4sale: $195. Dancing Naked In The Mind Field, 1998. This is a signed and dated first edition with mylar wrap on fine dust-cover and is to be sold bundled with copy of Celebrity Magazine containing an interview with the author that preceded the issue of the book by several years. Other ephemera includes the book’s press release from Pantheon. This is a review copy that was annotated and highlighted in various places throughout by the reviewer.
by Reviewer Rob
I should say this is a review copy that was used for a book review in Reviewer Magazine, first of all, and that I was the reviewer who received this book by Random House/Pantheon in 1998. The interview and article in Celebrity Magazine which preceded the book’s release from 1994 were also written and photographed by me. So all the notes and highlights in the book are mine, full disclosure. It’s not an “immaculate” copy, but other than the annotations it’s in very good if not “fine” condition. I enjoyed reading it only once and then shelved it for almost twenty years until now when I brought it out for sale. I think I covered Dancing Naked In The Mind Field in either issue 9 or 10 of Reviewer, I’m not sure, I’ll have to go back and look.
This bundle includes the signed first edition with the dustcover wrapped in clear plastic, the copy of Celebrity Magazine, and the original press release from Pantheon who released the book.
finding my old business card in a collectible book I’m selling
by Reviewer Rob
I’m selling my otherwise in fine condition marked and annotated copy of DANCING NAKED IN THE MIND FIELD (a signed first edition) by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Kary Mullis that Pantheon sent to me for review back in 1998, two years after printing Reviewer Magazine’s first issue, and found one of my old business cards still set into a page. It’s in mint condition. 20 years sure flew by didn’t it, Rip Van Winkle. This was from back when things like “net neutrality” were an unknown concept no one had to worry about. Making phone calls, writing letters and post cards with postage stamps on them, and distributing business cards face-to-face were about the only ways to network and drumming up new business.
Jimbo In Purgatory, by Gary Panter, in FINE condition, for $79.95, shipping included, email Robert@RareAndStrange.com ~ currently on Ebay HERE.
“FOUNDER OF “PUNK” ART REINVENTS DANTE THROUGH HIS CHARACTER JIMBO IN THIS LANDMARK GRAPHIC NOVEL. Gary Panter has been one of America’s preeminent designers and cartoonists of the last quarter century: In addition to being a prolific and sought-after illustrator, he was one of the graphic minds behind the award-winning Peewee’s Playhouse show, and, as the creator of Jimbo, one of the pillars of the legendary RAW magazine. Panter’s early graphics defined the California punk ethos and the alternative zine scene — and although he hasn’t achieved the notoriety of Keith Haring or Kenny Scharf, the post-Pop painting world is also deeply in his debt. Now, Fantagrphics is proud to present a major, all-new book by Panter: Jimbo in Purgatory. In this spectacular graphic novel, Panter has transformed his protean punk hero Jimbo into the protagonist of a reinterpretation of Dante’s Purgatorio. After years of comparing Dante and Boccaccio to find commonalities between the two, Panter developed a narrative of his own that includes literary and pop references regularly injected throughout the captions of the reinterpreted cantos. In Panter’s adaptation, Jimbo traverses a vast infotainment-testing center built in the shape of Dante’s Mount Purgatory. Within its borders every man or robot stands in for a character in the Divine Comedy. In this version all the participants in the drama must respond to one another within a lunatic logic wherein each quotes a literary fragment that demonstrates their respective knowledge of a particular passage and its import to the specific location in a poem. Presented in a huge, oversize hardcover format (even bigger than the classic RAW!) to do Justice to Panter’s densely packed pages, with a stunning two-color stamping on the cloth covers, Jimbo in Purgatory is an art object, a brilliant literary game, a visual feast, and the most eye-popping, visually and verbally challenging, and memorable new graphic novel of the year.” ~from Goodreads
