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Winners, Losers, And Culture In General

From their call for nominees back in the autumn to the declaration of winners, the Webcomics List Awards have moved at a brisk clip (certainly, far faster than their predecessor, the Web Cartoonist Choice Awards). The 2010 iteration (that would be the second one) of the WCL has released the results of their jury’s deliberation for your edification and enlightenment.

Although the utility of any such awards remains a matter of some disagreement, it’s pretty hard to entirely discount a process where the only multiple-winner was The Abominable Charles Christopher. Also, for the record, I believe that the incidence of Ted Rall and Scott Kurtz essentially agreeing in the comment thread at The Daily Cartoonist about these awards is what doomed us to this eternal winter. Thanks a lot, Scott and Ted.

Anyhoo, I couldn’t find a text list of the winners at the WCLA site, but Brigid Alverson kindly put one together so that’s all right. For future reference, anybody that announces stuff in pictorial form only? That only delays you getting your news out as everybody waits for somebody else to transcribe your essential information. One of these days we’ll all be lazy at the same time and then nobody will spread the news. The ability to copy/paste is critical to getting your information out — Protip!

  • First seen via the twitterfeed of Internet Jesus: news of a webcomic from one of the world’s best writers of speculative fiction:

    The incredible China Miéville has given us permission to post his entire web comic “London Intrusion”

    Duly note that the tweet was originally from the Twitter account of Mulholland Books (an imprint of Little, Brown, dealing in suspense), and that Ellis was one of many retweeters. Also duly note that since the link in question is only sporadically available, presumably due to over-access issues. Loss of access to the posting could be for any one of a number of issues, but let’s face facts — when Warren Ellis points you at a link, you click it or risk his displeasure, and this would be a completely logical reason for an inadvertent DOS.

    In any event, Miéville’s webcomic (previously run in small daily installments) is now available in complete form for the first time at Mulholland’s website, and boy is it purty. Might want to give ’em a few hours for the demand to taper off or the website to get beefed up a bit.

  • Also calling back to last autumn, Mike Russell (and various others of Portland, Oregon’s kartoonin’ kommunity) have paid another visit to the Portland Opera for the purposes of portraying a performance in words and pictures. Last time it was (if memory serves) Rigoletto and this time it’s Turandot. I had a professor¹ (also my advisor, as luck would have it) back in my college days that would digress during lectures (various classes in electrical engineering) about opera, his love thereof, and the plots contained therein. As a result, I know to this day, more than 20 years hence, that Turandot concerns a Heartless Princess, the Price of Love for whom is most likely Death, and the eventual Melting of Her Heart, but not before Needless Death².

    Russell is much more detailed that I, and his pictures really bring across the tragedy of certain moments. As with prior PDX Opera comics adaptations, this one was live-sketched during dress rehearsal, and presented with minimal reworking, given that the performance was Monday night. If you’re a fan of culture (or just want to be able to fake it plausibly), or if you’re a fan of blood ‘n’ guts in your high-brow entertainments, give ‘er a good reading. And if you’re not, give ‘er a good reading anyway, and maybe you’ll find out you’re more of a fan than you thought.

¹ Doctor Henry Winton, as capable a teacher as ever I’ve seen. Yes, he really did kind of look like Papa Smurf, and yes, his office really looked like that. In fact, I’m pretty sure my senior network synthesis design projects is in that stack behind his head.

² To be fair, there are basically only two plots in all of classical opera; the other one is the high-born young man who falls in love with the low-born young woman (or vice versa), thus producing a pair of Doomed Lovers. Family Disapproval, Madness, and/or Death soon follow.

Remarkably, some modern opera will follow these basic plots as well — the love duet between Pat Nixon and Mao Zedong from Nixon In China? Breathtaking in its majesty, heartbreaking in its sexy earnestness³.

³ Okay, you caught me — Nixon In China is a real opera, but I lied about Pat Nixon and Mao being lovers. It’s actually Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.

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