Thursday, May 31, 2007


Electrawoman And Dyna-Girl-- oh man, how we loved this show.

The last thing in the world we'd want to do now is sit in front of a TV for hours and hours, hair sticking straight up, eating sugary cereal in nothing but a pair of floppy pyjamas.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Mark Twain learned how to tell a story by listening to verbal masters of the art, around campfires, in wooden huts, and in stores and bars. Then he transformed this knowledge into print. Twain was not, strictly, speaking, a novelist, philosopher, seer, or travel writer, though he was a bit of all of these. Essentially he was a teller of stories-- a teller of genius-- because he was ruthless.

Twain grasped, even as a child, the essential immortality of storytelling. A man telling a tale is not under oath. He must insist, indeed he must insist, that his story is true. But this does not mean that it is true, or that it needs to be. The storyteller's audience may expect him to proclaim his veracity because that is one of the conventions of the art. But what the readers or listeners actually want from him is not verisimilitude or authenticity but entertainment and laughter. They know it, he knows it.

When he says, "What I am going to tell you is strictly true," he is merely pronouncing a formula of the genre like, "Once upon a time." A storyteller is a licensed liar, though he must never say so.

When confronted with Thomas Carlyle's assertion, "The truth will always out at last," Twain replied: "That's because he did not know how to lie properly."

Paul Johnson, from his essay "Mark Twain: How To Tell A Joke" (Published in The Creators, Harper Collins, 2006).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The final art for the PULPHOPE tip-in plate-- a 3 color letterpress edition limited to 100 prints. These will be exclusive to the PH hardcover edition. See the Adhouse site for further details, not sure of the actual release dates yet, but we will have copies of PULPHOPE at the MoCCA comics festival in NYC in June.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Berlin-based photographer Michael Hughes is working on a photo-book project called Souvenirs. The pictures are self-explanatory-- and really interesting. See more here.

Friday, May 18, 2007


So we got this house. We got lucky and got this beautiful white house. It was a big old beautiful white farmhouse with twelve rooms that had been built by this old man named Mr. Baylis--Farmer Baylis-- built with his own hands the foundations and the furniture.

The farmhouse was on three or four acres with a beautiful long garden and a tree-lined driveway. He had already gotten very rich by selling bits of his huge farm, first to public school for an elementary school, then to a couple of people for single house dwellings and later a trailer camp. It was just an exquistie house. I loved it so. It was almost hand-crafted-- the paneling inside and the floors, parquet floors, a huge picture window, such a beautiful setting, beautiful trees in the garden. His garden was lovely. Quite inspiring what one man, who worked with his heart, could do.

I lived in the attic of the house and it was one of the most beautiful times anybody could have-- up in the attic, high in the air with beautiful trees, two windows that made a cross-breeze. The attic was cedar wood, and I had a huge-- they called them ship beds-- which he had built himself with thin mattresses, and I had no sheets or pillow slips. I just had a pillow, and I had my guitar and a Marshall fifty-watt amplifier, not huge, but big for your room. It could really blast out. In the room was a big commode with a really nice mirror that he built himself-- he was quite a nice carpenter-- and I sort of trashed that too, and, you know, by the third week the bathrooms didn't work anymore.

Any the guy would come over. I'll never forget the way he would come over. He loved his home. It was as if he felt somehow he was forced to leave his house, even though he was willfully dismembering it for money. It probably no longer made sense for him to live there because he wasn't a farmer anymore and he wasn't young. It was all his wife's doing. She had the most horrible hairdresser. She led this poor old noble bear straight down the lifeless path to the joyless gate. Goodbye sunshine, hello zoo. He probably moved to some ranch style thing, with no stairs, on doctor's advice. He loved his house so much. The house outlasted the man.

He would turn up at the oddest times, as if he were a ghost hanging around the home. And he'd say, "Hey, fellows, would you like some carrots or something I grew?" But we weren't as nice to him as we should have been. Everybody was a bit paranoid because we smoked grass, right, and at that time it was a heavy deal in Michigan. So that was a shame, that grass should get in the way of being nice to him. He never did kick us out of the house, old man farmer Baylis.

Then, shortly after we broke up in 1970, the house was torn down. It's now an expressway-- Eisnenhower Parkway. So there lies his life somehow. The farm is gone, but I was there to bear witness.

"We Got Lucky", by Iggy Pop, from his autobiography, I Need More.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


"Japan is a culture of wrappers, of postcards and books, of concealed jealousies and desires. Layer upon layer to peel through, only to get to more wrappers. As well as creating privacy, this creates a curious mystery. Nothing is spelled out; it must be discovered. There is an unseen drama in the shadows which hide as well as describe. It is important in Japanese to talk around the subject; something is lost in being direct. If the area around the subject is described and defined, then what you have left is the thing intact; not broken down, but as it actually exists..."

--Barbra Esher on Japan, as quoted in The Visionary Pinhole, by Lauren Smith, Peregrine Smith Books, 1985.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I was lucky enough to see Sumo wrestling in Japan when I was there. These are panels from a travel guide for Tokyo I am doing which will appear in GQ magazine-- on stands in July 2007.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


...I overheard a kid say this on the street today.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Apollo 17 Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt on the Moon, watercolor sketches forming a quasi-cartoon strip by the great space artist Robert McCall, Dec. 1972. McCall was sitting with NASA engineers at the Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, sketching the event live off the TV monitors in Mission Control.



Hugo Pratt, 1989, from the Italian newspaper Il Messagero, commemorating the 20th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's historic 1969 Moon walk.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Been fascinated with symmetry lately. This is art for the tip-in bookplate we are doing for the PULPHOPE hardcover. The final image will be a 3 color letterpress print, orchestrated through Secret Headquarters in LA. I'll be doing a separate, larger letter press print this summer for SHQ as well.

The image is a conscious nod to The Push-Pin group, designers who had a tremendous influence on virtually every graphic artist and art movement from the 1950s onward. They produced a souvenier booklet for impressarior Florenz Ziegfeld which included lots of radio-age photos, matchbooks, ticket stubs, and other memorabelia from a bygone era, lovely nostalgic stuff lost in time. The vibrant resurgance of Art Nouveau which is associated with the '60s youth culture (the paisley patterns, the peacock feathers, the old Victorian type treatments and velvet suits) developed in no small part out of this small handful of artists' aesthetic rejection of the strict rigidity of International Modernism, which they viewed to be a visually limited, inflexible set of design rules unable to express a lot of the ideas they wished to convey. Wherever possible, the Push-Pins favored low-fi printing techniques (including woodcuts, letter pressing, and rubber stamping) and re-appropriated old Victorian typefaces and other pre-WW2 visual cliches (at the time considered horribly out of fashion, virtually unredeemable) for use in their designs.

Milton Glaiser is probably the most famous of the Push-Pin artists, if only for the ubiquitous "I HEART NY" design you see all over the place, from the side of a coffee cup to a decal on the window of a taxicab to a t shirt to a billboard.