One of the strangest things that happened to me last year was a bout of vertigo that literally knocked me on my ass while I was in Walla Walla, Washington interviewing Scott Campbell, Jr. for our book, Giving the Finger. The whole story is in the new issue of Razorcake, which also features a rad interview with punk pop phenom Tony Molina, an oral history of East L.A. punk curated by Alice Bag, and a stunning essay by Cheryl Klein.
So I designed the cover to the newest issue of Razorcake! Illustration and background photoshop magic by me, inkwash by Nation of Amanda. Available for purchase here. My advice would be to get two copies: One to leave in your bathroom for reading, and one to frame on your wall where your vision board used to be.
I perhaps should mention that I’ve since retired My Stupid Life from the hallowed pages of Razorcake. No bad blood or anything like that, I still plan to continue doing illustrations for them and Todd and Daryl are still the godparents of any children I may ever have (god help us). But the inspiration well for those comics had just run dry and I decided it would be better to go out on top than keep forcing out more jokes about jerking off as procrastination from comicking. Don’t worry, though: Ben Snakepit and Liz Prince and Adrian Chi are all still doing their awesome comics, so you won’t even notice mine’s gone.
bow! bow down to yer punx comics king!
(seriously tho, mitchclem an’ nationofamanda blew us away with this rad-as-fuck cover. razorcake is v. lucky to have so amazing illustrators and artists they are oozing out our ears. besides, retiring My Stupid Life means more room for fresh
bloodcomics! ‘tis the circle of life, and it’s beautiful!)
Yes, was thinking about ordering a second copy to frame and hang. Great issue.
Last night I cried while watching a documentary about Bronies. Sure, I was drunk, but it got me thinking about the importance of having a sanctuary. A place where you’re safe to be vulnerable. For those of you not in the know, a brony is an adult male fan of the show My Little Pony. The documentary showed men from around the world gathering at a convention to celebrate their shared love of a children’s show. I couldn’t help but see parallels to Awesome Fest or things of that ilk. As someone who studies philosophy of science, reads the Silmarillion, and quotes Rancid lyrics with Shatnerian intensity I can relate to being passionate about things most people find embarrassing.
Every Friday, Candice, Todd, and I get to work on things that we’re passionate about. We work hard and goof around. Razorcake is a sanctuary. I think it’s a sanctuary to a lot of you weirdoes taking the time to read this. It’s a sanctuary because we believe what we do is important and worth the stress it takes to care about something that gets condescended to and written off. Music is what brought us together, but it’s the personal ethics that keep us all here. At the end of the day I don’t care what you’re into as long as you’re not an asshole. So, be kind to each other. Be kind to the Bronies. And be kind to me.
Unless I’m being an asshole, then you can make fun of me.
Michael Hurley, “Be Kind to Me” (Bellemeade Phonics)
Rats, The, “Teenagers” (Tombstone)
Young Governor, “One Look Around” (12XU)
Mikal Cronin, “See It My Way” (Merge)
Audacity, “Couldn’t Hold A Candle” (Suicide Squeeze)
Wreck Of The Zephyr, “Rhythm In My Bones” (Pass The Fist)
Hunchback, “Respect for the Dead” (Freedom School)
New Bomb Turks, The, “Born Toulouse-Lautrec” (Crypt)
Angel Du$t, “Tulsa” (REACT!)
Bent Outta Shape, “Terms of Psychic Warfare” (Dead Broke / Drunken Sailor)
Rumspringer, “Killer Boots, Man” (Not Shy of the DIY)
Red Dons, “Cold Hearted” (Grave Mistake)
Low Culture “Travel Song” (Dirt Cult)
Homeowners, “Ant Trails” (Margin Mouth)
Rations, “Leaves of Grass” (86’d, Abbreviated, and many others)
This Is My Fist!, “All That Is Wrong” (No Idea)
Marked Men, “Too Pretty to Fuck” (No Idea)
I am listening to this right now, check it out….
