ERIC BRAUN COMIX EXHIBITION! PLUS; STORYTIME: "TIME FLIES"! HENRIETTE VALIUM EXHIBITION AT GALLERY CLARK! I'M OK, YOU'RE OK! SNUBDOM PANNED, GASHES CRAMMED & KRAFT DINNER SLAMMED! FUNNYBOOK REVIEW: PUNK MAGAZINE'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!
All contents © 2000-2001, Rick Trembles
UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
March 29, 2001
ERIC BRAUN COMIX EXHIBITION! PLUS; STORYTIME: "TIME FLIES"!
Got dick-all to blab about so I'm hurlin' at yuh "Time Flies" this week, a story my homely, virginal, drug-addled ass wrote for one of my high school papers back in the mid-seventies just because. By the way, today's Purgatory comes courtesy of Darius James (Negrophobia, That's Blaxploitation). And you still got time to go see Eric Braun's phenomenal "Art versus Comix" group exhibition featuring Valium, Suicide, Boutin, Pétrin, Mavréas, Bottenberg, Santos, Brosseau, Pouliot, Frrrdrk, Quesnel, Guim & yours truly (I put up a color painted version of God's Cocksuckers #7 & some original comic art). I was over Wednesday afternoon contributing a panel to the live oversized comix jam Braun has going as part of the exhib. Valium, Bottenberg, Mavreas & D. Bilos filled up the first "page" with a story about vampire bats sucking people's brains out with a straw. So I continued with naked Martian vampire girls drinking from a dispenser the bats are delivering the pilfered brain juice to & it makes them party hardy, unleashing oversized eyeballs snaking out the tops of their craniums. The pieces on exhibition are breathtaking. Valium's blasphemous "Evus & Adamus" intricate ink & aquarelle on paper: mind-boggling! (By the way, Val was there Wednesday & told me his Gallery Clark Goebbels piece I spoke of in last week's Blather isn't a print; it's hand drawn! What a fucken lunatic!) Suicide's oversized acrylic on paper "La Vie et la Mort Couchent dans le Même Lit" (Life & Death Sleep in the Same Bed) about a wide-angled, forced-perspective rib cage in a bathtub next to a crucifix's cubicle: awe-inspiring! Hélène Brosseau's mutant monster octopus, 2-headed dragon & angry starfish sculptures bejeweled with what look like real human teeth: exquisite! Orgy of graphix masterworks too numerous to mention at the CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal, 255 Ontario est, Montréal. (Monday thru Thursday from 11:00 to 7:00 & Friday from 11:00 to 4:00 until March 30th). Go!
MMMMMMMMMMMMP! -Kuhfwhap! "Ouch! What the hell was that?" I asked Ron. You've just been hit by a …a clock!" he stammered. "You feelin' all right?" I asked. "I swear! I saw a clock fly by, right-side up & all & then it smacked you in the head!" "Fuck off," I scolded, "YOU must've hit me, cuz if someone threw a clock at me where the hell did it go?" "No, no! The clock just went straight by in an even line & then it …it just whizzed by, hit you & darted around the corner of that building! C'mon, let's go see if it's still there."
He ran at the building, I thought for sure he'd cracked. I followed him, looking around making sure no one else was watching us act like idiots. Once he turned the corner out of sight I heard him scream with another "MMMMMMMMMMMMP! -Kuhfwhap!" "-I saw it again," Ron yelped, sitting on the sidewalk knocked on his ass, eyes buggin' out & rubbing the back of his noggin, "I watched it hit me!" He'd been struck square on the head from behind. He stumbled up, "it was a clock, a small normal looking clock, but it had a face on it! Two wide evil looking eyes & a giggling, distended mouth, no nose, just a middle for the hands! Rick, what's happening to me?"
We hurried away down the street, reflecting; "…that was peculiar, no?" I asked, trying to make light of it but with a tremor in my voice. He wasn't there. I turned around & there was Ron lagging behind, caught dead in his tracks looking over me, mouth gawking wide open, dumbfounded. I looked up & saw 2 little clocks hovering just above my head midair. I sheepishly inched towards Ron, careful not to break eye contact with the clocks so as not to stir them & whispered, "are we hallucinating? Isn't anyone else noticing these clocks?" "Both of us can't be hallucinating the same thing," he grumbled. He stopped an old lady & pointed upwards. "Why, what are those two funny little clocks doing up there?" she asked. Soon a whole crowd was pointing, mesmerized & yammering.
