Saturday, June 24, 2006

Flora I'm Fond-a, More Ketchup, and For The Man Who Has Everything...

* A big plug for
  • Irwin Chusid's week-long tribute posts to illustrator Jim Flora at Today's Inspiration.
  • Flora scholar and musicologist Irwin Chusid writes, "Leif Peng is an illustrator based in Hamilton, Ontario. He has a daily blog called "Today's Inspiration" that celebrates illustrators and illustration of the fifties... Each week he posts five images (one per day), along with brief explanatory text. Occasionally, he invites a guest writer to share their expertise on a particular subject. He invited me to curate a weeklong tribute to Jim Flora." Irwin has been at it all week, so check out the gallery via the link -- which should prompt you to track down Irwin's excellent art book on Flora's classic '50s illo work for record labels, music zines and more.

    * One more plug for
  • the Center for Cartoon Studies summer workshops
  • (scroll down to "SUMMER WORKSHOPS 2006"), which I'll be teaching with James Sturm, James Kochalka, Robyn Chapman, Aaron Renier and Alec Longstreth. Truth to tell, though we'll all be doing our best, Aaron & Alec's two-day comic creation workshop alone (Wednesday and Thursday) is more than worth the price of admission; it's a mind-blower and jump-starter! That said, James & James and I will be teaching Monday and Tuesday, Robyn will be opening up the Wednesday session and working with Aaron & Alec, and by Friday there will be new comics kicking and squealing their way into this crabby ol' world of ours, via the hands, heads and hearts of this week's workshop participants. Always something new being born at CCS!

    * Speaking of which, the CCS Year One student team behind the Jersey Devil mini-comic that Heretic will be packaging as part of their September 29th DVD release of Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler's historic digital mockumentary/thriller The Last Broadcast are already at it again! Without working up a sweat, I showed our Jersey Devil mini to someone I thought might find it of interest -- and we just landed a new gig from a different filmmaker/DVD packager to create a "bigger" mini-comic for another upcoming 2006 DVD release -- but it's top secret until the filmmakers and DVD label decide to unveil the title and package in their own sweet time. So, we can't talk about it here, but rest assured another CCS Year One alumni team mini-comic will be sweetening one of the year's strangest upcoming DVD packages. We're starting work this week, with a planned end-of-August delivery of the finished product. Much work ahead -- should be some fun, too.

    * But that's just the tip of the CCS experience, as we move toward the fall launch of Year Two and a whole new class coming in the doors. If you care to read about the Maine College of Art partnering with CCS, Zippy the Pinhead visiting White RIver Junction, a blog story and photographs from a recent visit to CCS, Alison Bechdel's fantastic new graphic novel Fun Home, year one student Alexis Frederick-Frost winning a 2006 Xeric Book Self-Publishing Grant (congrats, Alexis!), and more, go to
  • the CCS site.
  • Like, now.

    * A bit more bragging: Hey, a book I contributed to just won an award. Co-editor (with Kim Newman) Stephen Jones writes:

    "As you may know, this past weekend in Newark, New Jersey, Horror: Another 100 Best Books was presented with the Horror Writers Association's annual Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction. As our first Horror: 100 Best Books volume also received this same award back in 1990, it was with additional pleasure that we accepted this prize."

    Our unabashed co-editor added, "Obviously, we couldn't have done it without you. So, on behalf of Kim and myself, I would like to thank you for your contribution to the book's success. We really appreciate all the hard work you put into it." Ah, shucks, Stephen -- I'm just 1/100th of it all.

    FYI, my respective contribution was an essay on Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell's graphic novel extraordinaire From Hell, though vet Taboo and Video Watchdog readers should also note Tim Lucas's novel Throat Sprockets made the top 100 grade, too (and Tim has his own contribution to the book as a writer, via his Fantomas writeup).

    Stephen's email concluded, "The book is also nominated for an International Horror Guild Award later this year, so let's keep our collective fingers crossed . . ." Next year's World Horror Convention and Bram Stoker Award presentation will be held in Toronto, Canada, March 29-April 1; if you're interested in finding out more, check out
  • World Horror Convention's website.

  • Nice to know something I had a small, malformed fetal vestigal hand in has earned the award. I have my own Bram Stoker on our home shelves, which I won in 1993 as the author of Aliens: Tribes (sharing that year's Superior Achievement in Novelette category with none other than Joe Lansdale, an honor in and of itself). It's a tres cool elongated haunted house made of browned resin, with a little metal door that opens to reveal the lettered blonze award plaque; now, I'll forever picture an extra gable or shingle on it for my essay in Kim & Stephen's book. Congrats to Stephen & Kim and all the other contributors!

    * As if the CCS workshop wasn't enough on my plate for this week, I'm also interviewing the Vermont filmmakers behind not one but two recently completed and/or still-in-post-production feature films. Tomorrow, Marge and I are driving way up past my old home digs to near-where-I-grew-up Waterbury Center for an RSVP by-invite-only session for the cast and crew of The Summer of Walter Hacks, hosted by actor/director/co-writer George Woodard and producer/co-writer Gerianne Smart. George & Gerianne wanted someone to interview all concerned on video, and I wanted to be sure to cover the film's production for a future volume of Green Mountain Cinema, so they invited me to handle the honors and duties. I'm an old hand at such on-stage interviews (having done my share at comic cons, Chiller Con and various video industry trade shows and functions), so we gracefully and gratefully accepted the invite -- should be a high time.

    Come Wednesday, I'll be meeting the young filmmakers responsible for the latest Center for Digital Art student feature Delusion, a tight little psychological thriller which debuted just this past Sunday, June 18th, at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, VT. CDA cofounders and instructors Michel & Linda Moyse are hosting the interview session at their home CDA studio, again to yield coverage for Green Mt Cinema. BTW, last year's senior CDA feature Collie Rotweiler and the Hangaround Kid just won a Golden Remi Award at the end-of-April WorldFest-Houston, the 3rd oldest film festival in North America. Congrats to its talented cast and crew, and to the Center for Digital Art which nurtured and mobilized their considerable skills. I was lucky enough to interview many of Collie Rotweiler's young creative team during filming last spring, and that material saw print in The Brattleboro Reformer and will be featured (expanded and revised) in a special CDA-dedicated volume of Green Mt Cinema.

    * What do you give the man who has everything -- particularly an ex-alcoholic born-again bubble-environed blinkered absolutist who's already blind-drunk on power? Why,
  • give him more power, of course!
  • The Republicans angrily refuted similar powers for President Clinton, but since President Bush has been good and apparently hasn't received a blowjob in the Oval Office or White House hallways as yet, this looks like a peachy reward.

    Clearly, the Republicans really do think they'll be in power forever.

    * Marge and I have tried off and on all afternoon to post photos and art on this blog, but our server just won't follow through. It's wipe-out and wipe-out every time, slamming us out of Safari in a heartbeat. Sigh. Sorry, bunky. It just ain't meant to be...


    Anonymous Cthulhu's Favored Spawn said...

    Well, Steve, you're someday going to have to cop to the fact that you are in fact Concentrated Awesome, and that your art should be an excuse to print money.

    More seriously--wonderful news, looking forward to picking up The Last Broadcast and seeing it again.

    Blogger SRBissette said...

    Excuse to print money? Jeez, I can barely earn money!

    Thanks for the kind words, though, and hope you'll enjoy THE LAST BROADCAST package. Great to be part of it, and cooler still to have been able to work with the CCS team on the mini for it.


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