“Another One for the Fire”: George A. Romero on Race

By James Rushing Daniel 

Filmmaker George A. Romero died earlier this month at the age of 77, following a career spanning six decades. While he continued to work well into his final years, and was even developing a new film at the time of his death, he will be remembered for his early projects: 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. Produced in Western Pennsylvania on meager budgets and with largely local talent, the films are pinnacles of midcentury independent cinema. Wildly successful in their heyday, their influence has arguably only grown since their release; The Walking Dead empire, Sean of the Dead (2004), World War Z (2006), video games Left 4 Dead (2008) and The Last of Us (2013), and even Colson Whitehead’s high-concept literary thriller Zone One (2011) are all are indebted to Romero’s work. Continue reading

Images of the Digital Age: “Something Unusual is Happening” at Printed Matter

By Megan N. Liberty

Fully immersed in the digital age, we are in a constant state of multitasking; we carry web browsers in our pockets, simultaneously talking, reading, and traveling. Whereas once we relegated combinations of image and text to children’s books, now they ooze from our fingertips as we spew emoji and GIFS alongside our letters. One particular media is well-suited to champion narrative that captures our new mode of interaction: the comic. Already steeped in image-text combinations, its layered multi-panel form speaks our digital language. Something Unusual is Happening: Experimental Comics and the Art of Visual Narrative at Printed Matter in New York surveys some of the comic artists innovating today, presenting a range of works that reflect the multitasking, fast paced, image-text communication that has become commonplace. The majority of the work is from the aughts, and includes American and European artists and stapled zines, bound books, textiles, and large prints. Shared by all is a commitment to expanding the form, pushing the limits of graphic narrative. Continue reading

Announcing the LARB China Channel

Dear China Blog Readers,

Thanks to a generous seed grant from the Henry Luce Foundation as well as support from the Los Angeles Review of Books, the “China Blog” will be morphing into a freestanding magazine within the magazine. The LARB China Channel will join a set of pre-existing LARB Channels (these vary widely as you can see by clicking here), so we will be in good company. We are very excited about this — “we” being the following team of editors: Continue reading

The Explorer’s History of Korean Fiction in Translation: the Prehistory of Postmodernism

By Charles Montgomery

 The LARB Korea Blog is currently featuring selections from The Explorer’s History of Korean Fiction in Translation, Charles Montgomery’s book-in-progress that attempts to provide a concise history, and understanding, of Korean literature as represented in translation. You can find links to previous selections at the end of the post. Continue reading

Orphan Black Season Five, “Gag or Throttle”: If Your Eye Causes You to Stumble

By Everett Hamner

This is the seventh in a series of episode-by-episode reflections on Orphan Black season 5 (preview; episode 1 ; episode 2; episode 3; episode 4; episode 5; episode 6). These pieces do not provide thorough plot summaries but do include spoilers; they assume readers have already been viewers. Responses via Twitter continue to be very welcome! Continue reading

In Praise of Spectacle

By Jane Mendle

One afternoon in 1884, an elderly one-legged stranger was hired by a general store in Corsicana, Texas to walk a tightrope with an iron stove strapped to his back. The store was new. They sold everything, stoves included, and they wanted to draw all of Corsicana to their grand opening. They promised the afternoon would include an “astounding, astonishing, amazing, unbelievable, never seen before or ever again act of strength, gravity and defiance of common sense.” School was dismissed for the afternoon, crowds swarmed the main street, a band played, and the mayor made a proud speech. Corsicana watched, transfixed, as the Rope Walker inched confidently across the wire. He was practiced and skillful, with a notch carved in his peg leg so the wire fit neatly within. Continue reading

Learning to Walk

By Joanna Chen 

Stand with your legs apart. The earth here demands a different way of walking, a more mindful one. Wear what your mother would call “sensible shoes,” and make sure the laces are tied tightly. It is crucial they do not dangle; tuck them in at the ends. Now put on the crampons — spiky, metal contraptions that should fit your shoes snugly. Now you’re two inches higher above the surface of the earth. Continue reading

Asking for a Friend: Sad in Grad School

Dear Olive,

I spent more than eight years on the road to becoming a scientist with a dream of a PhD. Now, I’m finding myself in a position where my committee wants me to leave with a master’s and my advisor is not supportive, and I wonder why I’m doing so poorly. I don’t work hard because I’m bored and I’ve started to hate this. I want a job with clear goals and directives, with a specific thing that I can learn to do well, instead of nebulous goals that are supposed to be figured out. I want a nine-to-five where I can go home after and make art and do the things I love that don’t make sense as a career. But this feels like striving for mediocrity because society (i.e. my parents) view this as less than the ideal, as falling short of my supposed “potential.” Continue reading