So this ain't the end - I saw you again today
Had to turn my heart away
You smiled like the
Sun - Kisses for everyone
And tales - it never fails!
You lying so low in the weeds
Bet you gonna ambush me
You'd have me down on my knees
Wouldn't you, Barracuda?
Time when we were all
Trying for free
Met up with porpoise and me
No right no wrong your selling a
Song - A name whisper game.
If the real thing don't do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn it out to the wick
Aren't you, Barracuda?
"Sell me sell you" the porpoise said
Dive down deep to save my head
You...I think you got the blues too.
All that night and all the next
Swam without looking back
Made for the western pools - silly fools!
Not Down on My Knees Dear NDoMK, I think you may have me confused with someone else, but thank you for writing! Office Manager
John Porcellino is an alternative comics artist who has been drawing his signature series, King-Cat Comics & Stories for 74 issues across four decades and several US states. Since the late 1980s, Porcellino has performed in several bands, run a record label and produced numerous comics and zines. In addition to running his Spit & a Half Distribution company, comics have proven to be his one enduring passion. Porcellino, who recently took a nationwide victory lap to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of King-Cat, has also seen the publication of several collected works, (King-Cat Classix, Map of my Heart, Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man, to name a few). He his known for his simple line work, poetic writing and biographical themes. It is with his new collection, Hospital Suite, (Drawn & Quarterly) that Porcellino delivers his first, previously unpublished collection of stories.
Hospital Suite is composed of three sections; “The Hospital Suite,” “1998” and “True Anxiety.” Each section can be read independently, but together they tell a story about the struggles of mental and physical illness that have plagued the artist throughout his adult life. The stories detail John’s long stint in the hospital in the late 1990s, his hyper sensitivity to certain sound frequencies and volume (a condition known as hyperacusis), his OCD, and the removal of a tumor from his intestine. All were debilitating. There were times when John's OCD was so acute when producing his comics, he would have a dreadful feeling that drawing a building without a chimney would cause its real-life inhabitants to asphyxiate and die, as if he had the power to alter reality through his work. This sort of disorder can be crippling. Even while the sufferer realizes the irrationality of their thoughts, and recognizes the absurdity of their fears, they cannot overcome them. Porcellino does overcome them temporarily only to succumb to them again when stress triggers a relapse.
Mysterious illnesses, misdiagnosis and a never-ending quest to root out the causes of his ailments occupy much of John’s life. Buddhism helps. Avoiding wheat and dairy helps. Antidepressants help, but it’s a continuous game of whack-a-mole, where as soon as a physical ailment is hammered into remission, a mental one pops up to take its place. As a result, relationships deteriorate along with physical and mental health. Two marriages end and John crisscrosses the country from Chicago to Denver and back, then onto San Francisco and back again. (Porcellino now lives in Beloit, WI.) It’s hopeful to think that by the book’s end John has been cured of all that ails him, however, this may never truly be the case.
In addition to the 25th anniversary tour and the release of Hospital Suite, John was also the subject of a documentary shot in 2010 but just released this year. In Root Hog or Die (made by filmmaker Dan Stafford), John recounts some of his medical history as well as his struggles with OCD. High school and college friends and ex-wives are interviewed, but they reveal little about John that he hasn’t already revealed about himself. In addition to his minimalist drawing style and Zen-like writing, honesty has always been John’s policy. He has no qualms about explaining his intestinal issues or describing masturbation habits. The film, when viewed in the context of John's past and current work, helps create a picture of an artist who is devoted to his art by a compulsion to create that cannot be altered or halted by any external forces — or internal ones, for that matter. There will be many more chapters in this story. Some will have happy endings, some not. Either way, John's suffering is his readers' gain. Hopefully, it is at least cathartic of the creator.
Back in '86, when Muggsy was just a young, pimply-faced headbanger listening to Slayer'sReign in Blood on cassette over the shitty speakers of his 1972 Plymouth Duster (Thanks, Uncle Mike!), he could only dream of the day when automobiles like the "Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC" were common on highways all over the world, or as he imagined they'd be called "deathways."
Muggsy always fancied a car that he could pull over in front of his old lady's house, whip out his Kramer six string electric, and launch into a monster Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P., brother) riff through a Marshall stack mounted in the trunk.
