Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book

Preview Alan Moore’s Fashion Beast!

While comic-book leg­end Alan Moore was cre­at­ing hunky, nude and blue Dr. Man­hat­tan for Watch­men in the 1980s, he was also work­ing on a movie script about a queer cross-dresser. Engaged by punk pio­neer Mal­colm McLaren, famously the man­ager of The Sex Pis­tols and New York Dolls, Moore crafted the 1985 screen­play for Fash­ion Beast, a gender-bending take on Beauty and The Beast set in a dystopian future.
Sadly, it was never filmed.
Now, almost 30 years later, Fash­ion Beast has been dusted off and adapted by writer Antony John­son and artist Facundo Per­cio as a ten-issue comic-book lim­ited series from Avatar Press.
Says Moore of the adap­ta­tion:
“Since Mal­colm McLaren first sug­gested that I write a screen­play based on his notion of mar­ry­ing the strange and iso­lated life of Chris­t­ian Dior with the fable Beauty and the Beast, I’ve often won­dered what such an unlikely con­cept would have looked like had it been prop­erly realised. Now, albeit in a dif­fer­ent medium, I finally get to find out…
It’s an odd tale, in its sub­ject mat­ter and in the mode of its telling, and I like to think that Mal­colm would be very pleased to see another of his star­tling and incen­di­ary ideas brought so intrigu­ingly into existence.”


Above, check out a pre­view of Fash­ion Beast #1. In it, we meet pro­tag­o­nist Doll Seguin, a cross-dressing coat-check girl and night­club per­former who (not coin­ci­den­tally) dances to McLaren’s trib­ute to New York’s drag-ball scene, “Deep in Vogue.”
And check out McLaren’s video bellllllow.

Keith Haring’s Journals

The Keith Har­ing Foun­da­tion has scanned Keith’s jour­nals from 1971 to 1989, some of which are fea­tured in Keith Har­ing: 1978–1982. A page will be posted each day for the dura­tion of the show, which will be on view at the Brook­lyn Museum from March 16 through July 8, 2012. The exhi­bi­tion is the first large-scale pre­sen­ta­tion to explore the early works of one of the best-known Amer­i­can artists of the twen­ti­eth century.

Click on the Polaroid for the Journal.…

Art Spiegelman on the Birth of Garbage Pail Kids

These images come from Garbage Pail Kids, by the Topps Com­pany, a col­lec­tion of the first five series of the pop­u­lar par­ody cards. The text is excerpted from the intro­duc­tion by Pulitzer-winning car­toon­ist Art Spiegel­man, who worked on GPKs, as well as many other projects, in his 20 years work­ing for Topps.
I don’t think I even remem­bered that we had already done a Cab­bage Patch Kids par­ody called “Garbage Pail Kids” as part of an upcom­ing Wacky Pack­ages series, although Mark New­gar­den, who had been respon­si­ble for writ­ing and draw­ing a rough for it, brought out John Pound’s ren­der­ing. We took one sketch: a kid lit­er­ally going nuclear, with a mush­room cloud com­ing out of his head. It even­tu­ally became Adam Bomb (No. 8a). We knew from expe­ri­ence that if we could find two exam­ples, we could find 200. But if we could only come up with one, we were in trouble.
Maybe it was No. 29a, the skele­tal Bony Joanie, or maybe the kid climb­ing out of the toi­let bowl (potty humor, short of depict­ing actual turds, was a nat­ural) that became the sec­ond pro­to­type. One way or another, we stum­bled to the start­ing line and were on to some­thing that we could turn into a series.

Through­out, Len was the friendly voice of rea­son, say­ing, “No, you can’t show a tam­pon!” After a while we started to get punchy. We’d go into a trance try­ing to fig­ure out, say, what we could do with some poor kid’s ears that would be graph­i­cally com­pelling. Or how the kid would react to being stabbed. We’d have these ses­sions in which we would all sit around this tiny imitation-wood table in a small room with junk all around it, com­ing up with jokes about some­body crawl­ing out of a toi­let look­ing like he just ate something.

We all worked anony­mously, since Topps didn’t want the work pub­licly cred­ited, pre­sum­ably so we could eas­ily be replaced by other hands. I was annoyed at the time, but my book pub­lisher, Pan­theon, was very relieved. The first vol­ume of Maus was being pre­pared for pub­li­ca­tion while the GPKs were near the height of their popularity.