"Hey!" someone shouted, "what's that over yonder?" Hundreds of dots were forming over the south side of the sky & a low faraway humming could be heard. Our 2 clocks took off towards the blackening mass of whatever & the skies got darker. The humming got louder. People started screaming & a few took shelter in buildings but most were too curious to budge, including Ron & me.
Suddenly ALARMS went off seemingly from everywhere, deafening & increasing in volume. The sky was black with dots. I ran for shelter, as did many others, with my hands over my ears. Whap! "YAAAAAA!" -A clock violently knocked me to the ground. This one really hurt. My ears rang, …or was it the alarm clocks, I could no longer tell. I lifted my head up off the ground & looked around ...CLOCKS ...CLOCKS, everywhere, pummeling people to death, just as Ron had described them, their wild-eyed, blood-spattered faces giggling insanely. I screamed for him but I couldn't hear myself above all the crying, hollering & ringing.
I found Ron unconscious in the middle of the road, dangerously close to a burning bus, blood dripping from his head. I dragged him towards shelter just as a swarm of ringing clocks was about to attack us. I shut the glass door behind me to the entrance of the train station, knowing they would eventually break through. I ran down the escalator dragging Ron behind me & heard the glass shatter. I came to a closed metal door, screaming, & knocked furiously. The clocks' alarms were getting louder & louder towards us. The door slowly opened. A beautiful woman let us in, "hello, handsome, let me take care of those nasty cuts," she said kissing my forehead. Looking around the dimly lit red room, I could see nothing but gorgeous, scantily-clad, SEXY women lying around everywhere, staring invitingly at me & Ron whose head was now bleeding all over the carpet.
March 22, 2001
HENRIETTE VALIUM EXHIBITION AT GALLERY CLARK! (Pictured right: Valium circa '86 sitting on the lovely, late Mimi Re/Tardif's lap at the Casual Casual Cultural Exchange Traveling Exhibition of the Graphzine Arts)
Fucken spring was in the air last week for the first fucken time this year. It sure fucken tickled to be fucken walking around outside in the fucken sun with my fucken coat open. What better way to fucken celebrate than by fucken passing by Gallery Clark to check out some of Valium's renowned fucken blasphemous tableaus? Upon entering the quiet, empty fucken gallery, I was greeted by the same fucken silk-screen print that hangs in front of my fucken bed; Val's putrescent tribute to the family of fucken nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels before collectively committing fucken suicide at the close of WW2. The original sources of the fucken collage are displayed all in fucken technical succession illustrated with "plus" & "equal" signs next to the resulting fucken print. They include photos of fucken mutilated, decayed looking children, which were fucken superimposed over the faces of Goebbels' fucken offspring, as was a fucken M.C. Escheresque tapestry of cute fucken salamander-like creepy-crawly critters. Beautiful.
Earlier obsessively detailed fucken works of his filled the rest of the walls of the first room but in the fucken main room were laid out all the original pieces that fucken make up Valium's 1994 limited edition collection of sacrilegious full-color cards, Curés Malades, fucken put out by Dernier Cri & available at Fitchre. Scanning the tiny, fucken exquisitely layered collages constructed from bits of distorted fucken photos of religious figures & priests on acetate fucken intertwining w/hardcore stroke-mag double-penetration clippings & nauseating fucken open wounds & amputees from medical pictures, I came across my first fucken dogfuck bestiality tidbit (of several) & it suddenly fucken occurred to me that simultaneously, from outside the gallery's fucken windows came the increasingly loud fucken gobbling of gluttonous pigeons flavoring in a most apropos way my fucken scrutiny of said pup's penile appendage fucken squishing its way upside a poor woman's fucken poop-chute. Yes, spring is in the air.
Cop a fucken gander at Val's card collection posted on fucken Montreal cartoonist Eric Braun's site, but do go out of your fucken way to see the exhibition because even the superb print versions they were constructed for don't fucken do justice to the fucken clarity of the original fucken mechanicals. Until April 21, at 1591, rue Clark, 2nd floor (metro Place des Arts), phone: 514-288-4972.
Sharing the main exhibition room is Marie Claude Pratte's tongue-in-cheek "Histoire de L'artiste Contemporain" told comic-strip style in a succession of painted & labeled panels. Art movements throughout history are explained wall-to-wall with even a brief nod to her co-exhibitor in a piece demonstrating the "Underground" by mimicking in miniature, typically distorted portraiture a la Valium.
More accolades for my "unentertaining, uninsightful, unfunny & unpretty" cartoons; "This guy is a fucking wild cartoonist. Wild man, wild. It does go well with the chicken! Delicious again, Peter!" says Stileproject.com about yours truly in a great plug/link yesterday! Merci beaucoup. (But what I wanna know, is who the hell is Peter?)
