Tag Archives: The Hard Nut

Paul Roth’s People of SPX 2014: Interview with G. E. Gallas

Related Posts: Plans for SPX 2014 and Experience of SPX 2014.

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As promised, here is the interview Paul Roth did of me at this year’s SPX (Small Press Expo). Click the link below. Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/xQSj4L_8INw

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

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Copyright 2014 by G. E. Gallas


Experience of SPX 2014

Related Posts: Experience of SPX 2013 and Plans for SPX 2014.

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SPX 2014 01

I had a wonderful time at SPX 2014, my second time attending and exhibiting at this event (which happens to take place in the very same room of my high school prom — surreal!). I was able to reconnect with a few artists I met last year, discover some really amazing artists I haven’t encountered before, and finally meet a few artists I’ve come to know online in person.

Many thanks to Paul Roth, who interviewed me for his YouTube channel!

Also, many thanks to The Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) for adding The Poet and the Flea zine to the Small Press Expo Collection at The Library of Congress! For more information, please visit spxpo.com/about/loc.

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SPX 2014 02

The first time I was exposed to Charles Burns’s work was through Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut, which I used to watch over and over again on a VHS recording as a kid. Years later, I revisited The Hard Nut and consequently really got into Burns’s Black Hole. I was ecstatic to hear the Burns would be at SPX! To my absolute surprise, I was first in line. Not only did I get his autograph and chat with him, but he seemed excited to receive a copy of The Poet and the Flea preview zine. :)

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SPX 2014 03

I’ve been following Noah Van Sciver for a few years now and really admire his unique style and use of historical characters and events. I actually picked up A City of Whisky & Fire and The Death of Elijah Lovejoy at Forbidden Planet during my last trip to New York, but brought them with me to get his autograph. I also picked up a copy of his new zine Slow Graffiti which has some interesting, more contemporary stories. It was wonderful meeting Noah and I hope to see him again next year!

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SPX 2014 04

I was so excited to finally me Ryan Thompson in person!!! I’ve admired his work (Comics I Admire: “Frolic”) for a few years now and was excited to receive his zine Esper’s Toxin. He and his girlfriend were really sweet and I can’t wait for him to reboot Frolic! :D

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SPX 2014 05

After meeting Santi at DC Zinefest in August, I wanted to get my hands on a copy of the full collection of Lunatic Tales, inspired by old-fashioned cartoons. Through Twitter, I asked Santi to bring one to SPX for me and was ready to pay the full $10 for it, but he gave it to be for free! (I insisted he take a few of my art prints, so I didn’t feel guilty.) I can’t wait to have a moment to sit down and really enjoy this awesome series.

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SPX 2014 07

I met Anuj Shrestha at last year’s SPX, immediately fell in love with his series Genus, and bought volumes 1 through 3. So I just had to get my hands on volume 4 this year. The story reminds me a bit of The Matrix for some reason, but with a floral twist. I was very excited that he remembered me and we had a fun and hilarious chat!

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SPX 2014 06

R. Bensen seemed so incredibly excited to pick up a copy of The Poet and the Flea zine, I just had to return the favor. And I’m so glad I did! His work has many biblical themes, but with a wonderful splash of whimsy and mischief. I particularly like The Garden of Earthy Delight, which the artist said was his most accomplished work. Another artist I hope to see next year!

  • The Garden of Earthly Delight and My Biblical Daydreams #1 by R. Bensen; Spitting Out the Demons by David Hanks and R. Bensen: mybiblicaldaydreams.tumblr.com.

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SPX 2014 10

I was very surprised to see Josceline Fenton at SPX — she traveled all the way from the UK just for this two-day expo! I’ve been following her whimsical webcomic Hemlock for some time now. I was actually a bit nervous to talk to her, but she was so incredibly friendly. She even gave me a free art print (above), which I hope to frame. :D

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SPX 2014 09

I just happened to stumble across this little gem that features adorable Jane Austen-esque spiders in empire-waist dresses who accidentally eat their suitors. So charming and clever! I wish there was a whole series!

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SPX 2014 08

This is a funny little comic I was given by one of its artists (I’m not sure if it was Alex or Raynato). He was a nice guy and the zine has a cute, little concept that reminds me a bit of Courage the Cowardly Dog and Nodame Cantabile for reasons I can’t quite explain.

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SPX 2014 11

These are the zines of my SPX table neighbors Carlos and Bryan! I had a lot of fun chatting with them throughout the expo and I can’t wait to sit down and take a closer look at their work. I’m especially amused by the way in which Bryan draws Carlos — it looks just like him!!

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Please visit my store: thepoetandtheflea.storenvy.com!

For more updates, follow me on facebooktumblr and twitter.

***

Copyright 2014 by G. E. Gallas


Note on “The Nutcracker”

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images or video!!

One of my favorite operas is Jacques Offenbach‘s The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann). This opera is a fantastical retelling of the life of the German Romantic author E. T. A. Hoffmann,  casting Hoffmann as the protagonist of his own stories.

Placido Domingo performing the “Chanson de Kleinzach” aria.

Désirée Rancatore performing “Les oiseaux dans la charmille.”

Through The Tales of Hoffmann, I developed an interest in Hoffmann and his stories, quickly leading me to Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny. In Freud’s essay, he uses many of the same Hoffmann stories as Offenbach, but in this case to prove a psychological point (not that Offenbach’s opera isn’t deeply psychological). If I remember correctly, Freud even mentions Offenbach’s opera.

Portrait of E. T. A. Hoffmann

I’m sure you are all wondering, “What does all this have to do with The Nutcracker?” Well, little do most people know, E. T. A. Hoffmann wrote in 1816 one of the earliest versions of The Nutcracker story, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Nussknacker und Mausekönig).

Alexandre Dumas was also a fan of Hoffmann, employing allusions to Hoffmann’s stories in The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas even went as far as creating a revision to Hoffmann’s Nutcracker in 1844 called History of The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette), or The Tale of the Nutcracker.

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Towards the end of the 19th Century, Hoffmann’s Nutcracker was adapted to ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, perhaps the most famous incarnation of the tale. I write this post because my dad purchased tickets to the San Francisco Ballet to see The Nutcracker at the end of the month. Perhaps later I’ll add my thoughts on the production to this post.

Tchaikovsky’s music is always wonderful, if not a little too overplayed for the holidays. A lot of people tend to associate The March from The Nutcracker or The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy not with Tchaikovsky, but with the thousands of Christmas commercials that use these pieces. This also happens with The Chinese Tea Dance from The Nutcracker with Disney’s Fantasia and The Sleeping Beauty Waltz with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

I believe the most creative and exciting production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut. The Hard Nut is set in 1950s America with a very retro feel inspired by the comic artist Charles Burns — a strange but brilliant compliment to the classical music. I hope to one day be able to attend a live performance.

Advertisement for The Hard Nut.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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