Ramblings from the Edge -End of Sept Edition

First Kudos to the NFL Players who chose to exercise their own form of protest.

The amazing thing about the theft of the white house by resident Trump, and his cronies of hate, is it is galvanizing people, that he thought he could count out and overlook, … to stand.

This country and people of color fought off Nazis and Terrorists from without and within before, I reckon we can do it again.

All that hate is mostly empty space, it is a vacuum that crumples reason and crumples lives and ultimately decimates itself, nothing built on it will stand.

And in the meantime we live our lives.

We donate to good causes.

We breathe deep and long.

We correct the agents of ignorance and class stratification the only way that makes sense. We take money out of their pockets  and the conversation out of their arena.

We build around them and despite them and if necessary through them.

These days are a curse to strive against.

But to strive is a blessing.

It wakes us from our apathy and our sleep of ages

to see naked the barbarians at our gate.

These days are a blessing, to see clearly those who want to step backward

And live yesterday’s mistakes anew

Those who want to surrender the burden of liberty, of progress, of humanity… those who want to end the dream of America

Because they lack the courage to go forward.

To see such cowardice clearly, is to have to see yourself clearly.

Is to take your measure, and decide if you will hide your light with the darkness of the unthinking mob

or if you will risk

And by that risking define yourself as man… as human.

By the repellant fear and cowardice of Charlottesville, masquerading as hate, bullies making noise to keep you from looking at their inadequacies, by looking at that pageant of loss…I saw in it where the righteous man and woman may be found

Where we have always been found

In the path of would be dragons.

Here endeth the lesson.

 

 

https://impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org

If you like this post support it by hitting the link below.

Every purchase earns this blog a couple pennies to keep us… keeping on.

Be well.

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes

Advertisements

Currently Listening to Marc Maron WTF #837

It’s funny that the best analysis of America you won’t find on Fox or Abc or CNN, you will find on an interview show. Marc Maron’s preamble to this August episode on the sound of an Authoritarian America… must listen.

Here’s the website:

http://www.wtfpod.com

And here’s the link to the show:

http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-837-kareem-abdul-jabbar-phil-stutz

 

KRISHA Amazon Prime VOD Movie of the Day!

 

KRISHA-closing in on the hour mark and the strings of catastrophe are pulled so tight, that you feel the coming explosion. Whether of the characters or of ourselves, it remains decidedly unclear. An uncomfortable, cloying, and ultimately unhinged portrait of an unhinged person.The worst family reunion… taken to disastrous extremes. I couldn’t watch the film straight through, It was too singular a portrait of a human Black hole, crushing everything around it, in its fall into itself. A lesser filmmaker and I would have never finished it. It would have been maudlin and syrupy. Instead of what it becomes in the hands of writer, director, and editor  (and actor)Trey Edward Shults, a ravishing portrayal of self destruction.

IMDB oddly list this as Comedy/Drama, I saw no comedy here. There is the humorous banter of any familial get together, with the relative who is the jokester, but that doesn’t make this a comedy, anymore than cooking in a movie makes it a cooking show. It is like the Golden Globes trying to call THE MARTIAN, a comedy. Unhinged labels by people who grasp firmly neither life, nor cinema.

To call it Drama/ Horror would be perhaps closer to the mark.

The title character Krishsa, played by Krisha Fairchild, gives us as raw and dangerous and scary and sad and naked a performance as you will find. Made more the strange as this was played against her actual family members. Hinting at an impetus for such a scathing familial dissection, that may be as interesting, but hopefully not as tragic as the finished piece. Not an easy film to complete, but one that upon completing you will find completely deserving of its accolades. GRADE : Not for everyone, but undeniably wrenching and accomplished filmmaking.

Catch it courtesy of AMAZON PRIME

Movie Posters of the Day!

 

 

Who watches the Watchmen? You can. Get involved with the below organizations, by donating your money if not your time, and help stop a system that is profiting by imprisoning people, whether innocent or guility.

 

“What might surprise and disturb most Americans is how widespread this problem has become. According to Judge Rakoff’s opinion piece in the New York Review of Books, “the few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent.” That range suggests that, based on a total incarcerated population of 2.2 million, anywhere between 40,000 and 160,000 Americans are in prison for crimes to which they pleaded guilty but did not actually commit. Let that sink in for a moment.”

