Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Like the Cut of Your Jib, Old Sport

The latest Zombie Logic Press webcomic. 

Mr. Weebly, I like the cut of your jib.

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Asima The Sinful

When I asked Jenny to do a drawing of the demon Asima I didn't expect see something that looked more like a Mother's Day card than the demoness known for her proclivity for human flesh. I had been told once that the name Asima translated into something like "sinful one" in Arabic, but looking that up I find it is not the case. The name means something more like guardian of protector. Hmm. Maybe what we have here is a Mother's Day card. 

Asima the Sinful. Mother's Day card.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just Go Already, South Carolina, Robot Devil Begs You

South Carolina tried to secede from the United States in 1828 over Andrew Jackson's "tariffs of abomination." When threatened with hanging they chose instead to sit down and shut up. South Carolina threatened to secede from the United States again in 1850 in protest of California becoming a state (if that's not a foreshadowing of future events I'm Wilt Chamberlain). Then in December 1860 South Carolina finally achieved its dream of becoming the first state to secede from the United States of America to defend the tradition of enslaving other human beings. After the election of President Barack Obama, America's first Black President, last week, the citizens of South Carolina have once again decided they no longer want to be  Americans. Well, here's some words of advice from the rest of us in America....

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. 
Seriously, just go away you ignorant, backwards in-breds. You never seemed to agree with what the rest of America was doing anyway, as evidenced by your multiple threats to secede. Just go already. Please. Are you still here? 

More politics: Is Jesse Jackson Jr. Insane, Or Just Crazy? Pin It

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr., A Virtual Zombie, Wins Re-Election By Landslide

Several months ago politician Jesse Jackson Jr. disappeared. No one knew where he was. He didn't show up for votes. Neither hide nor hair was seen of him on Capitol Hill.

Then news surfaced that Jackson Jr. had been admitted to The Mayo Clinic for treatment of exhaustion and depression. Something was making him tired, but it wasn't doing his job. What made Jesse Jackson Jr. so tired? Hard to speculate. I've always found maintaining a lie was one of the most emotionally and physically draining experiences one can go through. 

Ironically, it was about the time allegations surfaced that Jackson Jr. had misused campaign funds to decorate his house and buy a female friend a $40,000 Rolex. The politician from that point forward in no way fulfilled the obligations of the office he was elected to by citizens of Illinois' 2nd Congressional District.

None of this prevented the voters of the 2nd District from re-electing Jackson Jr. last Tuesday. Not only did they re-elect him, they did so by one of the most convincing landslides in any Congressional seat being contested. Seventy-two percent of the voters decided Jackson Jr. deserved another shot at Congress. 

And Jackson Jr. believed it himself, saying he was "humbled and moved" by the show of support. I would like to say the rest of us are shocked and appalled by the show of support, but no one expected any less, not here in Illinois. 

Jesse Jackson Jr. is probably going to prison for his mis-handling of campaign funds. Another black eye to the national perception of Illinois politics, which includes a virtually unbroken string of governors that have ended up in prison going back to the 1960's. What he won't be doing is losing any elections anytime soon, not in the 2nd Congressional District at least. Shame on you, voters of the Illinois' 2nd. You're every bit of what the public perception says. 

Jackson Jr. will not lose his pension it seems, valued at between 65,000-80,000 a year when he turns 62. Politics is a shady business. 

Jesse Jackson Jr. will soon be using a supposed diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder to avoid prison time.

Update November 12: After I had written this last night at 2 a.m. I realized all I had really done was recombine a few facts I had assembled from other news sources, but it occurred to me this afternoon a more interesting aspect of the story, as someone who has been diagnosed with both a mood and personality disorder, is if the Mayo Clinic actually has diagnosed Jesse Jackson Jr. with a mental illness. And as it turns out, they have. 

Sort of.

Jesse Jackson Jr. has been diagnosed not with Bipolar Disorder, as many headlines claim, but Bipolar 2, a new diagnosis introduced in the DSM in 1994. For a brief explanation of the difference please consult this article in Time Magazine's Health and Family section. Many psychologists believe the array of new personality and mood disorders, including Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality disorder are bogus, and either created by the pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs or to categorize problem inmates of mental health facilities who otherwise have no discernible disorder. 

