July 9th, 2007


(no subject)

I just got sucked into staying up late reading Alison Bechdel's Fun House, which is an amazingly good piece of literature. I recommend it highly.

Mom brought a box of old photos by yesterday and we spent a few hours looking through them. It was really nice.

Family reunion today (my stepfather's family). I always feel bad because lots of people recognize me and call me by name right away, and I'm reasonably good at recognizing faces, but awful with names. I think this is because my brain is trying to track about 10 unrelated tribes of people and that's really too many, so I try to assuage my guilt by assuming that I know a lot more people than most of my relatives do, though perhaps I'm just lame. Said hello to lots of indeterminately distant relatives, ate too much too quick after skipping breakfast, and tossed around a big frisbee-thing with an 8-year old. It was good.

I made corn-and-bean salad for the reunion. For Movie Night tonight, I made mango salsa and quesadillas. (Made them both last night, and I think they were improved by marinating overnight in the fridge.) I have discovered two Rules of Mangos: don't bother with them out of season, and don't bother with the ones at the regular grocery store -- go to the ethnic grocery store, because they get them seasonally and they get different varieties of them.

We watched The Women (1939), and I found it reasonably entertaining. The big picture isn't fantastic, but there are lots of good moments. It was also very interesting to see a movie where there are no men on-screen ever, and how they worked with that constraint.
Dr. Tectonic

Comics and Interiority

Scott McCloud was at Time Warp comics this evening. I got there right as he was finishing up the Q&A session at the end of his talk, but I had time to zip home, get my books, and zip back to get them signed. So now I have signed *-ing Comics books, woo!

I mentioned that I had just read Fun Home (which he and his wife both really enjoyed -- he was there with wife and daughter) and that I thought many of the really nice literary moments in it were the spots where text and image were coming at the same idea from different angles, or were saying completely different things that related in some way. And I asked him if he thought that there were any kinds of story that were particularly well- or ill-suited to that kind of story-telling.

He agreed that the interdependent bits were really interesting, and that that's something that's really unique to comics. He said that it becomes really important in stories with a lot of interiority, that are largely about characters' thoughts and emotions. When you have a textual script that tells most of the story, it frees the pictures up to do a lot of commenting on the events, reference related events in the story, set mood, and so on. (You do have to be careful not to overdo it with the text and move into the realm of illustrated story rather than comics, though.) He also talked about meeting Alison Bechdel and talking to her about how she was discovering all the neat ways of being literary specific to comics, and that was pretty cool.