Though this academic study has a stylistic density that a general readership might occasionally find difficult, the...

READ REVIEW

DISASTER DRAWN

VISUAL WITNESS, COMICS, AND DOCUMENTARY FORM

An illuminating analysis of graphic narrative’s documentary power.

Though many of the artists whose work receives close academic scrutiny here served their apprenticeships in what was once called “comic books,” Chute (English/Univ. of Chicago; Outside the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists, 2014, etc.) situates them within the framework of a much longer legacy, of art annotated by words conveying the witness’s horror of war. She quotes art critic Robert Hughes on Goya as “the first modern visual reporter on warfare” and documents the famed artist’s influence on Robert Crumb. Chute then extends that legacy to encompass Joe Sacco, an American Book Award winner and “the contemporary force behind comics journalism, a term he devised,” and Art Spiegelman, with whom she collaborated on MetaMaus (2011). Even those who admire the accomplishments of those artists will likely see them in a new light here, as Chute’s analysis shows how the medium renders time as space, allowing readers to dictate the pace (as documentary film does not). It turns the reader as well as the artist into a witness of the unspeakable in a manner that often transcends polemics and partisanship. The author also introduces readers to the global expansion of the form, drawing connections between American artists and those in Japan and the Middle East. Given the breadth and depth of most of the book, the 10-page coda feels tacked-on, and could be a book in itself, as the Charlie Hebdo murders and other Muslim responses to images they find offensive reinforce the contemporary power and influences of the work—and find Spiegelman and Sacco on opposite sides concerning the freedom to draw such images and the responsibility to publish them.

Though this academic study has a stylistic density that a general readership might occasionally find difficult, the epiphanies are worth the effort.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-674-50451-6

Page Count: 362

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more