Rebecca OMalley's blog

Steve Wolfhard: Turtie!

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I'm secretly in love with Turtie! - an adorable and endearing new cartoon series from Steve Wolfhard (creator of the beloved Cat Rackham and a loyal MaxFunCon attendee). Wolfhard is putting together a mini book of Turtie drawings that document the character's search for work. He'll be selling the mini-books this weekend at SPX.

Steve's drawings have great warmth and charm. I'm a proud owner of both his recent book "Cat Rackham Loses It!" and the print that he created to commemorate MaxFunCon 2010. (Note: You can still purchase the lovely "Warmth and Happiness Print" in the MaxFun store). You should check out more of his work here.

But mostly: Turtie!!

Blast Processing! Sept. 9th, 2011

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This Week Live

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They Might Be Giants launch their tour this week with Jonathan Coulton opening. They have by far the most appearances of any performer on this week's list including: And here's what all of our other MaxFun favorites will be up to this week:
  • Andy Kindler will be in San Francisco at the Punch Line on Sept. 13th and 14th;
  • Ben Folds will be in Minneapolis, MN at the Orchestra Hall on Sept. 17th and in Milwaukee, WI at Veterans Park on Sept. 18th;
  • Bill Burr will be at the Funny Bone in Columbus, OH on Sept. 10th and 11th;
  • Blitzen Trapper will be playing the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR on Sept. 9th; Music Millenium in Portland, OR on Sept. 12th; and Easy Street Records in Seattle on Sept. 13th;
  • Brian Posehn will be at Ottos Nightclub in Dekalb, IL on Sept. 9th and at the Cubby Bear in Chicago, IL on Sept. 10th;
  • Chris Tucker at Sheas Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY on Sept. 9th, at Citi Performing Arts Theater in Boston, MA on Sept. 10th, and Chicago Theater in Chicago, IL on Sept. 16th;
  • Das Racist will perform at Bowery Ballroom in Brooklyn on Sept. 12th;
  • Dave Atell will be performing at Helium in Portland, OR on Sept. 15th through the 17th;
  • Demitri Martin will be performing Sept. 16th at the Orpheum in Phoenix, AZ and Sept. 17th in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts;
  • Devo will be at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR on Sept. 16th and Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, WA on Sept. 17th;
  • Doug Benson will be at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls, SD on Sept. 9th and at the Rialto Theater in Tucson, AZ on Sept. 10th;
  • Gary Hustwit will be premiering his latest film, Urbanized, at the Tortonto International Film Festival on Sept. 9th, 11th and 16th;
  • Hannibel Burress will perform September 8th-10th at the Arlington Drafthouse,in Arlington, VA and September 14th - 17th at Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington, KY;
  • The Hold Steady will perform Sept. 23rd in Philadelphia, PA at the Popped! Music Festival;
  • Jackie Kashian will be at Kirkland Laughs in Kirkland, WA Sept. 15th - 17th;
  • John Oliver will be at the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis, MN on Sept. 24th;
  • Kyle Kinane will perform at the Comedy Club on State in Madison, WI on Sept. 8th, 9th and 10th;
  • Marc Maron will spend Sept. 8th - 10th at Zanies in Nashville, TN;
  • Ray Romano will be at the Mirage in Las Vegas Sept. 16th and 17th;
  • Steven Wright will perform on Sept. 10th at Fox Theatre at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT and September 17th at the Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills, MI;
  • Ted Leo will spend Sept. 10th in Portland, OR at the Backspace Cafe;
  • Todd Barry will make a rare west coast appearance on Sept. 16 and 17 at the Improv in Los Angeles, CA, and he will be joined by Tig Notaro on the 16th;
  • Two Kids One Hall (Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson) will perform at Cobbs in San Francisco Sept. 15th - 18th.
  • Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain

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    Kevin Hart's film "Laugh at My Pain" will be out in theaters this Friday, September 9th. This preview is my favorite from the movie so far. If only because I enjoy seeing mimes argue about Twitter.

    Due to the fairly random insertion of a naked behind at the end, this is NSFW.

    Wild Flag: Romance

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    Wild Flag - Romance from Merge Records on Vimeo.

    In my perfect world, Tom Scharpling would direct all the music videos.

    This is his latest.

    Alumni Newsletter: September 6, 2011

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    St. Vincent: Cruel

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    A sweet yet haunting late-night listen. St. Vincent was on Letterman last week singing "Cruel" from her new album, "Strange Mercy", which is set for release on Sept. 13th. If you want to hear more, you can stream the album now on NPR.org.

    Brandon Bird in Your Pocket

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    I'm happy to announce that, in exchange for a rather modest portion of your worldly fortune, you may now obtain protective covers that will permit you to carry the delightful artwork of Brandon Bird on your iphone, in your pocket, near your heart.

