Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:
Chris: I’m still making my way through Matthias Wivel’s long Comics Journal piece about the chaos afflicting storied French independent publisher L’Association, and this is only the first of two parts.
Founded in 1990 by many of the country’s best young cartoonists as a home for work that existing houses refused to consider, L’Association was initially a non-profit collective, but the mainstream success of several members obliged Jean-Christophe Menu to become a paid editorial director. His growing influence over the entire line generated inescapable tension, culminating in a strike and a coup. The sort of thorough journalism that Wivel does here – as distinct from criticism or interviews – is all too unusual in comics, because no publication has the money for it.
Just look at what the cartoonist Lewis Trondheim told him: “Menu was the driving force in the creation of L’Association, along with us, but he also ended up a threat to its existence because of his lack of social intelligence and ineptness as a boss and as a manager, and because his alcoholism and paranoia got out of hand.” Also, it’s France, so people say “discourse” a lot.
Possibly the greatest tweet ever tweeted.
Speaking of brilliant inanities, here is a mesmerizing a capella version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s vaguely orientalist Oil Ocean Zone theme:
Margaux: Onto personal tragedy. I read Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking this week. I was a little distracted by how often she and her husband went out for dinner. I kept wanting to go out for dinner. It’s not as painful a book as I had been led to believe, mainly because her interest isn’t in having you to feel what she’s feeling. She is focused on trying to piece back together some kind of meaning after devastating loss – using a lifetime of literary and philosophical knowledge; that is not magical thinking but still real magic. She gets there. It made me want to read her new book Blue Nights.
Brain tumors are funny, but they’re not hilarious – says Samantha Kittle over at her brain tumor blog A Lie of the Mind.
Who needs stand-up mics, television and sanity when you’ve got the all-powerful internet? Welcome to The Maria Bamford Show. (thanks to Naomi Skwarna)
And a real-life tragedy of children losing their Halloween candy – from Jimmy Kimmel. It is awesome.
Carl: This is older but hardly anyone’s seen it: David Dacks outlines the contours of the special hybrid of folk, indie, improvised and electronic musics that emanate from Toronto’s Australia New Zealand Club, better known as the Tranzac – which he makes a convincing case is almost its own genre. The pinnacle of it might be Sandro Perri’s new Impossible Spaces album:
Margaux, other people have noticed Joan Didion going out to dinner and apparently she’s gotten a little defensive about it. Comes with bonus impassioned and not dumb debate in the comments.
And just to be a little snobby my own self, the candybox of culture I’m most excited about this week is that all three of Jean-Pierre Gorin’s most popular/significant film essays are coming out together on a disc by Criterion.