This Crazy Stuff

Let me be honest with you, clinic dear, patient beloved readers: I have no idea what “Velvo Finish” is, nor do I care. No, this ad, from the nether regions of Popular Science circa 1958, is posted here solely because of the slick-haired, mustachioed gentleman, so prominently featured. It is because of this man, this unctuous huckster from a by-gone era, that I place this ad in full view, perched high on this hallowed home page in all its glory. Stare deep into his lifeless gaze and accept his wordless invitation to inspect his pubic hair collection.

via Vintage Ads

Happy Birthday, Art Star.

Oh, HAI, gorgeous!

Our Creative Director, the indelible, unstoppable Courtney Riot, is a quarter-of-a-century old today. It’s been an eventful and revolutionary year for the Most Badass Graphic Designer of Her Generation, so let us take a minute to mark the occasion of her birth with solemnly raised fists, and this animated panda gif:

Should ye be feelin’ extra sinister, you can continue to celebrate Courtney’s relentless Reign of Amazingness with a Coilhouse-curated collection of Riotcentric YouTube clips, embedded below.

We love ya, Art Star. Can’t wait to show the world what you’ve got in the works for Issue 06. Have a fantastic day.

Sous La Glace

Via Foxtongue.

Just a blue-haired, help underwater-smoking gayelle mermaid to brighten up your Monday morning. This illustration by Georges Leonnec appeared in risque French magazine La Vie Parisienne in 1926. The magazine was founded in 1863, ambulance relaunched just before World War I, and evolved from a mild-mannered society journal to an erotic magazine of humor, literature and scantily-clad damsels. Many more images from La Vie Parisienne can be seen here, here and here.

Yeah, It’s Kind of Like That.

Coilhouse Magazine production schedule/deadline hell is once again upon us, like WHOA. We’re deep down in it. And, yeah, it really is kind of like this:

Fondly, and with great empathy, this video is offered for the amusement of the entire extended Curlhaus crew. We’ve all been so busy and stressed. We need a good cackle. Do you realize we didn’t even get a chance to celebrate our Three Year Anniversary last month?! Damn.

So c’mere. Get in on this big impromptu group hug. Everybody, now: interns, managers, editors, contributors, distributors, merch-makers, etc. Everyone who is currently wrangling with some aspect of production, scheduling, design, advertising, financing, shipping, liaising, blogging, or crisis-averting. Everyone who’s ill, everyone who’s overwhelmed, everyone who’s hustling. Hang in there, babies.

Hey, readers? Feel free to get in on it, too.  Thanks, as always, for your support and patience. For leaving kind words for us here, on Twatter, on Fartbook, for linking back, for buying merch. For sticking around and standing by when we all inevitably wig out around production time and shit gets a little unhinged. We may all be gnawing our own lips off right now, but we can’t wait to share what’s coming next with you.

Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic, a big, big love.

Merch Sale Ends This Wednesday, Midnight PST

Last week, we announced a new line of fund-raising merchandise: a poster, a scarf, a mug, and an array of buttons. Even Issue 05 and our Inform Inspire Infect hoodie are back by popular demand, all to help us make Issue 06 a worthy successor to the bling-a-licious 05. A big THANK YOU to everyone who’s pillaged our store so far. The sale ends this Wednesday at midnight PST, so if you plan to load up on Coil-goods, dally not!

Benefit Ebay Auction: FULL SET OF COILHOUSE 01-05!


We know there’s a lot of demand for all of the out-of-print issues of Coilhouse Magazine. Unfortunately, there’s just no way we can financially swing reprinting 01-04 at this point in time. We are looking into revamping past issues for various e-reader formats –which, obviously, we know isn’t quite the same– but it’s something. If anybody would like to give us some constructive feedback regarding that idea or other viable alternatives to make our previous editions available, please give ’em here in comments.

Meanwhile, some of you may be interested to know that I’ve just put a full run of Coilhouse Magazine 01-05  up for auction on Ebay –donated from my own limited personal stash– to help out a cherished friend with mounting medical bills. Her name’s Whitney Moses; I met her several years ago via our mutual chum Amanda Palmer. Over the years, Whittles’ given me tons of links to cool/kooky/brilliant stuff that often becomes instant Coilhouse blog fodder. She’s a healer, a mover, a shaker and a peach. I love her very much.

