Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank You, Maskman

This 1960's experimental animation was based on a bit by the notorious Lenny Bruce.

After stand-up comic Lenny Bruce O.D.'ed in Hollywood in 1963, San Fransisco animators Jeff Hale and John Magnuson put together an animation based on one of Bruce's most shocking and irreverent bits.

This underground movie was completed and screened nationally in 1968. Since then, Thank You Mask Man has been a part of film fests such as Spike And Mike for many years.

IMDB, Thank You Mask Man (1971)
Wikipedia, Thank You Mask Man
Scissor Monkey, Thank You Mask Man

Karl Stephan's Sparko"Underground" is a term that gets thrown around a lot. The word seems to revolve around music, drugs, Hell and political movements. In Karl Stephan's Sparko the Underworld is representative of all the above. This book adds smart-mouthed ghosts, evil Astral Plane dwelling villains, a scathing commentary on bloody, egalitarian contemporary British culture by placing one-time hit rock musician Norman in one dire situation scene after another.

After losing his supply of drugs, his job as a dope pusher and very nearly losing his life by being stabbed and thrown into the river Thames by his former employer - Norman's near lifeless body is robbed by a strange urchin named Belle.

The story takes a series of bizarre turns as ghosts, demi-demons and nearly indestructible killer Pomeranians chase the two through this brilliant book. Readers will find the characters and art fascinating and unique. The story unfurls over the course of the book, told in three parts, like lesser known members of the Greek pantheon went on an acid trip together in threet streets and sewers of London and creatively (and haphazardly) re-structured the world around them.


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