Five sketchbooks are represented here, along with all four issues of my zine. The first three are reproduced exactly as they first appeared. The fourth has been expanded, and new scans made. The fifth was never finished, and sees partial print for the first time. A decade of my life is recorded in these sketchbooks. In this decade, I divorced my wife and grieved her subsequent death. I went through a transition from ‘male’ to ‘female.’ I moved from Atlanta to New York, worked at CBGB’s, worked the erotic services page of craigslist, acquired a heroin habit, and lived for a season in a professional dungeon. I visited several drug rehabilitation centers in New York, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Eventually I made my way back to Atlanta, and I’ve been here ever since.
You might remember Jess’s (then Jeff’s) work from Zero Zero, Buzzard, Dirty Stories and the Nurture The Devil series from Fantagraphics.
Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins have turned to Kickstarter to fund the final chapter of five in their film cycle Jimmy’s End. “His Heavy Heart” is in need of £45,000 to complete filming. £30 (currently about $47) appears to me to be the sweet spot with the inclusion of a DVD and illustrated book – although the cheaper digital download option and the much more expensive signed edition are currently more popular. All the info you need, including the full video for part one “Act of Faith” and a trailer for the second installment, are on the Kickstarter page. Wow Cool carries a large selection of Alan Moore’s books and CDs, including a number of harder to find items.
Three more-or-less animated videos, and one where not much of anything happens. I played the hell out of these some seven years ago. They were all part of the very first Dandelion Radio Festive Fifty in 2006. I forget which ones I voted for, but it’s a safe bet a couple of these were in the list. Sorry not much else going on up here this week. First week of summer in school terms… busy as hell with other things… blah blah. share and enjoy.
I surely saw this many times on Sesame Street, but have no memory of it. Maurice Sendak would have been 85 today, as Google reminds us with their somewhat dodgy doodle today. Sendak was the featured interview subject of the most recent print edition of The Comics Journal. You should check that out. His work has meant more to me and my kids than I can express.
Once upon a time in the mid-late 1990′s Wow Cool published a comic called Pie by mister Steven Cerio. Now, through the magic of tablet-cloud-microransaction technology with a goddamn battle axe you can get the thing magically transported to your trusty PDA, mother box, Slate, or whatever tabletty thing-a-ma-hoosis-a-call-itch that you happen to domestically partner with to read your dirty, nasty, perverted little comic books. It’s available on the Kindle and on the ComiXology.
It’s been too long since we’ve mentioned any video games or deep topography related items here, so, via Rock, Paper Shotgun, we urge you to check out this very interesting game in development that you can help support right now by green lighting it on Steam. Infra is a first-person game about structural and infrastructural decay. I would love to see more games that get into this level of exploration of the wreck of the post-modern world. Looks alot like life back in Schenectady, New York… Let the power fail!
Or Beck’s, as the case pretty much is… Maggie is helping us out with something mysterious known as spreadsheets, or something like that. It’s all very timey-wimey strange stuff… data base is possibly the new thing after dubstep. No idea. We hope she sorts it out for us. We’ll let you guess which one she is in this video.
Erik T. Johnson’s Outliers #1 and Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #0 Added to Alternative Comics‘ 2013 schedule.
Debuting on ComiXology, and also available direct from the publisher, on June 19, is the free digital-only full-length comic Magic Whistle #0 by Sam Henderson. This newly assembled compilation collects strips that originally appeared online and in (mostly) out of print books, including Measles, Hotwire Comics and Expo 2001; plus self-published mini-comics and long out-of-print back issues of Magic Whistle. “Magic Whistle 0 will serve as the perfect introduction for readers new to the madcap, ever-expanding world of Sam’s vast oeuvre, possibly leaving them scarred for life”, boasts Alternative Comics’ General Manger Marc Arsenault.
New to the Alternative Comics family is veteran designer and illustrator (New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, GQ, etc.) Erik T. Johnson’s debut solo comic The Outliers Chapter One. Originally printed with help from a Kickstarter campaign, the comic will receive direct market distribution through Alternative Comics in August. The Outliers is an action-adventure story that follows a speech-impaired 11 year-old boy living in the Pacific North woods who has a very unusual friendship with an 18-foot tall, hairy woodland giant. The comic was produced with a high and unique degree of craft; employing French Paper Company papers, letterpress covers and a color dustjacket; and, it was selected for the Society of Illustrator’s 55th Annual Sequential Art show in New York. The Outliers will make its debut at The College of Comic Book Knowledge in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June first and be showcased at CAKE – The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo on June 15-16., with the author in attendance at both events. The Outliers will be available in stores and on ComiXology on August 28, 2013.
