While awaiting Obama's Socialist Utopia to save us all from economic doom, I have been forced to accept a soul-sucking, full-time job with an 80-minute commute. This, I'm afarid to say, does not bode well for my plans to document the year of 1977 in caricature form, nor engage in many creative projects at all, practical or otherwise. It does, however, give me the perfect opportunity to engage in one of my regular nervous breakdowns, in which I completely reevaluate my pathetic life's goals, perhaps giving up art entirely for the billionth time to become a nun or a racecar driver or both.

While I'm climbing the walls over this existential conundrum, please at least TRY to enjoy these animated insanities written by the completely batshit Troy England Evitt III:


Ev created these with the endlessly-entertaining moviemaking site, www.xtranormal.com

Thrdgll Communiques will resume shortly. Avoid panic buying.


Giving me the business (while possibly stealing it away)

Comics Journal message board regular Paul Salvi is making me nervous. Noticing I had omitted the Superboy actors from my Krypotonians of the Silver Screen collection, he decided to fill in the gaps by doing an effective Ashley Holt impression. Great, more competetion, just what I needed. Here's John Haymes Newton and Gerhard Christopher, both Superboys from the syndicated show of the early '90s.


The Powah; A Play in One Act

(Conversation I had with Melissa first thing this morning:)

Ash: I dreamed that you were fighting for farmer’s rights.

Mel: Yeah?

Ash: You went to work at the Chapman Center (local arts center where she works in real life) and you came home all Jane Fonda’d up, with buttons and leaflets, talking all kinda “power to the people” stuff.


Anti-social networking

Well, I deactivated my Facebook page. It was kinda cute playing "look how fat they got" with photos of people from 8th grade for a few days, but I just couldn't take it anymore. Facebook's format encourages (almost demands) the most base, trivial idiocy imaginable. You'd open the "wall", whatever that is, and be greeted by crucial updates about the lives of your so-called friends like, "Becky Tinkertoes is washing dishes" or "Wallace Chumpchange is wondering what kind of socks to buy". I was sorely tempted to write something along the lines of:

Stephen Ashley Holt is contemplating the meaninglessness of a Godless universe that includes death, famine, disease and the copyright stranglehold of the Walt Disney Corporation while listening to Wagner and slowly and methodically stabbing himself in the forearm with a pencil.

But Facebook won't let you post a statement anywhere near that long. Its format inspires only short, clipped, W. Bush-style exclamations - "Kenny likes milkshakes" or "Theda go night-night now". Frankly, it brought out the worst in me. My contributions to the Facebook arts were rather mean-spirited and I apologize to those with wounds that won't heal.

Come on, people. We're living in the information age. We could be expressing grand new visions for life in the new millenium, sharing our deepest, innermost longings and perceptions, or constructing manifestos around great scientific and technological breakthroughs. People, we can allow caricature portraits of figures from 1977 to span the globe at the speed of light!! But instead you're telling the world that you just watched Seinfeld and ate a taco.

This is not the information superhighway that Al Gore had in mind.


Gilmore No Mo'

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This one's early, but who could wait to draw the ultra-dreamy Gary Gilmore?

Not long before his execution, Michael O'Donahue wrote a special Christmas song dedicated to Gary's case, sung by the cast of Saturday Night Live. The transcript is here: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/76/76jgilmore.phtml


Symptoms of '77

As you can see from the post below, I've embarked on an insane project: spending the year chronicling the events of 1977 with caricatures. Like you, I also assume that this task will never be completed - such are the empty promises of the blogosphere.

Why '77? Well, the first entry, the explosion of punk rock in the form of the notorious Sex Pistols, is just the beginning. 1977 was a banner year for ridiculous pop culture, the peak of the Me Decade's self-obsessive opulence, a Washingtonian experiment gone South and a virtual feeding frenzy of tastelessness and triviality. All this years before Reagan and Mr. T. I believe 1977 to be the year that American culture went into permenant recession - when we turned from the mirror of social relevance that marked the '60s and early '70s and decided to just party like it's 1999.

Join me in the Retroverse as we try to learn from the history we are doomed to repeat.

I hope you like long hair and sideburns!

The Filth and the Filthy

(Click to enbiggen)

Yma Lives!

Damon Devine, caretaker of the official Yma Sumac website (and former caretaker of Yma herself), has added my portrait of the Queen of Exotica to the homepage. Delve into the rich life of this mysterious and etherally talented superstar: http://www.yma-sumac.com/

Hear the Voice!

Please enjoy the high octane artwork and inspired testimony of brilliant, lunatic visionary, James Garlett. His peculiar brand of humorous wisdom makes me laugh until I wretch forth the demons. He's one of my all-time favorite sentients.

Rantings from the Pulpit