This weekend sees the North American premiere of this visionary's latest project Brian Eno's 77 Million Paintings. Conceived as "visual music" created through "generative software" is an exploration into the artistic medium of light and sound in a constantly evolving world of digitally-created flat-screen psychedelia.
If you're planning on attending this tempory art installation celebration, I'll be easy to spot in my red suit with my tall hair... spacing out with cocktail in hand in front of the 45 foot Projection Wall by Obscura Digital.
Paul Pope's Return Trip to Planet Mars THB Is Back @ San Diego Comic Con
I'm sure it's pretty clear from looking at this year's Eisner nominations (particularly if you know I was one of the judges) that I quite like the comics of Paul Pope. And one of those long-lost comic treasures I constantly wish I could put in people's hands is Pope's science fiction epic about life on Mars THB... but thanks to our friends at AdHouse Books it looks like I'm going to get my chance!
THB: Comics from Mars #1 is a 32-page limited-edition San Diego Comic Con exclusive that includes all new and never-before-seen material, four new and unpublished short stories, and nine pages from the series' new opening sequence! Read more about it here.
First of all, I definitely like the sound of "the series new opening sequence" and that nifty "#1" in the book's title! In fact, I'm so excited that right after I'm done writing this missive I'll be dropping AdHouse Books publisher an email to see if I can get us all an Isotope Legal Download Fest sneak peek at those sexy new pages. And while this announced issue is going to be a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, which means it won't be coming to a local comic shop near you, I will be down at the convention buying up as many copies of this from the AdHouse Books table as my arms can carry!
Are you an Isotope customer and want to reserve yourself a copy of THB: Comics from Mars #1? Drop me a line and I'll be sure to bring you a copy back from the convention with me. You'll be glad you did!
You'll all have to forgive me for the huge smile on my face today... tonight I'm going to see Debbie Harry play on the True Colors Tour.
Apparently for her first non-Blondie tour in a decade she's playing lots of wonderful (and a few quite obscure) numbers from her past solo albums and some new numbers from her up-coming album "Necessary Evil"... and that's exactly the kind of news that puts me on cloud nine!
Cameron's Aborted Spider-Man Movie Script Now Illustrated in Glorious Neal Adams Style
In 1992 director James Cameron was poised to bring the big budget blockbuster Spider-Man to the silver screen. But due to contractual squabbles and several studios claiming rights to produce the flick, Cameron's dream was never realized and Spider-Man fell into development hell. Until the Sam Raimi spider-pictures, that is. Internet messageboarders sighed a collective sigh of relief as Cameron's original script treatment was slightly "off brand" for the character... and included plenty of unexpected spider-swearing and even Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson's scandalous sex scene on a giant spider-web!
Oh my stars and garters!
Recently Italian comics lover extrodinaire Daniele Tomasi has decided to treat us all to a re-presentation of director James Cameron's original movie scriptment... by illustrating the storyboards in a beautiful Neal Adams style! Granted, the site's navigation is a bit confusing, but I gotta give Daniele a hand for doing this. It looks great and must have been a heck of a lot of work!
I took a well-deserved couple days off from information superhighwaying so this news is a couple days old, but the Isotope would like to send out our congratulations to Larry & Mimi for the newest addition to the AIT/PlanetLar family... Walker Douglas Young!
UPDATE: Although the Caballeros didn't hit the Isotope with the show of force they threatened us with... the Isotope staff came prepared and served up ice-cold bottles of Y The Last Beer to those who did!
Pride weekend hits San Francisco! If you're here in the city you are going to want to see Pansy Division play and check out some of the many happenings. And for your listening pleasure, our amigo DJ Bearzbub is podcasting a Pride weekend mix to get your backside shaking (check it out here).
Oh Go Ahead, Celebrate Joss Whedon's Birthday By Indulging Thyself in a Ton of Buffy Comics!
Talk about your great timing. Dark Horse Comics has decided to put up a massive, 26-page preview of the upcoming Buffy Omnibus for free on-line... just in time for Joss Whedon's birthday!
Now I'm no conspiracy theorist, but clearly this is no mere accident. Could it be that Joss Whedon wants you to celebrate the day of his birth with him today by indulging yourself in a virtual cornucopia of great free Buffy comics? Hmmmm.
Aw, how sweet! Nerds in love. What could be more wonderful?
When it comes to the crime of hopeless romanticism, I'm stone-cold guilty. Exotic candlelight dinners, long drives in the country, Sunday afternoon champagne lunches, candycoated love songs from the 60's, soft touches on the cheek of that special someone... I like all that cheesy stuff. But if you're reading this, you already know all of that. Because, honestly, could "moving to San Francisco to pursue the dream of opening up a swanky lounge devoted to nothing but comic books" be a more romantic notion?