“Panter’s long-awaited new work is a gigantic (12″ x 17 1/4″) hardcover which re-imagines his cult hero Jimbo as the protagonist in Dante’s most famous work! After years of comparing Dante and Boccaccio to find commonalities between the two, Panter developed a narrative of his own that includes literary and pop references regularly injected throughout the captions of the reinterpreted cantos. Presented in a huge oversized hardcover format (even bigger than the classic RAW!) to do justice to Panter’s densely packed pages, with a stunning two-color stamping on the cloth covers, Jimbo in Purgatory is an art object, a brilliant literary game, a visual feast, and the most eye-popping, visually and verbally challenging, and memorable new graphic novel of the year…” ~from the publisher’s website
“Jimbo in Purgatory is Gary Panter’s magnum opus, the summit of an enormously important artistic career.” – National Post
“Panter’s art is about moral and aesthetic contradictions. His drawing can be at once wretchedly grotesque and unfathomably charming; he delights in the underbelly and revels in the prosaic. His pictures sometimes look as though they were rendered with a fork, but each line has an expressive purpose.” – Steven Heller
“Panter’s most sustained and intense visual effort ever. When I saw it, I broke out into the cold sweat that real art can bring on.” – Art Spiegelman
“Easily the best graphic novel of 2004.” – Publishers Weekly
You’re going to begin seeing posts here from me hawking items from my personal library that I have been holding on to, some for 15 or 20 years, many highly collectible. This means only one thing, that I’m looking to make some money. It doesn’t mean that I love books any less. Don’t hate.
Scene: Pool, balding man, maybe 65 or 70 years old, with blue, bloodshot eyes, drinking from a bottle of Ensure, wearing designer swim trunks, which are half hidden under a huge, extremely brown, beer belly.
Him: What’s that you’re reading, young lady?
Me: It’s a book.
H: What’s it called?
M: ‘Men Explain things to Me’, by Rebecca Solnit.
H: What’s it about?
M: It’s a book about how men explain things to women and…
H: Oh, so it’s a book about men mentoring women!
M: No, not exactly. Not at all, actually… It’s actually about how men…
H: What do you do, young lady? Do you work, or do you have kids?
M: Umm, I write.
H: Oh, you’re a writer?
M: Well, I write…
H: Who do you write for, young lady? Women’s magazines?
M: Umm, no. I write for Myself. And, I’m 47.
H: You’re freelance?
H: What genre, young lady?
M: Memoir, mostly.
H: You write about yourself? I guess most women do! What’s your book called, young lady?
M: I’m 47. What’s my book called? It’s called… umm… Facebook. I mean, I really just write on…
H: Are you looking for a man to mentor you?
H: I can really help grow your book. I can help you. As your mentor!
M: You can help me grow my… book? As my… man mentor? This book isn’t about that. It’s a book about…
H: Absolutely! I’d be happy to mentor you! I’m retired. I’ve got plenty of time to mentor a young lady.
M: Oh, right… Retired? What are you retired from? Publishing?
H: Publishing? No, heavens no. I owned a chain of corner stores.
M: Corner stores, huh? Fascinating. So, how is that… I mean… OK, so… But, publishing is… I mean… Soooo… Did you, like… sell magazines, in your corner store?
H: No, no magazines. We sold cigarettes, potato chips, cola, lotto cards, candy bars… milk… dog food… toilet paper… It was a family business. My dad started it before I was born.
M: Right… Cool… Cola… So… Is that the only career you had? You went directly into the family business?
H: Yeah, started working in there when I was a kid, took over the stores, sold them, and retired. Did pretty well for myself, young lady!
M: I’m 47 years old. So, OK… Because I’m a writer, I’m just gonna take a few notes on my phone, while we talk… I don’t want to forget anything important that you might say… Because you’re my male publishing mentor… So, you spent your life in the family business, owning corner stores, and you didn’t even sell magazines, but you can mentor me in the Publishing industry?
H: Well, young lady, selling magazines in a corner store has nothing to do with the Publishing industry. Consider that your first lesson!
