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.
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.…
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.
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!’
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 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:
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.
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.
“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.”
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.