31 mai 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. le grand public : un nouvel espoir ?

Ca y est, une deuxième bande annonce du film Scott Pilgrim, réalisé par machin qui a fait Shaun of the Dead et Hot Fuzz, est visible, ici entre autre.
Surprise, cette fois ça passe beaucoup mieux... Certains personnages, comme Wallace (le colloc gay) par exemple, ou Kim Pine qu'on aperçoit à peine, semblent tirer leur épingle du jeux (d'acteur)...

Alors, vulgarisation navrante ou relecture sympathique ? On verra bien.

En attendant, on ne saurait trop vous conseiller si ce n'est fait de lire Scott Pilgrim. Le tome 6, chapitre ultime, sera là en juillet, et cette semaine, on devrait enfin récupérer les précédents... ainsi que le Tome 2 en VF, que le monde attend avec impatience...

Awesome !

29 mai 2010

On n'aura jamais aussi bien parlé anglais.

Les gens d'Avoid The Future font un travail formidable. ATF est un blog en anglais consacré à la bande-dessinée internationale. On y trouve des critiques et des interviews. Alors quand les gens d'ATF nous ont contactés pour en réaliser une de nous, d'interview, on s'est demandé ce qui pouvait bien les intéresser chez nous au point de vouloir nous poser des questions mais on leur a bien sûr dit oui.

On se permet de reproduire l'entretien ici (traduit du français à l'anglais, voilà pourquoi on parle si bien la langue de Shakespeare) et on vous invite à découvrir ATF, si ce n'est déjà fait, en cliquant ici.

Encore merci à eux.

Sure, Paris might be world-renowned for its beautiful museums, awe-inspiring architecture and history, but (call us crazy) one of our favourite things to do whilst in the city of lights is visiting comic shops. With a whole host of stores offering a vast array of bandes dessinées, it's a real paradise for lovers of Francophone comics. Standing apart from the crowd in the city's 5th district is Arkham, which offers something which many would not necessarily expect: English-language comics, and plenty of them.

Helmed by the fearless team of Philippe and Philippe (listed in alphabetical order, of course), Arkham has one of the most impressive selection of North American comics found this side of the Atlantic. Putting even UK comic stores to shame with shelves that include titles from all levels of the publishing industry, everything from The Incredible Hulk to Jimbo is there and on offer to patrons.

Undeterred by the terrifying connotations of its name, we invited Paris' own dynamic duo to talk a little bit about the store as well as their outlook on the industry and their recent forays into internet television and Youtube.

Arkham’s a pretty interesting store, in that it is something of an inversion of expectations: an American-style comic shop in the middle of Paris. Is this an integral part of Arkham’s identity?

The aim has always been, above all, to mix mainstream superhero and more independent and alternative comics, as well as comic heritage and reprints. That being said, there isn't really any strategy. The bookshop is, so to say, in our image; we like the different styles within the American comic scene. Our very specialised business structure is the only hope against the "culture supermarkets"! We never forget that we are a bookshop foremost, though; the superheroes and action figures only represent a small part of our activity. We like a challenge!

Tell us more about how you got into the English-speaking comics scene, in the first place.

Like many Frenchies, we were gorging ourselves on the translated comics (published by Lug, Arédit, Sagédition, etc.) which were distributed by newsstands when we were younger.

The pioneers of importing comics in Paris were shops like Futuropolis, Temps Futur and Actualités, which have since disappeared. The specialised import comic shops were an important landmark for us as readers. Let's not forget that it’s thanks to these kind of shops that the works of people like Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Chris Ware and many others, became popular. It's in those comic shops that their work was discovered. In short, the job of a bookshop is about more than just selling merchandise.

Diplomacy aside, which are your favourite North American publishing houses, past and present?

Dark Horse and Vertigo continue to release interesting titles, as does Marvel, even though those books often get lost amongst the others. Other than those, there are the usual suspects: D&Q, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf and IDW for the reissue of old strips (and Aardwark Vanaheim, to the death!).

Generally, quality has considerably increased since the beginning of the 2000s. Basically, up until the end of the 80s, we used to follow characters; the 90s was the era of artists and chromium-foiled variant covers, which contained content that was usually quite poor; then in the 2000s came the era of writers. Readers now follow writers, so they happily go from one series to another depending on who's writing it. Also, works of pioneer creators that previously had gone out of print are now being republished, often in elegant books.

