25 December 2014

Don's Christmas Storytime: "Scenes from Jodorowsky's RUDOLPH"

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Decided that this is going to be my last post of 2014.  I think I'm past that year-in-review stuff.  Instead, during this Christmas season with all of its stories of one kind or another, I thought I would share one of my own.

So, here's my present to all of you.  Gather 'round, kids!  Bring your hot cocoa.  Uncle Don wants to share something with you...

"Scenes from Alejandro Jodorowsky's Failed Adaptation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

15 December 2014


Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental ProfessorSyllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first sought out Barry's comics years ago because Filipina! Okay, part-Filipina but enough to hook me with a panel of an elderly woman, sitting on a couch with one elbow resting on her raised knee, declaring "Ay, nako!" But Syllabus was my first encounter with one of Barry's artistic how-to books. It's a compilation of syllabi, courses, and exercises she's used in the various classes she teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Other artistic how-to books emphasize the importance of play, but this is the first one I've read that has shown me exactly how to leverage that idea. Barry's thesis is that when we were drawing or writing as children, the last thing on our minds was whether or not we were creating works of art; at least in my case, she's right. And thus, I get something extremely valuable from this book: a method for RE-training myself to suspend any judgement at all about writing as I'm writing. (That stuff is for editing and polishing later.)

Syllabus gets 5 stars because after a mere two weeks, the exercises within--more or less in practice; definitely in principle--have already yielded dividends as far as filling some of the gaps in my writing practice that I've been struggling with since the day I started. I can feel the techniques reshaping my artistic process the way I used to feel muscles being shaped while working out (another experience I haven't had in awhile), and it feels great!

View all my reviews

05 December 2014

Reason No. 666 Not to Scoff at Hall and Oates

...Daryl Hall, of Hall and Oates, worked with Robert Fripp of King Crimson to do his own Aleister Crowley-inspired album in the 1970s.
-Peter Bebergal, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

via io9.

See also: You'll Pay the Devil, All Right