M: You’re absolutely right. (Holds up ‘Men Explain things to Me’) And, this is extremely relevant to you. You should read it. Mansplaining is…
H: Oh, no… Thanks, young lady, you can keep your book. I’ve never been much of a reader…
M: OK, right, not a reader… well, I’m going do some writing now. Because you’ve mentored me, and it has really inspired me.
H: Fantastic! What are you going to write about?
M: I’m going to write out this entire conversation, from my notes, and to the best of my recollection. I do that a lot. Then, I’m going to put it in my… Facebook… Book.
H: OK, great! Let me know if you need any more of my help!
M: You’ve already been really helpful. Thanks for mentoring me!
H: You write really fast.
M: Yeah, I use both thumbs!
H: Did you go to typing school?
M: Yeah, I went to a special thumb typing School. Because I’m a writer.
H: Yeah, I can see that you’re a very good writer. You’re also a very attractive, very sweet young lady.
M: Do you really think so?
H: Call me. I’ll take you to dinner. I’ll get your writing career on track!
M: Yeah, maybe you can get my Facebook in all the local corner stores… Next to the cola.
H: Sure! I can do that! I’ve got a lot of connections. I can do anything! Call me! You should put a photo of yourself in that bikini on the cover of the book! I bet you didn’t even think of that! OK, don’t work to hard, young lady. That’s your first mentoring lesson from me, young lady! Don’t work to hard! And, don’t think too hard!
M: Don’t worry. I won’t. I won’t work hard or think hard, at all. I never do… Thankfully, I don’t really have too…
H: Call me! Number is in the card… Don’t forget! Put that in your notes, young lady!
M: It’s already in there. Believe me, I’m not going to forget anything from this conversation. I’ve written it all down! Thanks again, for mentoring me.
H: You’re a good girl! You know, this pool is usually just full of nothing but old ladies. Not young girls, like you.
M: I’m 47 years old.
H: OK, I’ve got to go… Call me! Oh, what’s your name, darling?
M: Gloria Steinem.
H: OK, Gloria, call me, I’ll take you to dinner! I’m going to think of a new last name for you. Something less Jewish sounding. It’ll be better for your career! We can talk about at dinner! Be a good girl, Gloria!
M: How about Betty Friedan?
H: No… I’ll come up with something better than that… You look like a Chrystal or a Lacey to me… A good name is very important… Did you just write that down?
M: Yes, I’ve just written that down.
H: Good girl! Call me! For dinner! I’m your mentor, so you have to do what I say. Haha! Don’t worry, I’ll come up with your name. And, don’t worry about the photo, because I have a good camera. Have a nice afternoon!
M: Oh, yeah, the bikini photo! OK. You betcha! Umm… John Williams. Great name! I’ve got your card… Wait, no email?
H: Nope, no email! First rule of business… Never put anything in writing! I do everything by phone. Write it down, young lady! Never put anything in writing! Call me!
M: But, I’m a writer.
H: Yeah, so write it down! We gotta get that photo done right away! Call me!
M: Yeah, the bikini photo… Well, I’m sure you know all about photography… Buh bye, John… Thanks again, for all of this great material. I’ve written it all down!
H: Good girl… Call me! Don’t worry, Gloria, OK?! I know how to take care of everything, young lady!
M: Yeah, I understand… You can explain everything to me… About, everything! I got it… And, I’m totally going to be a good girl… Bye… !!!
(Writes out the entire conversation from the iPhone Notes app, onto her Facebook page, using Both Thumbs. Orders herself some absolutely HUGE ‘noise resistant’ headphones, from Amazon. Throws herself, head first, into the deep end of the pool.)
an autobiographical look back through this new book from Lisa Carver
by Reviewer Rob
I’ve always liked career retrospectives. There’s something cathartic in a vicarious sense with experiencing an artist’s life work retrospective. Greatest hits CDs, autobiographies, documentary videos about someone at the end of a long and satisfying career — I like it when they can sum up their life story in a nice, neat package.