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/will-trumps-prison-reform-policies-jail-more-innocent-people-w473817

 

1 innocent person in jail is a tragedy. 100000 people copping to crimes they didn’t commit because minimum sentencing makes a 1 year plea preferable to 10+ years mandatory, if their public defender lawyer can’t prove their innocence; well that… is policy.

That is a policy of enforced disenfranchisement, enforced caging, enforced enslavement. And when you have for profit companies getting rich taking away peoples freedoms and rights, well there is a name for that in this resident Trump, Charlottesville, Electoral College disgraced America.

Slavery.

That is a policy… of slavery renamed.

 

They are using the law, prison, barbaric minimum sentencing, as a ruse, as a weapon, not to protect and serve the people, and not to serve Justice, but to disenfranchise the masses and end up with a growing enslaved and voiceless population.

We must take that weapon, out of their hands.

Out of the hands of the venal and ignorant.

And doing thst begins below:

 

http://famm.org/

https://www.innocenceproject.org/

https://www.aclu.org

http://www.naacp.org

https://www.eff.org

 

We must take the weapons away from the venal and ignorant, and choice by choice take back our America. And start with the simplest choice… how you spend your money. Do not spend it with people and companies that have a history of disrespect to populations of color. Do not do business with SHELL gas. Do not get your Fast Food from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Do not give your tourism dollars to Red States. Your dollar and how you spend it, ultimately says more than all the marching in the world. We remember the flashy, the soundbytes, such as Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat.

But what makes that historic is seldom the flashy, it is the boring, and the tedious, and the uncomfortable, and inconvenient choices that ordinary people made, simply fed up, that changes the world. In that aforementioned Montgomery Bus Boycott, for over a year, 381 days, Blacks walked, and carpooled, and biked, and spoke with their purchasing power and their faith, and their outrage… against one of the most racist mass transit systems in the world, and they ultimately broke the back of the prejudiced by attacking the one thing more significant than a city’s bigoty… they attacked a city’s greed. And greed and self interest and money, a weapon typically used against the people; the smart application of purchasing power by the masses, made those weapons… for a time… theirs.

Respect, through monetary resistance and responsibility. Know who you are giving every dollar to and make them respect your money, or take it elsewhere.

It starts here.

Three Defunct Podcasts that are still missed! INDIE SPINNER SIDEBAR HORROR ETC

These three podcasts all had long runs that unfortunately came to an end, and while there have been no end of new podcasts since ( and I’ll cover some of those new discoveries next installment), the niche these three podcasts filled, and the personalities thst filled them… remain unduplicated and sorely missed.

They are INDIE SPINNER RACK and SIDEBAR and HORROR ETC.

The first was a 2 man New York show that covered all things Comics Indie related, with style and panache and good natured, quirky humor. The third was a 3 man Atlanta show that sported some of the best interviews with illustrators, painters, comic pencillers, etc; and the last was a 2 person Canadian show covering Horror films, tv shows, books, comics. All 3 of those excellent shows have given up the ghost, but it is a testament to how good each one was, they remain… sorely missed, and the episodes… particularly SIDEBAR, important.

If you have the opportunity to download any of these podcast’s old episodes ( check the search engines) , get them. They are the real thing… they are pure.

 

2016 and 2017 : Remembering Writers and Artist – Wrightson & Wollstonecraft and The Best Pen & Ink Artists!

Things lost in the Fire, may yet be  found in the Ashes

“There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up. He must have been the first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’re got on damn thing the phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that remember every generation.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

“Father… you speak with absolute assurance, completely convinced that your vision is the only proper way, and like all men who speak thus … you are mad.”
— Steve Englehart, MASTER OF KUNG OMNIBUS VOL 1

 

RIP to:

Bernie Wrightson, Len Wein, Rich Buckler, Darwyn Cooke, Steve Dillon – great creators lost in 2016/2017

They were not actors, and they were not sports figures, they were creators and myth makers working in an oft castigated medium, but delivering words and images and concepts, that would transcend their newsprint origins and outlive naysayers.

This installment is dedicated to Bernie Wrightson. Over a year into his passing and I wanted to reflect on Wrightson, the artist, again:

Bernie Wrightson had a suitably Baroque name for someone whose beautiful, exquisitely detailed and ornate artwork and sensabilities was the best of the Baroque meets the gothic. I’m an art lover, I own a large selection of art books from Dali to Duncanson, and Wrightson”s mesmerizing FRANKENSTEIN where he created full page plates to accompany Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s celebrated and cautionary tale, remains not just the only version of FRANKENSTEIN one needs own, but one of the most significant art books made in the latter half of the 20th century.

