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March/April Update, 2010
Item 1: THE FOUR-LETTER WEEK
— or —
"YOU CANT SPELL S-X-S-W WITHOUT D-R-I-N-K"
Lead item here, SXSW just tore through Austin, and to local friends that means the annual contest to drill either the worst, or best, assortment of free food and drinks out of the event. There are previous worst choices: Sure they were free, but the bacon-infused Manhattan? The coconut-milk and Negro Modello? (Or christ, the asshole destroying Nuclear Taco?) All horrible mistakes. So this year it felt good to do it correctly - with a favorite drink repeated through the week at every opportunity, instead of a succession of mysteries, all worth regretting.
Favorite repeat drink this year was "Cup of Maker's", a specialty drink designed for open bar events. It's not so much a drink as it is a way of thinking about volume during the free hours. Here's a chart:
A good friend and I discovered the existence of this completely filled, time saved, cup of liquor during a game of one-upsmanship at an open bar event. Avoid diluting with ice, which you can get with another cup. Be sure to tip kindly when abusing open bar events in this way. No guarantees on individual success, but next year the plan is to bring a thermos with a request for a fill up.
Our art for the SXSW Web Awards:
Beyond basic free-liquor victories, there are two good SXSW experiences this year worth reporting. One was with the festival organization itself, the other was with radio station WFMU. In that order: First, SXSW asked me to do the art for their 13th Annual Web Awards event, which had Doug Benson as Host (entertaining) and MC Frontalot as intermission music (he was the highlight). Here's the art I put together for the show:
click for a full view of the printed program
Next, Groovy WFMU equipment:
Second good moment of the week was an invitation from WFMU to help cover sound during their SXSW showcase night. Best possible regards to the inimitable Scott Williams, Liz Berg, Brian Turner, Diane Kamikaze, and Jason Sigal. I enjoyed sitting in on the mixing board periodically through the night. The live music was a kick in the ass, too, with personal favorites being Shit & Shine, Moon Duo and Pierced Arrows.
Whole playlist for WFMU's SXSW showcase, including mp3, is viewable and listenable at this link.
Incidentally, our album, Live at Harry's Loft, has been enjoying somewhat of a good rotation on WFMU lately, with "Trashcan For Your Brain", "When You Sleep Do You Have Dreams", "I Love You", "The Fight Against VD" and "Disneyland" all receiving airplay at some point, and other stations starting to pick up interest in SPREE and SNAP. Our continued thanks for that. Work on sides three and four of the Harry's Loft album continues forward, along with another creative project that we'll be revealing in a month or so.
Shown above is final art for the Harry's Loft CD and LP.
As for music seen, it felt good to go to the Big Star tribute (RIP Alex Chilton) - seeing John Doe sing "I'm in Love with a Girl" was quite a memorable moment. We were all bummed about Chilton passing, but the smile on Doe's face was something that said everything to me. Never too far without a little Big Star.
Much more below — Thank you, Ethan
New issue of Evergreen Review:
The ridiculous news about SXSW was that I managed to get any work done during it - granted in creaks and fifteen minute increments - but one important item that had to get done was design for Evergreen 122, especially since some of the work in this issue is incredible. Three pieces on Samuel Beckett, in particular, or rather two sets of photos — previously unpublished images that may include the last photos ever taken of Beckett. (Photos taken by Barney Rosset in their final visit together.) Front cover features Jackson Pollock by Hans Namuth and "Unknown Biker" by Robert Frank. Plus an unpublished interview with Robert Motherwell, and some great pieces of writing (my favorite being a praising of women called "Round and Round" by Yotam Hadass)
CLICK FOR EVERGREEN REVIEW #122
Realist Archive Project:
Socialism, Shoes, YMCA, Roosevelt, & Afros:
Two new issues of Comics With Problems
also: Hulk Raped and Lois Goes Black
Issue #35 |
Two new issues added to Comics with Problems. The first one is a panicked view of Socialism from 1950, the other one addresses a much more serious crisis: a young girl's need for pretty shoes. In that order:
Issue Number 35: America Under Socialism. Enjoyed posting this one to see where it would show up on the Internet, and sure enough we got some good conservative websites (many with american flags and guns decorating their pages) hailing the contents of the comic as valuable information!, and linking here fervently. Hello to any new readers. I'll let others debate the merits of "America Under Socialism", though I do feel page two's assertion that "the Roman Empire fell to Socialism" (really?) is a bit of a debate breaker.
