Yow!!  What a year!!  2010 will go down as an ugly one in my book.  One that saw a lot of repositioning and transition.  And 2011 is when I’ll begin to implement those changes.

But screw the negatives, let give props to the positive stuff in 2010!!

1.CARTOONISTS: Kate Beaton & Richard Thompson-When I think back on all the folks doing great stuff  over the past year, 99% of them were women.  Folks like Rebecca Sugar, Amy Martin, Marguerite Dabaie and Vanessa Davis. 2010 was like UConn for comics.

But Kate Beaton towered above everyone with her historical comic strip humor.  Slaying conventions from coast to coast and winding up in the New Yorker!! Unique, smart, and funny.  Can’t go wrong with that.

I cannot say enough about  the creator of Cul de Sac, Richard Thompson. His Poor Richard’s Almanac is a piece comic creme brulee that is so (un)nattily drawn and intelligent/ funny.

2.BOOKS: I don’t do a whole lotta book reading, but two stood out to me sorta recently.  I was given Satiristas by one of its authors, San Francisco photog Dan Dion, whom I’ve known since the early 1990’s.  Its essentially a collection of his portraits of comedians.  Everyone from Bill Maher  to Damon Wayans, Greg Proops to Joan Rivers, Rick Shapiro to Paul Mooney.  Along with those portraits are comedian interviews conducted by Paul Provenza, who does a great comedian interview show on Showtime called the Green Room.

If your familiar with Provenza, he gives AMAZING interview. Incredibly insightful and informative about the art of being funny.

The second book is DECODED by Jay Z.  To be truthful, I haven’t read this yet, but if Jay Z’s interview with Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air is any indication of what’s in the book, it’s gotta be amazing.  I’m adding it to my Amazon wish list.  Buy me one when you buy yours!!

3.Music:  Janelle Monae rocked my world with this performance on David Letterman:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMyc148Do_Q

Cee-lo’s delightful unplayable sensation EFF-You:

And Minus the Bear’s My Time made me happy:

4.Movies- Being a new parent hasn’t allowed me much time to see films, but I will say that besides the third Chris Nolan/Batman film, 2010 may be the last year of the decent comic book movie.

Kick Ass (WARNING:this clip is violent)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw9K5COtzm0&feature=related

And Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:

EMAIL/LETTER OF THE YEAR:

(misspellings left in for charm.-kk)

Good afternonn Mr. Knight,

After reading “The Knight Life” for some months for free at comics.com I wanted to pay something to the author.

So I bought the complete K Chronicles as a christmas gift for me.
And now I’m brimming a little over with enthusiasm.

I guess this is nothing new to you but please let me explain a little bit.
I’m not only German. I’m as typical German as Germans can be  (I’m afraid).
I’m introverted, reserved, punctual, hardworking and like Kerstin’s father in your strip I tend to repair things that are broken a.s.o.

In 1986 I had the possibility to stay for several months in Israel and Arabia. Partly I was there to learn English. Partly I was there to see the world. As it happened a friend of mine studied in Jerusalem and I visited her several times. There I met a bunch of students from other countries – mostly from the USA. And these students from the US shocked, shocked, shocked me. Constantly, unceasingly. They were so dumb, so close-minded, so superficial, so materialistic so not interested in everything that didn’t fit into their close and narrow mind. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there – Jerusalem – this area beams with history and culture and conflicts. There is nature to be seen, amazing inventures to marvel at, there are these huge pictures of Chagall at the Hadassah (University Hospital) and more and more and more.
I asked these students what they’ve done and seen and what they thought of and felt about the country. And all of them – without any exception – only told me they hat been “downtown having a good time”. How I hated this crap. It was like talking to display dummies. I visited my friend for over two months and met about twenty different students from the USA. It was always the same. “Yeah I went downtown tonight really …having a good time … it was cool!” Oh my!

