Set the Wayback Machine for 1998. I was at Kinko’s, in the middle of the night, running off copies of Mike The Pod Comix #4 (the blue one).
Those aren’t fonts. I didn’t have a computer. They’re typefaces copied from a book of antique alphabets, then literally cut and pasted. The rest is my own lettering.
The fourth issue was a transitional one. Drop Dead, my “90’s comic book“, concluded in its pages, in lieu of a seventh issue. I reprinted the Liquid Paper Pirates and Squeeky Wheel Gets The Grease strips from FINK, as well as For Whom The Beef Jerks.
Oh, and for the first time ever, I did full frontal, stark raving nudity. (NSFW!!!)
The May 2000 issue of The Last Laugh contained a do-it-yourself board game as its centerfold. It was called Not The Nineties!
I don’t know if anyone ever played it; I doubt it. The potshots are pretty brutal for a fun diversion. What can I say, the 1990s were actually pretty brutal themselves. The game provides a reasonably accurate simulation of trudging through ten unpleasant years.
(Printable game board included at the end of this article!)
Long ago, in the Before Times, I was dating a woman with a very young daughter. I had not yet gelled as an artistic entity, and was in the process of learning that I’m really not cut out to be a father, even a surrogate one. This became apparent on two occasions. Both were attempts on my part to make a connection with a kid. Both failed hilariously.
The first was the purchase of a “children’s book”. I spent hours at Books-A-Million (down the block from Media Play) hunting for just the right one. It had to be colorful, clever, and not condescending. I refused to buy anything “kiddie”, on principle. It had to be something that enticed, thrilled, and sparked the imagination, like the books I read in my grade school library.
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 →
A time slot on a major cable network is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you couldn’t ask for a larger audience. On the other, you’re the property of the company store, and you bend to their whim.
For example, MTV aired Beavis & Butthead, but to pad out the episodes to sitcom-length, they inserted music videos with Mike Judge doing commentary in character. At the time, I could appreciate the necessity of this, being that ink-and-paint animation takes time to create. Still, it was obvious that the idea was cribbed from MST3K, and much of the music was unlistenable, or not worth the mockery.
MTV pulled the same jazz when they aired the extraordinary sock-puppet comedy The Sifl and Olly Show, from 1997 to 1999.
Videotape artifacts are subconsciously comforting.
From 1989 to 1992, all anyone knew of Nine Inch Nails was prettyhatemachine. Your opinion of that one album was your opinion of Nine Inch Nails.
Before Broken, NIN’s sophomore EP, you could be forgiven for thinking Trent Reznor was the heir apparent of electronic Goth, following the dark path of Joy Division and Depeche Mode. Reznor was the scion of a venerable HVAC company (founded 1888!), and probably spent much of his young life in the presence of gigantic, droning machines. “Industrial” was already wired into his veins.
For all your heating, cooling, and electro-goth needs!
I seldom forget a good paroxysm of laughter. For example, one of the best memories of my time working at the mall record store involves an album played after closing, one night in 1993. Myself and two other employees were doubled over, purple-faced, unable to breathe from laughing so hard. It felt like the skin at the base of my skull was going to split.
The album was They’re All Gonna Laugh At You!, and the man responsible was Adam Sandler.