When Swiss Chemist Albert Hoffman discovered Lysergic Acid Diethylamide in November of 1938 he really didn’t think much of it. He was looking into ergotamines at the time, chemicals derived from the ergot fungus known for poisoning scores of people throughout the centuries via moldy bread. He fed it to some rats, observed no change, then went home. Five years later, after accidentally dosing himself and riding his bicycle home in a panic, he’d lay on his couch in terror and astonishment as his mind melted away into streams of color and geometry. It was dubbed “Bicycle Day”.

Set in…

The main conceit of Babybel Wax Bodysuit (Retrofit Comics, 2016) revolves around those familiar Babybel cheese wheels you can buy by the sackful at grocery stores. Hopefully you’re familiar with them, because they’re quite delicious. Soft. Creamy. Babybel’s claim to fame is enclosing their product in a layer of soft red wax that you have to peel away to enjoy. What most take for granted is that these cheese snacks, safely nestled in their wax armor, are in fact striking metaphors for the human spirit. Williams broke into the indie comics scene with Hungry Bottom Comics, a series of autobiographical…

Driven by Lemons (available from Adhouse Books) by Joshua Cotter is a great example of how comics can use visual and narrative abstraction to tell an engaging story. Cotter’s life was complicated when he wrote it. Both his marriage and his mind were breaking down. In his own words, Lemons was “an attempt […] to make sense of what just happened to [him],” the fear and detachment he experienced at the bottom of a deep psychological hole. The story is about an anthropomorphic bunnyman’s unfortunate collision with a delivery truck that falls out of the sky, and the trauma induced…

A while ago I reviewed Virtual Candle, a collection of short comics, drawings, and photographs by Grant Gronewold, better known to the internet as HTMLFlowers. His most recent effort is titled Sonogram. Subtitled “hospital diaries 2017,” the book offers drawings, notes, and documentation from his frequent stays in the hospital for cystic fibrosis treatment.

Sonogram is filled with worries and plastered with documentation from Gronewold’s treatment. Everything from overdue medical bills to medicine lists to pamphlets on cystic fibrosis — They are photocopied in, then infused with Grant’s meditative line drawings. These drawings range from bizarre to mystical but always…

Byte Magazine was the top computing magazine in the 1980’s, thanks in part to these imaginative retro-futurist covers by Robert Tinney.

In the late-1970s, a computer’s place was almost exclusively in the corporate office. With the exception of a few hardcore hobbyists, most middle class North American consumers were intimidated by their cold logic and strange language.

Even so, those with just a bit of imagination could see the potential of computing and networking to radically everyday life. One had only to crunch the numbers and study the industry to see what was ahead. Microprocessors were getting faster, getting cheaper, and were revving up to invade homes across the world.

In 1975, technology consultant and entrepreneur Carl Helmers and amateur radio…

The Drowned Girl is a short and obscure graphic story by Jon Hammer, put out in 1990 by the proto-Vertigo DC imprint known as Piranha Press. It’s about Dick Shamus, a private eye hired by no one to do nothing. Dick Shamus drinks cocktails of formaldehyde and chocolate milk to vaccinate against the AIDS virus. He is one of a lucky few who know that formaldehyde is the AIDS vaccine, invented by the CIA and used by many greats prior to him such as Ronald Reagan.

“Birds II” © Zsófia Döme

Zsófia Döme (http://zsofiadome.tumblr.com/) likes to get lost in the woods and draw the things she didn’t see, those things that imagination can’t help but see while surrounded by wild greenery teeming with hidden creatures. She is a Hungarian illustrator and a current student at the Hungarian School of Fine Arts. Rooted in a kind of grotesque and spooky fantasy aesthetic, her work exudes moodiness and mythology. She works in everything from playful creature studies to scenes lush with atmospheric tension, while incorporating just enough surreal quietness to make each image more than your average fantasy art.

I sent her a…

“Drømsjel” means “dream soul” in Norwegian. It’s the moniker of Pierre Schmidt, a German born digital artist who takes the vintage 1940s and 50s advertising aesthetic to heady and surrealist place. Dromsjel fucking loves to rip people’s faces off. Then he replaces them with wild flora and fauna: flowers, lichens, fungi, parakeets. The faces are straight from magazine advertisements, but the wildlife illustrations are encyclopedic, scientific illustrations. He melts it all together using a mixture of collage, illustrations and digital blending. …

Fort Thunder ended more than a decade ago, can you believe that? For those who don’t know about it, Fort Thunder could loosely be described as an art-hive / music and event venue started by Mat Brinkman and Brian Chippendale, located in an old textile factory in Providence, Rhode Island, which fed off the creative juices and dollars of the legendary(?) school of design. Fort Thunder put on concerts, wrestling matches, noise dance parties, all that, but a huge part of their scene was the visual art and sensibilities of Brinkman and Chippendale (of Lightning Bolt fame), which drenched each…

micky rivera

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