Monday, March 1, 2021

Wyatt Doyle's "And the red death held sway over the dollar store" @ Gallery 30 South, 03/01–03/26

"Doyle’s eye and his camera’s eye capture those moments of junk-store epiphany, of accidental revelation, which lurk un-noticed in the most taken-for-granted parts of everyday run-down America." —Bill Shute, Kendra Steiner Editions 

Abandoned places, decaying spaces, toys nobody wants. Things that are gone, things that remain. “And the red death held sway over the dollar store” at Pasadena’s Gallery 30 South exhibits photographs by Wyatt Doyle from his acclaimed collections Dollar Halloween, I Need Real Tuxedo and a Top Hat!, Buty-Wave Is Now Closed Forever, Jorge Amaya Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and recent work. 

Photography with a narrative bent, capturing people, places, and things, from California to Tennessee and back again. Through March 26. Books and signed, limited edition prints available via the gallery. The show is available for online viewing here.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Jason Cuadrado's "Reap What You Sow"

 

 

Congratulations to our pal Jason Cuadrado, who's released his painstaking creation of a "new" vintage Twilight Zone episode to YouTube. "Reap What You Sow" replicates the look, sound, and feel of a vintage TZ episode more closely—more perfectly—than any other tribute I've seen. It's a remarkable achievement. But let us allow Jason to speak for himself:

I've been obsessed with The Twilight Zone ever since I was a kid. No other show sparked my imagination and horror like Rod Serling's original anthology opus. I've had to live with the crushing disappointment of missing an opportunity to be part of that seminal moment in television history.  

Thanks to Unreal Engine, I was able to enter The Twilight Zone myself by going back in time to write and direct an episode of the original series.

This is that episode as it premiered in 1964 for season 5.

The film was written and completed in about a month using Unreal Engine 4.25 as the main creative hub (and time machine). Characters were designed in Daz Studio, imported into Reallusion's Character Creator 3 for mesh refinement, and finally iClone 7 as the main bridge to UE via Auto Setup and LiveLink.

Motion capture was recorded using the Perception Neuron Pro system. Facial capture and finger animation were achieved with iClone's Motion Live (plus an iPhone X and Leap Motion controller).

Props and locations from Daz would go through Maya for smoothing before being exported to Unreal. The wonderful Unreal Marketplace supplied the rest.

Audio was recorded with the Rode Wireless Go and a Maono AU-A04H.
The opening credits were done in Unreal and After Effects. The final edit was completed in Premiere.

Although I did most of the performance capture myself, I didn't do it alone. I had to rope in my dad and aunt since, during a pandemic, you work with what you've got. Thankfully my aunt is a professional and my dad is a trooper. Just goes to show what you can create with the resources around you on a single computer in your living room.

This short film was made with love for fans of the series (and just in time for the traditional New Year's Day marathon). And if you haven't seen the show, please check it out in all its incarnations (available on CBS All Access) to truly appreciate Rod Serling's legacy.  

Disclaimer: The Twilight Zone, logo, and its music are the property of CBS Television Distribution. This is a not-for-profit fan production and is not affiliated with the rights owners. This is not for commercial use. It's for the love of the show.

This has been The Twilight Zone...

Twitter: Cine_Monster
Instagram: @cinemonster


 


 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

"Arm Size" by Josh Alan Friedman

We remember Bruce Jay Friedman with an excerpt from Black Cracker, an autobiographical novel by his son, Josh Alan Friedman.


Sometimes my entire worth rested on whether or not I could fight. When you lost, you were worthless. “May the better man win” took on a literal meaning. The winner felt victorious in every regard, as if you were only as good as whom you could lick, like cavemen. Glen Cove was a medieval society amongst children. Predators stalked the earth in search of beating you up.

