Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Jack Frost

I’m helplessly fond of ’80s & ’90s Hollywood films with animatronic puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, and large fake snowy landscapes constructed on soundstages. Which is why, during the holidays, I finally watched Jack Frost—yes, Jack Frost, the 1998 children’s movie starring Michael Keaton as a hideous animatronic snowman.

And I survived to tell the tale! Jack Frost isn’t as terrible as some (like Roger Ebert) have made it out to be, but at the same time it isn’t great, either—it’s mediocre. So I’m not writing this to recommend that you watch it. It’s hardly as good as true classics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman Returns. But at the same time, it has its charms, which I will spell out in extravagant detail after the jump.



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I could swear that, a while back, I published a short story that I made by cutting up and rearranging panels from Beetle Bailey cartoons. But I can no longer find it online, so I present below the epic “Sarge’s Big Day.”


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The Wolverine

The words above him are from some French homework, translating an interview with Foucault.

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Here, right here, click right here to see this film. It’s a punk ballet. It’s 86 minutes long.

I’ve written about this magnificent film here & here.

More can also be found here & here & here. You will not find it in the history books but who cares? It’s a secret history. Like Jack Smith!

It’s the Real Art History.

Please whatever you are doing, take the time to watch this film this very second. Do not put it off another day!

Because if you do, your skin will fester and blister and fall off. And also you will be at risk of dying without having seen one of the most beautiful movies to be seen, and that will be sad.

Also,  it is my dream that everybody living on the earth will see this film. And so I want to organize a screening.

And so if anyone reading this now wants to help make this dream a dream-come-true, please contact me.

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Photograph by Martin Schoeller

Photograph by Martin Schoeller

I’ve had my pocket picked. It happened a few years ago in downtown Chicago (the Loop). As I was leaving a sushi place, two men walked over to me. One stepped in front of me and one stepped behind me. The man in front paused in the doorway, dropping the smoothie he was carrying. He apologized and fumbled with the cup, as though trying to mop up the mess. The other man pressed up behind me, as though he hadn’t been paying attention, and was trying to walk through the door. He was carrying his coat over his arm, I remember. I noticed him but my attention was focused on the man in front of me. That guy apologized again, then hurried out the door. The second man pushed past me, and took off in the opposite direction. A few moments later, I realized that my wallet was missing. I hesitated, wondering if I’d left it inside the place. I looked back. By the time I decided I really had been robbed, both men were gone.

The two guys were pretty clumsy, I think (how repeatable is that M.O.?), but I was sufficiently distracted by them, and they got me easily. And this despite the fact they were memorable—I noticed them the second I entered the place, two middle-aged men in nice suits. (They were also black, and when I realized my wallet was missing, I at once chastised myself for thinking that they had stolen it—white liberal guilt in action. Hence my looking back into the place to see if I’d left my wallet on the counter.)

I was reminded of this experience because I recently read Adam Green’s excellent article on Apollo Robbins in The New Yorker. The two of them also made a wonderful short video in which Robbins demonstrates his craft. Many things described in both the article and video rang true for me. The primary tool used in robbing me was directing my attention away from my personal possessions. I also know now (from the article) that the first man was the “stall” or the “stick,” while the second was both the “shade” and the “tool.” (And there might have been even more men operating as part of that outfit, such as a “duke man,” who gets handed the wallet so the other men are clean.)

As for what happened to me and my wallet after the robbery …


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I just found out that he passed away on the 7th. Miller was the man behind Wrapped in Plastic (a Twin Peaks fanzine) and Following Cerebus (a Cerebus fanzine that I have more than a few issues of).

More information here and here. And here is his blog.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Update: Dave Sim’s reaction.

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Lebbeus Woods died

Sorry to see that. My friend Philip turned me on to his work.

He was 72. Obviously he liked designing buildings that looked like they were being attacked by fleas. More about him here. And here’s some of his conceptual art from Alien3.

Godspeed, Lebbeus Woods.

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