Saturday, April 30, 2005

Water - Public Enemy Number One

Wow, it's pouring!

It just takes one drop of water to ruin a book. Moisture is paper's nemesis. On days like this I almost want to just close, lest the rain gets on any books as people come in and out.


Rain date for the Shank Yard Sale is tomorrow! Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Friday Review - Moving, Shaking

This week Rachel finished Tokyo: A Certain Style by Kyoichi Tsuzuki:
"This is the coffee table book for people who live in apartments the size of SUVs. Since we just moved this past week, I stumbled upon this book again (which I'd never really finished reading) and felt much better about all of our clutter around our new house. Seeing the way real people live in Tokyo (without the Zen gardens and the minimalist rooms you see in Japanese decor books) is fascinating and inspiring. It's just room after room packed with books, clothes, CDs, pots and pans, organized to the hilt or not, students, professionals, families, all juggling their lives between their tiny personal space and their possessions."

Lauren read Playing Right Field by George Tabb:
"George is a long time contributor to Maximum Rock 'n' Roll. His columns are always very funny and enjoyable to read. This book reads just like the essays and details the life of George as a child, following him until 10th grade.

With only a few Jews in his ritzy Connecticut suburb, George is taunted and beat up, known to most as "pussy" or "Jew". Though a sad tale, George's ability to make you laugh at the most horrible things (like an abusive father and a one armed kid that kicks his ass) is what makes this book amazing. Very similar to David Sedaris but punk rock."

Benn read Guilty by Karl Stevens:
"I'm a sucker for good cross-hatching. I find it mesmerizing, especially since when I try it, it just makes whatever I cross-hatch look dirty. Karl Stevens is a clear master of the form, and that alone makes GUILTY fun. The characters are like those annoying, post-college twentysomething sitting at the table next to you when you're out for a Saturday breakfast at a local diner/cafe. You know the kind that talk a bit too loud, and say annoying things? But that's part of the point here. Karl's characters are a loathsome lot, but at least they grow a bit. Everything looks so intense because of Karl's clear mastery over the lost art of cross-hatching. I'm a sucker for good cross-hatching."

Remember When We Were Called Slackers?


Kids today! All they seem to do is MAKE stuff! Making like all these cool, witty, cute, arty things. I tell ya...

Oh wait, we did that, too. But everyone thought we were losers for wasting our time drawing and shit.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Baltimore Blogabout

Idle Type has a new look and some local commentary.

Hampden IS the Bomb!

Oh, they were from a farm. I thought they came from outer space!

Are you going to race??

Triplets!

Contest Extended!

I've extended the Flickr Pro Account contest since there were many technical difficulties in the past week (Flickr was down, Blogger's always got some kind of issues...). So here are the details again:

Are you on Flickr yet? Are you on but you don't have a Pro Account?

Well, here's a contest for you! I have a Free Pro Account to give away. Here's the deal:

Take a photo with a book in it. "Best Photo With A Book In It" wins the Pro Account. "Best" being totally arbitrary and up to me.

Email me a jpg or a link to your photo submission. Deadline is Thursday, May 5th, at midnight.

The winner will be announced May 6th!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Post Its!


It's the 25th birthday of Post Its!

This piece was created by local artist, Bruce Willen, and it hangs behind the counter at the store.

We love office supplies.

Who Can It Be Now?


Our founder, Scott Huffines, in 1987. I have no idea what this ID is about and he won't tell me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Freak & Geek


Neil (of the pull away pants that pulled away during Chester Stacey's Eddie Money set a couple of 80s Nights ago one) says he's in high school...but doesn't he look like he's 10??

Monday, April 25, 2005

Girls Rock Your Boys


Aw, it's Lauren before her prom, 1989.

Bad News Blog

It was 45 degrees and drizzly at 6:30pm yesterday, but some brave souls came out to play softball anyway. It wasn't as Bad News Bears-y as I expected (who expected bookworms to be so competent at sports?) and it's always a good time watching Benn's pants fall down as he tries to run.

The Baltimore Bookstore League will meet every Sunday at 6:30pm at Roosevelt Park's diamond (Corner of Falls Rd. & 36th St. in Hampden). Come a little early to warm up. Especially if you haven't touched a ball or bat in 25 years. Like me.

Check this blog for cancellations.

And watch out for the cops on the corner with their seat belt trap. They've been out there on Sundays disrupting traffic and yelling at motorists...because they've got nothing better to do?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Say Anything


Dug hated the 80s, too. Here he is, in the Summer of 1987.

Friday, April 22, 2005

New Wavers


In case you didn't know, Lisa (of Secret Crush Society, who will be playing Hate the 80s) and Becky's 1985 high school yearbook has a handy definition of the movement.

Go Pro

Are you on Flickr yet? Are you on but you don't have a Pro Account?

