Keeping the Beat

Jack kerouac

 Originally reviewed in May 2002 at the Thirteenth Street Repertory.)

The wistfully lyrical “Jack Kerouac — Last Call” is really meant for Beat Generation fans only, but if that’s you, it will reward you well.

We see Kerouac sitting alone next to a bottle of Johnnie Walker and a plastic cup, doing what he did best in the later years of his life — drinking and brooding. Approaching the end of his life, he’s visited by his past and his future, as it were — the past in the form of literary pals Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg, the future in the form of two biographers deciding how to portray him for posterity.

The play is more about impressions of Kerouac than revelations about him. It conveys some sense of his passion for life and people, his free-associative, jazzlike writing style, and his alcoholic breakdown. Even more, as he spars with his writing pals over the past, we get a feeling for how he bridged Cassady’s free spirit and Ginsberg’s intellect without ever equaling either one in these respects. We’re meant to see the “On the Road” author’s achievements and originality through the melancholy perceptions of a sad and dying middle-aged man.

John Jordan does a capable job as Kerouac, while Kyle Pierson plays the more macho, adventurous anti-intellectual Cassady and Gavin Smith is nebbishy as Ginsberg. It helps to have a little knowledge about the characters involved (at least you should know that Ginsberg was openly gay, the other writers were not above sleeping with one another whether technically bisexual or whatever, and Kerouac is well known to have drunk himself to death while living miserably with his mother). The play is not likely to stimulate an interest in the Beat writers in audience members who don’t know them, but for those who do, it tries to give a deeper feeling for their most prominent member’s life, death, spirit and what he’s left to us today.

MAY 16, 2002


The Joke’s Over: Memories of Hunter S. Thompson


On the 20 February 2005, a gunshot rang out on a farm in Colorado that echoed around the world. Dr Hunter S Thompson had committed suicide. His final piece of writing: the word ‘counselor’ typed on an otherwise empty page. Thompson’s unique brand of invective-laced journalism, Gonzo (like Tom Wolfe’s New Journalism, but more renegade), discarded traditional reporting rules in favour of a subjective, free-wheeling narrative in which he was the star player. An acute chronicler of America, he was a countercultural icon (particularly at the height of the Watergate era). The “cunning bastard checked out before he had to,” writes Ralph Steadman, “leaving behind a battlefield of unexploded land mines, unused ammunition, guns, powders, salves, several bottles of the cheapest whiskies a self-proclaimed connoisseur would ever want to be seen dead with, uppers, downers, loofahs, quaaludes, a treasure trove of hilarious prose … but he left it to others to clear up the glorious mess.” 

If you’ve never read a book by Hunter S Thompson – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hell’s Angels, The Great Shark Hunt, The Rum Dairy, Better Than Sex – aside from being ashamed of yourself, you can at least comfort yourself with the fact that you’ll be familiar with one of his well-honed mantras: “When the going gets weird, the weird turned pro.” But thank god for small mercies like Ralph Steadman, partner-in-crime for over thirty inglorious years, whose reflections on his time with Hunter keeps the Gonzo spirit alive. His take on Thompson will serve you well as a bluffer’s guide, a Brodie’s Notes if you like on one elegant thug of a wordsmith and a great American man who stood, as Steadman says, as “the antidote to the New Dumb.” From their first assignment together for Scanlan’s Monthly on the 1970 Kentucky Derby (though Pat Oliphant was HST’s first choice), Ralph Steadman was Thomspon’s “hired hitman”, his “psycho-artistic vomit[s]” bringing Hunter’s “exceeding personal, desperately brilliant writings” (as Kurt Vonnegut writes in the introduction) to life. Steadman’s first meeting ended with Thompson macing him in the face, but it was to be the start of a beautiful and twisted friendship. For Steadman, Thompson was “a different animal. He seemed to gain strength from rakish marathons..he learned the balance between living out on the edge of lunacy and apparently normal discourse with everyday events,” convincing “those around him that they were the ones who were mad, irrational or just plain dumb and he was behaving as a decent law-abiding citizen.”  