Wisdom from AMERICA UNDER SOCIALISM Comic Book
Additionally, the front cover (shown above) seems to best describes America under deregulation, or America under capitalism. Especially when you comb in the story's larger narrative about corruption and manipulation of the market and its workers. I think the lead villain in this story is really a lobbyist.
The best discussion showed up in a now deleted 4chan thread. I also enjoyed this single line Stumbleupon assertion:
Way to go Obama. You fucked up our best factory and hired Nazi guards. (via)
Also enjoyed this tumblr thread, and this J-Walk blog posting.
We interrupt this posting for a
Bonus "Socialist" Item: —
The 1936 Anti-Roosevelt Fake Dollar Bill
by Alf Landon, in his 1936 bid to ruin the country
This item deserves its own post, but it's a late addition to the page, so we'll nudge it in here. This is a scarce piece of fake money we're calling The 1936 Anti-Roosevelt Fake Dollar Bill. Produced in 1936 it stands as a nearly 75 year old example of propaganda against social change in this country. Produced by Alf Landon in his unsuccessful bid for president. Attacks the New Deal (which included Social Security and the SEC) Landon lost in a landslide, but left interesting mudslinging like this. Click for both sides of the bill at a larger size.
Landon, an oil millionaire, ran against Franklin Roosevelt in the 1936 U.S. presidential election, largely on a non-reform platform aimed squarely at marginalizing Social Security and the New Deal. Landon's footnote in history has grown slightly more substantial given the rhetoric of the past half year on health care. Two good links worth sharing on Landon and the modern health care debate:
The Rage Is Not About Health Care
Frank Rich, New York Times
Health reform and the specter of Alf Landon
Dana Milbank, Washington Post
The 1936 Anti-Roosevelt Fake Dollar Bill
Sidenote about the fake dollar bill: Not sure if the title, "New Deal Sound Mazuma", is an anti-Semitic jab at banking Jews, or not - but Mazuma is Yiddish slang for money.
Wow, we got off track there, huh! Anyway, back to the America Under Socialism comic. (coughs, and shuffles papers...) Where were we? Right! We were talking about that Socialism comic.
Just a closing comment on that:
Politics aside, America Under Socialism is one of the rarest comics we'll ever post, and should appeal to the collectors. Maybe five or ten known copies seem to remain in any known condition.
But enough about that
We should get to pretty girls talking in front of pretty mirrors.
Issue Number 36: Crisis at the Carsons. Added mostly because we've had a lot of heavy comics the past few months, but also because I'm sure this comic portrays a sort of lifestyle nightmare for women. Here's a good panel:
From Crisis at the Carsons
Finally, here are two links to two other sites, each containing Honorary Problem Comics. Image:
1) Bruce Banner escapes rape attempt at the YMCA
Title describes exactly what's in the tin. Published by Marvel/Curtis in 1980 in an issue of Rampaging Hulk. Same issue deals with a hippie in no bra on acid, and a suicide. Anyway, here's the link to the shower scene. I love the aftermath, best upset Hulk in ages, shown above.
As for our second honorary problem:
2) Lois Lane in "I Am Curious (Black)" - a surprisingly awesome DC Comics story that touches on black pride, interracial marriage, even interracial blood transfusions. I'm not joking here. Of course there are also panels like this:
Link to scans of the complete story
Incidentally, getting the title "I Am Curious (Color)" on the cover of children's comic book is an amusing success in itself, as it's an obviously overt and intended sex inference on a Comics Code approved story. The title refers to the adults only film "I Am Curious (Yellow)".
Readers who are on this page because of Evergreen Review will appreciate Yellow's direct connection to Evergreen and Grove Press, as it was the first film distributed under the Evergreen Films imprint. Barney Rosset is interviewed about the film on the Criterion DVD.
I Am Curious Black was itself, later, the title of a porn film, complete with a pretty tacky watermelon prop. Here's an image to the cover:
Merchandising with Problems
Image Feature: "Obamunism"
Item: Just to document this on the site, during the health care debate, one couldn't help but spot Obama as portrayed as Socialist, Communist, Nazi, etc. Surely this won't stop any time soon, but for whatever historic value here's about 200 images collected, some repeats showing different formats.
200 Examples of anti-Obama merchandise during
the health care debate, 2008-2010 - http://www.ep.tc
Most of these were available as commercial items. Click for the full scroll of items. Very large file.
our what the fuck of the day
Postscript: Well, shit. For good or bad, seems this one has caught on. So much so that "Anti-Obama Merchandise" inadvertently became a sidebar trending topic on Twitter for two hours, the morning of April 6. Our first trending topic. Right there next to "Justin Bieber" and "Jesus I love you" - Yikes.
