Monday, January 31, 2005

My Name Is...

Just a reminder about the MC Chris show tonight at the Ottobar. It's all ages, kids! And it's been moved downstairs into the main bar so we have room to move.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Friday Review

This week Benn read Holy Moly by Leah Hayes:
"Man...I wish I had kept all of my drawings I did in those old Composition notebooks in class instead of paying attention. That's pretty much Holy Moly, a bunch of drawings that look like they were done with a Bic disposable pen during a social studies class (not much of a narrative, and unlike me, Hayes doesn't try her own recreation of a Kiss, Journey or Boston logo). Note to all zinesters, comix makers: stop with the composition notebook covers. I can think of about a dozen of them right now, and they don't seem to grab people's attention (although to Haye's credit, she doesn't copy the cover, she draws the marble pattern by hand - pretty cool)."

Maggie read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon:
"I tore through this book in one day. A murder mystery written from the perspective of an autistic boy who has an extremely limited grasp of human emotion (happy and sad), yet possesses a photographic memory that gives him extraordinary math and hard science skills. The book is full of minute detail but lacks any real emotion from the narrator which makes for a sometimes sad but always fascinating read."

Rachel read Burn Collector 13 by Al Burian:
"One of my favorite titles, the latest issue is full of Burian's usual personal insights, distant cynicism and grumblings. There are more political thoughts this time around, as Burian travels Europe and thinks about being American. Issue 13 was too short."

Lauren read The Constant Rider Omnibus by Kate Lopresti:
"Kate began her zine in September 2000 and this booklet contains the first 3 issues. Issue 1 was my favorite. This one detailed Kate's trip home from Portland, Oregon to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There are so many wonderful stories of the people that she meets. My favorite parts...fruit and customs. Kate doesn't declare her pears on the way into Canada, she eats some and then throws the evidence away. On the way back she declares her orange and is forced to eat it at the border. I also loved the funny description of her Amtrack ride through a barren North Dakota. Kate is a funny gal and a wonderful story teller.

The other issues are about people that Kate meets on the bus that are 'in an altered state of mind while riding' and positive stories of riding the bus. Constant Rider is a great travel zine with a lot of humor."

Geek Love

Maggie had a little fun last night with the Love Rats.

Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you


(link stolen from tree)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Love Rats

Nothing says I Love You in that uniquely Baltimore way than this.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Chunklet 19

After being mysteriously lost in Atlanta...the new Chunklet is finally here!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Why You Gotta Be A Hater?

The New York Public Library has the Atomic Books site blocked. I guess they don't want people accidentally buying books when they're in a library.

I know, I know it's not that. It's the boobies.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bullshit Blizzard

5 inches of snow shut down this city like a hermit crab touched by an angel.

Yes, we're open.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Ok, we're out of here!

Maybe we can open tomorrow.


There isn't that much on the ground yet, but it's really coming down.

Still, the danger isn't the weather so much as the other cars on the road. And pedestrians who dart into the street like startled deer. Ah, Baltimore.

The Bar that Blog Built

Here's "Molly" at her brand new bar.

When I first came to Baltimore, I was surprised by the bar culture. "You mean people go to corner bars and just...drink?"

No tvs. No bands. Just people drinking and...talking? Crazy stuff.

Molly's has a pool table, though, and a jukebox that's online and downloads pretty much anything you want. Torment and delight the crowd with your picks (you can also pay extra and push your songs ahead on the queue, but that's just rude!). As Benn likes to say, "Always with pleasure, a little pain." Which I think is why he played "Tusk".

Molly's will also be wireless. Soon.

Friday, January 21, 2005

What To Do With A Flaming Squirrel Patch?

Atomic Knit Night has started back up again. Wednesday nights, from 7-9pm, here at Atomic Books. Except for the First Wednesday of the month when we go across the street to the Golden West Long Bar. It's smoke free and we even have a drink - The Lusty Purl!

What is Knit Night about? Here's a short FAQ:

Q: Does it cost anything?
A: Nope! It's free.