With this in mind, I simply had to point out iFanboy's most sweetly adorable video episode yet. Yes, that's right, it's a comic-centric love and relationship advice show, featuring not just the boys... but also their significant others. Fill your heart full of affection and check this one out. Awesome!
"I Could Be Manager In Two Years. King. God." The Repo Man Sequel... In Comics!
It was bound to happen, you know.
While some folks see comic books as a starting gate to begin their chase after the glitter and bright lights of Hollywood, recently we've been seeing a huge influx of those Hollywood authors and directors bringing their silver-screen dreams alive in the pages of comics and graphic novels. And who can blame them? What writer wouldn't want to set aside the headaches and hassles of egomaniacal actors, meddling production companies, shooting permits, budgetary constraints, mortified television executives and endless meeting after meeting after meeting just to get anything done... and just get down to telling stories? When you consider all it takes for these people to get their visions realized, those bright lights of Hollywood look pretty dull and dingy to me.
With the runaway direct-to-comicbook success of Buffy: Season Eight, the recent promise of more Serenity comics, Veronica Mars: Season Four all but confirmed for later this year... directors and writers are hearing the message clearly. Comics is where it's at, baby.
And there could be no greater proof of this truth than yesterday's announcement that director Alex Cox (Sid & Nancy) is making the unfilmed sequel for his awesome Repo Man into a original graphic novel! One part punk rock comedy, one part creepy science fiction masterpiece, one part biting social commentary on the American Dream, the 1984 cult flick managed to walk the line between smartly intellectual and brazenly fun in a way few movies ever have. Definitely a favorite!
I've been waiting for a sequel to this flick since the 80's and couldn't be more excited about the news of a direct-to-graphic-novel sequel. And give visionaries like Mister Cox a hearty round of applause for doing just that! Read the story here and while you're at it go ahead and give the trailer for Repo Man a watch too. You'll be damn glad you did!
With that in mind, today I'm giving you this reminder to get your votes in for the SF Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay Reader's Poll. In a city as teeming with wonderful businesses like SF is, it is truly an huge honor to be recognised by your customers and colleagues. The Isotope has been lucky enough to have been honored as SF's "Best Comic Book Store" for four years running, thanks to people like you who took the time to fill out a ballot and show us your love for what we do.
Honestly, it's brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion and I couldn't thank you all more.
But filling out that massive on-line form can be a bit daunting, so for those folks who need some suggestions of other folks to vote for my staff and I kindly suggest considering the following small businesses that we feel strongly offer a beyond-the-exceptional experience and help make the Bay Area the unique and appealing place that it is:
Isotope's Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum Blessed by Debbie Harry, Thanks to Matt Silady
The Isotope's world-famous Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum is the planet's only museum dedicated to original art on toilet seats by comic creators. We always offer a new lid to the many comic artists and authors who visit the Isotope (yes I'm well aware the whole idea is completely ridiculous) and I always love seeing what the best writers and artists in the industry manage come up with on these things.
Knowing all too well how much I adore Blondie singer Deborah Harry, comic author and artist Matt Silady popped more than a few of my braincells by bringing the gorgeous artrock diva to life with his addition to our museum in his photo-realistic Homeless Channel style. Just in time for the pre-release single from Ms. Harry's upcoming album, Necessary Evil, too. Nice one, Matt!
Do check out these wonderful pictures (with the mouse clicky thing for image enlargement) of the seat that quite literally dropped my jaw.
Saturday Is Your Final Chance To See The Greatest Uke Bowie Tribute Ever
You'd think the ukulele was my favorite instrument in the universe, judging by how often I've written about Uke Apocalypse and those crazy tribute shows they throw!
Well if there ever was a case to be made that the uke is the greatest tool of ultimate rockstardom, it would have to be the hypersexified lanky god of San Francisco's live music circuit and his mad band of cheap instrument maestros. From Prince to Tom Waits to the Thin White Duke himself these guys and gals have torn up every stage they've rocked out on... even the Isotope's! (check out the streaming digital proof here)
With their final tribute show looming large on the horizon this weekend, we couldn't recommend more highly devoting your Saturday night to seeing the truly jaw-dropping concert experience that is The Rise and Fall of Ukey Stardust & the Spiders From Mars! To get you in the mood, do check out this massive Bowie video retrospective suggested (and no doubt swooned over) by my queen-of-popular-culture amigo Whitney Matheson.
... or peel back a layer of eye skin and witness this amazing bordering-on-scandalous footage from last time they played the Rickshaw Stop. You will never think of Prince's Darling Nikki the same way ever again!