But … but they were curious, yes they were. When they realized that I was from Germany and real (no fiction) they shyly and slowly started their questions:
“Is there still shooting in the streets?”
“Do you have panes in your windows?”
“Is there water in your pipes?”
First I thought they were just fooling around to have one of their f…ing “good times” they liked so much. Then I realized that they meant it. And I realized that they thought the war was still going on. And, Mr. Knight, I’m not talking about some dumbasses or hillbillies who never left their little village in Colorado. I’m talking about American students in Jerusalem.
They knew almost nothing of Europe or Europe’s history. They were unaware. They stumbled blindly throuh the world (“good time … cool man …!”)
This went on and on and I made my field-studies with these students. This was no doubt the elite of the USA and I wondered if this dumbness was bottomless or if there was a glimpse of knowledge, intelligence and open-mindedness somewhere. And so I started my questions to learn more and to study them.

I was 22 then and my verdicts tended to be harsh and final.
Later I learnt a lot more about the USA and some other people (mostly from L.A.) showed me that there were different folks running around in the USA. But even though – the Americans in my mind tended to be
* undereducated
* superficial
* super-national (whatever US does is right, right, right don’t you ever dare to doubt about this!)

Of course this is only a part of my picture.
I live near Frakfurt and we have a lot of American Soldiers here. I remember that I went to a local (very small) leisure park with my older daughter and that we tried and tried to shoot some dinosaurs in a small video shooting gallery. We weren’t good at it but we were enthusiastic. And slowly we improved our ratings. Bam! Bam! Bam! We were delighted, we acclaimed every hit. …
When we left our seats an American soldier came an tried the guns. And I swear you – I have never seen a human being shooting so fast and so precisely. And he did it with a rather bored and unaffected face. I started to cound the hits. And then I compared it with the hits of me and my daughter (and of some other Germans I secretely observed). This soldier shot three times faster and five times more precisely than the average (civil) German.

Because I really like the English language I became responsible for the English courses of my company (insurance). This job I had for several years and I learned a lot from our American teachers. They were decent people, all of them. Some of them really deep, most of them caring, some of them pensive. I asked them a lot of questions about the USA. They taught me a lot and I listened, listened, listened.

And then came the K Chronicles. And believe me, for the first time in years this is a voice of America which sounds coherent to me.
Yes, there are a lot of things America can truly be proud of.
But on the other hand…

I like your irony. I like that you don’t take yourself too serious. I love your puns (as far as I can detect them). But irony and puns – that is something I take for granted when I buy a comic book.
To me your Chronicles are thoughtful, they’re rich and they’re deep.

An example.
You know, I’m German. When I visit neighbouring countries and the people there realize I’m German several things tend to happen:
* They stare at me (with slitted eyes long and hard – “Nazibastard!”)
* They turn abruptly away
* They speak neither German nor English or French
* They don’t serve me in restaurants
* They deflate the tires of my bicycle (mostly in the Netherlands)
* They (try to) spit on me
Both my grandfathers spent a long and hard time in concentration camps. They were registered enemies of the people (Volksfeinde). But these people of today in France, Netherlands, Denmark a.s.o. don’t seem to be interested in details like this. German = Nazi is simple and easy.

When I was young a wagon full of police stopped me one day and asked a lot of question. They made grim faces and played nervously with nightsticks and weapons. Later they told me that there had been a bank hold-up nearby. I don’t know if today’s gangsters really run away by bicycle. But they told me the only description they had were: “Male, young, about two meters tall.” Hm. That had to be me. Without doubt. Please shoot me now an here, I confess that I’m evil through and through.

Descriptions of experiences like this I have never seen before in todays art.
So thank you for the chronicles.

In “The Knight Life” you mention now and then that you’re nearly broke. Since I know how it is to have next to no money and to have a family (I was laid off a forthnight before my first daughter was born) I’m ready to say goodbye to a little of my money. I may not have a lot to spare but I’m sure I can get over some Euros. Since I don’t trust the Internet that much that I would send money by it can you please tell me a postal adress where the money could savely be sent to?
And please forgive if my English seems to be funny to you, it’s still a foreign language to me.

Greetings from the deep snow in the deep night.

E.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN’T GOTTEN YOUR 2011 LITTLE VICS/MEGA-MIX CALENDAR YET?!!

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