Q: Is it a class?
A: No, it's more of a social group. People just hang out and work on their own projects. We have cookies from Rose's up the street (or other people bake things and bring them in). We swap yarn, help figure out patterns, share what we know and chat.

Q: I just learned how to knit. Can I still come?
A: Of course. We have a lot of beginners in our group, as well as knitters of all levels.

Q: Can I crochet there?
A: Yes. All craftsters are welcome. As long as what you're working on is portable.

Q: Why do you knit?
A: Because it's fun, an outlet for creativity, a good way to recycle yarn from old sweaters, an alternative to smoking, something to do while you watch tv, an expression of love, a way to meditate on life, birth and death...

Q: Are you all grandmothers?
A: No. Not all of us.

We're knitters of all ages, and we're not even all women. We're an opinionated, diverse bunch so just bring an open mind, something to work on and enjoy yourself.

If you have more questions you can always ask them in the Atomic Knit Forum.

Does That Means It's a Zombie or Jesus?

HFS came back to life! I think you can outrun it though.

Friday Review

This week Lauren read Out by Natsuo Kirino:
"I cannot describe how much I loved this book. It is the best thriller that I have ever read. The story begins when a young mother strangles her husband. She looks to friends that she works with to help her cover it up. This causes a chain of events that takes the women into the dark underbelly of Japan. While the story beings with the women there are so many other vivid characters, and despite the fact that they all do awful things I could identify with them as well. It all begins to tie together around the middle and then the book becomes impossible to put down."

Rachel read Budda V1 by Osamu Tezuka:
"It's like Astro Boy, Disney, and the Marx Bros all got together to tell the story of Buddha's birth. The story pulls you into the mythical past even as it stands back and makes modern day references and meta asides."

Benn read Bighead by Jeffrey Brown:
"Every once in awhile I get in the mood for a good superhero comic (which is something that is really hard to find), and lately I've been in that mood. Jeffrey Brown's version of costumed heroes, presented here as a collection of shorts, takes the charm of his autobiographical work and applies it to the superhero genre for amusing and endearing results. It sucks when the chick you like falls for your arch-nemesis, The Brit!"

Mike read Art of Modern Rock by Paul Grushkin & Dennis King:
"Probably the greatest Christmas present I've ever recieved, this massive hardcover tome covers all angles of rock postery. Divided into categories according to particular techniques and conceptual approches, the book is able to shed some light into the minds of many severely overlooked and underappreciated artists from all over the world. The pages are glossy, vibrant, and beautiful. The only drawback is that every once in a while you will see a flyer for a show you missed that just might have been the best show ever."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Drinking is Good For You

It's just something I heard on NPR this morning! It makes you smart.

And just in time to help keep us brainy, Molly's (her blog), a new bar in Remington, is opening tomorrow! 400 W 23rd St. Be there or be stupid.

Cool Stuff

Something must be in the air, like a crazy Other Santa, bringing all these arty, indy, ziney goodies in the new year.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Secret Crush Society

The latest Atomic Twang (our little baby label) release is by Secret Crush Society, Baltimore Chapter. The CD release takes place at the Ottobar, Feb 4th, to benefit the Hampden Family Center.

I'll Flickr Blog Anything

UPDATE: This could go on forever.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

My LJ's Back So You're Gonna Be In Trouble

Wow, I must have been on the MadCow Cluster because my LJ was down for almost 48 hours.

Btw, if you're on LJ, this blog can be added to your Friends List here.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Ladies First!

A couple of years ago we had a Shank Field Trip to Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in PA to try eat their crazy massive burgers. This is only the 2 pounder. It nearly killed those who tried to conquer it. You see, the meat is 2 pounds after it's cooked, but there's an additional 3 pounds of bread, onions, tomatoes and condiments! That photo doesn't do the burger justice. It's BIGGER in RL. It's a real life Flintstone-esque burger.

Just yesterday, a 100 pound woman did the impossible. She ate the 6 pounder! Woo-hoo!