I figured my dad could kick anybody’s ass, and this gave me a small degree of comfort. He worked out every day at Vic Tanny’s Gym on Madison Avenue in New York during lunch breaks. As for his novels, he considered writing to be like heavy lifting. You “rolled up your sleeves” and went at it. He never behaved like an artiste, he always spoke about it like it was blue-collar labor. But he was fit as a lumberjack, unlike other working men in the neighborhood. He took me to Vic Tanny’s in Manhasset on weekends. While my dad exercised, I ran up and down the sit-up boards. I bent down and tried to pick up the heaviest dumbbell I could. I figured that was how you worked out. The only kid present, I was an annoyance to the serious weightlifters.

Arm size was religion to them. The bigger the arms, the stronger the man, I supposed, with all the wisdom of a Popeye cartoon. With big arms, you could take care of yourself in all aspects of life. “Gotta pump up,” men told each other at the curling irons. “Got a date tonight.” Weightlifters were convinced the only things women noticed were their arms. What more did you need to impress girls? I prayed for big arms when I grew up. Mine were skinny, a matter of shame, and there was nothing I could do about it. No amount of weights could bulk up my pre-adolescent biceps. What confused me, however, was that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones didn’t have big arms, yet millions of girls fainted over them. Didn’t they notice how skinny Mick Jagger’s arms were?

As was custom, my dad bought us two V8s from the vending machine at the end of our Saturday workout. The V stood for Vegetable, and the 8 was how many vegetables were used for the drink. It came in a little can, and should have been called V9—the ninth flavor being the metallic taste of the can. Some bodybuilder, employed as a greeter by the club, would flex his arms, making a muscle for customers on the way out. His bicep was the size of a grapefruit. I was awed. When I asked how I might bulk up like that, he merely advised, “Eat a lot of rye bread, sonny.”

As we walked to the parking lot, I begged my dad’s assurance as to whether he could take this guy. He dismissed the subject, but I didn’t let up. He had his own threshold of patience when humoring me about these matters. “I’m a lover, not a fighter,” he said. But I didn’t want my dad to be a lover. I needed to know that he could lick all the bullies that tyrannized my existence. Even though he didn’t.

“Yeah, I could take him,” he finally assured me.

“But, Daddy, he’s got even bigger arms.” This bothered me.

“Yeah, but I know some tricks,” my father winked. I breathed a sigh of relief. Knowing some tricks could defeat huge arms. I wished I could learn these tricks, but he didn’t let on.



Excerpted from Black Cracker, an autobiographical novel by Josh Alan Friedman.

© 2009, 2020 Josh Alan Friedman, all rights reserved.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

LIVE A LITTLE by MANZAPPACZEWSKI out now!


Stanley J. Zappa, saxophones and clarinets 
Nick Skrowaczewski, percussion  
Andrew Wedman, Rhodes

MANZAPPACZEWSKI is the totality of three semi-wasted lives rolled into one dynamic trio dedicated to the UFDA sound and way. As a group they have no particular musical agenda other than finding the most efficient, effective way to rid our collective improvisation of all accumulated cultural shibboleth. Their debut record Live a Little is, for creators and future listeners alike, a very close brush with the greater "it."

Bandcamp

Buy on Amazon

MANZAPPACZEWSKI HQ: www.UFDA.ca

Thursday, November 21, 2019

MORT KÜNSTLER: THE GODFATHER OF PULP FICTION ILLUSTRATORS


"I learned how to compose, how to tell a story. There's no way I could have done what I did later if I hadn't had all that men's adventure magazine work."  Mort Künstler 

Known today as "America's Artist" for his popular and much admired historical paintings, it was in the wild world of men's adventure magazine illustration that Mort Künstler honed his ability to present large-scale action while never losing sight of essential details. It led to a mastery of capturing conflict in paintboth the spectacle, and the human cost.

At long last, The Men's Adventure Library brings an unequaled selection of Künstler's finest pieces from the men's adventure magazine era back into print in this bold, colorful collection, available in both softcover (forthcoming) and expanded, deluxe hardcover editions.

