The Trouble With Tribbles. By Edward Gorey.

In 1977, a Boston Globe article revealed an interesting tidbit about Edward Gorey’s television watching habits:

Edward Gorey watched television for the first time this summer, or so he claims, and in the process, the 52-year-old artist became a Star Trek fan. He watched the science-fiction program re-runs twice a day, five times a week, and once on the sixth day, and despite the faithful viewing has yet to see the show’s most famous episode, ‘The Trouble With Tribbles,’ which is about these little furry creatures in outer space, or so he says.

Having discovered this information in 2007, cartoonist/writer Shaenon K. Garrity ran with it, imagining what could’ve been had the beloved macabre illustrator taken his fandom one step further. The full result is after the jump, and can be seen at a larger size here. [via Grey_Area]

Appearance at SDCC Today (Saturday), 11am!

Just a quick last-minute reminder for our fellow Comic-KHAAANNNgoers: Nadya, Zoetica and Meredith will be selling and signing copies of Coilhouse 05 from 11am to noon today (Saturday, July 24th) at the Weta booth (#2165 2615). We’ll also bring along copies of 1-4 for folks to peruse, but not to buy, sorry! (Sincerely, we don’t mean to be teases– we figure folks will appreciate at least having a look at these rare, out-of-print editions.) However, everybody should stay tuned to this same bat-channel for news of an upcoming charity auction wherein a full set of Coilhouse Magazines (issues 1-5) will be sold off to the highest Ebay bidder. More on that later this week.

Meanwhile, check out Zo and Mer geeking out with LA WEEKLY columnist Liz Ohanesian about SDCC! Nadya was supposed to participate as well, but was found lying in a crumpled heap next to her laptop shortly before the deadline, unconscious, with an erratic pulse and her responses unfinished. We figure she was either asphyxiated by one of those uber-deadly roving Funyuns nerdfart doom clouds, or sustained internal injuries after being jabbed by a facehugger-on-a-stick. She’s still pretty out of it, but don’t worry– we’re sure she’ll be fine by tomorrow morning. Hope to see some of you there!

The Friday Afternoon Movie: 4

A film for violin nerds on today’s FAM. Tom Slade directs 4, a film that follows four different violinists on four different continents playing one of the world’s most well known compositions, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

4 begins in Spring in Tokyo, with violinist Sayaka Shoji, segueing into Summer in Australia and violinist Niki Vasilakis before moving on to New York in Autumn with Cho-Liang Lin and finally ending in Finland in Winter with Pekka Kuusisto. It’s a quite a journey, though I’ll admit to being partial to Autumn as there really is nothing like New York City in the fall. The show-stopper here, however, is Finland. The scenery on display in this last act is nothing short of stunning.

All of it is accompanied by a beautiful piece of music. Vivaldi was a mainstay for me growing up. My grandmother had studied the violin and graduated from Juilliard before marriage and WWII sidelined those dreams. She had inherited the love of the instrument from an uncle who was a member of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. She had, for a time, tried to pass this love and ability down to me, an endeavor she would abandoned in despair, her oldest grandchild seemingly devoid of any musical talent. Her violin, as it is for many who play I would assume, remains her most prized possession. She has, apparently, stipulated in her will that it must never be sold as doing so will, no doubt, bring down some ancient Hungarian curse upon our family.

The musical aspect, then, was what I found most intriguing about this film for while I love The Four Seasons the musicians here are in possession of a wealth of knowledge that I am completely ignorant of. They make for a fascinating lecture on just what is going on in each movement, what events transpire and what each instrument represents, all facets of the music I was never aware of.

It’s a meditative film, made slightly ominous by each musician noting how the weather seems to be changing. But regardless of such politically charged observations it remains delightfully calming — a soothing musical travelogue. The perfect film for a Friday afternoon.

The End Of History: Beer For Expensive Tastes

For many there is nothing like the taste of an ice cold beer on a hot summer day. For others, there is nothing like the taste of a beer brewed by gnomes on some remote mountain in the Himalayas at a rate of twenty bottles a year. You have met these people, no doubt, and they have explained to you in great depth just why you have never truly tasted an ale until you have quaffed one which has had its ingredients massaged by the tiny, nimble hands of Himalayan gnomes.

