Stripped: Where are all the cartoons gonna go?

I'm sure many, if not most, of us remember a time when the only part of a newspaper we were interested in was the funny pages. Actually, it's probably still my favorite section of a print newspaper (if not for crosswords), but I rarely buy newspapers anymore. So in the age of new media and declining print newspaper sales, Stripped, asks "where are all the cartoons gonna go?"

I saw this trailer and I was immediately intrigued. Stripped talks to 90 cartoonists about their unique trade and the direction it's heading towards in this millenium. While the film follows a niche form of media, this is a concern all media makers must have in their mind. Are new media platforms a godsend or a death sentence for already established forms of media? I for one think our time is ripe for potential and we can utilize current technology to make more dynamic and engaging forms of media. Media is simply about communication and the more ways we can communicate the better. But I'm still curious to know what the cartoonists in this film have to say, especially Jim Davis and Bill Watterson (the creators of Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes, respectively). It seems there is no release date yet and they are still raising funds for it (if you'd like to contribute, go to their kickstarter). I will update this post once I find out more. 

Doc Rec: The Great Happiness Space

Something I want to do on this space is post recommendations I have for any form of narrative that I've enjoyed. Today I want to recommend one of my favorite documentary films of all time, The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief.

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The Great Happiness Space follows the story of Cafe Rakkyo, a host club, and its charismatic owner, employees, and patrons. In Japan, host clubs are bars where women go to enjoy the company of handsome and charming men employed there. If you want to get crude, these "hosts" are for all intents and purposes emotional prostitutes (who sometimes sleep with their clients as well). But this film isn't merely a seedy tale of unusual sex work. Instead the film is about a very complicated service industry with high personal and financial stakes and the caring yet alarmingly cunning businessmen who have learned to capitalize on being desirable boyfriends. They call it The Great Happiness Space because these bars truly sell happiness, often to people who cannot find it elsewhere. I can't say more without giving away too many details but I will say the narrative turns this film takes make it more compelling than anything that someone could have conjured up with their imaginations. Take a leap of faith and watch this movie (available on Netflix).