If he was not dead. Today is reported to be his birthday. Joe Brainard was born some 72 years ago. He was one of the most legendary of the Nancy boys (as seen above). I hold onto that otherwise very boring book for his cover art. Thank you to my old band mate Steve Dore for pointing out this anniversary to me.
I had some time to kill with the kids yesterday evening and we happened to be near the “Comic Collector” shop (yes, that’s it’s name) in Sunnyvale, CA. They have many bins of strange old comics, typically for a dollar. In one stack of beat up coverless comic books I found these gems. From the top: Marvel Super Heroes 15 (1968) by Archie Goodwin, Gene Colan, Vince Colletta and Irving Watanabe; “Portrait of an Actress” from Girls Romances #159 (1971) creators unknown (read the cover story from that issue here); Ensign Pulver (1964) art by Henry Scarpelli; and, unknown issue of Dennis the Menace, art likely by Al Wiseman. Click on the image for larger versions – full pages on the last couple.
Although this here blog has been pretty quiet for a week or so, we have been far from idle at Wow Cool / Alternative Comics HQ. Most recently we have upgraded our web servers, so WowCool.com, IndyWorld.com, MagicWhistle.com and several other sites we host should be running much faster now. A couple months back we noticed some very serious problems related to a massive increase in “comment spam”… Even after doing all we could with our old server to combat the problem, slowdowns and server interruptions continued. Hopefully that is now all a problem left in the past. In case you missed any of it, here is a recap of everything else that has gone down the last couple of weeks.
The lineup for the Linework NW show in Portland, Oregon has been announced. Alternative Comics will be part of it. I’m pretty excited about this show, it looks to be a great successor to the Stumptown comics fest. See you there?
The news has spread far and wide that after a quarter century of peddling comic books through the US mails that Wow Cool has opened it’s first ever brick and mortar retail store in Cupertino, California. Many items are exclusive to the store, including the pain-in-the-ass to ship Kramers Ergot 7, Other big books from the likes of Paul Pope, Justin Green and Ivan Brunetti, and the (totally free) Jim Woodring illustrated One Green Tree. Pay us a visit?
The big news is that Alternative Comics has finally announced the full lineup of books for the spring and summer of 2014. It has been well over a year of work to coordinate the release of some of these books, and we are particularly excited to be able to offer Megan Kelso’s Girlhero and Jesse Moynihan’s Backwards Folding Mirror to the world again. Many more books are in preparation for debut at this year’s SPX, for release in stores from September. There will be some familiar faces as well as some total surprises. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
Noah Xifr’s Kickstarter campaign for his new book is mere hours from it’s end and he could use your help.
Follow the red dot… enter new worlds.
With surprisingly less fanfare than usual, Radiohead has released something new into the world. PolyFauna is a mobile and tablet app that takes audio elements from the King of Limbs sessions and visuals from Stanley Donwood’s jagged tree-limb visual elements for that record and makes them into an interactive audio exploration game a bit in the mode of the works of RJDJ and experimental exploration PC games like Proteus. It’s free, and unlike several other artist and album apps I could name, it is fairly compact in size. From my time playing with it my only piece of advice is, don’t let it just sit there while you dab at the screen a little, move the whole unit around a bit. OK… you get it.
In a similar realm, I have long been waiting for FRACT to be released in it’s final form, here’s some more development info to keep you wanting over on Create Digital Music.
Simon Hanselmann’s full color, 64 page book Life Zone is now in our shop. Also back in stock from Space Face Books is Michael DeForge’s The Boy in Question and the Rat Hex anthology.
As noted recently, newly added to our shop is the greatest career retrospective yet released of Quebec’s ‘Pope of Comics’ Henriette Valium. This book comes from a new publisher from the little heard from country of Macedonia. Our old friend Janelle Hessig got the full scoop over on the Last Gasp blog.
Dave Allen and Ivor Cutler together? Yes, I need to watch this. You are saying that now. You are welcome. A BBC production from 1974. Dave Allen also hosted “Eccentrics at Play” the same year for the BBC.