At the time we had been there we heard stories of a 98 pound woman working her way up to the 6 pounder. She had already defeated the 3 pounder. Who could have foreseen this young whippersnapper stealing her glory??

Yeah, we had seen it on the Food Network, too. Damn kids!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Friday Review

This week Maggie read Sweet Action #3:
"I like the concept of this magazine, yet a lot of the guys look like junkies/sleazeballs. My favorite article was the review of short stay motels in the NY/NJ area complete with pictures of heart-shaped hot tubs."

Mike read How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers:
"In these short stories, Dave Eggers is able to bounce all over the place as a narrator and still maintain a distinctive, enjoyable style. A lot of the tales seem like simple narrative experiments, but others really hold their own. I particularly enjoyed 'The Only Meaning of the Oil Wet Water' which involved two love-confused surfers, and 'Quiet' which reaches a level of awkwarndess I never thought possible."

Lauren read Crippled by Depression: Why Don't Nobody Love Me:
"About Adam, an artist, and his search for a girlfriend through Craigslist. His posts are funny and real and the answers range from amusing young girls to actual possibilities. The zine is also filled with illustrations by Adam. It's a fun, quick read and a glimpse into a single's search for companionship through personals. I found myself smiling at the entire thing."

Benn read Murder Can Be Fun #19 by John Marr:
"It's refreshing to see the return of a much loved zine. This issue collects music related murders and deaths, and while it informs (at times in greatly researched detail), it also inspires - it offers hope for a zine world that has been ravaged by blogs and watered-down by self-indulgent per-zines."

Rachel read Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami:
"When I first started reading Murakami's books I kind of binged on a bunch all at once, so I decided to savor the last few before I would be left with nothing. Now that Kafka on the Shore is coming out (next week!) I decided to go on with the follow up to A Wild Sheep Chase, which I loved.

How does he do it? Another disappearing woman and yet it doesn't get old. Spooky, suspenseful, and profound, and yet still as familiar and satisfying as eating a bowl of spaghetti."

Where There's Smoke

photo by Mag Sabo

Something's on fire downtown.


Baltimore Sun:
Patrick Johnson, 13, who lives across the street from the warehouse, saw the smoke and fire from a bus as he came home from school. "I thought it was my house," he said, watching from his front stoop as firefighters sprayed the warehouse. "I ain't seen nothing like this before, not even on TV."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cats Got Poe

Mail Art

Yes, Flickr crazy.

We get some amazing stuff through the mail. Odd postcards, handmade stationery or just all out works of art. These are just the recent items of Mail Art sent to Atomic Books.

Since we've opened in this location almost 4 years ago we've taken to just sticking postcards on the wall behind the counter.

Some Cool Fliers

Since I'm Flickr crazy I've started a set on local flier and poster art. Yes, art!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

What I Love About the Interwebs

(Warning! Don't click on this next link if you're easily grossed out. Really. Actually, just skip this post altogether. Really.)

This conversation. This is why the internet wins.

Oh, and this, too. Click through the Fucking Pictures. (link found via

God, I used to love dead baby jokes! Catholic school Effs You up. Actually, I think it was New Jersey.

Radio Eats Radio

HFS is dead. Long live El Zol!

On Wednesday at noon, the popular modern rock station WHFS 99.1, owned by Infinity Broadcasting, was reformatted to become "El Zol." The new station features salsa, merengue, bacchata, Caribbean and Central American dance music in a Spanish-language format.

I was shocked at first, but then I realized that I don't give a shit. It's not like I've listened to that station in years.

I have my interwebs.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Scene of the Crime

Jen's got some pics of the police scene last night on Flickr.

Anyone else know anything more?

I'm a Blogger Not a Fighter

We were in Frijoles tonight when we heard that a "hostage situation" was happening on our end of the Ave.

Sure enough, when we walked out we could see a bunch of cop cars and what looked like the rest of the Avenue from Roland to Falls blocked off. It looked crazy so we didn't want to get too close.