Wrightson quickly proving himself one of the preeminent Pen and Ink artists of all time, up there with the 19th century’s celebrated Louis-Auguste Gustave Dore and the criminally under-heralded mid-20th century Virgil Finlay.

Thankfully, Wrightson’s most lauded work, FRANKENSTEIN, often rumored of rather than seen, was republished by DARK HORSE BOOKS in the 21st century, in an even better quality version.

In this writer’s opinion it is a book, not just any American household should have, but all households should have. The myth of Frankenstein is old and oft told, but you will not find it better told in print anywhere, than in this pairing of Wollstonecraft and Wrightson.

 

Bernie Wrightsons Frankenstein

It is currently out of print, but I see this book as one that Dark Horse will bring back in print. Especially considering next year, 2018, marks the 35 year anniversay of the book’s initial release.

As far as Gustave Dore, here’s a nice affordable coffee table overview of his work:

The Drawings of Gustave Dore:Illustrations to the Great Classics

And Virgil Finlay,

Book of Virgil Finlay

This remains the best introduction and overview of his work, including many of his quality works that fail to show up in later versions. Unfortunately a softcover, however do what I do, pay a book binder to make a hardcover out of it.

And a few other departed genius that deserve mention in the above company… Segio Toppi, Franklin Booth and Basil Wolverton:

Sharaz-de: Tales from the Arabian Nights

The Collector

FRANKLIN BOOTH

Franklin Booth: American Illustrator

 

Creeping Death from Neptune: The Life And Comics Of Basil Wolverton Vol. 1

BASIL WOLVERTON WEIRD WORLDS ARTIST ED HC

And some living, breathing pen and ink geniuses that you should be seeking out, buying their books, hiring for projects? Glad you asked, they are:

Tim Bradstreet

Maximum Black
A very prolific and in-demand artist, Bradstreet’s MAXIMUM BLACK art book dates from the turn of the century. A new collection of his art, covering the work he has done in the two decades since, would make a welcome addition to this first book.

Oscar Chichoni

Chichoni: Mekanika – A game, film, and dimensional artist, Chichoni does very little printed work. This is his only art book to-date. That it is also one of the best artbooks, only makes it more pressing that he does another one. His art is that good.

Andy Brase – This guy is going to be huge. Looking forward to his first artbook.

Stephen Bissette  & John Totleben ( yes I’m cheating here)- Bissette’s pencils married to Totleben’s inking, on DC’s revamping of floundering title SWAMP THING, with evolutionary writing by relative newcomer Alan Moore, and all of it mid-wifed into being by the late great Len Wen, remains, 30+ years later, seminal, ground breaking and unsurpassed work. And Bissette not only as instructor for new generations of creators, but as scholor and historian and reviewer and Indie Comic supporter remains an essential and insightful voice for the medium of words and pictures. His podcast interviews on a variety of shows, starting with the late Indie Spinner Rack, remains, like his artwork, top notch. I’ve sought out podcasts he has done, and each one reveals more about comics as hobby, as job, as calling, as artform, and as cultural touchstone.

Look for his podcast interviews on MAKING COMICS, INDIE SPINNER RACK, and DECONSTRUCTING COMICS to name some. And in addition he is a prolific reviewer and writer.

Teen Angels & New Mutants

Geof Darrow – When you think of detailed, intricate artists, Geof Darrow’s name comes up near the top of the list. Long before there was an IDW publishing doing tabloid sized treatments of famous artists, there was Frank Miller and Geof Darrow ‘s ground breaking tabloid work for Dark Horse Books. A superlative addition to any library.

Big Damn Hard Boiled

Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot (King Size B&W) (Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot)

 

Mark Schultz

Mike Hoffman

The Mike Hoffman Comics Reader: 300 Pages Volume One

Tim Vigil

 

Lucas Ruggieri

Predrag Djukic – I will be at the front of the line to get this gentleman’s first artbook

Art Adams

Like any list, this one is also a distillation of the writer’s biases, his experiences, his major passions, and his minor blindspots, as such it can by definition not be comprehensive, only revealing. Chalk up any omissions of your favorite pen&ink artist to my head and not my heart. Brevity demands limiting the list, but shine light on those I have missed, by leaving your comment of those past and those present… deserving of attention!

Thanks for looking!!