Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm doing a little re-formatting of this blogging effort of mine. Despite my best intentions to separate out my life – local stuff, film, animation, the life of a reporter – into several blogs I just can't maintain them all. Therefore while the older blogs will be up for a little while longer, I'm just going to put everything onto one blog – this one – but try to have designated days for the various subjects.

Part of my blog's problem is that is neither fish nor fowl when judged against successful blog. The blogs that receive the most traffic are those that are either about one topic or they reflect the varied viewpoints of a well-known person. This blog reflects the varied views of a non-famous person. Although literally thousands of people read my stuff every week, I do not claim any element of celebrity. I'm just a working class guy doing a job.

But I hate to be tied down to just one topic and therefore on Wednesdays and Sundays, expect posts on animation. There will be a day of the week for movies and the rest will be on local news and comments.

I've held off posting a lot of stuff about animation, especially Fleischer material, because I don't want to post everything that will hopefully be in a book one day. But there's plenty of stuff that I'm going to start scanning and posting. here goes the first Wednesday animation post:

Marjane Satrapi, whose autobiographical novel about the Islamic Revolution, “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood,” was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated animated film of the same name, will speak at Smith College at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 3.

The lecture will be held at John M. Greene Hall and will be followed by a book sale and signing. It is free and open to the public.

Satrapi’s visit was scheduled in connection with the selection of her book as the 2007 summer reading assignment for incoming students, and it follows the national release of her movie, which received an Oscar nomination for best animated feature film.

The graphic novel was selected because of its simple-but-effective documentation of the growth of a young girl amid the birth of the Islamic Republic. It was the first time incoming Smith students had been assigned a graphic novel to read.

In her story, young Marjane and her family experience the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, which at first seems to be the longed-for beginning of a free and democratic future for their country. With the election of a conservative Islamic government, however, the little girl finds her life changed dramatically as increasing political repression and the restriction of women’s freedom lead her parents to the decision to send Marjane to Austria to complete her education.

Since it was published in 2003, “Persepolis” has gained international popularity. The book was included in Time magazine’s Best Comix of 2003 list and won the Angoulême Coup de Coeur Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.

Satrapi, who lives in Paris, continues to write graphic novels, and writes and illustrates children’s books. “Persepolis” was originally written in French and was translated into English by Satrapi’s husband, Mattias Ripa, and Blake Ferris. The story is continued in “Persepolis 2.”

For information about disability access or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.

I'm trying to set up an interview with her for the newspapers, but I've been told that is doubtful. Now I'm willing to bet I'll probably be the only news outlet here to ask for an advance, but... anyway I'm planning to attend the presentation, buy a book and give her one of my mine.

© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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