The Michigan Daily - Wds e* 4t. - Thursday, September 14, 1995 - 9B
have moving sjects
By Ted Watts - and Butt-Head interview, I suppose.
DailyArts Writer Other articles explore the difference
Do you want to know more about between Bluto and Brutus in Popeye car-
cartoons? Sure, we all do! And it's so toons, a review of the Goofy movie, an
easy when you have the right magazine. obituarytodirectorFrizFreling,ananime
Howzabout looking at a couple of guide andastable ofcolumns that present
magazines that both contain that all im- individuals rambling on animation and
portant "Animat-" prefix. OK, it's not related subjects.
reallyaprefix,butboth Animation Maga- On the other hand we have Animation
zine and Animato! do start with it. Magazine. Its September '95 issue has a
While Animato! is listed as being the great Aeon Flux cover that is sure to
Spring '95 issue, it was just on the shelf knock the socks off anyone impressed by
at Border's, so let's take a look at it. Aeon's pointy bondage breasts, clad in
Considering the wealth of visual images leather/vinyl/whatever material it is that
probably available to the publication, Brekkan terrorists wear to look sexy. Her
they have insteadhad an ugly illustration head is even obscuring the logo a bot
to front forthebig story on censorship in while the background stays behind it.
animation on the interiorofthemag. Itis Ooooh, the illusion of 3D.
not the most beatiful cover. The cover is a misrepresentation of the
Content-wise, however, it is pretty story it is meant to illustrate. The story is
darn good. With reviews of animation on "Aeon Flux's" studio, Colossal Pic-
and related topics on various media tures, and actually focuses very little on
(films, comics, video tapes, television, Aeon. While an interesting story, it has
CD-ROM, books and trading cards), preciouslittletodowithahugepictureof
Animato! covers a wide range of topics. Aeon, and would more rightly have a
Combined with various newsbites as picture of the studio itself. One might
well, the magazine is successfull at a even think that the magazine used Aeon
diverse covering of the field instead of as pure sex appeal to sell a story only
focusing only on major releases by ma- marginally connected to her.
jor studios. Flipping through the issue, you'll see
The best aspect of Animato! is the that Animation Magazine has brightly
presenceoflengthy features. Anin-depth colored glossy pages which are in high
story on the inclusion of cartoons in the contrast with Animato!'sblack and white
National Film Registry makes an ap- newsprint. You'll also note that there's a
pearance, along with the somewhat re- lot of ads in the pages, beautifully show-
lated topic of film preservation. The casing the work of many studios. That's
piece is historically informative as well fine, but there's only so much an ad can
asprovidinginformationonhowtonomi- tell you.
nate a film for the National Film Regis- The mag's newsbites aren't as well
try. All in all, a fine article. written as Animato!'s, tending towards
Then,ofcourse,there'sthecoverstory. sparse facts without enough information
Again informative, it explains to a lim- or opinion. It seems as if they think an
ited extent about network Standards and icon accompanying an article makes it
Practices divisions, which are the inter well written. They are incorrect.
nal censors for television. It also pre- Well, at least it has a John Kricfalusi
sents several cases where elements of article in it. His commentary on "Dexter's
cartoons had to be changed in order to Laboratory" showsthe insights ofadirec-
meet with network approval in various tor into a cartoon, as well as John K.
confusing ways, from CBS's command quoting other directors and their insights
to not allow Popeye to hit anyone, to into various aspects of cartoon making,
Nickelodeon'sbanishmentoftheGeorge such as pacing and timing.
Liquor character from Ren and Stimpy. Ultimately, Animation Magazine is a
Ultimately a useful and insightful piece. bit more glitzy and has less information
There's also an interview with Space than Animato! While Animato! gener-
Ghost. That's right, the animated talk ally has better critical essays, Animation
show host. If a cartoon can interview Magazine has the long Kricfusi article
people, I guess a magazine can inter- which is an excellent piece of writing and
view him. Of course, the Animato! worth the entire magazine, flaws and all.
writer wasn't as witty as S.G., but the We should feel fortunate that there are
Ghost himself was in top form. Sort of several intelligent cartoon mags on the
reminiscent ofthe Rolling Stone Beavis stands. So, go buy.
Writing a book that focused on plot
rather than other more esoteric elements
was harder for Delbanco than he ima,
"It was a different enterprise alto-
gether," he said. "It gave me a respect
for the mystery trade."
"In the Name of Mercy" is not
Delbanco's first attempt at a plot-driven
novel. In a 1984 interview, Delbanco
described an earlier tryst with writing a
book which would, as T.S.Eliot put it,
entice the reader-dog into the story's
"Skeletons and naked ladies fell out
ofclosets; characters chased each other,
then their doubles, around the world;
there were murder mysteries and buried
treasures and disappearances and
cliffhangers at each chapter's end. But
it seemed so hopeless, such a parody
of...story-telling, that I never tried to
Delbanco directs the MFA Creative
Writing Program at Michigan and ad-
ministers the prestigious Hopwood
Awards. His undergraduate literature
course, Living Writers-the Contem-
porary Novel, was featured in the New
York Times. He has been awarded a
Guggenheim Fellowship and two fel-
lowships from the National Endow-
ment for the Arts.