From the explosive intensity of battles on the sea and in the air, to taut, face-to-face showdowns and animal attacks, every page explodes with action, color, and artistry.

Mort Künstler: The Godfather of Pulp Fiction Illustrators
No. 11 in The Men's Adventure Library series
Edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle
deluxe hardcover $39.95      abridged softcover (forthcoming)

Monday, October 7, 2019

EVA: MEN'S ADVENTURE SUPERMODEL out now

https://amzn.to/31DjZct

Model. Pin-up. Actress. Singer. Writer. Royalty. 

Eva Lynd’s multi-faceted career touches every aspect of 20th century popular culture. A Swedish countess turned model for leading illustration artists and top glamour and pin-up photographers of the era, she also appeared with some of the biggest names in entertainment on both the silver and small screens. So much more than a pretty face, in this lavishly illustrated volume drawn from her personal archives, Eva Lynd shares her story in her own words and pictures, including encounters with Salvador Dali, Sophia Loren, Cary Grant, Sidney Lumet, Elia Kazan, Peter Lawford, to name a few.

The latest installment in the acclaimed Men's Adventure Library series from editors Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle, Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel chronicles Eva's remarkable career as a model, pin-up, and actress, with hundreds of photos and artwork includes artwork from pulp masters such as Norm Eastman, Al Rossi, Mike Ludlow, and James Bama. Plus never before seen pin-ups and previously unpublished photos from Eva's personal archive.

A big, deluxe 186-page hardcover, Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel is also available as an abridged 114-page softcover with alternate cover art that focuses primarily on Eva's work in men's adventure magazines (MAMs).

Preview 40 pages of Eva on Issuu.com here.

Eva: Men's Adventure Supermodel
No. 10 in The Men's Adventure Library series
Edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle
deluxe hardcover $45.95      abridged softcover $24.95

https://amzn.to/31DjZct

Monday, August 19, 2019

Jimmy Angelina in KMAC Museum's First Triennial


Jimmy Angelina (The Last Coloring Book) will show new work at the KMAC Museum in Louisville as part of their first triennial, and the inaugural Vernissage.

From KMAC:

Vernissage (noun): French for Art Preview  

Announcing Louisville's Newest Tradition! KMAC Museum's Board of Directors is pleased to invite you to our inaugural Vernissage. This year's event is in celebration of KMAC's first Triennial, a showcase of contemporary art of the Commonwealth. Meet the exhibition artists and be the first to view their works, specially created for this show.   

Come dressed in your favorite cocktail attire! Enjoy cocktails and exhibition viewing starting at 6 PM along with dinner at 8 PM featuring the best of the late summer harvest with food curated by Mary Wheatley & Rebecca Johnson of Atlantic No. 5.


 Meet the artist:

Jimmy Angelina's work pulls from an interest in music and film. While his visual style recaptures the mise-en-scène, montage, and storyboard aesthetics associated with classic cinema, it also aligns with the sampled, cut-up, collage appearance of early punk rock flyers. He blends the spindly pale figures of Egon Schiele with the texture of a vintage engraving, recalling illustrations found in American comics and political satire magazines from the 1970s and 80s, composite images that distill the pages of publications like Cahiers du Cinéma and MAD Magazine. Learn more about Jimmy Angelina at www.jimmyangelina.com or at Jimmy Angelina - Drawing & Illustration and be one of the first to see his work at Inaugural Vernissage on August 23rd.

More details and ticket information on the event's page on Facebook, here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Shameless


It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Ralph E. Whittington (Clinton, Maryland), who passed away on August 6, 2019, at the age of 74. Ralph began his 36-year career at the Library of Congress out of high school and retired in 2000 as a curator of the main reading room. 

