Apocalypse Meow a.k.a. Cat Shit One

Apocalypse Meow is the Americanized title of Cat Shit One, a dark and befuddling manga series by Motofumi Kobayashi. Published in the late 90s, the book features a team of fuzzy wuzzy widdle bunny wabbits in an American special ops team battling the forces of cutesy wootsy wily Viet Cong kitty cats on a wide variety of historically accurate, often graphically violent recon missions. Characters are depicted as different species according to nationality; Yankees as rabbits, the Vietnamese as cats, Frenchmen as pigs, Koreans as dogs, Australians as koala bears, etc.

Yyyyeah. Cute Overload it ain’t. Or Watership Down, for that matter. And now, it would seem that Anima Studio has produced an equally gory animated trailer/short based off the manga. Only this time, special ops team Cat Shit One is in the Middle East, fighting… Taliban camels? Taliban camels wearing… turbans?

Oh god. Oh my god. Ohmygodwhatthefuckbarbeque, even.

Replete with M4A1 annihilation and bargain basement Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan-soundalike ululations. Keepin’ it classy.

Clip via Sean Dicken. Thanks for the nightmares, Sean.

Renee French and Her Furry Friends

Note: I don’t know why our last post had commenting turned off. Whoops! Must’ve clicked something by accident. Fixed it, so that comments are possible.

Comics illustrator Renee French has a blog where she posts doodles on a daily basis. Some are as detailed as the image above, others are simple line drawings. The subjects of her drawings can be completely unexpected, but the themes that come up consistently include creatures, houses, animal traps and kids dressed in very warm winter clothing. The more pages you go through on her blog, the more you feel like you’re being sucked into the universe of these pictures, questioning what you see less and less.

Renee’s blog is updated every day, but she also has an old website where you can see the books and comics that she’s published, including Grit Bath on Fantagraphics and a book called The Soap Lady. My favorite comic on this site. My favorites short comic stories on the site are Duck and ZZZ.

This Can’t End Well: Shintaro Kago on YouTube

I’m mainly posting this for Nadya’s benefit, the little pervmeister, because I don’t think she caught the Pink Tentacle post; it would appear that Shintaro Kago now has his very own YouTube channel. Heaven help us all.

For those of you who have yet to “taste the unko“, Kago has produced some of the most disturbing manga imagery you’ll ever see short of Suehiro Maruo‘s or Keiji Nakazawa‘s… only his output is as likely to give you a bad case of The Totally Inappropriate Giggles as make you gag. These new animations, while crude in comparison to his more elaborate illustrated work, will likely do both.

Apollonia Vanova: Striking Silhouette

I’ll admit it was my not-exactly-inner lecherous 13 year old that initially prompted me to look up Watchmen the movie’s Silhouette. I’ve always loved this character’s look and story. From the Watchmen wiki:

Ursula Vandt was a Jew who left Austria to avoid the Nazis. In 1939, the Silhouette made the headlines after exposing a crooked publisher who was trafficking child pornography, as told in Hollis Mason‘s book Under the Hood. The article stated that she gave a punitive beating to the entrepreneur and his two lead cameramen. Later that year she read the ad in the Gazette asking for other masked adventurers to step forward, and joined the Minutemen shortly after. In 1946, the press revealed that she was living with another woman in a lesbian relationship, as Mason stated. Laurence Schexnayder persuaded the group to expel her to minimize the P.R. damage.

The actress playing Silhouette was so striking with her severe hair, shiny gloves and stiletto boots that I couldn’t help myself. Of course much of the credit for her perfect appearance should go to costume designer Michael Wilkinson, but the feline grace in every second of Silhouette’s brief screen time is definitely the actress’ own.

I suspected Slavic roots – those cheekbones don’t lie! As it turns out, Apollonia Vanova is a Slovakian immigrant currently residing in Vancouver. She’s also an opera singer, sculptor and a… Fitness model? Indeed. You might recognize her as the Wraith Queen from Stargate Atlantis – just one of a string of sci-fi and fantasy roles she’s played. Vanova has a degree in sculpture from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and uses everything from clay to leather, I just wish she had her artwork online! Looking forward for more from this lady, no matter what the medium might be.

Here are a couple of interviews, for those of you who are intrigued: 1, 2. And Michael Wilkinson has a behind the scenes video on his website, here. From the Entertainment Examiner interview:

Silhouette is never seen without a cigarette. While that is totally time and character appropriate, it is not exactly politically correct in this day and age. Any thoughts on that?
I have a cigarette in my hand.

I guess that answers that question.

Isotope’s Watchmen-Inspired Cocktails

Do you hear that weird, wet fluttering noise? No, it’s not an intergalactic death squid. That is the sound of the buttholes of approximately 6 million nerds palpitating in dewy anticipation. Watchmen must be opening today.

Anyone else need a drink? Yes, I realize it’s only 8am here. Hey, we all cope differently. Dave Gibbons, Zack Snyder et al are very likely bathing in solid gold jacuzzis filled with dom perignon. Meanwhile, somewhere in Northampton, Alan Moore, having chugged a quart of psilocybin tea out of the gilded skull of a medieval pope who secretly worshiped Glycon the snake god, is now levitating three feet above the ground, muttering a curse of warts and incontinence upon anyone who dares to attend opening weekend.

I figure I can have a morning cocktail if I like.

Left: a “Full Frontal Manhattan” (hurr hurr!) Right: the “Black Freighter” (let’s drink ourselves direct to DVD!)

James Sime and the other kind folks over at the Isotope Comic Book Lounge understand:

The End is Nigh! Ladies and Gentlemen, the day has finally arrived! After over a decade of waiting, speculating about the cast, and debating whether it should even be attempted, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic graphic novel, WATCHMEN, is finally a major motion picture. And whether you feel that this is cause for no end of celebration or you believe you will need to drink yourself into oblivion to make it through this bastardization of a pure artistic vision, the Isotope is here for you! Serving up a bevy of Watchmen-inspired cocktail recipes to suit all your boozing needs!