That get-together made the Kentucky Derby look like Hogarth’s Gin Lane, “the gristle, the blood-throbbing veins” of the crowd, a “savage binge” in the genteel South. Their next, the America’s Cup, was “a defining moment in the evolution of Gonzo,” then it was downhill from here on in. Hunter S Thompson broke all the rules, shitting on everything until his rebellious inclinations were honed to fever pitch for a Rolling Stone assignment, an assignment that was supposed to cover a cop convention and the “fabulous Mint 400” but mutated in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Steadman wasn’t with him on that trip, but:  “It was as though I already knew the story. I had been there before. Not the same place, not the same story, not even in the same skin, but a shock of recognition from a suppressed well of personal experience and personal dread. An exciting resonance with something suicidal emerged and I settled down at my ink-stained drawing board in the back bay-window of our living room on the slightly raised first floor of a Georgian terraced house at 103, New King’s Road, Fulham, London SW6. I dipped my steel pen – now a lethal weapon – into a blood-black cauldron of bile and began, accompanied by beer and brandy chasers, the therapeutic exercise of expunging from my mind all those trapped demons that lay in wait for their mark of recognition, so that they might emerge blinking and grimacing into the harsh daylight of reality. I was there to give them life in whatever form they chose for themselves, like a theatre costume department handing out wigs, gelatine masks and rudimentary skin-tight costumes for each to play its role, as it saw fit.” 

In his introduction to The Joke’s Over (a phrase Thomspon repeated to Steadman a lot over the years, but never more as biting as when he followed it with, “You’ve sucked on my back long enough”) Kurt Vonnegut compares the relationship to a marriage, and like most marriages, things weren’t always peachy between the two men. Steadman is honest about this, claiming “thirty-five years of verbal abuse and criminal usury.” Thomspon was a notorious letter writer (he later moved to fax), and Ralph shares with the reader with some of the wild and angry broadsides the pair exchanged. Writing to Hunter for advise on parenting, Ralph, a “snivelling, hypocritical bastard” according to Thompson, is comforted with: “What the fuck do you think we’ve been doing all these years? Do you think you were getting paid for yr. goddam silly art? No, Ralph. You were getting paid to smash windows. And that is an art in itself. The trick is getting paid for it.” Taken in and flogged like a stray dog (like many who knew Hunter), Steadman came to realise that Hunter was “more into deals than personal affection.” The first cinematic outing for Thomspon was Where The Buffalo Roam (with Bill Murray as the Doctor), a film that attempted the unthinkable: “to catch the abandoned pure essence of Gonzotic madness which can only happen in uncontrolled conditions.” Steadman was stiffed on this project, told by director Art Linston that it was Hunter and Oscar’s relationship that was “an integral part of what’s been happening in American politics since flower and up to Watergate.” In fact, Steadman was kicked repeatedly in the nuts over the years – from being shut out on the copyright deal for the Fear and Loathing drawings (“Where is Winnie the Pooh without its illustrations? Where is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas without its Gonzo drawings?”), to having the drawings stolen ’til, with The Curse of Lono, he realises that the bigger the Gonzo legend grew, the less Steadman was required. In the Eighties his drawings had become baggage to Thompson. Philosophically Steadman writes, “Quite by chance I became a part of this man’s life, more as an infection than a friend. I fooled myself that there was something in me that he found important. Actually, as time went by, he hated the very idea that something as putrid as a cartoon drawing could ever capture the essence of what it was he was trying to describe.” 

