Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eisner Show Panorama

Screen Shot from Eisner Video
Gorgeous 360 view of the Eisner retrospective show at Rio Comicon (Rio de Janerio. The Living Spirit of Will Eisner was co-curated by the Brazilian filmmaker Marisa Furtado and CAPE partner Denis Kitchen. After Comicon the show moved to the Centro Cultural São Paulo (November-December 20110. It features 107 works by Will Eisner, plus a unique bronze sculpture of The Spirit, sketchbooks, publications and other materials related to Eisner's life and long career.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another post about Whitney Houston

I’m going to take a moment to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon with everybody else writing about Whitney Houston.  She was beautiful and gifted with an amazing voice, which made her very public decline heartbreaking to watch.  Her career spanned decades, and I think her music managed to touch most of us at some point in our lives, whether we were pop music fans or not.

I never met her.  But I used to drive the freeways of LA with her voice booming over my cheap car stereo, trying my best to keep up with her.  Back in the late 1980’s – early 90’s, when I was working for the licensed merchandise giant Winterland Productions, we made T-shirts, posters and programs for her tours. At the time, Winterland was doing most of the major acts: Eric Clapton, Elton John, Michael and Janet Jackson, Madonna, U2, Cher, Springsteen, etc… out of all these, I hate to say, Houston always had terrible sales.  This was always a mystery, because lots of people obviously loved her. She was notoriously uneven and nervous in live performance, and I can only speculate that people were glad to see her, but didn’t find it a performance worth commemorating with a $25 T-shirt. 

When she nailed a performance though, she really knocked it out of the park. Her recorded performances were always spot on and mixed to perfection. I’ve seen many posts that include a link to her amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl in 1991 (such as this post on The Mary Sue, which also includes a lot of good biographical detail).   The one time I saw her live was at the 1994 Grammy Awards at Radio City in NY.

The producers made the weird choice of having her start the show singing the first verse of I Will Always Love You acapella, and she wavered a bit (plus the audience had no idea the show had actually started, and were still milling around schmoozing), but as the song went on she found herself, and the audience response soared along with her, applauding wildly at the big finish. I will always remember her this way, and I hope her troubled soul finally found some peace.