Saturday, September 18, 2010

Eat, Pray, Loss.

There are so many things that I could talk about to break this most recent bout of blog silence.

I could talk about the controversy going on with comics' Lulu Awards. See, the Lulu Awards are meant to celebrate "the people and projects that helped to open eyes and minds to the amazing comic and cartooning work by and/or about women.

The problem? Von Allan, whose graphic novel The Road to God Knows has scored three nominations including the Kim Yale Award for Most Talented Newcomer, is a man and some folks aren't feeling very tuned in to the "and/or" section of the Lulu mission. The Yale Award being the greatest sticking point.

I could write about Jonathan Franzen's great American novel Freedom but, honestly, I've lost three friends just by writing this much about the book. As the Cheap Bohemian put it far better than I, "It's like no one else has written a book this year."

Which is, of course, nonsense. One look at my Visa card will make that clear to you.

I could talk about Pop Culture Happy Hour, a new podcast from NPR that is, to borrow from one of the show's regular features, making me happy. Even if the podcast wasn't as funny as it absolutely is (1) Glen Weldon is one of the Happy Hour's panel regulars. Glen Weldon. NPR's Comics Blogger. If NPR made baseball cards this is the one that I would be trading packages of Twinkies on the playground to get my hands on. I mean. C'mon. NPR. Comics blogger. It's an Artboy's dream come true.

But, no. Instead I'm going to take a little time this gorgeous afternoon to once more mourn the loss of Gourmet magazine. This is firmly in mind because last night, for the third night in a row, I settled into bed, pulled out the new issue of Food & Wine, and felt a wave of disappointment so profound I still couldn't make it through a single article.

This is, as the little subscription card reminded me, my last issue of Food & Wine unless I renew now.

And guess what Food & Wine. I don't think that I'm renewing now.

The theme of this month's issue is great Italian-American favorites...the cover featuring a tarted up grilled ham and cheese. The guts of my last issue are largely packed with recipes cushioned by just the barest of editorial content. The photos are nice but, let's face it, the pictures are always nice when you're trafficking in food porn. Even that grilled ham and cheese on the cover looks beautiful.

But it doesn't inspire.

As I wrote about in the days following the cancellation of Gourmet, what I always admired about the magazine was how smart it was. I admired the research that went into the editorial content, the narratives that made me want to track down this odd vegetable or that bottle of vinegar. I was excited by the work that Saveur's writers were doing because the excitement they had for their subject matter was so evident. It was beautifully designed, brilliantly edited and, yes, gorgeously photographed.

And so, another magazine will be making the move from my "must read" pile to my "pick it up at the train station/airport" pile.

Food & Wine...looks like we're breaking up. Just know that it's not me.

It's you.

1. Seriously, seriously, funny.