Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hey, one and all.

Sorry for the hiatus; my sleeping was completely skewed by too much time on the computer, which brought on this recent bout with the flu, so I steered clear of this time-eater (the computer, not just the blog) for most of the week. Back to sleeping like a pre-Millennial being, and determined to keep it that way.

With so much time of late happily going into my writing, teaching (the Center for Cartoon Studies second semester starts this week -- exciting!), and my return to the drawing board, it’s become more of a chore to even want to sit at the computer for anything involving email or the internet.

I’m now determined to find some means of high-speed access. The pisser is it isn’t available to anyone here in Marlboro -- even though the fucking line serving Wilmington and Brattleboro (the two towns on either side of Marlboro) runs right outside my house! Email is out of control, in part because it’s just so time consuming to creep through every day, and any online adventure takes far too much time with slo-mo dial-up. It’s crazy how long it takes to circumvent crap I don’t even want to deal with.

So, please bear with my occasional days away until this problem is solved. Among the upcoming 2006 blog events I’m working on are interviews (currently underway!), a story-marathon, at last posting art here (part and parcel of the server/high-speed access dilemma), and much more, including the usual rants and rambles.

Catching up a bit:

* A little blast of Bissette art and a writeup of one of my personal favorite books of all time awaits you if you click on
  • The Late Great Creature.
  • What brings this to mind this week is my current work-in-progress that involves some made-up movies, inspired in part by Brock Brower’s sadly forgotten (it was barely noticed when it was published) novel. Dig:

    "THE LATE GREAT CREATURE by Brock Brower (1971, Atheneum) was Simon Moro, notorious horror movie star of the 1930s and 40s who could (in the words of the men's magazine reporter who relates the novel's first third) "indicate corruption with just the back of his neck" onscreen. Brower's invented filmography for Moro is utterly convincing and compelling: hints of the actor in silent German films; his rise to fame as a mad pedophile in Fritz Lang's ZEPPELIN (1930); his American debut as THE MOTH, a tatty low-budget horror co-starring Fay Wray; his butchered masterpiece GHOULGANTUA (1937), a reworking of FRANKENSTEIN; his subsequent decline playing Nazis in ersatz World War 2 propoganda and a poverty-row GILA MAN series; a mysterious, incomplete feature Moro starred in and directed in post-War Germany set in the concentration camps; on to the centerpiece of the novel, a Cormanesque remake of THE RAVEN for the drive-in circuit.”

    I ache to see these nonexistent films the same way most Lovecraft fans hanker to hold the Necronomicon in their mitts. I don’t think my spin on nonexistent drive-in movies will prompt the same hunger, but one never knows...

    * Does anyone out there have any info on the “i” network? Last night Marj and I watched most of a locally-produced and filmed ‘natural disaster’ movie (Edgewood Studios’s all-hail opus Frozen Impact), which was produced by the Rutland-based studio for Porchlight, who also provide content for Pax. The “i” network’s commercials and content clearly was along the lines of Pax: lots of Christian and family oriented ads, geriatric pharmaceutical commercials, etc. Just curious; any info or links would be appreciated.

    * There’s a new post from Al Nickerson at the Remembering The Creators Bill of Rights website: Dave Sim's succinct letter to Mark Martin is
  • here
  • -- and there's a photo from the historic summit, too. Check ‘em out!

    * Speaking of Al, he also recently sent me a link to
  • this publisher forum for Johnny Raygun
  • about Diamond Dist.’s new policy “that makes it difficult for small
    publishers to produce a Free Comic Book Day issue this year.” Johnny Raygun is among Al’s current faves being effected -- there are, no doubt, many others.

    Publisher Ralph DiBernardo kicks off the thread with the sobering news that he "can't get a straight answer from anyone at Diamond but the bottom line is that we were not invited to participate. For whatever reason, we did not meet the criteria for it, even though we sold about 15,000 copies 2 years ago and 20,000 last year. Between that and Diamonds new policy for small press it makes it hard to imagine this industry ever moving forward again."

    So, 2006 is the year Diamond laid down the law and instituted new restrictions: more of the same. It can only get worse. I’ve no doubt that Free Comic Book Day is one of the few entry-level events left for small press and self-publishers who have already been crowded off shelves and barely have a hand-hold in the pre-order system that dominates consumer-end buying in what’s left of the direct sales market. The marginalization of the independents continues unabated.

    * The news has been so fucking infuriating of late. President Bush keeps blathering about “freedom” while blithely tredding on one and all, ourselves included.

    Just narrowing the field to the Middle East: Want to ‘export’ some democracy, some freedom? How about freedom from us?

    You’d think a nation built on refuting a colonizing empire would have that one down.


    Blogger Marky Mark said...

    and my reply is here!

    That has to be a new world's record for me responding to a Creators Rights issue!

    Anonymous Al Nickerson said...

    I'm glad Dave sent me that CEREBUS #116 photo of Mark and the guys. It's great to see some history of creator’s rights captured on film. Now, if only I can get a copy of the photo from The Creator’s Bill of Right’s Northampton summit…

    Well, Diamond responds to the JOHNNY RAYGUN/Free Comic Book Day fiasco. Diamond claims that there was just some miscommunication with the JOHNNY guys. The whole thing sounds strange to me…;f=36;t=004672

    So, it looks like there won’t be a JOHNNY RAYGUN Free Comic Book Day issue. That’s sad. I think Free Comic Book Day is a wonderful idea to get more people into reading comics, but if everyone who wants to participate in the event can’t, then there’s something wrong.

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The "i" network is PAX with the guy who made PAX being bought out... I think the name PAX still exists as a cable-only entity.

    I think series like Young Blades & anything else they were producing has been canceled.

    Anonymous Cthulhu's Favored Spawn said...

    I ache to see these nonexistent films the same way most Lovecraft fans hanker to hold the Necronomicon in their mitts. I don’t think my spin on nonexistent drive-in movies will prompt the same hunger, but one never knows...

    Steve, have you ever read Danielewski's House of Leaves?

    Blogger Will Pfeifer said...

    Or, speaking of fictional filmographies, have you ever read the novel FLICKER by Theodore Roszak? It's all about the career of mysterious horror director Max Castle and the unusual effects he was able to create. Great stuff, and I'd think someone as steeped in horror history as you would get a big kick out of it.

    Blogger SRBissette said...

    Great reply, Mark. Thanks for the link.

    Thanks for the "i" network info, anonymous. It seemed like PAX in all but name -- still, if anyone knows anything more, send it along, please.

    FLICKER I know well (see my writeup on LATE GREAT CREATURE at the link provided in the blog post, citing FLICKER and many others in this curious subgenre of, well, Borgesian invented cinema fantasies), but HOUSE OF LEAVES is new to me. More info, please!

    Anonymous Cthulhu's Favored Spawn said...


    House of Leaves is a piece of fiction, in which the main character attempts to track down a film that doesn't seem to exist, The Navidson Recoed, based on the papers left by a blind man. There's another story which takes place in the footnotes, and it's all very weird and wonderfully written. I have never read anything like it, and it strikes me as something that you may enjoy, Steve.


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