Month: October 2007

Empty Closets

I just found that (the excellent comics academic) Jeet Heer has a blog. Good news!
His latest post is a brief history of classics scholarship. He demonstrates it to be in large part the sublimation of hidden homoerotic desires into scholarship. But, after a couple millennia of Christian (and Jewish and Islamic) prohibitions of same-sex desire, the closet has been thrown open and the repressed sexual energies have dissipated. Are we at an end of the classics now that repressed desire is no longer channelled into mastering difficult texts? (This is a very truncated go read the whole thing and come back).

Jeet states in his post that we got the classics from the Greeks. Via Michel Foucault we are told that the Greeks didn’t have the same hang ups about same-sex-sex as we do. The dynamics of sexual relations were dictated by active or passive categories, not male or female ones. This maybe a minor quibble, but how did the Greeks leave us with all those great classics if they weren’t trapped in the closet? Clearly sexual sublimation finds other channels. Classics scholars maybe (largely) out the closet, but we’re not yet in a perfect age of desublimation. Perhaps this somewhat misanthropic quote from another Frenchman, Michel Houellebecq, points towards something: “Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those a little fed up with the world.” (from H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life) Lets hope most theoretically-no-longer-sexually-repressed classics scholars are still a bit fed up with the world.

Yuichi Yokoyama Fashion in Second Life

Well… sort of… I’ve been obsessed with the manga artist Yuichi Yokoyama lately. Everywhere I look I see something that refers me back to his comics.

Second Life Gift Box Hat
Gift Box Hat Couture…

I was checking out the newly formed Evil Robot blog, specifically a post on Ideal World, a film about virtual worlds. One of the clips on the film site is about a Second Life fashion designer. At one point there is a Yokoyama fashion moment as she tries to learn the new virtual tools of her trade. Makes you wonder what would have happened if she just went with it. Virtual worlds full of inexperienced avatars is kind of an interesting way of thinking about Yokoyama’s New Engineering now that I think of it… I will have lots more to say about Yokoyama in the very near future.

Yuichi Yokoyama Paper Bag Hat
Paper Bag Hat. Vintage Yokoyama fashion. Image from New Engineering.

Fall Con 2007

TCAF 2007 sketch
Actually this sketch is from TCAF, but I never wrote a report from that.. so there.

A very late (and very brief) report on Fallcon in St. Paul from a couple of weeks back. Fallcon 2007 ended up being a great show despite the fact that it mostly catered to the back-issue crowd. That’s actually what made it so refreshing for me. I haven’t been to a convention like this in a long time. On top of that tables were free for creators and there were free sodas and hot dogs… how can you not go wrong!?

It also helped to have awesome neighbors: Will Dinski, Sara Morean and Sam Hiti. I was sorry I had to miss the second day. I wish I had taken pictures! Here are a few people that did: The Cartoonist Conspiracy, Big Time Attic and The Daily Crosshatch.