We read a few times on the blog that you weren't big fans of the adaptation of comics on the big screen. Do you think that it is impossible to adapt comics to the big screen sucessfully?

No, it's not that comics are impossible to adapt on screen, it's just superhero movies that are never very good. This plethora of movie adaptations (comics, TV, videogames, bio-pics and remakes) seems to reveal a crisis of creativity amongst screenwriters, producers and movie studios. We also feel that the ease of modern cinema techniques doesn’t make the situation any better.

Ghost World is a good movie. Kick Ass isn't bad... but superheroes just work better in comics.

What do you think about the upcoming Scott Pilgrim versus the World?

[Philippe #1 steps forward] The few pieces of footage from the adaptation I've watched made my eyes bleed.

Talk to us about the idea behind Le Comic de la Semaine (The Comic of the Week). Is it going to replace your newsletter?

Like everything that we do (or almost), the idea of LCDLS came naturally to us, with the feature starting as a series of articles. As we’d been involved briefly in a similar segment on a show devoted to comics ("le duo comics" for five episodes of No Life) and we've made short videos just for fun for more than three years and to expose ourselves on the internet, it was obvious that LCDLS would eventually end up in the 24 fps format.

LCDLS doesn't replace the niouzeletter [phonetic translation of the English word]. The niouzeletter informs our clients of the news and announces a few books that caught our eye. It also shows a book of our choice in more detail. Then again, there isn't really any rule; it can be a new book or a series from years ago that's just been republished.

Initiatives of this kind are multiplying, which is for the best. You can now find many blogs and websites dedicated to comics: news sites, forums, in-depth articles, video shows... Fantasy.fr launched a show called Fantasy Tavern which is dedicated to literature, TV series, cinema, videogames... with us presenting their comics segment. Maybe we're finally going to get rid of this "cult" image that we're stuck with (despite what some say), which scares people who don't know much about comics and makes them think that comics are obscure and difficult.

Do you see many young people or children in the shop?

Yes, our audience is getting younger. They usually start with comics translated into French, although we also notice that some teenagers only read comics in English. The youngest (like kids) are more inclined towards superheroes and Star Wars figures or Pokémon cards.

Our secret and diabolical aim is to slide them towards the original English version, and then towards the most obscure underground comics. [diabolical laugh]

The shop was opened in 1996; now a scarily long time ago. How has the shop evolved over that time?

The only real rupture was in 2005, when we moved premises. We were the only two that stayed from the previous Arkham team, and as we said, the activity really re-centred around the books themselves, whereas merchandise and vintage toys had more of a prominent role.

Our tastes about comics haven't changed: we like good ones!

So, monolingual English-speaking comic fans rejoice! If you ever find yourself stranded in Paris, you know where to get your weekly fix. Located at 7 rue Broca, 75005, Arkham is open Tuesday-Saturday between 10:30 and 19:30 and features all manner of awesome things for your eyeballs to slam against. We at ATF hope that you've enjoyed this new feature, and we hope to publish more interviews with comic shop owners in the near future.

Le mieux 10 ans culturel.

C'est avec angoisse que nous fêtons ces jours-ci les dix ans des éditions Bragelonne, la maison d'édition de livres de Fantasy et de Science-Fiction la plus sexy du monde. Non pas que nous n'étions pas sûr que Bragelonne durerait 1 an (et vu comme c'est parti, certainement énormément plus), mais surtout parce que si Bragelonne a dix ans, ça veut dire que nous, on est vieux.

Pour oublier le temps qui passe trop vite, Bragelonne propose 10 de ses premiers livres au prix ridicule de 10 euros pièce. Il y a dans cette sélection des chefs-d'œuvres absolus (comme Légende de David Gemmel ou la trilogie du Maître du Temps de Louise Cooper, regroupée en 1 tome), des futurs classiques (Ayesha de Ange, la Moira du docteur Loevenbruck a.k.a. Riton Love And Trucs, etc.).

Mais Bragelonne, c'est aussi une société qui regarde (fièrement) vers l'avenir : la preuve, cette semaine paraît également Lamentation, le t1 des psaumes d'Isaac, de Ken Scholes. Un roman de Fantasy qui fleure bon la S-F post-apocalyptique et où les intrigues alambiquées mettent en scène des persos hauts en couleur : un futur classique (pour les 25 ans de Bragelonne, avec l'inflation, il sera sûrement vendu 25 euros...).