Two months back, a freak trampoline accident left Whit’s knee in shreds. She’s had to have a fuckton of intensive, expensive surgery. And, wouldn’t ya know, right now she’s without insurance, despite working long hours at a local hospital, and making the bulk of her bread as a licensed massage therapist. ARGH. Sarah Dopp (who you may remember me gushing about), and who had this to say about our dear Whitney, explains why our community is working overtime on her behalf:

It’s true she’s probably facing $30,000 in medical bills and 6 months worth of lost wages, but there are also hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who are committed to helping her out.  The crowds are already organizing a central calendar to plan visits, transportation, and meals for her, and schemes for several fundraisers are already in the works.

She doesn’t have that kind of safety net because she’s a nice person. She has that safety net because she has spent her entire life listening to and supporting the people around her, pursuing her dreams as honestly as possible, and including as many people as she can in them.

Photo by Tanya Anguita

So please check out my Coilhouse auction listing. Bid knowing that all proceeds will go toward helping a truly exemplary and luminous young woman to get back on her feet, literally and financially. Also! Be apprised that there are two big fund raising parties for Whitney happening in Oakland– one tomorrow night (July 29th) and another on September 12th.  The organizers understand that lots of Whitney’s supporters are out of town, or otherwise can’t make it to either show, so they’ve put together an e-raffle as well. Prizes include signed books and collectibles from Neil Gaiman, handmade hair flowers, one-of-a-kind paintings, matted limited edition photographs, unique jewelry and accessories, and much more. Purchase e-raffle tickets here via GiveForward for $5 each. The winners will be selected tomorrow in a separate drawing, and prizes mailed out.

Best of luck to Whittles, best of luck to all who bid on the auction, and thanks as always for reading.

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!

Coilhouse 05: Let All The Children Boogie

Issue 05 is ALIVE. Woop woop woop! Break out the disco ball and put on your dancing shoes, because after printing the solemn, ghostly memento mori that was #04, we’ve gone somewhere completely different with this one. We proudly present you with an issue that’s colorful, frenetic, vibrant, and celebratory.

Issue 05 reflects a Coilhouse family quest for renewal and rejoicing, and there’s SO FRIGGIN’ MUCH to celebrate this time around: extensive features on fascinating artists, authors, fashion designers, photographers and musicians, a personal memoir about kinship and D&D, a dialog examining the cultural history and continuing relevance of American burlesque, an exposition of 19th century populist fiction from China, a particularly heart-jolting paper doll, and have we mentioned that holographic gold foil lately? Gah…

More bells and whistles: the huge feature on artist Chet Zar includes a foldout poster of original work by Zar on one side, and gorgeous Neil Gaiman-themed promotional art from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on the other. As previously mentioned, once this issue reaches stores, it’s going to be selling for $12.99 on the rack. (We’ll post a list of locations in the weeks to come.) But for now, we’re keeping the $15 price tag on all copies sold online.

Folks who order #05 through our web store get a lot of additional bang for their buck – every single mail-ordered copy of Coilhouse 05 comes with two exquisitely produced, limited edition postcard playbills featuring the “Before and After portraits” of our fashion darling Dylan Monroe as Dorian Gray. Additionally, each and every mail-order copy of this issue will be signed, with gratitude, by all three Coilhouse co-editors. Unlike past issues, which shipped immediately, Issue 05 will start shipping next Wednesday, July 7th. (The extra week is to give us time to sign several hundred magazines and insert all of those postcards. Phew!)

DRUMROLL PLEASE. Issue 05 is NOW AVAILABLE in the COILHOUSE SHOP. Its contents, below:

Garnet Siren

Zoetica imagined a blithe, enchanted world of dancing sheiks and courtesans when working on this issue’s Inform/Inspire/Infect section headers. Powdered wigs and perfect maquillage complement tassels and cymbals, as these bejeweled vixens shimmy you into each section. The headers also feature the Far East-inspired patterns that creative director Courtney Riot used on the masthead and the table of contents.

Sherlock Holmes VS The Fox Woman
A Brief Tour of Chinese Pulp
In Coilhouse 03, Jess Nevins explored the world of Russian pulp literature from the 1920s and 30s. In this issue, he throws us on galloping thunder wagon and takes us on a journey through China’s rich pulp history– one that is largely unknown in the West. Dreamy illustration work by Greg Broadmore and Paul Tobin accompanies the feature. Have your electric whip at the ready, because you never know when you might have to defend your new lunar settlement from a wandering army of vengeful swordswomen, or robotic killer rats. Aerial balloons! Angry ghosts! Tampon warfare! And so much more.

