Category: ARTS

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Arisia 2010: The Editor Writer Relationship

This panel featured Jeanne Cavelos , Joy Marchand , David Nurenberg , Allan Steele and GOH Gardner Dozois , who discussed the relationship between writer and editor in the SF field and how the situation has changed. In their opening remarks, Cavelos related her experience as a senior editor in New York, where she found that the interest editors take in nurturing new authors from unknowns into big names has fallen victim to the push for blockbusters. Today, if an editor is not advocating for a bestseller to the senior editors, to her peers, to the sales division, to the assistant editors and designers she’ll be out of a job. Allen Steele pointed out that short fiction editors still manage to read the submissions they find interesting, and they’ll take the time to send comments back to the author or ask for changes. “Short fiction editors still edit,” said Dozois, “ but at the major publishing houses, who’s in charge? In fact, it’s the sales people who end up canceling book deals.” Nurenberg emphasized how incredibly valuable the feedback he received from games publisher White Wolf was to his career, “like water to a drowning man…“ As that analogy didn’t make much sense, he said, “I mean to a thirsty.” Somehow the object of the verb got lost, but we get the idea!

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Arisia 2010 con report: Barefoot Techno-Fantasy Fest, in a Kilt

[photo by Sean Molloy] At my first Arisia, I found myself weaving through crowds of strangely-coiffed pirates, rocketeers, and gamers; wondering at what point my own personality would intersect with one of those cliques and, at the same time, idly speculating as to which clique it would be. Twisting, turning, and meandering, I wondered if there was any cipher concealed for me in my conversations with Freemasons, swordsmen, and zombies, or a secret buried somewhere in the depths of a prominent decolletage. In the end I was left with an exhilarating sense that something interesting had transpired, and though I could list any number of particulars of the fun things I did, I wasn’t quite sure how it all added up. This year, at my second Arisia, I was more accustomed to the casual ebb and flow, the meaningless randomness of who one might meet at any given moment, and I was more attuned to simply enjoy the dance. Indeed, some of the most startling appearances in 2009 — the stilt-walking woman in tights and razor claws, the body-gloved Harley Quin, and the immaculately nuanced Steampunk ensembles — returned. They were all conspicuously different from last year, but instead of novelty they radiated a pleasant warmth of familiarity. Oh that mischievous stilt-woman! Always scratching and snarling at the Muggles as they float up behind the glass of the atrium elevator! And Harley, the little minx, does one ever tire of contemplating the poses she strikes while strapped into that saucy leather corset, black boots and ragged stockings? [photos by Sean Molloy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/falconn67/] It was equally reassuring to see pieces of last year’s favorites, if not ramped up to full energy, at least lying about here and there like fragments left over from an archaeological dig. The skull-bracketed rocket pack that was flamboyantly posing with a team of rocketeers in ‘09, was this year merely glimpsed abandoned on a table, straps dangling idly alongside. It certainly would have been fun if somebody rushed out of the con-suite, strapped on the skull-pack, and flamed up across the atrium space to a party upstairs! And yes, there were pirates, there were faeries, and furries, and a few storm trooper types. You could say that it was the same rich stew of individuals at Arisia 2010, but there were definitely higher concentrations of bare feet, of blood-drenched nurses, blue-green body paint (though only a few of them Navi, as fas as I could tell), and really pervasive wearing of kilts. Sure, some people I expect to see wearing a kilt (since that’s pretty common around the office…okay, it is Cambridge!), but it seemed like every time I turned around there was another utilikilt wrapped around some smiling, bearded dude. Which means that this year’s Arisia (officially sub-titled “the future and the past”) has been informally dubbed by Yunchtime as the “barefoot techno-fantasy fest, in a kilt.”

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Get Used to it, Lady...

Happy New Year, and welcome to the same old story… At least in the comic pages sixty years ago, the standards of line art were fantastic, such as the panel above in Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby. Now

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Do It At The Beach

If only we could… but the beach is either thousands of miles, or many months away right now. Pretending the subway is a beach just doesn’t do it for me. In Japan, maybe this subway maneuver work

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"Can Do" Dangle goes live!

Missed the premiere broadcast of Lloyd Dangle’s live streaming video feed last week, but somehow managed to tune in to the wrap up of this week’s “Big Ass Sarah Palin Episode.” And well worth it!

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The Illuminatus! Mystery of Carlos Victor

One thing that has baffled me for many years is the identity of the artist who painted the original covers of the Illuminatus! paperbacks, which were published by Dell in 1975. The signature, clear as day, reads: “Carlos Victor“, but I have never encountered any artist of that name in any reference. Wikipedia credits all the paintings to this mysterious artist. So let me say it first here: the identity of Carlos Victor is almost certainly the wonderful painter Carlos Ochagavia!

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Kent Williams and the Human Eclectic

The recent opening of a group show at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in L.A. took me by surprise, because the “cover” painting of the group show is an amazing canvas by Kent Williams, called Mother and Daughter.

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The Moody Palettes of Lou Feck

At first glance the dark palettes and almost monochrome scenes painted by Lou Feck seem rather low key. Compared to the startling palettes of his contemporaries in the late 1960s and early 1970s, yo

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Gobsmacked by Sinclair

Completely gobsmacked by this painting up for auction at Heritage, I wondered who the artist was. None other than Irving Sinclar (1895-1969), who was apparently a well-known portrait and commercial artist beginning in the 1930s. According to the SF Chronicle (24 Feb 1969): “Born in British Columbia on March 5, 1895. After settling in San Francisco in 1917, Sinclair worked as a billboard artist for Foster & Kleiser, and in the 1920s was art director for Fox West Coast Theatres. In 1939 he studied in New York under Wayman Adams. San Francisco remained his adopted home where he painted Mayors Rossi, Robinson, and Christopher. He became well known for portraits of Hollywood stars and other famous Americans including F. D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Summers were often spent in Canada in his Galiano Island studio. Sinclair died in San Francisco on Feb. 21, 1969.” With such an interesting resumé, I thought that there should be plenty of material online about the artist. However, if Google is to be believed, Sinclair is primarily known for this realistic painting called “The Poker Game.” It’s a nice painting, to be sure, though it might have been done by Norman Rockwell, who could never have painted the bold figurative portraits in the Heritage lot. Where the Poker Game excels in muted detail, the portrait thrives in electric, almost psychedelic colors…if you view the large resolution version at the Heritage link (above), you will see the bold, effortless brushwork. As if dashed off in a hurry, the portrait sings with fervent, nervous energy…I’m gobsmacked by that blue and orange, I tell you!