HOT OFF THE PRESSES: STRIPBURGER #31 and MUTATE & SURVIVE! HOT OFF THE PRESSES! FISHPISS Vol.2 No.2! "DEAR SLUMLORD…" FUNNYBOOK REVIEW: BILLY MAVREAS' THE OVERLORDS OF GLEE!
All contents © 2000-2001, Rick Trembles
UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
December 27, 2001
BONUS PURGATORY ...Plus HOT OFF THE PRESSES: STRIPBURGER #31 and MUTATE & SURVIVE! (Pictured right: former schoolmate & big leagues hockey player Steve Kasper circa 1992)
BONUS PURGATORY! Merry Christ-My-Ass everybody. And I sincerely hope yours was as much of a rock-bottom turd as mine you bunch a dinks. I spent it home alone gulping Neo-Citran (even though I don't have a cold) trying to beat the topsies* & reading Marquis De Sade's "The 120 Days Of Sodom." There's no print version of the paper that publishes my strip this week (=one less pay: bonus) so I hadda pull out the archives for you this snubdomizer. My gift to you this installment is a Motion Picture Purgatory previously published by The Montreal Mirror before I started putting these suckers online. I chose one with a hockey theme since everybody's got winter on the brain: Les Boys 2. I don't know a goddamn thing about hockey as I stress in its biographical addendum, which practically makes me a traitor in this province. But I do remember when I was a tot liking the sport enough to collect related bubblegum cards. And one of the elementary school buds I used to swap with, & haven't seen since, ended up in the big leagues (pictured above). Les Boys part THREE is actually the sequel now in theaters of this hugely successful local franchise, so disregard the venue & showdate on today's Les Boys 2 review 'cause it's from February 25, 1999. Available at all bad video stores (in Quebec anyway).
* Topsies = what routinely happens to me in the winter: I rarely see daylight because I'm up all night & asleep all day (hence "topsy-turvy") from losing track of time having zero structure in my life (the bane of being cooped up working home alone 24/7).
STRIPBURGER #31 Couple of Trembles sightings 'round the world of late. Just received the gorgeous current issue of Slovenian zine Stripburger which includes a special Montreal scene report by Crunchy Comics' Jamie Saloman. I've got 3 pages of art in there along with contributions by Eric Braun, Suicide, Henriette Valium & Julie Doucet among others. My favorite story is Ivan Brun's wordless, poignant 8-pager, "Burned Hearts," where a cute character picks up an even cuter character after nonchalantly witnessing routine urban outdoor riots & beatings. He eventually brings the girl home for consensual fisting/buttplug B&D, all precisely drawn in ultra-clean, quiet, clinical, sexy black & white line. Most of the stories are wordless excepting mine (unfortunately text-heavy), so I don't know how well it'll go over in Slovenia but I'm sure glad to be included.
MUTATE & SURVIVE Also just out is the beautiful 200 page Portuguese anthology, Mutate & Survive, similarly providing exposure to a handful of Montrealers, including me. Contributions are largely experimental & the book is forwarded with a manifesto of sorts. For instance its reason for being came about "…within the context of a common front for the organization of a (non-armed) resistance to the progressive globalization of taste & the galloping institutionalization of artistic creation & its means of transmission…"
Additionally; "The global & intercontinental span of (Mutate & Survive) seems sufficiently demonstrating of a certain voluntarist militancy which aims to be engaged in the critic & creative sabotage of the existing manic-oligopolising commercial sub-models, by nature sticky & smelly, that have been taking over all that we do & even the way we live our lives. Debord was right when he claimed that "in a uniform world exile is impossible.""
It's fun to be spotted around the globe even though I never get out of the goddamn fucken house. Visit their web sites for ordering info.
December 20, 2001
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! FISHPISS Vol.2 No.2!
"Less comix my ass," I muttered to Louis Rastelli after perusing his latest Fishpiss at the Casa Popolo launch last week. Then I threw my copy down on the merch table he was manning, in mock indignation. When he hadn't personally asked for my comix submission this issue (I've been in every FP so far), I was convinced it was out of spite after I dared criticize his editorial techniques in my review of the last issue. Shortly after that critique I bumped into him at a bar & he gave me shit for trying to create a feud between him & the writer I thought he'd interfered with. Then he told me my web site was a complete waste of time, so naturally I assumed my services were terminated. Months later, I confronted him on how come I haven't been asked to be in the current Piss & he said he simply wants to try something new from now on with less comix because he has so much text this time around. But at first glance the new issue looked just as crammed to me with comix as usual. Then I took it home. Now I kind of see his point.
