Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bloggers, Take Note

Bookslut's Jessa wants more brawling, less bawling in the literary world.

"Not everyone should write a book. And not everyone who does write a book is deserving of praise, as if the literary community is one big Special Olympics. That's not interesting, and it's not how you foster growth."

I'm not sure I want more brawling...maybe more balling BOWLING. Is that in the Olympics?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Minimas Unite!

There are way too many local people using this template called Minima.

It kind of confuses me. Do we have something in common? Maybe we should form a gang?

The new Urbanite has a section on Baltimore Bloggers. I'd link to it, but there's nothing to link to on their site (hint, hint, you Urbanite People! How can you write about the internet and not have it online NOW?). The Shank is mentioned but it makes it sound like it just started last Fall.

The Mobtown Shank Blog is new, yes, but the Shank in email form is approaching it's 6th anniversary this August.

Hey, I have an idea, the Minimas should have a rumble with those MT/TypePad People.

Or better yet, we could ALL gang up on those LJers!

UPDATE: The blogging article is up now.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Review: Cat-holics

This week we all read Catholic No 1: Cats edited by Glynnis McDaris and Jesse Pearson:

Lauren: "Originally this was a handmade zine that went with a group show in New York, Catholic: addicted to cats. The new version is a very beautiful art book. In it are photos, illustrations, musings on cats and a piece on taxidermy(which was my favorite). I'm not a cat person but this book is filled with really great images, like cats dressed in clothes, and interesting writings, like good cat names bad cat names. It's perfect for the coffee table or the crazy cat lady in your life."

Rachel: "I'm allergic to cats, but I still find them appealing. They're sort of like baseball. I'm not really a fan, but I'm sucker for the idea of baseball.

This isn't your grannie's take on cats. These essays and artworks range from meditations on their kitsch factor to images of a more pervy and violent nature. And of course, cats in funny outfits."

Benn: "So many cats, it's sick-making. More than just an exercise in excessive cuteness, Catholic starts off with photos and an essay of the burial of a kitten. Some of the more interesting artwork presents the sexual fetishization of kitties. Oh, and Patch (see page 88) rules!"

Getting Old Sucks

First Madonna says that she "regrets being sexy", now William Powell renounces the Anarchist Cookbook and wants it out of print.

What next? Will Sid Meier admit that video games are a waste of time?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Our First Book

Coming in July, a collection of the Lulu Eightball strips by Emily Flake, published by Atomic Book Company, our brand new press!

Emily will be here signing copies of our mutual first book on August 6th, Sat, 7-9pm. After party to be had somewhere on the Ave. More info to come! Check back on our events page.

Flickr Thingie

Are you on flickr yet?

Here's a neat little app. Type in sugarfreak (me) and the tag:"atomic books" and you get a faux album to look through. It's a little glitchy sometimes (still beta), but pretty fun when it works.

I'm not a very diligent tagger, but now I'm going to go back and tag some shit up!

(Thanks for the link, glueslabs!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Taschen Specials

So Taschen is putting out special anniversary limited editions of some of their best art books. At $12.99 they're simply awesome, and most of them are hardcovers. Collect them all before they're gone.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bicycles Locked To Poles

There's one in front of the store every morning. Except it's locked to a tree.

John Glassie will be here this Friday, 7-9pm, to sign his collection of such things.

Man, I had waaaay too much coffee today and got nothing done!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Review - Holy Crap, It's a Beautiful Day!

This week Lauren read Assassin & The Whiner 15 by Carrie McNinch:
"It's been just about 3 years since Carrie did an issue of what has always been a favorite zine of mine. This time around it's a month of diary comics from January. I love Carrie's drawing style as well as her honesty. She talks about depression, the feelings of not really being yourself. There are moments of clarity for Carrie, though. Times that she embraces life.

Carrie also talks about her feelings on drinking and addiction. A great zine. Highly recommended."

Rachel read KnitKnit 5 by Sabrina Gschwandtner:
"Since the knitting craze has swept the world (again) for the past decade or so, it's been kind of difficult to find publications for new wave knitters that aren't geared toward beginning knitters. Yes, we know how to knit and purl now. Where do we go from here? KnitKnit shows us the way.