Thompson never wrote an autobiography – he didn’t need to, it’s all there in his work:  “He was his own best story.” Yet, despite being the “Mark Twain of the late twentieth century” (an amazing writer), there was plenty of bullshit around Hunter S Thompson. “The gun nut and drug user and heaver consumer of grain alcohol” [Kurt Vonnegut], his ball-breaking displays of boyish high-jinks, Hunter “allowed people to fit into his world in the Owl Farm kitchen as bit-players in a grander scheme of his own design,” people like John Belushi  who “tumbled through one weekend, reeking of fatigue and rocket-fuel adrenaline.” Steadman says: “Shady people of the shadiest kind fascinated Hunter and, like a fly detecting a heap of shit, he would alight, to the manner born, on such a dump. ‘All part of the job, Ralph. You will never learn anything, or stay ahead, unless you mingle, otherwise the dump’s on you.'”  Steadman’s memories of Hunter are a unique insight into not only Steadman’s work, but  the work of Thompson’s and the very essence of Gonzo itself, that “strange kind of magic that appeals to the beast that lurks in the dark heart of most of us.” The letters, drawings and photographs that litter the text in The Joke’s Over serve as battlefield exhibits of the carnage. Playing Sancho Panza to a man that wanted to wake up the world, who lived his live in the fast lane and was “in revolt against life itself all his life,” Steadman is more “just another fish wrap who got lucky.” “Don’t write, Ralph. You’ll bring shame on your family,” Thompson once told him. But Ralph’s “gibberish” (as HST was so prone to calling it) is a berserk, warts-and-all record of an American legend and last word goes to Ralph Steadman: “Let me say it here and now. For all Hunter’s mindless self-indulgence, which is legendary and crude, he always impressed me with his blind, selfless urge to cut out the crony bestiality of modern society and political calumny that scarred that era. He was, for God’s sake, one of us. I believed him, was inspired by him and allowed him in his crusade to do what was necessary. He never let me down and as far as I know, when we were on that ride, whichever one it was, he got from me as good as he gave.”

Susan Tomaselli

Henri Chopin, 1967

henri chopin

It is impossible, one cannot continue with the all-powerful Word, the Word that reigns over all. One cannot continue to admit it to every house, and listen to it everywhere describe us and describe events, tell us how to vote, and whom we should obey.

I, personally, would prefer the chaos and disorder which each of us would strive to master, in terms of his own ingenuousness, to the order imposed by the Word which everybody uses indiscriminately, always for the benefit of a capitol, of a church, of a socialism, etc….

No one has ever tried to establish chaos as a system, or to let it come. Perhaps there would be more dead among the weak constitutions, but certainly there could be fewer than there are in that order which defends the Word, from the socialisms to the capitalisms. Undoubtedly there would be more alive beings and fewer dead beings, such as employees, bureaucrats, business and government executives, who are all dead and who forget the essential thing: to be alive.

The Word has created profit, it has justified work, it has made obligatory the confusion of occupation (to be doing something), it has permitted life to lie. The Word has become incarnate in the Vatican, on the rostrums of Peking, at the Elysee, and even if, often, it creates the inaccurate SIGNIFICATION, which signifies differently for each of us unless one accepts and obeys, if, often, it imposes multiple points of view which never adhere to the life of a single person and which one accepts by default, in what way can it be useful to us? I answer: in no way.

Because it is not useful that anyone should understand me, it is not useful that anyone should be able to order me to do this or that thing. It is not useful to have a cult that all can understand and that is there for all, it is not necessary that I should know myself to be imposed upon in my life by an all-powerful Word which was created for past epochs that will never return: that adequate to tribes, to small nations, to small ethnic groups which were disseminated around the globe into places whose origins escape us.

The Word today serves no one except to say to the grocer: give me a pound of lentils.

The Word is useful no more; it even becomes an enemy when a single man uses it as a divine word to speak of a problematic god or of a problematic dictator. The Word becomes the cancer of humanity when it vulgarizes itself to the point of impoverishment trying to make words for all, promises for all, which will not be kept, descriptions of life which will be either scholarly or literary which will take centuries to elaborate upon with no time left for life.

The Word is responsible for the phallic death because it dominates the senses and the phallus which are submissive to it; it is responsible for the birth of the exasperated who serve verbose principles.

It is responsible for the general incomprehension of beings who succumb to murders, racisms, concentrations, the laws, etc.

In short, the Word is responsible because instead of making it a way of life we’ve made it an end. Prisoner of the Word is the child, and so he will be all his adult life.

But, without falling into anecdote, one can mention the names of some who insisted upon breaking the bonds imposed by the Word. If timid essays by Aristophanes showed that sound was indispensable- the sound imitative of an element or an animal then -that does not mean that it was sought after for its own sake. In that case, the sound uttered by the mouth was cut off, since it only came from an imagined and subordinated usage, when in fact it is the major element.

It will not be investigated for its importance in the sixteenth century either since it must be molded by musical polyphony. It will not be liberated by the Expressionists since they needed the support of syllables and letters as did the Futurists, Dadaists and Lettristes.