I got SUCKDOG: A RUCKUS last month from punk rock icon and alternative opera/art performance legend Lisa Carver and it’s really slick and glossy and well published but “neat” is not quite the word to use for it. She had to self-publish it because, she’s said, the photos included were “full color and full nasty”. There’s several nudes of Lisa when she was performimg on stage in bars in her twenties or early thirties and even one graphic pink spread shot from when she was at some hapless but lucky venue with her French then-husband Costes (her first of three). Really pushing the legal limits of the First Amendment with that one. But that’s Lisa. She’s good at pushing the limits.
I was following her ordeal getting this book to a printer on her Facebook page and it was one turn down after another. She kept at it though, and her perseverance paid off. This will be a fun one to review. Sorry this isn’t the review for it, yet, just an announcement for it. Watch out.
Below is a photo of a fan of Lisa’s with her copy of SUCKDOG: A RUCKUS found on Lisa’s Facebook page. Lisa had asked everyone to post a naked selfie with her book after they purchased it. And they DID. Many many did. Behold: This is the irresistible POWER of Lisa Carver.
(Editor’s note: this is an extract from Ben’s upcoming book Blood Silver. It’s his second novel in what looks to be an ongoing dramatic series involving crime and supernatural happenings in the modern-day San Diego suburban canyons and neighborhoods of Mission Hills and is about ‘what ties all things together’, is due out soon. His debut book, A Shadow Cast In Dust, was released earlier this year to widespread critical acclaim.)
Rick Oca and Eddie cracked their bottles on the roots of a fig tree in the center of the park. “Careful what you say. Little Crow might be listening,” said Eddie.
Eddie had given Pearl the nickname after he’d been thwarted trying to rip off the neighborhood liquor store. He’d never proven that she was the one that blew the whistle on his beer pilfering, done in the store’s one blind spot from the cameras stationed throughout, but he just knew. She was always around.
He hadn’t checked that day, feeling comfortable, but for some reason one of the cameras had been moved, and he’d been caught on tape. The next time he had gone back to the store he had been given two options; pay back what they had calculated was missing and be able to come back afterward, or go to jail and be banned from the store, in which case he would still be held liable for the expenses. There was no choice. He couldn’t run. Everybody in the neighborhood knew where he lived due to the regional fame of “Rockin’” Royce Calhoun, his father, an Olympic boxer from years past.
He didn’t put it together at first, but each time he saw Pearl in the vicinity of something, the situation went south. Now, in the park, drinking quarts of malt liquor with Rick, he brought up the subject.
“Your sister’s a spy or something. Like a narc.”
“Dude,” said Rick, shaking his head. “She’s not a narc. She’s a twelve-year-old girl that thinks she’s Sherlock Holmes.”
“Well, whatever. Every time she hangs around, well . . . ”
“Like I said, twelve. You gotta watch what you say around kids, dude. Plus she’s insanely smart, and actively tries to listen.”
“Like a little crow,” said Eddie. He looked up into the trees, into the eyes of a black bird amidst the branches. It warbled, and his stomach felt queasy. “Little Crow. That’s your sister’s Indian name.”
“Are you for real? Pearl is her Indian name. We’re fucking part Ipai.”
“What is that?”
“An Indian name.”
“I thought you were Mexican.”
“That too. Let’s just move on. Pearl will ruin your plans, so be careful what you say. It’s not that hard to avoid her if you’re aware.”
“Little Crow,” said Eddie, tasting the words. “It wouldn’t surprise me if she was the one who put all that shit on my porch.”
“I doubt it.”
“Yeah, but you don’t know.”
Rick shrugged. It would be just like Pearl to do something like that, actually, but he kept it to himself.
“Besides,” said Eddie, “little crows have a thing for garbage.”
“Easy with that little crow shit, dude, seriously. What did you want to talk to me about? Not my sister, hopefully.”
“Not at all, okay. Anyway . . . ” Eddie’s voice drifted off. Rick followed his gaze to a small black-and-gold dog across the grass in front of them. A forty-pound baja mutt with a black bandana around its neck. It whined, staring at Eddie.
The sound of retching made Rick turn his head. Eddie was puking his malt liquor into the sprawling roots. When Rick looked back, the dog disappeared behind a copse of miniature palms.