Looks like Muggsy is a bit of a Nostradamus as that fantasy has finally come to pass. In Muggy's future universe, however, the spikes protruding from the wheel hubs were a lot longer and pointier, and the head of Morrissey was impaled on the hood ornament. A guy can still dream though, can't he?
Check out this bro pack, braj! These wolves are ballers, bro. Bro down at the moon, son. That moon is sick too, bro. It's on for the bro pack, brah. You know these wolves are gonna pull tail tonight. Survival of the sickest, broham!
Aaron Dactyl is back on the rails in Railroad Semantics #3, stowing himself away on freight cars and dodging rail workers and “bulls” as he heads east out of Portland on another railroad adventure. This issue recounts a 2010 trip Aaron took through Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, California and Wyoming and features his photos along with maps, diagrams and newspaper clippings detailing stories of life and death on the rails.
Aaron is a photo-journalist and self described hobo. He doesn't reveal much about himself in RS, outside of his train-hopping lifestyle. Where he lives and how he feeds himself when he's not riding the rails is not revealed, but he has been jumping on and off trains since the 1990s and documenting his travels along the way, painting a picture of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It's not an easy life and Aaron doesn't downplay the fact that it can be bitterly cold and more than a little uncomfortable being huddled up in boxcars or sitting on the top of gondolas, but that’s what booze is for.
The appeal of Railroad Semantics, and of train-hopping in general, is the freedom it offers. To do it you must leave everything behind, only bringing with you what you can afford to lose, as your pack may need to be abandoned at a moment’s notice. This lifestyle can also be monotonous and lonely, all of which is self-inflicted — Aaron tells no one of his plans before he leaves which tends to increase his isolation in his own mind — but the rails act as a magnet that continually draw him back, and this depiction of that world attracts those who can only wonder about the transient life of the self-styled railroad tramp —Chris Auman
This is Justin Bieber singing? I don’t know, sounds kind of wimpy. Is this him singing? He’s a good singer. Let’s face it, this kid is very, very talented. Does this make me a Belieber, if I listen to this? Am I a Belieber now? George is a Belieber. No, George isn’t a Belieber. I can’t see George listening to this. You like this, George? George doesn’t like Belieber music.
Wait, what is this, rapping? Is this a rap? Chance the Rapper? Never heard of him, but I have heard of Justin Bieber. “Confident.” I can relate to that because in business you have to be confident. I have been very, very successful in business because I am very, very confident. I have terrific confidence and I have made a lot of money. A lot of money.
I don’t get this music though, but this guy has been very, very successful so he must be very, very smart. I’ve been very successful in my field, so I know what it takes to reach a very high level of success. People get on Justin Bieber because they’re jealous. I know what that’s like. Only a loser would criticize someone for reaching a very high level of success. I told that to Miley Cyrus. They’re just jealous. I can’t understand the lyrics, but I’m sure they’re terrific. We’re gonna get Justin on Celebrity Apprentice. He’ll do it too. He’s smart. He won't get fired either. He might, he might get fired. We'll see.
Anarchy Rooster doesn't go for
all that crowing at the crack of dawn. It's best to just let this dude
sleep it off and stay out of his way. He don't like to be hen-pecked and
he don't like to be cooped up.
That makes the Reglar Wiglar Store
the perfect place him. Stop by and visit sometime and fill Anarchy Rooster up with some coffee (or whiskey). You'll be glad you
Years ago former Chicago-based Chris Auman used to regularly drop of copies of his newsprint zine Reglar Wiglar at Quimby's for the free section, and it never failed to make me chuckle. I remember one time he printed a letter from some guy who was angry that he was being sent Reglar Wiglar in the mail, and he wished to be removed from the mailing list. The editorial response was a congratulations that this reader's letter was selected as letter of the month, so it got to be published, and the prize was a free subscription to Reglar Wiglar. Genius. Chris moved to Madison and went digital with his zine, but this new issue is the first print one in almost ten years. It is hilarious of course, and I think you'll agree: blowing his allowence on Space Invaders, analyzing which numbers are awesome, hungover poetry, why you should appreciate Flock of Seagulls, Donald Trump vs Metallica and more. -LM
The Reglar Wiglar Store has been slowly cranking out great new products. For example, check out the quality Cassetty mug to your left. Thanks goes to Cassetty fan, Dan Kiss, for sending in this mug shot of his favorite coffee mug. Get your own shiny Cassetty mug here. And don't forget to enjoy some Cassetty Comics while you enjoy your morning coffee.
