Krazy Kriticism — Sarah Boxer on George Herriman’s long-running newspaper comic strip Krazy Kat, at the LA Review of Books:
[E]ven 95 years ago the truth was as loud and clear as a pair of clapping mitten rocks rising up out of the mesa encantada: Krazy Kat is perfect and Herriman is a genius — linguistically, graphically, poetically, onomatopoetically, every which way. Confronted with such perfection, most of Herriman’s critics, once they finish reciting plot, affecting accents, and making comparisons to classics, have always thrown up their hands and said, “Behold!” But does it have to be that way? The genius label, after all, has never kept Shakespeare or Picasso scholars from finding something to say.
A Natural End – An interview with Tom Gauld at The Comics Journal:
I never draw things big. Even if something needs to be big, I’d still draw it small and scale it up. I like to draw small (my drawings are not much bigger than the finished, printed comics) as it reigns in perfectionism, and I get a bit of natural wobble and error into the drawings. One problem with digital is that you can zoom in and in forever: but with a pen, the width of the line gives a natural end.
Canaries — Nick Harkaway, author of The Blind Giant, talks about books on the digital age at The Browser:
Our environment seems to be constantly filled with moral panics. When you open the newspaper, there’s always a piece about how the digital environment is making us stupid or paranoid, but so little of it has any basis. There was a piece in The Guardian the other day about how behaviour on Facebook was linked to socially aggressive narcissism. You had to go six paragraphs into the story to find out that the link wasn’t causal. It was just as possible that Facebook was the canary in our coal mine, telling us that our society was aggressively narcissistic in general – which I don’t find terribly difficult to believe.
There is… something else slightly troubling about the relationship between authors and translators. It can, I suppose, be reduced almost to a hierarchical relationship: the author is primary, the translator secondary. We notice when a translation is bad, but when it is good we forget that what we are reading is a translation at all. However, while there is little glory in translation, and although I began doing it only for financial reasons, I wouldn’t want to give it up now – even were I able to make a living from writing novels.