Well, here's a contest for you! I have a Free Pro Account to give away. Here's the deal:

Take a photo with a book in it. "Best Photo With A Book In It" wins the Pro Account. "Best" being totally arbitrary and up to me.

Email me a jpg or a link to your photo submission. Deadline is Thursday, April 28th, at midnight.

The winner will be announced next Friday.

Friday Review - In The Haiku Style

This week Lauren read Cruddy by Lynda Barry:
"life of roberta
knives, trains, murder, greed, drugs, friends
childhood is cruddy"

Benn read Hate Annual #5 by Pete Bagge:
"It's good to see HATE,
but Bagge should turn the essays
into comics too."

Rachel read Prime by Poppy Z. Brite:
"Revisit tasty
chefs simmer then boil over
in Texas, which blows"

Maggie read Love & Rockets V2.13:
"Jaime's art is great
Julio's day is so long!
Hopey loves Maggie."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

More 80s

bennyid

Whoa. And you thought mine was bad!

Update: I guess I need to clarify. This is Benn's college freshmen ID. Benn's full name is Joseph Benson Ray, IV. Yes, that's Benn. Why would I lie?

iBenn


The Baltimore Sun finds out what's on some Baltimorean's iPods, including Benn's.

"Anyone who uses 'shuffle' a lot will tell you that iPods have a personality and go through moods," says Ray, who named his iPod AtomicPod - Atom for short. "I've heard they did studies to verify the randomness of the iPod, but I don't care. Atom definitely gets into moods where it wants to play certain kinds of music."

These iPodsters are worse than people who anthropomorphize their pets!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

18 And Life To Go


This is my college freshmen ID. Wow...the hair! Can you see how happy I was?

Can you stand it?? Can you even wait to Hate the 80s??

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Yard Dogs


What a show it was!

Friday Review - Hungover

This week Rachel read Sleepy Little Kittens by Torahiko Yamashita:
"This isn't a book so much as an instrument of torture. It's a fucking cute bomb."

Lauren read Dolltopiaby Abby Denson:
"The story revolves around Kitty Ballerina and Jim the army man doll. Tired of their lives being played out by human fantasy, they escape the dream house for the land of Dolltopia where dolls that choose not to conform live. It's a story of punk rock dolls and embraces the ideas of freedom of choice and revolution.

The art is very cute, in the style of Dame Darcey, and the story is fun."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Show Us Your BOO...KSHELVES!

Don't you hate it when you're trying to talk to someone and they just keep staring at your bookselves?

Kozyndan will show you theirs.

A whole group on Flickr will show you theirs!

Can't get enough! Cuz I'm nosy like that.

Hampden Idol Madness

Remember, THIS Friday is Midnight Madness here on the Avenue. It's a night where most businesses will be open later than usual, serving refreshments or having sales and specials, and a lot of us will be open until Midnight.

Here at Atomic Books, we'll have another Karaoke Revolution Tournament in our lounge. Starts at 9pm SHARP. And this time, there's a duet competition! Get here a little before 9 to get your names in the drawing for the competition.

You want to beat Angela, don't ya?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

We Are Not A Comic Bookstore

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

We get this question all the time: What ARE Atomic Books?

Yes, we carry a lot of comics and graphic novels. But we just carry things we like. Not that we don't care for superheroes at all, but there are real comic bookstores that do a much better job of carrying all that.

Our criteria is just to carry good books. We like the little guys, the little books. Not that our interests aren't broad enough to have a lot of things you wouldn't expect, if you assumed we were a comic bookstore.

Atomic Books is Benn and Rachel. A little Maggie, a bit Lauren, along with Dug and the ghost of Huffines. And all of our loyal customers, distributors, zinesters and publishers who help us fill this place by sharing their interests and opening our horizons to even more great stuff. And that's it folks. We're just a tiny bookstore trying to make it in the big bad world, carving out a niche where we can like what we do and do what we like.

We're a little bit country. A little bit rocknroll. You'll be Shocked and Amazed.

This is our fifth April on the Ave in Hampden. Join us for our Anniversary Party at The Ottobar, May 7th, won't you?

Anniversaryposter

Monday, April 11, 2005

So Cute We Hate Them


Oh look, Jess is back.

She's holding this book of kittens. Sleepy Little Kittens. A whole photo book of just sleeping kittens. Yes, it's Japanese.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Jess Kramer


Oh no, Jess has moved into the neighborhood!

We're home packing (Benn and I are moving, not the store, calm down) and she's usurped the basement, interviewing some band for a local rag.

Next thing you know she's going to be cranking out sausages in the basement with Newman while we're not around.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Friday Review

This week, Rachel finished Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite:
"I finished Liquor just in time to savor the sequel, Prime, which just came out a couple of weeks ago. It's like Food Network Slash (Come on, Lenny=Emeril??)! Lots of behind the scenes info about the restaurant biz, the types of people who get into the field and general New Orleans style drinking, drugging and eating."