Tweet Memes: one | two | three | four
Good discussions of this item:
Boing Boing | Buzzfeed | Reddit | J-Walk | Digg
Ha!, very odd: Fox News' Alan Colmes (of Hannity & Colmes)
Leads us to our favorite topic:
Time for an important segment we'd like to call
THIS MONTH IN RACE BAITING, cue graphic:
First, That's Racist
1) Important update to one of the more frequently linked images on the site. The animated "That's Racist!" gif (originally from Wonder Showzen.)
We received via email the following
important update to this gif:
We feel it's important to stay current with such matters. Thank you for updating your records at home.
But what's more racist than that?
2) Well that would have to belong to cartoonist Darleen Click. Right after Health Care's passage Darleen tapped into everyone's "black man rapes a monument" fantasy with this editorial cartoon:
Thanks for playing Darleen. And good luck with the art career there.
That comic seems pretty stupid. Surely there's something better in the way of defamation, and drawn with more anger, or illness.
3) YES, YOU WOULD BE CORRECT. After a little digging around, mostly on a hunch that something like this HAD to be somewhere, we have the following item to present as an EP.TC website exclusive:
Tea Party Comix
or: oh shit we're in the soup now
BECAUSE IT HAD TO BE SOMEWHERE
A selection of pages from TEA PARTY COMIX #1 and #2
Wow, not only can we show you something very unusual, but we're also giving you an assortment from two issues. Tea Party Comix is exactly what you'd expect, with a little bit of genuine depressing madness that maybe you wouldn't. The art is surprisingly reminiscent of early darkie comics mixed with DC characters - and in a weird comparison, has moments reminiscent of outsider artist Mingering Mike. The Bizarro subculture of Tea Party people continues to expand like a dented mentally ill secondary world. Click for TEA PARTY COMIX.
Fine Fine Fine. But now hold on there. I mean to say....
What about a finale? It's all well and good to show a pair of lone nuts, each drawing an Obama Sambo. We could all do that at lunch. I mean to say, what about history. What about something with substance. I mean as a race bait concluder. Help me out here. Surely...
4) Good question. I can't say enough about The Nation, independently owned and operated since 1865. You should subscribe. Recently they had a pretty good cover story on the harassment methods of Big Tobacco to keep experts, historians in particular, from testifying in court. One method of attack was to discredit the professional witness. Here's a snippet that caught my attention, regarding defense manipulation of the testimony of Stanford professor Robert Proctor:
The same legal filing that accused Proctor of witness tampering also argued that he had "already caused a mistrial...by gratuitously injecting...racial slurs into his testimony to impugn defendants." That's another example of the tactics practiced by tobacco lawyers ... On the stand Proctor began to explain racism in tobacco marketing. He started to say that the companies had marketed products called Nigger-Head Tobacco and Nigger-Hair Tobacco--brands that existed as late as the 1960s. But a Philip Morris attorney, objecting that Proctor had injected racial slurs into the courtroom, demanded a mistrial--and got it. The judge ruled that Proctor's utterance of those words was "prejudicial."
I was pretty alarmed by the names of those two tobacco products, and had to find an example. Below is a pack of N-Head cigarettes, from 1890. Apologies to the entire planet:
Read "BIG TOBACCO AND THE HISTORIANS" at The Nation
- THANK YOU - THIS HAS BEEN -
THIS MONTH IN RACE BAITING
Finally, our other favorite topic:
Ending this long update, here's an image gallery entitled
NEEDS MORE VENEREAL DISEASE
Needs More Venereal Disease is exactly what it sounds like. Random VD images. First up, here's a WWII condom prophylactic, still in it's original army package:
Following that, here are two very peculiar syphilis booklets. Perhaps my favorite set of images seen in months. I know syphilis used to impact every part of society, but this combination of text and image is extremely uncommon, depressing, definitely discordant. I call 'em art.
I like viewing these two booklets as movie posters, with "Congenital Syphilis" as the sequel.
Finally, we close out this segment with one of the better business cards of the last twentieth century: "Knockout V.D."
This is a blotter from 1948. Blotters were larger than today's business cards (about three times the size) but served the same purpose. They doubled as advertisements, as well.
A few detail pieces on this:
Phone number is Randy ... Extension VD!
Thanks for reading, and see you in a few weeks. Ethan
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