David Godlis very generously provided his 1977 portrait of Ramones designer Arturo Vega for the print and digital memorials in Maximum RocknRoll that I produced with John Holmstrom last year. I am very grateful for that and would like you to take a look at and support this CBGB photo book he is putting together now.
In vaguely related downtown New York news, my old friends and neighbors Adam Alexander (inventor of Alexander’s Star) and Leslie Sternbergh Alexander (Mad & underground cartoonist) are having an online rent party and have some very nice pieces of art as rewards, including a print by my long lost buddy Michael Roman and art by Gary Panter, Robert Williams and Leslie herself. Go help them out.
We are making an attempt around here to designate Thursday as Indie Comic Book Day. Wednesday is the traditional new comic book day, but Thursday is the traditional ‘businesses stay open a little later day’, so it makes some sort of sense. Meanwhile, in music and books, Tuesday is new release day… I think. Pretty sure. Anyway. We have scads of new books in our Silicon Valley Store, several of which have yet to make it into the online shop… We do have two for you right now – from our in-house imprint Alternative Comics – that are in both places:
Death in Oaxaca #1 by Steve Lafler. Steve’s first new series since Bughouse. This surreal adventure serves up Lucha Libre wrestlers and an ancient vampire who prefers chicken. Two expats move to remote Oaxaca, the fabled highland city in southern Mexico. Rex, earnest yet duplicitous, flees from mid-life crisis and fear of death. Beautiful Gertie, cynical but honest, is just plain bored and craves adventure.
Night of the Living Vidiots by Andy Ristaino – The first full color collection of comics from the Emmy Award Winning Adventure Time artist. Sci-fi, horror, and comedy melted together and topped with a Twilight Zone twist. Darkly funny tales featuring mad science, gothic anime, TV zombies, kaiju, giant robots, monsters from the deep, and even a haunted sweatshirt.
Holy Moses. It’s the long delayed return of the link round down. All you need to know that is on the interwebs for the last millennium is right here.
I get sick all over on 90s noise rock/post rock what the hell you want to call it. One of my top half dozen in that crew was Unwound. I found out the other day via the venerable FB group Now Playing that Unwound has been re-releasing all… ALL of their recordings in slick box-sets via the mysterious Numero Group. Big, fat, three-vinyl box sets with multi-page liner note extravaganzas. The first two (of four) are out: Kid Is Gone – covering the demo and pre-Fake Train years, and Rat Conspiracy containing Fake Train, New Plastic Ideas and more. Volume Three – No Energy – has been teased on thee Pitchfork. Curiously, their unreleased track is titled “Seen Not Heard”… it reminds us of something…
The brilliant British documentary maker Adam Curtis has posted his latest epic-length blog post – “Now Then – The hidden systems that have frozen time and keep us from changing the world”. It is well worth your time to read and view the whole thing.
It would be very difficult to point out a single – or even a group of posts – as the most interesting, but Peter Kirn has been laying down fascinating digital music info daily at a much accelerated rate for the last couple months on Create Digital Music. Drool-worthy gear, free plug ins and hot audio pro-tips are flowing like water lately at his definitive site.
I really enjoyed this too-short interview with Jah Wobble at Huff Post.
Wow Cool co-founder and SAW director Tom Hart recommends this 10 minute class in film by Robert Rodriguez
Benjamin Marra recommends this DIY guide to making hardcover collections of your old comics.
Must-read interviews: Françoise Mouly at The Rumpus and Andrew Neal of Chapel Hill Comics at The Comics Journal.
Everyone has World War (one) fever because of the centenary of the start of that bloody episode. Thee BoingBoing has the Simon Gane illustrated The Next War: a comic for the centenary of World War One for your viewing pleasure. I have a bound volume of the UK’s Punch Magazine that stretches from just before the war until a bit into it… and those last bunch of pages are some of the grimmest material you’ve ever seen in a humor magazine.
Nick Bertozzi has kept his previously Alternative Comics published series going in recent years as a self-published thing, and he needs your support to get the sixth issue out. The full-color comic is ready to go with only the printing costs to be covered. Give a brother a hand on IndieGoGo. You can get several of Nick’s earlier books in the Wow Cool shop, or direct from the man himself.
Just like it says above the cover images… Three upcoming Alternative Comics titles are available for pre-order in the Wow Cool Shop: Death In Oaxaca #1 by Steve Lafler and Night of the Living Vidiots by Andy Ristaino will be available in early August; and, Derf Backderf’s first ever comic book series True Stories will debut with the first issue in early November (crafty travelers can get their’s from Derf at SPX in September).
UPDATE: The first printing of the Noah Van Sciver illustrated A City of Whiskey and Fire has now sold out of it’s first printing and has now been changed to pre-order for the October 2014 Alternative Comics edition.