For those people Scottish brewery BrewDog has created The End of History. At 55% alcohol by volume it is currently the world’s strongest beer. BrewDog is making 11 bottles of the stuff which will come in two editions: Stoat and Squirrel, priced at $763.00 and $1068.00 respectively, making them also the most expensive beer at the moment. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, the beer comes in bottles — bottles that have been inserted into nattily dressed stuffed stoats and gray squirrels like furry, taxidermy beer-cozies which, at that price, is really the least BrewDog could do for it’s customers. Much higher and I would expect something endangered impaled on my drink or, perhaps, a rhino’s horn bottle opener. Further details, instructions for proper consumption can be found at BrewDog’s website.

via Asylum : Thanks, chesh!

SDCC Signing: Saturday, 11-12. Also: Where to Find 05.


A copy of Issue 05 spotted in the wild by Random_Tangent

An important announcement for San Diego Comic-Con attendees: we will be selling and signing copies of Issue 05 on Saturday, 11 – 12, at the Weta Workshop booth. Issues 01 – 04 will also be on display. See you there!

An important announcement for the readership at large: though Issue 05 sold out in our online shop last week, it is still available in stores nationwide. For the complete list of Borders and Barnes locations where Issue 05 is available, click here.

But if you can support local indie bookstores, that would be best. Here is a list of the ones that we’re aware of. Let us know if you know of other locations in the comments:

Wildilocks
Melbourne, Australia

Mission Comics
San Francisco, CA

Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA

Quimby’s Bookstore
Chicago, IL

Chicago Comics
Chicago, IL

Trident Booksellers & Cafe
Boston, MA

Pegasus Books Downtown
Oakland, CA

Capitola Books Cafe
Capitola, CA

Pages for All Ages Bookstore
Savoy, IL

Baker Books
Dartmouth, MA

Atomic Books
Baltimore, MD

Regulator Bookshop
Durham, NC

The Gem Spa
New York, NY

Magazine Cafe
New York, NY

St. Mark’s Bookshop
New York, NY

Monkey’s Retreat
Columbus, OH

Michael Jackson, Multiplied

It’s been over a year since Michael Jackson’s death. We still haven’t published any sort of commemoration, which may seem a little weird for a site that’s devoted this much real estate to the Jacksons. While I can’t speak for my co-editors, I know that it’s taken me this long to absorb the idea of MJ being dead, let alone write about it. And, honestly, who really wants to add to the deluge?

With all the dismal tabloid dookie and conspiracy theories floating around out there, it’s heartening to see people like Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider simply take inspiration from the once-king of pop and pay tribute with a multi-layered a cappella medley. Though the video looks simple enough, that’s all Sam, with Kurt beat-boxing over to the left. A-dork-able!

God Loves Batman


Rise of “The Pug who Cried Batman” meme: coincidental timing, or eerie foreshadowing of the gibbering shrieks of Westboro loonies at SDCC?

ATTN FELLOW NERD PROM-GOERS… AND BEYOND. Yesterday, Kelly Sue DeConnick posted a brilliant suggestion on her site on how to most gracefully counteract the raving lunacy of the Westboro Baptist Church, should they indeed choose to show their frothing mugs at SDCC later this week:

Okay, so, Fred Phelps and his family of hateful bigots are getting a lot of press for their planned appearance at (or near?) the San Diego Comic Con. The man lives for attention and confrontation. If you see him there, don’t sneer, don’t scream, don’t confront, don’t point and laugh–DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE. Ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore…

EXCEPT! We need some help in the form of a time-keeper or two, letting us know exactly how long the patron saint of backwards thinking and his family manage to stand and scream in the California sun. Then, by all means, do stare–at your watch! Make a note of what time it is and alert the internet that they’re there/still there. (But do it quietly and from a polite distance, will you?) Go get yourself a cold drink and check back every now and then until we have an approximate time count. Like… here would be good. Or on Twitter, with the hashtag #godlovesbatman

Why? Because in the spirit of love, we are pledging to donate $50 to amfAR if Phelps and his crew actually show up (often they don’t) and $10 an hour additional to amfAR for every hour they stay. And we’ll make our donation in Fred’s name.