Fishpiss Vol. 2 No. 2 is a special nonstop explosive exposé on last spring's Quebec Summit of the Americas riot that infuriates, exasperates, confounds, & rattles the nerves like no grandstanding, whitewashed, doublespeaking, newscasting, face-lifted, TV talking head could ever generate. The bulk of this issue is comprised of casual quasi-chronological anecdotes, interviews, net & news clippings & reflective essays calculated to contradict the authoritarian take shoved down everybody's throats on the events. For instance, accounts by demonstrators that whenever security 'copters hovered above them, they'd feel peculiarly disoriented (& then feel normal again after they left) are validated by a lawyer interviewed speculating that it's quite possible they were guinea pigs to new "microwave radiation" police technologies being experimented with. New brands of tear gas allegedly burned skin much more than seasoned vets recollect from other demos. Innocuousness of riot squad weaponry was promoted while innocent bystanders living in the environs suffered rubber bullets & tear gas canisters crashing through their windows, ricocheting across their walls (a senior's heart attack is being attributed to such "security measures"). As much as they downplayed inconveniencing so many residents with dangerous toxins, months later, when a tear-gas canister was randomly let off by morons in a Montreal metro station causing emergency evacuation of commuters that got sick & had to be hospitalized, security promised to punish harshly the culprits if ever caught because the fumes investigated could've indeed brought about heart attacks. It was later determined that the brand of gas was from the same kind of canisters used in Quebec, probably from a dud that hadn't detonated & got picked up off the street. Extended sidebars crisscross throughout the new Piss, with topics ranging from kidnappings (of high profile protesters), to the fabled fence that bared the brunt of the brawl (erected to keep demonstrators from delegates) symbolizing the schism these secret meetings are inciting, the peaceful march (segregated far from the action), beatings, sexist cops, imprisonment, spies, the injured, etc…
But of all the modern day horrors excruciatingly detailed within this fine jam-packed issue, nothing could prepare me for the scandalous interaction that transpired between Fishpiss & a random nine-year-old transcribed in the KID TALK column, where names had to be changed "due to the sensitive nature of the topics discussed" (excerpt below):
Fishpiss: Do you still fart, though?
Kid: All the time.
FP: Do people fart in class in school?
K: Yeah & when I was in kindergarten, do you know when people do this?
FP: Arm farts? Yeah.
K: Yeah, I woke everyone up, it was nap time & it was so loud my whole class woke up.
FP: I bet they were afraid to wake up 'cause they thought it might smell, eh?
K: It did smell.
FP: It did smell? But you did it with your arm!
K: No! I pretended but it really came out my behind.
FP: Ho boy.
K: That was the first sonic boom that came out of my butt.
FP: It wasn't the last one though, was it?
Monster bargain includes additional essays, fiction, record & zine reviews, some comix (absentee me) & another gorgeous handmade silk-screened color cover. Unbelievably priced at a mere $3.00. Pick a bunch up at Popolo or Fitchre & all good Plateau shops or add a buck postage & order it straight from Spontaneous Productions Rgd., Box 1232, Place D'armes, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2Y-3K2.
December 13, 2001
Looking over old correspondences the other day, I got a chuckle coming across this 1995 letter sent to stall a landlord from kicking me out of Devices Headquarters. Every sunrise & sundown at that dump, plaster would literally fall on my head from a nest of pigeons that'd burrowed its way above the ceiling over my bed. The place was so old there were long stringy fibers inside the walls that someone told me came from horses back when the yards had stables. Apparently, they'd mix shedded hair in with cheap plaster to strengthen it during construction. I'm allergic to horses. But this was a dream house for the likes of me & my immediate neighbors. We ran a small three-story building that wasn't attached to any other homes allowing us to make as much noise as we pleased. I drew a shitload of comix there. My band rehearsed in the living room. My downstairs neighbor was a member of the band. My basement neighbor repaired musical instruments in there for a living. I wanted to get the rental board to inspect the place but the neighbors thought it was a bad idea because they worried the building'd be condemned & everyone forced to move out. When gas cut me off just in time for winter, leaving me without a stove, hot water or heat, it was my cue to pull a midnight move (which I was planning on anyhow). I packed up while the separatist referendum results that almost severed Quebec from Canada blared on the boob tube. Asked if I was concerned, I joked that at least if Quebec separates, so many anglophones will flee Montreal that it'll broaden my chances of finding another apartment. The second I was gone, renovations began to turn my happy hellhole into an ugly-assed condo.
You recently brought to my attention the fact that I owe several months back rent (five months to be exact, equaling $1125.00). You're somehow especially angry at my tardiness this time around, even though we've gone through similar circumstances before & I've ALWAYS ended up paying in full. You're threatening me with eviction ultimatums despite my having lived here almost ten years (& it's not like you're a stranger to my financial difficulties). You've been very kind towards my occasional money problems & I always took your tolerance for these matters as a sort of mutual acknowledgment on both your part & mine of the fact that in exchange for your forgiveness, I should be expected to excuse you for the bare minimum of maintenance we've grown to expect from you regarding this apartment building. But your current hostile approach against my back-rent situation gives me no choice but to update you on the miserable state my apartment is presently in, especially now that I'm starting to fear for my safety in here.