Razorcake Podcast #298 with Todd Taylor!
The past several months have been pretty unforgiving to Razorcake as a fanzine. A couple weeks ago, our local printer of the past thirteen years shuttered their doors. The place where we’ve dropped off our bulk mail also closed. We’ll now have to go further down a busy freeway in a small truck that’s so laden that the mud flap (singular) scrapes around corners.
We’ll adjust. I’m confident of that. It’s just that the unknowns are stressful and intimidating. We now have to decipher different types of codes. (Like never drop off mail at the international station on a Friday unless you want to wait for two hours to get in the building. Don’t make any boxes heavier than fifteen pounds if you can help it. Making statements to our printer, like “I want the blackest black ink you can give us,” and doing weird shit on our end to make sure it happens, although it makes little sense as a set of directions.)
These are pragmatics, the backbone activities to a fanzine.
They’re pretty invisible.
Below is music, the spirit of our fanzine.
It’s pretty invincible. In my book, at least.
PS: What the fuck? In the last two months of 2013, I got my mitts on over ten amazing DIY punk albums. Since I started writing for fanzines fulltime in 1996, I’ve never heard so much awesome music released in such a short timeframe.
Radioactivity, “That Other Life” (Self-titled 7”EP, Alien Snatch)
Crusades, “The Heroic Frenzies” (Perhaps You Deliver This Judgment with Greater Fear Than I Receive It, No Idea)
Sick Sick Birds, “Burns in the Middle” (All the Fins in the Sea 7”EP, Ghostbot)
Worriers, “Passion” (Cruel Optimist, Don Giovanni)
Dead Mechanical, “Last Summer” (OK Night, Toxic Pop)
Visitors, “Miles” (Yeti, It’s Alive)
Canadian Rifle, “Bridge the Gap” (Deep Ends, Dirt Cult)
Cosmic Psychos, “She’s Crackin’ Up” (Go the Hack, Goner / Aarght!)
Western Addiction, “Black Salt” (Pines7”, Fat)
Nightmare Boyzzz, “Baby, It’s Alright” (Bad Patterns, Slovenly)
Mind Spiders, “Suicide” (Inhmanistic, Dirtnap)
Red Dons, “Dead Ender” (Notes on the Underground 7”, Grave Mistake)
Libyans, “Desperate Plea” (Expired Language, Sorry State)
Bümbklåått “Birds of Prey” (Luctus, Prank)
Criminal Damage, “Call of Death” (Call of Death, Feral Ward)
Psst. Do you enjoy what we post up on Razorcake.org? Razorcake is the first and only official non-profit DIY punk rock fanzine in America primarily dedicated to supporting independent music culture. Please help keep us rolling along and consider making a tax-deductible donation to us. If you are reading this before December 31st, 2013, check out our year-end incentives!
in case you were too busy to check your internets this weekend…
Razorcake’s 2013 Donation Drive is HERE!!!
check out our sweet incentives, share with friends, donate a few bucks!
your continued support helps us bring you the best DIY punk coverage we possibly can.
we love y’all!
Webcomic Wednesday #41 - Epic Tales of the Mundane by Brad Dwyer
where you always draw yourself thinner.
(more hot comic action every week @razorcake.org!)
Son of a…..What a dick. The other guy that is, I love Brad.
Let me actually tell you about this goddamn doctor’s office: I knew my insurance would be running out soon, so I knew I needed to squeeze in a checkup as soon as possible. I hadn’t gone for a checkup in literally years, and so I had a list of things to ask about.
First off, I’m waiting in this room with paper thin walls so I can hear all the nurses outside gabbing about how hot they think the Rock is. Okay, fair enough, but slightly nerve-racking since I know I’m about to have conversations with the doctor about like MY BODY and stuff, and so I’m more nervous than I should be, and that was BEFORE the doctor finally came in and straight-up left the door open and asked me what was up.
