A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Today was a day of surprising happenstance.

First, on the way to a screening of the new Woody Allen movie, in front of PGE park, I ended up walking behind someone whose bag had the 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and Everlasting buttons on it. I was quite surprised to see my own buttons and was trying to process what to say that wouldn't make me totally lame as I walked past him (I was hurrying). The very simple "Nice buttons" didn't occur to me until too late. That would have served as an innocuous compliment that could have been funny had he actually recognized me but no big deal had he not. (Though, his bag was hanging over his ass, so he might have seen me pointing and thought I was saying, "Nice butt." "Dude, how creepy! Jamie S. Rich just hit on you!")

Second, I was walking home, and I see this guy with sort of indie punk hair across the street giving me a strange eye. Is that...? Noooo, he lives in New York. Ah, but it was Andy Greenwald, author and journalist and the man who made me listen to both Dashboard Confessional and My Chemical Romance so that I could endure the slings and arrows of hipper than thou youngsters (*kaff kaff* Ellerby *kaff*). He and his wife were in town and leaving that evening, and I happened to find him just outside his hotel. What are the odds?

He wasn't wearing any of my buttons, though I know I have one of his Miss Misery badges around here somewhere. I was also impressed by how his wife was able to so smoothly score free samples of gin, as well as how many stories I just happened to tell about being ejected from places for being too drunk. I'm such a lush!

Current Soundtrack: The Very Best of Edith Piaf

Current Mood: surprised

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Made some decent work progress this week. It's amazing how nice and quiet it gets when Comic Con is on. Someone should seal up that convention center like the witch's oven in "Hansel & Gretel" and never let all them geeks out.

I wrote somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 words on 5 1/2 this week, bringing the total word count to 13,745. It's hard to be entirely accurate as in addition to moving forward with the narrative, I also spackled and repaired some holes. Much sketching and notetaking was also completed. I am thinking of taking these updates off of a weekly schedule, however, as they make me overly concerned with producing a good number when I had set out on this novel with the intention of taking my time with it. I may only add updates when I have other writing things to talk about.

"Yet, what are ghosts if not metaphors? Are we all not haunted houses, wandering around with our pasts rattling like the chains of Jacob Marley, shackled with our misdeeds and fearful of a lonely future? I was heading back to high school, to see people I had left for good eighteen years ago. Are these not ghosts?

Screw it. Drink up!

Current Soundtrack: Spiritualized, NPR stream of the 7/25/08 show in Washington D.C.

Current Mood: haunted when the minutes drag

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I received an advance copy of Popgun, vol. 2 yesterday, so this tome is on its way to stores this week. It's a lovely book, perhaps prettier than even the first one, and that Paul Pope cover is super nice.

Joëlle Jones and I have a ten-page story in it, as you may recall. "Reverberation (Doubt)." This one has been long-delayed on its way to release, originally scheduled for another anthology, and we've been sitting on it for about a year. I'm really proud of it, so the long wait has been frustrating. I feel Joëlle and I really came together on this story, and I think both of our performances are very strong. Writing the script was one of those dream experiences where everything just fell into place exactly as it needed to be, and given that there is kind of a soft-serve double-flavor ice cream cone swirl to the structure of the story, it was the happiest of circumstances that it came into being with such ease.

Here is a sneak panel from the series. It's a shocker!

Coloring is by Keith Wood, lettering by the Harvey-nominated Douglas E. Sherwood.

Our story is not to be confused with this Ellerbism.

More Popgun preview materials here.

On an unrelated note, last night was a night of weird dreams. One involved defending Joëlle's drawing of Audrey Hepburn with a sword against someone who was insisting that it showed Audrey as unhealthy and representing a negative body image for women. I vaguely think the conversation was with Philip Bond, but I'm not sure.

