nickname Rebel Electric Lounge single out now

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Recorded nearly 20 years ago and finally released today is the track Electric Lounge by nickname: Rebel. Guest vocals are by Cindy of Doris zine. This was originally done for a Texas-themed compilation CD that came with zine Cool Beans. The editor liked the instrumental and then rejected it when we added the vocals. So now it’s out in the world in all the usual places.

The Yes Men Are Revolting

Out friends the Yes Men have a new movie out. The trailer is above.The Yes Men Are Revolting is available now on Apple’s iTunes and Amazon. Go get that.

New Books in the Shop May 27 2015

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New in the shop this week: Wuvable Oaf by Ed Luce, Pope Hats #4 by Ethan Rilly and the first issue of Alan Moore’s new series Providence. New last week Giant Day’s #3, Optic Nerve #14. Get them in our Cupertino store or online at https://wowcool.com?

Free Comic Book Day at Wow Cool Alternative Comics

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The Wow Cool® Alternative Comics store in Cupertino is having it’s second annual Free Comic Book Day event from 10am-7pm on Saturday, May 2nd. There will be tons of free comics for kids and adults, arts and crafts activities for kids, a lemonade stand, and everything in the store will be 20% off. There will also be several quarter and dollar bins of comics (including superhero stuff).

We are right off of the CA-85 Cupertino/Stevens Creek exit near the intersection with I-280. Look for the giant Paul & Eddie’s sign — we are in the same parking lot — way around the back of the Share World building. Our normal business hours are Tuesday-Saturday noon-6pm

Kickstart This: CHAINMAIL BIKINI: The Anthology of Women Gamers

Chainmail Bikini is an anthology of comics by and about female gamers! 40 cartoonists have contributed 200+ pages of all new stories about the games they’re passionate about—from video games to table-top role-playing to collectible card games. Help us pay for the printing costs and reward the artists by pre-ordering the book!

The comics in Chainmail Bikini explore the real-life impact of entering a fantasy world, how games can connect us with each other and teach us about ourselves. Alliances are forged, dice get rolled, and dragons get slain! We believe that gaming should be open to all, regardless of gender. Chainmail Bikini shows that while women are not always the target market for gaming, they are a vital and thoroughly engaged part of it, and are eager to express their personal take as players, makers, and critics of games.

Cover art is by the most awesome Hellen Jo, who hipped us to this project. Get the full scoop and support this project on its Kickstarter page.

Maximum Rocknroll 383 the Comics and Art Special

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It’s time for Maximum Rocknroll #383, April 2015, the Comics and Art special issue, guest coordinated by famed MRR columnist Monsieur Alex Simon. Featuring a cover by everyone’s favorite Mexican miscreant, Abraham Diaz, we threw over the written word for a full-on visual extravaganza, featuring art by Jim Shomo, Sara Abruña, Reuben Storey, Teodoro Hernandez, Tara Bursey, Payton Lower, Diane Maltesta, Andrew Scully, Ben Fordree, Juarma Lopez, J.M. Bertoyas, Shiva Addanki, Eugene Terry, Grimoire, Emma Kohlmann, Jack Hayden, Hector Sudor, Chico Félix, Ivan Brun, Robin Wiberg, Anna Vo, Alexander Heir, Craoman, Christopher Nhdiystrec, Anna Haifisch, Luca Tetraite, Maren Karlson, Suzy X, Matt Crabe, Jeffrey Mahannah, Freak City, Heather Benjamin, Dustin McChesney, Julien Dupont, Laura Pallmall, Ruben Dahlstrand, Nathan Ward, Mar Estrema, Sapiens, Mengzhu Fu, Karissa Sakumoto, Pyotr Mulinov, Jyriki Nissinen, Luiz Berger, Luiz Gustavo Vargas, Yecatl Peña, Zoe Burke, Annie Mok, Marissa Paternoster, Emma Maatman and Rudy Loewe.

The last time MRR did a comics issue – the Punk Comics Special guest edited by Janelle Hessig – it sold out almost immediately. You can get it now direct from the source or wait a few days and get it from us. You pays your money you takes your choice.

Happy 30th Anniversary Teen-Beat Records

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The mighty Teen-Beat Records celebrates its 30 year anniversary. Wow Cool’s house band nickname: Rebel has paid tribute to their releases twice in the past; first on the 20th anniversary covers comp Relax Brother, Relax – with a version of a Sexual Milkshake song, and, slightly more recently, with a version of Unrest’s Kunfusion that got played once on Mark Whitby’s Dandelion Radio show. Official release coming later this year.

The Residents’ theory of Obscurity Film coming to SxSW

Theory of Obscurity – Teaser Trailer #1 from Don Hardy on Vimeo.

Theory of Obscurity, the definitive film documentary of San Fransisco-based art/music/performance group The Residents is debuting at South By Southwest in March, and is already making peoples top five lists, like here in the San Jose Mercury News. Wow Cool recording artist and Alternative Comics published artist Steven Cerio is prominently featured in the film as are his many collaborations over the years with the group. Check it out if you can. The Residents will also perform Shadowland live at SxSW on March 20th.

