Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Required Reading: Secret Identity

Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster by Craig Yoe (editor)

In the early '50s, one of Superman's co-creators, Joe Shuster was down on his luck. So he sold illustrations to certain "under the counter" gentlemen's magazines. This collection is not only a fascinating document in America's censorship history (continuing Schuster's streak of bad luck - these magazines were banned by the U.S. Senate), but once you see these illustrations, you'll never be able to look at Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor the same way ever again. The figures in the book who are engaged in BDSM/festish activities all bear a striking resemblance to the characters Shuster created for DC Comics.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Books We're Looking Forward To

The Accidental Billionaires
Looks like another page turner about Ivy Leaguers, by the author of Bringing Down the House. The story about the creation of Facebook seems to be filled with crazy scandal. Perfect summer reading, but is it all for real? Let me take the Facebook quiz...

The Book of Genesis
Crumb's illustrative eye for the perverse is the perfect match for the Old Testament. I can't tell what I'm more excited about - to see the Zap Comix creator's take on the Bible or to see how the religious right responds to it.

The Art of Tony Millionaire
Tony Millionaire's devotion to all things old timey and his attention to detail make him one of my favorite artists. Although I love laughing at Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow's perpetual drunken misfortune, there's more to Millionaire's work than the alcoholic crow and horndog monkey.

Required Reading: The Sookie Stackhouse Novels

The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
If you tore through Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and enjoyed it and are looking for the next step but in a more grown-up direction, or if you are in love with the HBO series True Blood and get tired of waiting for a handful of episodes every couple of years, then tear through Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. It's not the same as the TV show, it's more mature than Twilight. Plus - there are 9 books and counting to keep you occupied.

Tearing through a series like this is sort of like sitting down with a complete season of your favorite TV show and going through it all in just a couple of days.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Required Reading: Ellen Kennedy's Poetry

Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs
by Ellen Kennedy

I am usually loathe to recommend books of contemporary poetry to people. Partly because it's such a deeply personal experience, it's tricky. Partly because no one ever asks me to recommend poetry. But mostly because I just don't want to encourage people. Most of the people who read poetry are frustrated poets themselves. In the interest of full-disclosure, that includes me too. I have a moldy, over-stuffed folder of my college work in a box labeled "Open only in the event of my death, and probably best to not even open then." But Ellen Kennedy is one of those rare poets - she's personable, witty, funny, charming, accessible, and with titles like "Probably Going To Die Alone", "Ants Can Never Die By Falling", "I Went To The Grocery Store Today", "My Dog Is A Little Obese" you know these are poems that we can all relate to - the kind that frequently make you spit food out of your mouth laughing if you read them while eating.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Required Reading: The Strain

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro / Chuck Hogan
The first installment of a trilogy by acclaimed film director Del Toro and writer Hogan.

A vampire virus spills out onto the streets of New York and marks the beginning stages of a war.

Swine flu, schmine flu.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Required Reading: Death. Zombies & Found Things

Here are the reading recommendations from today's radio show.

The Whole Death Catalog: A Lively Guide to the Bitter End by Harold Schechter
Basically, Schechter's book contains everything you ever wanted to know about death but were afraid to ask. A fascinating document into a subject people would rather not talk about but are best served to know about for when the time comes. It's easy to pick up and put down because entries are organized encyclopedia style - so you can skip around too. And just imagine the looks you'll get on the beach or at the pool when you kick back with The Whole Death Catalog.

Zombie Holocaust by David Flint
At this point I think we can all agree that it's no longer an "if" scenario, but a "when will the dead rise from their graves and begin fasting on the flesh of the living." So isn't it best to prepare by reading as much about our future predators as possible? Flint's book takes a look at how the walking dead devoured pop culture like they were fresh brains - it covers the span from the first appearance of real zombies documented in the early 20th century (yes, they really do exist), up through the hunger-driven hordes we see on in the movies almost all the time.

Requiem for a Paper Bag: Celebrities and Civilians Tell Stories of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Found Items from Around the World by Davy Rothbart (editor)
FOUND's mastermind takes a different approach for this new endeavor. Here he has his famous friends and fans tell their stories about their best finds. Includes Seth Rogen, Miranda July, Sarah Vowell, David Simon, Patton Oswalt, Dave Eggers, Tom Robbins, Chuck D, Andy Samberg, and more.

Atomic Books On The Radio Today

12PM/7PM. 88.1FM.
The Signal. WYPR. Baltimore.

Today, I will by on local NPR affiliate, WYPR talking about some suggested summer reading on the arts show The Signal.

Listen live.

Or listen to an mp3 of the show.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bar Bacon Comedy V

THIS Friday, June 26
11pm-12:30pm The Golden West Cafe.
Hampden, Baltimore.
1105 W. 36th St.
Bar Bacon returns with Round 5!

Comedians up this round:
Jimmy Merrit
Hampton Yount
Jim Meyers (our host)
Jamie Parish (of Baltimore Humiliated)
Zack Morehouse
Kat Hudson

If you missed Bar Bacon IV, you missed comedy history with this rare performance by Victor von Doom:

Sponsored by Atomic Books.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reading Club Drink Recipe

peachsakelemonade, originally uploaded by sugarfreak.

(Paul Hornschemeier's work on that glass!)