March 15, 2001
I'M OK, YOU'RE OK! (Pictured right: ace make-up FX & tattoo artist/sculptor Anthony Veilleux sporting one of his crazy concoctions)
A couple o' old pals came to my rescue after Broken Pencil's recent lousy review of Snubdom.com (see last week's Weekly Blather). Independent/underground filmmaker & film professor at Concordia University, Francois Miron wrote me; "The last thing we need in a one-of-a-kind "B" movie review cartoon is a moralizing journalistic approach. You always offer a myriad of historical perspectives & references & you always go through stereotypes with deep wit & black humor. As far as aesthetics is concerned, it was pretty enough for the Cinematheque & everyone I know. And it's pretty enough for MY film."
Anthony Veilleux (pictured above) actually emailed the BP reviewer in question; "I'm just writing to express that in my opinion Rick Trembles' ezine "Snubdom" IS funny & to those lucky enough to have known Rick, insightful as well. I realize that for every review you place out there to be read by varied crowds of readers, you will always find opinions that differ from yours... I am in no way trying to validate mine to you & would not wish you to validate yours. Rick is a character & personal politics aside, everything he does should be taken with a grain of humorous salt." (Incidentally, Anthony used to sing for Montreal punk band The Nils).
I was gonna call my mom up to ask her to put in a good word for me too, but she's sick with the flu. And she doesn't like computers.
Imagine my surprise when Anthony's email included the following response to him (& forwarded to me) from BP managing editor/contributing reviewer, Emily Pohl-Weary; "Anthony, that review wasn't written by me. It was written by a reviewer named Evan Wargon (initials EW). Rick is confused because my initials are EPW."
Goddamn it! Did my face droop. You see, Broken Pencil's reviews are always credited to a couple of initials at the end of each text. I quickly emailed Emily; "I am so terribly, horribly sorry for the mix up. A giant apology is in order & I guarantee will be gotten by you big-time in next week's Snubdomizer. Who your magazine's reviewers are is not very evident. I could find no one qualifying for the initials "EW" in BROKEN PENCIL #15's masthead, nor is there a legend explaining who "EW" might be near the reviews section or anywhere else inside the issue. Add to this the fact that editor Hal Niedzviecki assured me months ago he'd be forwarding my web site to YOU for review & you can see why the confusion! I suppose I should've scanned the reviews more thoroughly to discover initials closer to yours lurking about, but since your name was the only one that came close to "EW" in the masthead, I jumped to conclusions. Again, please accept my apologies."
I forwarded this to Broken Pencil's editor, Hal, & he wrote back confirming that they indeed somehow hadn't gotten Evan Wargon's full name in the contributor's list & suggested we just let bygones be bygones.
So here's my giant big-time guaranteed apology to Emily: Sorry, Emily.
I took Emily Pohl-Weary's name off last week's Blather & simply replaced it with Evan Wargon's. The rest of the text remains unchanged.
OK, so it's been a slow week.
March 8, 2001
SNUBDOM PANNED, GASHES CRAMMED & KRAFT DINNER SLAMMED! (Pictured below: Rick Trembles wearing skintight, "insight"-inducing foam-latex makeup creation of his for a Devices film circa 1990)
Just got my new contributor's copy of the "guide to alternative culture in Canada" that I illustrate for from time to time, BROKEN PENCIL #15, (a kind of Canadian FACTSHEET FIVE), & lo & behold, the very website you're presently reading has been deemed unentertaining, uninsightful, unfunny & unpretty by contributing reviewer Evan Wargon:
"Rick Trembles seems to have an opinion about everything (disseminated in his log), but the main focus of this page is film reviews. These are done as short comic strips, usually about one page long. The problem is, as reviews, they fail -he describes the films without providing any insight, or describes the films in the context of experiences he's had, again without providing any insight -and as entertainment, they're just not pretty enough or funny enough to be entertaining. Also present, of course, are the requisite Crumb-y, super-sex comic strips, giant convoluted orgies or spear-like super penises, shooting through the stratosphere, all rendered in a cartoony, surreal style."
Any "insight" I might offer as far as my movie reviews are concerned is largely implicit; I was once so smitten & bitten by the film bug I pursued careers in animation, "acting" & SPFX makeup (pictured above). I put in a couple years makeup FX 'til deciding maintaining costly (often-perishable) materials just wasn't worth it in the often cutthroat racket but I continue to animate & "act" to this day mostly for local independent/underground concerns. So I know first hand how practically impossible it is to attempt to create anything halfway peculiar in the face of giddy, consumerist zombies mesmerized by tinsel-town royalty. I speak as a disgruntled dabbler/fan & expect this to be obvious to anyone who follows my strip. How presumptuous of me.