Zooming Along / Standing Perfectly Still
The Passion of Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman
The punk cabaret force of nature known as Amanda “Fucking” Palmer and her eminent fiancé, author Neil Gaiman, publicly announced their engagement on January 15th. A day later, the lovebirds met up with Coilhouse staff photographer Allan Amato in New York City to pose for a series of playful, yet timeless photographs. Fast forward several months: after an intense season-long stint of touring and traveling separately, the power couple reunited for a brief interlude in Wellington, New Zealand. Jean Sergent joined them over morning coffee at the Copthorne Hotel to discuss, among other things, the whirlwind nature of their creative and personal life together, Xena swordsmiths, Polish sushi, archival versus ephemeral art, and horny koalas.

Jo Boobs Teaches The Va-Va Voom!
“Jo Boobs” Weldon is Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque, whose home at The Slipper Room is just a few blocks from where Lydia Thompson’s “London Blondes” brought burlesque to America and a stone’s throw from where Minsky’s original National Winter Garden made burlesque part of the American vernacular. Weldon and Coilhouse’s cultural “spy in NY”, Jeff Wengrofsky, met at the basement headquarters of her school on the coldest evening in recent years to explore questions of gender, activism, and whether she and her ilk are gender traitors or gender busters. This razor-sharp dialog is enhanced by several original Molly Crabapple illustrations of neo-burlesque stars mentioned in the piece.

Tiffa Novoa
Walking Between Worlds
Right now, a distinct style of dress and adornment steeped for many years in Bay Area Burning Man culture is spilling over into the mainstream. There’s still no definitive term for the look, and hallelujah for that. But there is a name we should all think of whenever we see it: Tiffa Novoa. It’s been nearly three years since the 32-year-old fashion designer died of a fatal drug reaction while working in Bali, Indonesia, and left her vast community gasping with grief. But one need only look at the success of stores like Five & Diamond, or fashion houses like Skin.Graft, to recognize the incalculable impact of Novoa’s work on an entire burgeoning cultural aesthetic. Tiffa, the “Dream Pusher” – as her Ernte co-founder Evan Sugerman fondly calls her – is still walking between worlds. This retrospective piece, a collaborative effort headed by Nadya and contributed to by dozens of Novoa’s friends and peers, is devoted to this late, great woman’s memory, her legacy, her loved ones, and all who dance to a different drum.

Emerald Emir

96 Tears
Chris Conn Askew
Jessica Joslin interviews the mysterious, meticulous Mister Chris Conn Askew– an artist who creates modern day fables for romantics and aesthetes, as densely layered in symbolism as dreams, and as inscrutable as love.

Surgical Precision:
Ali Mahdavi
The scrupulous portraiture of Ali Mahdavi reflects an appreciation for unique physical beauty that is purely self-made. Born and raised in Tehran before relocating to Paris, the Issue 05 cover photographer, filmmaker and costume designer has crafted striking portraits that explore the sublime intersection between glamour and dysmorphia. The three works selected for this mini-feature, portraying model Hannelore Knuts, corsetier Mr. Pearl and Mahdavi himself (from his series “As You Desire Me”), serve as a tantalizing first glimpse into Mahdavi’s carefully-arranged world.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek
Wil Wheaton
Author/actor Wil Wheaton has been generous enough to grant Coilhouse permission to republish one of his most endearing, amusing, and deeply human memoirs. Excerpts first appeared on the Suicide Girls newswire, and the full piece was published in Wheaton’s book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives. “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Geek” chronicles Wheaton’s lifelong love affair with Dungeons & Dragons, and revels in the joy of self-acceptance and kinship. Coilhouse is honored to present his words in a new and more visually rambunctious way–Zoetica spent hours in his game room taking dozens of photographs of three decades worth of personal gamer gear and memorabilia, as well as a charming portrait of the artist himself. The resulting layout is chock full of delightful details.

Into the Trees with Zoë Keating
Avant cellist Zoë Keating self-produces lush, melodic solo recordings that incorporate live electronic sampling, computer looping programs, complex layering and phrase repetition. Her latest solo offering, largely produced and recorded in a cozy log cabin out in the middle of the woods, is aptly titled Into the Trees. Last spring, Keating granted Coilhouse Magazine a downright giddy interview! She and Mer discussed all manner of things both whimsical and practical– from the spirit of old growth forests and her biological imperative to counteract those proselytizing Quiverfull weirdos to the advantages of musicians self-producing and releasing their own albums, from the joy of nerd solidarity, to stage fright, to Tulip Mania. Featuring photography by Nadya, as well as Peter Hinson, typography and illustration by Teagan White, and an exquisite custom-crafted wardrobe courtesy of Gibbous Fashions.

