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Viva Vivol!

Probably no post tomorrow, due to work and travel demands. I know, somehow you’ll muddle through to the weekend.

  • Karl Kerschl switches between story threads without warning, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that although it’s been eleven months since we’ve seen Vivol, he is not forgotten. His long flashback to the circus days is done, but even lo these many years later, his dreams are troubling. Conflating his mother and his surrogate cub, the tragic Moon Bear, both lost to him? The melancholy in that final panel of yesterday’s strip is so thick you can touch it. Bravo¹.

    What’s that? You don’t know about Vivol, and Moon Bear, and all the other inhabitants of the forest and surrounding lands? Good thing for you there’s a softcover collection of the first two years of The Abominable Charles Christopher (and others), and a just-announced pre-order for the second volume in hardcover. My advice: spring for the sketch edition, on account of what Kerschl calls a “sketch” would in any other context be called “an amazingly subtle and detailed animal portrait”

  • Speaking of Kerschl, how about a reminder of his erstwhile studiomate, now Berlin-resident? It’s been more than five years, what with interruptions for paying work and such, but Cameron Stewart’s Sin Titulo is down to the last few pages of its very moody, atmospheric story of art made (literally, dangerously) alive. The last page should be up any day now, and look for a collection in the near future and trust me, if you’ve never read it, read it from the beginning now that it’s (almost) complete. So much meaning that wasn’t apparent at the beginning is fairly screaming at me now. Highest possible recommendation.
  • Quick note on a comment from Morgan Wick regarding NYCC and the Javits Center: there really is no mega-convention center in the New York area, what with the crowded nature of the metroplex and the necessity of building up rather than out. There were plans for a bit there to scrap the Javits and build a new megaplex featuring a convention center, hotels, and casino in Queens, but that presumes that people coming to New York would want to go to what is the bedroom community of the city instead of the business/entertainment district. Also, the South Asian casino magnate that was maybe going to pony up about a billion dollars to kickstart (no relation) the project decided not to, and it would be a decade before something like that could be done.

    The Javits could be made usable, but it will have to expand — that’s not so feasible north or south (due to road infrastructure), or to the east (due to a million buildings and a major north-south artery), so west over the water is the only possibility. There needs to be a lot more support services in the area of the Javits (steps outside the San Diego Convention Center is the Gaslamp District; an equivalent distance from the Javits is the odd deli, a service garage for taxis, and a stable for Central Park carriage horses; in terms of tourist services, it’s a desert until you get to Midtown, most of a mile away), and there needs to be mass transit, which I’m sure they’ll get to sometime after the Second Avenue subway is done. The only approach that can practically improve the insufficiency of the Javits (apart from capping attendance and changing their exhibitor preferences) is, as Wick points out, to have a second show to take some of the demand off. Somebody go do that.

¹ Now, when can we expect to see Luga again?

Agreed about the Javits. It boggles my mind how much money is being left on the table by having garages and warehouses down there instead of restaurants and bars. A Starbucks alone would make millions—the nearest one is probably a mile away, and the one in the Javits charges extra and shuts down early. It’s as if they hate making money!

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