Friday, November 27, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

I wasn't familiar with the children's book "Where the Wild Things Are", I knew the book existed but never read it as a child. So when I went to see the movie by Spike Jonze on Friday, I had no idea what it would be like. It turned out to be one of the most emotional movie that I've watched this year. This movie seems like a children's movie with cute furry monsters and a boy as the protagonist. But I really don't think it is for children... maybe they would enjoy it as much as adult, but I doubt children would understand the layers of emotions between all the characters without their own experience of going through the adolescence and growing up. This is definitely a very nostalgic movie. It reminded me so much about myself as a child, it wrenched my heart the way I've never felt when watching a movie. The monsters are figments of the boy's imagination, so they all have the traits of the boy himself. But Carol is by far the most similar to the boy, they recognize each other right away and form a tight bond which has to break and then mended for the boy to grow up, leave his fantasy land and go back home to the reality. It's funny but I felt like I went through this amazing adventure with the boy in the movie and came back alive and more grown up at the end. Everyone was a child once, but we feel as though we just became the person we are now automatically. But this movie reminded me that growing up is a hard process of understanding yourself and accepting the reality. The reality is sometimes painful and scary and you wish there would be someone who can make it alright. But sadly, there isn't anyone who can do that, not even your family. Soon you have to accept this reality and be o.k. with the life's uncertainty. I'm making this movie sound like a therapy session, but it was gorgeous, entertaining and very touching, everything a good movie should be.

Libreria/ Fumetteria Mardi Gras

The Number by Thomas OttSofie & Abou by Judith Vanistendael
Sambre Story by Balac, Art by Yslaire.

Il Gigante Italiano Cuba' 42 Story by Ottavio De Angelis, Art by Anna Bandoli
Rosso Oltremare by Nanuele Fior

Arrugas by Paco RocaLMVDM by Gipi (Giani Pacinotti)

and some other work by Gipi Cronachette by Gicacomo NanniL'Autoroute Du Soleil by Baru

Mardi Gras is a comic book and art book store in Bolzano. They had pretty amazing collection of alternative comics. The owner was kind enough to take out a big pile of comic books that she thought was good to check out. I was only familiar with old school Italian comic artist like Battaliglia and was surprised how many different type of comics are available in Italy. Here are a few books that caught my eyes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Carl Moser and Giselbert Hoke.

At the Galleria Goethe in Bolzano, I found many interesting art books of austrian and italian artists. Carl Moser is an austrian artist from the beginning of the 20th century. Like many artist in the art nouveau period, he seems to be influenced greatly by Japanese aesthetics. His graceful women are clothed in beautiful textiles and laces, much like the geishas in the japanese wood block prints. I love his soft colors and interesting negative spaces in his wood block prints. Giselbert Hoke is another austrian artist who works mostly with landscapes. It seems that whichever cities he paints, they all end up looking abstract with colorful blocks and scribbled lines. His paintings have almost childish playfulness and I love the boldness of his colors and compositions. I hope to find their books in the U.S. but so far I have had no luck. Perhaps I have to wait until my next travel to europe.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bolzano Comics Festival Report

I had never heard about Bolzano before I entered the No Words Comics competition, so everything about Bolzano was very new to me. Bolzano was very different from other cities I've been to in Italy, because a lot of people spoke German and the architecture seemed like a mixture of German and Italian. I met many people who are involved in this festival, thanks to Elisabeth and Hannes for showing me a great time. There were several interesting events going on, one of them was Cartoni, live drawing session at the local clothing store called A store. There were card boards and shirts to be painted by the comic artists in the festival. I had so much fun with it that I thought I should do this every day. Galleria Museo, where my comic was exhibited, was a perfect place for a small pages of the comics to be displayed. I liked how inviting this place looked from the outside and the simple white walls made the comics pop out clearly. I just wished there was a way to display my original comic book instead of the color copies, but it was quite difficult to display it without possibly damaging it. The Bolzano Comics festival was associated with the Bolzano Short Film Festival so I was able to watch all films in this festival for free. I was surprised to find a modern and alternative film scene in a small and traditional city like Bolzano. I watched couple of No Words short film programs and an Italian short film program which are about 25 short films in total. It was overwhelming to watch so many films at once but at the end, I was thoroughly inspired by them.  The films that particularly caught my attention are "Good Wasp" from the U.K., "Next Floor" from Canada, "Les anges dechets" from Canada, and "L'Arbitro" from Italy. It was very interesting to see a strong connection between the films and the comics shown here. I wondered why there aren't more of dual festivals like this around the world, because the similarity between comics and films is undeniable. It would be awesome if New York or Chicago film festival would have a comic festival that showcases artistic and experimental comics alongside of their films. There was a small exhibition of Thomas Ott's original scratch board art works at Galleria Geothe. His scratch boards were so expressive and beautiful, It made me wanna go home and take out my scratch boards again.  There were couple of lectures by the editors in Italian comics, one by Lorenzo Sartori of Burumballa, and the other was by Alberto Corradi who worked with Thomas Ott's publications in Italy. They were all in Italian, so I barely understood anything. But I felt that these people wanted to refine and publish quality works to be viewed by a greater audiences. It made me realize there are people outside of the U.S. who are willing to look at new work. Bolzano Comics festival was a refreshing experience what I needed for a long time. It was exciting talking to people who had very different background from me, yet shared very similar ideas and interests. I would have never have met them if I hadn't gone to this festival so I am so glad that I had decided to go. I'm already looking forward to traveling to a different country for a different comic festivals in the near future.  

sketches from europe

I am finally back from 12 day long trip to europe. I had a great time meeting many new and old friends, visiting beautiful places and taking pictures. I'm planning on making a comic about my trip soon. But for now, here are some drawings that I did on my travel. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

King Con and Bolzano Comics Festival!

I had a lot of fun at King Con last weekend. Although the con seemed like it was put together in the last minute, a lot of people came and the small lyceum was packed on Saturday. I shared a table with 4 other gals, our table was covered with our comics and colorful illustrations, buttons..etc. I have to say our table looked awesome! :)
The lyceum was pretty shabby, the floor was unstable and everything from ceiling to the walls were bare and unfinished. Although I kinda like that industrial Brooklyn buildings, this place was a bit too ghetto. Nonetheless, the venue was lively with amazing artists, I saw a few people that I've met in the previous conventions and had a good chat with them. I've started actively participating in comic conventions since couple years ago, and I finally felt comfortable being behind the table, maybe because this convention was small and intimate.  It was very encouraging to hear people's feedback and see other independent artists making their comics. I am already looking forward to MoCCa next year.
I'm flying to Italy this Thursday to be part of the Bolzano International Comic Festival. As I have blogged before, my work will be exhibited in the Museo Gallery along with the works of the other finalists of the No Words Comics competition. Check out Bolzano Comics website for more info. My comic is also up for viewing on their website with other finalist work. They are pretty amazing stuff! I'm very excited to be part of this festival.
I'll be also doing a living painting with some other artists at the A-store in Bolzano on November 14th Saturday at 2:30 p.m. So if you are in the area, come and have fun drawing on cardboard and t-shirts with me! Check out their site for more info.