Pearl, hiding amidst the palms, was shocked. The little dog did something to Eddie, that neanderthal. She’d seen the little dog before, with the cop’s kid from the news. Just yesterday.
She’d been spying on Eddie’s house one day when she saw Rupert Figgins the first time. Three months ago, before all the news stories. He was about her own age, taller and stringy. Everyone was taller than Pearl, it seemed. He covered the porch with garbage and dog shit and rang the doorbell with a stick, then hid across the street and watched. She’d told her brother Raul all about it, except for the part where the boy moved like a blur after he rang the bell, so fast her eyes couldn’t follow. This dog was with him then, too.
Then came the news, and after that she’d been trying to find him until yesterday when he was being tracked by that spidery kid who was missing a finger. This time he moved even faster, so fast he wasn’t there. She couldn’t tell anyone about that. She wouldn’t even tell her grandfather, if he were around to listen.
Now, with Eddie throwing up his beer, the little dog walked past her hiding place where she had been reading lips. It looked right at her without breaking stride, gave a muffled bark, and took off like a shot across the one-way road into the pine trees.
Keeping the palms between herself and Eddie, Pearl picked up her bike and followed. She got as far as the pine break before she lost sight of the dog over the cusp of the canyon. When she saw it again it was up the other side, almost to the golf course. She pedaled as fast as she could, careful she wasn’t re-entering her brother and Eddie’s line of sight.
A mockingbird squawked to her from a bouncing branch. She looked as she passed by, and couldn’t tear her eyes from it. Her front tire hit a root in the path and she ended up crashing off the trail and rolling into the weeds.
“Dang, bird,” she said. “Why’d you do that?”
The bird screeched and took off on the trail of the dog, landed on another bush and looked back. Pearl dusted herself off and picked her bike up. It flew away down the wooded hill, and when she reached the branch it had been on, she searched for it, but the bird was gone.
Jose Sinatra, real name Bill Richardson, age 62, began his act in 1982 and had reached local legend status by 1994 when he appeared in “Hitchhiker Joe”, an awful Rugburns video, along with future music scene siren Jewel Kilcher.
The Hose, as he is known, recently ceased smoking and drinking after life-changing heart trouble. He said it was “22 months ago — and life sucks!” Hose’s humor lies in highlighting the cheesy lounge entertainer ethos and lampooning the ego-covered schmaltz of a working nightclub personality, one who can’t see how bad he is. The crowd loved it. Then he almost died.
”They went in and burned off things,” he said pointing at his groin area, referring to an emergency treatment two years ago for an irregular heartbeat. “(In the hospital) they asked me, ‘Did you drive here?’ I said yes. They said, ‘We’ll get you an ambulance!’”
At one point during last Summer’s “First Annual Farewell Tour” show at Ducky Waddles’, Hose apologised to the bookstore crowd.
“I’ve lost the ability to expel air all the way from my diaphragm,” Jose said, despairing his lack of stamina and diminished vocal power.
Now that Hose has begun what may be his death spiral the Elvis-comparison and real life irony is thick. It occurred to me that now might be the time to approach him to star in an adult video of light fetish where we have Hose spanking a female porn performer at a paysite I do as a side gig. It could be now or never since he needed to sink to the floor mid-song more than once and use bottled oxygen to get through his multimedia poetry/spoken-word and song set at Ducky Waddles Bookstore in Leucadia.
An entertainer could do worse than dying on stage after 33 years performing. Unless, that is, he dies on a porn set. So I looked for the right moment to pitch him the idea, before and then after the show at Ducky Waddles. Didn’t happen though, because the crowd pressed in hard around him at all times, or the mood wasn’t right. I might try again at the “OB-o-ke” karaoke nights at Winston’s in Ocean Beach where Hose hosts every Sunday. Thank you and goodnight!
