My full-page cartoon from Sunday on the education wars prompted a spirited in-house discussion. Globe columnist Scot Lehigh and I aired our differences in front of a camera yesterday, and an edited version of our exchange can be viewed below:
Are you missing the adrenaline rush of Election 2008? There's a cure - relive the highlights and lowlifes of the campaign through cartoons of the year. I will be joining Mike Luckovich of the The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader at the JFK library this afternoon for a forum entitled Presidential Cartoonists.
We'll be showing our work and taking questions from 2:00 to 3:30. Robin Young, host of WBUR's Here and Now will be moderating. Registration required. Details here.
She has gathered the greatest hits from 11 prior volumes with 60 strips not previously published in book form to give readers the full sweep of a strip she characterizes as "half op-ed column and half endless serialized Victorian novel." AfterEllen has an appreciation of the strip and its significance for the lesbian community. (Thanks to Journalista for the link.)
Bechdel, a Vermont resident, drew wide critical acclaim for her graphic autobiography, "Fun Home," published in 2006. She appears in Northampton Wednesday, Nov. 19.
I took in the George Bellows exhibit at the Boston Public Library central branch last night, and it is stunning. With a broad graphic range, Bellows recorded both the mundane and the horrifying during the first quarter of the 20th century. The show includes finished lithographs, developed drawings and preliminary sketches, many of them on display for the first time in 50 years. They are part the library's Wiggin collection, one of Boston's art treasures.
The drawing above is a 1915 depiction of evangelical preacher Billy Sunday, a charismatic crusader against all things intemperate. Wrote Bellows: "He is death to imagination, to spirituality, to art. Billy Sunday is Prussianism personified. His whole purpose is to force authority against beauty... I want people to understand him."
Other subjects in the show include boxing matches, the horrors of war, figure studies and beach scenes from Monhegan Island and Third Beach in Newport. The works are large, bold and striking, and the exhibit is free. Art historian Robert Conway explains and interprets Bellows' life and work in an excellent catalogue that accompanies the exhibit.
Several cool things to check out over the next few days:
Art Speigelman talks in Cambridge at the Brattle Theater about the republication of his book "Breakdowns," which I blogged about here. He moves on to an appearance in Amherst at Hampshire College on Friday Oct. 24.
Also on Thursday, the Boston Public Library has a reception and lecture by Robert Conway to mark the opening of an exhibit of the drawings of George Bellows, and MIT is holding a discussion on Comics and Social Conflict.
On Saturday, Oct. 25, urban sketch artists from around the world are taking to the streets, notebooks in hand, for the 20th anniversary Sketchcrawl. It's a group sketch-in that moves from spot to spot, recording the city landscape, its inhabitants and its customs. Participation is open to all. The closest local crawl will kick off at the Middle East restaurant in Cambridge at noon. Listings for events in other places are here.
HONK!, the annual festival of activist street bands, marches into Davis Square, Somerville, this coming Columbus Day weekend, Oct 10 to 12. The three-day celebration features bands from around the world that specialize in brass, rhythm, progressive causes and street-filling merriment.
This detail is part of a huge anti-globalization banner proudly flown at HONK! 2007 It was work of the Beehive Design Collective of Machias Maine. Other graphics at the fest include an array of exuberant t-shirts, posters and the outrageous costumes adorning many of the marchers. Few street protests have looked or sounded so good.
At last year's HONK!, the Pink Puffers of Rome (above) displayed their horns, their plumage and a picture of their patron saint.
Tomorrow, September 22, is the annual World Carfree Day, part of a worldwide effort by the World Carefree Network to encourage people to find alternatives to automobiles. The network publishes Carbusters magazine which explores personal transportation possibilities and features graphics on the theme of going carfree. Many of the best are by cartoonist Andy Singer.
Singer draws the comics panel, No Exit, and has compiled a collection of biking cartoons that's worth checking out.
Boston-area cyclists got to indulge a fantasy of a carfree city this morning when the annual Hub on Wheels ride steered bikers on a gorgeous 50-mile loop through urban parks and neighborhoods. Here's a shot of cyclists at Government Center preparing to start the ride.
And this is a short video clip of Storrow Drive, closed to cars, occupied by Sunday morning bikers. (Warning: video shot handheld from moving bicycle.)
To glimpse what a major city can do every day to promote bicycle commuting, check out this video from The Washington Post, showing the automated bike storage system at Tokyo's biggest subway station.
On Friday, Sept. 12, The New England Gallery of Latin American Art (NEGLAA) in East Boston is opening a show of the work of Colombian artist and graphic designer Leo Espinosa. The show, titled "Limbo," explores the in-betweenness of various states of mind, particularly the immigrant experience, in a series of dreamy, arresting creations.
Espinosa explains: "Through a variety of mediums, including prints, paintings and sculpture, I am considering the concept of Limbo as a state of mind affected by social and geographical events. These works focus on change and all that it encompasses: new directions, waiting, feelings of being uprooted and in limbo between two worlds, the passage of time, and a sequence of coincidences that I experienced and am still experiencing. As an immigrant from Latin America who has lived in a different society and culture for many years now, I have come to accept this state of mind as a new country; one without a physical form but a psychological, more complex one; one that provides identity. Limbo is a place that is not really a place; it is an intermediate idea that is at once temporary and permanent, a transitional and imaginary moment.
The exhibit runs through Nov. 30.