When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go To Africa : Mike Freiheit’s “Monkey Chef”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

We’ve all been there — dead-end job, dead-end love life, dead-end existence. In his previous autobiographical minis, Chicago-based cartoonist Mike Freiheit has dwelt on these issues in exacting (and often hilarious) detail, but in his longest work to date, the impressive and ambitious graphic novel (parts of which were also previously issued as self-published mins) Monkey Chef, we learn what he did when he hit the proverbial wall after too many years in New York — and let’s just say that the “escape route” he chose was an unconventional one in the extreme, one that makes for fascinating memoir material.

In short : he takes on a gig as a cook at a primate sanctuary in South Africa, where he prepares and serves up  food for both the “residents” (monkeys) and staff (people, not that you needed me to tell you that). The stage is all set for a…

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Nothin’ Dirty Goin’ On: THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB (National General 1970)

cracked rear viewer

THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB isn’t a great movie, but it’s not a bad one, either. It couldn’t be; not with all that talent in front of and behind the cameras. You’ve got two legendary leads, James Stewart and Henry Fonda , Oscar winner Shirley Jones, Gene Kelly in the director’s chair, and John Wayne’s favorite cinematographer William Clothier . Still, the film, while amusing, should’ve been so much better.

The story’s fairy simple: two old Texas cowhands, John O’Hanlon (Stewart) and Harley Sullivan (Fonda) are plying their trade when John receives a letter. Seems John’s brother has died and left him an inheritance – The Cheyenne Social Club in Cheyenne, Wyoming. John and his old pal head north, and it turns out The Cheyenne Social Club is a cathouse, run by Madame Jenny (Jones), and she and the girls warmly greet the perplexed duo. Uptight John, who’s always wanted to…

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Music Video of the Day: Crockett’s Theme by Jan Hammer (1987, directed by ????)

Crockett’s Theme was originally written for the hit NBC series, Miami Vice.  As evidenced by the title, it was the theme music for everyone’s favorite cop without socks, Sonny Crockett.  The song was released on both the second Miami Vice soundtrack and Jan Hammer’s 1987 album, Escape From Television.

The video has nothing to do with Miami Vice.  Instead, it is about a man who cannot choose between his woman and his kaleidoscope.  The woman eventually makes the decision for him, not only breaking his kaleidoscope but leaving him.  Luckily, Jan Hammer is in the next room, playing a keytar.

Crockett’s Theme was not a hit in the United States but found greater success in Europe.  It reached number two in Ireland.  More recently, it can be heard on Emotion 98.3 in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which was itself heavily influenced by Miami Vice.

Tearing up Vice City while rocking out to Jan Hammer