Students describe Delbanco as an en-
"He brings the same joy and depth
of experience to his teaching that he
does to his writing," said Residential
College junior Seth Meisel s. Meisels
believes the publication of "In the
Name of Mercy" will allow Delbanco
to reach a wider readership.
"The (new novel) is more accesible
and this is a good thing," Meisels
said. "After people finish the book,
they'll likely explore his earlier
Advance reviews speak glowingly
of "In the Name of Mercy."
Frederick Busch called the book,
"Uncannily insightful about love, sex,
and money. Here is wonderful writ-
ing, memorable entertainment, a must-
Said Geoffrey Wolff, "This novel
does honor to the dead and to the
dying: that's all of us."
What precipitated Delbanco's de-
cision to write abook that would have
this degree of commercial appeal?
"I have to pay college tuition for
my kids," Delbanco joked.
Next Tuesday, September 19,
Delbanco will read from "In the Name
of Mercy" at Border's Books & Mu-
sic. The 7:30 reading is free and will
be followed by a reception for the
Nick Delbanco wants to rock your little world.
Professor's book 'Mercy' may bring Delbanco fame
By Davy Rothbart
For Daily Arts
A book's success is often measured
by its commercial appeal rather than
its level of critical acclaim. Gracing
the New York Times' Bestseller List
has become a grander achievement
than receiving positive reviews from
For many years, Nicholas
Delbanco's place on the literary map
has been that of a writer's writer. His
substantial body of literature, fiction
and non-fiction, is more familiar to
critics and academics than to the gen-
eral reading public. All that may
change with the release of his novel,
"In the Name of Mercy."
Delbanco's medical thriller has al-
ready been picked up by QPB and the
Book-of-the-Month Club. Warner
Books plans a massive distribution
and advertising campaign.
"It is, in a sense, a public book,"
Delbanco said. "It is subject-oriented.
I have tackled a public issue."
Delbanco's novel investigates the
ethical concerns surrounding eutha-
nasia. After a doctor assists in the
mercy-killing of his ailing wife, he
begins helping terminally ill patients
at his hospital end their lives with
dignity. The protaganist, a younger
and handsomer version of Dr. Jack
Kevorkian, falls in love again while
confronting a divided medical com-
munity and his own tangled feelings.
...... ...,..... ... _ .......a _. - _.
By Melissa Grace
The Baltimore Sun
If you're crawling the web, you've
probably noticed. If you've looked at a
book jacket or two recently, you've
seen it, too: The World Wide Web is
fast becoming a place for both publish-
ers and bookstores to showcase their
Just dial up your Internet server
from a home or office computer and
there you are, browsing virtual book-
shelves. Fall titles and covers are dis-
played, plus you can get the price, check
out a new catalog, order a book and have
it shipped direct.
Publishers are even using book
jackets to advertise their Web address.
Log on and you can download a review,
hear the author read an excerpt from a
new book, or see what else they have
written. And, of course, you can check
out what else that particular bookseller
might be peddling.
The American Booksellers As-
sociation, which boasts 4,500 book-
stores as members, has its own Web
site, Bookweb. There, on-line
browsers will find news and infor-
mation about books, sellers and the
And from the Bookweb, shop-
pers can link _ by simply clicking
onto a booksellers name or icon _
into an ABA member's home page.
And, for cerebral book chatter,
Putnam Berkley On-line features a
Although mainstream book
sales currently are low in
cyberspace, booksellers see the po-
tential for promotion and eventual
Borders, for example, has been
testing a Web page created by a
Dallas store employee. But Nancy
Levi, who oversees data base mar-
keting from the company's Ann
Arbor headquarters, says it is sell-
ing about 10 books a month this
way. "There's not a lot of selling
going on the net," she says. "The
primary purpose of the site now is
information about Borders and Bor-
ders' products. In the long run, it's
to sell books."
A key stumbling block to sales is
that consumers don't feel safe trans-
ferring their credit card numbers by
computer. As an alternative, most ven-
dors list a telephone and fax number
for orders. And, of course, not every-
one is on-line or even knows what a
home page is (an electronic bulletin
Smaller, niche booksellers and
mail-order shops have seen the big-
gest benefit from going on-line, where
they can extend their reach to an in-
Scott Huffines, owner of Atomic
Books in Baltimore, has struggled
since opening his shop in 1992. When
he put the Atomic catalog on the Web
18 months ago, he says his sales
tripled. With a $125-a-month fee to
his local Internet server, Huffines
markets "fringe publications" like the
"Anarchist Cookbook" and "Crack-
pot" by John Waters, to his generally
young and computer-savvy clientele.
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