En attendant, upgradez votre bibliothèque en fêtant l'anniv de Brage...

26 mai 2010

25 mai 2010

Le masque, la plume et les lasers.

Star Wars : A New Hope, un film de drogués ? Réponse à la 7ème minute (environ) de cette "vidéo" qui reprend la critique du film de Georges Lucas que faisaient les chroniqueurs du masque et la plume en 1977.

Cacedédi à Gwilherm.

Epic win, Brian !

Vous le savez, sur le blog d'Arkham, on cause de c'qui nous plait. De comics, bien sûr. De musique, aussi. Et quand disparait quelqu'un du biz ou un zicos qu'on appréciait, on fait un rip.

Cette fois-ci, il s'agira d'un rip-OFF.

Alors voilà, y a oune arrrtiste islandais qui s'appelle Erró et son oeuvrrrrre n'est pas du goût de tous. Vous nous direz : l'art est difficile, la critique facile.

Mais quand la critique vient de M. Brian "dieu du comics" Bolland, on prête forcément attention.

Brian Bolland, manifestement enthousiasmé par le travail d'Erró exposé au musée George Pompidou à Paris.

Voici donc ce qu'inspire le travail de monsieur Erró à M. Brian Bolland. C'est Danino qui nous a signalé ça et c'est sur Bleeding Cool qu'on a pécho le courrier de Brian :

"Dear Erró (or Mr. Gudmundur if you prefer.)

My name will mean very little to you unless you remember deleting it from your version of my “Tank Girl Odyssey” cover from 1995.

I first saw your work in a gallery in Reykjavik. I was impressed by the wild exuberance of it while enjoying spotting the artists you’d swiped, most of whose names I knew.

I was at the Pompidou Centre in Paris recently and I walked onto the floor showing your work and there, featuring prominently in the window of the gift shop, was a large poster of MY “Tank Girl” signed by you and on sale for 600 Eu. It consisted of a badly copied version of my work and, where the original logo had been, a group of figures presumably taken from Maoist Social Realism. My wife Rachel was with me. She’d worked with me on the original artwork. She painted Booga (that’s the kangaroo!) She said out loud what I was thinking: “That’s just NOT RIGHT!”

I spent five years in British art schools and I’m pretty liberal minded about the fine art world. I respect collage as a medium – from Max Ernst on. Warhol’s soup cans. Lichtenstein’s huge copies of Russ Heath and Jack Kirby’s work. I found your earlier work with its radical juxtapositions very amusing, the sheer mass of detail created an almost migraine inducing new whole. Collage is all about the juxtaposition of incongruous elements. Where the number of elements you’re collaging becomes so few and one of those elements is the thing that attracts the eye the whole experience is no longer about the juxtaposition. The element dominating your “Tank Girl” print is my Tank Girl cover. You look at Tank Girl and Booga first and then at your additional figures. It is they (and my efforts) that are attracting your eye when you see the poster for sale in the gift shop.

I was interested to see that you’d copied almost every detail from my original Tank Girl cover but with a couple of telling exceptions. My original was itself part collage. You may not know this but the pillow on the right (which you did include) has on it my copy of the cover of the first LP by the American band Ween. “God, Ween, Satan, the Oneness”. The butt of the rifle had on it some photos that were stuck onto the artwork. You’d left those out. Most significantly you’d removed my name which was running along the left-hand side of the TV.

I have in front of me your reply to fellow artist Chris Weston’s email to you. You consider yourself “a kind of columnist or reporter”. Reporters quote their sources all the time in order to get at a greater understanding of events. Their reports, like your work, are made up almost entirely of quotes. The difference between reporters and you, Erró, is that they name the source of their quotes and an honest reporter would be careful not to misrepresent his sources or take their quotes out of context. If he did he’d be deliberately setting out to discredit them. In your “Tank Girl” print you “quote” a whole piece of work by me. At a particular moment you consciously deleted my name – the artist’s name. In so doing you are claiming that this wasn’t done by an artist – it wasn’t done by anybody in fact – therefore it’s not “art” it’s just “stuff’. Just raw material for your “Synthesising” process. There’s something particularly furtive and grubby about the moment when you removed the artist’s name, when you thought no one was looking, from a whole piece of his work. It’s the moment when you admitted that you knew you were taking his work, discarding him, and selling it as your own.

