What a banner day!

*My Free Comic Book Day 2006 report will be filed tomorrow, as it’s currently up to one hundred billion words and I haven’t even gotten to the point where I enter a comics shop yet. Maybe I should cut the parts where I sample a variety of succulent ethnic foods before leaving on my journey? I'm not cutting the poems, though. Those will prove vital toward broadcasting my Free Comics experience.

I will say right up front that it was a nice day, and I found pretty much everything I really wanted without much trouble at all, unlike last year where things got kind of down-to-the-wire in looking for some of the less-mainstream books. I hope you all had a nice day out there too.

*Interestingly enough, this year’s Free Comic Book Day even managed to coincide with a comics-derived movie, just like old times! Granted, the movie in question - Art School Confidential - hasn’t opened on all that many screens, but it still something.

I’ve been itching to see the movie, and I’m sure I will whenever it dribbles into my neck of the woods. Kind of noteworthy the number of negative reviews it’s getting, though. Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum was particularly caustic, drubbing the film “[i]nsistently sullen, nihilistic, and successful to the point of smugness at transmitting buzzkill” and "a tantrum against sincerity, an excoriation of anyone so foolish as to want to take a class and, maybe, learn something." It gets a 'D+' grade. Comics internet snark protocol #326(a)(4) requires me to also quote her synopsis of co-writer Dan Clowes' book Ghost World as "about two teenage outsider girls and one middle-aged outsider guy, the three of them itchy under their cloaks of irony." This is, of course, incorrect - said middle-aged outsider guy is only an even halfway prominent presence in the film.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times is just as hard on co-writer/director Terry Zwigoff's visual technique, blasting it as "indifferent to the niceties of framing, lighting and narrative rhythm, as muddled and hectic as a student art project pulled off in a single, desperate, caffeine-fueled all-nighter." J. Hoberman of the Village Voice is no more impressed with the film's looks ("nearly avant-garde in its tone (deaf) shifts and spatial incoherence") but seems more sympathetic to the work as a whole. I wonder how its release is going to expand? I was hoping that the success of Bad Santa would at least land it a quick bump up to some megaplex venues, though I wonder now if this one will be left to the shoeboxes and arthouses a month down the trail.

*And just to keep it all FCBD-focused here, if you didn't sign up to get a free magazine from Twomorrows' backstock, the offer has been extended for another day. That's good for me, since I couldn't even get their site to load earlier today, so heavy was the traffic.