As far as Evan's vague accusations of unprettiness & unfunniness are concerned, well, one man's pretty/funny is another man's ugly, & frankly I'd have to get to know Evan's tastes to better understand what constitutes funny/pretty in his books, but just as he didn't venture much into the guts of my site (overlooking one of the major raison d'êtres for snubdom's origination for example), I'm afraid I won't be bothered seeking out other reviews of his probing whatever turns his crank. One good turn deserves another. I can smell enough from his "requisite" comparison of anything remotely sexual in the world of comix as indisputably Crumbesque, that his palette ain't too broad. I'd understand if he was dumbing it down for an introductory piece on comix in some square mainstream paper but isn't BROKEN PENCIL targeting those who'd know better than to typically lump all things genital as Crumbian (derogatory context to boot). You'd think Crumb was the only cartoonist to ever draw a wiener. Yeesh. Talk about generalizing.
My reviews uninsightful? When pickin's are slim I tackle difficult arthouse & repertory obscurities. I quote the likes of Carol J. Clover, J. Hoberman, Robin Wood, Scott McCloud & David Cronenberg & credit books for future reference. My reviews unpretty? My cartoon tribute to Georges Melies seemed pretty enough for The Cinematheque Quebecois. They bought the original art from my giddy, consumerist, zombie ass for inclusion inside their prestigious, world-renowned film archives.
Snubdom.com originated September 2000 as a way to draw people to my band's 20th anniversary Halloween show by posting a '98 book proposal for SNUB: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN DEVICES (THE BAND THAT NEVER "WAS") along with archival pictures. Therein lies the meat of Snubdom; the chronicling of an underlooked bubble in Canadian post-punk counterculture you'd think the likes of BROKEN PENCIL would find pertinent, being such championers of "Canadian content." Overlooking this aspect of Snubdom, among others, leads me to believe Evan's happy to simply skim surfaces. Evan lacks insight.
I sure crammed for examination readying myself up for last Thursday's GASHES show. Almost overstayed my welcome insisting on extra jams. Filling in on drums for them was a puddle of fun. I emailed them the next day how much of a weird night I thought it was; "Not your typical GASHES show; not as many people as usual. I told you I was a curse." Someone said they thought we looked all dark, pissed off & like we hated each other's guts because no one smiled, I was the direct opposite of (regular drummer) Katie because she comes across happy-go-lucky & smiles a lot whereas I was all dressed in black doldrums. During our cover of Modern Lover's ROADRUNNER, a drunken, grinning Chris (Crackpot, Nutsak) Burns kept flashing the goddamn "stage lights" (actually just a ceiling light fixture above the band, next to the can) on & off for a stupid light show effect & it was REALLY fucking me up for some reason. I think it's because the beat I was doing was SO basic "ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO, etc…" that when the lights went ON, OFF, ON, OFF, ON, OFF, & NOT in unison with my beat, it tripped me up like some kind of weird dyslexia. It's funny in retrospect how fucken fragile I was to it. Struggling to stay in beat, I turned my head towards Chris, he was off to my side & I screamed at the top of my lungs "Chris!!! Chris!!!" He finally looked at me & I nodded NO!!! & he stopped. He must've apologized a hundred times after the show. Someone's flashing camera bulb kept threatening to throw me off too. White light would sear my retina for a good 3 or 4 seconds. Maybe it's 'cause I was wearing shades. Weird. I miss drumming already.
Guitarist Suhrid e-mailed back; "Yo Rick, da show was fun. I had a good time, even though I was depressed & wah-wah. People liked us. Relatively poor turnout can eat my dick 'cuz we had more space to do our thang and the people who were there are worthy of having an opinion about us. 'Til the future Rick. Thanks a lot for yr help, it was greatly appreciated. you ROCKED & we're really glad to have you as a friend and honorary Gash. I'm gonna give u a shout so we can hang out n shit."
Now go check out the GASHES' brand new website
Kraft Dinner slammed!
"Sorry you didn't like the KMAC review, most other people did, but then again, we know Bruce (Carlton, who wrote the article), and really, when the guy moves to Vietnam and still eats his KMAC, well, I think there's something you have to appreciate there. Maybe you just have to know Bruce."
I responded: "I actually liked the KMAC review, It's just that as I was writing my review of PUNK I was actually very broke & wondering what the hell I was gonna put inside me for nutrition until my next paycheck. I realized Kraft Dinner was really the last thing I'd want (it's not too hearty). I've learned to make REAL cheap homemade batches of spaghetti & meat sauce that I can stretch almost a week (& freeze leftovers). I was trying to be funny saying that RAMEN NOODLES are better than KD because I read somewhere once that those noodles are actually pretty damn bad for you (maybe even worse for you than KD) if you eat too much."