The buccal sound, the human sound, in fact, will come to meet us only around 1953, with Wolmann, Brau, Dufrene, and somewhat later with my audiopoems.

But why want these a-significant human sounds, without alphabet, without reference to an explicative clarity? Simply, I have implied it, the Word is incomprehensible and abusive, because it is in all the hands, rather in all the mouths, which are being given orders by a few mostly unauthorized voices.

The mimetic sound of man, the human sound, does not explain, it transmits emotions, it suggests exchanges, affective communications; it does not state precisely, it is precise. And I would say well that the act of love of a couple is precise, is voluntary, if it does not explain! What then is the function of the Word, which has the pretension to affirm that such and such a thing is clear? I defy that Word.

I accused it and I still accuse it as an impediment to living, it makes us lose the meager decades of our existence explaining ourselves to a so-called spiritual, political, social, or religious court. Through it we must render accounts to the entire world; we are dependent upon the mediocrities Sartre, Mauriac, De Gaulle. They own us in every area; we are slaves of rhetoric, prisoners of explanation that explains nothing. Nothing is yet explainable.

That is why a suggestive art which leaves the body, that resonator and that receptacle, animated, breathed and acted, that + and-, that is why a suggestive art was made; it had to come, and nourish, and in no way affirm. You will like this art, or you will not like it, that is of no importance! In spite of yourself it will embrace you, it will circulate in you. That is its role. It must open our effectors to our own biological, physical and mental potentialities beyond all intellect; art must be valued like a vegetable, it feeds us differently, that is all. And when it gets into you, it makes you want to embrace it. That way the Word is reduced to its proper role subordinate to life; it serves only to propose intelligible usages, elementary exchanges, but never will it canal the admirable powers of life, because this meager canaling, as I have implied, finally provokes usury in us through the absence of real life.

Let us not lose 4/5ths of intense life without Word to the benefit of the small l/5th of verbiage. Let us be frank and just. Let us know that the day is of oxygen, that the night eliminates our poisons, that the entire body breathes and that it is a wholeness, without the vanity of a Word that can reduce us.

I prefer the sun, I’m fond of the night, I’m fond of my noises and of my sounds, I admire the immense complex factory of a body, I’m fond of my glances that touch, of my ears that see, of my eyes that receive…. But I do not have to have the benediction of the written idea. I do not have to have my life derived from the intelligible. I do not want to bc subject to the true word which is forever misleading or Iying, I can stand no longer to be destroyed by the Lord, that lie that abolishes itself on paper.



A collective expression of Brian Ho, Paul Koh, Michelle Chang and Wahyuni A. Hadi
They found them – these lost and discarded μnon-collectibles. 4 artists discovered them on the streets of Singapore and captured them on film, print and canvas. A sublime connection between these μnon-collectiblesξ is immediately apparent ρ when, how and why they became dispossessed, nobody knows. But they were certainly once made a beauty, or born a beauty – that much we know.

SAM TAYLOR-WOOD – The Last Century, 2005

Posted On November 10, 2006

Filed under adult, Beat, Blogroll, books, jesus, poetry, review, short stories, tech

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DVD. Duration 7 minutes 12 seconds.

by: Sam Taylor-Wood

Bram Stoker’s Chair VI, 2005

C-print. Image size: 48 x 38 in. (121.9 x 96.5 cm).

by: Sam Taylor-Wood

Waking Life poster

Posted On November 6, 2006

Filed under adult, Beat, books, jesus, poetry, review, short stories, tech

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waking life poster

The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because, if you can do that, you can do anything.

Interview with Artist Steve Brudniak

Posted On October 30, 2006

Filed under adult, Beat, books, jesus, poetry, review, short stories, tech

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 steve brudniak

Steve Brudniak Bio

 Steve Brudniak was born in Topeka Kansas in 1961 and later raised in Houston Texas where he graduated from high school in 1979. An early interest was cultivated in film, writing, acting, performance and music production beginning around age eleven. After a short stint working in the graphic arts industry, he opened Victorian Recording Studios in 1981 and began making assemblage sculpture infused with science elements at about the same time. By the late 80’s the work was gaining exposure and making its way into important collections including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and local and international art publications such as Art in America.Steve moved to Austin Texas in 1988 and began full time production. In 1999 a five-year home/studio construction project took precedent during which time little art was made or shown. Full-scale production has resumed since 2005 with a new body in the making and plans for a tour of the work.