Lauren read Barrelhouse:
"A new literary magazine inspired by a drunken night of brainstorming. I am generally not a fan of literary journals, but this one is completely different. Barrelhouse combines essays, fiction, poetry and comics in a pretty package with great writing broad topics: Steve Almond(author of one of my favorite books Candyfreak)writes about how much Hollywood/Blockbusters suck, an interview with the fabulous Emmylou Harris and 'Metal Church' considers the hidden love of metal that a regular working stiff feels.

My favorite part is when Barrelhouse chooses a story from their website and creates a comic from it. The comic is printed in the magazine and the story is up on the website. I enjoyed the words as well as the illustration in this piece."

Benn read Hello, Again by Max Estes:
"Secrets and betrayal are the cornerstone to Estes' book. 'You have to answer for the past... not live by it' is the moral to this story as a hole opens up in the ground and a ghost of someone who the protagonist, William, wronged as a child climbs out. The ghost, not an innocent himself, helps William move beyond his current rut of a life (like the affair he's having with his best friend's fiance), get over his past, and move forward in a more positive direction. Very readable, with simple and stylized linework, Hello, Again is a hopeful and insightful comic."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Baltimore Bookstore League

Atomic Books and Normals are trying to get together some teams to play some friendly games of softball.

Interested parties should show up at Roosevelt Park's diamond on Sunday, April 24th at 6:30PM with their gloves and dressed to practice.

We'll figure out teams and regular playing times then. For more info email us!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Factoids

I don't know if you knew but:

1. I'm a Hip User.

2.

3. Maggie thinks a slice of ice cream cake is ONE QUARTER of it.

4. Lauren has a new IM: paintedbooklady

5. Dug does not like jeans.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Freaks & Fire


The author of Freaks & Fire and the Yard Dogs Road Show are coming to town! April 14th at the Ottobar. We'll be there with books for Dee Hill and Eddy Joe Cotton to sign. Come one, come all!

Can You See Me Now?

We're here!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Atomic Jeopardy!

Answer this in the form of a question and win 2 passes to Sin City at the Senator:

Tony Shore's velvet painting in Atomic Books is a Baltimore take of a painting by this artist.

Use comments to answer. First correct answer wins! Contest ends at 4pm today.

UPDATE:

Erin wins with the correct answer: Who is Leonardo DaVinci?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Mad, Sad and Only One Person Was Glad

But then she got sad, too...when she realized that Atomic Books is NOT moving to Ellicott City after all. Sorry Amy, we're not going to be neighbors after all.

In the Shank this week it was announced that Atomic Books would be moving to Ellicott City.

April Fools, people!


I'm pretty uncomfortable with pranks. Mostly because it's so similar to straight up lying, which is really hard for me to do in RL, though not so hard online (did I really make you cry, Lisa?) or over the phone (sorry, Chris X!).

I held out as long as I could mostly through avoidance. Next year, Benn will have to just prank us all by himself.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I Like Cocks


What can I say? I was born in 1969, Year of the Rooster. An art book series of all the Chinese Zodiac animals, this one is all about roosters.

Friday Review - Vigilance!

This week Benn finished V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd:
"Back in the late 80s, when V for Vendetta first came out, I recall reading it and being underwhelmed. During the 12 years of the Reagan/Bush Part 1 Regime, there was a lot of Orwellian dystopia going on. Most likely it was a cultural fascination with the book 1984 since we'd just passed the year 1984. And, of course, the end of the Cold War and the politics of Reagan/Bush helped feed into that Orwellian worldview. So the book didn't strike me as particularly original or even that relevant. I've tried going back over the years and rereading V for Vendetta just to see if there was something I missed, but I found Lloyd's bleak art and Siobhan Dodds' flat coloring impenetrable. Plus, that was during the Clinton years, everyone was having fun, making money, and the story of a totalitarian government that spies on its citizens and a terrorist revolutionary hero rising up seemed even more distant. But now, not even a year in to Bush Part 2's second term, post 9/11, V for Vendetta packs more relevancy than most other forms of socio-political commentary being produced today. We have a government that has used a national tragedy of a terrorist strike for justification for unpopular wars, to spy on its own citizens (and in some cases detain them indefinitely), for propaganda and manipulation of the media, for panicking the masses into following them, and for turning the yokes of government over to corporate interests (which is, by definition, Fascism). In V for Vendetta, it takes a terrorist to free the minds of an oppressed and manipulated nation. In real life, it took a terrorist to help a government oppress and manipulate its masses. Now that we do live in an Orwellian age, where are the other 1984-esque dystopian visions?"