Monday, March 09, 2015

a linkathon--on a make-over for Maxim (?), the passing of an animation innovator, and a short riff on the arts that are not recognized

Well, for those guys who supposedly read Maxim for the articles, the magazine is reputedly getting some kind of make-over. As Troy Patterson puts it over at Slate: "The new Maxim manboy isn’t just supposed to ogle his fantasy woman. He’s supposed to make eye contact. That’s one small step for lads."

Wenatchee The Hatchet could not let the day close without noting the passing of Sam Simon, a co-creator of The Simpsons, now the longest-running sitcom in history and (we'll note) an animated sitcom at that. It's fascinating the low repute with which animation is regarded by many a critic, even though animation would be the highest ratio of visual art in cinema per frame of any cinematic genre.  The photograph is the photograph, but art doesn't get more meta than a moving picture of animated frames.  And yet there seems to be some critical law in which the value of animation as a medium is in some exponentially inversely proportional ratio to the amount of drawings necessary to bring an animated film to life.

You would think that after close to three decades for The Simpsons that this could be laid to rest.  But there are probably people aplenty who when they think of cartoons will think first and only of Frozen or Tangled or maybe Toy Story 2.  No The Wind Rises, no Persepolis, no Grave of the Fireflies. No The Secret of Kells, no Night on the Galactic Railroad, and certainly not Akira or Angel's Egg or Perfect Blue.

Between The Simpsons and Batman: the animated series there were two shows emerging in the 1989-1992 period that showed that cartoons could be for grown-ups on the one hand and that cartoons for kids could gain levels of narrative sophistication on the other.  If you had to pick two mainstream American shows that revolutionized cartoons as we've come to know them on television those are pretty much the two to pick. 

Then again, whether it's cartoons or paintings, perhaps the beauty is in the eye of the beholder even if the beheld might be worthy.  After all, whether a painting is really a Constable or not is also in the news here and there.

And in the age of the internet you can't even be sure if the person you're reading about is even a real person or not, even though you might one day stumble upon the fact that a figment of someone else's imagination has appropriated images from your life.

Thus ...

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