Brudniak remains involved in experimental performance, music, and percussion and in film making and acting and can be seen in Rick Linklaters Waking Life and other films.

Today, books, calendars, documentaries, films and hundreds of publications and web sites feature his assemblages which can be found in the collections of the San Antonio Museum of Art, The El Paso Museum of Art and The Art Museum of South Texas at Corpus Christi as well as in the Houston Museum and many private and corporate collections world wide. 

Any plans on writing/illustrating a novel based on your artwork? If you get a chance I’d recommend “Exquisite Pain” by Sophie Calle and “The Book of Shadows” by Don Paterson, it’s one of my favourites containing hundreds of reflections and aphorisms on love, God, art sex, death, work and the spirit, imagination and conduct of the human animal. 

There’s a George Orwell ready made novel waiting to be, I just need to fill in between the props… 

Sophie Calle interchanges text from her books and the art she makes, if I understand correctly, and she writes observations about strangers she follows around! Fun stuff! I love writing, but I’m not ready for fiction to become the art part of any book based on the sculptures. I’ve pulled off some screenplays, short stories, bad poetry, the unfinished novel and recently co creating an animated series with King of the Hill director Wes Archer, but writing for me is just not linkable to the sculpture. 

I think it’s a good idea though Sean. I have thought of doing a coffee table book or some sort of catalog that might contain stories that pertain to the pieces: The Imogene Icon,  which uses a Tesla coil to shoot lightning bolts knocked me out in The Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, jolted a guy across a magic venue in Houston and caught on fire next to a Rauschenberg in the San Antonio Art Museum! …. Once the artist William Wegman claimed to see his deceased dog Man Ray in my Vunderglas sculpture… True stories!  I don’t know …though I have included some stuff like that in notes on the web site that are probably a bit more Don Pattersonesque. 

Since “Waking Life” do you feel that you’ve been pigeon holed as the guy from the Linklater film? Or do you see it as an extension of what you’ve always been doing? 

Well, I started in film doing my own thing when I was 13 and have been involved in some kind of entertainment/art oriented project since then. I just performed in the 70s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar in the role of Ciaphus, “We need him crucified; it’s all you have to do!” I’ve been a musician for years and ran a studio in the 80s. 

Waking Life was a fantastic but small part that was me playing myself and saying something revised out of philosophical conversations I had with Rick in preproduction. I’m more of a documentary film star! Waking life gets all the Google action, Google might pigeonhole me but I’m primarily known as an assemblage artist in the rest of the world. 

The myth of “lucid dreaming” do you think it’s possible? 

Absolutely. I’ve had the experience now a couple of times. Part of the instruction for inducing lucid dreaming is to be aware of the concept and thinking about it daily. I had my first not too long after the film came out.   I merely found myself standing outside a warehouse where a party was happening. I was next to a group of people aware that I was dreaming and someone handed me a joint, which I took and looked at then threw aside thinking how I was already high with the experience. I couldn’t keep it going and woke up. It was a most amazing thing and reminded me of the dissolution of self, experienced in meditation or through certain psychoactive experiences. Linklater actually loaned me a device that you wear over your eyes at night that alerts you with a red light flashing that you’re in an REM state.  I haven’t gotten through the instructions yet. 

The essential lucid dreaming read would be Stephen LaBerges Lucid Dreaming. 


Any new projects or exhibitions we should know about? 

Right now I’ve got pieces in shows at the Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi and also at the El Paso Museum of Art. Both shows are selections from the museums collections and both have put out nice catalogs that I’m sure you can order. You can get more details on my site news page. See how I’m skilfully spamming the interview??! 

I’m also working on a new piece that will use a similar technique that I used to make the Canal Dreams edition. I’ve sent you some pics if you wish to share. 

Any artists or books you’d recommend? 

Humm…well here in Texas one of my favourite painters is Lloyd Walsh.  Lloyds work made me cry once. Lemurs with paisley fur, cigarette smoking butterfly…its all too much. 