Bless you, Isotope. I’m going to fix myself a “Silk Spectre” right now… with added Rohypnol.

Folks, feel free to use this thread to rant, rave and runteldat about Watchmen Babies or whateverthefuck to your heart’s content. Please, just try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, and remember, I have to mop up the booth when you’re done. Cheers.

Applicant: What They Really Thought of You

One night, while dumpster diving on an Ivy League campus, artist Jesse Reklaw discovered confidential Ph.D. applicant files for the biology department from 1965 to 1975.  The yellowed recommendation forms contained ratings on the applicants’ strengths and weaknesses as determined by former professors and employers. Reklaw collected these photos and snippets of commentary in a 48-page little paperback in the tradition of Found Magazine, titled Applicant. It’s a zine classic that still makes an impact every time you page through it – funny, sad, and totally wrong. You can order Applicant for $3 here; it’s a lovely thing to own.

Reklaw also publishes Slow Wave, a web-comic dream diary. You send him your dreams, and he draws them! The first print collection of Slow Wave is called The Night of Your Life, and it’s available here.

Tonight! Andy Ristaino Art Opening in San Jose

If you’re in San Jose, tonight you have the opportunity to see some of comics genius and Coilhouse contributor Andy Ristaino’s hyper-detailed masterpieces in person. His new comic book, The Babysitter,  is out now – you can get it here, courtesy of SLG. You can also find some artwork and an interview with Andy in Coilhouse Issue 02. A brief description of The Babysitter from the SLG site:

By night Setsuko Kagaku is the world’s leading babysitter. Equipped with her trusty rocket pack, she jetsets all around the globe keeping the world’s greatest resource (the children, silly) safe. But by day she is just another teenager dealing with the same problems that any other Japanese schoolgirl faces: giant robots, big angry kaiju bakumono (monsters), crazy science experiments gone awry, weird tentacled beasties, global conspiracies, alien invaders, not to mention good grades, plenty of teen angst, and boys! Join Setsuko as she tries to deal with the panic and claustrophobia of living in a depiction of modern Japan that only a completely uninformed and rather stupid American could make.

Ristaino’s images truly send you on a trip unlike any other. Everyone sees something different in them. For example, when I showed Issue 02 to the nice Korean lady I buy lunch from, she looked at the picture below and said, completely unexpectedly (in, imagine, the thickest “Margaret Cho’s mom” accent ever): “some people may look at this picture and see GROUP SEX, but I see a revolution. Yes. Revolution.”

Don’t miss your chance to see this intricate spazzfest in the flesh! If you’re not lucky enough to be in San Jose tonight, definitely pick up a copy of The Babysitter when you get the chance! Here are the details, taken from Andy’s blog:

When – Friday February 6th
Time – 7:00 PM until Late
Where: SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery
577 S. Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Crabapple Takes Los Angeles

Last week I had the dubious pleasure of hosting miss Molly Crabapple for a few days. She’s been gone just 48 hours, yet already I am longing for her presence every time I smell vodka or find long raven locks in my tub [which I am definitely not saving to braid into a tiny Molly-shaped doll]. This young lady gets mention around here with some regularity, and she deserves every bit of it. Founder of Doctor Sketchy’s Anti Art School, illustrator, columnist, and comic book artist, this NYC beauty has the world at her fingertips.

Seizing the rare opportunity of her presence, we attempted a video interview over cocktails. Watch the very, very informal results below – Molly talks about an upcoming European tour, working large-scale and a brand new comic book, Scarlett Takes Manhattan. Please forgive the awkward editing – I’m trying to spare you screeching and inappropriate touching.

Journalism uber alles! Click the jump for other fantastical drawings by Molly, including Marie Claire – one of the beautiful Rococo paper dolls she created for Coilhouse Magazine. The other doll is Monsieur Pierre – her fetching young suitor. Want to see him and their spectacular outfits? You’ll have to get your issue of Coilhouse 2! More can be found on Molly’s website, MollyCrabapple.com

First FreakAngels Trade Paperback Available Now

A heads up to anyone with a hankering for some really fantastic “practical” steampunk worldbuilding and storytelling who isn’t yet familiar with FreakAngels: the first story arc of Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield’s groundbreaking webcomic has been collected in a scrumptious 144 page trade paperback. It’s available today in North America, and tomorrow in the UK and other territories. Meanwhile, all past installments of FreakAngels will remain online as a free serialized weekly. You can check them out, starting here.

Warren chatted with NEWSARAMA about his process:

As far as how it works: it’s the TV model. FreakAngels is free-to-air, but the eventual collected editions will cost money. I can watch pretty much any TV show I want, on the box or on the net, but for something I like, I’d rather have the complete DVD handy.

Makes sense, right? Go get some.

Tonight! Mer Performs With Dame Darcy

Art from Dame Darcy’s new book, Gasoline

That’s right my dearest squidlings, if you’re in San Francisco tonight, it’s your chance to see our own Meredith Yayanos perform a special set with the only living mermaid herself, Dame Darcy. Held at Isotope Comics, APE Aftermath is the one party you don’t want to miss, sure to thrill and inspire.

Comics legend, artist, author, doll-maker, celebrity, musician. Is there nothing the amazing Dame Darcy can’t do? The Isotope will be celebrating the launch of Darcy’s new book Gasoline and she will be enthralling the masses with a massive live pickin’ show on the Isotope’s world’s highest stage.

See it all for yourselves at 326 Fell Street, at Gough. The show is to begin at 7pm, so don’t delay!