Archive for October, 2007

A Trip to Stellenbosch

Friday, October 5th, 2007

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For this month’s edition of Barrel to Bottles, we’ve selected four very excellent wines from South Africa. They’re made from the grape chenin blanc, which the winemakers of South Africa have perfected over the years. We’re very excited since this is our first go at white wines, and it was nice to see greenish-gold bottles light up on our camera. The wines are are versatile and match up very well with seafood, chicken, and fruit salads.

Barrel to Bottles October 2007: South African Chenin Blanc

Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

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I attended the book launch of Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings at Bookcourt yesterday, where I listened in on a 15-minute Q&A. Shortcomings is the first graphic novel by Tomine (pronounced to-MEEN-ah), who has been a well-known comic book artist since age twenty, when he was signed on by Drawn & Quarterly to publish Optic Nerve, an ongoing series of short comic book stories that won various awards and critical praise. Tomine’s illustrations have also been featured on various magazine such as The New Yorker, The Rolling Stone, and Esquire.

Shortcomings, which first appeared as chapter installments in Optic Nerve issues 9 through 11, is about Ben Tanaka, a sarcastic and selfish movie theater manager who must deal with a failing relationship. The book is rife with themes that deal with racial and sexual stereotypes, and Tomine is adept in keeping things thoughtful and humorous while avoiding any heavy-handedness.

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The book is a very quick read, and Tomine mentioned how he avoided using captions and thought bubbles, relying solely on conversation and non-verbal frames to move the story. One of the striking characteristics of Tomine’s work is the subtlety of the characters’ expressions the effectiveness of portraying mundane actions as a way to convey the mood of the moment (e.g. sitting on the bed, dumping out coffee, etc.).

Here is an excerpt of an interview from New York Magazine, where you’ll find some excerpt pages from Shortcomings. And a lengthier interview with The Believer is online, too. Also, check out Push Man, the compiled works of Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi edited by Tomine – it’s a dark and bold collection of stories that deal with rape, greed, murder, and more.

Tour dates and other information about the book can be found here. After the jump, an excerpt from the book.

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Let’s Pull’em Up

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

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We didn’t quite make it to 1,000 as we had hoped. In fact, nobody even broke 500. But here is the tally after a very quick September:

PK: 360
SK: 256
RS 250
CF: 250