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#306: Life and Debt

December 8, 2008

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #301: Franklin Onassis, All American; #302: Necessary Roughness; #303: The Game Plan; #304: All the Right Moves; #305: We Are Multiplex

If you miss the reference in the last panel, shame on you.

The funny thing about me and The Godfather is, as many movies as I've seen, I'd only seen bits and pieces of it throughout the years, here and there, never the whole thing in one sitting — until maybe two years ago. (I'm 34, if you didn't know. So yes, shame on me, too, for waiting so long.)

See, I don't care for the mobster genre. I've seen one episode of The Sopranos and thought it was pretty good; The Departed and Goodfellas are fantastic, of course... but generally, it's not a genre I go out of my way to see. Mobsters, contract killers, and the like are scum; they're not inherently cool, which most films and TV shows in the genre just seem to take as a given with its audience. And so many of them have so little basis in reality that you can't even seriously view them in that regard. As action movies, I can get past this sort of thing, but generally… just not my cup of tea.

So, a couple of years ago, I was in a phase where I felt I should watch some of "the classics" that I haven't seen, and I thought maybe it was time to sit down and watch all three Godfather movies in a weekend — and I was absolutely floored at how exhilirating, how absolutely flawless the first film is. There's nothing I can say that others haven't said about it, so: if you haven't seen it, do. Even if you don't really have any interest in it, see it. Its reputation as one of the best films ever made is very much deserved.

As for the others, I know a lot of people think the second one is even better than the first; I disagree (although, to be sure, the second one is still fantastic). But I also think the third one isn't nearly as bad as the consensus seems to think, either. It's not great. It's a little creepy, with the incestuous love story (especially in light of the fact that it's the director's daughter). But it's not terrible, by any means. It's just nothing special. It's The Further Adventures of Michael Corleone, whereas the first two really revolve around major power shifts in the "family's" history.

Anyway. End ramble.


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“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

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