We had a handful of our trademark video & photo previews from Summer 2009 that we regrettably never had a chance to upload at the time; we've been adding them one by one over the last couple of months and the final one is now up, for Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life by Bruce Paley and Carol Swain. (The hot pink design elements and rock 'n' roll subject matter pair well with this morning's Destroy All Movies!!! preview, no?) It's embedded above and at slightly higher resolution on the book's product page; for best viewing, view full screen or click here to open it in a new window. Whew! Feels good to finally be caught up.
The most dazzlingly insane film reference book of all time, Destroy All Movies!!! is an informative, hilarious, and impossibly complete guide to every goddamn appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century. This wildly comprehensive eyeball-slammer features A-to-Z coverage of over 1100 feature films from around the world, as well as dozens of exclusive interviews with the creators and cast of essential titles such as Repo Man, Return of the Living Dead, The Decline of Western Civilization and Valley Girl. Everyone from Richard Hell to Penelope Spheeris to Ian MacKaye contributes his or her uncensored reminiscences from the front lines of a revolution. Other interviewees include Alex Cox, Nick Zedd, Lech Kowalski, Mary Woronov and Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris. Also examined are hundreds of prime examples of straight-to-VHS slasher trash, Brooklyn junkie masterpieces, Filipino breakdancing fairytales, no-budget post-apocalyptic epics, and movies that shouldn’t even have been released, many of which have never been written about online or in print!
In the late ’70s, Punk Rock and its followers ambushed the world with nuclear force. It was an unprecedented phenomenon that infested radios, print, and culture as a whole. Of all its shell-shocked witnesses, the least prepared was Hollywood, who viewed the movement as a walking epidemic of self-abusive, garbage-eating, candy-colored manimals ripe for marketable stereotyping. The results were hilarious, as lowbrow cinema was forever altered in the shadows of 20-inch mohawks and steel-spiked wardrobes. Meanwhile, punk participants like Spheeris and Alex Cox managed to document the emerging outbreak in a more humanistic light, creating enduring visions of a new breed of youth through blazing music documentaries and innovative narrative assaults.
Destroy All Movies!!! nails down both ends of the spectrum with superhuman research, vicious precision, and electrically charged stills and images, and is the first and final definitive armchair roadmap to punk and new wave on celluloid. Five years in the making, this pulse-bursting monument to lowbrow cultural obsession is a must for all film fanatics, music maniacs, anti-fashion mutants, ’80s nostalgists, sleazoids, cop-killers, and spazzmatics!
Collecting 2 years of strips 2007-2009. More booze-soaked buffoonery, lyrical passages, violence, sentimentality, and poop jokes with Drinky Crow & Uncle Gabby. Lowbrow yuks and elegant cartooning from comics' true drunken master.
"Tony Millionaire’s Maakies does not appear on the comics pages of daily newspapers, but lurks darkly instead in our nation’s alternative weeklies...
"Uncle Gabby, a monkey, and Drinky Crow, an alcoholic crow, are characters of pure, ginned-up id, engaging in high jinks that range from the boobish to the bizarre: making 'booze cream' from the milk of drunken cows in one panel, going to prison to have time to read Swinburne in the next. The humor is often so lowbrow as to be subterranean. If Gasoline Alley is preoccupied with life's slow unfolding, Maakies is fascinated by its swift, violent ends. It is difficult to count the times Gabby or Crow have been mutilated, shot in the head, eaten, burned in hell.
"And yet Millionaire, raised by an art-teacher by the sea, can draw the living spit out of a ship or a giant squid. It is just as likely that Maakies will feature one character vomiting into another’s mouth as it will a wordless, befuddling, beautiful parade of intricately rendered church spires and tall buildings. It sways this way between the very low and the very high; the only applicable adverb here is drunkenly, for as the name might suggest, there is a lot of boozing in Drinky Crow's life. This may offend (or may be the least of the offenses), but I would bet if you counted Crow's tipples against the number of highballs the Lockhorns had consumed, it'd come out even. And in his surrealist impulse and draftsman’s brio, Millionaire is the closest thing we have to George Herriman of Krazy Kat."
At Wired.com Scott Thill presents a gallery of 8 images from Dave Cooper's Bent and writes "Canadian artist Dave Cooper's latest comic book collection, Bent, is stuffed to the breaking point with surreal, sexual grotesques and caricatures. Which is probably why Hollywood's own resident king of magical horror Guillermo Del Toro wrote the book's glowing introduction (and, like some of the city's other creative talents, snapped up Cooper's work for his own personal collection). [...] Bent, out Oct. 27 from indie comics powerhouse Fantagraphics, collates Cooper's nightmarish nudes and bizarro dreamscapes from recent solo gallery shows in New York and Los Angeles, just in time for Halloween."
At Grids, the official blog of the Society of Publication Designers, Robert Newman presents a selection of images from Drew Friedman's new book and says "Over the past 15 years, Drew Friedman has been one of the most popular and prolific illustrators in the magazine world. [...] Now Friedman has a brilliant new collection of his magazine work, Too Soon?: Famous/Infamous Faces 1995-2010, published by Fantagraphics Books. It's hardcover, 200+ pages, packed with hundreds of comics and caricatures and even more laughs. And it's graced with a wonderful introductory essay by Friedman that is a great history of both his illustration career and magazine illustration in general over the past 15 years."
Fine artist Dave Cooper offers us a window into the wobbly dollhouse that is his mind’s eye. The work in Bent gathers a diverse mix of imagery that is also strangely focussed in its single-mindedness. This work has found a devoted and passionate following with visitors to Cooper’s solo gallery shows in Los Angeles and New York in recent years.
Cooper continues to obsess and fixate over his bizarre procession of milky figures as they crawl and wriggle into hidden meadows, jungles and cities. Everything in this world seems to be undulating and overripe — the multi-coloured Jell-O vegetation, the billowing clouds, and the twitching, agitated women, whether thin like sinewy rubber, or fat and bursting with doughy flesh.
The characters in Cooper’s work have been likened to a dog chasing its tail. Or maybe it’s as though they’re like someone on drugs who can stare at their own hand for 20 minutes; either way, these girls are hypnotized by wriggling around on the ground, twisting in on themselves, walking on their hands, squeezing and chewing one another. It may sound hellish, but to the demons, hell must seem like heaven. So maybe Cooper’s landscapes are more like a weird kind of utopia where all those insane facial expressions and physical contortions are more an experession of elation or giddiness.
This monograph collects Cooper’s finest, most revealing paintings, ink drawings, pencil sketches, and photographs from the past five years, many of which enjoy homes in the collections of influential collectors and some of Hollywood’s elite. Among this esteemed crowd is the great auteur, Oscar-nominated Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, the upcoming Hobbit movies [maybe]), who provides an enthusiastic introduction for Bent.