A thousand apologies for the deafening silence from my corner lately. I rolled back into Chicago two days ago, but I’m swamped. Until next week, you’ll hear a few peeps out of me but not a whole hell of a lot more, I’m afraid. Thanks to the readers who sent birthday wishes; the day was very nice, and what do you know, spring did arrive more or less on time.
While I scramble to meet more deadlines than I care to count, here are a couple of links:
– Nathalie is great on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I loved the movie too. I don’t have much to add to her observations, except to say that while Jim Carrey is a good sad sack, Kate Winslet’s performance is the ingredient the movie couldn’t have done without. I always liked Being John Malkovich, which is similarly fascinated with the inside of consciousness. But after seeing the sweeter, more loosely conceived Eternal Sunshine, I suspect the earlier movie may now seem almost unwatchably sour, as well as overly invested in the machinery of its fantastical premise.
– Charles Schulz is getting the auteur treatment with Fantagraphics’ forthcoming 25-volume Complete Peanuts. I spent some of the weekend going through last year’s very cool Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, an ever-so-slightly selfish Christmas gift to my dad. Book designer Chip Kidd (best known for his Jurassic Park cover art) put this volume together. In the Sun article, he compares “Peanuts” to Bauhaus:
“Schulz did for the comic strip what the Bauhaus did for architecture,” he says. “I know that sounds really eggheady, but what I mean is this: Visually he pared everything down to its simplest forms. Charlie Brown is a circle with two dots and a squiggle and a line, and all of a sudden it’s a person. It’s minimal, but Schulz is so in control of the minimalism that the characters almost work like typography-it’s like you’re reading them. There’s your form. And then for your content: He predated Woody Allen’s neuroses by a good 20 years. On the comics page!”
Also revealed: Schulz hated the name “Peanuts,” but deferred to the wishes of the United Feature Syndicate as one of the terms of his contract.
Back to the salt mines!