Monthly Archives: February 2011

I love Lynda Barry soooo much!

Here’s a really great video of Barry talking about poetry and images.
Quote: “And that’s one of the things poetry can do… it can time travel.. and we can’t.”
I love Lynda Barry! So smart, so genuine and so fun!

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects

Happy Valentines to all!

In honor of the cheesiest of ‘holiday’s’ here’s an I-phone wallpaper I made. Feel free to save it and put it on yer phone, but hurry only 20 minutes left of Valentines Day!

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects

Canada reads … but only if there’s a lot more words than pictures ok!

I am a bit disappointed in CBC right now. …

A few days ago aired the Canada Reads debate on CBC which for the first time included a graphic novel. This novel being Essex County by Jeff Lemire. The panelist defending the title was Sara Quin from Tegan & Sarah.

The other titles and panelists were as follows: The Best Laid Plans, defended by Ali Velshi, The Birth House defended by Debbie Travis, The Bone Cage defended by Georges Laraque and Unless defended by Lorne Cardinal.

The summary: Essex County was voted off by every single panelist (other than Sarah of course) as the #1 book to be voted off, (even though Unless was by far the book that the majority of Canadiens who voted online wanted to vote off the panel), ONLY because of it’s format .. ie. it is a graphic novel. Because it uses images to tell the story and ‘it doesn’t  have enough words in it’ it was thus not deemed to inspire literacy which the choosen book should. GASP! I am so amazed at the unfortunate unwillingness of individuals such as those on said panel to educate themselves regarding the art and  impact of graphic novels and all books that include pictures as a matter of fact call them what you may.

Ali Velshi,  Debbie Travis, Georges Laraque  and Lorne Cardinal showed today that we are still living in midst of a  majority of archaic thinkers who are simply not willing to open their minds to newer mediums. The reason, simply being that they are from a generation that was taught that books with pictures are for dummies and kids and surely not for educated and critically thinking adults. Unfortunately instead of challenging these outdated and ultra conservative beliefs on this program and taking the opportunity to create real change in the demographic of the readership of the graphic novel they seemed to take it upon themselves to try to set the clock back even further on the medium stigmatizing it on national radio and tv all over again.

While this makes me furious, it also makes me sad because I truly believe that the reason for this vote was mostly due to a lack of understanding of what a graphic novel is and why it is perfectly acceptable to read a graphic novel that has fewer words than text and in fact also ones which perhaps don’t have any text at all.

Here are some quotes of what the Panelists had to say about Essex County:

‘That’s not how we’re going to inspire people to read’  ‘It can’t be that Book'(Ali Velshi on Essex County)

‘Love the book, love the form, but in my view it’s not a novel’ (Lorne Cardinal on Essex County)

‘I think it’s a nice book, I really do but it’s like saying tweeting with 140 characters gets you writing. It doesn’t get you writing, it actually take you in the other direction!  I think there’s a danger! the whole world today is about the shortcut… very dangerous.'(Debbie Travis on Essex County)

‘I read this in an hour and a half! An hour and a half to read 500 pictures.’ (Debbie Travis on Essex County)

‘The story is obviously very good. the only that’s hard is… what’s hard is that you say it’s a novel, but jeff calls it a cartoon! you guys obviously have different views. because he calls it like that so i don’t understand that…'(Georges Laraque on Essex County)

Reasons from Panelists for voting the book off the Canada Reads list:

‘That’s not a novel, that’s like watching a movie’ (D.Travis on the lack of words in a the more picture heavy pages)

‘it was close between two books only because… the work is stunning but the only reason i picked it, is not because of it’s graphic content but because of it’s short story form.. is what my tipping point was. It’s a collection of short stories.’ (L.Cardinal)

I voted for the book that most surprised me to the upside, that was haunting, and heartbreaking but it was Essex County.(Ali Velshi)

‘Maybe it’s too early for a book like that…'( D. Travis)

‘Let me tell you sometthing before i read the book that one was the first one that i was going to vote off. after i read it i actually had to waiver on it. i really did enjoy it, but… i came into this competition wanting the book that is going to win make people want to read more books and this isn’t going to do it.'(Ali Velshi)
I do have to congratulate Jian Ghomeshi on standing up for the book several times and trying to get the panelists to answer for their poor decision making. Here are some of these moments:
Ali Velshi and Jian Ghomeshi:
Ali: ‘Let me tell you sometthing before i read the book this one was the first one that i was going to vote off. After i read it I actually had to waiver on it. I really did enjoy it, but… I came into this competition wanting the book that is going to win make people want to read more books and this isn’t going to do it.’
Ghomeshi: ‘But why can’t people read more graphic novels?’
Ali: ‘I don’t think that that’s going to solve our problem of  low literacy levels, I don’t think that that’s going to solve our problem of creative and interpretive thinking, that’s why!’

Debbie Travis and Jian Ghomeshi:

Debbie: ‘I really think it’s a shortcut! I read this in an hour and a half! An hour and a half to read 500 pictures!’

Jian: ‘It took you and hour and a half but you could have spent a lot more time with it’

Debbie: ‘No I couldn’t’

Jian: ‘Yes you could have!’

So yes, it saddens me to see that the majority of people chosen for this panel appear to be complete dinosaurs when it comes to any form of literature outside of the good old traditional book with only words. God forbid there should be a couple of pictures in it! If there are don’t even bother reading it, those will automatically cancel out the literature in it!

Oh boy. Cbc, oh boy. The irony in all of this is that I happened to have read Essex County just a few days before this not even aware that it was going to be part of Canada Reads. While I really loved the beginning and even the most of the second chapter I thought it fell apart a bit towards the end. So really it wasn’t one of my favorite Graphic novel reads. So really, should any one on the panel have actually voted it off for the content and the story instead of for its form I would have maybe even agreed with them. Funny isn’t it. On the other hand, the mere fact that a graphic novel was finally included AT ALL in the group of chosen ones could of course be seen as progress in itself. And also, since it’s being voted off Essex County won by a landslide the people’s choice online vote thus bringing it lots of publicity. I guess as long as there are now people who would never before have considered doing so, are reading a graphic novel just to see what all the fuss is/was about, it was worth it. But hey, I still can’t help but be a bit discouraged when I hear attitudes and opinions like that on public radio and television. Argghhhh…..

Filed under News

IPhone Wallpaper

So I caved and finally got an iphone. In celebration of my horrible 3 year contract here is a wallpaper for your iphone. save it to your screen and your done and done. Fun & fun.

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects

Drawing of the day

Here’s a drawing a made a while ago from some old old family photos of my family in Germany. The only thing I changed is the background and the polkadots in one of them. I really like how they turned out. I’d like to do a whole family album drawn sometime. That would be a great project!

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects

Drawing of the day

I don’t know what’s with me and drawing everyone juggling these days… i did get some juggling balls for christmas…

Filed under Sketchbook & Projects