If you’re a New Yorker subscriber, we probably don’t have to tell you about “The Yankee Comandante,” David Grann’s lengthy feature that ran in the magazine’s May 28th issue. Filling 23 tightly packed pages, the piece relates the strange tale of William Alexander Morgan, an American who fought alongside the rebels in the… Read More
The New Yorker
We recently took issue with the sizable, baffling group of A Clockwork Orange cultists who seem to think the novel’s “ultraviolent” protagonist, Alex, is the height of cool. To idolize this character is to seriously misunderstand the story Anthony Burgess is telling — but what did the author actually want readers to get out of… Read More
Yesterday, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the finalists for the 2012 National Magazine Awards, which judge American publications as a whole as well as specific articles within them. Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, New York, The New Yorker and Vice are all nominated for overall excellence in the field of general interest magazines, Glamour, More, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple and W are nominated for women’s interest, and The American Scholar, Aperture, IEEE Spectrum, The New Republic and Virginia Quarterly Review are nominated in the “Thought-Leader” category.
You should take a peek at those titles at your leisure, and check out the full list of finalists here, but we were more interested in the finalists in most of the major article categories. We’ve put together a handy list for you, with links to the nominated work. Yet again, we were flabbergasted and discouraged by the lack of female writers here — of the categories we looked at, they are only nominated in the Public Interest and Fiction sections. Regardless, there’s a lot of good writing here, so click through to get a handle on the ASME nominees, and let us know who you think should take home the prizes in the comments. … Read More
We’ve been thinking a lot about Art Spiegelman lately, in part because the comic artist’s first major Paris retrospective recently opened at Centre Pompidou, the city’s biggest modern art museum. The exhibition, entitled Art Spiegelman: Co-Mix, spans the artist’s 45-year career and contains over 400 original cartoons, sketches, book and magazine covers, and other Spiegelman ephemera (check out a few early photos of the exhibit at Angoulême, where it originated, here). Though Spiegelman is perhaps best known for Maus, his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic memoir, he’s also created countless covers for The New Yorker, where he worked for ten years, founded the famous underground comics magazine RAW with his wife Françoise Mouly, and had his hand in hundreds of other projects. We’ve been fans of the cartoonist since we were kids, so we decided to take the opportunity to do our own totally incomplete, biased mini-retrospective of some of the artist’s illustrations and projects. Click through to check out a few images from Spiegelman’s enormous body of work, and if you can’t make it to Paris, have no fear – the exhibition will hit Cologne, Vancouver, and New York in the coming months. … Read More
If you’ve paid much attention to film festival coverage over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about a film called The Raid (it was later given the rather silly subtitle Redemption, though I’ll be damned if I recall anybody being redeemed in it). It screened at Toronto, Sundance, and SXSW, and it is a knockout — a powder keg of pure action, done with deadpan humor and hyperkinetic style. I saw it at an all-media screening at Sundance, and even among that jaded group, the audience literally gasped at loud at several points, and burst into applause at the end. It’s terrific cinema.
And that’s why so many people who have seen it are losing their shit over Roger Ebert’s inexplicable one-star review of the movie, which went online last night. He complains about the film’s “wall-to-wall violence,” cracks that “if I estimated the film has 10 minutes of dialogue, that would be generous,” and says that the picture is “almost brutally cynical in its approach.” This coming from a guy who gave three stars to Transformers and most of the Fast/Furious franchise.
Then again, as much as we love Mr. Ebert, this isn’t the first time he got a great movie dead wrong. His one-star pan of Blue Velvet is still a head-scratcher; ditto the single star he awarded Wet Hot American Summer. And don’t even get us started on that two-star review of the original Die Hard. The point is, sometimes the critics just plain get it wrong. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a dozen classic movies, and the scribes who blew the call on them. … Read More
VIDA, a website devoted to women in the literary arts, recently released their 2011 comparison of the rates of publication for women vs. men in important literary outlets like The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and many more, all in handy, mildly alarming pie-chart form. If you’ve been paying any attention to this issue at all in recent years, you may not be surprised to find out that, almost across the board, women writers are wildly underrepresented compared to their male counterparts, whether they be book reviewers, book authors, or writers of magazine articles. While there are a couple notable exceptions (hooray for Granta, which published men and women in almost equal measure in 2011), the vast majority hovers around 25% female, 75% male. Which, while not particularly new information, still sort of rankles. Click through to see a few examples of the gender breakdowns in literary coverage from major news outlets, visit VIDA for the whole list — and then let’s get to work putting a little more blue on the board. … Read More
In celebration of their 154th anniversary, our friends at The Atlantic shared a photo of their first cover, from November 1857. The difference between that image and the very different design the magazine is rocking these days sparked our curiosity about what some of today’s best-loved and most widely read publications looked like in their infancy. After the jump, we’ve rounded up debut covers of everything from The New Yorker to Vogue to Spin. We have to admit, some of them really surprised us: Who knew People started off so classy? Or that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s baby was TV Guide‘s first cover model? Journey with us through media and design history after the jump. … Read More
The ’00s were an unusually dark decade, at least if New Yorker cartoons are any indication. At the magazine’s website, cartoon editor Robert Mankoff tracks the number of murders depicted in them by decade, beginning in the 1930s — and finds that the first ten years of the 21st century featured more homicides than every other era besides the ’40s (which makes some sense, considering that’s when the US was involved in World War II). Cartoon characters were safest from violent crime in the ’70s and ’80s, when the magazine’s comics included two and zero murders, respectively. See the data graphed after the jump, then visit Mankoff’s New Yorker blog to read his entertaining analysis of the fluctuation from decade to decade. … Read More