Who is this? Ziggy something? Ziggy is a cartoon character. It's Iggy? Is that right, Iggy? Good. I never liked Ziggy. He's a total loser, has no hair. It's Iggy. I like that guy, Iggy. That's the guy that doesn't wear a shirt. He's great. We tried to get him on Celebrity Apprentice but he didn't want to do it. I don't know, I thought he was smart. I guess not.
Iggy Azalea? Like the flower, azalea? That's one of Melania's favorite flowers. Very, very beautiful flower. Just a terrific flower.
I don't like this though. What is this, twerk music? You listen to twerk music, George? George doesn't listen to twerk music. George doesn't twerk. Is it rapper music? I don't know. I'm sure Ziggy Azalea is very, very talented, but this isn't very good. In fact, it's terrible. Let me see a picture of her. OK, not a great beauty either. I'm sorry but not a great beauty. I have very, very good taste in women and she is not a great beauty.
Chicago is the birthplace of the Reglar Wiglar, so it is with great pleasure that I can reveal that Quimby's Bookstore is now freshly stocked with Reglar Wiglar #22.
Spending a hour or so perusing the periodicals, comics, zines and books at Quimby's was once a part of my Chicago routine. It's a great store, they have tons of stuff and it's in Wicker Park (but don't hold that against them).
Good news for fans of physical copies of stuff, like, you know, zines and books... Rainbow Bookstore in Madison, WI is now freshly stocked with Reglar Wiglar #22.
So, if you happen to find yourself on State Street and want to get away from the red sweatshirts emblazoned with big white Ws, take a detour down Gilman Street, duck into the Rainbow Co-op and check out some books, magazines, zines (and RW#22) in their newly remodeled shop.
Has anyone ever told you to "man up" or to "grow a pair"? How 'about "grow a
nut"? It's a pretty rude thing to say to someone. Oh well. Now you can
give it back to them by enjoying your favorite hot beverage out of this
I read a book or a zine, I learn something—not necessarily a
life-altering philosophical truth, but facts, knowledge, information.
Like, for example, I did not know that you could make milk and cheese
from nuts. I've heard of almond milk, of course, but I've never given it
much thought and I did not know that you could make milk and cheese
from other nuts as well. Now I know this and a whole lot more about raw
and pasteurized milk, animal husbandry, ethical dairy and how to make
your own cheese everyday and, it's all thanks to K. Ruby Blume and her
book, Everyday Cheesemaking.
K. Ruby Blume spent years as
an activist. She hit the streets with signs and puppets aloft and
protested nukes, war and income disparity. There came a point, however,
when she started questioning the effectiveness of her actions. She
wondered just what she was accomplishing with her signs and street
theater antics. Blume decided instead to use her considerable skills and
talents to teach, empower and encourage people to take back a little
more control of their lives by becoming more self-sufficient. In this
seemingly small way, big changes can be the result.
Blume teaches cheesemaking, among other things, at the Institute for Urban Homesteading,
which she founded in 2008. The purpose of the Institute is to teach
people how to live a meaningful and sustainable live in an urban
setting, which in her case is the Bay Area of Oakland and Berkeley. Her
work there has borne the fruit that is this guide. Blume’s
comprehensive, step-by-step instructions can help anyone make cheese.
The process is not as complicated as you might think but it does require
the use of specific tools and ingredient, all of which are outlined in
The book begins with some schooling on the history of
milk production, the original reasons behind pasteurization, the
benefits of consuming raw milk, the harmful effects of factory farming
and the ethics of animal husbandry in the more traditional sense where a
symbiotic relationship is created between human and beast. Cheesmaking
101 begins the discourse on the creation of a variety of different dairy
cheeses. Vegan? That’s fine, no worries there, the last section of the
book deals with making cheese with nut and seeds.
