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]
“The art of the future will be the creation of situations or nothing”. Go watch “On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972″ Hopefully the audio will be less dodgy for you than it is for me. Enjoy it for what it is otherwise. Via former bandmate Adam who found it on the McDonald’s sponsored Dangerous Minds.
OK… That’s not really true. But this thing is a major potential time-suck of unusual proportion. Well… size of the earth proportion… or, the bit of it that Google Street View has gotten to… or the portion that developer Anton Wallein has deemed fit to drop you in. Having been dropped twice at the same spot in the same small town in Norway, I am skeptical as to how random it all is. OK. What? GeoGuessr is a simple, but compelling game, that uses Google Street View. You land in some random spot on earth and have to guess where you are over five rounds. Totally absorbing stuff.
Here’s some of the strange experiences I’ve had in my journeys…
Somewhere on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon, Canada near the Northern Lights Centre is this nearly kilometer-long display of a major shedload of street signs.
I found out that most mapping systems are not that friendly to mainly walking trails like Suck Valley Way in Ireland.
One of the strangest experiences I had with GeoGuessr was being suddenly stuck in the middle of this restaurant – presumably somewhere in Western Europe – there were no navigation options… I could just spin around… I kept looking for a clue… a menu cover, a label, a sign… something… and ultimately gave up.
Every now and then you land somewhere really easy like this. Another time I landed somewhere that was just way too familiar looking. I was so sure, that instead of looking around I just said, ‘I’m in Putnam County, New York, dammit! Somewhere near Peekskill or Cold Spring. I thought it was route 9, but it was 22… closer to Danbury… but, still, pretty good for winging it.
More often then not, though, you end up somewhere (or, nowhere) like this. Good luck with that.
Available for a mere dollar on Bandcamp today are the fragments that remain in all their noisy glory of the abandoned second CD release (There had been 3 cassettes and several compilation appearances) of my mid-90′s band Krebstar. “Barbara Bain” was a step towards a more beat-driven electronic musical collage after the Stockhausen-influenced process-based experiments of the previous CD “Barry Morse”. Apart from the titles, little direct influence from the productions of Gerry Anderson’s Century 21 productions is present. Steven Cerio is the guest vocalist on track three. Fellow Brown Cuts Neighbor and Krebstar member Robert Goodale contributes a bit to the sounds that are sampled. Enjoy.
Wow Cool’s noble office-mates Alternative Comics have pushed forth three new comic books on an unsuspecting world that are debuting this weekend up in the worlds most polite city, Toronto, Ontario, Canada at TCAF – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Creators Elaine M. Will (Look Straight Ahead) and Alternative Comics #4 contributors Theo Ellsworth, Sam Alden and Robin (Inkstuds) McConnell will be at the show to sign copies of their books. Karl Steven’s Failure will also be making its debut. Come visit Alternative Comics at table 232 on the second floor this weekend and meet our hostess Elle, who will dish the dirt worth dishing, and point you in the right direction. Among the other Wow Cool and Alternative Comics artists who will be at the show are Michael Kupperman, Dash Shaw, Sara Varon, Scott C., Becky Cloonan, Josh Neufeld, and Paul Pope.
In PF Chang’s restaurants around the land there exists something like this… A former pay telephone alcove, with a shelf and an empty phone jack, guarded not by terracotta warriors, but by enlarged Family Circus cartoons by Bil Keane. PF Chang’s opened its first restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993. Family Circus creator Bil Keane, a resident of nearby Paradise Valley, soon became a fan. He made at least two Family Circus panels that were set in the restaurant – enlarged dedicated reproductions of which can be seen at a location near you.
Obviously that headline is a little misleading and far from true. But there are very few continuing series in the alt/small/micro/indie/what-have-you comics publishing world. Two standouts in that field just dropped their second issues – Gabrielle Gamboa’s Miss Lonelyhearts and Cody Pickrodt’s Reptile Museum. You should go get them.
We are offering three titles for free comic book day today – none of which are on the official FCBD roster. One of which is a year old now. There is the second book from a group of Portland publishers – Master P’s Theater (Last year they gave us Brad’s Trip… now very much sold out) and the two installments of Runner Runner from Tugboat Press – the follow up to the long-running Papercutter anthology. All three of them are pay what you want. You can pay zero dollars.That’s fine. If you pay more than nothing you support the Dylan Williams Scholarship Fund at Portland’s IPRC. Everyone gets the Master P book while they last – whether you ask for it or not. To get either issue of Runner Runner you do actually have to ask for it. OK? Oh, and these comics will be free while supplies last. Have free comic book day any day!
BTW. Everything in the shop is 20% off until Midnight (pacific time), Sunday May 5, 2013. Share and enjoy.
There really is a mini-comic revival going on, as Charles Forsman at Oily Comics has been proving, along with Space Face books and Matt Furie’s new book above. I swore we would not start carrying lots of minicomics again, like we did in the 1990s. Partly out of not competing with our good friend Rick at Poopsheet, but largely out of staple fatigue. So… here we are with the second installment of Michael DeForge’s Elizabeth of Canada.
Now a big fat juicy pink and blue slab of a proper magazine has landed in the form of much-awaited Study Group Magazine #2 from editors Zack Soto and Milo George. I’m still too dazed from the wonderful big plate of homemade noodles and bulgogi I ate with these gentlemen last weekend during Stumptown Comics Fest to be able to focus much on the magazine, but I can assure you it is one of the major releases of the season.
Brown Cuts Neighbors “Channel 16″ – as presented by Jason Martin, with program materials selected and sequenced by Jason and myself – have been invited to be part of the latest edition of the biennial New York Electronic Art Festival. The talk and screening will be on Friday, June 28 at Harvestworks in SOHO. Full details, press release and website to be released soon.
Adventure Time designer & storyboarder Andy Ristaino has assembled a 128 pg FULL COLOR book collecting tales of macabre humor that he has written and drawn. Night of the Living Vidiots collects Sci-fi, horror, and comedy melted together and topped with a Twilight Zone twist in a comic book soup. Darkly funny tales featuring mad science, gothic anime, TV zombies, kaiju, giant robots, monsters from the deep, and even a haunted sweatshirt. A mere 25 dollars will get you a copy of the book and your name in the credits. The rewards offered for larger contributions are beyond excellent. An August 2013 release date is estimated. Get more of Andy’s books right here on Wow Cool.
We just got a new scanner here in Wow Cool land, and instead of picking some stunning and masterful piece of art, I chose this crappy jam comic from long ago. Phil Felix stopped by Harvey Kurtzman’s class at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) one day back in the mid-late 80s to do a comic book lettering demonstration. I got to keep one of the sample pages. Naturally I took it to the cafeteria at 209 East 23rd street and drew a stupid jam comic out of it with the help of Paul Komoda. I think it eventually appeared in the comics anthology Tuna Casserole #6, edited by Sam Henderson and myself. Click the image to make real big.
This past weekend I gave a little intro speech to a panel of Meathaüs artists at the Stumptown Comics Fest about the history of comic book groups and movements at SVA, so it was fun to pick something from my era there after talking so much about that strange institution over the weekend. Alternative Comics will be publishing a collection of Tuna Casserole and related material in 2014.