Friday, July 29, 2011

Pretty in Pink

A Study of The Class Struggle And Difference in Values Between The Proletariat And The Bourgeoisie Seen in The American Highschool. Actually, that was the title of the film, until they changed it for commercial reasons. Starring Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader, written by John Hughes, directed by Howard Deutch.

Yeah, I'm re-watching Pretty in Pink now, what's wrong with me? It's pathetic, I know. Anyway, of all the Hughes teen movies, I think this is my favourite. Breakfast Club seemed to try to say something important, but I'm not quite sure how much it succeded. Pretty in Pink was basically just a love story, and it's hard now not to notice how innocent the film is, clearly made before irony was invented! Also, in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Breakfast Club all the adults are stupid - in this film Ringwald's dad is actually a sympathetic character. It helps that he's played by Harry Dean Stanton. I had one problem with the film. I don't really buy Spader falling for Ringwald. He's obviously more of a blonde with big tits kind of guy. And Ringwald's whacky girlfriend is sort of a big cliché. Okay, two problems.

It's strange, nostalgia for the eighties, a time when The Cold War between The U.S. and The Soviet Union was going on for full, and you expected the whole damn planet to blow up any minute, but what do you remember best from this period? Mullets, skinny ties and that song by Simple Minds.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Clash

A drawing done for a Norwegian music paper. It's from 1988, so it must have been for a review of The Story of the Clash, volume 1. Okay, Mick Jones sort of looks like him, but I completely screwed up on Joe Strummer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Hubert has started colouring my next book, Athos in America. Here's a page from the story The Smiling Horse. The French version of the book will be published by Carabas in October, the English version by Fantagraphics in December.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sometimes... feels as if the world has gone insane. What is happening? What is this supposed to achieve? At the same time, why should I be surprised? These things always seem to happen at places where "We never expected anything like this." " This is the most peaceful place on earth." The man behind the attack? "He was a shy and polite kid." "He always said hello when we met." "I never would have guessed." They never have horns. In this case it's a pathetic, delusional man, no monster, whose hate manifesto is ripped off from other sources. His evil isn't even original.

I've been thinking the last couple of days if I should write something on this blog, but what words should I use? Horrible? Catastrophic? The words almost seem to cheapen what happened. I was thinking of simply writing "My thoughts are with the victims and their families." Well, Norway is such a small country, it turns out that one of the kids missing at Utoya, presumably drowned, is a relative of mine. It's someone I've never met, but it brings the event even closer to home. And the photos showing the result from the bomb, those are streets I've walked hundreds of times when I lived in Oslo. How will I feel the next time I'm there? There's a before and after. Nothing will be the same.

Is there anything I can do, as a cartoonist? I wish there was a drawing that made people think "Hatred doesn't work?! Shit, what do I do now? Ten years down the toilet..." It would turn terrorists into meek accountants. There is no such drawing. The crying superheros, the Statue of Liberty with a tear in her eye, drawn after 9/11, I don't think they achieved that much. So these are just words. They're nothing, they're not even on paper. But I felt the need to write something down - it doesn't make me feel any better, but there it is.

Friday, July 22, 2011

House of Games

Psychiatrist Lindsay Crouse enters the world of con men, among them Joe Mantegna. Written and directed by David Mamet.

-This is a terrific, little film.
-Visually it's pretty basic.
-The dialogue...
-The dialogue has a theatrical quality
-Yes, but that's Mamet.
-Even a street scene is made to look as if it takes place on a stage, with a limited amount of actors. There are no big crowd scenes, every person you see plays a role.
-We all play a role.
-We do?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

'Round Midnight

Paris, 1959. Dexter Gordon is an alcoholic saxophonist playing at The Blue Note. He forms a friendship with a young Frenchman, François Cluzet. Also starring Martin Scorsese, directed by Bertrand Tavernier.

