Sunday, April 5, 2009

the one about raising your own inner child

I picked up Madman Volume 1 this weekend. I also picked up HiFructose Magazine which is new to me. I was surprised to see an ad for a San Diego exhibit curated by Kelly Vivanco of Patches. Too bad it was a month outdated. I was excited to stumble upon the work of Nicholas Di Genova, Andrew Hem, and Bob Dob. There are a ton of other interesting artists whose works graces those gorgeous matte pages, but I need to find time to sit and read it. I was glad to have picked out Madman Volume 1 from the 10 or 12 different books (including: The Spirit collected tpb's, Negative Burn, Strangers in Paradise complete collection, Cerebus collected editions, Scrooge McDuck long-format magazine collections, and Monster Society of Evil) I top-picked while perusing this particular comic shop which I haven't been to in a long time. Why is it that comic shop owners always seem to be watching baseball when I get there?

I got on a Paul Pope kick for a few hours. I've known about him and his work since Tom Palmer's article in Wizard about THB so many years ago, but the only thing I've read of his was Batman Year 100. I came across a bio of him on Read Yourself Raw, which quickly became my new favorite place to go to for info on Indy Comics. I also discovered this great article about Mister X at Paul Gravett's. I have Viva Cuba and V for Vendetta on DVD out from the library this week. Although I stopped halfway through it (damn sleepiness) Viva Cuba was growing on me much like Jim Jarmusch's Stranger than Paradise. At Border's I got lost perusing Mike Mignola Books: BRPD, Abe Sapien, Lobster Johnson and suddenly felt flabbergasted at how much work he's put out on these characters. The graphic novel area kept me captivated for a good 20 mins with Essential X-men, an Adrian Tomine 32 stories special edition, Flight 1-4, A couple Teen Titans collections, RASL, Justice League collected editions, Superman for Tomorrow, and other random things that seemed interesting to look at in the moment. I'm much indebted to Mike Allred's forward to Madman Vol. 1

Comic books can combine what's fun and exciting from virtually every other form of pop culture. Sure you can't literally put sound in a comic book. But you can echo the raw form, the vibe of any kind of a music, or any kind of art in a package of pictures and words. That's what the best comic books do for me. They give me a vibe, a feeling, a . . . something. Something that just plain makes you feel good.[ . . .] I wanted to capture the joy those childhood comics gifted me. But I also wanted to continue using the medium to ask the big questions. I wanted to strike a balance between the thrill of childhood and the intellectual spark of being all growed up.

I haven't turned my tv on in months. Out running errands I decided to invest $4.95 in a GE universal remote, but apparently the preset code for this tv/dvd set doesn't work. So for an hour I found myself repeating a 3 step process to manually search for the appropriate signal to store in the memory. By that time I had landed on some late night pulpy tv show called Legend of the Seeker, that instantly reminded me of pulpy tv shows of yesteryear: Xena, Hercules, Cleopatra 2525, Jack of all Trades, Mutant X, Fortune Hunter. I know I've left out quite a few. The idea is stirring in my mind of putting together an ode to pop culture pulpy entertainment from dime novels to 50's era science & mystery stories, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, to overnight-slot tv shows with small-studio production values. I'll call it Pulp & Mediocrity - the termite art of the masses.

But while we're on the subject of tv shows, I wanted to mention I caught the 1st episode of Are You Being Served? and instantly marvelled at how clever the script was. I've caught reruns of the acclaimed Brit tv show on PBS for decades now, but this was the first time I ever caught episode 1. It's funny to consider how these characters are prototypical for characters in the Office (the U.S. version).

I found myself wandering tools & automotive recently and I realized I've unknowingly become handy. I always figured I'd be one of those guys whose consumer-guyness came out in his electronics obsessions--but no, I want a Vein multi-function tool and a set of Ridgid power tools and maybe a jawhorse too. In fact, when I can finally afford to buy a house I'd like to fabricate my own cabinetry. But I still have no interest in plumbing. Blechhh.

So I have fond memories of watching Kimagure Orange Road from 1994 to 1995 via Arctic Anime fan subs. Its one of my enduring favorites despite being so dated. For years it bugged me that one of Madoka's recurring saxophone themes sounded so familiar. About 5 years ago I figured it out (scroll down). If you haven't ever watched KOR and/or heard its soundtrack, I've left a sample of what you're missing--a score that absolutely transports you to a particular time and place and setting during the summer of one's youth. And for those of you interested in the can of worms I was getting ready to open: below is a playlist containing a few anime theme songs and music that I suspect bore inspiration.








I like bands from the 70s: Queen, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Heart, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers. Almost as much as this baby loves Michael Bolton (thanks Canucklehead)

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