Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Chairs' Hiatus by Matthew Bogart -- a worthy graphic novel Kickstarter campaign

Johanna Draper Carlson has a terrific site called Comics Worth, where she reviews all kinds of comics and comics-related items and loops us in to comics-related news. Yesterday I read her Google+ post on Matthew Bogart's Kickstarter campaign for his book The Chairs' Hiatus, a 96- page graphic novel about a band that broke up ... it's moving, lovely to look at and emotional. I read Part 1 last night and could not wait to get up this morning and finish it. I read the rest today and loved it. Matthew has it online for you to read -- and you know reading it online is not enough. Help fund this darling book -- this one's a keeper.

He has 25 days to go on his campaign as of today -- and he's halfway to his goal. $20 gets you a copy of his book, and $80 will get you a copy of the book and an original sketch (limited to 10 people.) I like this second option because he draws his books digitally, so any original art would be few and far between ...!

The other options include band posters and t-shirts (hilarious and great idea!!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From MST3K to RiffTrax to Paul F. Tompkins and The Thrilling Adventure Hour -- a big thanks to all

It's a lovely thing to discover a fun concept fully realized, even if you have to catch up with years and years of the stuff!

By this I mean (firstly) Chris and I became huge fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 waaaay after they had wrapped up the show, thanks to our friend Andy, who brought over a DVD to one of our "Movie Saturdays" just a few years ago (I think I've brought that up in a post here previously.) Each time we gathered he'd bring in a different one -- and we enjoyed them so much and were so fascinated by the wrap around storylines with the bots and Joel and Mike that we started to get the DVDs, too. And there was plenty to catch up on. Something like 20 years worth ... with some of them being plum out of print (and we hope they get reissued some day!) Just gotta say watching a show about being stuck in space with only robots for friends and being forced by an evil scientist to watch terrible movies in order to survive, and having to make fun of said terrible movies to just keep one's sanity (and life!) is pretty bizarre and hilarious stuff ... (and then the Evil scientist's Mom took over ... it's a whole thing!)

One of my favorite things about MST3K is how Tom Servo -- the little red gumball-machine looking robot -- makes art-related riffs at the screen. The first art riff that literally made me laugh so hard I lost my breath was on Secret Agent Super Dragon, when one of the villains is waxing poetic in front of a wall of stuffy paintings and he stops in front of one Moe-haired medieval musician, and Servo says -- as if he were giving the painting a title -- "Emo Avec Lute" (that STILL makes me laugh hysterically whenever I remember it!) I also really enjoyed Servo's "Frederick Remington's 'Guernica'" from Werewolf and "Edward Hopper's 'Quick-e-Mart'" from Soul Taker. LOVE the art riffs!

Since that show is over and the actors involved in MST3K have since split off into two new riffing groups -- RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic, we jumped onboard to catch these early on. We even went to see RiffTrax Live twice at the Belcourt when they were in town (and happily, they do Live shows in town quite regularly.) It's been a hoot (and much easier) to catch up and keep up with their new endeavors. (They riffed on Sharknado this month!)

Thanks to RiffTrax we were introduced to comedian Paul F. Tompkins, who we have also grown to love. Tompkins is one elegantly dressed comedian and very funny guy. He guest-starred with the guys in RiffTrax on their House on Haunted Hill mockery fest. Aside from his stand up (and many other cool projects) Tompkins hosts his own internet talkshow called Speakeasy  -- where he interviews fellow comedians/writers/actors at a bar, over a smooth drink. This is a show I've grown to love nearly as much as I love Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (and I say "nearly" only because I can get CCGC anytime on the Crackle channel on the Roku, whereas Chris has to first cast Speakeasy for me so I can watch it off the Roku while I stay comfortably seated on the couch. That extra step only just makes the show a little out of my immediate access.)

Tompkins with Paget Brewster      Photo ©Jonathan Reilly

Of course, discovering Paul F. Tompkins helped us find "Acker and Blacker's The Thrilling Adventure Hour" -- a marvelous "staged production done in the style of old time radio", and our favorite feature, is of course, the one Tompkins stars in  -- Beyond Belief. Beyond Belief is a marvelous feature about Frank and Sadie Doyle who live at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, drink like lushes all day long and oh yeah -- "they see ghosts" (as well as all sorts of other paranormal phenomena!!) It's hilarious fun to listen to the podcast.

Tompkins and beautiful Paget Brewster -- who plays the beautiful Sadie -- are like a cool, paranormal-sensitive modern take on Nick and Nora Charles from the 1934 movie The Thin Man. (We LOVE that movie series starring William Powell and Myrna Loy and bought that set years ago. So we really enjoy the premise of Beyond Belief!)

If you haven't watched or listened to any of these, I hope you will take a moment, check them out and make time for them. They're just fun!

So a huge Thank You! to all the marvelous and talented writers and entertainers (they sing and do different voices as well as act and are funny!) involved with these favorite shows of ours ... I deeply appreciate ya'll and the shows you create!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Painter Greg Decker at LeQuire Gallery

La Femme d'Abeilles by Greg Decker
One of my favorite galleries in Nashville is LeQuire Gallery over on Charlotte Pike. Whereas most of the galleries in town feature very abstract or nature-focused work -- or, in some cases, let's face it, the piece that simply would look great over a couch -- LeQuire is one of the handful that focuses on the figure.

One of my favorite painters they represent is Greg Decker. What I love about his work is he paints like what trying to paint a dream would look like ... which is to say, often a dream as you view it is not quite in focus but yet it is very vivid and striking ... and if one tried to paint what they saw inside their head while they were asleep late at night, the colors and figures might just look like his work. It's fascinating and beautiful to me.

His show at the LeQuire Gallery has been extended through the end of July. There he's been teamed up with painter Marleen De Waele - another painter whose lovely work I hope to see more of.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp GN

My sister gave me a copy of David Mazzucchelli's very first graphic novel, Asterios Polyp. I don't know where to begin, I just loved this story so much.

There's something to the art of drawing comics ... of creating a graphic novel ... that just fascinates me. The storyteller can play with time and space and even give an entire concept, just by whispering ideas through visual clues ... (yeah, I know, you can't "whisper" a "visual" idea, but that idea/language feels like a correct poetic expression of my thought ... Bear with me!)

The story is just wonderful ... of a man's transformation of character. I further loved the use of shape and color not just as an expression of the characters' states of mind and being ... but also as an expression of the state of the overall story from beginning to end. (Look at it!)  It was very emotionally touching. And artistically delightful.

 (In the hands of the right director, this could also make a beautiful little indie movie.)