Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

ANTIGONE AND POWER

Antigone confronts CreonA few months ago, a student from the University of Rochester in New York contacted me. She was taking an English class on adaptations. Part of her research paper included the adaptation of Antigone that I created along with Tom Kurzanski. (The comic is available online in its entirety. Go to my published work page and scroll down. It’s there, all 32 pages.)

From her email:

I love your adaptation; I especially love seeing Antigone‘s power shown so blatantly. In looking at your other works, it seems that female characters take a large role. In your Antigone, female power seems to be a very central part of how you tell the story. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about this. Was portraying feminism in Antigone your intention? Was this theme of power used in order to strengthen the plot in any way, or was it more of a message in itself?

My response:

Obviously, debating the definition of what makes something “feminist” is almost as old as the movement itself. I consider myself a feminist, and I try to incorporate ideas about gender and power into my work. I see Antigone as a powerful character — in part — as a function of Greek dualism. The obvious counter example would be her sister Ismene. However, I see Creon as the true weak one. His desperation to hold onto his political power has weakened him. He pretends to not care about the will of the people, but it’s clear that he does care. He’s a bully who hides behind his authority, whereas Antigone‘s power comes from her own conviction of right and wrong and the will of the gods. I see Antigone as a character who, through no fault of her own, is constantly challenging people on their own convictions. That’s why I had Antigone kiss her sister in the opening scene. It was her way of forcing the issue of their incest origins. It was a power play, and a rather cruel one.

Read more

BIG FELLA? FUCK YOU TOO.

oddfellowsYesterday, I had dinner by myself at Oddfellows. I wanted to get a quick bite before going to a book signing. (Rough life, huh?) Oddfellows is perhaps my favorite place in Dallas to eat. The place isn’t too crowded–except for brunch. It’s a cool restaurant in a great neighborhood, relaxed environment, lots of natural light, and good food. Now you have my two-sentence Yelp review.

I was sitting there, reading a book (because that’s how I roll). And this server walked up to me. He was probably in his early twenties. He had red hair and a camp counselor smile. He looked like the kind of attractive guy who no one could imagine having sex with, because it’d feel like you were befouling a muppet. The guy cheerfully approached.

“Hey there, big fella, can I get you something to drink?”

Cue the record scratch. Big fella? Big. Fella. What grown-ass adult calls another grown-ass adult “big fella,” who? Big fella is what you call a tubby kid when he’s at Disneyland. (“Hi, big fella, are you excited to meet Mickey Mouse?”) Do not ever call me “big fella.”

Read more

THE QUOTABLE TACTICS TIME NEWSLETTER

hopkins_chessI really enjoy (and highly recommend) the Tactics Time newsletter by Tim Brennan. A few times each week, he sends an email with a tactical conundrum from a real game, something that you might actually see over the board–not just tactical compositions. He also includes a little bit of interesting commentary on the game itself.

Each newsletter features an inspirational quote. I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

“In chess, attention is more important than concentration.” – Frank J. Marshall

“When you strike at a king, you must kill him” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All great achievements require time.” ― Maya Angelou

“Tactics are it. People under 2000 shouldn’t study anything else. You need to work on the ability to count and calculate.” – Mig Greengard

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

“The weaker the player the more terrible the Knight is to him, but as a player increases in strength the value of the Bishop becomes more evident to him, and of course there is, or should be, a corresponding decrease in his estimation of the value of the Knight as compared to the bishop.” – Jose Capablanca

Read more

MY 20 FAVORITE ALBUMS

Doolittle by PixiesBack in the old days, you’d invite a friend over and they could peruse your CD shelf, quietly nodding to your choices. I guess people still have CD (and record) collections, but almost everything I have is now stored within the near-infinite, intangible bytes of my iPod. If I could pull my favorites and put them on the shelf, here they are.

I made one of these lists for Facebook a few years ago. And I think another such list is hiding in the vast archives of this blog.

My mood changes, so do my preferences, but some albums stay at number 1. Hello again, Doolittle, my old friend.

Feel free to post your own list or debate my impeccable musical tastes in the comments section.

All links go to Spotify–unless I couldn’t find the album.

20. Fox Confessor Brings the Flood by Neko Case
Favorite song: “Fox Confessor Brings the Flood”

For me, this is Neko Case at her best — wistful, haunting, melodic.

19. From A Basement On The Hill by Elliott Smith
Favorite song: “King’s Crossing”

This album hit me hard. Like all great works, it holds together by a string, but it still holds.

Read more

SPEAKING AT THE SMU WOMEN’S SYMPOSIUM

Wonder Woman taller than SupermanTomorrow, I’m speaking at SMU’s 49th Annual Women’s Symposium. My 30-minute talk will be about the historical and social impact of women superheroes, from Wonder Woman to Emily Edison. In particular, my jumping off point is this letter to Lego from 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin. What I will try to say in 30-minutes, she says much more concisely (and eloquently) in just a few words:

“Let them go on adventures and have fun. OK!?! Thank you.”