So I learned a
few things by reading this guide to making cheese at home, but will I
actually make cheese at home? I might, I might not. You may or may not
give it a go yourself, but this is a good book to have should the need
for homemade cheese inspire you to break out the cheese cloth and curd
At long friggin' last, Reglar Wiglar #22
has been photocopied, folded, stapled and is ready to be sent out to a
mailing box near you. In this issue, I begin recounting my long
employment history in "The Book of Jobs Part 1". Also included: "The
History of Music," "Forgotten American Music Masters," "Hungover
Poetry," "Donald Trump Versus Metallica," "The Top Ten Numbers of All
Time" and a brand new Cassetty the Cassette Pet comic: "Living in the 80s."
BUDDY BUYS A DUMP The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from Hate Comics Volume III
Peter Bagge [Fantagraphics]
Buddy buys a dump, eh? What else would you except from an all-grown-up
slacker like Buddy Bradley? You didn't think he was ever going to get a
real job, did you? Best case scenario, he might have been coaxed (read:
nagged) by his wife Lisa into taking a few classes at DeVry or ITT, but
that would have required a serious tweaking of the man's worldview. Buddy Buys a Dump is the latest collection (the first in seven years!) of the complete Buddy Bradley stories that were compiled in issues 1-9 of Hate Annual published from 2001 to 2011. This collection also features a new, previously unpublished tale of Bradley family woe.
must admit, I had lost track of Buddy and Hate in recent years and
could only assume that Mr. Bagge was still cranking away at his drawing
table, devising new ways to make Buddy suffer. (He has in fact been
cranking away doing work for DC, Marvel and writing or Reason magazine). My own history with the Hate
series goes back to about '92 or '93 when, after spacing off my el stop
on my way home from the Loop in Chicago, I ended up at a shop called
Haley’s Comics located underneath the Paulina Street el station. Having
never cared much for comics of the superhero variety, I went in
nevertheless and the very different style of the Alternative Comics
section, and Hate comics in particular, caught my eye
immediately. The series was already up to about eight or nine issues at
that point, so I bought every one and was soon a devotee, eventually
even sporting an "I scream, you scream, we all scream for heroin!"
t-shirt—a drug I would otherwise not endorse in this fashion.
grown up and so has Buddy. Buddy’s life paralleled my own in some sense
(crap jobs, weirdo roommates), but essentially I am not, nor will I
ever be like Buddy Bradley. I certainly know the type, however, and
therein lies the appeal of Buddy as a main character. The revolving cast
of nut jobs that Buddy attracts to himself, and is attracted by,
doesn't hurt the appeal or comic potential either, nor does the sharp
wit, great dialogue and Bagge’s unique style of rubbery, quavering
limbs, popping eyes and massive pie holes shouting and swearing off the
pages. Bagge developed this unique style many decades ago and he hasn't
toned it down much since his days drawing characters like Studs Kirby,
Girly-Girl and Zoove Groover. Those squiggly lines of anger shooting
from brows and spit firing off from teeth-bared mouths are his
There are eleven chapters in the continuing Bradley
saga contained here. They involve the buying of a dump, of course, Buddy
eventually going into business with Jay (again), the raising of Buddy
and Lisa's baby, Harold, with appearances by Buddy's wing-nut brother,
Butch, and other assorted neighborhood ne'er-do-wells. Even Buddy's old
high school chum Stinky makes a cameo. (Spoiler alert: he's still a
corpse.) Our hero does seem to have mellowed a bit with age. He doesn’t
fly into a rage as easily as his younger self, Lisa seems to have a
slightly firmer grip on him and although he does have his shocked and
awed moments of disbelief (complete with the bulging eyes, gaping mouth
and wavering lines of exclamation), life has kicked some of the old
fight out of Buddy, but that was just the fight to be lazy and shiftless
so that's not such a bad thing. The new and final story, "Fuck It"
created in 2013, sees the Hate storyline come full-circle as
Buddy returns to Seattle, with kid in tow, on his way to meet Lisa who
has been minding her sickly and aging family's affairs. Who knows what
new life and old characters await them there.
2015 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Hate and the Bradley family was introduced to the world at least five years before that in Bagge's first series Neat Stuff.
We've seen moves before, and deaths and breakups and births and we can
only hope that Bagge has the time and inclination to keep humoring us
aging Gen Xers by giving us a new taste of Hate every a year—Chris Auman