This was followed by a longer, more complex dream, where Joëlle and I were traveling through some mountain jungle that was either Las Vegas or the Amazon, or maybe we were heading through the Oregon mountains to California. It's fuzzy. But essentially, myself, her, and Bette Midler were all going to travel to wherever we were going by swimming through a long river that would take us all the way to our destination, and it was considered a real athletic feat to succeed. The first half of this journey required swimming uphill, to pass through the mountain range, but people regularly did it and if you could succeed, you had a straight shot down the mountain from there. Joëlle and Bette Midler had some kind of bet going that involved their careers, where the first one done with the course would have the advantage and could debut new work first. I don't know what my purpose was in this race.

So, after much swimming, we ended up at a village just before the peak of the mountain, where a kind of gypsy-like mountain tribe held big festivals to celebrate swimmers coming through. We had lost Bette by that point, and Joëlle hoped we were ahead of her, not behind her. The next step on the course was climbing the mountain peak, which was made out of packed, wet sand and had multiple faces of the sphinx carved into its side. It was a little like a Mt. Rushmore made out of sand. A couple of experienced hikers were going to help us. One was a tall, gawky man with glasses, and the other was actress Julie Delpy. Joëlle and the man shot up the side of the sphinx sand mountain with almost no problem, and I was doing okay until I got under the biggest of the sphinx heads. Julie Delpy was trying to instruct me, but I just couldn't get over the sphinx headdress, I was worried I would fall. I knew all I had to do was get to the top, and then we'd dive back in the water and head straight down, but I didn't know how I was going to do it. I woke up before I had to find out.

Current Soundtrack: various Santogold

Current Mood: blah

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, July 25, 2008


Taking a cue from the Immonens, a blog post exclusively for those not in San Diego at Comic Con, showing character sketches Tally has been working on for our story in a forthcoming Image anthology.

More information to come as it's available.

Current Soundtrack: Santogold & Diplo, Top Ranking mixtape

Current Mood: cheeky
"Don't ask how we do it so cool
Don't ask us to break the rules
it's all about the bassline, it's all about the clues

Holy shit, Karaoke Watch returns!

But first, comics writer Benito Cereno picks Joëlle's Token as one of the ten books he can stomach in the new Previews. Read his other picks here. I also like his 1, 2, and 10 picks, and am curious about 6, too.

Okay, so a last minute surprise karaoke excursion tonight saw the following performances:

Joëlle Jones:
George Michael - "Faith"
The Beatles - "All My Loving"
Cyndi Lauper - "True Colours"

Jamie Ass Rich:
Frank Sinatra - "Can I Steal a Little Love?"
Take That = "Back for Good"
Gene Pitney - "Half Heaven-Half Heartache"

I am pretty sure that Take That was a painful mistake, too slow and too soft for my range, but man, I've always wanted to do it. Now I can say I have.

Current Soundtrack: Marcie Blaine, "Bobby Did;" Grils Aloud, Chemistry

Current Mood: inebriated

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, July 24, 2008


All the Sad Young Literary Men All the Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first started reading All the Sad Young Literary Men, I thought the book was like the literary equivalent of the band Vampire Weekend--the skill is there and the artists have learned from the best, but they haven’t yet had a profound experience beyond that learning. Hence, you get shiny baubles that sparkle like there is something going on, pop songs that show off verbal dexterity and a knowledge of the rhythms of the world, but the skill is really just a distraction for cheap tales of campus life and the fall-out when the party is over.

Keith Gessen fancies himself an heir to F. Scott Fitzgerald--a conceit I wish I could declare as boldly--but Fitzgerald’s characters never had the benefit of having books like The Great Gatsby or This Side of Paradise to expose for them the fact that the American Dream is a hoax. Gessen’s children, on the other hand, have not only read Fitzgerald, but they come from families who have run on the fumes of that dream’s rotting corpse, and this new generation is content to do the same while offering the pretense that they are doing something important. When they are not. Unlike, say, Gatsby, who at least took the time to reinvent himself, or the Divers, who had the good sense to fall apart, they do nothing but procrastinate, make excuses, and demand. It’s the sense of entitlement that rankles, that they still think they deserve these things that are not there. It makes them seem, well...spoiled.