You compare yourself to Rubens? he was surrounded by “an incredible number of assistants”? Well I’m delighted that you consider me to be one of your assistants, albeit one of your unnamed, unpaid and unwitting assistants. I have a feeling Rubens’ assistants would have known they were his assistants and consented to be his assistants and he would have paid them.

What this is is a kind of colonialism. You, Erró, have found a place for yourself in the land of the Fine Art Elite, in “Gallery-land”, and you have gone out and discovered a dark continent inhabited by pygmies – barely more than savages really – people with a colourful but primitive culture. Like the Victorian explorers you find what they do ghastly but somehow alluring so you steal from them, give them nothing in return and dismiss them. You display bits of their infantile and garish nonsense in what you call a “synthesis” on a gallery wall in the civilised world, something which has nothing whatsoever to do with giving a full and accurate “report” on the stuff you steal or the people you steal it from. It’s more to do with the titillation of your peers. You’d like them to be shocked by the vulgarity of the artefacts you’re bringing back from whatever nasty place you’ve been to but appreciate them (and you, of course) in that post-modern kind of way. One reviewer of your work said “I don’t know where Erró finds all that stuff”. Luckily for you she and other inhabitants of the galleries don’t know the names of the people you steal from and you’re not in a hurry to list them. You’re exploiting people like me, not because you’re a “witness to our time” but because you want to turn the base metal of comics into art gold – and you’d like to have a lucrative career in Gallery-land.

Back in the early ‘70s, when I started doing what I do, comic artists were treated pretty badly. They had to turn out many pages very quickly and had to accept whatever terms their publishers dictated. They signed away any right to be repaid if their work was used again. Their artwork was not returned and they were not allowed to sign their name or have their readers know who they were. In 1977, for the first time, we were given credits. The names of the writers and artists were listed on the title pages. I and a huge population of people who know about comics, BD, manga or whatever you’d like to call it, know the names of the artists. All of them work hard. Many of them are technically brilliant and/or display a unique form of self expression. They are Artists in every sense. Artists in my field have achieved a high degree of control over what their work looks like, how and where it’s printed and published. I, personally, don’t like another person to ink over my pencils or colour my work. I’m a control freak! So, in the light of all this, it’s particularly infuriating for me to see an image I created coloured and inked in a line that is not mine, with my name removed, in a place that is not of my choosing, signed by someone else – and that’s all before we get onto to the matter of the 600 Eu price tag. We’re used to being shafted by publishers – but by a fellow artist?

I always did my work with a clear conscience. It pleases me (and it seems ideologically sound to me) that if anyone wanted to see my work they could do so for the price of $1 – or at least at a price they could afford. I could never be comfortable with the idea of producing a piece of art merely to sell it to one wealthy person who then had the exclusive right to view it. My only reason for working – and the thing that gives me as much pleasure as being paid for it – is when the work is printed and distributed and the printed version is in my hands. I know that I and anyone else who wants to see my work is holding the very same thing. “Gallery-land” is not for me.

So – Let me sum up. I’ve very much liked your earlier collages The many elements have created a new whole, but I think your “Tank Girl” print is not about Erró’s choice of image juxtaposition. It’s dominated by my work. I think the selling point of your poster is my work. The way that promotional photo of you with the “Tank Girl” poster behind you is cropped proves the point. You’ve moved well away from “fair use” into plagiarism. By removing my name from the image you show you don’t really care about the artists whose work you steal. Your work sneers at and perpetuates old stereotypes about the kind of work done by me and people I respect – and does it no good whatsoever. Your work is about “Recontextualizing”. Ie. taking something out of one place and putting it somewhere else, thereby showing it in a different (possibly ironic) light. In view of the fact that your poster of my Tank Girl is selling for 600 Eu I suggest you stop selling it and I invite you to recontextualize the money you got from the sale of it out of your bank account into mine."

Bien dit, Brian !

De toute façon, ce monsieur Erró, il avait déjà pris pour pseudonyme le nom d'un Arkham Zombie au début de sa carrière, alors...

