Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Each month, we present a new book that we enthusiastically recommend. Really enthusiastically recommend. This month's choice was endorsed by multiple Green Applers (not to mention by Dave Eggers on the front page of the NY Times Sunday Book Review last week). Buy it now and thank us later. Here's Nick's "shelf-talker."
Many of the (few) people who say they don't like David Mitchell call his books inaccessible. I can understand this and will start by saying the The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is not one of those books. This is a beautiful, remarkable, and--yes--accessible work of literary genius. There are few books, classics included, that I have enjoyed as much as this book. It has a very historical majesty to it but feels modern at the same time. De Zoet is a wonderful protagonist in a book full of mystery and danger. This book will continue to be read as long as people are reading. Don't think any further. Just buy it. -npb
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
See what The Cartoon Art Museum has to say about him below the comic, and check out his books at The Green Apple Annex.
Beginning on June 19, 2010, the Cartoon Art Museum’s ongoing Small Press Spotlight will feature the art of Trevor Alixopulos.
Trevor Alixopulos is Hawaii-born transplant to the Bay Area, raised in Sonoma County. He has been working in art comics and small press for the past ten years. First inspired by the 1990s zine explosion and the new wave of art comics in RAW and LOVE & ROCKETS, he started photocopying his first minis while still in his teens. From his first stapled satirical zines his artistic horizons have broadened to encompass long form graphic novels, experimental narratives and painting.
After producing his handmade comic QUAGGA for several years he was eager to work on a more ambitious scale and jumped at the chance to draw a graphic novel. His first, Mine Tonight (2006), was a deconstructive political thriller, set in the 2004 Presidential Election. Suffused with the overheated, paranoid atmosphere of the post 9/11 years, it attempted a romantic modern noir of Bush’s America. His second graphic novel, The Hot Breath of War (2008) again engaged social themes, but this time in an abstract manner, more lyrical than literal. A novel of short stories grouped around themes of passion and aggression, exploring the areas where people try and fail to connect, from the battlefield to the bedroom. The Daily Cross Hatch called The Hot Breath of War “A book that demands to be experienced.” It was nominated for an Ignatz Award for Best Graphic Novel and was listed on TCJ.com’s Top 100 Comics of the 00’s.
Alongside his longer novels Alixopulos has continued to produce small hand-made comics with a stapler at home, as well as working in watercolor and screenprints. His art has been featured in shows at Giant Robot, Gallery of Sea and Heaven, STUDIO Gallery and in ANTHEM Magazine. On the themes of his work today, Alixopulos stated, “…I’m interested in the play between narrative and iconic forms in comics. Comics stake out some common zone of understanding, while dramatizing those areas where understanding breaks down. I like this profane realm, where the word won’t go; language becomes cartoon, visual joke, enigmatic sign and heraldry.” Today he does occasional commercial illustration, works in a library and draws comics from his home in Santa Rosa, California.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
There are no shortage of books on walking, of course: Thoreau's seminal essay "Walking" being one of the most eloquent and widely quoted meditations on an act so mundane and overlooked that in order to appreciate it we've taken to referring to it as an art. (Cf.: Geoff Nicholson's easygoing, rambling The Lost Art of Walking.) And while I promised this transplanted Londoner a series of casual walks, it's more serious walks that intrigue me.
Werner Herzog's 1974 walk from Munich to Paris, chronicled in Of Walking In Ice (which, though it's not on our website is currently in stock), is one such arduous walk. Spurred by typically inscrutable and supremely irrefutable logic - he reasoned that if he were to walk to Paris, his friend (the film critic Lotte Eisner) would not die - Herzog tramped through miserable conditions during three weeks in late-November/mid-December, breaking into boarded up cabins to sleep, making a detour to see Joan of Arc's house, arriving in Paris to find that yes, indeed, his logic proved correct.
Another such walk - the results of which are pictured above - was undertaken by the artist Richard Long. Long's work centers on the idea and practice of walking - and on the possibility of transforming something as transient as a walk into a "lasting" - a relative term - piece of art. A Line Made by Walking, created by Long in 1967, is contextualized in a recent essay by Dieter Roelstraete published in After All's beautiful "One Work" series.
Finally, there's the two-volume set of memoirs by Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and Water, chronicling what's now a nostalgic walk across Europe from London to the Balkans in the early 1930s. A classic of travel literature, Fermor's account offers an evocation of the splendors of a lost world, and of the pleasures of something as simple, and taxing, as walking.