Also joining Alternative Comic’s digital releases this June is K. Thor Jensen’s acclaimed graphic novel Red Eye, Black Eye. Cloud Stories, Jensen’s new collection of short comics, is expected in early 2014. Sam Henderson’s Magic Whistle #9 and James Kochalka’s Peanut Butter & Jeremy’s Best Book Ever will be released digitally in early July.
It seems fitting somehow to present some recent sounds from members of Brown Cuts Neighbors on Memorial Day, since one of our main members – James Kopta – has been gone from us for over a decade. The work lives on, however, and many of our videos will be presented by Jason Martin as part of the New York Electronic Art Festival 2013 a month from now.
Starting with something short… This is a quick track I threw together on Sunday afternoon with my new birthday toy – a Korg Kaossilator.
An unexpected birthday present yesterday was the re-release of the Teen Beat Records tribute compilation Relax Brother, Relax from My Mean Magpie. Track 12 is a cover of Sexual Milkshake’s Bargaining with the Bubblebot (or possibly Peanutz – there is some confusion and room for debate here), titled simply Bargaining The Bubblebot and credited to nickname: Rebel, my post Brown Cuts Neighbors band that has been slowly working on releasing the first two records and polishing a third.
Finally, from Mr. Jason Martin, we have the title track from the 2010 very limited vinyl-only release Adirondack Power and Light, which is to receive a digital release later this year from a re-launched Wow Cool Records.
The new book from the acclaimed author of Guilty, Whatever, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist The Lodger, Failure collects Karl Stevens’ beautifully rendered humorous comic strips from the Phoenix, Boston’s recently deceased alternative weekly. His slice of life vignettes and surreal anthropomorphic experiments are revealing sketches of urban America and beyond. It’s available now in the Wow Cool shop.
Contrary to popular belief, Fantagraphics Books does occasionally issue a floppy comic book every now and then. We’re not sure how far and wide this one is being spread, but it would be very nice to see this sort of book from comics’ foremost formalist Dash Shaw come out on a fairly regular basis.
Also new to the shop is Fantagraphics collection of short stories by Tom Kaczynski – Beta Testing The Apocalypse. Many more on the way. It’s been a busy week around here.
Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, died by his own hand some 33 years and 3 days ago. The recording above (from 18th December 1979: Les Bains Douches, Paris), which I’d never encountered before this evening, sounds – to my audio engineer and former DJ ears – to be pitched a bit forward from it’s original recording speed. So somehow that all makes it seem appropriate to post this gem here on May 21. Give us something to think about other than Sonny Terry and the dancing chicken in Strozek, as Ian contemplated his final moments.
Soul Brother Nate Powell posted the following to facebook yesterday and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it:
“In 2005, this book helped me start digging out of the hole I’d found myself in for 3 years, and helped change the direction of my life. The perspective I absorbed from Deborah: contrary to the notion that Ian Curtis’ disorders, wrecked family life, infidelities, and inability to handle success led to his death, she conveys that he fulfilled his own fatalistic narrative by choosing to give in to those factors, time and time again, needing their jurisdiction over his life.
“We all have control over our choices, and sovereignty over our sense of self. Sometimes we fight to keep other people from unfairly (re)defining us, but what can be more difficult is awareness of if/when we’ve redefined ourselves as hopeless/ monsters/ losers.
“RIP Ian Curtis, and love and respect to all those who struggle.”
Special guest report from Laura Susong on the 2013 Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF). Alternative Comics found itself in a serious last-minute crunch when artist Karl Stevens fell ill and could not attend the show. Like the kick-ass stormtrooper she is, Laura stepped up to the plate and made the drive over from Detroit to cover the booth with barely a day’s notice.
Being as this was my very first comic arts convention, I couldn’t have asked for better wolves to whom to be thrown. the TCAF staff, volunteers, and creators all around me were supportive and helpful. Shout out to everyone who made this happen.
I think you can pretty much figure out what’s going on in all these pictures. there are shots before/after capacity; of the beautiful venue (a library! brilliant!); the table; some cool people who stopped by; and some dank ass pho i had. [And lots of clever novelty T-shirts]