Taken to the cleaners

Unbelievably, just a month and a half after the Wow Cool | Alternative Comics shop was burglarized we have been hit again by what strongly appears to be the same thief or thieves. The method of entry and pattern of theft are very similar to what occurred before and reveals very OCD traits of the culprit(s). If you have any information, please contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office at (408) 868-6600. The event number is 150310210C

Stolen Items include:

an iPod Touch 16GB – serial number 1D74862SW4T

Two locking metal cash boxes, one containing about $70 in cash with several coin rolls
The second cash boxes had a bent key and contains misc. trade show supplies and various comics-related cards and stickers

Several loose comics and books. Most of them being short – under 9 inches tall, from A to Dave Cooper, plus most of the E’s and Fs. It’s a lot of books and too many to list right now…

One small white box of standard Marvel and DC Comics about 150 of them.

Every minicomic and digest in the shop from A to Dan James’ The Octopi and the Ocean was taken, including all the Papercutters, every issue of Structures from Uncivilized, all the Michael DeForge, Simon Gane, Mike Bertino, Theo Ellsworth, Tom Neely, Hellen Jo, Tom Kaczynski, Jim Rugg, Kevin Huizenga and many many more.

Two copies of the newest Jim Rugg notebook from AdHouse, Toys in the Basement by Blanquet, many copies of Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle, several copies of Derf’s True Stories, Theo Ellsworth’s Understanding Monster #2, Several Becky Cloonan comics (The Mire, Demeter, Wolves), two copies of Tyranny of the Muse #2, several copies of Daddy Lightning by Tom Hart, various minicomics by David Lasky, RAW volume 2 number 2, Blab 6 & 7, Remake & Remake Special, and a copy of Noah Van Sciver’s Hypo.

We do have stock in the back still of many of those books but not all.

This second theft has hit us hard. The last time around we were lucky to have a replacement window in the building. That was not the case this time. We have also invested in further protecting our store and office to prevent this from happening again. The loss of stock is massive and it will take us some time to re-inventory. Many of the books are not easily replaceable. 2014 was a hard year for us in many ways, and it was greatly hoped that things would improve this year. We are not getting off to a great start it seems. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated. We would prefer you support us by buying the books we sell on WowCool.com. Any artists or publishers that want to replace or donate books, we will forever be in you debt.

After and before photos of the shelves that were hit hardest follow (The before pictures are from January 13, 2015, when we greatly expanded about three shelves of books, mainly the books that were not taken. After photos were taken immediately after the theft was discovered on Saturday afternoon.).

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New Books Making Their Way into the Shop

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In the build-up to the popular holiday season, Wow Cool added bajillions of new books to our physical shop in Cupertino, CA (Book thieves, take note). We are now finally getting these books added into our online catalog at WowCool.com. Some are New new books… some are just new to us. There are at least a couple hundred of them. It’s still easier to find them in the store. We’ll eventually get them all online. It’s easiest to see what new books are added into our web store on our Facebook photos… sadly…

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie

Art by John Derf Backderf. Click to make big. Share widely.

Happy New Year!

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Image from the Punch 1915 Almanac. Available to view or download on Archive.org.

Support the Sequential Artists Workshop

Twenty seven years ago I shared a studio at the School of Visual Arts dorms with Tom Hart — a visionary young artist who showed much potential for becoming a great cartoonist. He did become a great cartoonist. What no one knew then was that Tom would also go on to become a great educator. One with a vision as well. His vision led to the creation of Gainesville, Florida’s SAW — The Sequential Artists Workshop. Wow Cool is an active sponsor of SAW’s programs, but they could use your help as well. Please consider making a contribution after reading Tom’s story below.  

Studies say that the most expensive schools aren’t Ivy League schools, they’re art schools.    Is something wrong with this picture?Here’s what I see: most graduates of art schools wind up with merely moderate skills to navigate their future but with massive debt.

Young artists who go to these schools start out life standing in a huge financial hole.

If you look at the major art schools- great places where I have taught and have friends who teach- artists come out with six figure debts. The education may be great, but in today’s world- is it worth the cost?

I started the SAW  because I believe our artists deserve a high quality education without that Ivy League price tag.

Do you feel the same way I do?If so, there are just 3 days left to give your tax deductible donation this year!
Please give to the Sequential Artists Workshop today.

Sequential Artists Workshop is not just about teaching people to make comics.

It’s about making a better world, for all of us.

SAW costs 1/10th the price of major art schools because it’s run by artists and supported by caring people like you.

Colleges and universities should not be in the business of churning students through the system and leaving them with crushing debt.

When you give to SAW , you’re putting your values into action, one student at a time.

     Here’s a student that you have helped this last year. 

Meet Michael.He got accepted to a major art school, and once he got a look at the price tag -as much per year as Harvard, called us up. He visited SAW, saw what we do and registered. Now he says, “I’ve made more progress to that end in one semester at SAW than I have alone in the last 5 years.”

Can we count on you to keep ensuring a bright future for our artists?

Please, give generously today. Even a penny will help.

You have the power to ensure a brighter future for artists like Michael.

Thank you!