In 1986 it was chal­leng­ing enough to get peo­ple to accept the idea of a seri­ous work about the Holo­caust in comic-book form with­out hav­ing to reveal that the artist also cre­ated those noto­ri­ous stick­ers for the pre­pu­bes­cent set. “Please keep it quiet,” my edi­tor insisted. “If this gets out, they’ll review your book and call it ‘Garbage Pail Jews!’

”Even­tu­ally, Garbage Pail Kids became as big a phe­nom­e­non as Cab­bage Patch Kids. Garbage Pail Kids offered some­thing that was not so benign and parent-friendly; rather, it pro­voked: “Oh, my god, what is that? Where did you get those? Your allowance is cut off! And you’re grounded!”
The dolls were pricey and had to appeal to adults. The stick­ers were avail­able for chump change and appealed to the inner beast in all kids. This was Topps, after all.

Bad Children’s Books by Bob Staake

Get­ting offended can be such a fun feel­ing, espe­cially when it’s art and humor where no one is being spared.

Bob Staake has cre­ated a super cute series of “Satire, Humor and Visual Par­ody of Clas­sic Children’s Books From the 1940s Through 1960s.” Pre­pare to learn how to make money, what Bukowski really does to chil­dren, and just what does daddy have in the trunk…

MAD Magazine Documentary


MAD Mag­a­zine poked fun at every­thing — and changed the world. A peek behind the scenes at this cul­ture rot­ting institution.

Check out the Kick­starter cam­paign for When We Went MAD!: A Doc­u­men­tary of Echh-ic Pro­por­tions. The project is already funded, but there’s no harm in kick­ing in some extra scratch… maybe they’ll make it 3-D!

The doc­u­men­tary will look at the legacy of the cheap satire rag, MAD mag­a­zine, which started out in 1952 and had its first offices on MADi­son Avenue. The “Usual Gang of Idiots” behind the pub­li­ca­tion will all be a part of the doc. Here’s a taste of what’s in store:

William S. Burroughs Reading Junky

Above is an illus­tra­tion by artist ~cal­tron (Isam S. Prado) of William Bur­roughs’ novel Junky.

“The ques­tion is fre­quently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict?
The answer is that he usu­ally does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morn­ing and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shoot­ing twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sick­ness is until you have had sev­eral habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the with­drawal symp­toms were mild. I think it no exag­ger­a­tion to say it takes about a year and sev­eral hun­dred injec­tions to make an addict.”

Six years before he pub­lished his break­through novel, Naked Lunch (1959), William S. Bur­roughs broke into the lit­er­ary scene with Junky (some­times also called Junkie), a can­did, semi-autobiographical account of an “unre­deemed drug addict.” It’s safe to say that the book wouldn’t have seen the light of day if Allen Gins­berg hadn’t taken Bur­roughs under his wing and edited the man­u­script. The book, orig­i­nally pub­lished under the pseu­do­nym “William Lee,” was dis­trib­uted by Ace Books, a pub­lish­ing house that tar­geted New York City sub­way rid­ers. Below, you can lis­ten to Bur­roughs read­ing a three-hour abridged ver­sion of the text.

The ques­tions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try nar­cotics? Why did you con­tinue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a nar­cotics addict because you do not have strong moti­va­tions in the other direc­tion. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a mat­ter of curios­ity. I drifted along tak­ing shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. Most addicts I have talked to report a sim­i­lar expe­ri­ence. They did not start using drugs for any rea­son they can remem­ber. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s spe­cial need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morn­ing you wake up sick and you’re an addict.”

If like me, you can not get enough of William Bur­roughs, I invite you to stay with us a lit­tle longer and watch the fol­low­ing 1983 doc­u­men­tary by Howard Brookner. At the begin­ning of it, you will be able to see William S. Bur­roughs’ first appear­ance on Amer­i­can national tele­vi­sion. Appro­pri­ately, it was on the irrev­er­ent, late-night com­edy show, Sat­ur­day Night Live. I hope you enjoy it.

I am Secretly an Important Man

Steven J. Bern­stein was grunge-era Seattle’s favorite lit­er­ary rebel, a skin-and-bones mis­fit with Coke-bottle eye­glasses whose raw and jaggedly hilar­i­ous poems were recorded by Sub-Pop, win­ning atten­tion even as his bipo­lar dis­or­der led him to take his own life in 1991. He was 41, but as this detailed biog­ra­phy reveals, he’d lived with hard-core inten­sity, whether as an ado­les­cent mental-institution res­i­dent, a New York street musi­cian, a self-medicating heroin user, or a teenage run­away on Ken Kesey’s magic bus.