Actually two graphic book reviews from one artist/author, a novel from a San Diego writer, and a self-published book of short stories from Australia, but also a high-priced quarterly mainstream periodical and a xeroxed folded handout from Vegas
Not Really Just Three Book Reviews
by Reviewer Rob
Cochlea & Eustachia, and Folly, by Hans Rickhiet Hans is easily one of the most underrated artists working today. “Dreamlike” is often used to describe his comics. “Nightmarish” might be another one, although I haven’t read that one in any of the reviews yet. Rickhiet has a way of tapping into the pre-conscious underbrain that inhabits the constantly running background data of the psyche. He’s been branching out into graphic novels for some time as with this edition of Cochlea & Eustachia and even dabbling in video animation but I really liked his early stuff from 15 years ago, compiled here in Folly, that had a short snippit quality to it, where you can really see the layers of fantasy unfold ad-infinitum. RR
A Shadow Cast In Dust, by Ben Johnson, 333 pages, paperback, Grand Mall Press This is the first-published novel from the multi-faceted Ben Johnson. He’s always the nicest guy, even when he wears that fake smiley-face mask at work behind the bar at The Casbah (“San Diego’s Coolest Bar!”). The guy’s like some kind of savant, you’d be forgiven to think. Just look at a partial list of accomplishments: drummer in several San Diego bands, vocalist, songwriter, rapper, band leader, part owner of one of San Diego’s most sought after music venues The Casbah, white comedy rapper, father and husband to a gorgeous wife, former chief overseer and lead cock on the block of the Rooster House above Scolari’s Office on 30th, and now he’s working on getting his second book out there. Pretty sure I’m at least leaving out half a dozen other things. A Shadow Cast In Dust is “an urban fantasy epic” supernatural psycho-drama cast in the canyons lacing Mission Hills. Think Carlos Castaneda-esque set in the urban naturescape of modern San Diego. There’s a young boy and his dog, a female police detective, and a strange world of wonder and deceit. I asked Ben how long it took to write. “Three years. Two after I got a laptop and got serious,” he said. This was published in early 2014 and, along with his first novel, that year brought along a baby to Ben and his wife. Next year in 2015 Ben was elevated to part-owner of The Casbah on Kettner (remember: “San Diego’s Coolest Bar”) in a secret and ancient underground hipster ritual involving Jack Daniels and chicken’s blood. Not really. Ben’s bartender and owner of The Casbah but he doesn’t drink, hasn’t for over ten years. That ought to tell you something about the guy’s drive. Ben’s around that environment week after week, yet abstaining. Read this novel for a unique perspective and story from San Diego. RR
DTLV Approx. 5×7”, similar to the Urbanist in San Diego, only more low-budget printing. I like it. This free hand-out guide is a colored xeroxed style folded info sheet of local happenings around the very hip and arts Downtown “Arts District” which is still affordably cool and not yet to hipstery or upscale to be unattainable to the normal budget. It’s Las Vegas, after all. If you want to be a high roller you can go to the Bellagio or several other places that cater to the whales and oil barons. This is for the cool crowd that like the kitsch and approachability of real art shows and off duty strippers waking up at the corner coffee shop. Wear your sunglasses. The sun will be bright. [dtlv.com] RR
Surface Children by Dean Blake.[/caption]Surface Children by Dean Blake, 2013, generationend.com “A book of short stories” from an author based in the sunny climes of Brisbane, Australia. Think Bukowski only with the crowd of characters in the local dive bar being younger and better looking. Read this if you’re going on an Aussie trip after graduation to see how the kids live Down Under. Dean Blake is a good writer of dialogue and conveyor of teenage angst. There’s plenty of that on both sides of the Pacific but in Los Angeles they say “ass” not “arse”. Haha. RR
Lapham’s Quarterly, Fall, 2015, Vol. VIII, #4 Theme-based book-style magazine that comes out four times a year. High priced, it strictly follows the format set out in each issue’s one-word category, this issue being “Fashion”. Think of it like VICE magazine only way more high-brow. If you like your reading deep, esoteric and profound check out Lapham’s Quarterly. Great “Conversations” quote from Kanye in back on page 207. RR