But then, thinking that through, I also wondered if I was just being too harsh. Gessen can certainly write, and maybe it’s that human failing where you judge too cruelly the thing you do yourself, because it makes you doubt your own skills. Like I don’t want to face whether or not it’s possible to argue that my characters could be just as insipid. Or, worse, that I am one of Gessen’s characters, jealous of those who are doing what I want to do and having more success. I mean, let’s face it, I always struggled with how to appropriate the All the Sad Young Men title from Fitzgerald (who took it from a jazz song, ahem) and now this guy beat me to it. (There is a reason my main character gets an edition of that 1926 Fitzgerald short story collection in The Everlasting). Typing these notes while halfway through Gessen’s book, am I just being petulant and petty?

These are all the things I was pondering halfway through All the Sad Young Literary Men, and I made these notes as an attempt to clear my mind and to read on, to try anew to connect to the three protagonists, the three sad young men. A book in three sections, each with three stories, three main characters. More a collection of short stories than an actual novel, let’s be fair, especially with the lead story having a disjointed style full of pictures and objects. Two third-person narratives (Mark and Sam), one first-person (Keith; hello, diary?), but honestly, all interchangeable, the repetition of their lives and of their plight making them seem like one personality, the way they swap interests and women and reference points like their own kind of food chain. Which could be the point, these dispassionate youth with the same problems, the same nowhere to go. Interestingly, all three of these writers choose not to write about themselves--which they could actually do were they to try, since they are so self-absorbed--but instead want to write about larger topics. Sam plans a novel about the greater Jewish experience; Mark a doctorate on a particular outsider movement in the Russian Revolution; Keith global politics. If one were to give them credit, it’s that they, in their writing, try to be a part of something that is bigger than they are, and in reality, can’t penetrate it, discover that they have been excluded from being an active participant of anything important because they are too privileged and just too aware of the importance.

Or too lazy, and so go after things they know they will never conquer rather than the old literary cliché of writing what they know, writing about themselves, and then having to declare they have nothing to say, the easy cop-out. The irony being that they are saying it right here within Gessen’s narratives, each short story ending on some kind of self-examination. They who are fictions themselves want to live out these real things as fictions. And that’s the trick really, that they are removed, that they stay removed. Write about Israel, but it’s over there, and you don’t have to risk your life. Write about the past, because it’s gone. Write about elections, but don’t run for office.

Herein lies the redemption of the book, and of the characters. In the third act, in the last three stories, the guys have to assess the reality of their surroundings, discard the illusion they have tried to maintain and actually see the world for what it is. It’s not some great concept with capital letters--American Dream--and it’s not something they can merely observe. Sam has the most profound change, going to Jewish settlements in the disputed Palestine region, discovering first-hand the sticky wicket of religious politics and that the contradictions that are within him are within everyone else. The other two don’t get as grand a closure, but that makes sense, it would be too much for them all to come crashing down on the world stage, and the book also has to reconcile its inner personal life. Gessen doesn’t spell it out, which earns him points; he ends Mark’s story, in particular, at a point of decision and only gives us a bare clue of what that is. I can’t excoriate his lazy children and then be a lazy reader myself.

In its way, then, the reading of this book was a journey equal to the one in its pages. I am not generous enough to declare this was entirely Keith Gessen’s intention--“You will hate them, and then you will not want to stop until you know what happens to them”--but I did chart a course across his narrative that was fascinating. At least to me. If Goodreads would let me, I’d give it 3 1/2 stars, not just three. Give me room to breathe in this solar system!

Odd coincidence: As I was reading the last two stories, without thinking about it, I put on the solo album of Peter Moren, him of Peter, Bjorn & John. It’s called The Last Tycoon, named for Fitzgerald’s last unfinished novel, its uncompleted state serving as a metaphor for his Irving Thalberg-like character who thought movies could reinstate the illusion of the American Dream, but alas, never could, his author cut off on the road along the way.

