To: Mark Evanier
Subject: Giornata Nazionale Delle Maschere Da Gorilla
Dear Mr. Evanier.
I am writing to thank you for advocating the timeless tradition of National Gorilla Suit Day. It is probably the only holiday my family and i still feel the spirit of and celebrate with joy and goodwill distributed in equal parts. No matter how much it may startle neighbours and co-workers.
I also wanted you to know that NGSD is all but forgotten in this part of the globe(Italy), although only by the lucky owners of the book Fester-Bester Tester, published by Editoriale Corno back in May 1975. It has a preface by a one Luciano Secchi, whose claim to fame was of being the man who first introduced Lee/Kirby creations to the boot-shaped country's inhabitants back in 1970.
I happen to own a copy (and still enjoy every single page), and have taken some pictures of it to display on my blog.
You may be interested, here is the link.
P.S.: I took pictures instead of scanning it because i extremely dislike a)people who scan comic books, and b)scanners that don't have a working driver for Windows XP. Like mine.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
This Garfield Randomizer (pointed out by Tom Spurgeon) is yet another step in the dada-ization of Jim Davis' most popular creation.
Random Created Non-Garfield Strip, 2006
Just like Ted Mills' far more terrifying Farfield ("The strip's Beckettian terror is fully realized", by replacing the lead character with a real, non-speaking cat), which at the time made me contemporaneously scream of angst and of joy, the randomizer takes the strips and somehow gives them new significance simply by exposing their underlying emptiness.
"Farfield", Ted Mills, 2004
These games reminded me in a way of Scott McCloud's classic Five Card Nancy game, with some obvious differences.
Five Card Nancy - Example (2004-2006)
While each Nancy strip is a perfect object, with each of its parts representing a complete and absolute idea and their recombination thus still comprehensible as a comic -and a good one at that-,
While Five Card Nancy's rules explicitly require panels from Ernie Bushmiller's artistic peak ("Only prime Ernie Bushmiller Nancy strips will do, say from 1946 onward" -S. McCloud),
Jim Davis' Garfield has become, over the years, in its progressive multiplication of merchandising variations and general ubiquity, a completely superfluous comic strip which in no moment requires a meaning to be inserted into its total nor its parts.
Jim Davis' Garfield has been apocryphal for the past fifteen or so years, produced as it is by a team of ghost-writers and ghost-pencillers.
Could this be a sign of how popular culture has evolved over the past fifty-or-so years? I can only wonder.
It's interesting, however, that Garfield is the specific target of constant decontestualizing manouvres: artistic, satyrical or otherwise. As culturally irrelevant as it may have become, it suddenly acquires interest as an idea of non-art.
Which makes it even more appropriate that i... Well, that's a story for another day.
Disclaimer: i grew up with early Garfield strips, and still find them not-so-bad. They're not Peanuts, but they're still readable. Nothing against them. And the cartoons weren't bad either.
Posted by evaristo @ 1:03 am
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I'd forgotten to mention this when i came across it some weeks ago: here's an amazing archive of videos (three hours of concerts!) from La Notte Della Taranta 2005, a festival held each year in Puglia - Southeast Italy - featuring a gargantuan amount of ridiculously talented artists, obviously taking advantage of my absence to have some fun behind my back. Some of them are listed at the official website.
There's also a great videoblog in forty chapters. The one with the bread made me feel at home.
Hope i manage to pop by next time. Who knows. There's a couple of guys i owe it to. Dearly.
Posted by evaristo @ 9:47 pm
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
The Guardian tracks down every single ex-member of The Fall. And finds out quite a few really amazing stories.
(Title of post has no relevance whatsoever being just the name of a completely unrelated song by another artist which i was listening to while reading the article)
Posted by evaristo @ 4:14 pm
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, animate inanimate or imaginary objects, whoever you may be rejoice, for it's your day again! It's Captain Beefheart's Birthday, which as everybody knows is when we all stand up and celebrate.
So my part of the celebrations last year was that i gave some songs out to friends & associates all around the world wide webthingy. This year let's change things a bit.
What i'll do this time around is simpler and more general. The songs i'm making available today are just small things that make me happy. Nothing gigantic, nothing that needs any big explanations, nothing philosophical. These are just things that make me feel better if i hear them, no matter what time of the day, no matter what mood i'm in.
Ah, i know there's no real need to explain it, but here and here you may find a short biography in pictures of the man this is all about.
Ok, you can stop dancing if you like now.