Tom Hart

P.S. There are only 3 days left in 2014 to get your tax-deductible donation to Sequential Artists Workshop and make a difference in the lives of young artists like Michael. Please, click here and give generously today. 

We Was Robbed

The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics shop in Cupertino, California was broken into sometime this weekend by way of a very large rock. Several hundred dollars of comics and books were stolen. We were very fortunate that there was a replacement window available. The glass from the window that was smashed broke into an impressive quantity of shards both small and large and the debris field stretched from the end of the patio outside the shop all the way to the back of it. The books closest to the window need to be individually vacuumed.

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The thief or thieves were bizarrely selective in their choices of books to remove. Several new Alternative Comics published books were removed, including copies of Derf Backderf’s True Stories, Devin Flynn’s Hawd Tales and four copies of Noah Van Sciver’s A City of Whiskey and Fire.

Also missing were about 2/3 of a couple of shelves of big fancy art books and our hodge podge shelfs of larger art books and political and slice of life comics including books by Henriette Valium, Keith Knight, Lloyd Dangle, and Neil Gaiman, including at least one signed edition. The total retail price of all the books that were stolen is around a thousand dollars.

We have cleaned up most of the mess and are now just mostly dazed and confused.

The best way you can help us out in this difficult time is by buying books from our shop, online, or in person at the Cupertino store. We will be open on schedule at 12 noon on Tuesday, December 16th.

A partial list of what was taken and some before and after photos is after the jump. If you have any information, please contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office at (408) 868-6600.

Continue reading We Was Robbed

I Saw A Thing… Punk Rock and all that…

fumbling about for something to have on in the background while messing around with such esoteric concerns as GS1-128 barcodes and the west coast trucking crisis I stumbled across a pair of what I think were German TV documentaries on punk from the 70s on thee Hulu. It’s always nice to see something from a totally different perspective on an area you thought you were familiar with. Even better if it’s something that had seemed as petrified as the history of punk. First up was Punk In London from 1977, which teases at the existence of Generation X (The band) several times, but never delivers them. There are a couple clips of X Ray Spex in there I had never seen. Some people will watch this for the images of 70s Brit punk zines alone… also Mark ‘Sniffing Glue’ Perry smacking a friend’s bare ass. I got a look once from an old friend who does a long-running zine that starts with the letter C, when I told him I sold off my old copies of Sniffing Glue, that would pretty much wilt a douglas fir. This was magically followed by “Punk in England: Women in Rock” from 1978, which had a lot of awesomeness in it. Not least of which was a lot of coverage of the Slits. I have to think a normal reaction to the declarations about punk opening up music to anyone to get up there and rock it will feel immediately intimidated by the presence of Ari Up from the Slits and her damn big hair and overwhelming voice. Hopefully you are hooked up in whatever way lets you watch this… not too sure how all that works.

Kickstart This: Smilin’ Ed Comics

It is very likely that I would not be working in comics now without the influence of Raoul Vezina, the creator of the classic four issue series of Smilin’ Ed Smiley comics that were released more than 30 years ago. Raoul was also the front counter guy at Albany, New York’s Fanta Co, and he introduced me to the very first Fantagraphics edition of Love And Rockets. His comics are still fresh all these years later, and this collection of his work needs your help to see print. Get on over to the Kickstarter and help make this project happen.

Marc Arsenault Profiled in Content Magazine

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On stands now! The latest issue of Silicon Valley’s “Innovative & Creative Culture Magazine” Content ran a four page color feature on Wow Cool, Alternative Comics and myself. You can get it at the Whole Foods Market and elsewhere. The article is filled with shocking behind-the-scenes details of my life of adventure and mayhem.

David Lasky’s All Monster Comics

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Back in April, 2013 David Lasky visited the Wow Cool/Alternative Comics offices in Cupertino, California and did a one day artist residency, and he pencilled a mini comic on massive Strathmore board called “All Monster Comics”. The plan was to have the page inked by various other visiting artists. Despite many other distinguished artists visiting us in the time since, including Brandon Graham, Lark Pien, Simon Roy, Steve Lafler, and Malachi Ward, none of it got inked… We resorted to the power of the interwebs and got the whole thing inked in a couple of weeks by an all-star cast of contributors, including one panel by Lasky himself. That thing is now available to buy in printed form for a mere 50 cents from Wow Cool or to download for free as a PDF (2.4 MB).

New Books in The shop From Yam, Hic & Hoc, Ryan Cecil Smith and More

The biggest stock-up in the 26 year history of Wow Cool continues unabated as we have added dozens more books to the online and Cupertino stores including the latest from Ryan Cecil Smith, Hic & Hoc and Yam Books.

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Right now the best way to keep up with the newest titles as they are added is to check out our new books image galleries on Facebook. You can also sign up for our monthly email newsletter. Otherwise, just take a look at the vast array of new comics on our home page, this may be the finest lineup of new comics ever. Damn.

Sanyú Adapts J.G. Ballard’s Crash in Comics

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Argentine artist Sanyú digs into J.G. Ballard’s classic novel of obsession in eight striking pages of comics. Check it out. Sanyú’s home page.