We’d love you to join us.

(And we’d really love to be able to post a tally of how much we’ve raised.)

Repost far and wide, my pretties.

EDITED TO ADD:

  • Looks like the WBC is only scheduled for 45 minutes. (Lightweights!) If that’s the case, we’ll round up to $100–but times are tough and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do the same or not participate. $7.50 is better than nothing. $57.50 is peachy and cute.
  • There seems to be some confusion–you don’t need to be at SDCC to pledge. We’re doing an online donation via this link.

Entire Criterion Collection offered for half price?!

We don’t often run sale notices on Coilhouse, least of all for the big franchises, but I’ll feel supremely guilty if I don’t share this bit of news with our readers: right now through August 1st, go to any Barnes & Noble (or shop online) and save 50% on every single Criterion film they have in stock. DVDs and Blu-rays. Grey Gardens, Throne of Blood, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Branded to Kill. A massive 25-disc Kurosawa boxed set for 200 bucks. Fellini, Bergman, Cassavetes, Gilliam, Herzog, Hitchcock, Welles, Brakhage, Tarkovsky, Wenders, Tati, and that’s just the very tiniest sampling of names and titles. Everything Criterion still has in print is selling for half off. Holy shitballs.

Offhand, it’s difficult to come up with a more beloved or awe-inspiring catalog than the Criterion Collection. While I can rarely afford these discs at full price, they’re never anything less than a revelation, and I cherish every one I own. It’s film curating of the highest caliber. If you already know, you friggin’ know, and you’re probably on your way out the door. If you don’t know, may I suggest checking out the selection at B&N immediately? You won’t regret it. GO, GO, GO. YEEEEE…

PS: Oh, and while you’re there, feel free to swing by the magazine racks and snap a phone picture of Coilhouse #05, should you happen to find one! (We’ve all been getting a huge kick out of seeing them in the wild.)

A Post Nuclear Life

Donald Weber takes a heart wrenching look at the city of Zholtye Vody in Ukraine. Located near two nuclear waste sites and an enrichment factory in the hub of the Soviet Union’s uranium mining and enrichment area, the homes were built using highly contaminated materials. With a higher radiation level than Chernobyl, over half the population of 60,000 people suffer from some sort of radiation sickness.

Upon first viewing this slide-show I was immediately struck with the strangest memory. Specifically, a memory of being a child, sitting in the ophthalmologist’s office and leafing through a copy of National Geographic which contained a large article on the Chernobyl disaster. The same hollow and broken faces are here in Weber’s essay. There is some joy here too, but it never seems to truly outshine the pain.

The image below was especially affecting and I had mixed feelings posting the set. It struck me that my vision of these post Soviet states is largely informed by images like this — a collection of gnarled women in babushkas, all furrowed brows and vacant stares, and emaciated youths, bald and hurting. It’s a world where lives are lived entirely within tiny, cramped apartments in stark, concrete tenements whose facades and walkways are slowly succumbing to an inexorable army of vegetation. I find myself thinking that there must be more to these people’s lives than this and fearing that there isn’t. I worry that I am passing on a misconception; proliferating a stereotype. I suppose that if the purpose of art is to make us question then, at least in my case, Daniel Weber has succeeded.

Televarieté 1982

Summer’s in full swing on this side of the globe. And while some of us prefer to spend it muttering curses from our dark, igloo-cold habitats, others revel in everything the roasting season has to offer, from scant jumpers to synchronized gymnastics.

For fans of knee socks, stripes and side ponytails everywhere, here’s a gem I’ve been saving for this special time of year. Brought to you by the ever-dauntless Ballet Company of the Czechoslovak Television, this mighty dance number sets out to demonstrate a harmonious marriage of disco and sports. Watch, as these leggy athletes march, kick, and river-dance their way into your heart. Also, look out for inexplicable boxing pantomime around the middle. A choreographic triumph!