I love burt bacharach songs. Some of them are the saddest things i've ever heard. I remember having to drive home in the rain once with nothing but Wichita Lineman or This Guy's In Love With You in the car stereo, so melancholy i almost started crying while i sang along. Close To You is not this kind of song. I just think it's beautiful. This version sounds a lot like the one you can hear in mirrormask. Not a coincidence, i suppose. Wayne Horvitz - Close To You (m:Burt Bacharach, w:Hal David) 160kbps 2.8Mb Mp3.
Me and the Major by Belle & Sebastian. That harmonica! the song became even more special the day i discovered i too can play those same harmonica parts. Did i tell you i realized the other day i realized i'm only 2 degrees of separation from Robert Johnson? I know a guy who knew Son House who knew Robert Johnson. The first song i ever played live was Sweet Home Chicago. Full circle? Circles are just an imaginary invention like time and money and dogs that don't bite because they bark. 256kbps 7.3Mb Mp3.
Another thing they remind me of -they being Belle and Sebastian- is Glasgow. Chritmastime is when i sit around, listen to them, watch old Billy Connolly tv specials and just generally miss Glasgow. You've all seen A Charlie Brown Christmas, haven't you? here's Vince Guaraldi's song from that, Chritmastime is here, vocal and instrumental versions. Listen to him chase himself on the piano in the instrumental. I don't feel like checking size and bitrate, just download them 'cause it's worth it.
Somebody was once quoted saying that the old Charlie Brown specials were the only place you could hear good jazz on television at the time. I just don't remember who it was and where i read it.
Perhaps younger generations will like this track better, YMCK's nintendo sound appeals to the whole retro-thing going on. But i just dig the line "do you know that god is flowing out of your mind?(..) It's yellow, magenta, cyan and black." 320kps 11.2Mb Mp3 for the bossa-loving eccentric.
I have just learned in this moment that the chilean people have done the extremely old-fashioned move of electing the right person. Which here in europe is passé, electing morons is more in vogue.
I love the striking distance between the first and last ever published songs by Pizzicato Five. Fifteen years between them, things just get simpler and simpler.
Lyrics sheet to that last song.
Maki Nomiya was in neither of those songs (that's Clementine on vocals in the bossa), but is in this one: United Future Organization featuring Nomiya Maki - Le Coeur Qui Jazz. From last year's dimitri from paris-produced tribute to The Aristocats, one of the best things to come out of 2005. Lush string stylings, slightly afrobeat drumming, and Maki's voice to top it all off. There was a full moon on friday night, did you see it?
Only one song left. No, three.
Sweet Thing by Van morrison. The live cover by The Waterboys interpolates The Beatles' Blackbird into the ending. i like to sing Caetano & Gal Costa's Baby over that bit myself. For good measure, here's Van singing Angeliou, which is about meeting someone.
And finally, here are some words from The Good Captain himself.
The Clouds Are Full Of Wine (Not Whiskey Or Rye)
The clouds are full of wine
Not whiskey or rye
'n the sky is full of bluebrains,
Bluebrains, bluejays, bluebirds, mermaids
bluejays, bluebirds, rainbows
'n the night is full of rhinestones,
'n the sky is full of rhinestones, pinecones, telephones
Shadows to some hows
'n the clouds are full of wine
Not whiskey or rye
'n the sky is full of bluebrains,
Baboons, rhinos, fools 'n buffoons
'n my eyes are full of bloodbones,
Snowcones, serenaders 'n sen-n-n-oritas
'n so on...
Melodies that go on, go on,
Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go off, go off, go off, go off
We here at WGD Central hope you've enjoyed this. It's not about the music. it's about what goes on around it.
Happy Birthday, Don Van Vliet.
Posted by evaristo @ 9:30 pm
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Amanita Design makes beautiful little games like the one i'd already linked to here, but more specially the amazing Samorost saga. Do not click if you're supposed to be doing more important stuff like working or studying.
And don't say i didn't warn you.
(Tnx to Glunati)
Posted by evaristo @ 1:42 am
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
Captivating the masses in 2006! Bad parking pictures!
Casa Evaristo's vehicle, misparked beneath the duino snow of 27.12.2005, 7:05 AM
Inspired by this page done by a guy i met and was screaming stuff with last night.
Posted by evaristo @ 2:57 am
In conversation with someone, whom my recollections are too hazy to identify despite (or because of) my being sober:
Him/Her: "Do you wear anything that doesn't have stripes?"
Me: "Yeah sure. See that hoodie? It doesn't have stripes!"
Him/Her: "Robin, that's a striped hoodie."
Resolution: new clothes in 2006. Soon as i can afford it.
Posted by evaristo @ 2:50 am