Comic book writers, take note. It’s all right there. Let them go on adventures and have fun.

In honor of Wonder Woman and my presentation, I want to share something I wrote that never got published. Smart Pop Books, a few years ago, was considering a Wonder Woman anthology to accompany a possible Joss Whedon helmed Wonder Woman movie. Of course, we all know what happened there. I wrote the first part of my essay, working title: “Wonder Woman and Superman in Conversation: The Gender Gap in DC’s New Frontier,” and then stopped when the DC movie fell through. So, the excerpt below is unpolished and unfinished, but some good ideas exist in there somewhere. Feel free to read and look for them. Read more

ME AND HUFFINGTON POST

Last year, I wrote and performed a story as part of the Oral Fixation series. Now it’s available on Huffington Post.

For those of you who want “all the dirt” on my divorce, it’s here. Kinda. Original title was “One Request Before You Leave: How a road trip, the Beatles, and a motel in Missouri made me a better ex-husband.” But long titles are pretentious and don’t work for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, so it’s been shortened to a more respectable “How a Road Trip Set to a Beatles Soundtrack Made Me a Better Ex-Husband.” Either way.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oral-fixation/how-a-road-trip-set-to-a_b_4747794.html

I’ve received a lot of positive responses from people, both friends and strangers. I’m glad that my story (mine and Melissa’s, actually) has been able to connect with others and their own experiences. What more could a writer want? I believe in good divorces–amicable partings, where parents can remain not just “friendly” but friends, and they can work together in the best interest of their child. Thank you Melissa for your blessing on this story and, the one thing that wasn’t really mentioned, how you played such a huge role in supporting me with your patience and kindness during that difficult time.

And thank you to Oral Fixation creator/director/editor Nicole Stewart for the opportunity. Between this and Lyndsay Knecht’s behind the scenes story for KERA’s Art&Seek, we’ve gotten about as much mileage (pun intended) as one could ever hope for from a single performance. Now that it’s on YouTube, I wish I wouldn’t have shaved my beard at that time. Yes, I look strange to myself without a beard. That’s my only complaint. I should have grabbed a fake beard from the prop room.

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” — Ernest Hemingway

REVIEW OF MOVIE, MAN OF STEEL

I saw MAN OF STEEL last night. This was the summer movie I was most looking forward to (more than THOR, WOLVERINE, or IRON MAN), and I really enjoyed it. Yes, Richard Donner made a better “Superman movie” that was more faithful to the original mythos. With Donner, we get Krypton, Smallville, and Metropolis, Lois and Lex and Jimmy Olsen. We get gags with glasses and alter egos. But if you treat MAN OF STEEL like an “Ultimate universe” (an edgier, reimagined and updated version of a superhero universe… with more goatees), then you can set your checklist aside and just enjoy the film. And I did.

SPOILERS abound. Read more

FIVE CRAZY SUGGESTIONS FOR THE 12TH DOCTOR

Dear BBC and Steve Moffat, do not take me too seriously.

Now that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who, fans are making their suggestions/predictions for a new Doctor. My daughter is in the camp that wants the first girl Doctor. She is also adamant that if it’s “someone old” she will stop watching. I explained to her that she loved Chris Eccleston, and then David Tennant, and then Matt Smith–and she will come to like the 12th Doctor as well, whoever it may be. Give ‘em a chance. All the same, she’s still saying “no geezers allowed.”

Doctor Who is a great show because it is fearlessly odd and imaginative. I want to be surprised, and confused, and amazed every time I watch. Whovians don’t think outside the box; they envision the box as being infinitely bigger on the inside. So if anything is possible, I have a few thoughts on the next Doctor to surprise, confuse, and amaze fans who have come to expect anything. Read more

FANTASTIC FOUR SKETCHBOOK

Happy birthday to me! Since 2004, I’ve been collecting art at the various conventions I’ve attended–all for my Fantastic Four sketchbook. It’s about time I uploaded everything.

Here it is: thatdavidhopkins.com/fantastic-four-sketchbook/

I have some great pieces in here from Josh Howard, J.E. Smith, Cal Slayton, Christine Norrie, Nick Derington, Andy MacDonald, Alejandro Garza, Christopher Mitten, Steve Rolston, Paul Chadwick, Kazu Kibuishi, Chuck Wojtkiewicz, George Perez, Robbi Rodriguez, Brock Rizy, Scott Kurtz, Kevin Steele, Chris Medellin, Tone Rodriguez, Chris Moreno, Michael Lark, Skottie Young, Chad Thomas, Benjamin Hall, Lea Hernandez, Brent Schoonover, Paul Milligan, Jake Ekiss, and Robert Wilson IV.

Thank you for offering your time and talent.

Page 1 of 1812345...10...Last »

Contact

P.O. Box 735, Arlington, TX 76004
thatdavidhopkins.com
skype: davidgregoryhopkins

Disclaimer

All rights reserved. No distribution (in any means electronic or mechanical) is allowed without permission from the author. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.