View all my reviews.

Current Soundtrack: Marianne Faithfull, Broken English

Current Mood: intimidated

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, July 21, 2008


Collecting the beginning of the innovative new Mike Allred series, edited and featuring an introduction by yours truly.

This includes the infamous issue where every panel is drawn in a different artist's style--sometimes more than one, even.

Mike and I were trading lots of e-mails yesterday, discussing Alain Delon (Mike's twin), Catherine Deneuve, and that 12-page script I wrote, called "Last Night the Atomics Saved My Life." Right now, we're talking about it being a side story in a forthcoming issue of the Madman Atomic Comics series, but that's not final. He may draw it himself, but he really wants Joëlle to do something for the series, so expect to hear more about that as we get closer. Anything could happen at this point.

By the by, looks like Popgun didn't make it for a release this week, at least not according to the Diamond Comics shipping list. That may be next week, then, as well as Madman #11.

Look for Madman goodies and a Red Rocket 7 postcard in San Diego at the Image booth if you're going to Comic Con this weekend.

Current Soundtrack: various. I keep getting distracted, and so I haven't kept a list.

Current Mood: sweaty

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I didn't get to spend much time on 5 1/2 this week, getting a mere 1,900 words on paper. A couple of movie screenings, that volume of Antique Gift Shop, and the 12-page script for Allred got in the way. No idea what will be done with the latter, but I enjoyed writing it.

Doing two scripts for an unannounced Image anthology, a six-page script by request of an artist, and this one brings my short story count up to four in the last month or so, totally something like 34 comic book pages. I really do enjoy doing those little things.

Anyway, my schedule is totally clear this coming week, plus everyone in comics will be at Comic Con, so it should be pretty much all novel while that's happening. I doubt you'll hear my name spoken at all at the show. I tried to get some decisions made about the book with Mike Holmes, just to see if we could add it to a roster of announcements from the prospective publisher, but never heard back one way or the other on it. Ah, the joys of "no reply."

Unrelated to all that, I have two words for Maggie Gyllenhaal: I'm Batman.

Seriously? Adorable...

If you ever grow tired of Peter Sarsgaard, I'm totally available. I'll even add a second A to my first name just to fit in. Plus, that whole thing where girls normally have to get over the fact that I'm creepy won't be a problem with you, since, you know, you're married to Peter Sarsgaard.

And, hello, who at American Express has been reading my diary? Because clearly someone got ahold of my private fantasy about my ideal couple to see in a porno movie:

Current Soundtrack: Amityville, Mazzy Star, Christina Aguilera, The Symbols, Thom Yorke

Current Mood: dorky

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The Diving Pool: Three Novellas The Diving Pool: Three Novellas by Yoko Ogawa

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been dying for some more Ogawa ever since I read two of her short stories in The New Yorker over two years ago and instantly fell for her prose. A novel that was supposed to come out last year never arrived, and it's been one long tease.

Ogawa writes with unfettered, graceful prose that is seductive in its softness and simplicity, lending even more shock value to her dark subjects. In the title story, a young girl who grew up in the orphanage run by her parents has grown obsessed with the only boy to ever live there long enough to reach high-school age, and her unfulfilled passions start to emerge in acts of cruelty directed at the home's newest and youngest member. It's disturbing without being exploitative and grotesque.

Amidst the calm writing are often wonderful images, such as a snow storm inside the house or lines like "He reappears out of the foam, the rippling surface of the water gathering up like a veil around his shoulders...." Ahhhhh.

The second story, "The Pregnancy Diaries," tackles a somewhat commonplace subject in a unique way. A woman keeps a journal chronicling her sister's pregnancy, writing about it in terms evocative of science fiction and horror. Yet, Ogawa does so without straining the metaphor or using obvious language.

The final story, "Dormitory," details a woman's return to the spartan housing that was her college apartment, and the strange triple-amputee landlord that lives there. It's a mystery tale, a gothic horror story, and yet also a personal soliloquy. The final image shows her reaching directly in the complex patterns that connect all life.