I Am Secretly An Impor­tant Man, a hard-edged but com­pas­sion­ate doc­u­men­tary about the life and death of song­writer, poet and per­for­mance artist, takes its title from a line in Bernstein’s most famous poem, “Come Out Tonight.’’

His angry, sur­pris­ingly fresh, lyri­cal writ­ings are about sen­si­tive souls, drifters and drug addicts; peo­ple alien­ated by a soci­ety that refuses to under­stand them. He peeled back the ugli­ness and the dark­ness of life on the fringe to expose ten­der and not so ten­der human feel­ing. His unique rhythms, filled with humor and pain, were espe­cially excit­ing when read in his own gravely voice. Peo­ple packed into the­aters, bars and cafes to hear him read and sing. Unfor­tu­nately much of Jesse’s work has not yet found the audi­ence it deserves out­side of the Pacific North­west. Fol­low­ing is the the­atri­cal trailer.

Being in the minor­ity was a way of life for Bern­stein. Known as the god­fa­ther of grunge, he didn’t live to hear the term and undoubt­edly would have dis­dained it. He not only liked the naked ele­gance of the music, he helped shape it, open­ing for the bands (Nir­vana, Big Black, Soundgar­den, U-Men, the Crows) who went on to the big time, and work­ing the crowd into a ecsta­tic heat. He liked to cause a stir. When in the mood, he added to his leg­end. When not, he com­plained about it.“All the sto­ries about me are true,” he said.

In the fol­low­ing video, Bern­stein reads his story ‘Face’ as we are guided through the illus­tra­tions by Tri­an­gle Slash. This is one of the best things I have ever heard and watch. Please allow the nar­ra­tor to make you suf­fer through the whole video.

Grant Morrison: Sigil, Magick, Wanking

Magic, for me, is a work­ing tech­nol­ogy for explor­ing alter­nate real­i­ties, break­ing down behav­ioral pro­grams, com­ing to an under­stand­ing with Death and hav­ing a laugh,” said Grant Mor­ri­son.

Mor­ri­son has cre­ated some of the world’s coolest comic books over the past three decades, with a sprawl­ing body of work that includes orig­i­nal works like The Invis­i­bles, We3 and The Filth as well as fresh, imag­i­na­tive takes on famil­iar char­ac­ters such as Bat­man, Super­man and the X-Men. His work was influ­enced by the writ­ings of Robert Anton Wil­son, Aleis­ter Crow­ley and William Bur­roughs and Morrison’s prac­tice of Chaos Mag­ick.

Mor­ri­son con­sid­ers him­self a magi­cian, and not the rabbits-from-hats kind – mag­ick with a “k” style sor­cery. He’s been con­duct­ing occult rit­u­als since age 19, writ­ing Sig­ils, sum­mon­ing var­i­ous enti­ties and gods and such. There is an under­stand­ing in Chaos Mag­ick, share with the likes of Gen­e­sis Breyer P-Orridge, that life is mag­ickal. It may be mag­ickal in a nihilis­tic, incom­pre­hen­si­ble way but it is still mag­ickal, and not just sub­ject to the laws and assump­tions of New­ton­ian sci­ence. Chaos Mag­ick is the mag­ick of the quan­tum cen­tury: where energy and mat­ter inter­sect and trans­mute into the other. Results are what count not the Belief. Belief is a tool, not a strait­jacket. It is malleable.

Pop Magic” is an arti­cle writ­ten by Mor­ri­son, where he expli­ans his views on Sig­ils and prac­ti­cal rit­u­als that actu­ally work. It is part of “The Book of Lies”. Part of it was in the author web­site. Click on the Sigil above to get the full arti­cle in PDF format.

You can say I’m fuck­ing nuts,” says Mor­ri­son, “but any­one can find these rit­u­als online, and if you’re too scared to do them, you’re the one who believes in the devil, not me.”

The Religious Experience of Philip K.Dick by Crumb.

Philip K. Dick, between Feb­ru­ary and March 1974, expe­ri­enced a series of visions and audi­tions includ­ing a chap­ter with an information-rich “pink light” beam emit­ted by a golden fish that trans­mit­ted directly into his con­scious­ness. This expe­ri­ences were doc­u­mented by R. Crumb in the 1986 Comix: Weirdo No. 17 and is one of the themes treated in VALIS. You can see the Crumb comix by click­ing on the cover image above.