Haruki Murakami, Spoon+Fork plus Kuroda Seitaro, and the new Comic Foundry

While most were partying it up at SPX, I spent my weekend stomping around the Bat-Cave (aka my apartment) cursing no one in particular and making random accusations.  “Somebody didn’t do the laundry.”  “Somebody left dirty dishes in the sink!”  “Somebody needs to clean up the living room so that I can see the sofa!”  “Somebody has waaaay too many books!”  Then a friend pointed out that that “somebody” is me.

It was an awakening.  It was not a good weekend.

That said, there is always something fun and entertaining going on in the city.  Like yesterday’s New Yorker Festival where the much hated (by the Japanese) yet adored (by westerners) contemporary novelist Haruki Murakami was guest.  My friend Sunyoung nabbed a ticket but balked at all the people pushing and shoving their way into the auditorium.  “Is this the only way to see him?” She asked.

Of course, Sunyoung will be cruising the California streets with Murakami this upcoming weekend when he flies out to UC Berkeley to give a lecture and a reading on the 11th.  Roland Kelts will also be on hand for intelligent and stimulating conversation with the jazz afficianado/novelist/marathon runner.  Sunyoung’s husband, Duncan (aka Mr. Sunyoung) is Chair of Japanese Studies at Cal and is the one making it all happen.  (With regards to Murakami, that is.  Although I’ve heard of other projects in the works.  More on this in the future.)

Closer to home and closer to date, it’s the Mad Dog Show at the hpgrp gallery!  My fellow foodie friend, and graphic designer extraordinaire Bryan Ong of Spoon+Fork fame sent word of a special opening/closing this week with artist, Kuroda Seitaro.

The opening is tomorrow evening (Tuesday) starting at 6.  The closing is Wednesday, also starting at 6pm. Bryan’s emphasized that dogs are welcome since it is a mad dog show.  I can only assume that children are welcome, too.

Finally, the next issue of Comic Foundry hits newsstands (or comic shops) this Wednesday – and manga makes the cover!  (scroll down, to the left, in fine print, above the barcode…)

cf-issue4cover.jpg

Guess who wrote it?

I am very excited about this essay because I think it’s one of the most cohesive and coherent things I’ve written so far.  And while it may look like more of the same (gloom and doom), I just want to point out that the teaser on the cover “Why Manga is Totally Fucked” is just inflammatory ya-ya to get people to buy the issue.  The article itself is NOT inflammatory ya-ya.  In fact, the whole inflammatory ya-ya approach – that was not my idea.  But the article is good, the magazine is excellent, and I encourage everyone to get a copy.

And to reiterate and make clear: I don’t think manga is fucked.  At all.  But I do think the cover title is funny.  And I think we should all learn to laugh a little more.

Yay, manga!

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