A more cynical view (not that believing that the pharmaceutical companies would conspire with a gullible mental health community to create fictitious disorders in order to sell expensive drugs in order to treat fictitious disorders isn't cynical enough) is that the mental health community is creating disorders simply to describe bad behavior. Instead of "the devil made me do it" we get Bipolar 2 made me do it. or Borderline Personality Disorder made me do it.

let's clear one thing up: I believe in mental disorders, but I'm not convinced that these particular ones are legitimate. When i sat in psychology classes in college the students there, the ones who were actually going to go out and treat the mentally ill in institutions, were still easily convinced Multiple Personality Disorder, which they later renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder after anyone who wanted to appear responsible would no longer take MPD seriously, was very real. It was not. And I have a hard time taking those people seriously now. 

Borderline Personality Disorder largely came about because those who were dealing directly with violent and abusive inmates in institutions needed some way to label a population that was misbehaving but otherwise had no diagnosable condition. BPD gave them a tool to label these people as mentally ill, which gave them more power in subduing them and segregating them from the rest of the population. In short these were people who the mental health professionals were sick of being abused by and asserted pressure to have them labeled something, anything, that would allow them to be singled out.

Does Jesse Jackson Jr. have a real mental illness other than Bipolar 2? I haven't a clue. But do i think Bipolar 2 is a sufficient explanation for his allegedly criminal behavior? Not really. I think he made poor choices and should be liable for the consequences of what he may or may not have done. 

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Friday, November 9, 2012

November 18th Is Dr. Millard Rausch Questions Your Intelligence Day

Dr. Millard Rausch cares about your well-being. But like most scientists he has serious questions about your intelligence level. He has slightly ambivalent feelings about humanity surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. On one hand his dry cleaner is a human, and as often as Dr. Rausch spills jelly donut filling on his snappy blazer he'd be in some deep shit if his dry cleaner became a shambler. But everyone who knows Millard Rausch knows he's a terrible driver and would benefit substantially if 99% of the human race would abandon driving for a slower, more unobtrusive method of transportation, such as shuffling. 

Dr. Millard Rausch is conflicted. He really couldn't give two shits if most of you survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but some of you make those prune danishes he really likes. On November 18th keep Dr. Rausch in mind as you slug through your day hoping that everyone in front of you in traffic or at the Walmart would die so you could get home thirty seconds faster to watch Dancing With the Stars.

Dr. Millard Rausch, the eye-patch wearing scientist from Dawn of the Dead who tries to remain rational and calm in the face of zombie pandemic, was played by actor Richard France, who appeared in seven movies in all, and according to IMDB is a noted Orson Welles scholar. One wonders in the end why he even bothered. 

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December 1st Is National Kill a Hipster Day

Zombie Logic Press, as designator of New National Holidays, has declared December 1st as Kill a Hipster Day. 

Use a blunt object.
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The Zombie Logic Press Easter Card

Newly designed, the Zombie Logic Press Easter card is available now. We'll be adding cards for all occasions soon, so check back to see what we have in stock, or write us and we'll design a card for you for any occasion you can imagine. 

Zombie Logic Press Easter card. 


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sorry You Got Tuba-erculosis Greeting Card

A couple of weeks ago Jenny and I had a table at a craft show. We sold some books and some cards and art, but the best part was we had time to just throw ideas around, which we almost never do because there's someone who needs to go to the immediate care clinic or a school play about the history of rocks. We noticed that people were really liking the greeting cards Jenny had made up with just her Tiny Drawings on them, so we decided maybe a whole line of greeting cards was in order, but in true Zombie Logic Press style we can't just play it straight, there has to be a twist. So here is the first card in our new line of greeting cards for occasions you never even dreamed there was an occasion that happened for that. keep in mind if this card doesn't apply to your current predicament, Jenny can personalize any concept you might have in mind. Just contact us for pricing on creating you a Christmas card, a birthday card, or a card for any occasion you can imagine. We'll make it.

After I came up with this idea and we laughed all afternoon I realized we were going to a birthday party for my grandma who had spent time in a sanitarium because she had, you guessed it, tuberculosis, so I explained to Jenny it might not
be best to discuss our new idea for greeting cards for all sorts of nonsensical occasions at dinner. But if you have an idea for a nonsensical card just send it to us and we'll let you know. The font here is Polka MN.

See the original Tuba Drawing

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Seven Brothers Meet Dracula Movie Poster

Black belt versus black magic. So claims the movie poster for Dynamite productions The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula. Also known as The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, this movie stars Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing in China, presumably there to deliver a series of lectures to Chinese college students who skoff at his teachings and leave the lecture hall en masse. But one student remains behind and tells Van Helsin g his village has been plagued for centuries by Seven Golden Vampires who raid the village every so often to cause mayhem and suck blood. Interestingly, this student has seven brothers and one sister who are duty bound to eradicate the village of this ancient scourge. Thus ensues one of the greatest vampire movies of all time, and guess whose two thumbs are pointed in his own direction to indicate that he is a proud possessor of the movie poster for said movie.

