Thursday, March 22, 2007

Miscellany: 22 March 2007

- The June solicitations have been out for a few days now, but I'm intrigued to see Marvel launching an ongoing Avengers Classic series. This is the same format they used with Classic X-Men back in the 1980s, reprinting old 1970s X-Men stories in sequence with original back-up strips. Except they're doing it with Silver Age Avengers stories, and they're doing it in 2007.

Now, I rather liked Classic X-Men, but I see two obvious problems with this. First, when people complain about Brian Bendis' Avengers and say they want classic Avengers, they don't mean that classic. The early Avengers stories weren't all that great. That's why they completely changed the format after a couple of years.

Second, Classic X-Men came out in the days when the back catalogue was largely out of print - unless you wanted to buy some ludicrously expensive hardback reprint from the Masterworks range. Surely anyone who's interested in the early Avengers stories already owns Essential Avengers vol 1? And wouldn't that make this rather bad value for money?

- Perhaps the most sublime introduction to a judgment I've read in years, from Scheps v Fine Art Logistic Ltd:

In 1984, the sculptor Anish Kapoor created Hole and Vessel II. It was made of polystyrene, cement, earth, acrylic and pigment and measured 95.2cm x 162.5 cm x 109.2 cm. It is not possible for me to describe it. One expert described it as sensuous and sexy, the other as clumsy and somewht absurd. There is however agreement that it was made during Kapoor's transitional phase when he was "moving away from an exploration of the male/female dichotomy towards an exploration of the void." In his later works, "the void" became an important element. ...

The Claimant, Ofir Scheps, purchased Hole and Vessell II from the Phoenix Insurance Company in June 2004 at a price of US$35,000... In the same month he instructed Fine Art Logistics Limited, the Defendant, to collect the sculture from Christie's and store it before taking it to Anish Kapoor's studio in London for some restoration work. But in September 2004 it could not be found by the Defendant in any of its storage units. It is the considered opinion of the general manager of the Defendant that Hole and Vessel II was, by mistake, placed in a skip and destroyed at a waste transfer station.

Whoops. The rest of the judgment is... well, mildly entertaining if you're into the incorporation of standard terms, I suppose. But I like that opening.

- Here's an oddity - in their continuing attempt to get away from that "new rave" tag that they now regret coining in the first place, the Klaxons have re-shot the video for Gravity's Rainbow. They haven't made a different video, as such. They've just done something broadly similar on a higher budget. Not sure I've seen that before.

The original:-

The re-make:-

The original's better, isn't it? More energy. Incidentally, MTV is pixellating the knife (even though it's only used to cut a curtain), which seems a bit excessive.