22 mai 2010

À Arkham, on fait un beau métier.

Et on a plein de trucs cool. En plus, aujourd'hui, il fait beau. Et on écoute Billie Holiday.

21 mai 2010

Fantasy Tavern S01 E03 : comin' soon !

Tu le sais maintenant : Fantasy Tavern, c'est l'émission qu'il te faut.

Le tournage de l'épisode 3 a eu lieu hier, dans les locaux de la prestigieuse et vénérable maison Bragelonne, comme d'habitude. Cet épisode, spécial comics, vous réserve son lot de surprises. Histoire de vous mettre l'eau à la bouche, voici quelques photos (spoiler free) qui vous montrent l'envers du décor.

David, c'est un peu l'homme de l'ombre de la Fantasy Tavern. C'est lui qui s'occupe, de main de maître, de l'aspect technique de la chose. Et d'ailleurs, Philippe lui cause beaucoup de soucis à souffler comme un bœuf dans le micro. On t'a déjà dit faire attention, Philippe.

David, il est super mais il peut pas tout faire seul. Alors il s'entoure des meilleurs. César Bastos et Fred nous ont à l'œil (de leur caméra).

Pendant ce temps, Stéphane à fort à faire. Il doit présenter l'émission, recevoir les invités et dompter le public. (Ne vous fiez pas à cette photo prise sur le vif : Stéphane est très souriant et on ne peut plus sympa)

Et dompter le public, c'est du boulot. Faut dire qu'il est agité, le public : il applaudit les invités, il rit aux blagues, tout ça...

Philippe se prépare à rocker le show. Philippe est naturellement magnifique mais grâce à la merveilleuse Andoryss Mel, il devient sublimement magnifique.

Quand tu fais une spéciale comics, tu te dois d'avoir les pointures du biz sur ton plateau : Olivier "carnalito" Jalabert et Thierry "the man" Mornet. Ben ouais, on est pas chez les toutouyoutous, ici.

Fantasy Tavern S01 E03, c'est pour bientôt. Et ça sera, bien sûr, diffusé (notamment) sur le blog d'Arkham.

Un grand big up à tous les posses présents hier soir. One love !

17 mai 2010

Sing me a song, you're a singer...

Ronnie James Dio
10 juillet 1942 - 16 mai 2010

Il a chanté dans Black Sabbath après Ozzy, dans Rainbow avec Richie Blackmore, et dans Dio, son groupe. Il a popularisé le signe de la mano cornuda (voir photo). Il était tout petit, mais c'était un géant du rock. Même ceux qui n'écoutent pas de métal l'ont entendu : la chanson Love is All, avec la grenouille en dessin animé de l'interlude à la télé d'autrefois, c'était lui. Voilà qui rappellera de doux souvenirs à notre génération :

10 mai 2010

Frank Frazetta RIP.

Frank Frazetta 9 février 1928-10 mai 2010
Rest In Power

6 mai 2010

8 mai, TPS Star et 13 mai.

Mesdemoiselles, mesdames, messieurs.

Nous vous rappelons que nous serons ouverts samedi 8 mai 2010 de 10h30 à 19h30, comme d'hab', quoi.

Puis, comme vous le savez, nous avions télé aujourd'hui :

C'est pour l'émission "Star Mag" de TPS Star. Diffusion lundi 10 vers 20h et c'est sur le canal 30 de la TNT.

Et puis jeudi 13, c'est l'ascension :

Nous serons également ouverts mais de 14h à 18h.

Merci bien.

Philippe & Philippe, les Adam West et Burt Ward du 666 rue Broca.

4 mai 2010

Samedi 8 mai.

Mesdemoiselles, mesdames, messieurs.

Tout d'abord, sachez que nous ne recevrons pas les newz demain mercredi.

Oui, c'est dur mais pas tant que ça, car nous les recevrons jeudi (en plus, jeudi, devrait y avoir TPS qui viendra tourner un p'tit sujet à Arkham). Alors un peu de patience. Ce n'est pas une si mauvaise nouvelle que ça.

D'autant plus que le samedi 8 mai, nous serons ouverts aux horaires habituels, c'est à dire de 10h30 à 19h30.

Une victoire, somme toute.

Philippe & Philippe, TPS stars !