Dave Allen meets a man named Alexander Stuart Wortley who lives in a railway box in a suburban garden; a former robot-maker for TV who is married to Jill but pretends to fly Lancaster bombers; Red Indian admirer Edward H. Blackmore who with his wife was adopted by the Sioux; Snowy King who rides a very tall bicycle containing a circus menagerie; a Cowboy Preacher; Ivor Cutler the humorist poet; and a model railway enthusiast whose name sounds like Morton with a set-up which runs to a full 1938 St Pancras timetable.
Floating World has delivered the second of their massive oversized really damn big tabloid editions of Jonny Negron’s sci-fi series Adapt, and we have them here as well as having the first issue back in stock. About a bajilion more, well, nine or ten, books (old and new… well, new and fairly recent) are now in the shop as well, including: The Orchid anthology, The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln by Noah Van Sciver, Battling Boy by Paul Pope, Birdseye Bristoe by Dan Zettwoch, Big Plans by Aron Nels Steinke, Gloriana by Kevin Huizenga, Deep in the Woods by Noah Van Sciver & Nic Breutzman, Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée, King Cat #74 by John Porcellino, and Optic Nerve #13 by Adrian Tomine.
The mighty Inkstuds podcast and radio show has logged 500 episodes in just over eight years. The guests for this landmark episode are Frank Santoro and Brandon Graham. Go give a listen.
Special guests Frank Santoro and Brandon Graham help me bring in the 500th episode of inkstuds. 8 and a half years of podcasting and still going strong. I had those two gents on because both of them have been on several times in the past and I always enjoy talking to them.
During the show, Brandon and I announce our upcoming kickstarter campaign for an inkstuds tour/roadtrip. expect that to be launching in the next week.
We were also joined by David Brothers, who has a special Inkstuds project to announce. I am really excited to have David joining in. He’s an important writer on comics.
Just arrived in our shop is Insect Bath, the new anthology of cosmic horror edited by Jason T. Miles. Includes comics by: Max Clotfelter (Henry & Glenn Forever), Alex Delaney (Rapt in Fear), Eamon Espey (Wormdye and Songs of the Abyss), Noel Freibert (Weird Magazine), Sammy Harkham (The Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror, Kramers Ergot and Everything Together), Juliacks (Swell and Rock That Never Sleeps), Jason T. Miles (Love Wins), Scott Roller (Rapt in Fear), Matthew Thurber (1-800 Mice and Infomaniacs), and Zach Hazard Vaupen. Cover by Alex Degan (Area CC, Mighty Star and Soft Xray/Mindhunters).
We have added a whole slew of books to the shop in preparation for our grand opening in just a couple of weeks at the new Cupertino store. The store is already open for business from Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6pm. Big opening party coming soon. Among the new additions are: the giant sized Kramers Ergot #7, available for in-store purchase only, Noah Van Sciver and Nic Breutzman’s Deep in the Woods tabloid, Henriette Valium’s Great Success 1983-2013, Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer, Island of Memory by T Edward Bak, and many, many more. New magazines in the shop include the latest issues of Bust, Bitch, Maximum RockNRoll, Wax Poetics, Juxtapoz and Hi-Fructose.
Many books new and old have been added to the shop this past week. We’d like to bring your attention to these.
Youth in Decline’s first two issues of Frontier are now in stock: Frontier #1 by Uno Moralez and Frontier #2 by Hellen Jo.
All three issues of Forming and Adventure Time artist Jesse Moynihan’s Backwards Folding Mirror – Issues one and two, and the graphic novel length third installment Follow Me are available again.
You will also want to grab On Your Marks – the anthology comic from 2013′s Short Run fest with comics by Aaron Mew, Aidan Fitzgerald, Andrice Arp, Asher Craw, Ben Horak, Bobby Madness, Chris Cilla, Darin Shuler, David Lasky, Elaine Lin, Eroyn Franklin, Ian Sundahl, Jack Hayden, James Stanton, Jason Fischer, Jason T. Miles, Jennifer Parks, Julia Gfrorer, Kaz Strzepek, Kelly Froh, Kinoko, M. “Moseley” Smith & Reuben “W.” Storey, Marc Palm, Max Clotfelter, Michael Litven, Pat Moriarity & Rick Altergott, Patrick Keck, Robyn Jordan, Sean Christensen, Tim Goodyear, Tim Miller, Tim Root, and Tom Van Deusen.