I like this film. It made me discover jazz music the same way Amadeus made me discover classical music. Gordon really shines in his part. Everything he says becomes poetry. The director is French, so there is no Eiffel tower in the background every 10 minutes to remind us we're in Paris. There's also a slowness I think you'd only find in a European film. It reminded me a bit of watching Crazy Heart, the Jeff Bridges film, that has sort of a similar story, but I thought that film had clichés that you don't find in this one. And for that film, being such an American story, it could possibly have been improved with a European director, seeing it with fresh eyes. Atlantic City and Paris, Texas are two examples. Anyway, great film and great music.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Late 80s drawing

It was the period when I was drawing with a rotring pen. Luckily it didn't last that long.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Thing

Antarctica. An American research station is taken over by a shapechanging alien. Starring Kurt Russell and some other guys, directed by John Carpenter.

Seeing the trailer for the prequel made me want to re-watch the original. Or the remake, I should say, not the Howard Hawks film. It holds up pretty well, I think. The computers in the film date it more than the creature effects. The walking head sequence is still great, the image I remember best from seeing it in the cinema. The dog in the film should have gotten an Oscar! Russell is pretty good as well. One thing about being Norwegian is that you understand what the crazy Norwegian guy shooting at the dog says, so you know from the opening what is going on, giving the film even more of a gloomy, hopeless feel.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Richard Gere is a car thief who kills a policeman. He tries to escape to Mexico with his French girlfriend, Valerie Kaprisky. A remake of Godard's A Bout De Souffle, directed by Jim McBride.

This isn't really a good film. For one thing, was Kaprisky really the best French actress willing to take her shirt off they could find? Ok, she's pretty, but she can't act. She's no Jean Seberg! And Gere is as usual a bit too full of himself. But it's interesting to see how this film influenced Quentin Tarantino. There's the surf music, the clearly fake back projections, there's the scene of Gere reading for Kaprisky from The Silver Surfer, that Tarantino ripped off in True Romance. And would Bruce Willis have had a French girlfriend in Pulp Fiction if it hadn't been for this film?
The final scene of the film, though, I must admit makes the film worth sitting through. And, funnily enough, they quote "Between grief and nothing I choose grief", that was also quoted in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Some books I've read 5

Chronicles, volume one by Bob Dylan
Interesting, but slightly rambling autobiography from Dylan. It's more honest than one could expect. But just two pages about Joan Baez? I guess he will go back to that period in volume two. When is that coming, anyway?

Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard
It's another novel with Jack Foley from Out of Sight. The dialogue is maybe slightly less sharp, and the part of the ending involving an unloaded gun was a bit disappointing.

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
A great collection of stories forming a novel, about life is a small city. The main character is a writer who in the end leaves, as part of growing up.

This Party's Got To Stop by Rupert Thomson
A memoir about Thomson's relationship to his brothers after the death of their father, and how easily a family can be torn apart. Wellwritten, as always from this author.

Captain Easy volume two by Roy Crane
I enjoy this series but mostly because of the drawings. There's not much tension in the stories. And what was it about Crane and drawings of women being spanked? Not that I'm complaining.

Currently reading:
The Most Beautiful Woman in Town by Charles Bukowski

Waiting to be read:
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Bukowski
Touch and Tishomingo Blues by Elmore Leonard
The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The eighties, part 3

Back to the eighties. First: Ferris Bueller's Day Off. High school students Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara and Alan Ruck play hooky. Principal Jeffrey Jones tries to catch them. Also starring Jennifer Grey and in two small parts Charlie Sheen and Richard Edson. Written and directed by John Hughes.

Is there some midlife crisis thing going on if I re-watch this film? I don't know. It's still an enjoyable film. In classic comedy style it makes fun of authority figures. You can't help, though, to feel that Broderick is a bit of a spoiled brat. Just like Duckie in Pretty in Pink, it's the supporting character, Cameron / Alan Ruck, that is most interesting. The Twist And Shout sequence is of course a lot of fun, but I think my favourite sequence is the one at the art museum. If I one day should visit Chicago I would have to go see Nighthawks by... anyone?, anyone?, Edward Hopper.

Friday, July 8, 2011


The third volume of Macanudo, by Liniers, is now out in French. I met Liniers once, in Barcelona, I believe, and he signed me a copy of the Argentinian version. Since it was in Spanish I couldn't read it, but only enjoy the drawings. As usual there are his regular characters, the penguins, the sheep, the girl Enriqueta and her cat Fellini, the sensitive robot, the mysterious man in black, and as usual his strips are filled with humour, but also melancholy and poetry. When will this man be translated into English?!? While we wait, here's his website: