Imagine if you will, a world parallel to our own, identical in many ways, disparate in others. Long story short, in this mirror universe, Bands I Useta Like was optioned by a major independent film studio, and made into a hit movie. It combined animation and live action, and because the producers had deep pockets, licensing songs for a decent soundtrack wasn’t a problem.
Whether I allowed the film to be produced at all was contingent upon the quality of the music choices. If they balked at a crucial song, or refused to include it, I would walk off the project. Which I did, and they replaced me on-screen with a real actor. Like I said, the movie was a hit.
The 2-disc soundtrack sold out of stores overnight. Even though it came packed in that shitty double jewel-box, which just winds up broken, on the floor of a car.
I had to move recently, hence the hiatus. If you’re a writer or an artist, moving is extra hell because of all the books. Big glossy ones for the coffee table (if applicable), thick reference tomes, and oodles of little half-finished sketchbooks.
Not an exaggeration.
In 2012, my friend Chay and I worked as audience members for the taping of a popular game show, hosted by Steve Harvey. We helped to provide a diversity that was wholly absent from the proceedings.
If I could go back in time 20 years, and tell my 24-year-old self that I’d be signing my own comics at Criminal Records in Atlanta’s Little 5 Points, I wouldn’t believe it. Mostly because at 24 I was incredulous about the feasibility of time travel.
Three years ago, in jail, more than one dude told me I looked like Bruno Mars. I don’t see it.
I’ve guested at comic conventions before, but this was Criminal Records. They’ve had an almost mythical status since the 1990s, and their old location (it’s now Stratosphere Skateboards, another local business I highly recommend), which I visited often even before I lived here. It had cartoons drawn on the walls by Skip Williamson, Evan Dorkin and Bob Burden, just to name a few. I want to say Patty Leidy was up there too, but I’m going on memory here. Continue reading →
Today, a great hamster was laid to rest. His name was Boris.
We must not be sad, and instead celebrate the all-too-brief life of a beloved creature. Boris was curious, friendly, and adored by all who knew him; even the folks who disliked his kind. By some cosmic coincidence, the grey-and-white patches on his back formed a big “B”.Continue reading →
Here in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood, we lost another local musician to heroin. I won’t write his name here, because I don’t want to inextricably link him with the drug that killed him. But there’s an anguished frustration every time this happens, when the needle takes yet one more.
Junk has been a cancer on music since before Charlie Parker played a note. It has taken too many casualties to list here. It seeps into cinema and art like toxic groundwater. No one does better work while on heroin. It improves no experience; it only makes one atrophy. What it does, is put your soul in terrible pain, and then dulls it. Nothing it does helps you or anyone else in any legitimate way. Continue reading →
You wanna know how to tell if a city is your home? When terrible things happen to you there, and it never occurs to you to leave. You don’t abandon your home. You stay and tough it out.
There was a night during my stay in Fulton County Jail where all of us were herded into the rec area, so that the guards could search the ward for contraband. Apparently some inmates had been smoking weed in their cell. Since that cell was mine, and one of the inmates was me, I spent my time in the rec room deep in contemplation. As time wore on no quicker than molasses, we all started to chat to break the tension.
The cement room was sweltering. The walls were nine feet high, rimmed with cyclone fencing. If I jumped vertically, I could catch a glimpse of the glimmering Atlanta skyline I missed so terribly. This was soothing. Some of the inmates I’d befriended took notice, and I eagerly explained myself. It was the first view of the city I’d had in a month.