Thirty years ago today, on Tuesday, January 24, 1984 the 128K Apple Macintosh went on sale for the first time. I’m writing this in Cupertino, California, the home of Apple, and there are not yet signs of the free apple pie and ice cream I had hoped for. Apple seems to be doing little to mark the anniversary (UPDATE: Apple has done this), but many of the original developers are this weekend – right across the street from Wow Cool HQ – at DeAnza College’s Flint Center, where the Mac was introduced by Steve Jobs in 1984.
Help SAW – The Sequential Artists Workshop – continue its mission of supporting artists, putting artists and students together and offering quality, affordable education in comics/sequential art. SAW was founded by Tom Hart, who co-founded the original Wow Cool and is Alternative Comics’ advisor (or, as he prefers, Chieftain).
The Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) is a comics learning outpost in sunny Gainesville Florida.
AT SAW, we bring artists and students to work and learn together.
SAW is unconventional, non-institutional, rebellious, lively and serious all at once.
We offer personalized instruction, mentorship and a full-fledged, intensive and professional single-year program at a 3rd to a 10th the price of a single year at larger institutions.
We created SAW for anyone who has the passion and dedication to learn the art.
Things have been a degree of busy around the Wow Cool | Alternative Comics shop and studios that would be hard to sum up. In the meanwhile, my collection of tabbed web pages of most awesome are overwhelming my browser space. By sharing them I can be free. Thank you to the various folks that have shared these. This is the “things by comic artists you probably didn’t know exists” edition of the linkdown.
Vice Magazine interviews Gary Panter. This is about 10 months old, but I completely missed it. Gary’s band Devin, Gary & Ross recently released the Honeycomb of Chakras record, which seems to be fast selling out everywhere. Ross was in Jason Martin’s post-Brown Cuts Neighbors band Evolution Revolution. Also available from Other Music.
Comic book legend Gerald Jablonski has new(er) issues of his Cryptic Wit series available to purchase online.
The legendary George Trosley, long time contributor to CarToons Magazine, is alive and well and is making his work, including the complete Krass and Bernie comics and How to Draw Cartoon Cars available in print and digital form at his site.
I’ve had a couple people send me to the great United Dead Artists site – home of Stéphane Blanquet and friends – lately… usually with very cryptic messages. You should check them out.
Much more… less comics, still interesting, linkdown coming soon.
It’s not gone yet, but the writing is on the walls. My old friend Howard Glassman’s long running music hall and beer joint Valentine’s in Albany, New York, is due to be bulldozed soon to make way for some sort of hospital expansion plan. This has been a long and drawn out death watch for one of my favorite bars and places to play… and it keeps dragging on with no clear end date. It wish this could be some sort of call to action or some such… but that is not the case here. I have a fear that one day my lowly ranch house in Cupertino will meet a similar end to make way for another set of condos and strip malls.
Sam Henderson is resurrecting the character of He Aims To Please, after an eight year absence, for an appearance in the upcoming Magic Whistle #14 from Alternative Comics. Catch up on his rich history in our Sam Henderson shop.
The Wow Cool | Alternative Comics
Bookstore & Newsstand is now open!
Shop online or visit our retail shop in Cupertino, California
Wow Cool is now open for business at our new brick-and-mortar shop in the historic Monta Vista neighborhood.
We are at 21607B Stevens Creek Blvd.; Cupertino, California 95014.
Hours: Tues.–Sat. Noon–6pm (408) 921-5164
Do you know the way to San Jose?
We are conveniently located 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. If you are driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles, you will very likely drive right by us. Stop in and pay us a visit. Our little neighborhood is also conveniently home to an organic grocery, Halo Custom Guitars, the post office, a gas station and many restuarants, including our favorite: iSushi.
See more photos of the store on the Alternative Comics Facebook page.
UPDATE: The store has a web page.
Map + Directions
Please help out our good friend Miss Aurora BoobRealis and her Brooklyn-based burlesque troop. Their 2014 season and continued existence are in serious jeopardy, and they need your support.
Brown Girls Burlesque is “a company of women of color dedicated to creating our own reflection in the art form of burlesque. Founded in 2007, over the years we created more than 50 shows, performed around the country, visited colleges and shared the stage with The Legendary Roots Crew, Melvin Van Peebles, and The Burnt Sugar Arkestra. We have so much more creative magic to give in 2014 and with your support it will become a reality!”