Tuesday, November 04, 2003

What Condition My Condition Is In

Poking along on GIZZARD GUTS, a ghost pirate movie rewrite for the Polonia Brothers (not needed until Spring, but I want to keep at it), and a nonfiction doc at work about the origin of the word "Hoosier."

A stack of fun TOM STRONG comics I borrowed from my pal Doug, all Alan Moore retro Silver Age hipster cool, and a handful of D&D miniatures my pal the Caveman gave me at his house Saturday.

FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE by Jonathan Lethem, a sprawling 70s-era epic about two Brooklyn kids, one black and one white, who become close friends because of their tangled home lives and their shared interest in Marvel Comics. A great read.

As I commute an hour a day, I listen to a lot of books on tape; and yet am still chunking through DROP CITY by T.C. Boyle, another huge 70s epic about the end of the "Summer of Love" and its effect on a commune who ill-advisedly move en-masse to Alaska. A rich story.

I came across two great small-press comics at the shop yesterday, both by Hoosiers. One is ROCKET GIRL, from Pickle Press, about a young woman whose obsession over a hero called "The Fire Chief" leads her to don a pair of tights herself; some fresh ideas and nice art throughout. The other is TRUST, from Graphic Panda, about a young college kid whose parents hide a secret life, which is about to spill over into his own more laid-back existence. A good genre-busting story with great art. I liked 'em so much, I linked 'em over to the side there. I've got to hang with my homeboys.

I've been watching a lot of Jason Santo's work lately, of MINDSCAPE PICTURES, compiled on BENT VOL. 3 and MINDSCAPE PICTURES PRESENTS #1. Especially potent is "Here Comes Your Man," a searing allegory featuring Gene Dante, in a magnetic performance, as a man who maliciously spreads AIDS to a series of conquests. Visually striking in shooting and editing and thematically disturbing; probably Santo's strongest piece (in many senses) and has a cold knockout role for Dante, one of those rare microcinema actors who seem coiled to leap to the next level.
Santo's work is very polished and professional, and his subjects range from romantic comedy to sci-fi to drama and beyond, so each of his compilation DVDs includes at least one short that will really knock the wind out of you.

Give me a yell at johnoakdalton@hotmail.com.

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