We also have a couple of recently fresh self-published books from Kevin Huizenga: The Half Men and The Pocket Guides. Many more books have shown up in the last couple of weeks and we are getting them up on the online shop as we can. You can get all those and many more in person at our Cupertino store.
The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics shop in Cupertino received a visit from Len Callo with his portfolio of original art by various indie cartoonists. Included were some lovely vintage pieces by Dan Clowes, Jim Blanchard and Steve Lafler. Len was there to see Mr. Lafler, who joined us for lunch on the patio today. There were several unpublished covers in the set and some record cover art I’d never seen before, including the crazy jam piece above that was created by Dan Brereton, S.Clay Wilson, Dave McMacken, Jim Blanchard, J.R. Williams, Mitch O’Connell, Tim Vigil, Wade Furlong, Craig Hamilton, Len Callo, Alex Niño, Paul Allen, Chris Wisnia, Pat Moriarity, Steve Mannion, Barron Storey, Manuel Pérez Clemente Sanjulian, Mario Henandez, Tom Yeates and Mick Gray (who handled most of the inking) for the cover to the LenCat LP Face Your Demons. The are many other gems on Len’s ComicArtFans.com pages… and on much of the rest of the site too, I imagine.
We also received a visit from a mysterious ‘secret shopper’, who turned out to be Robert Emmett from KFJC 89.7FM’s Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show. You will have to tune in from 9am pacific time on Saturday, July 26 to hear more about that. And yes, it streams on thee interwebs.
For twenty-five years, John Porcellino has been self publishing ‘King-Cat Comics & Stories’, a black & white (generally) 32 page comic/zine. His collected stories have been published by Drawn and Quarterly, and his work has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Best American Comics, Kramer’s Ergot, the Anthologies of Graphic Fiction, and in countless other anthologies and collections.
Our old pal Dan Stafford has spent the last five years shooting, assembling and editing video about John and his work, and now he’s ready to bring it to the world… but he needs your help. The film will debut at SPX this September.
Support Root Hog or Die – The John Porcellino/King-Cat documentary on Kickstarter.
From the creator of the ultra-high production values, instant sell-out success comic book the Outliers comes the comic that never ends. Under the pen name Eero, the mysterious and reclusive artist (who’s real name is pretty damn easy to figure out…) has teemed up with Uncivilized Books LABS (not a kennel club) to produce an experiment in storytelling that will be the nicest damn looking comics thing ever.
Kozmo-Knot is the story of a spaceman and a caveman, a campfire and a blaster, a rocket ship, asteroid, a rocky off-world landscape. It’s a kinetic pantomime that takes a reader on a far away journey, then right back where they started … to begin again.
Kozmo-Knot is engineered to be a otherworldly specimen of paper engineering and storytelling: it is a star-shaped paper sculpture / art book / novelty item / narrative ellipse.
Go Kickstart Kozmo-Knot
From Season 7, Episode 6 of The Comic Strip Presents: Jealousy, originally aired on May 27, 1993, new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi puts on a fez and says, “A bit obvious, maybe”. Timey, Wimey, indeed.
“Despite trying to cure himself with a hypnosis tape John Pettigrew is insanely jealous of his wife Jane Margory and convinced she is having an affair with her handsome water aerobics instructor. Seeing a name and number in her diary he follows her in drag, only to find it is a transvestite club she is covering as a journalist and where he is embarrassingly chatted up. In the event his suspicions are correct but the proof comes as a cost.”
The whole story (and several more episodes of The Comic Strip Presents) is viewable on Hulu (link may only work for subscribers).
Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #14 is in our store. Go grab it!
David Nuss’ excellent Revival House Press has just released two major books into the world and we have them. First up is Malachi Ward’s Ritual Three: Vile Decay. Focusing on the technologically-enhanced reflections of an old woman directed towards her grandson, Ward presents a caveat regarding a possibe-future marked by ecological catastrophe and misuse of power. Vile Decay will be in stores June 25th via Alternative Comics, but we have it now.
Also out now is the long awaited final edition of Drew Beckmeyer’s Everything Unseen (a full color epilogue is promised). In parts 8 and 9, our reborn hero, Charles Grodin, is returned to the place that began it all. This time he must answer to the powers that be, God and ultimately, himself.
Becky Cloonan‘s three self-published comic books: 2013′s Demeter (Eisner Award nominee), 2012′s The Mire (Eisner Award winner) and 2011′s Wolves are now available in our online shop and at our Wow Cool Alternative Comics store in Cupertino, California. The comics were recently collected in the book By Chance Or Providence, but it is currently completely sold out.
