Chabon, Cartoonists Petition for Auschwitz Paintings

More than 450 artists, cartoonists and comic book creators, including Michael Chabon, have signed a petition urging a Polish museum to return eight paintings created by an the elderly California woman who painted them while in Auschwitz, Kansas City infoZine reported today.

Other creators include Stan Lee and Art Spiegelman (Maus).

“The fundamental principle that art belongs to the artist who create it is recognized everywhere except totalitarian countries,” the petition signed by the artists said.

The group, organized by veteran comics artist Joe Kubert, called on the museum to return the paintings to Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, a retired Hollywood animator who animated famed characters like Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzalez, Cap’n Crunch, Daffy Duck, and Tweety Bird.

The museum has argued the paintings should remain in the museum to help document the Holocaust.

Escapists #3 Hits Stores

The third part in the amazing adventure of Max and Case Weaver hits stores today.

The Escapists #3, written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Steve Rolston and Jason Alexander, the issue marks the half-way mark in the six-part mini-series tale of two friends and their efforts to revive the Escapist comic franchise in the 2000’s.

“I really hope you guys are reading this comic because it’s full of goodness,” Rolston said in his e-mail newsletter today.

According to solicitations, in this issue, Case gets reckless after letterer Denny knocks-out some convenience store thieves while dressed as the Escapist. Case and Max break into the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s office during the night to give their new Escapist comic even more press. But a night watchman isn’t too far away.

“People keep begging me to tell them what new projects I’m going to take on after Runaways, but if you haven’t read this yet, it’s new to you!” Vaughan said a forum posting Tuesday. “Just try it, and I’ll buy it back from you if you don’t love it. This is seriously one of the best comics I’ve ever been involved with.”

And for those of you who like to look before buying, Broken Frontier has a five-page preview of the issue.

MP3 of Chabon’s Punk Band Online

An MP3 has surfaced of Michael Chabon on vocals in a 1980s Pittsburgh punk band called The Bats.

Sam Matthews, who played guitar for the band, posted the MP3 on his MySpace page earlier this week. The song, “Yesterday Does Not Rule,” was recorded in June 1984.

“Yes, it is me, I’m sorry to say,” Chabon said in an e-mail. “Oy, vey, I sound AWFUL! The other Bats all sound pretty good, but I totally ruin the track. How embarrassing! Thank God I never pursued that line of work any further!”

Other band members included Lee Skirboll on bass, Mark Magee Miller on drums, and Ruth Ann Schmidt on guitar.

Chabon previously discussed The Bats in a 2001 interview with Rolling Stone.

“I was with them very briefly,” Chabon said. “I was the singer, so-called, because I can’t play any instrument. I can’t sing, either, but that was OK. This was in college. It wasn’t a punk band. We didn’t have the purity of punk, where we felt like we had to reject everything. It was just a conscious ‘Let’s just play a kind of music we like that’s loud.'”

The reporter asked Chabon if they were uniting the lyrics also.

“Yeah,” Chabon replied. “And I think they were kind of lame now, looking back. I was very self-conscious. I probably thought I had a mission or agenda. And I was heavily into this J.G. Ballard influence in fiction at that point, so I know I did weirdly Ballardian lyrics about car accidents and plane crashes.”

Asked what songs titles he remembered, Chabon recalled “Yesterday Does Not Rule.”

“That was kind of lame,” Chabon said.

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Waldman Reflects on Writing

In a new interview, Ayelet Waldman reflects on how she and Michael Chabon work together.

“Just the other day, (for example) I was at a point in my novel when I knew what needed to happen emotionally, but not how to do it,” Waldman told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in an article published Friday. “So we walked and he asked questions and we brainstormed and over the course of the walk I found the plot point I was looking for. We both do this for each other all the time.”

To read the whole article, click here.