    Lucky, lucky you.

    Errol Morris: Believing Is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography)

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    What does this photograph suggest to you? If I told you that it was taken in South Dakota in 1936 by a man named Arthur Rothstein who was working for the Farm Security Administration, would that impact your answer? This picture was quite a source of social and political controversy in its day as many felt it had been posed to raise sympathy and support for FDR's programs. So what is this work of art, really? A meditation on light and form? Straightforward documentation of farm and weather conditions? Or subtle propaganda?

    One man who has a unique talent for getting to the bottom of mysteries like this is filmmaker Errol Morris. His new book, "Believing Is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography)", contains a series of essays that investigate the hidden truths behind a series of documentary photographs. Including this one.

    The review from the LA Times summarizes it beautifully, saying: "[A]t its core . . ."Believing Is Seeing" is an elegantly conceived and ingeniously constructed work of cultural psycho-anthropology wrapped around a warning about the dangers of drawing inferences about the motives of photographers based on the split-second snapshots of life that they present to us. It's also a cautionary lesson for navigating a world in which, more and more, we fashion our notions of truth from the flickering apparitions dancing before our eyes."

    The First Six Books You Should Read from DC Comics The New 52

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    DC Comics, home of icons such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, is starting from scratch. The company is taking titles such as Action Comics, where Superman first appeared in 1938, all the way back to #1. This is a new universe featuring all of your old favorite characters and providing them with new opportunities for thrilling feats of daring do! But the creation of a new universe also means that within the context of these stories, all the DC adventures for these characters that you read and enjoyed as a child (or adolescent, or adult) didn’t happen. As such, this is a fantastic time to dip your toe in the superhero water without getting bogged down by decades of complicated continuity. Since there has been so much chatter recently about The New 52, I asked two of our resident comic book addicts, Dan Sai and J. Alex Briggs, to tell you about the few that they are most excited about picking up.

    Alex


    Justice League of America by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

    (Issue #1 out August 31st)

    This is the title I’m most excited about. DC is trying to make Justice League their flagship book again. The League is really the grand daddy of team books with each individual member having the power to destroy the world. The challenge for Geoff Johns is not to keep finding gigantic threats that would be sufficiently challenging (he’s a comics writer and those guys think of 15 weird monsters before they finish their coffee), but to make the character interaction compelling. We all have a good idea about how Superman and Batman act, but how will Flash and Cyborg get along? There’s a lot of potential for new relationships there. Johns had a stellar run on both Justice Society and Teen Titans, particularly when it comes to the quieter moments, so I have high hopes for this one. Jim Lee is the penciller for the book,and has redesigned all the costumes. There’s been controversy around some of his choices: no red briefs on Superman and pants on Wonder Woman (that’s the kind of thing that passes for controversy amongst comics fans); but I enjoy how his drawings convey action and movement rather than leaving the heroes looking as though they are posed in every panel. With the classic lineup of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, and new addition (and Teen Titans graduate) Cyborg, I have a feeling this book is going to be something I read again and again through the years.


    Aquaman by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

    (Issue #1 out September 28th)

    Aquaman has always been a bit of a joke, but it has SO MANY things I love: Sword and Sorcery action, political intrigue, a protagonist that’s a little bit of a jerk, and a healthy dose of simple wackiness. That being said, the book has just never really clicked for me. There’s been some grave “heavy is the head that wears the crown” takes on the character, and of course the silly Silver Age run (for the best appreciation of these stories, listen to the delightful podcast "Tom vs. Aquaman"); but it has never felt like required reading. This title, however, I’ll definitely try for a few months to see if it takes. We know from Brightest Day that Reis can draw the crap out of Aquaman, and that alone is a big pull; but if he and Johns can move the king of Atlantis to the A-list, I’ll be very impressed.


    Action Comics by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales

    (Issue #1 out September 7th)

    Grant Morrison loves Superman more than you. And me. And probably more than Jerry Seigle and Joe Shuster. This is a man who thinks about Superman, his mythos and character and symbolism, on a daily basis. He is responsible for All-Star Superman, possibly the greatest Superman story ever written. This will be a good book. This might be a great book. It takes place when Clark Kent is still a young man, just learning how to be Superman, not entirely confident in his powers and his quest for justice. I do have a few concerns, though. For example, I can get behind jeans and a Superman t-shirt, but what’s the deal with that tiny cape? It looks really stupid. And tiny. But in a new timeline, with Superman as the first-ever superhero, reading about a youngish Clark Kent will be a great way to explore and become familiar with the world. And watching the Man of Steel leap into new and different adventures (especially at the hands of such a good writer) is reason enough for me to pick this up.

    Click here to see the next three picks!

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