How bout Jessica Joslin? 

Is she out of her mind? There_s some vision! 

I’m so missing a good fiction…its sad. My last year of reading has almost entirely revolved around eastern philosophy and spirituality. Getting all the anx out with art isn’t cutting it. I’m reading Zen Mind Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, who was a Buddhist monk. 

A very elegant and lenient discussion into Zen practices. 

Eckhart Tolle is the incredibly popular new pop guru who has taken the concept of enlightenment as well and turned it into something understandable and accessible. This guy has some kind of power. He just came out with “A New Earth” following the simple, elegant “The Power of Now”   Stuff that changes ya! 

For fiction, next, I’m looking foreword to reading Dao Strom’s The Gentle order of Girls and Boys . Dao is a friend who also gained a lot of attention in the last few years with Grass Roof Tin Roof 

Do you feel it’s all too easy getting caught up in the rat race and forgetting what’s actually important? Does the business side of being an artist clash with the day-to-day routine of what you do? 

So this week after having to find and repair the source of water trickling from the side of my studio, I’m being forced to restructure my price list prematurely because of some requests I’m getting…having to redo interviews because my hard drive crashed…heh. I do enjoy the business side to a degree and that itself is another art form. I can organize slides all day long and run the scanner or schmooze at an opening but id rather be chopping up iron and preserving bacteria or squids in little chambers. Most of my life is getting the stuff out of the way so I can get to the stuff that’s in the way of making art. 

I find it hard to believe that some people claim to never of had a dream? (Thoughts whilst asleep) I know we’ve briefly touched on this before, but do you think that you’re past experiences/dreams influence your work? 

To share with your readers what we touched on:  Please refer again to the Canal Dreams edition. The one called Canals at the Institute came from a dream that led me through a beautifully landscaped path up a hill along a waterway to a building. Oddly enough last month I took a trip to the San Antonio zoo with some friends and within a few minutes was faced with a scene that looked just as my dream had. A walk up a hill with the same stream along side led to almost the same structure at the top. I immediately realized that I had imprinted the memory from a trip my family had taken to San Antonio and the zoo there when I was 7. Story for the book… 


From what I’ve read, you take great pleasure in taking art out of the studio and actively encouraging people to create something, why do you feel it’s important that regardless of education or background it’s ok to be creative? 


Of course it’s always ok to be creative. If you’re referring to how the art world sees a non-degreed artist then yes it can be more difficult to get by.   I have managed to do what I want without a degree and have lectured and conducted workshops at universities where students ask the same ironic question. I will inevitably tell them that creativity and ideas are not taught but that school can bring a lot of influence and opportunity and more importantly tools to be creative with.  I think a good educator will provide technique and technical support first, with less emphasis on content.  The sad thing is to hear someone say they love to paint but don’t, because they don’t think anyone will like the work.  An artist is one who loves to make art.  When I’m lost in making something; like when the world disappears and I’m not separate from what I’m doing, that is when I am a successful artist.  

When I sold a piece for $10,000, then I was a successful businessman. 


Throughout history artists/writers have passed on a message or recorded a moment whether it be something good or bad, in say 40 or 50 years time when your work is still being viewed in galleries or in books what message do you want to pass on? 

The same message I try to pass on while I’m still alive with my work: To bring the viewer a moment of stillness.  To convey the same getting lost experience that brought me to make it. Some of the pieces have lofty titles and or may represent spiritual or psychological concepts but the reaction on a subconscious level is more important to me. Visual art has tried to become something more than it can be in the last 20 years.  The true power of visual art is getting swamped in concept, marketing and ego these days. In a purely visual, audible or tactile art experience the senses become an unedited entry into the consciousness. Words and concepts will have little meaning and can become mere crutches if the object hasn’t conveyed power standing alone. 

What else would I want to say to the world? 

Oh! Let’s put an end to these senseless wars and my deepest apologies to the world for our out of control Bush administration.

Peter Bagge interview

 peter bagge

 Peter Bagge interview

Any plans on having a “Bagge” art exhibition in the UK? Similar to the Robert Crumb exhibition?