Chet Zar’s Vulnerable Monsters
At a glance, Chet Zar’s stunning paintings present portraits of monsters set against imposing post-apocalyptic landscapes. Look closer and you’ll smile, sensing a certain camaraderie with the expressive mouths and snouts, seemingly protruding from their realm of barren hills, billowing smoke stacks and deserted highrises. Pause for a while and you might feel hot wind on your face and catch a whiff of burning oil. Passion for darkness, decay, flesh, and all its nuance mingles with passion for the painting medium itself, creating unforgettable works of art. Chet’s distinct vision got him noticed around the LA gallery circuit, and his presence in the Pop Surrealism genre was cemented by keen technical ability – refined by twenty years spent weaving special effects makeup magic. Here, the celebrated and disarmingly laid-back artist talks to Zoetica about growing up in a horror-friendly household, the effects of meditation and visualization, death, the future, and about the perks and perils of an artist’s life.

In addition to this in-depth, personal interview, we proudly present an unprecedented feature: step-by-step documentation of Chet’s painting process, created by him especially for Coilhouse while he was working on art for the foldout poster.

Clive Barker
Celebration, Remembrance, Prophecy
Single-handedly changing the ideascape of mainstream horror and dark fantasy genres with books such as Imajica, The Hellbound Heart, and The Books of Blood, Clive Barker already achieved tremendous success in the late eighties and early nineties – but for him, it was merely the start of a journey. Today, in addition to being an author for more than twenty-five years, Barker is also a vastly productive, passionate painter, photographer, and filmmaker. In this extensive interview, Clive talks to Ales Kot and Zoetica about being a man dissatisfied with any single creative facet, and his determination to transcend expectations and boundaries. He touches on works in progress, the benefits of collaboration, and his insatiable creative drive, leaving us awed with the scope of his imagination. The interview is accompanied by previously unseen examples of Clive Barker’s paintings and photography, as well as an introduction by Ales Kot.

Turquoise Tart

Shoe Love, Lust, and Myth
Why do we love shoes? Surely the true answer is buried deep with Marchesa Casati and Louis XIV, but it’s easy to hypothesize. The clicking of approaching heels has been long fetishized and has come to symbolize control and elegance. The right pair of shoes will make legs look magnificent and, if operated properly, provide instant grace, not to mention instant height. But lovers of adornment, take note! Suffering for beauty is not always worth it, certainly not when it comes to footwear. Zo takes on the crucial difference between shoe love and lust, with a photo shoot in a crumbling downtown LA fortress by Andrew Yoon and appearances by Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet, plus a surprise guest…

The Picture of Dorian Gray
A Sempiternal Sartorial Editorial
It’s Coilhouse’s most ambitious fashion editorial yet. Art-directed by Mer, headed by photographer Allan Amato, and actualized by a devoted crew of 15 stylists, artists and production assistants, this lush Wilde-inspired spread features our favorite male model Dylan Monroe as Dorian Gray, dressed in the jaw-dropping custom tailored suits by Sinner/Saint Menswear, and jewelry from Victorian Death Kult.

The Last Days of Gadjo Disko
Gadjo Disko was a notorious dance party that first took place at the Rhizome Collective in Austin, Texas in April of 2008. It dissolved all boundaries of age, gender, ethnic background or cultural milieu. Disko organizer and Coilhouse associate Angeliska Polacheck knows “how rare it is to find a party that transcends any one scene, where burners, hipsters, nerds, punks, queers, goths and all the beautiful and (thankfully) unclassifiable freaks can get together without the least trace of pretension or scorn.” We bid a sweaty, sparkly farewell to the Disko with this ecstatic photo essay.

Print To Fit
Good Dick Hunting
From the desk of designer Mildred Von Hildegard, a sneak peek at the new face of fashion house Mother of London’s much-anticipated upcoming collection. What better model for the label’s vision of high-tech aristocracy than the Prince of Darkness, bionic haute Halliburtonite with a penchant for hoods, duct tape, puppetry, Armageddon, undisclosed secret locations and the trappings of the Galactic Empire? When asked what more can be expected the forthcoming collaboration, Von Hildegard stated enigmatically, “my belief is that we will be greeted as liberators.”

Coilhouse Magazine, Issue 05: The Cover

EDIT, JUNE 30th: Coilhouse #05 is on sale now!

Behold: the cover of Issue 05 is revealed. It’s been tough keeping this one under wraps, but you’ll still have to wait a couple more days to see what’s inside. For now, we’ll just say that the cover image embodies the international flavor of this issue: it features Kenyan model Ajuma Nasenyana, channeling Jamaican-American superwoman Grace Jones in a monumental image by Iranian-born, Paris-based photographer Ali Mahdavi. You can see a larger version of the cover here.

