Recommended daily reading – 17 September (day late edition)

A few items from yesterday:

On MTV’s Spash Page is a story about Anthony Bourdain writing a graphic novel for DC (presumably on Vertigo) that is “sort of like ‘Fistful of Dollars’ meets ‘Eat Drink Man Woman.'”

In the article, Bourdain’s references are all cinematic, which is not entirely confidence inspiring, and while I think that Douglas Wolk is generally right about avoiding comics with celebrity names slapped on them, Bourdain is a talented writer, with both fiction and non-fiction works to his credit, and he strikes me as someone who probably understands genre and form well enough to adapt his talents to comics. In any case, he seems smart enough to do a good job, and this notice has me curious.

Ben Gilbert at Panels on Pages writes a defense of Ang Lee’s Hulk (2003). I also think that this film is disproportionately maligned, and that it will likely have a very different position in the history of Marvel adaptions than its initial reception would indicate. Gilbert focuses on Lee’s ambition and A-list cast. One point about the former that I think merits more attention is Lee’s creative use of comic-like panels to show the action from different perspectives, sometimes simultaneously. Most adaptations of superhero comics are made as conventional action films, and as Gilbert notes, Lee’s Hulk, if nothing else, stands out for not being that.

Finally, on Torontoist is a story about Stiffed, a festival for those films rejectected by TIFF – the Toronto International Film Festival. Having had a few frustrating experiences with peer review, with both print and film, I admire the ambition of the new festival’s founders and wish them the best.

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Recommended daily reading – 13 September

Links & lists are amongst the lowest forms of blogging, but pointing to items of interest from sites I read on a regular basis is one of the reasons I decided to re-enter the blogosphere. So …

From today’s feeds:

A Torontoist interview with Guy Maddin about his installation, Hauntings I & II, at the Toronto International Film Festival’s new Lightbox Theater. The interview includes an embedded YouTube version of Maddin’s prior TIFF-commissioned work, the brilliant “The Heart of the World“. It also makes me want to go back to the festival. Anne-Marie and I attended in 2007, and one of the films we got to see was My Winnipeg with live narration from the filmmaker.

At Comic Book Resource‘s She Has No Head, Kelly Thompson conducts a wide-ranging conversation with DC Women Kicking Ass focused mostly on women, comics, and DC. I found the interview via Thompson’s blog. Here’s a key passage about comics, gender, and marketing:

DCWKA: Exactly!  Basically an investment in marketing, awareness outside the direct market would bring them new readers to already existing books. It kills me. I mean, Batgirl is just a huge opportunity. Batwoman huge, HUGE.  Go where the women are. Don’t expect them to find you. My god the Batwoman story is awesome. Why aren’t they having it reviewed in books/ magazines/publications women read?  And modify the pitch – Batwoman is a woman driven to serve after having to leave the army. She’s a detective, a vigilante. She has a great dad. The fact she’s a bat?  Tangent point.  Batgirl – college student by day, crime fighter by night.

I look at similar issues regarding marketing and women readers in one of my August “Worlds in Panels” at PopMatters. However, my focus is on this year’s “Women of Marvel” event rather than DC.

And, finally, a beautiful watercolor from Dylan Meconis at her Family Man site.