“Things Go Wrong” #1 Gets Plenty Right


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

This was a tough one — and I mean that in the best, most complimentary sense possible. But first the basics :

Toronto-based cartoonist Jason Bradshaw has garnered something of a small but dedicated following for his self-published ‘zine Bore, but it’s been damn tough to get ahold of copies of it on this side of the border — so in order to ameliorate this dearth of all things Bradshaw in the US, Robyn Chapman of The Tiny Report renown has taken it upon herself to publish a trilogy of his previously-issued minis under the new title of Things Go Wrong, the first issue of which was recently released under the auspices of her Paper Rocket Minicomics imprint. That’s the background. That’s easy. Now for the hard part.

And yeah, Things Go Wrong isn’t just a hard comic to get through, it’s a very hard comic to get…

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Diamond Among the Coal: Bela Lugosi in BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT (Monogram 1942)


cracked rear viewer


I’ve written about Bela Lugosi’s infamous ‘Monogram 9’ before, those ultra-cheap spectacles produced by the equally ultra-cheap Sam Katzman for low-budget Monogram Pictures. These films are all Grade Z schlock, redeemed only by Lugosi’s presence, giving his all no matter how ludicrous the scripts or cardboard the sets. BOWERY AT MIDNIGHT is a cut above; still schlock, but the pulpy premise is different from the rest, and Bela gives what’s probably his best performance out of the whole trashy bunch.

Lugosi plays kindly Karl Wagner, a benevolent soul who runs the Friendly Mission down on the Bowery. But wait – it’s all a front for recruiting down-on-their-luck criminals into Wagner’s gang of thieves. And when he’s done with them, he bumps them off and gives the corpses to ‘Doc’, a dope fiend ex-medico who uses the bodies for his own nefarious purposes!

But wait again! Wagner’s not really Wagner, he’s…

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Song of the Day: Paradise Lost (by Gain)


ga-in paradise lost

The latest Song of the Day: K-Pop Edition is not just borderline NSFW, but should also piss off the very religious. From the video’s dark and very sexual imagery and choreography to it’s reinterpretation of some long-standing Biblical storytelling, Brown Eyed Girls’ member known as Gain released the song “Paradise Lost” from her 2015 solo album.

The song’s release had the usual fanfare but also reconfirmed her as one of K-Pop’s longstanding artist who pushed the boundaries of the very rigid and structured K-Pop industry where talent is trained and honed and controlled by untold numbers of corporate handlers.

“Paradise Lost” is a 4 minute-plus tour de force of a video that presents Gain in the role of Eve both while in the Garden of Eden and also after her expulsion from “paradise.” Whether it’s the elaborate satin and lace white wedding dress that obscures and hints at Eve’s repressed sexuality down to the black and white sequence where Gain is not just Even after her expulsion, but moving like the snake who tempted her and Adam to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

While some will just focus on Gain’s sultry and smoldering beauty and the video’s sinuous and sexualized choreography, when the lyrics of the song and Gain’s powerful and emotionally devastating performance gets factored in the song and video become one of K-Pop’s great masterpieces that even the Western music world hasn’t seen since the days when Madonna experimented and explored her sexuality through her music and her videos in the early 1990’s.

So, come and take a seat and watch for the taboo thrill of the NSFW video, but stay for the message in the song and learn why sometimes it’s the non-believers who truly understands the true meaning behind the things we consider Biblical and sacred.

Music Video of the Day: Oops! …. I Did It Again, covered by Nouveau Lounge (2018, dir by ????)


Today is National Bootlegger Day!

I know that because I use a site called CheckiDay, which is a really fun site that I recommend to everyone.  Now, I’m not sure who exactly decided that today was National Bootlegger Day or why they decided that it should be on this particular date but, ultimately, the why isn’t important.  What’s important is that the day just is.

Of course, when we think about bootleggers, we think about the 1920s and Al Capone ruling the streets of Chicago while Zelda danced and F. Scott wrote.  The 1920s, which is one of my favorite decades, was a wild time, largely due to the fact that prohibition was the law of the land.  I mean, just try to imagine it.  Having survived both World War I and the Spanish Flu, Americans were told that they couldn’t even have a drink to celebrate.  I mean, I don’t even like alcohol but I can definitely understand why that would piss people off.  Bootleggers worked outside of the law and became folk heroes to a frustrated nation.  Prohibition may have been passed to for reasons of health and morality but all it really did was show many Americans that sometimes it pays to defy the government.

Of course, there’s other reasons why I love the 1920s.  It’s not just the bootleggers.  There was also the music and the dancing and the fashions and the fact that we had three great Presidents in a row.  (I know some of y’all are going to debate me on that but we’ll have to get into it later.  Warren, Calvin, and Herbert for the win!, regardless of what Upton Sinclair may have had to say.)  It was just a great decade.

And speaking of that decade, check out today’s music video of the day.  This is a cover of Oops! …. I Did It Again, re-imagined as a vintage, 1920s song.  The song is performed by a British band called Nouveau Lounge.  (Singing is Amanda Davis.)  This is a perfect video for National Bootlegger Day, don’t you think?

Now, if you want to know more about Nouveau Lounge, check out their Facebook and their Instagram.  And definitely check out some more of their videos on YouTube.

(And if you want to learn more about prohibition, check out Daniel Okrent’s history of the era, Last Call!)

Enjoy!