Archive for ‘Music’

One-Bit Universe

Marjane Satrapi would like you to sign a petition (thanks to Mark Siegel for the link).

Yesterday, some cartoonists I know expressed sadness over Michael Jackson, which I understand. Personally, I thought it was a sad ending to a sad ending. But others were baffled by how anyone could sympathize with anyone accused (and presumed guilty) of such horrible things.

Fortunately Adobe just released a new Photoshop filter for just such occasions (screenshot above). I like to work in grayscale and RGB myself, but some out there might find it useful.

[Hypocrisy disclaimer: Anyone wanting to knock me off of my high horse can just point out my own rant about Fredric Wertham on that audio interview the other day. Guess we all do it from time to time.]

Thank you, The Internet!

So, no sooner do I post about my search for some Shawn Cheng comics you could read online, when Shawn contacts me and graciously offers to put all of his great mini The Would-Be Bridegrooms online in a great click-through format. Read it, thank him, buy things. All is right with the world.

And as long as I’m following up on earlier posts, y’gotta love this miniature masterpiece by Mr. Turner. Though y’gotta read it TWICE to know why.

Oh, and Bryan Lee O’Malley is offering his full third Kupek album for free. (I thought it was great, but don’t tell him; we don’t want him to stop making comics.)

So, yeah. Good stuff this week! Way to go, The Internet.


Can’t. Stop. Playing.

[link via our friend Alice]

Random Music Thoughts

Been enjoying a relatively new band called The Mummers, especially the songs “March of the Dawn” and “Lorca and the Orange Tree,” though it’s a guilty pleasure since they’re pretty much just pushing my musical buttons over and over. The lead singer, Raissa Khan-Panni, sounds maybe a bit too Björk-y on some tracks, but she has a great voice nonetheless and the arrangements are huge and rich and irresistible (to me, at least). Good speakers recommended for those wonderful bass notes.

Maybe I’m imagining things, but I think there’s something going on inside of a bunch of the songs I’ve been listening to lately with female lead vocalists. The arrangements behind them are getting increasingly robust and deep, while the voices up front are becoming more elfin and/or breathy, and maybe because of the syncopation, there’s less a sense of back-up than of counterpoint, which sets up a pretty dramatic masculine/feminine interplay (or Butch/Femme if you prefer) that’s practically NSFW. The Bird and the Bee‘s incredible song “Man” is the purest example I’ve found, but I hear traces of it in The Ting Tings, JemBat for Lashes (“Horse and I”), Bitter:Sweet (“The Mating Game”), and Anya Marina (“Miss Halfway”).

I remember feeling like I was hearing something new the first time I heard The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” Maybe it was this.

Thanks to kbeilz for recommending The Mummers after hearing I was enjoying Jesca Hoop‘s “Seed of Wonder.” Feel free to recommend some of your favorites, similar or not.

I promise, back to comics on Monday. I just really, really love music.

Music = Comics?

Do comics artists have musical twins? I think some do. For example, I’d say that Craig Thompson is the Sufjan Stevens of comics. Midwestern roots, struggles with faith, gorgeous compositions, a bit weepy… They even look similar (in fact, I was googling to make sure I was spelling both of their names correctly and came across this).

Craig Thompson = Sufjan Stevens

Others I’ve been toying with (or that have been suggested by others):

Will Eisner = Duke Ellington
R. Stevens = Daft Punk
James Kochalka = Flaming Lips
Paul Pope = T-Rex
Gary Panter = John Zorn
Jim Starlin = Yes
John Byrne = Phil Collins
Mary Fleener = B-52s
Eleanor Davis = Joanna Newsom
Jeph Jacques = Death Cab for Cutie

Some need two or more to match. I think that Bryan Lee O’Malley is a combination of Pizzicato Five and Go! Team, or maybe the Ting Tings, and Chris Ware might be our Radiohead, but you’d have to throw in some difficult turn-of-the-century composer like Charles Ives to really make it work.

My favorite suggestion so far was when Sky said that Ryan North oughtta be the Ramones because “the only thing that ever changes is the words.” I love my kids.

This whole thing started because of a now-defunct thread on the Comics Journal Message board on this same topic years ago. Someone had suggested that I could be the Raymond Scott of comics which I liked, but another poster logged in to say that I wasn’t good enough to be R.S. and was, in fact, the Thomas Dolby of comics. I objected, said that despite liking Dolby, I wanted to be the Raymond Scott of comics, to which my tormenter replied “make better comics then.” In the end, it was agreed that I could be upgraded to the Herbie Hancock of comics until further notice, which I thought was fair enough.

Working on a much bigger list. Any suggestions?