there have been many things placed around it, in a kind of tribute to the piece, the piece itself has remained untouched. There is a piece of plexi-glass protecting the painting and there is almost always someone admiring and photographing the piece.
And then this Asshole came along:
(photo by Charlie Varley as reported in the Daily Mail)
The story is that this guy, knowing that Banksy’s are selling for thousands of dollars and not caring at all what this piece means to the community or the people who come from all over to see it - decided that he would take it.
This was stupid because:
- No respectable buyer would purchase stolen art
- It’s on the street- can you say, theft?
- The people of N.O. can be tough on those who screw them over
- Stealing from the poor? REALLY?!
The man first attempted to jack hammer the piece away in broad daylight with no cover. He was confronted by many locals asking why he was there and he lied and said that he was taking the piece for an exhibit in London at the Tate Modern. He left for awhile and constructed a wooden barrier and continued to attempt to steal the piece from behind the barrier. People continued to confront him, the police were called and eventually he disappeared, uncaught.
It’t highly unlikely that the piece will survive much longer at this point. It was severely damaged from the fracturing of the rock above it. Hopefully with his picture out there for the world to see he will be ostracized for his greedy actions.
That art belongs to the people of New Orleans. It was a gift. It is not to be sold or owned by anyone else.
Project Row House is a project which began in 1993 as a neighborhood non for profit organization which attempted to maintain the rich African American history of the area while securely protecting the architecture and land that the third ward was known for. The organization began by purchasing 1 and a half city blocks consisting of 22 shotgun style homes. They now own 6 blocks owning 40 properties.
"Art and the community it creates can be the foundation for revitalizing depressed inner-city neighborhoods."
The current art exhibit, Wards in Color is described as, "In this installation, Troy Gooden worked along side with Angel Quesada, Wiley Robertson, Nacho Sanchez and Lee A. Carrier to explores the concept of color as it enriches the human condition of those living, working, and playing in Houston.”
As the name aptly implies, this exhibit allowed painters, known for their rainbow canvases to paint entire homes. Wiley Robertson is a well known artist, street artist and muralist whose prolific LOVE signs painted on wood can be found throughout Houston. (Photo of Wiley Robertson work above, used courtesy of: Angel Quesada).
(photo used courtesy of: Angel Quesada).
The event on Friday is FREE and open to the public. For a complete listing of performers and times check here: https://www.facebook.com/events/399628420183511/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=1
If you are not able to attend the event but would like to learn more about the program check out the Project Row House website at: http://projectrowhouses.org/
James Kochalka has created numerous successful comics over the years and has earned the Ignatz Award, the Eisner Award and the Harvey Award. He was also named cartoonist laureate for the state of Vermont. Therefore it’s no surprise the his latest book, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, is a huge success for Middle Grade (grades 2-5), readers.
The Glorkian Warrior is an alien clothed in a blue jumpsuit. He has three eyes, and three teeth and is bored. His partner in crime is his talking backpack. A phone call comes to their home ordering a pizza and they decide to make the caller’s wish come true. They will deliver him a pizza.
The illustrations are clear, bright, simple and just plain fun. There are stars, explosions, surprises and lots of silliness. This is a fabulous choice for a read-along as the characters are verbally and visually expressive. This book also offers English teachers loads of examples of literary tools: rhymes, onomatopoeia, puns and irony are just a few.