Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Comics

Doing some internetting on Cliff Face Comics I found a link to Julia Wertz's The Fart Party a comic that is now dear to my heart.

TFP made me feel many things:
1) laughy
2) bloated
3) lazy
4) missing my brother with a more targeted than usual ache. this is the one that really did me in.
5) inspired

If you read it, you will want to stalk her too, now much easier since she moved to New York.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Have any of you seen the film Born to Win by director Ivan Passer? It played last night at the Film Forum as part of their NYC Noir series. Don't worry, it was just a kinda boring junkie romp through 70s-style Time Square.

I came away from a screening of that film with one question and one question only: What the fuck was that thing on George Segal's weiner? As B put it, an "unnaturally bound" genital region marred Segal's full frontal nude scene and I need to know if it was cloth, some sort of nut-bra or a hastily concocted hideaway made from an infant's athletic cup and a few rubber bands. It looked like a very wobbly person of small stature taped his dick to his nuts.

Even with exhaustive googling ("george segal penis,""born to lose nude segal,"etc) we could find nothing. No pictures and only a few mentions of the scene in question- nothing about the strange and obvious dong catcher. Now it's almost as if we didn't see it at all...

Any information, screenshots or analyses would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Two Things of Importance

Very Important: Lynn Peril of Mystery Date has a blog! Mystery Date was my favorite zine as a teen. It was a huge influence on my interest in gender studies, collecting crap and listening to the past to understand the present. One time my father, knowing very little about the self-published world, threw away a postcard from Lynn with an update about MD thinking it was some kind of perverted dating service come-on. Silly Dad. Her book, Pink Think, is the best birthday present I have never recieved.

Less Important: NYRB is having a summer sale with good discounts on their book collections and 25% off single books.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

When a day filled with shameful consumerism becomes night, what else is there to do but buy comics?

At Forbidden Planet I perused the single-issue racks for something new and saw the cover for Tear-Stained Makeup #6. I liked way the cover girl’s life was in her room and obviously not going so well. I flipped through and liked what I saw and being the narrative completist that I am I was pleased to find that all the back issues were available.

TSM is a story of a band, a librarian, a possibly evil plot and lots of broken hearts. The art is noticeably, wonderfully handmade. You can feel the hours artist Marcos Perez put into each issue. In issue six, he gives us a page-by-page breakdown of what each section took, in both an artistic and emotional way. I love each of the covers; numbers 2, 5 and 6 are the ones who get left more in the will.

The one stumbling block to my total enjoyment of the series is the writing. On the whole it is the better side of serviceable, but Perez stumbles here and there with dialogue and weird, encyclopedic sound bites that float from the characters’ mouths like doo doo-filled balloons. Tildy, the librarian, has an awkward exchange with her former roommate in #4 about the Lower East Side’s history: “That’s what I love about New York. No matter how much is changes, coffee shops, boutiques, condos, it can’t lose what came before. All the hopes, dreams, blood… and semen are still there!” Whoa. We learn in this issue that Tildy has a science journal worthy memory, so that’s her excuse I guess, but in issue 6, another character has an ill considered rap session in a music store about the history of the electric guitar. Just get back to the story Marcos! Us smartypants can do our own research.

Even so, TSM is a fun read and I can’t wait to see what happens next. TSM has certainly convinced me that I need to check out the rest of Cliff Face Comics stuff.

I also got a blue and maroon inky issue of Paping that I can't wait to tear into.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Winner is...

Well, judging this contest was very difficult. All the entrants crafted, at the least, diverting stories, and those that put in a little more effort really blew my mind, sending stories that gave Mr. LaBovick life, either by making him real or taking his mystery and using it to illuminate another character.

Total disclosure: of the six people who sent me stories, three are my buds in some way and another is a book blog master. I made this decision with the help of B, who cares not for my blogular connections or real life friendilations.

Thanks to everyone who wrote something. Since you all took the time to send a piece, you all get of copy (by email) of everyone else's stories. A little prize for taking the time. If you don't hink I have your email, please send it to me!

Fa Fa Fa, the winner is Amy Shearn of moonlight ambulette. Amy send me your address!

Her story is here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Brian LaBovick: I think it was an accumulation of things." by Amy Shearn

With people like Brian you had to guess that it was complicated, that there were explanations just beyond the field of your vision, things that you would never quite fully understand. The one thing everyone knew about him was that his family was Mormon. We didn’t actually know what it meant, but we knew that it was something mysterious, like the Masons. Brian was in the smart kid classes but for some reason had a reputation for being slightly retarded, or possibly just crazy, but I suspected none of his strangeness had anything to do with the Mormon thing and I still think that that is the case. If anything it freed him. People expected him to be a little weird anyway so he just ran with it. He dressed entirely in white. First he had a big shaggy poof of hair on the top of his head that resembled yellow pubic hair, and everyone made fun of him for that. Then one day he came to school completely shaved from head to toe – even his eyebrows were gone – and that was almost too weird to even make fun of. He had created his own language in study hall – I watched him copy out the final version of the alphabet – and would sometimes mutter words that others thought were nonsense but that I knew were clever comebacks in the secret code. He confused everybody. That was why I started spreading the rumor that he was my boyfriend. I wanted to confuse everybody, too. I wanted to be sitting beside him in study hall when the rumor got back to him, so that he and I could laugh at how ridiculous the rumor was, and then maybe look soulfully into each other’s eyes. There was no boy in the whole school who seemed capable of gazing soulfully into anyone’s eyes except for Brian LaBovick.

