Thoroughly Thursday - the "October" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the "October" edition. October is my favorite month of the year. There is something magical about the changing weather, the cooler temperatures, and how corduroys become suddenly fashionable. For those of us with a "Love-Hate-Hate-Love" relationship with the Sun, October means our multiple layers and giant hats only seem moderately strange in public. Sadly, my home in Southern California doesn't get the beautiful, multicolored forests of the Northeast during this time of year, but the seasonal winds often signal that a giant falling palm frond may land on your head. I guess you have to take your autumn traditions as you find them.
What I'm Reading - The Psychoanalysis of Costumed Marauders
I would like to introduce you to my favorite graphic novel, and yes, it involves Batman. I should say I'm not a "Batman person." Sure, like any red-blooded, American male with repressed anger issues, I feel a certain amount of kinship for the Dark Knight. That being said, my devotion is casual, and I only rarely refer to my garage as "the Bat Cave." However, the graphic novel Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean, aside from being one of my favorite books, is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this month.
Writer Morrison presents Batman as a brave, but psychologically fragile, man who must confront his internal demons as well as the deeply-warped versions of his enemies within the grounds of the infamous asylum for the criminally insane. The story of the asylum's founder, the doomed Amadeus Arkham, is told in flashbacks. The book is visually stunning, presented in a combination of paintings, photography, collage, and pencil drawings. Both the written and visual elements overflow with allusion, illusion, psychology, symbology, sacred geometry, and the odd Lewis Carroll quote.
I was introduced to Arkham during my sophomore year in college, a particularly difficult time in my life. The dark beauty of the story and the thematic elements of resilience and psychological endurance resonated for me, enough that I still regularly read through it years later.
BONUS: In researching the history of the book, I found this fantastic fan film by Spanish director Miguel Mesas, which does a great job of capturing both the feel and visuals of the book.
What I'm Doing - There is a Crack, a Crack in Everything
One of the great joys of being surrounded by talented and smart friends is seeing when they succeed far beyond what any of us had a right to hope for. I'm happy to say that EM Lewis is one of my dearest friends (I know her as Ellen), and she came to stay with us recently. Her new play was in previews, and we got to play host for a few weeks. Though we rarely saw her (those on "theatre hours" are often asleep and awake on different schedules from the rest of us), we had a chance to see her play, How the Light Gets In (the name come from the Leonard Cohen song), this past weekend and it was terrific. It is a story of four, isolated people, who come together when tragedy befalls one of them. The play is having its world premiere at the Boston Court Pasadena until October 27th. If you live in the LA area, go see it!
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday :)
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P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.