And it never hurts to repeat, this is the last ukey tribute show ever, so you won't want to miss this. See you there!
Regular readers of the Isotope Communique will know that here at the Isotope information soda fountain when we put on our paper hats and reach into the deep freeze, we're going scoop hard to fill your cone overflowing with that which you can't find anywhere else.
We say, let the others snooze with their runny vanilla softserve worlds... we'll keep scoopin!
While it does indeed take other folks time to catch up sometimes, we wouldn't want the rest of the funnybook industry to feel bad about it. Even the most popular megamedia sites on the entire internet are scrambling to keep up with our ice cream dishing prowess... as seen here when Pitchforkfinally picks up on a story we broke last month.
Don't worry comic industry, I'm sure the Newsaramas, the Lying In The Gutters, The Beats, the Journalistas, the Beaucoup Kevins, and the Boing Boings will be filling your cones with this news eventually!
At Last! Straight from the Pages of Hellboy Cannibals, Yetis, Prophecies, & Lobster Johnson
Yes, yes, yes!
Although it was many moons ago, I can distinctly remember the first time I got my hands on a copy of The Shadow pulp magazine. I was eleven years old and at one of those farm auctions my old man loved going to to buy neat old junk that no one but he cared about. At the time, the elder Sime had something of a reputation in my family for buying entire wagons of junk at those auctions in order to get a desired stripped-down chainsaw engine or waterpump for a 1965 Ford tractor.
In amongst a pile of rotting newspapers, National Geographics, and mail away recipe books for cooking with Mogan David wine (told you I remembered it well!) was a worn and battered copy of The Shadow from 1948. I sat down in the dirt and read the entire thing right there on the spot... and practically cursed my father at day's end for somehow showing restraint and not buying that particular mountain of trash! Even so, I've had a soft spot for any and all things pulp ever since.
As you might suspect, the Isotope staff and I have great love for Mike Mignola's family of Hellboy comics. If you read comics already I'm sure you don't need us to tell you about all the gorgeous Hellboy art lovingly drawn in service of great writing with all the quirky characters, dark witchcraft, sinister nazis, stinking corpses, Lovecraftian monstrosities and supernatural curses you could ever ask for!
And personally, there's no character in the world of Hellboy I like more than Lobster Johnson, a true love letter to The Shadow and his depression-era contemporaries if there ever was one. So it was with great joy that I spotted the up-coming Lobster Johnson mini-series in Dark Horse Comics solicitations for September.
Thank you Dark Horse, for making me feel 11 years old again. Except this time... I'm buying that wagon!
Triple Cobra Heats It All Up SF, the Stage, & My Camera
Although this post's title is about as sincere as the time I wrote about the indy horror flick I made, I did manage to score some great shots at last night's mind numbing glitter rock extravaganza with Triple Cobra. With no fewer than four costume changes, exploding confetti cannons, and more feathers than Big Bird would know what to do with... the band once again rocked our world!
For those of you who like those outrageously beautiful rock and roll things, check out the digital proof of Triple Cobra's glorious live excess.
UPDATE: Our friends at China Books have some interesting things to say about these pictures. And this email just popped into my in-box: Hey James - Thanks again for coming out last night. It was great to see you there. Your quote on the Isotope site was so good I had to put it on the Triple Cobra site as well. Thanks! *Attiss* Very cool!
The Incredible Hulk: He Smashes And I Nerd Out Completely
While it's no secret I'm a big fan of those highbrow graphic novellas that thrill and delight the snobbiest of critics, I also like me a good old fashion pulpy comic book punch 'em up... which is why I'm so nerdilly elated about this Wednesday's release of World War Hulk.
After a rampage that destroys much of Las Vegas, it is decided by an assembly of Earth's superheroes (including Iron Man, Dr. Strange, and the leaders of the Fanrtastic Four and X-Men) that something must be done about the problem that is the Hulk. Their solution? Shoot him into space! But even the best laid asshole plans can go awry, and the Hulk has returned to Earth with an army of freaky alien warriors to get his revenge.
He's green, he's mad, and he's gonna punch stuff.
Written by the ass-kicking Greg Pak and drawn by the jaw-dropping genius that is Johnny Romita Jr the feces hits the fan for the entire Marvel Universe starting this Wednesday. But in the meantime click on over to Newsarama where they are previewing the first eight pages for your enjoyment... I dunno about you folks but this is just the big, loud, wonderfully stupid superhero slobberknocker I've been waiting for!
Feathers, Confetti, Champagne, Rock & Roll It's the Triple Cobra CD Release Party!
