December 11th, 2002

smokin'

Now where was I..?

Haven't posted in a few days. Hope everyone's lives went on just ducky without my little online screeds.

Ha ha, thassa joke.

Things have been a little crazy, we're juggling a number of deadlines and jobs, and today we spent the afternoon with my grandfather in the hospital. He was released today after a number of tests and treatments, he's old and he's not in the greatest of shape bit he seems okay. So hopefully he'll be in good spirits and decent health for a while yet.

Anyway, I can't recall much of what I was discussing here of late. I did want to address the reaction to the Comics Journal interview post: first off, I'm glad some folks enjoyed it. Secondly, I appreciated Dirk Deppey's kind words about my work and his comments on the Journal and the interview (although I'd argue that the only things that Chris Ware and I have in common are that we both buy ink and dislike flying). I enjoy reading Dirk's daily (daily!) Journalista weblog of news items and entries very much, and recommend it heartily to you folks out there in comic book land who are interested in something a little more meatier than "Hulk turns grey again, middle aged fans cream sweatpants in parents basements". Click that clicker at http://www.tcj.com/journalista/ and tell them a talking moneky sent you.

As for the rather slim possibility of my interview being considered for archiving, either as a text or audio feature, I'd actually be okay with that...if the damned thing could be beaten into some sort of sensible shape. I don't know what poor soul would listen to the entire 13 hour marathon interview without blood spewing from his or her eyes and ears like the poor souls stumbling around in that Siberian train in the movie Horror Express.

Otherwise, please, no whistling in Village Comics. You might wake the help up.
smokin'

Games without frontiers, plugs without urls

if you're one of the relatively few out there in tv land who has the Trio channel, please do pay attention to this week's airing of rarely-seen Ernice Kovacs Show epsiodes. This is the hour-long evening NBC series, I believe the replacement for the Sid Ceaser show, and, as always, a short-lived experiment for Kovacs, If you're unfamiliar with the man's work, you owe it to yourself to check these shows out. He's widely hailed as the person who paved the way for shows like SNL, SCTV, Python, Lettermen blah blah blah. I love Kovacs, he's not always on target, he needed an editor very often, and his shows are sometimes more interesting than hilarious (Kovacs often aimed for concepts rather than out and out laughs -- although he shot for those as well), but when he's on, he kills me, and his blackouts are akin to televised gag cartoons. As a kid I caught his stuff on PBS and when I first saw his infamous and inexplicable Nairobi Trio routine (three people in monkey masks ocassionally hitting one another to the beat of a song they're pantomiming) I blew a brain gasket. I don't know why I find so much of his stuff funny, which I think is the hallmark of someone who's visionary rather than "just" funny. Sorry for the tv guide-like capsule rundown and the pretentious use of the word, "visionary", folks. Dinner's almost ready and I'm rushing this one.

Also - Thursday, Dec 12 --uh, tomorrow, that is -- A&E is running a biography on Billy Barty. You know, Billy Barty. Need a clue? When my friend Stevie asked my friend Paul who Billy Barty played in a movie, he replied, "THE MIDGET!" Yes, he was a little person of great stature, you've seen him in Foul Play (as the midget), working with the Spike Jones orchestra (he was the midget), and you didn't see him in the rubber suit in Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (he was Sigmund. The midget sea monster). Anyway, I'll probably be out drinking in Manhattan, but I plan to catch a rerun.

An anecdote of no importance re: Billy Barty: When I was in Los Angeles over a decade ago, I found myself at Paramount Studios with my friend Robbie Busch (Instant Piano member, you may remember, and someone who knew someone at Paramount Studios), they took us into the sound stage where they did foley work. There was a big wooden door with a large number of celebrity autographs written on it, actors who had been there to re-record dialogue and whatnot. Anyway, as a joke, I said, "Hey, I wonder if I look down I'll see Billy Barty's name. I looked down. There it fucking was, waist-high. God bless Billy Barty.

Finally, noir fans, graphics aficianados, lovers of big and expensive heavy books with color printing. The Art of Noir from Overlook press is a big-ass 50 buckaroo smack in the cranium that is well worth having in your house. Beautiful repros of crime and thriller posters, foreign y domestic. Great stuff. I flipped through it at Kim's in NYC and it was a knockout. If only the attempt to roll those Swiss tourists on St Marks worked, I'd have that sucker on a shelf as I type...