2/3 cup Peach Schnapps
3 cups Sake (get one that's meant to be served chilled)
6 cups Lemonade
4 lemons, thinly sliced
1 small root of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Pour into a pitcher and stir
Serves 12

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Infinite Summer

It's the first day of Summer! You know what that means - do you have your copy of Infinite Jest?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Person's Trash

photo by Bryan Burris

"We're sloppy about the way we talk about values," he says. "A car may have a certain market value, but there are also values that only mean something to the owner."

I love looking at people's collections of objects. This month's Baltimore Magazine takes a look at some impressive local collectors.

Laura Park Commissions

Some Old Fashioned Beggary, originally uploaded by featherbed.

Get in on it! What, you haven't seen her work? It's awesome!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June Baltozine Roundup

Keeping track of new magazines (etc.) that come in that talk about Baltimore stuff. For more on, by, or about Baltimore-area artists, check out the following issues below.

Mojo #188
Double Dagger - More (3 stars)
"Splitting the difference between Minutemen and Fugazi, the guitar-less Baltimore agit-punks rattle through an infectious third album they self-recorded in an abandoned office space. Overheated vocalist Nolen Strals and drummer Denny Bowen keep the tempo high while Bruce Willen's wandering bass shows how four strings can do the work of six." -Manish Agarwal

The Death Set - Rad Warehouses To Bad Neighborhoods (4 stars)
"Whereas the Ramones boiled classic pop right down, The Death Set burn it onto the bottom of the pan with their Suicide-like synthetic drums, buzzsaw guitars, samples and feral playground chants. These 23 short blasts in 43minutes also bring to mind the brevity of Wire circa Pink Flag. It's toxic but irresistible and full of hooks..." -Mike Barnes

The Big Take-Over #64
The Seldon Plan - Lost And Found And Lost
"...it's nevertheless delightful to see this Baltimore foursome's continued maturation. Which is to say they were already satisfying as a post-Dischord-y emo-ish band, but this new slant towards more ringing guitar, delicate sonics, and quickening indie pop adds extra sparkle and shine. ..." -Jack Rabid

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
"... What it offers is Technicolor, day-glow symphonic flourishes and rococo, Beach-Boys-esque harmonies that cohere into absolutely stunning songs. ..." -John Everhart

Wilderness - (k)no(w)where
"...exquisitely realized avant-garde rock, redolent of the early '90s halcyon days of Chicago post-rock. ..." -John Everhart

Edie Sedgwick - Things Are Getting Sinister And Sinisterer
"... It's a deep concept, no doubt, but how it works so, so well is that it's all put to incredibly infectious music for punks to dance to." -David Obenour

Arbouretum - Song Of The Pearl
"... Heumann and co-picker Steve Strohmeier stir up excellent storms of fiery guitar, but never eschew tunefulness, and Heumann's songs stick firmly to the ribs." -Michael Toland

Signal To Noise #54
There is a profile of Pontiak in this issue.
"... They'd all played in bands before. But Baltimore showed them that they could make mostly anything and find an audience." -Grayson Currin

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weekend Roundup

There's tons of stuff going on this weekend, as usual.

Tonight, at Atomic Books, is our book party for Geoff Brown's new book, Moon Baltimore. Listen to him today at Noon on the Signal, 88.1 WYPR. A Powerpoint presentation on the radio? That Geoff!

And this weekend is Honfest. Hons are the old/new Cosplay!

Photo by Brian Krista

And The Degenerettes are having their CD release party at the Wind Up Space, Sat night. Doors open at 9pm.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

World's Largest Crab Cake At Honfest

The only thing I like better than giant food is tiny little fake food.


Moon Baltimore - That Is Not A Command

This Friday, come see Geoff Brown's awesome power point presentation! Here! At Atomic Books! For Moon Baltimore - a guide to our fair city!

City Paper says:

OK, so sure, Geoff Brown was the editor of Baltimore magazine for a long time, he's been repping the city as a freelance writer for a while now, and he even lives here, but where the heck does he get off writing a guide book to The Greatest City in America? What separates him from all the other carpetbaggers who come down, eat a crab cake at the Inner Harbor, declare us the most loveliest place in America, and then skedaddle back to New York or D.C. or something? Well, Brown once co-wrote and performed in something called The Giant Clam: A Rock Opera at the Ottobar, and if that ain't something only a Baltimorean would dream up, then John Waters is Canadian. Go to Atomic Books and meet someone who knows more about the city than you do.


All Girl Fart Party

Jami Attenberg interviews Julia Wertz on largehearted boy for Antiheroines, which features up-and-coming female comic artists.

Did you ever date anyone in a band?

No, but in high school I had an unhealthy obsession with Slash. I used to watch the video to "Don't Cry" where he apparently blows up his girlfriend and then rocks out without a shirt on over and over. Guns n Roses videos take rock star ridiculousness to an unfathomable height.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Honfest 2009

Honfest is this weekend! Here's the schedule!

We'll be setting up a huge sale on the sidewalk so come on down!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Otakon Vs Artscape

Otakon and Artscape are the same weekend this year!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tank Girl - June Reading Club Pick

This month for Reading Club, we're reading Tank Girl V1 by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett. It's the new remastered edition.

Discussion will be the last Wednesday of the month, here at Atomic, 7-9pm!

ETA: Oh, we also just started a Facebook Group for it.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Baltimore - A Guide

newbooksJUNE, originally uploaded by sugarfreak.

Next Friday, June 12th, is our book party for the new Moon Baltimore Handbook . Author Geoff Brown will be there to be your tour guide!

Coming in for Honfest? Grab a copy and delve into what the whole neighborhood and the rest of the town has to offer.