:: Buzzwords Archive: August 2008. Click here for the latest posts.

The Funnies (published 24/08/2008)

dennismenance.jpgBen Myers celebrates 70 years of The Beano: “Thomson’s family business that gave us characters such as the proto-punk Dennis the Menace and riot grrl forerunner Minnie the Minx, two children whose entire lives are geared towards taking on the adult world (and therefore the establishment). Teachers, parents and policemen – no one is safe from their catapults, pranks and stink bombs. Then there are the anarchicBash Street Kids, who offer a cross section of your modern comprehensive school class, and whose teacher is as harassed, persecuted or intimidated as any teacher today. Many of their strips ended in a mass brawl. Such messages should be applauded. Children aren’t stupid. They know when they’re being patronised by the fluff of softer comics or literature.” + The Walrus talk to Seth [reviewed on 3:AM here]: “Cartoon storytelling is all about rhythm (much like poetry). A cartoonist has to be concerned with time and rhythm. It’s part of the job. It is the underlying drive of why and how you stack those little boxes up on a page to make the story move. I often think the most difficult part of coming to understand cartooning is figuring out how to pace the story.” [via Journalista] + The Daily Cross Hatch interview Nate Powell (whose Sounds of Your Name I loved): “I dreamed up Swallow Me Whole almost in its entirety in one night in October 2001.” + Phil Jupitus sees the world in four panels + Jamie Hewlett & Alan C Martin‘s The 16s, “where Tank Girl meets Snoopy “ + Comic Book Resources speak with Jason Lutes about Berlin: “I wanted to humanize German people. I wanted to have a counteraction of that great weight of villainy and evil that’s been placed on the German people, and somewhat deservedly. It’s such an easy way to objectify and distance yourself from something. The more you point your finger at something else, you aren’t going to recognize when you behave that way in some small way. I also knew the more I read that Berlin was the most progressive city on earth. There was freedom of thought and expression and ideas. They had more going on in art and science and philosophy. And then I was interested in the Weimar Republic as a political experiment. They bit off more than they could chew, but it was a pretty impressive attempt to forge a democracy out of the ashes. I just became fascinated in the story of why things went the way they did. World War II happened and all you hear about is the war itself. But I wanted to figure out why. That’s what interested me more.” + Tintin & his penis.

You Will Not See This Again (published )

reviewfront.jpgTim Adams in today’s Observer on Darby Crash and The Germs:

In 1975, Paul Beahm, a 17-year-old, high-school dropout from West Los Angeles, whose brother had been murdered over a drug deal and whose stepfather had died unexpectedly three years earlier, devised a plan to make himself immortal. The plan would have the timeframe of his hero David Bowie’s apocalyptic anthem ‘Five Years’. It went like this: Beahm would form a band with his mates, spend a couple of years making it a cultish, outrageous live act, release one great album and then commit suicide to secure his legend.

Beahm proved himself as good as his word. His band, the Germs, with Beahm performing under the name Darby Crash, were, for a while, the most infamous punk band on the West Coast. By 1978, their appearances were occasions of such mayhem that they were routinely broken up by riot police. The Germs’ only album, (GI) (Germs Incognito), released in 1979, was widely acclaimed as a brutal masterpiece (an ‘aural holocaust,’ the LA Times suggested). And, as planned, on 7 December 1980, Darby formed a suicide pact with his then girlfriend, Casey Cola. They lay down together in her mother’s back room and injected themselves with the $400-worth of heroin they had bought with the last of their rent money. Crash died, Cola survived.


The one thing that did not go according to plan, however, was the timing of Darby Crash’s self-mythologising exit. Icons are not supposed to be upstaged, but on the day after Crash killed himself, John Lennon was murdered in Central Park and the world found a more genuine legend to mourn. …

…Hardly a day went by without Crash telling anyone who would listen of his five-year plan, but he was so full of life that people hardly believed him.