Reflecting the issue’s theme – which can be summed up by 05’s rallying spine line of “Let All the Children Boogie” – the cover features blingtastic, discodelic, holographic gold foil. But that’s not the only special print flourish employed in issue. In addition to the gold foil, Issue 05 also features a large, beautiful, double-sided poster with custom artwork created exclusively for Coilhouse by a distinguished artist. Which artist? You’ll have to wait ’til Wednesday to find out.

In just two days, the contents of this issue will be revealed. If you want to be notified the very minute that this issue goes on sale, join our Mailing List. Check back soon!

Announcing the 2010 Coilhouse Magazine Media Kit

Download the media kit here!

After weeks of streamlining, updating, researching and grooming, our media kit is finally done. We’re so proud of it, comrades! It might seem a little strange to get the warm fuzzies over something intended for cold, hard commerce, but we feel that this is a respectful and elegant representation of Coilhouse and its readers. We’re excited. Especially when we think back to 2007 and realize just how far this good ship has traveled. For those interested in learning more about advertising in Issue 05, as well as in future issues, the 2010 Coilhouse Media Kit is available for download here. In addition to that reveal, we have three more bits of very interesting information to share:

  1. Our biggest news is that we’re dropping the magazine’s price to $12.99 in stores. We’re doing this to give back to all the readers who’ve supported us through the years, and for everyone who wishes the magazine was slightly more affordable. The quality of the magazine (number of pages, paper stock) will remain the same. In fact, the overall quality of Issue #05 is going up, as we’ll be trying out a dazzling special effect on the cover, and including a large fold-out poster inside. For the time being, the mag will remain at $15 in our online shop and will include a special surprise (to be divulged at a later date), for those readers who buy directly from us. We’re committed to making the magazine more affordable both in stores and on the web, but we need to take it one step at a time. This is the first step.
  2. We’re more than tripling our distribution in Barnes & Noble stores across the country. It will be in more stores than ever before! A list of locations will be posted. In addition, Issue 05 has been accepted into the Barnes & Noble Endcap Display Case – you know, the one that you see when you first walk into the magazine aisle, under the heading “Featured Titles” or “Just Arrived.” Issue 05 will be there for four whole weeks. This is a huge win for us, as we hope that we’ll be able to introduce more readers to Coilhouse than ever. Especially with such an intense cover, which we can’t wait to reveal to you. Eeee! We’re sitting on our hands to keep from spilling the beans. Soon. SOON.
  3. Issue 05 will be appear in more independently-owned shops than ever before. We just got picked for distribution by Last Gasp, a respected distributor of all things alt, who recently celebrated their 40th birthday. They’re amazing. In addition to its history of publishing underground comix, Last Gasp is known for distributing items such as the RE/Search books, the Gothic & Lolita Bible, Hi-Fructose, Fantagraphics titles, and a lot of other more obscure counter-culture stuff. They can get us into a lot of cool mom and pop shops that other distributors don’t have access to.

Issue 05 will have more reach than any issue we’ve ever done, and it’s our most ambitious, colorful output to date. It’s so hard to keep the content of this issue under our hats! We’re sitting on our hands again. But there’s some beautiful stuff. You already know about the Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer piece, and some of you may have heard online whispers of Chet Zar and Zoë Keating and Gibbous Fashions and Crabapple illustrations… babies, that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. Just you wait.

For small businesses looking to advertise in Coilhouse, this is the issue. We considered putting that sentence in flashing, grunting, neon porno marquee lights for emphasis, but we are classy ladies. (Besides, we couldn’t figure out the HTML coding.) If you’ve been on the fence about taking out an ad, please note that this is probably the best issue to start. With the lower cover price, more people who haven’t heard of the magazine will be inclined to buy it. Combine that with special display promotion at Barnes & Noble, and it’s a guarantee that more folks will be picking up and leafing though it than our previous issues, which were often relegated to the back shelves of periodical purgatory.

We’d much, much, muchly much rather survive with the help of small independent businesses than large corporate sponsors. We cannot overstate that. Which is why we’ve kept the Small-Business Ad Format rates the same as they were before. It’s still possible to advertise in Coilhouse for as low as $99 per issue. We’ve hired a kick-ass Ad Manager, longtime Coilhouse reader Samantha Chin-Wolner, to help small businesses get their ads squared away. Sam will assist you with every step of the process, and she’s a total sweetheart.

For those interested, please contact Samantha for details.

For everyone else, thank you, as always, for your support and kinship on this journey. We remain gratefully and giddily yours. Up, up and away we go!

A sneak peek at some original artwork by Greg Broadmore, created expressly for Coilhouse #05.