Ralph Reese is a brilliant illustrator whose art I first discovered in Choose Your Own Adventure books; he was my personal favorite. His work leapt off the page more than the others, owing to his apprenticeship under the great Wally Wood. In my teens, I found reprints of Ralph’s collaboration with Byron Preiss for National Lampoon, “One Year Affair”. I dreamed of being able to draw like Ralph Reese.
When Ralph did a feature in CRAZY magazine, it was a cause for celebration. Because Ralph wasn’t just a master illustrator.
Ralph was also a master of making you crap your pants.
I don’t watch Jimmy Fallon. I don’t like him. I never have. Why do I feel bad writing that?
He is robot, yes?
Fallon didn’t get the job because he had the most talent as a late-night talk show host. He got it because he was the available cypher. He never makes waves, or complains about pay. He has no opinions regarding corporations, no matter how toxic they are, or how much pressure they exert upon his artistic freedom. He loves karaoke because he loves to imitate. He is permanently star-struck.
Last month, I kidded a friend that 2016 is The Year Everyone Died Or Sold Out. I figured if I joked about it, it might stop being true. Even though I am well acquainted with Fear and Loathing, this was the point where everyone else got acquainted with them too.
Even I wasn’t mentally prepared for the comedians caving in. That was the final straw for me on social media: well-known comedians abusing their influence by endorsing presidential candidates. Try to conjure an image of George Carlin backing Richard Nixon. You can’t, because Carlin was a brilliant mind with integrity. Entertainers publicly endorse a candidate because their corporate masters told them to, and the ones that do are whores. Straight up. Continue reading →
1941 is a not-very-good comedy from 1979, directed by a young Steven Spielberg. It has an all-star cast; John Belushi, Robert Stack, Slim Pickens, Ned Beatty, and Christopher Lee, just to name a few. The score, from the dependable John Williams, is rousing and bombastic, with a great send-up of Glenn Miller that plays before a “zoot-suit riot”. The movie is a farce about a small California town that descends into chaos when a Japanese sub appears off the coast, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The destruction effects, and Slim Pickens faking a forceful shit by chucking a boot in a toilet, greatly endeared 1941 to me as a boy, to the point where I drove my dad nuts with it. He knew it was a stupid, leaden bomb. I saw Dan Aykroyd with nylon hose on his head and oranges in his eyes screaming “I’m a bug”, and I lost my mind. Then I tried it myself one day, and I almost lost my eyesight. Continue reading →
Print is important and always will be. Secret messages are sent on paper; on computers, they have to be heavily encrypted. This still doesn’t work as well as something that has to be photographed before someone burns or swallows it.
I’d call it a safe bet that money will always be printed, from elaborate etchings.
It is illegal in America to burn or otherwise destroy currency. Since 2000, new watermarks and patterns have been added, to make counterfeiting totally impossible. That’s how important these little rectangles of printed linen are. Continue reading →
Mea culpa. You know what? In all my apple polishing of cartoonists I admire, I’ve never mentioned Rick Altergott. What the fuck.
I even saw Altergott in person, at a MOCCA Festival years ago. I didn’t approach him, because his abilities as a cartoonist scare the bejeezus out of me. He’s got the touch that the old MAD guys had. He’s not only a caricaturist on par with Mort Drucker, he’s an inker like Wally Wood, with the gift for rendering faces and objects as though they exist in actual space. Continue reading →