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Blacksad and other news - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Blacksad and other news
The French comic book publisher Dargaud has some new information posted about Blacksad. Here's a pastiche I made of two images they had available:

The text in the corner reads "The appearance of volume 3, Ame rouge (Red soul) forseen in November." The newspaper headline reads "Chinese attack in North Korea - MacArthur threatens Beijing with A-bomb." Since volume two had racism as a theme, the general feeling has been that volume three will probably have the 1950s red scare as a theme. But Canales and Guarnido have always kept very quiet about what's coming ahead, and anyway, it's typically been what - two years or so between issues? Frankly I've not been impressed by the plotlines, but the quality of the artwork and caricature has always been excellent. Chances are the release date could easily be pushed forward, since no sites are committing themselves to definitive information as yet. Canales and Guarnido are also having an artshow of their watercolours in late November through December.

I ordered volume two from a store in Montreal, but with their taxes and shipping it looks like I'd pay about the same for volume three if I ordered from France. Shipping (livraison) seems to be about 11 Euro. I'm all keen to practice my translation abilities, although I've always relied on certain friends (wink wink) for help with the more colloquial. This time I'll try not to confuse the word for "prostitute" with "kitten".

In unrelated news, here's a CBC article about animal movies.

And lastly, since a lot of my friends have recently been posting photos, I want in on the game. :)

I forget if I posted some of these before. I hope not!

This summer, Winnipeg followed in the footsteps of Chicago, Toronto and Berlin and placed decorated animal statues around the city. In Winnipeg's case, instead of scattering them all over, they're mainly confined to a single park and a nearby street, and they're made of cement. All of the statues have the same poise, but have been painted differently, or been altered. They roughly fall into four themes. (1) Bear dressed up in/as something, (2) Bear painted with rural landscape, (3) Bear painted as the Northern lights, or (4) Abstract. These are some of my favourites.

Abstract blue swirls:

Haida loon designs:

An angelic bear. This one was hidden away in a mall far away from the others.

The Northern lights above a silhouetted night landscape. I darkened this photo a bit to make it look better.

And the best ever, a motorcyling bear. Viewed from the front, this thing just exudes attitude.

And now, from Amsterdam:

Bronze iguanas:

A butterfly:

A lion in deep sleep, and a restless lioness taking shelter from the rain:

What I call my "parrot mug shot"

And finally, seahorses! These guys were hard to photograph. At one point, two of them were
floating with their tails hooked together.

Current Mood: quirky
Current Music: Beth Orton - Dolphins

8 comments or Leave a comment
From: cjthomas Date: September 3rd, 2005 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)
The bear statues are very nifty =^.^=.

I'm going to have to try concrete casting one of these days, among many other things. Not sure where the resulting big objects would go, of course...

Wildlife pictures are also very nifty.

From: pobig Date: September 3rd, 2005 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Nice photos! I like the northern lights bear particularly.
okaree From: okaree Date: September 3rd, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful photos!
niall_ From: niall_ Date: September 4th, 2005 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure the Blacksad is not yet finished. And considering the topics, I'm not surprised they're retreading what is for us over here very well-tread history, but is still a source of fascination for Europeans at times. They're dealing with their own spate of racism, and this kind of story with the well-known-to-us step back of using animals to show how absurd the concept is at the core may be their way of coping with things.

Fantastic bears! My favourite is the northern lights one, closely followed by the icy swirls. The biker one is a hoot!
dronon From: dronon Date: September 4th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Do you think it's worth pre-ordering? It's insteresting, because at work I've had a whole bunch of French comics (with the occasional one frmo Quebec, Belgium or Switzerland thrown in). One thing I've noticed is that - at least as far as what the library has ordered - there's a fascination with the American Wild West. All sorts of stories are placed in that setting. One was a combination X-files crack team investigating the occult, and another had God showing up as an old man and making a highway robber immortal.

The other thing I've noticed is a lot of the comics are put in specific historical settings - not necessarily to examine those settings, but as a backdrop for the main story. Like the Roman occupation of Palestine, the French occupation of Algeria, the German occupation of France or in the Spanish flu occupation of La Reunion.
niall_ From: niall_ Date: September 6th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gee, you think you won't want it? :)

And yes, the wild west and everything American is a fascination in Europe, especially int he creators who grew up in the time when American started exporting its culture far more aggressively in the 50s and 60s. But just like the Japanese, there is a geographical, cultural and linguistic distance, and the mirrors are interesting. It's just that the Japanese distance is so much greater, the mirror is just that much more difformed...

And you're absolutely correct in that the settings will be absolutely authentic sometimes - as backdrop to the main story. Just doing a history of the backdrop is boring to them. I think it's because ot a lot of Europeans, history is known; these settings are known; there's no point trying to tell the readers something they already know. In the US, the reverse is true: storytellers have to assume that the reader knows nothing about history or any specialised subject, because more often than not, they don't indeed. That's the cultural distance right there...
orleans From: orleans Date: September 5th, 2005 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the bear statues! Are these going to be a permanent exhibit? Or is it just for the summer? If they are permanent, I anxiously look forward to seeing them on our next trip to Winnipeg. :)
dronon From: dronon Date: September 5th, 2005 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm... that's a good question (does some web searching). According to this site, they'll likely be removed some time in October, although some will find new locations, likely in buildings belonging to their corporate sponsors. Phooey. On the other hand, the bears as they are now don't seem to be covered with any sort of weatherproofing. I don't know how long the paint would last, or what kind of an effect the winter temperatures would have on the cement.
8 comments or Leave a comment