This issue is chock full of photos of crocheted food, art exhibits, interviews with artists pushing the boundaries and functions of craft AND a pattern for a knit tie.

The deluxe version of this issue comes with a cool crocheted bookwrap designed and crocheted by Josh Faught using Ozark Handspun."

Benn read The Old Ball Game by Frank Deford:
"Deford's stylized prose revisits baseball at the turn of the century - back when it was struggling between being a game of drunken thugs and becoming America's pastime. He focuses on the unlikely relationship between two legends that represent the change baseball was going through, John McGraw (the rough and tumble, win at all costs ballplayer) and Christy Matthewson (the symbol of Rugged Christianity). Deford's unique voice creates an interesting history that reveals a culture in transition that is slightly more in depth than the segment of that era from Ken Burns' "Baseball" documentary. Also, for Orioles fans, the relevance and impact of the old Baltimore team on baseball is also a lot of fun to go through."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Freak Crab

Half Male, Half Female, caught in the Chesapeake.

Watson said the crab already has a name, Springer. The watermen thought it was strange enough to be on "The Jerry Springer Show."

"Our next goal is, I want to catch a mermaid," Watson said. "Hey, man, you never know."

We Can Be Sweatier

Baltimore is the 55th Sweatiest city in the country.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Allison Crews

From Lauren:

"Recently I lost a friend of mine, Allison Crews. Alli was an amazing force in this world - a writer, activist and friend. Her loss will be felt by many. She was only 22 and leaves behind a loving partner and their 2 children. The following links are to some of Alli's works and to a fund that is being set up for her young family. Alli's contribution to this world, to women and young mothers everywhere will not be forgotten.

For donations.
Top 30 young activists.
Essay from Breeder about Alli's experience as a teenage mother
A piece on the reproductive rights of minors.
Alli inspired the creation of this fund."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Honfest Photorama

Photo by defekto

I have to admit that I'm a photo-taking slacker when it comes to events. For more really amazing Honfest photos check out the Flickr Group Baltimore Photo Pool. If you're on Flickr join the group!

Li'l Hons

Whew, I'm wiped out! The variation of Hons keeps getting broader and broader every year.

Next time Attila shows up to Honfest would someone please get me so I can take their photo??

Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Review: Outbreak

This week Benn read Super F*ckers #1 by James Kochalka:
"Kolchalka takes a cue from his recent Bizarro World contribution and creates his own version of a superhero team. Part Teen Titans, part Legion of Superheroes, but all Kochalka, this comic reads more like The Mystery Men meets the "Real World". Okay, so it's not an original concept, but that's not the point. Characters like Vortex, an indie-rocker-looking guy who keeps a small world in a bottle and a Gollum-like creature tormented by the beauty of one of the heroes, and the epic battle/team try-outs at the end of the issue all verge on genius."

Lauren read Bike#5/List#6 by Daniel Shea and R.Beyer:
"This is a comics split zine of 2 established zinesters, a boyfriend and girlfriend. Daniel's side has a story of bike tricks when he was 8, shoplifting meds, and unhappy grocery store clerks. His girlfriend illustrates lists. There is one about things to look forward to, a trip to CA, things to learn, financial woes, her bedrooms. I liked List better, just because I like lists. Each one does a comic of the other which is very cute. The cover is a beautiful screen print. A great zine."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Napoleon Dubinite

JHU's Summer Outdoor Film Series is showing Napoleon Dynamite after sunset this Saturday. Something to do after Honfest.

You can even meet Diedrich Bader, who'll be there at the Homewood Campus, inexplicably.

Here at the store during the festival, Brian Dubin will be here helping out, as only Dubin can.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We're Back!

It's our new Hampden Idol - Heather!

The Hampden Idol competition is over for the Summer, but we'll be back with the release of the New Karaoke Revolution Party! Get your dance moves ready, because it involves choreography!


No power again!!!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Um...doesn't look good for Honfest this weekend, does it? You know what it was like for Hampdenfest last year. But maybe, also like Hampdenfest, if it does storm it'll clear up before too long.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Most of the Ave has been without power for about 2 hours now. Nothing like having no electricity on the hottest day of the year.