So, okay, I feel like you guys probably know I’m not so great in weird social situations, right? I’ve probably made this clear by now? I very. VERY nervously asked the doctor if the door should maybe be shut maybe for the physical? And, without looking, he tells me the door IS closed. It’s not. It’s, like, it’s not WIDE OPEN, you know. But it’s ajar. And I happen to KNOW how much sound travels from where I’m sitting to the nurses station even with the door closed completely. But he tells me it’s closed and… It’s this thing, I didn’t want to have to even ASK about it in the first place, that made me nervous and uncomfortable, so I SUPER DUPER do not wanna have a fucking argument about it. But I say, “No, it’s, it’s actually still open a little.” And the doctor super weirdly looks to the door, and turns back, “It’s fine, no one can hear you.”
Hi. My name is Mitch Clem, this is my life, constantly, ALL THE TIME. Is this how hard things are for everyone? Like, I know I’m kinda nuts, I get that, but am I imagining how goddamn weird these scenarios I’m thrown into are? Maybe I’m overreacting. Probably. Usually.
So anyhow, I proceed to go down the list I brought of things my body did that may or may not require medical attention. And I don’t want you to think I’m some hypochondriac or anything, I wasn’t asking him if I had cancer or anything over and over, but, you know, I’m at the doctor, I have questions, he should have answers. And yet every thing I brought up to him he kinda laughed and shrugged off like, “Yeah, things are weird, right?” No explanation, no investigation.
Three questions in we got to a weird pain that I’d been having in my lower back at the time (it’s gone now) that was, like… okay. So, I apologize for this part, but it HAPPENED and it’s RELEVANT and I WAS TALKING TO A DOCTOR. But this pain kinda went from my lower back to one of my testicles. Like, I could feel it in my right testicle, a very sharp pain whenever I stood for too long. Which, I know, probably nothing, but, you know, I’m not supposed to have to be embarassed to talk to a DOCTOR about things like this, right? I say the word “testicle”, though, and this guy’s face runs blank. I am not kidding, I could see him get uncomfortable and totally check out. Without even addressing what I just said, he stood up, pretended to look at my file and told me what room to go for my blood work.
This was a physical. Like, you know, a checkup. I was thirty at the time and hadn’t been to a doctor (well, besides one STD screening - WHICH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO ANYWAY, PEOPLE - and that had all come back clean so I knew this issue wasn’t some STD thing) in years. They didn’t touch me, they didn’t look at anything, they didn’t make me turn my head and cough or anything, and when I brought up something that could EASILY be a very obvious symptom of either a hernia or, god forbid, testicular cancer (you know, that thing that kills everyone with a Y chromosome?) the dude got all fucking weird like I was coming on to him or something and practically ran out of the room.
This story isn’t even finished yet, you guys. Buckle in.
I did the blood work, whatever, we’re fine. I get a notice in the mail: YOUR BLOOD WORK IS ABNORMAL. CALL US IMMEDIATELY.
Oh shit. So I call, and the woman on the phone asks when I can come in. Now, look. I’m not a wealthy man, and every time you go into the doctor they charge you like thirty bucks for a copay, which IS NOT AN INSIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR ME. Like, that’s a week’s worth of food, you dig? So I told the lady exactly that and asked if they could just tell me what the results were over the phone, she says only the doctor can do that, okay fine so can I talk to the doctor, no just come in, blah blah whatever. They fucking got me, you guys. They sent a scary note just to bilk me out of thirty more bucks.
So I went back, and that’s when the above comic happened. My “abnormal” blood results were that a couple of my levels were so goddamn barely above normal that the doctor was hesitant to even tell me to change anything. “Eat a little better, you know, drink a little less, whatever.” Thirty bucks. Sixty, really, when you count the first half of the experience with Dr. Feelsweird. Ugh.
So yeah. Anyhow. What were we talking about?
Re-read this morning on the shitter….