That would have to be someone else’s idea — someone in a position to pull it off, that is, since my wanting something like that to happen wouldn’t be enough to pull it off. If someone did want to exhibit my work in the UK I wouldn’t be opposed, though

Did you have any in-put on the design of the HATE mini punk toys?

Yes, I drew and designed them all, though I had to keep the art confined into the very odd shapes they come in.

If you were to release a HATE music compilation CD, what would your first 5 tracks be?

They whole thing would probably sound just like my “Rockin’ Poppin’ Favorites” CD comp EMI put out a few years ago.

How have you evolved as a writer with your continued work on HATE?

Jeez, that’s a tough one. I’m more concise and thoughtful now, and less angry and manic than I used to be. Whether that’s a change for the better is a matter of opinion. It’s all a reflection of my age more than anything else.

What is your ideal story, or rather, what makes a good story?

No ONE theme makes for an ideal story, anything that’s grounded in a realistic setting involving people conflicting and overreacting to their situations seems to work best for me. That’s my most successful “formula.”

From the point of view of an indie comic creator, where do you see the comic book industry heading?

Right now it’s getting away from the relatively cheap periodical format and switching to the more expensive square bound book format. Getting comics into more bookstores is great, but I don’t like seeing the traditional format fade away, since I much prefer it myself.

How would it feel to have one of your projects made into a movie?

It’d feel fine, esp. if it turned out well and made me lots of money.

Will we ever see a one off special based on Buddy’s next-door neighbor – Jimmy Foley?

I doubt it. He’s too repulsive to have his own comic.

You once recommended Ward Suttons – ink blot – & Marc Bells – The Mojo Action Companion. Anyone else new on the scene we should know about?

Johnny Ryan’s ANGRY YOUTH COMICS and Lorna Miller’s WITCH. Those are two good ones.

Given unlimited time, money, and materials, what would your ideal project be?

A comic book.

What has been your favourite experience in your drawing career?

Getting to make my own comic books.

If you could no longer be an artist , what would you choose as a career?

A landlord.

How are things going with “The Action Suits”?

Ha! I retired from the music biz 8 years ago, and the Actions Suits Ended about 7 years ago.

Can you think of anything else I might have missed?

Just tell everyone to go to my website ( and read all about my many new and on-going projects!

Just FU@#ING DO IT!!!

send us your work!!!!

We need your reviews!!!! Send your words over to clearly marked “orthogonal review” you know it makes sense!!!

also vist:

Winamop; conceived on a whim, run on a shoestring, ignored by the many, loved by the few; has continued unabashed since 2003.

Very cool site!

and since you cats, dogs and hairy off-beat rebels are clicking like a bat out of…….Birmingham??? visit:

:blowback has become a term of art acknowledging that the unconstrained, often illegal, secret acts of the United States in other countries can result in retaliation against innocent American citizens. The dirty tricks agencies are at pains never to draw the connection between what they do and what sometimes happens to those who pay their salaries.  

The Disappearance and the Slow Awakening

Posted On October 15, 2006

Filed under adult, Beat, books, jesus, poetry, review, short stories, tech

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The Disappearance and the Slow Awakening

 Review by Olutayo K. Osunsan

Tony R. Rodriguez’s The Disappearance and the Slow Awakening” is an energetic display of life in a collage of events. It overflows with the essence of humanity. Desi (Desmond) Marquiso, the main character in “The Disappearance and the Slow Awakening”, speaks to the heart of every man in love, every man torn between right and wrong. Some of his ordeals remind me that humans have the same single thread running through us all: the thread of curiosity that can sometimes be rebellious. It’s never certain if it pulls us away or draws us back to God.  

The characters are developed, mature and some are even real enough to be someone we might know or someone we would not like to meet. Conflicting characters like Elena and Stratton can always bring insight into focus — some friends are not worth keeping, others will bring out the best in us.  

This book is not only a spiritual voyage; it is also a human journey. It gives us the right to dream and the freedom to always make things right no matter how late. It leaves the reader beaming by the turning of the final page. “The Disappearance and the Slow Awakening” is a delight to read. 

Tony R. Rodriguez crafts his words to make everyday life carry more promise. His characterization and dialogue are brutally honest. They make a reader nod to his eloquent voice. 

Olutayo K. Osunsan, author of “Strange Beauty”

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