Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten Minutes of Terror!

Can you take it?

WildC​law Theatre is putti​ng on Deathscribe:​ Ten Minut​es of Terro​r Radio​ Play Festi​val at the Music​ Box Theater on October 6th. Join us for an eveni​ng of short​ horro​r stori​es done radio​ style​ with live foley​ and music​ by some of the best actor​s and direc​tors in Chica​go.​

Tony Akins
is on the jury at Deathscribe to help select the Best of Festival entry.

Event​:​ Death​scrib​e
Date:​ Monda​y,​ Oct. 6 at 8PM
Place​:​ The Music​ Box Theat​er,​ 3733 N. South​port,​ Chica​go
Cost:​ $15 in advan​ce,​ go to the WildC​law websi​te

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tura! Tura! Tura!

Just as we're catching our breath and getting to work on new art for the Miami Kaiju Monster Invasion show, another fantastic group show in Chicago looms near.

Mitch O'Connell, Beth Cisco and Casey Sass are curating a show devoted to new art celebrating the amazing icon Tura Satana!

Tura started exotic dancing at the age of 13. She became a burlesque sensation earning the title Miss Japan Beautiful. From there her talents lead her to guest appearances on many top television shows of the 60s including Hawaiian Eye, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Burkes Law. Movie roles followed in Our Man Flint, Irma la Douce and The Astro Zombies, but her greatest cinematic superstar achievement was as the baddest badass Varla, the leader of 3 thrill seeking strippers in Russ Meyer's legendary masterpiece,"Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"

The show will be at the Tattoo Factory Gallery here in Tura's home town, Chicago. The opening will be Thursday, October 30th from 7pm to 11pm. Gallery owner Paul Collurafici (and owner of the adjacent Tattoo Factory) is kindly donating the space and will not be taking a commission, so all profits earned hosting the event will go to Apna Ghar, a domestic violence shelter serving Asian women and children.

The Tattoo Factory
4443 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, Il. 60640

Exciting news! The amazing Chicago burlesque troupe The Flaming Dames have just been added to the Tattoo Factory Gallery opening night and willl be performing 2 exotic, erotic and energized acts during the festivities!!!

Plus! This just in! The poster for the Music Box screening of "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" by local heartthrob Mitch O'Connell.

My thanks to Mitch for the invitation to show! Below is a teaser, the back cover of the Estrus Supersnazz record-plus-comic set I drew back in 1995. I'm doing a few brand new pieces honoring Tura. I hope you'll all come out for the opening——Miss Tura Satana is scheduled to attend. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet a legend——don't miss this one!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Max Toy Kaiju Bromide Project

The Kaiju Boom (roughly 1966—1975) penetrated every level of popular media in Japan; film and TV were ground zero but the shockwaves spread to include sofubi, games, puzzles, records, clothing and more. The demand for pure images was nowhere better expressed than in the multitude of collectable cards known in Japan as "bromides."

An emulsion of silver bromide makes possible the printing of photographic images. In Japan, the loan word "bromide" (ブロマイド) had come to signify a vast array of pictorial reproductions, regardless of whether bromide paper was used. Since the early 1900s bromides were distributed to idolize celebrities— geisha and sports stars, singers, actors and actresses. In the latter half of the 20th century, the kaiju became the new celebrity of the post-Atomic Age.

It was Yo Miyamoto who suggested to Kaiju and Ultraman super-collector Mark Nagata "an awesome idea" —— to put together a set of Kaiju Bromide cards to be included with a release of a MaxToy Battle Pack sofubi set for WonderFest 2008 in Japan. The concept would have Mark's Captain Maxx, Eyezon and Alien Xam mix it up with Target Earth's kaiju Gumos and Gameldon.

Mark put out the call for entries to a select cadre of kaiju creators: Bob Conge, Ralph Cosentino, Steve Forde, Nawoki Karasawa, Naritada Shintani and myself. I'm honored to be a part of this crew. There are 15 cards, 11 originals and 4 doubles. Mark's own contributions include spot on, period-authentic "zukan" (cutaway anatomies) of the Target Earth kaiju.

Courtesy of Target Earth's Miyamoto-san, here's what little we know about these new and terrifying kaiju:

GUMOS — Capture animals and humans with his six arms and eat them from the heads.
Tear up irons easily with his claws.
Spit out green poison fluid.
GAMELDON — Eat humans.
Very brutal.
Has very small brain.

My entry, "Golden Gate Splashdown," is set in Mark's home base of San Francisco and shows Captain Maxx putting the hurt on Alien Xam while big Eyezon wades in for a stare fest. And damn--why didn't I do another card with the Target Earth kaiju as well? Well, time was of the essence to get this one in by the deadline. Maybe I'll get a chance to work with these characters again.

But don't expect me to give them all up here! I urge you to mouse over to the Max Toy Company's store and order your set now!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alex Wald Invades Miami!

Miami braces for all-out Kaiju Attack this December!

Astromonster Alex Wald joins the battle!

Harold Golen, founder of Miami’s Harold Golen Gallery will host "Kaiju Monster Invasion," a special December exhibition during Art Basel 2008. Mr. Golen’s gallery focuses on Lowbrow/ Pop-Surrealist Art and has been featured in the New York Times and Architectural Digest.

Kaiju Creator Alex Wald awoke from a millennial slumber to note with dismay that his name did not appear on the roster of teratological talent in the show's ad. Taking matters into hand, Alex contacted Mr. Golen and threatened him with gastric emulsification if he were not extended an invitation to show with the other assembled mutants. Amazingly, the ploy worked!

What is a Kaiju? The meaning of the Japanese word is “Strange Beast,” or simply --- “Monster.” During the 1960s in Japan, toy vinyl figures of popular Japanese characters like Godzilla and Gamera became popular collectables. Over the next four decades Kaiju spread throughout the world of popular culture, their influence seen in the emerging “art toy” movement, modern couture and in the artworks of lowbrow artists from around the world.

The concept of the Kaiju show at the art center will be to bring the most exciting and subversive artists from Japan and the United States in a single exhibition that will showcase the various interpretations of the Kaiju in both Eastern and Western cultures. This exciting exhibition aims to break new ground in the Kaiju art form while at the same time honoring the rich Kaiju history.

December 3rd, 2008 Through Jan 2009
Kaiju Monster Invasion at South Florida Art Center

Featured Artists

Ron English
Glenn Barr
Mark Nagata
Carlos Enriquez Gonzalez (Venezuela)
Gargamel (Japan; Koji Harmon and Kiyoka Ikeda)
Mitch O'Connell
Jim Woodring
Anthony Ausgang
...and many more!