1) I have a very big problem with the front door that you've settled on letting me & the second floor tenants deal with. You've simply REFUSED to replace a door that has literally rotted from old age. I regard the current door (that the second floor tenants had to pay for by deducting the cost from rent they owed you without your consent) only as a temporary solution. A simple plank of wood replacing a broken window does NOT inspire a sense of security. We may be living in poverty, but we don't have to advertise the fact.
2) The door to my back exit leading to the fire escape from the kitchen has similarly rotted off due to old age. I recently had to dispose of it, as it was a clumsy nuisance, impossible to open & close properly, making it potentially dangerous in the event of a fire. I'm now left with only one flimsy door to the fire escape instead of the two (also falling apart due to an attempted robbery). This is hardly enough to shield from our harsh winters. It's also an incredible invitation to theft. The least that can be expected is to have a suitable replacement installed.
3) When I first moved in here I noticed archaic light fixtures coming from particular spots on the walls. I paid no attention to them because they seemed to be cut off, bent out of the way, or rendered useless. I light my home instead from power coming from the regular wall sockets. However, recently I received a substantial shock from accidentally touching the tip of one of these fixtures. It horrifies me to realize that some of the outdated wiring within the walls of my apartment is still active & I must insist that something be done about this extremely unsafe situation.
4) This is a very old, creaky & crooked apartment. I accepted this fact when I first moved in here because the rent was so appealingly low, but the amount of plaster that's been increasingly coming out from the cracks in the ceilings & walls (which have been growing in size) is creating so much dust & debris that my asthma condition seems to have worsened as a consequence in recent years. I can only cover up these unsightly holes in my walls with so many posters. Additionally, the kitchen floor is a task to walk across barefoot due to the sharp chunks & nails that are breaking off from being worn out.
5) My kitchen sink seems to be breaking away from the wall. A large hole exists between it & the "tiles" above, inviting mildew. It looks sturdy enough to last a little while longer but it's very unappealing & an invitation to germs.
6) We have an infestation of mice. They've been here since I moved in.
My neighbors & I have tolerated much in exchange for your low rent & friendly allowances for the occasional delayed payment. We believed that the price to pay for this luxury was to suffer through minimal maintenance on your part, but as our living conditions seem to be reaching an all time low, I'm surprised at your anger. Along with your yearly rent increases the least we could expect is the minimal amount of repairs to justify these raises. I am presently ready to pay for several rents but I must first know if you're willing to accept payment a bit at a time or if I'm still being threatened with eviction whether I send you these portions or not (although I believe you'd find it hard to find another tenant willing to tolerate the miserable shape that this building has been allowed to deteriorate to). I assure you that a healthy portion of the money owed will be coming soon & whatever I don't completely catch up on at first will be paid in full eventually.
December 6, 2001
FUNNYBOOK REVIEW: BILLY MAVREAS' THE OVERLORDS OF GLEE!
Flora & fauna draggle about alien jungle locales. Sexually ambiguous, vaguely obscene phallo/vaginal pods sprout & mutate into floating bean slugs anxious to communicate obscure spirographic spells. Bold black symbols that could spawn a tattoo catalog lollygag with maggots. The overlords in question seem to be the gaggle of Montreal cartoonist (& band-poster artiste extraordinaire) Billy Mavreas' smiley signature huggy-bunnies dominating the book (a radioactive version of which graces the cover) where strange otherworldly fonts adorn mysterious telepathic hypno-monoliths for the emblematic huggy-buns to congregate around awaiting cryptic messages. Day turns to night like a light-switch as Mavreas experiments with format & technique per story, swapping light, ultra-clean rubber-hose-animation simplicity & occasional soft pencil tones for darkly aggressive, contemplative, expressionistic ink hues & quality of line throughout & without warning. Overlords reminds me of classic Haight Ashbury era prehistoric underground comix that preoccupied themselves with acid-trip influenced incoherent stream-of-consciousness scenarios done on the spur of the moment, retaining the freshness of their dementia to inspire contact-highs in the reader. Non-representative maze-like meditative doodles given birth for the sole sake of impregnating the blank page with dueling black & white yins & yangs. This is Crunchy Comics' first mature offering (joint-published by Conundrum Press) & the format is exquisite. 80 pages of one-of-a-kind B&W art wrapped in 7X10 inch textured card stock with spine. Try passing by Fitchre for advance copies or drop by the official launch December 10th at Casa Del Popolo. And the following night, Popolo's hosting the latest Fishpiss zine launch. Go!