Ralph dedicated much of his life to archiving erotic films, magazines, and materials related to the adult entertainment industry. He served as a consultant to the Museum of Sex in New York City, the Erotic History Museum in Las Vegas, and the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, which granted him an honorary PhD. Ralph’s work was featured in The Washington Post, Spin magazine, Rolling Stone, and numerous other publications. Ralph also appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Howard Stern Show, and other radio and news programs, and was the subject of two documentary shorts by filmmaker Jeff Krulik, who dubbed him the “King of Porn.” 

Ralph had a wide range of additional interests, from motor sports and automobile history to attending high school football games, following athletic careers, and was always in search of a good barbecue joint. Also a lifelong music fan, he built a prized collection of rare and historically important R&B records, which have been donated to the Library of Congress. 

He was included in 2008-2009’s Dictionary of International Biography and in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. Ralph is survived by a daughter, Amanda, her husband, Mike, and a grandson, Spencer. A celebration of Ralph’s remarkable life will be scheduled at a later date.  



"King of Porn" (1996) d. Jeff Krulik

A Farewell to the King

What I’ll miss most about Ralph is his shamelessness.

It's at the very heart of “King of Porn,” Jeff Krulik’s 1996 documentary profile. Over 6 minutes and 40-odd seconds, we’re introduced to Ralph, and Ralph’s world: His love of high-performance automobiles, his prized record collection, his taste for fine, fine tobacco…and a glimpse of his gargantuan, ever-expanding archive of pornography and sex-related materials—all exhaustively, methodically catalogued, inspired by the exacting standards favored by Ralph’s employer, the Library of Congress. (A glimpse of the collection is the most the documentary can manage; even a feature-length study would only scratch the surface of Ralph’s decades of accumulation, to say nothing of Ralph’s thoughts on each item’s relevance, and the reasons for its inclusion.)

“King of Porn” raised all kinds of questions. Who was this odd, unprepossessing middle-aged man in jacket and tie, with his hypnotic yet indefinable, possibly Southern accent? What was any one man possibly doing with so much pornography? And he works at the Library of Congress? And he’s living in his mother’s basement? Has he no shame?

Media interest in Ralph and his collection was duly piqued, and with Ralph’s willingness to accept high-profile public ribbing with good humor, the jokes just about wrote themselves. He made an ideal subject for quirky human interest stories, whether for Spin or Rolling Stone or the hipper urban weeklies. Ralph found himself the subject of media interest from all corners of the globe. He courted this attention, and he embraced it when it arrived. Shamelessly.

And then there’s the jewel of Ralph’s collection, an oft-replayed VHS documenting an occasion when his research crossed the threshold into participation: An explicit sex tape in which Ralph performed with busty industry vet Chessie Moore. (The shoot was a highly unconventional fan club perk.) Ralph took great pride in his participation, and it was a rare houseguest indeed who escaped Ralph’s company without a screening. (An eager Ralph showed it to me with great fanfare, after much advance hype, and his enthusiasm on the day was only slightly undercut by a few minor delays—first, in identifying the correct VHS tape; then, owing to technical difficulties with his ancient combination TV/VCR. In the end, he set me up in an impossibly cluttered guest bedroom, shutters drawn, to view it in solitude. Then, about halfway through the 20-minute-or-so running time, he startled me by suddenly popping his head into the room like a good ol’ boy jack-in-the-box, bellowing, “HOW WE DOIN’?”) Shamelessness on top of shamelessness.

* * *

Despite the wide recognition of the historical value and sociological interest in what was once considered cultural detritus, be it old comic strips, antique signage, or vintage cereal boxes, anything to do with pornography is still going to set tongues clucking. And candor about the stuff we avail ourselves of when the real thing is not an option (or use to supplement it when it is)—well, good luck with that. Serious documentation is not a priority.

Ralph saw this, and determined his role in the scheme would be a practical one. He recognized that there could be no fair hearing without evidence, no informed discussion without access. With no one else stepping up for duty, Ralph set about collecting that evidence himself, in as impartial a manner as he could. The ultimate evaluation of the material and determination of its importance was something he saw as best handled by others, somewhere down the road. Ralph simply assumed the responsibility of ensuring there would be historically relevant, adequately catalogued samples to consider.