We'll be at the Golden West until we power back up. Yeah, these lucky bastards are on a different grid.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Someone Karaoked A Little Too Hard

At the end of the night, as Benn did "Against the Odds" by one Mr. Phil Collins, it became a mob sing-a-long. A good time was had by all at the first Keyboard Man Karaoke at Molly's.

Some karaoked a little too hard. Some spent the day in the bathroom. Hope you feel better now, Mags.

Why Not Baltimore?

Johnny Fox had to close down his Freakatorium when his rent went up.

But he still dreams of opening back up in NY some day:

Mr. Fox wants to continue in that vein, wants to teach New Yorkers that the comic book and cartoon heroes they grew up with are, in fact, direct descendants of early freaks like the Sacred Hairy Family of Burma or JoJo the Dogface Boy.

"I want to let people see that the characters they love are not just concocted," he said.

But such ambitions require two things New York tends to keep to itself: real estate and money."

Out of towners tell us all the time when they come through, "We don't even have anything like you guys in NY." or "You should really open up a store in San Francisco."

And you know why that'll never happen? You can't really pay the hefty rent of overpriced cities when you're selling $1 zines. What used to make cities interesting were the diversity of people and their broad range of interests. But now the only people who can afford to do business there are large corporations and all you get are Old Navy variations ad nauseum (Hell, they even sell their own Taschen imprints there now!).

Baltimore is still cheap enough to be cool. You can afford to be different and do your own thing. But maybe not for too much longer.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

And Do You Feel Scared?

It's time for Keyboard Man Karaoke at Molly's! TONIGHT! Get your HoJo on!

This Ain't Your Father's Comic Con

Um, since when were comic cons filled with such young, healthy, cute and socially outgoing people?? Usually with comic con photos I can smell the BO through the screen. Maybe if you replace "Con" with "Festival" it changes everything! Look, I even see an older woman in a photo. Maybe she's Canadian.

The Beat has a great post about women and comics.

And if you had any doubts about whether or not we'd carry this, we WILL be getting in the Complete Calvin & Hobbes this Fall.

And this isn't comics-related, (but still, you know, dorky)if you pre-order Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, you get a 40% discount. Baltimorons email me to reserve your copy for pick up on July 16th!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday Review - Rainy Days And Mondays

This week Rachel read Spaniel Rage by Vanessa Davis:
"There's something devious about Davis' sketches. They seem simple, rushed, rough, reminiscent of your own bored classroom doodlings, but before you know it, you're studying them and realizing how complex they really are.

The book reads like you're fast fowarding through a year of someone's days, slowing down for highlighted moments of funny dialogue or quiet moments where nothing's really happening. What's the point? But as the longer stories towards the end reveal, it all adds up to a life."

Lauren read F Stop by Antony Johnston and Matthew Loux:
"Nick is a crappy photographer longing to do fashion shoots. He meets Chantel, a sassy supermodel, lies to her about being a fab shooter from overseas. She offers him a fashion shoot when their photographer cancels and he takes it. The pictures are crap, the fashion industry adores them, thinking that they are edgy. Nick moves up in the world, leaving his friends behind.

It's cute. Made for fans of Blue Monday or Andy Watson."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Faulty Premise

The Top Ten Most Harmful Books. That's SO EFFED UP, YO!

Can a book BE harmful? These books? What about the freakin' Bible then?

The Fountainhead did ruin a whole Summer for me back in the 80s. But I emerged unscathed!

Dramatic Catalog Readings

We receive hundreds of catalogs from publishers, distributors and wholesalers every year. They sort of read like movie trailers...if you read trailers instead of watched them. And you know, if they were for books.

"In a world...where laws have no meaning..."

Someone writes all that copy. We feel that they deserve some recognition. They should be read outloud, with feeling.

For our blog's one year anniversary, later this month, we'll be podcasting: Dramatic Catalog Readings.

Last Night, A Flonase Saved My Life

Atomic Knit Night is now on Summer Hiatus.

But that just means that we'll be meeting at the Golden West Bar across the street on Wednesday nights, from 7-9pm, until September.

It's the first Summer of the GW Long Bar. I hope they get AC back there.

There's a very good chance that I'm allergic to my current knitting project:

Come by tonight and watch the battle between my Flonase and my phlegm!