ME! Dracula, Van Helsing, seven golden vampires, zombies, kung fu, and a chick with heaving breasts. 

Julie Ege and her screen presence. She's in the movie. But despite what she'd have you believe the movie isn't about her breasts. see, there's this Chinese Dracula who wants to be a Romanian Dracula, so he goes to visit this English actor Dracula imitating a Romanian Dracula so he can ask the English imitator Dracula to transform the Chinese Dracula into the Romanian Dracula the English Dracula is imitating so he can go back to China and tell Chinese vampires what is what.  

I don't remember ordering Chinese. 

You forgot my egg rolls, Suzuki. That would actually be Japanese and doesn't make much sense, but it's par for this magnificently off beat and awkward gem of a movie directed by Roy Ward Baker who brought you the classics The Monster Club, Vault of Horror, And Now the Screaming Starts, Asylum, The Vampire Lovers, and Five Million Years To Earth to name but a few. Well, actually to name the bulk of his best horror movies, but that's quite a list. The martial arts in this movie are well done. It's a legitimately entertaining hybrid of a kung fu and a vampire movie. Did I mention I have the movie poster?

Does this ridiculous plastic mask make my fangs look fat? Yes. Yes it does. The Seven Brothers Meet Dracula they don't really meet him but they could have if they'd gone up the Buddhist temple at the top of the hill maybe they could have worked this whole thing out without so much bloodshed. Four stars from me and you'll have to figure out out of how many possible stars by watching the movie yourself. I have to go vote so outro.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Tiny Drawings Greeting Cards!

Tiny Drawing Greeting Cards!
You pick what artwork you'd like on them.  Make them all the same, pick 15 different tiny drawings, or mix and match.  You have over 300 designs to choose from at Tiny Drawings you just let us know what you'd like and we'll send it.

Set of 15 for $30.00

Or if you need just one card for a Birthday, Valentines Day or Get Off My Lawn, just pick the art and tell us what you need it to say.

Just one card please $4.00
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The Holmes Block In Downtown Rockford, Illinois

This is where I live. The Holmes Block in Rockford, Illinois, home of Zombie Logic Press, one of the Midwest's oldest independent literary presses, in continuous operation since 1997. The building was constructed in 1886. Most of the buildings in scenic downtown Rockford have a similar facade that states when the building was constructed and the name of the block. Interestingly, by block they meant the building itself, not an entire city block, as several building on one block will have the same annotation as "block." Most were built between 1880 and 1910. There are eternal rumors of impending gentrification and young professionals willing to commute from Rockford to Chicago to avoid oppressive taxes who want to buy loft space and condos Downtown and money is no object. But until that happens and I have to pack up the Zombie Logic press and class up somewhere else I'll continue to enjoy one of the best views in the entire Midwest overlooking State and 3rd Street. 

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

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

How Do You Get To Loughville

I find that ghouls are woefully underrepresented in the horror genre. Perhaps the problem has been that the definition of a ghoul is nebulous. I'm pretty sure I'd know a zombie, a vampire, or a werewolf if I ran into one on the street, but what exactly does a ghoul look like? Webster defines a ghoul as "a legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses." But even that definition is vague. Where does the ghoul come from? How is it created? Does it simply hang around graveyards and barrows or does it move about freely in other settings? There are few sources that tackle these questions, and the horror genre hasn't done much to clarify the matter. There haven't been many movies made about ghouls, and the ones that have been made haven't answered any of these questions satisfactorily. 

Are you going to Loughville? I sure would like to hitch a ride. In what ways are ghouls different than zombies? In the 1975 starring Peter Cushingmovie titled simply The Ghoul, his son is transformed into a ghoul through a perversion of the flesh by a wicked religious leader in India. 

For most of that movie we only see The Ghoul from the knees down. He is fed what we are led to believe on a diet of human flesh procured by his father and his mysterious Indian servant. Eventually we see the Ghoul in  whole.

But this does little to help us differentiate between a ghoul and a zombie. technically, all the creatures I have listed here fall under the banner of the living dead, but among each there is a clear differentiation of the method of creation, appearance, and abilities.A ghoul is said to be created by some perversion of the flesh, either by magic or prolonged wickedness, particularly cannibalism. But what binds a ghoul merely to places where bodies are interred? In this movie the ghoul is nowhere near a cemetery. So the confusion persists. 

