Eddie Constantine in Hail Mafia

It’s the real panic. With Jack Klugman & Henry Silva. More info than you need.

Don DeLillo Should get every damn literary prize

Someone (whom I could not find again) posted something to the effect of “I’m voting for the presidential candidate who nominates Don DeLillo for the Nobel Prize” on thee face books. I’m not quite sure it works that way, but I echo the sentiment. Don DeLillo is surely on many readers’ short lists of greatest American writers. Make that a list of writers of fiction and his name rises even closer to the top. Anyway, someone shared in the comments to that post a link to this video that I’d never seen nor heard of and I think you will enjoy. If you have not listened to Laurie Anderson’s performance of The Body Artist yet, I also suggest you do that.

Join the King-Cat Comix Fan Club

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I got some exciting mail from John Porcellino today — an official King-Cat Comix Fan Club membership card. Hand inscribed by John P himself to me. You too can get yours by supporting John’s work on King-Cat Comics and Stories and the Spit and a Half publishing imprint and distro on Patreon. I even get a serial number on that card. That number (as you can see above) is 191. What I want to know is why that number is not 5,191 or 36,191 or higher? I admit I felt like I was pretty late to the Patreon party. It took me a while to ‘get it’ I wasn’t quite sure how to interact with it. Once I added my (logged in) Patreon landing page to my daily reading it started to make sense. Oh look, I get new comics and messages from some of my favorite artists several times a week, and it’s all creative work I would not have access to without being a patron. I’m going to explore more creators on Patreon and support a few more. I’ll share them here.

Manifold Garden – Beautiful Puzzle Explorer Game Coming Soon

This is some crazy lovely (possibly seizure inducing) eye candy. I don’t exactly have a folder on my hard drive containing only non-Euclidean Portal and HL2 mods… but near enough. I’m excited for this game. Check out this update on the game in progress from Rock Paper Shotgun.

The Beach Boys – Mt. Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)

Whatever with Pet Sounds. Have you listened to Surf’s Up? That one will change you.

Seth Kushner October 30, 1973 to May 17, 2015

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Seth Kushner left us one year ago today. Some four months before his book Schmuck would finally be released to the world through Alternative Comics. An event that was to have taken place many months earlier, but was delayed due to his illness. I just found this piece on The New York Observer site that I had never seen before. Go read it: “Lost and Found: Seth Kushner—October 30, 1973 to May 17, 2015

My computer died on Monday

and The New Intern Starts on Tuesday

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We are so not ready

And I get on a plane Thursday morning to go to Portland, Oregon
to work at Linework NW and move Sparkplug Books down here.

But that’s OK

We’ll make it through somehow

What is not OK

Is that we are based in Cupertino, California,
the home of Apple Computer

And the closest Apple store that takes computers for service
is 8 miles away in one of the busiest malls in North America
or 11 miles away in Los Gatos

Scenes From Half Moon Bay

After a heavy duty couple of weeks that included Free Comic Book Day and two comic book artist signings at the Wow Cool Alternative Comics shop, it was time to take a day off and head to the beach. The high winds and barely 60º temperatures cut into the beach time as it cut into our skin. We headed out to Half Moon Bay and it’s northern slightly more interesting bit El Grenada. Click on pictures for a larger view.

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It’s always sad to see the corpse of a former print shop or publisher. This now-empty store in the heart of Half Moon Bay was both. I could find very little on Coastside Publishers & Printers. They published a book in 1977, “All heaven broke loose” by Clayton Fountain who is known for his writing on the labor movement in America and should not be confused with the most dangerous man in the U.S. prison system of the same name. His earlier book Union Guy is still in print.

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The highlight of our day on the coast was a visit to Spanish tapas bar Seville next to Princeton Harbor. $5.00 Idiot IPA on tap. Paella on Sundays (pictured). Amazing olives. Mind-blowing jamón Ibérico (takes your supermarket prosciutto down a dark alley and beats it to death), much housemade goodness. Skip the usual seafood joints and eat here.

An Iberian Peninsula theme had started earlier in the day when we stopped at the The Half Moon Bay I.D.E.S. Society Holy Ghost Festival in celebration of the Pentecost, which has some special significance for the Portuguese, as explained here. I also acquired a curious edition of Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra earlier in the day at a thrift store which contained a postcard that had journeyed here from Madrid, but not by post.

OK. Enough cured pork and ale. Time to get back to work.

Darwyn Cooke Has Left Us

Unbelievable news today: first, this morning, that comic book artist and animator Darwyn Cooke had gone through a very serious battle with cancer; and then, this evening, that he was dead. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually properly met or talked to Darwyn, but we’ve stood very close to each other a couple of times at different events. I’ve been a huge admirer of his art since right when I got back into comics nearly a decade ago. His New Frontier was one of my gateways back into a form I had been so frustrated with when I stopped working full-time in comics in the late 90’s.

Darwyn was one of that odd group of comic makers that came in through the side door through animation work. There’s probably been at least a hundred others. That transition often works in the other direction. He was one of the few crazy people that stuck with it and made a whole bunch of really good comics and ultimately did more work for print than screen.

Cast in the light of recent events and revelations coming out of his frequent employer DC Comics certain of Darwyn Cooke’s better known works there seem even more revolutionary and downright subversive. It could be argued the he did more good in his depiction of female characters at that company than any other creator of his generation. Ironically much of this was done with more than a nod in the direction of mid-20th century cheesecake pinup art. Catwoman received the best makeover ever for such a long-running character from Cooke and Ed Brubaker. Wonder Woman got the best portrayal in her original costume she’s had since the 1940s… she was thick, she was hot, she was powerful and she could put Superman in his place in a way that I doubt we’ll see again anytime soon in a comic.

Darwyn Cooke revived Will Eisner’s The Spirit—a job I would wish on no cartoonist. It was an epic dozen issues that no other follower of Eisner has come near to. Cooke’s art was retro in the extreme, but with an intelligence, sense of humor and impeccable aesthetic that sets it apart. His comics storytelling skills are a masterclass. Vintage done right, with a nod and a wink and—if not an agenda, per se—than an awareness that was in the right place, and drew your attention to what should be obvious failings of most comics, that he could casually tear up and do it the right way. I wish I could read many more new comics by Darwyn Cooke than I will get to.

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Many more images after the jump

Have a Psycho Nurse Year All Over Again

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I made a happy surprise discovery today. The 2011 Psycho Nurse Calendar is actually good again this year! From March 1st right through New Years Eve. The dates will be the same for the whole year next in 2022. The calendar was a collaboration between Wow Cool and Silicon Valley’s favorite doughnut shack Psycho Donuts. It’s marked down to $4.95. Go get one. Happy Friday the 13th!

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