Dearest friends:

This is a year-end recap, recently submitted to the fine folks over at Terminal-Boredom. I know it's inexcusable that I continue to spoil them and insist on treating you so shoddily. I apologize. I'm desperately trying to right some wrongs.

Without further ado, a shuttered lens takes aim.

2008 was a wash. Total it up as twelve more months spent fomented in the slumgullion: six of ‘em devoted to the peddling of lodestones and the other half locked into a familiar demonic circuit. With my record collecting yen thinned to a shadowy husk, even the end of a decade-long search for the Nothing 45 seemed anticlimactic. The unexpected arrival of an atypically boss Euro (Ger. “All Skrewed Up” / Fr. “Garbage Man”) combo evoked a measly “Meh!”…and, come to think of it, getting that untouched upgrade of the MAD’s “I Hate Music” single only succeeded in leaving me feeling all jejune’n’shit.

Though, this isn’t to say that the past year was entirely devoid of thrills. The exchange of real and cultural currency enabled the pilfering of the following fetish objects—items so layered, complex and infuriatingly unobtainable, that relative proximity was enough to keep my double-ought-eight grinding along at a surprisingly sprightly clip:

Daniel Clowes: The Gold Mommy (1994)
. A key, self-contained example of Clowes’ starkest period, this one’s got it all: the gesture, the sweeping motion of the crowd, the nagging paranoia …and one of Eightball’s most haunting captions.

Rick Altergott: Doofus (1999). Sublime pen/ink/watercolor portrait of the scummiest flâneur to ever don a boater. What if Altergott’s vision of a Doofus movie starring Ralph Waite (!!!) had actually come to fruition? The mind reels; the loins swell. AH YASSS!

The MAD: record release poster (1979)
. NYC. 1979. Young freaks, punks and weirdos coalesce at Pratt and the School of Visual Arts. Screaming Mad George’s little man gets snipped onstage by an irate eyeball—a handsome (17x22) poster commemorates the occasion. Nearly thirty years later, a pal unearths a forgotten friend and sets it free.

Feederz: promo flier (1978)
. Clumsy devotees of Breton, Beefheart and Laszlo Toth who were ridden outta town on a rail. I can only hope that this flier, masterfully silkscreened onto butcher paper, was included in the “Terrorism Packets” doled out to Valley of the Sun teens shortly before the band’s hasty relocation to SF.

HONE: Functional Blackouts / Sneaky Pinks / Radio Beats (2006). The most contemporary entry of the bunch comes from the same street-tough responsible for the best fliers made in recent years. Projectile vomiting, Psilocybins run amok, Jughead’s ample sweater-meat: this man can do no wrong! I can’t wait to get this’un framed…I’m thinking it’ll look lovely in distressed Gaboon.


Napoleon XIV - They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (Warner Bros., 1966)


They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!