That’s really an essential part of the story that was easy to miss in media accounts of Ralph and his collection, as on The Howard Stern Show, where Ralph was pitted against a Stern staffer in an ill-advised trivia quiz. But trivia-on-demand wasn’t Ralph’s strong suit; he was a big picture guy. Among the 4-hour DVD compilations, XXX-video ad slicks, and glossy beaver mags in Ralph’s carefully organized archives, one also finds vintage news clippings, like a snip about the introduction of the first swim trunks for men, a scandalously permissive development in its time. And obscure antique bawdy house coins, minted and distributed by whorehouses more than a century ago as in-house currency. (“House poke-her chips,” I can hear Ralph punning.) And so on. So while who did what to whom in scene three of a dirty babysitter DVD from 2003 was unquestionably of interest to Ralph, his larger mission was charting the evolution and development of sexual mores and attitudes, via a wide variety of sources.

Consider for a moment just how daunting a prospect that is. Understand that the costs of such a venture are coming out of the volunteer’s own pocket. Then ask yourself, who but a true blue, card-carrying horndog would even consider such an endeavor? Who else would be equal to the task? Who but a relentless, utterly shameless horndog like Ralph could even maintain the pace?

He couldn’t collect everything, of course. He followed current events, monitored the adult entertainment industry, and coordinated his efforts with video wholesalers sympathetic to his mission. He collected, indexed, and archived material he felt was historically important, which could be broadly broken into items relevant to the history of the adult entertainment industry, and items that uniquely reflect their era.

Accordingly, in conversations about his work, he was quick to separate provable, quantifiable facts from opinions or even reasonable assumptions. Even his “King of Porn” sobriquet required an asterisk in his view, since the title was initially conferred upon porn icon/casualty John Holmes, and has more recently been associated with porn survivor Ron Jeremy—both of whom, Ralph insisted, were infinitely more deserving of the honorific.

There was an unusual clarity to Ralph’s conversation when talk turned to sex, and talk always turned to sex. His attitudes were frank and remarkably unencumbered by prevailing social and societal norms. Library of Congress co-workers remember Ralph casually—shamelessly!—reading Hustler like the morning paper while carpooling to work. But his candid, unapologetic positions on matters considered controversial or inappropriate seemed honest reactions based on his own inclinations and experience. No political agenda. No social agenda. Ralph just really liked sex, porn, and just about anything to do with either, and he wasn’t shy about it. It was an interest—an obsession—that led him to his life’s work—work he approached with care, and took on at considerable personal expense. Box after impeccably catalogued box of old Seka tapes, swing magazines, Monica Lewinski novelties.… Dismiss it as a big waste of time if you like, plenty have. 

Not that how anybody else might feel about any of it appeared to factor prominently in Ralph's thinking. I liked to believe this was not so much him not giving a damn what other people thought, so much as his attention was occupied by what he saw as other, more pressing matters—like sex, dirty movies, fast cars, and old records.

It's too soon to know if history will smile on Ralph's efforts, if he will emerge in the final analysis as some kind of ahead-of-his time gonzo sociologist, X-rated free-speech champion, or latter-day hero of the sexual revolution. These are determinations better left to others. But I do know that Ralph was, by his own proud accounting, a cradle-to-grave horndog, that he truly loved sex and porn and sexy porny things, without apology. And that he put his time, his money, and his love of porn into his small, mostly unloved, not-yet/maybe-not-ever appreciated contribution to the sum total of human knowledge. Lofty talk for a lot of porn, but that is the truth of it.

He didn't do it because he thought it was brilliant stuff (though obviously, he liked a lot of it, a lot). He did it because, whatever your feelings about it, it's part of who we are in this time and place, and if he didn't document it, probably no one else would.

He saw an opening, and he filled it.


© 2019 Wyatt Doyle, all rights reserved.