I am fortunate to count myself among the artists, craftsfolk, cat-herders and random miscreants of Five Ton Crane, the Oakland-based artist cooperative behind such crazy jumbo immersive Burning Man installations as the Steampunk Treehouse, the Raygun Gothic Rocketship and Storied Haven.
The Care and Feeding of a Childhood Obsession, and More About Books
I wouldn’t call myself an obsessive person. But all my life I have tended to latch onto certain things with exquisite and unrelenting relish. These objects of affection are invariably nerdish and have included bubble gum cards, comic books, dinosaurs, science fiction movies, animated cartoons, newspaper comic strips, bodypaint art, Batman, Super 8 movies, photojournalism, movie comedy teams, the Titanic, vintage erotica, roadside Americana, action figures, matchbooks, buttons, political ephemera…whatever there was a lot of to collect, basically.
These days I’ve whittled my obsessions down to books, which…
Yes, they still exist, and wow, this got way longer than I planned.
I have always loved me the funnies.
It’s a storied medium that started in the late nineteenth century, when newspapers were the dominant news medium. It’s hard to imagine the impact they had in their day. Like, the words “goon,” “wimp” and “jeep” all come from “Popeye.” “Sadie Hawkins Day” and “double whammy” come from “Lil’ Abner.” I read somewhere that FDR would sometimes call Chester Gould to find out how Dick Tracy was going to get out of a spot.
In those days, newspaper comics were…
That week or so I was really important, even if no one did show up at my door with a giant check.
For a week or so there, I was Mister Internet. I knocked out a graphic criticizing Facebook’s real-names only policy, it went viral, got my account suspended, got me press, got memed and connected me with all sorts of people and stories.
Here’s how it happened.
My wife is a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters are a global order of queer drag nuns who have been doing activism and philanthropy since the early days of the AIDS…
Hey, there are worse addictions.
I love books. I love to swim in them like Uncle Scrooge in his money vat. Which may be an outdated reference, but I have it in a book. I have books that are not just really good books, but remind me of where or who I was when I got them. …