I wanted to speak to him in his secret language. I wrote him a note in study hall. It said, Csjbo, J uijol zpu bsf dvtf. This meant, Brian, I think you are cute. I had stolen his code by watching over his shoulder without him realizing, and I had been practicing various words so that I could speak it too, if the need arose. There was no one in the whole school who would have done that except me, and I wanted him to know this, to feel it in his sternum, but then I lost my nerve and kept the note in the inner pocket of my backpack and never did give it to him. You would think a boy like that, eyebrowless as a gigantic flesh-colored salamander, would be thankful that any girl thought he was cute, but to be honest I wasn’t sure he would be amused. He seemed above that kind of thing. He was taking extra classes at the community college – astronomy and poetry-writing – and I’d heard he didn’t even have a TV. He was probably going to be a Mormon priest eventually. And maybe he’d think I was no real prize myself. Maybe he could see the ugliness at the core of people. In fact I was sure he could, and that’s why he didn’t care about being called names and getting pushed around. None of this high school business probably meant anything to him at all. But then thinking about that annoyed me a little, because of course I had ugliness inside but who didn’t, and I had enough un-ugliness to have learned Brian’s secret language and so he should have been able to know this somehow and therefore to love me.

But I guess I didn’t know him at all, because I would not have thought he was capable of doing the things that were then done. No one knew who was skinning the chipmunks in the ravine near the football fields but everyone knew who was beating up Otis, the retarded boy, and it was definitely Brian LaBovick. It was really hot out there on the pavement. We knew there were only a few minutes before teachers and school security showed up to break up the fight so we tried to watch hard. “What happened?” I asked a kid I knew. He shrugged. “Tommy and those guys kept asking Brian about how he and Otis spend their weekends, saying how they were best friends and everything like that. I guess Brian wanted to prove him wrong.” “That’s awful,” I said. It really was awful in about fourteen different ways. Brian had pinned the fat but helpless Otis to the ground and was looking at his fist, as if consulting it about what to do next. “Isn’t he your boyfriend or something?” said the kid. “You have a great ugliness inside you,” I told him, “and also, you shouldn’t listen to rumors.”

Even though no one thought of me as the kind of person who would have done this, I stepped forward and tried to grab at Brian’s sleeves, but he just swatted me away. Poor Otis wasn’t crying but his face was impressively purplish and his eyes screwed shut, and there was this heat coming off Brian, this hard, carbony smell. But I was the one with the key. I was the only one who could stop him. “Brian,” I cried, in his own language, and then I took a deep breath and tried to summon up all of my bravery and strength and then I shouted, “Tupq! Tupq! Tupq!” I wasn’t sure how to pronounce it, so I said it like, “Tup-que,” and maybe I was pronouncing it wrong, maybe that was my fault, but Brian just slammed his palms onto Otis’s chest and stood up suddenly, looking more like he’d run out of ideas than like he’d surrendered to mercy, and then he swatted away my arms again. “Tupq,” I said again, even though there wasn’t anything to stop anymore. Maybe I had thought we would share a jolt of recognition, like two aliens who had rediscovered each other in hostile territory. Or, maybe also I felt a little like what’s-her-face, like Helen Keller’s teacher, like the one special person in the world who was fearless and kind enough to break through. Whatever it was, Brian didn’t look at me and I didn’t look at him and the gathered crowd of our classmates started to roar with laughter, going, “Tup-que, tup-que,” and Brian sort of brushed by me and said only, sneeringly, “Jejput” – Idiots – and I agreed, silently, with all of my being, and that was the last any of us ever saw of him.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Oh Jad, don't be worried about your irregular time spot. That's what podcasts are for.

PS> please upload the other seasons. I am sick of listening to season 4.
PPS> wanna do it?

(via ScienceBlogs)

Friday, August 03, 2007

the weekend

After long, hard consideration, I am leaving the computer behind this weekend while I sojourn to the land of anxiety.

When I return I will announce the winner of the contest, have some new reviews for you and hopefully some pictures.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dear Lisa,

I totally had a contest on my blog and got a whole seven responses! Very exciting! Anyway I am reading them all now and deciding who should win. The prize is a box of books and other assorted delights. Don't worry, I promise not to give away that annotated volume of Star Trek essays you gave me for middle school graduation. Who knew you were the progenitor of slash fic?

Anyway, I said I would publish the winning story, but do you think I should publish the winning story instead, or have part of the prize bethat the winner gets to read them all or what?

Rigth now I am wearing a shoelace tied around my neck and the people at work don't seem to like it. It's not entirely unlike those tie-dyed eyepatches we made for the prom...

Miss you,