On February 16, Doc invites comic artist Ivan Brunetti to curate and introduce an evening of anarchy, featuring a screening of the zany 1941 classic Hellzapoppin'.
Originally produced by vaudeville duo Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson as a long-running Broadway revue, Hellzapoppin' is unlike any other film from the period, featuring an indescribably absurd barrage of gags, musical numbers, and special effects - which even includes a descent into Hell. Ostensibly about an aspiring scriptwriter played by a pre-Stooges Shemp Howard, the film largely eschews narrative in favor of an endless stream of self-reflexivity, continuously shattering the fourth wall.
Ivan Brunetti, a graduate of the University of Chicago, is an acclaimed comic artist best known for his series Schizo and Ho!: The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti. He has also written an instruction manual, Cartoon: Philosophy and Practice, and edited two volumes of An Anthology of Graphics Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories (Yale University Press). His drawings occasionally appear in The New Yorker, as well as a host of other publications.
Tickets cost $5, and go on sale half an hour before the screening. Doc Films is located in the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall at The University of Chicago (1212 East 59th St., Chicago, IL 60637). Persons with a disability who may need assistance can contact us by phone or email.
Doc Films Hotline: 773-702-8575 Doc Films Office: 773-702-8574
I'm a bit late with this, it somehow escaped me until last night, but the fine folks at Giant Robot need your help. Peggy Burns at D&Q already made a better case than I could as to why you might want to do this, so I'll simply direct you to her if you need reasons to help. I wholeheartedly concur with everything she wrote.
So, Tuesday nights are band practice. We get together in a seedy old building in Seattle's Ballard district, an old theater of some kind that's been subdivided into a bunch of nonsensical, Winchester Mystery House-style rooms and stairways. The Grunge Era lives on here, where garbage bags filled with empty beer cans are piled in the main "lobby" about ten feet high by at least as wide. The cavernous, pitch black hallways that lead to the restroom can make you feel like you're in an indoor version of "The Blair Witch Project". The bathroom stall is splattered with red paint for dramatic effect. You need a lighter or iPhone to light the way. Walls are routinely tagged, there's new stuff on them almost every week. Imagine my surprise last night when I came upon these faces staring me down in one of the hallways:
Very creepy. I was afraid that Dave Sim was going to come through a door and rape me for not being more manly. I ran back to our room and locked it. We might need to explore a new practice venue.
Gahan Wilson's singular aesthetic with decidedly low brow sensibilities has roots in his adolescent exposure to lurid horror comic books and pulp magazines. ''I was a creepy little kid," Wilson recalls. "I did the whole comic book thing, and then I discovered Weird Tales — instantly homed right in on that around high school, and just loved it." His early illustrations found their way to the pages of the pulps and were later published in prestigious periodicals like Collier's, The New Yorker, and Playboy.
His delightfully demented sense of humor is celebrated in GAHAN WILSON: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons, an exquisite 3-volume slipcase edition from Fantagraphics Books that includes over 1,000 comics and illustrations by the acknowledged master of the macabre as well as all of Wilson's prose fiction in Playboy. Don't miss this rare opportunity to meet an American original, one week short of his 80th birthday.
Also on display on February 13 for one night only is a recently completed sculpted portrait of comix legend R. Crumb by Seattle artist Michael Leavitt (pictured below). Commissioned for a private out-of-state collection, this will provide the only opportunity to view the fully articulated wood carved figure — the latest addition to Leavitt's ongoing "Art Army" series.
The reception on Saturday February 13 coincides with the colorful Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack featuring visual and performing arts presentations throughout the neighborhood, just in time for Valentine's Day. What better place for art mavens of all ages to observe this romantic occasion than in the enchanting industrial arts quarter of Georgetown.
Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons
Saturday, February 13, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA Phone 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 - 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM.
ALSO: Be sure to tune in to KUOW 94.9's "Weekday" show from 9AM to 10AM, on Friday, Feb. 12th, when Gahan will be talking to host Steve Scher about the event and his legendary career.
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