It's Saturday and what could be better on a beautiful San Francisco night like tonight than a decadent cranked-amp glam rock & roll spectacle of the highest majestic order? Well, my friends, that's exactly what I'm going to be over-indulging myself in tonight as SF's supreme glitter rock beings take the stage for a majestic CD release bash.
Like the fur. feather and leather adorned androgynist rock and roll gods of old, Triple Cobra erupt from life's mediocrity with all the sparkling champagne-infused sass, gaudy guitar solos, confetti-launching cacophony, skintight vinyl pants, full-frontal fishnet adorned karate kicks, and lust-filled lyrical content that would make even Prince's face turn purple that you need.
Click here to sample the glorious glitter glam that is Triple Cobra. Oh good lord am I looking forward to this!
Triple Cobra @ Fat City 314 11th Street Saturday, June 9th
SF's Super Sexy Art Gallery Plays Host To Zombie Marionettes & Babies in Jars
I'm pretty sure most of you already know this, but Isotope Enforcer Jared Guenther's other job is doing special effects and make-up for indy films.
Between assisting SFX legend Bob Keene (Hellraiser, Alien, Star Wars), bloodying up soldiers in the WW2 epic Brother's War, making dead-babies-in-jars for Carnies (as well as legions of fans around the world), mutilating crime scene investigators with burning devil-children in Fallen Angels, and his many other acts of random SFX like turning me ugly/beautiful... Mister Guenther always seems to have his hands full making disgusting things.
This last Thursday SF's ultra-hip Space Gallery played host to the Toil & Trouble art exhibition featuring the props, costumes, creepy puppets, and production art from Jared's latest indy flick Story About A Witch (watch the trailer here).
Jared wowed the assembled throngs with his siamese twin babies in jars and a really wonderful zombie marionette. I drank a bunch of mojitos, ate some fantastic cheesecake, skipped the kissing booth, and took a ton of pictures which are now up for your viewing enjoyment at Flickr. Fantastic times!
Those of you who regularly tune into the Isotope Communique for your dose of all things Isotopic may have noticed it's been a little quiet this week. What can I tell you? Between people's summer vacation hitting and people celebrating their graduation with armloads of funnybooks the Isotope has been crazy, crazy busy!
Even so, we don't want to leave you folks starving for entertainment so I've been burning the midnight oil to ensure that your plates will be filled gloriously full of heaping helpings of tasty comics news, strange and wonderful things to do in the San Francisco bay area, and that random going-on-behind-the-scenes garnishy goodness no good meal is served without.
But enough talk about what's to come, it's time to light up your internet browsers with the wonderous, the winsome, and the weird...
Silady's Book Invades Comic Stores Everywhere And The Homeless Channel Rocks the Media!
Regular readers of the Communique already know about Matt Silady, as I've written about this homegrown hero before and because I'm throwing a great big bash in his honor tonight (which, incidentally, features one of my favorite flyers in recent memory). Matt's a great guy and we were all blown away by the sheer quality of his first shot at a graphic novel. This guy's going places!
Now personally I want people to get exposed to this smart, original, creative new voice in the world of comics, so I couldn't be more thrilled to see how much attention The Homeless Channel has been generating in the comics media and beyond. And what better use of the IsoSite than to break out some glasses and pop the cork in celebration of the good things in life?
An Amusing Tale of Hair & Comics From My Morning Commute
I know some folks hate those short train or bus or car rides that most of us have to make in order to get to work each day, but not me. I couldn't enjoy my morning and evening-time commutes more.
My car might be gorgeous and true bliss out on the open road, but in terms of the daily commute it's not something I want to just wear out driving in rush hour traffic, so even on those occasions that it's running perfectly I prefer to take the train. The people-watching is fun, but even better, I tend to get a lot of funnybook reading done on those trips. And it's public transportation, amusing stories and public transportation go hand-in-hand!
This morning as I was boarding the belly of the beast and walking to an open seat a young boy began bouncing in his chair waving his finger at me in that excitable way that ten year old boys do.
"Mom! Mom! Ohmygod, lookit! Lookit the hair! The hair!"
Trying not to laugh, I sat down in the seat behind this youngster and his mom. He quickly spun around to get a better look... and to get to the bottom of the mystery of the hair.
"Oh, hi! How do you get your hair to look like that?" He asked with wide eyes and as fast as humanly possible. "I want... I want mine to look just like that!"
I cracked a grin and replied "Well, you need to read a lot of comic books."
"COOL!" he shouted, "Mom, didja hear that? Didja?! I have to read comic books, I HAVE TO READ COMIC BOOKS!"