Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Original Devo Energy Dome

I need to get an original Devo energy dome. I'm not exactly sure how to differentiate one from the costume version. Why does it matter? It always matters. I think this is an early prototype circa 1981, and the raised Devo letters on the top are what an original energy dome should look like. Tons of these come up on Ebay around Halloween, but lately when they come up they're being snapped up right away, and at increasing prices. The best one I saw was signed by the entire band, and sold for $250.00. I'd be happy now just to find an original one and add it to my collection of treasured stuff.


The aforementioned costume knock-off, released by Disguise.com around 2005. Good luck telling these apart if an Ebay seller either doesn't know the difference, or isn't telling the truth. In my experience on Ebay, the best thing to do is just ask. Most sellers with 100% feedback will be at least be honest enough to tell you if they don't know. A couple of years ago the costume version was selling for roughly the same price as the original, but I suspect in the future originals will become much more difficult to find. But looking is always half the fun. 

Information researched at Devo Obsesso

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz, err Grima Wormtongue For President 2016

You'd think after a 2012 Republican primary season that left the Republican party looking like a laughing stock, including at one point one of the candidate's names, Santorum, becoming a running joke, that the Grand Old Party would be slightly more sensitive to making itself the source of public ridicule going into a 2016 presidential primary season where the Republicans could easily end up controlling the Supreme Court, Presidency, and both houses of Congress. So, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that this woebegone creature should be the first candidate to announce itself as an official Republican candidate for president.

Not only did the announcement leave many wondering if someone born in Canada, as Cruz was, is eligible to run for president, but it raises a larger question of why Republicans seem to be drawn to candidates that seem more like cheap caricatures of hideous villains than human beings. I thought maybe the resemblance was just an unfortunate coincidence, but then there's this...

Grima Wormtongue, from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, as imagined in the 1980 Ralph Bakshi animated movie Return of the King. A dead ringer for Ted Cruz in both depictions, which leads one to believe that Cruz just typifies the underlying concepts of  being a sycophant, flatterer, liar, and manipulator that Tolkien was writing about. 

Cruz might not rise to the level of "
frothy mixture of lubricant and fecal matter as an occasional byproduct of anal sex" that Rick Santorum did, but there appears to be every chance he ends up being a punchline, which would be funny, if he weren't be taken seriously by many as a candidate to run the most powerful nation in the world. 


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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company Page 10

After two years Jenny and I have finally ordered a second printing of our book The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company. You can pre-order your copy here This is one of my favorite pages from the book. Tap dancing rhinoceros.  Pin It

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Haiku For the Youngest Rhino On Earth

In 2012 a female white rhino named Thandi was the victim of a vicious poaching attack with a machete. She lost her horn, but survived. Well, in 2015 Thandi has made the news again by giving birth to a baby calf named Thembi, which means "hope." I wrote this haiku for the newest rhino on planet Earth.



Letter To the Youngest Rhino On Planet Earth From the Oldest Rhino On Planet Earth

Do not mistake your
Thick skin and docile heart for
Human repellant




Rhinos children's book on Amazon
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Don't Try"

Don't Try

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zombie Logic: The Most Dangerous Small Press In America

What makes Zombie Logic Press "The most dangerous small press in America," as NPR has reported? Many things, according to publisher Thomas L. Vaultonburg. 

For one thing, I am beholding to no one. I work for no one. I owe no one anything. I cannot be intimidated by threats, bribed by trinkets, or seduced by grand notions of fame or fortune. I do, say, write, and publish exactly what I want. And if you don't like that, tough shit.

Currently what I like is publishing the best writers from Rockford, Illinois, America's. 9th most dangerous city. But 9th clearly isn't enough danger for America's most dangerous small press, so I have chosen to locate Zombie Logic Press at the heart of the 5th most dangerous neighborhood in America. At night mutants gather beneath my window and bay at me like The Family in The Omega Man. From my west-facing window I can watch the mayor in his office at City Hall orchestrating another dirty deal that will line the pockets of his friends while strangling funding to the schools. On my block there are five restaurants serving human flesh to their unwitting patrons. The garbage dumpsters are a horror show. 

None of this phases me. I witness the discarded human detritum discharged from the various homeless shelters and homes for battered women wander confused and forsaken in the alley all day long mumbling curses and incantations that invoke demons more revolting than the human imagination can muster. I watch them, too, wander the streets, waylaying the unprepared and unsuspected east-side gawkers that spontaneously appear on the weekend to attend events they dread all week long in a neighborhood they don't want to be in. 

From here I see all this. I chose this very place for the most express purpose of seeing this. Seeing it clearly. Not a second-hand account by a reporter new to town and lost on streets she will soon forget when she arrives in Des Moines or Minneapolis. Not a dubious accounting by some Chamber of Commerce type hopeful there will be just enough truth to bullshit ratio in his speil to convince others, especially those who control the locked door to the golden public trough, to open that door and let him bury his greedy snout in the largess. 

No, that's not what I see from here. Nor do I fail to see the beauty and the spectre of past grandeur that is/was The Faust Hotel, The Midway Theater, or the old City Hall building. I know presidents and shieks and Sinatra and Marilyn stayed there, and maybe walked across the street to see a matinee. But not lately. You would also be wrong if you think I condemn the lost and forsaken I see wandering lost and discouraged on the streets. I see them. And I know in the private conversations they constantly seem to be holding with themselves they are speaking as much wisdom as insanity.

But this is no place for wisdom. Or insanity. This is a place for the quick, sly fox that knows how to scavenge. Is comfortable feeding on the carrion of those who have fallen, whether friend or foe. Knows how to bottle and sell snake oil to those who have lost their vitality and verve to face an endless sea of troubles. Rockford is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. A place where you can lose more than your initial investment in a heartbeat.

This is where I make the books. The dangerous books. By writers I have seen underneath my window wandering these streets. For five years now I have resided here, at the geographical heart of this city, watching those who cannot escape interact with those who come here begrudgingly, usually to pay homage to some phantom of a neighborhood they no longer understand or deem beautiful. 

The proposition to publish has never been a safe one. Fortunes and livelihoods have been lost over the ages by those foolhardy enough to be seduced by the passion for the printed word. Freedom has been revoked. Lives exacted as repayment for the sheer and utter indignity of insisting others have a right to see what has been written by their fellow humans. 

So, why do it? Why do it here, especially, where they show no interest in it? 

Because the field of civility can never be ceded to savagery. These posts in these forsaken places must remain attended by earnest keepers of the flame. The alternative is utter darkness. To be routed completely, and overrun by a crudity and a cruelty even the blackest of heart would dare not wish for. 

This is the place where I descend the stairs early every evening, thrust open the front door, look around and wonder "Is it safe? Am I foolish to remain here where they do not need or want me? Should I leave?,'" then cross the street and begin mumbling to myself like all the others.


The Holmes block in Downtown Rockford, Illinois, home of Zombie Logic Press Illustration by Jenny Mathews of The Rockford Illustrating Company.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Boxes Full of Zombie Logic Books

More boxes of Zombie Logic books arrived via UPS today. 

Boxes full of Zombie Logic Press books. Soon we will need a warehouse. Maybe wander over there to the right and buy one. 

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