In Roy Ward Baker's final film, The Monster Club (1981), also the final film of English horror studio Amicus, the third story centers around a village of ghouls called Loughville. We learn at one time Loughville was a normal village where a ghoul just happened to stroll in one day long ago and was taken in by the local minister who attempted through kindness and the love of god to transform the ghoul into a human. But failed. The ghoul was seen one night in the churchyard feeding, and was driven out of Loughville. But for the one ghoul who was driven out twelve returned and danced to mark the place as their own. We never learn where the first ghoul came from or where the additional ghouls came from. We do learn that in this possible world the ghouls can breed with humans, creating a hybrid called a Humgoo. All we know about them is that have a taste for human carrion, but aren't considered evil otherwise. I would guess most humans consider the eating of human flesh, alive or otherwise, as an act of evil.

Dungeons and Dragons depiction of a ghoul in The Monster Manual.

The earliest descriptions of ghouls are from the Arab world, and involve hybrids of the djinn and perhaps a demon who inhabit graveyards and feed on the dead. But even in this tradition we learn little except that ghouls have an uncertain origin and their only consistent feature is that they inhabit graveyards and feed on the dead. Several questions arise that would seem to make the "life" of a ghoul complicated. If a ghoul is bound to cemeteries how does it remain undetected? What does it do when the cemetery is exhausted of human remains? None of these questions have answers in literature or the movies. I feel the definitive movie on ghouls is yet to be done and I await it with carrion baited breath. 

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Monster Club Is The Best Movie Soundtrack of the 1980's

The 1980's were the golden era of movie soundtracks. So many classic soundtracks. Footloose, Top Gun, The Lost Boys, Ghostbusters, Purple Rain. All in all the 1980's were about 674% more Kenny Logginsey than most Americans would have preferred, at least in retrospect. But none of these are even close to being my favorite soundtrack of the Reaganomics decade. My favorite soundtrack of the 1980's comes from a little known horror movie most people have never seen. 

Take equal parts reggae, punk, ska, new wave, rock, and a killer side two composed by John Williams (yes, THAT John Williams), Strauss, Stravinski, and my favorite electronica track by Alan Hawkshaw, "Ghouls Galore," which accompanies the final and spookiest ghouls story, and you have the recipe for the best movie soundtrack of the 80's.

The songs one side one are varied and all guaranteed to stick in your head. My favorite is the tongue in cheek "Sucker For Your Love" performed by B.A. Robertson, who later composed songs with Mike Rutherford of Genesis, including the song "Silent Running." I once read an article where Donnie Iris and his songwriting partner had accused B.A. Roberston of lifting one of their songs, but since it wasn't "Sucker For Your Love" I didn't care.

The Pretty Things are a rather legendary British band whose career arc somewhat resembles Spinal Tap in that they moved equally successfully in pop, blues, and rock circles. Although they never achieved great success at any one time, their longevity has made them a favorite of many music aficionados. They still perform to this day and their titular performance here is magnificent.

During the stripper sequence you see here, singer Sevie Vann of the band Night peels the paint from the walls with her knockout voice. She was born in Rhodesia and sand backup for many groups and performers, including Def leppard, UFO, Manfred Mann, Wham, Tears For Fears, and Ray Charles. A varied list to be sure, but with pipes like that who's going to question why?

The band The Viewers belts out "Monsters Rule O.K.," a straight forward and satisfying rock song. I don't know much about this band, but like the other bands included in this soundtrack they were no fly-by-night operation either. There are no clunkers on this album. throw in a reggae performance by U.B. and you have a compilation too diverse and interesting to not at least give a listen to. But beware, The Monster Club is one of the rarest and most valuable soundtracks of all time, so you'll probably just have to watch the movie or listen to the songs on You Tube. But you should.

"Sucker For Your Love"

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't Open the Window, Unless You Want To Attract Undead Pervs

I like it when movies tell me what to do. Don't Go In the Woods, Don't Look In the Basement, Don't Answer the Phone, because I rarely know what to do. But of all the advice I ever received from movie posters I believe Don't Open the Window is the most useless. Zombies can come in a window, I suppose, but they rarely do. They're dead, they're stiff, and because they're just pure, motorized biological drive they tend to take the path of least resistance. Sure, you can close the window, but I would probably concentrate on the front door first. This movie poster does speak one truth, though, in the motion picture Don't Open the Window, better known as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and less known also as The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, they have tampered with nature and at least a few people will pay the price. 

Could you please open the window, Mabel? No, there's a zombie out there eating someone's entrails. In that case, don't open the window. We'll just stare at the naked chick in the neighbor's window. perhaps this woman's real problem with attracting undesirable type dead pervs is she's standing in the window naked. That should be the title of the movie. Don't Stand In Your Window Naked If You Don't Want Undead Pervs To Gather Outside.

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