March 1, 2001
FUNNYBOOK REVIEW: PUNK MAGAZINE'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE!
William Burroughs: "I always thought a punk was someone who took it up the ass" -from Please Kill Me
Editor/publisher John Holmstrom debuted "PUNK" MAGAZINE in '75 w/Legs (Please Kill Me) McNeil back when the P-word was barely being bandied about. And as if to bring "the word" back home & put it to rest, the new issue includes a legit ad for the nonprofit Stop Prison Rape Inc. (where the proceeds from their CBGB's benefit/launch went). PUNK MAGAZINE was always homely as hell & that's precisely what made it so inspiring, at times so regional it's alienating (#1 in the current Punk Top 99 for example, is a radio show I doubt anyone outside NYC's heard of), but the band-next-door manner that its stars-to-be were portrayed in initiated a "punk" credo. Holmstrom hand-lettering most of PUNK & illustrating interviews w/cartoon renditions was D.I.Y. pioneering that made it feasible to wanna attempt likewise in your own hometown. PUNK'S roster of cartoonists, by intention or default, encapsulated an ethos that instantly differentiated them from yesteryear's undergrounders rooted in 60's counterculture. Holmstrom's next venture, COMICAL FUNNIES, would solidify this bent by introducing the work of reknowned, funny-ha-ha, like-minded gagster, Peter Bagge (HATE) among others.
I can not tell a lie. Much to my surprise, without any visual aids, at the drop of a needle I used to be able to effortlessly pop a boner & masturbate to the B side of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS' 45 rpm single "What do I get?"/"Nobody Knows" without even having to sneak peeks at the sleeve, which came with a photo of the band centered around leggy, high-heeled singer Niagara's frayed black leather miniskirt & slender boustier (pictured right). "Where I come from, nobody knows, Where I'm going everybody goes," she'd moan, intertwining w/ex-STOOGES Ron Asheton & ex-MC5 Michael Davis' slishy, sweaty, swishy, sloshing guitars. It made me feel all squishy inside. I bought the single in the late 70's as I was undergoing a turbulent, testosterone-fueled tizzy in the groinial area, but something sensual about her disenchanted purring & cooing, building up to multiple crescendos/climaxes summoned me to attempt to ejaculate in unison. Detroit's D.A.M. put a cheesy teen spell on my wiener like no other band's been able to since. So when spring '79's (final) issue of PUNK MAGAZINE came out, its Niagara centerfold graced my lurid walls for a good 15 years (I still have the mildewed pages). Unfortunately, this year's brand new 25TH anniversary issue of PUNK went seriously wrong by featuring a scoop on Niagara without including any updated centerfold for me to put up the next couple decades (recent pics prove her to be perfectly preserved a quarter century later). They did update their Mac & Cheese review though, once again rating Kraft Dinner™ a no-contest winner. But what used to get a smug chuckle out of me decades ago makes me flinch nowadays. I used to eat KD™ by the bucketload. It's not good eatin'. I've outgrown it. I don't find "poor people food" cute anymore because little did I realize back then that into my mid-life I'd still be cashing in rolled pennies, stretching dollars for days. So the last thing I'm gonna try & survive on is fucken KD™ because I don't wanna end up in the hospital. Besides, KD™ costs too much. It's Ramen Noodles™ for me or nuthin'.
Personal picks I sent in the nick of time to another old staple of the magazine, the PUNK TOP 99 (which moved to HIGH TIMES magazine as the "HEMP 100" when Holmstrom had a stint there) actually made it onto their latest list. In the "MUSIC" category, I signed up The Shangri-Las, who scored # 49, while S Club 7 (hey, I got a thing for Hannah, OK?) & Royal Trux were nowhere to be found. In the "MADNESS" category, Powerpuff Girls made #53, Smokey Stover (the comic) #87 & David Cronenberg #96. And in "MISCELLANY," Big Turk (the chocolate bar) made #61 & Mousetrap (the game) #77, but Guru Energy Drink (tastes like crap but works like coffee) didn't. Maybe they don't sell it in the States.
Debbie Harry: "J. Holmstrom & his living cartoon creature, Legs McNeil, were two maniacs running around town putting up signs that said, "Punk is coming! Punk is coming!" We thought, Here comes another shitty group with an even shittier name." -from Please Kill Me
Visit PUNK online for ordering info.