Friday, August 26, 2016

Under The Microscope At The Comics Journal

My last book, Enough Astronaut Blood To Last The Winter got reviewed today at the Comics Journal via Keith Silva. It's a tricky book to take apart and I think Silva does it quite well. Lots of open questions and examinations of why I do what I do. My home state is actually Michigan, but in all fairness, Minnesota is Michigan-esque.

You can read it here.

To clarify a few things about the creation, I'll give a little context. The book was assembled in its first draft before I left New York. This being the third book in a series of abstract autobiographies constructed at the very end of specific periods. My previous efforts had no publisher. Journey By Ferry was made possible with grants and Shutdown Vol. 3 was my design thesis, printed with love on a very testy Solna press.

Astronaut Blood was kicking around for a while, and then came the offer at Fantagraphics. Gary Groth was starting a new imprint, Fantagraphics Underground or FU for short, and he remembered the art book I had solicited. Gary's a very cool cucumber.

I then began the process of re-designing the guts, this being the 8th or so time, previous versions were done in the 5x7 and 6x9 formats and displayed in black and white. Photos and drawings had to be relocated, re-scanned, all that jazz. I love art and design, so that was just fine with me. The not so fun part was re-visiting the subject matter. Usually these books are done after location moves, defined chapters of a life. They're put together and then I move on. The dermis is shed, a purge occurs, demons are cast out, and a new life begins. Usually.

Re-editing Astronaut Blood forced me to re-enter a weird zone. In there I saw faces that had vanished, re-lived feuds that have since evaporated, explored ancient concerns, fears, hopes. Had imaginary drinks with friends that I loved that are no longer in my orbit. It was weird. And I had to cut it up again. This was a sort of confrontation.

It helped that the structure was there already, nothing new was added, if anything things got left out. Like the fabled 6 hour cut of Apocalypse Now (yes, it does exist), it needed some trimming. What may appear on the surface as chaos is actually a definitive exhibition. It's a monograph and journal designed by the artist as opposed to an art book assembled by an outside presence like a historian or researcher.

Overall, it was a beneficial process. One that's actually happening again now as I write this. Folders sit in my studio, holding the work I've done since I've moved to Minneapolis. It'll be examined and dealt with when I leave. Luckily, the title has already revealed itself. More on that later.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Eel Mansions No. 2 Page

So yeah, kinda under the creative, fun hammer these days with two bands and the second Eel Mansions book due. I'll be posting Eels pages more roften on the Eel Mansions blogspot and Tumblr, just thought I'd give you a taste here as well. Thankfully a steady diet of Wire, The Velvet Underground, and Eno records keep my mind occupied. Couple shouts to Lispector, Valet, and Oh-Ok for more music fun.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The haps 7-16-16 Edition

Hell. Not stuck in it, rather working through it. The next volume of Eel Mansions is due in October and simultaneously, I've been writing songs for Murder Shoes and Witch Watch. And so, tonight sees Murder Shoes at The Kitty Cat Klub, our stuffed animal home from home.

Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Mid West Music Festival

Murder Shoes will be playing at Broken World Records in Winona tonight as part of the Mid West Music Fest with all manners of other great bands, and as per usual, we got a boatload of new songs

Friday, April 1, 2016

File Under Floyd

Pen and ink drawing from I Can Count To Infinity, a book in progress. Meanwhile my current book, Enough Astronaut Blood To Last The Winter is available via Fantagraphics.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sandy Says

I grabbed a random cobra and headed to the beach. Sheila was there, looking quite asparagus in a 1970's one-piece. I trip on a castle and taste earth, only it's not as tasty as usual. A cell phone rings x1000 and a dolphin burps cured meats. The wind blows the meats east.

I lay the cobra on a towel and it coils around some lotion.
"Get em'!" I'd say.

The cobra closes its eyes and goes into r.e.m. sleep. On the water ahead of us, two paunchy men discuss a pending divorce settlement via sailboat. Their fingers dusted with remnants of heavily flavored nacho asbestos. Sheila turns to me and smiles. It seems to extend all the way around her head and I become jealous.

"I thought we'd go out tonight and disco dance."

That's rather random. Hell, I haven't disco danced since 1980. I was five.

"Pencil me down for eight o' clock" I say.

I killed her smile with my surplus joke. What's wrong with this picture?

Three men with rusty rifles and worn out military gear tell us to evacuate the beach. My cobra wakes up.

"Why do we have to go?" Sheila asks.

"A hydrofoil washed up on the shore. It looks hurt. We're gonna nurse it back to health".

A fourth "soldier" saunters up carrying a cooler, wearing gaudy neon shades.