Quick Frames

Maggie Greene (a UMW History alum, for the gang cheering at home) shared a great post today on Chinese lianhuanhua 连环画, or picture storybooks. In particularly, she shared images — and, with the assistance of the very helpful Brendan O’Kane, a cleaned-up .pdf of the full text — of a 1980 Chinese Star Wars illustrated story book.  Maggie dives nicely into an exploration of Chinese appropriation and improvisation on the story (as well as some of the odder characterizations that seem to appear along the way.)

The images from the text (see Maggie’s post for a link to the full work) struck me, bringing me back to the kinds of Sci-Fi novels I used to read in my younger days. Or which I would still find, until its recent closure, at a favorite used bookstore in my summers visiting family in Sandwich, Mass.

Neuromancer (1984) may not be quite as vintage a title as the others, yet that cover is definitely vintage 80s, rounding out an earlier collection above.

Meanwhile, another very good discussion happened recently at the Columbia Weatherhead East Asian Institute site, with an interview with Gregory Pflugfelder, associate professor of Japanese history and a long-time collector of materials related to Godzilla movies. Pflugfelder shares images and insights, including the ways in which the significance of Godzilla transcends the simple Japan-U.S. dichotomy and history. Monster movies bear much more meaning in their imagery, and carry much more mileage. All with an interest in cinema and global themes should find the discussion quite useful.