He actually has been since we relaunched a couple three years back, but now there is much more Moore. There are over 100 individual books in there, and we are just getting started. Most recent to that daunting list is the first collection of Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse’s amazing Bojeffries Saga in 20 years. This one’s twice the size of that earlier Tundra tome, and features a brand new 24 page story. Also newly arrived is the latest chapter in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga, the 56-page full-color hardcover Nemo: The Roses of Berlin by Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill. All this Alan Moore goodness is in stock and waiting for you online or in our Cupertino store.
This looks like a busy year for Alan Moore, with these two books in the stores and God is Dead: The Book of Acts coming in August. As The Original Writer, he has been thrilling a whole new generation of underwear pervert fans with the deluxe release of Miracleman. He is also involved in a digital arts project called Electricomics. You may enjoy this interview at The Quietus where he talks at great length about Iain Sinclair.
Available now in our Cupertino store and in our online shop are four great mini and digest comics from Uncivilized Books, including a new book from Michael DeForge and an older one from Dash Shaw… that we’re not too sure why we did not have before now. Check them out.
We have just received an exclusive shipment of the very limited edition new comic by Karl Wills — creator of Princess Seppuku and the long-running Jessica series. Holocaust Rex Book One: At the Cursed Gates of Koch is available from Wow Cool at special pricing for the US market (folks from other lands may order too!).
Also new to the shop is issue number ten of Seattle’s free quarterly comics tabloid Intruder. Fans of Kazimer Strzepek will not want to miss this. Kazimer’s Mourning Star #1 & 2 are both now back in stock as well.
Books new and old are being added every week, come visit us in our Silicon Valley store or shop online at WowCool.com.
Howdy Pardner! It’s Memorial Day weekend. The start of Summer! We will be extending the hours at our Cupertino store on Thursdays… starting next week we will be open until 8pm. This will last until the end of summer, which, in comic book land, is SPX weekend. So, the last Thursday this year with late hours is September 11. It just works out that way… any unpleasant associations brought on by two comic book longboxes placed near each other is your own hangup. We will also be dragging out the quarter boxes onto our expansive patio space every Saturday all summer long – starting this weekend. In related news, we have added a previously exclusive to the Cupertino store item to our online shop, signed and sketched copies of Brandon Graham’s Escalator.
Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko promise “something unusual and fresh and original” in the Kickstarter campaign for their latest publishing project, #20. After 26 years of publishing indie comics I’m pretty sure they can be taken at their word on this. Go support #20. Wow Cool offers a modest selection of older Steve Ditko titles as well.
Gary Panter is well deservedly a much revered artist for his scratchy line and his many very influential works scattered across various media in a long career. Whether by accident or chance or plan, many of these works – as well as some obvious examples by his peer cohorts Matt Groening and Lynda Barry — function as actions guided by the Rozz Tox Manifesto. For followers of the Gars Rozztox manifestations, there are some obscure grails and xeroxes of such purity that they can only have been personally blessed by the hand of Chester Carlson himself — birthed under the influence of ether fumes, with pens clenched in each fist and a hank of mom’s beef jerky clenched between your teeth whilst you look up to heaven with eyes rolled back in the throes of an Oki Dog haze. To jack up your fix, just join the Gary Panter Fans group on the facebooks. In just the last few days, seemingly thousands of behind the scenes merchandising materials sketches from the golden era of the Pee Wee Herman Continuum have been posted to the group as well as possibly a billion or at least four low resolution glimpses at the extremeley low print run, limited distribution, possibly apocryphal Pixie Meat volume of etched tablets issued in an edition of less than 12 by Panter and occasional collaborator (The) Charles Burns, Have. Many nearly as equally obscure products bearing the Panter imprint are available in our shop.
We have just added three new Noah Van Sciver books to our shop: A City of Whisky and Fire (with writer Daniel Landes); and, the full-color sketchbook replicas from Tinto Press Weekend Alone and Weekend For Two. Also from Tinto we have the Eisner Award nominated Homesick by Jason Walz.
In the meanwhile, thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who came out to our Silicon Valley store‘s grand opening party or shopped with us online for our Free Comic Book Day sale last weekend. The two big indie FCBD books — Barrio Mothers and Runner Runner #3 — are still available from us, while supplies last.
We had one hell of a crazy week. Multiple people got sick, our main printer blew a transfer roller, our back-up printer refused to cooperate with the network, so… we are down to the ‘All-in-one’ printer from the house — which needed new ink — until the new transfer roller (yes, that’s a thing) shows up. Hopefully all will be caught up and back to normal by Monday or Tuesday.
SAW — The Sequential Artists Worksop — in Gainesville, Florida is now accepting applications for the 2014-1015 school year for their single-year program. Full details here.