Couldn't find anything from traditional news sources yet, but luckily there are bloggers in Hampden for a bit of the ol' eye-wit-ness.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

You Can't Kill the Rooster

Now that the New Year has started, it's almost time for New Year again. It's the dreaded Chinese Year of the Rooster. Well, dreaded for all of us (I'm circa 1969) born in the year of the Cock...our own years are considered unlucky.

Remember to wear something red every day to ward off the bad luck. It starts on Feb 9th.

You have a month to collect a set of red underwear.

(Thanks for the beautiful card, MF!)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Friday Review

For the past few years I've been keeping a log of my reading. Last year was pretty pathetic and I lost track around August or so. But I've been inspired by largehearted boy's 52 Book project and this year I plan to keep up and finish something every day, whether it's a magazine, zine, book, comic or paper. If it's a publication, it's up for some reading.

Everyone one else here at Atomic is also up for brief Friday reviews on the blog. So here are a few things we've read this past week:

What could be more perfect than Time Enough at Last to start off this section? AJ Michael's one shots are always a treat, and for list lovers, like myself, this one may be the best yet. A list of all her reads from last year - from classics to current zines, fiction, non-fiction, comix, etc. I got a vicarious sense of achievement!

Benn read Flaming Carrot #1 by Bob Burden:
"It's great to see the absurdist Flaming Carrot back in action. While I chuckled out loud at a couple parts, in George Bush Amerika I was given pause at the anti-Political Correctness theme (a tired joke for alterna-comix) and the reference to Bill O'Rielly. So, I'm kinda mixed."

Maggie read Belly Button #2 by Sophie Crumb:
"The second half of her story 'The Post-Card Seller' had a rather disappointing ending, but that's real life for ya. The story 'My Illustrated Diary of the Last 6 Months' which takes up an entire half of the issue was shocking in its sleazyness and honesty as Sophie reviewed her return to the US."

And Mike read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (smarty Mike picked a book that we carry in the store but missed putting up on the site. Jesus, Mike! You want me to link to Amazon or something?!):
"I had no trouble getting furiously obsessed with this 700 page book about a book about a documentary on a black hole of a house that never existed. Some might say the author's use of upside down text, one word pages, and ten page footnotes is pretentious, but it's easy to confuse pretentiousness with ambition, which I never felt took away from the narrative. Ultimately, the book is as compelling as it is horrifying, and will swallow your time and soul as easily as the house does its victims."


"If you like your books long, confusing, and scary, this one's for you."

Email Down

Our email has been down all day. Please call us if there's any question you need answered urgently. Or IM us.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

MC Pee Pants!

Atomic Books Presents a Special Performance by MC CHRIS of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim's Sealab 2021, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, and Space Ghost.

Download his new album for free here!

Monday, January 31st. 8PM - 10PM.
Upstairs at the Ottobar. All ages!
Plus: drink specials, giveaways, and more!

Season Three of ATHF is momentarily in stock.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Will Eisner

The man who invented the graphic novel passed away last night.

Closed for Inventory

We're closed today for inventory.

Oddly, some Red Bull representatives arrived at our door with some free Red Bulls. Maggie's the only one who really drinks this stuff. Lucky for her!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Atomic Hook Up?

I've been mulling it over and I think that if fans of Ayn Rand can have their own dating service than why not fans of Robert Anton Wilson? Or Kurt Vonnegut? Or even Tom Robbins? Bukowski...ok, can't really sell that one...

We could do something for fans of Atomic Books!

At least you know our fans would actually like having sex.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

52 Books, 52 Weeks

Have you cracked open a book yet in 2005? How many books do you think you read in a year? Do you have a list or do you just go with the flow and pick up whatever strikes your fancy?

Largehearted Boy has a project of reading a book for every week of the year. He seemed to have accomplished this with ease last year and his reading list was so fun and eclectic we're sponsoring him this year.

LHB's blog is a great resource for a wide variety of indie mp3s and news. It's one of our favorites. (Actually, Benn's addicted to it.)