As Pat Smear subsequently recalled: ‘Darby was very specific about how and when he was going to kill himself. When we were rehearsing for the reunion show he said, “The only reason I’m doing this is to get money to get enough heroin to kill myself with.” He’d said that so many times I just said, “Oh, right…” and didn’t think about it any more.’

Crash’s Nancy Spungen was Casey Cola. In a book about his life that Brendan Mullen put together, she remembered that last night with a horrible kind of teenage naivety. ‘Both of us were like, “Are you sure?” “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure, if you’re going to do it.” It was like putting two kids in a room and they end up maybe doing something they wouldn’t do alone… he hit me up first and he said, “Are you OK?” and I said, “Um… yeah.” I was sitting up and he put his hand at the small of my back and said, “Just hold it, stay there – just wait for me OK?” He held me up for a second, then he hit himself up; then he laid himself against the wall and pulled me to him. It was almost like he forgot what he was going to do and then he realised, and he said, “Wait a minute”, then he kissed me and said, “Well, bye.” Everything was cool, both of us were in agreement and we were happy with what we were doing.’ …

Further: 3:AM‘s 2002 interview with Brendan Mullen, author of Lexicon Devil / Official website / What We Do Is Secret / Decline Of Western Civilization parts one and two

Listening Post (published 21/08/2008)


Tony White, author of Foxy-T and Science Museum writer-in-residence, is hosting a short story workshop next Tuesday (26th August) inspired by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin’s ‘Listening Post’.

Listening Post immerses the viewer in a rhythm of computer-synthesised voices reading, or singing out, a fluid play of uncensored and unedited real-time text fragments sampled from thousands of live, unrestricted internet chatrooms, bulletin boards and other online public forums. Listening Post asks the question: what might 100,000 people chatting online actually sound like? In the words of the artists, ‘the messages start to form a giant cut-up poem’.

Inspired by Listening Post, this workshop explores the use of experimental writing techniques such as cut-ups to create completely new works of fiction. Participants will be required to bring an A4 notebook or laptop (however you usually write!), and a number of easily obtainable items in order to participate in the workshop. You will use these few items to create a new short story from scratch in one day. Completed stories may be published on the Science Museum website.

Listening Post workshop with Tony White
Tuesday 26th August, 09:45 to 17:00
The Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7
FREE, but pre-booking essential

Scag lover (published )

The second trailer for Tony O’Neill‘s forthcoming novel, Down and Out on Murder Mile, out in November.

Further: States of Nostalgia & Ghosting Around, interviews with Tony O’Neill / ‘Friday Night at Paco’s Crackhouse’ & ‘Ghost Town’, stories by Tony O’Neill / ’17 Lines in Defense of Brutalism’, a poem by Tony O’Neill

Paper, scissors, art (published 20/08/2008)


Issue two of The Newpaper out. A “newspaper about artists and writers who make work using the language, visuals or structure of newspapers”, and described by 3:AM‘s Heidi James as a “broadsheet that Brion Gysin would have produced, given half a chance,” it includes work by Michalis Pilcher [above], Matt Bryans and Vibeke Tandberg.

3:AM Top 5: Steve Finbow (published )


Steve Finbow is a Londoner (but plans to move to Tokyo). He has worked for the artist Richard Long, the biographer Victor Bockris, and was researcher/editor for the poet Allen Ginsberg. He blogs as The Glass Hombre, runs the show at Red Peter and is 3:AM Magazine’s newest editor. To celebrate, Steve tells us he is currently listening to:

1. ‘Mykonos’ – Fleet Foxes
2. ‘I Don’t Want To Die (In A Hospital)’ – Conor Oberst
3. ‘Servo’ – Brian Jonestown Massacre
4. ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ – Vampire Weekend
5. ‘Alex Chilton’ – The Replacements

Bonus Tracks / Steve’s all-time favourites

‘Piss Factory’ – Patti Smith
‘Observatory Crest’ – Captain Beefheart
‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ – The Ramones
‘Poe’ – The Shirts
‘Final Day’ – Young Marble Giants