Wonderful stuff. Deep, yet reads like a breeze. Loved it.

View all my reviews.

I wrote the above a while ago, but realized I had never posted it here.

The Bottomless Bellybutton The Bottomless Bellybutton by Dash Shaw

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

This review is kind of like an "it's not you, it's me" break-up, because I should really acknowledge that Dash Shaw's The Bottomless Bellybutton represents a certain side of art-house indie cartooning that just doesn't resonate with me. There is a scene late in the comic when the grandmother is at the grocery store, and the man in line in front of her gives her an angry look for not putting a divider between their items. It seemed like an outrageous response to a fairly common situation, and I realized that most of the world is angry or annoyed at the family that is at the center of The Bottomless Bellybutton. As a reader, I should be sympathetic to their plight in the face of hostility, but truth is, I was angry and annoyed with them, as well. I didn't care at all if they got where they were going, and the book is way too long to put up with a group of people who the author seems to be telling us are really the source of their own problems. It's like watching a remake of Little Miss Sunshine by Todd Solondz.

There was one nice moment I really liked, where Peter, a boy portrayed with a frog's head, reverts back to his real face for a moment, when he realizes his new girlfriend doesn't see him as a freak. It's very subtle, revealing that the reason Dash Shaw has chosen to draw Peter as a weird frogboy is because that is how he sees himself, but he's really as normal as the rest of them. The book has multiple instances of characters having warped self-images, but this is the one place where it really comes through as something special.

Overall, the cartooning is about as unappealing to me as the writing. It has a rushed, unfinished quality that grows tedious in the book's first couple of hundred pages. Given that the whole novel is 720 pages, that's a lot of unattractive comics to plow through. I suppose Shaw could be trying for what Douglas Wolk calls a "beautiful ugly" aesthetic, but for me he's way too heavy on the second half of that equation.

Again, I'm more than willing to concede that all of this criticism stems from my personal tastes and is not necessarily reflective of the quality of Shaw's work. There are actually some very good, emotionally heavy moments in Bottomless Bellybutton that struck me despite my struggles to connect with the overall product. Likewise, though I was originally going to complain about an ongoing annoyance with indie cartoonists being overly obsessed with urine, semen, and boogers, as I read, I saw that this was the low-end of a sophisticated thematic metaphor about the way the transmogrification of water is similar to changes humans go through over their life.

In other words, despite myself, I get it; it's just that "it" is not for me.

For an alternative viewpoint, Tom Spurgeon's well-written assessment of the book is what convinced me to read it in the first place.

Current Soundtrack: Brett Anderson, Wilderness

Current Mood: nervous

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, July 17, 2008



* The Dark Knight. I think this is getting a small release, I'm not hearing much about it. Which is too bad, as it's pretty goddamn awesome.


* Blood Brothers, a 1930s remake of A Bullet to the Head, this Chinese film yawns its way toward its conclusion.

* Girl on the Bridge, a unique French romance gets a bad DVD release.

* Mon Oncle Antoine - Criterion Collection, a French Canadian film about life in a mining town in the 1940s. A soft touch adds to the drama and humor. (Also at Criterion Confessions.)

Current Soundtrack: ABBA, "When I Kissed the Teacher;" Keane, "Is it Any Wonder?;" The Premiers, "Make It Me;" Petula Clark, "La Nuit N'en Finit Plus"

Current Mood: why so serious?

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The first week's word count for 5 1/2 is a decent 6,450 words. That includes no working on it last Sunday, Monday, or yesterday.

This morning, I wrote a six-page comic book script for possible inclusion in an indie anthology, as requested by the artist. It's a book featuring collaborations between comics creators living in Portland and San Francisco, a bridge between our bohemian, neo-capitalist metropolises.

At the moment, working on film reviews. Next week I'll be mainly focused on starting Antique Gift Shop vol. 7. I also am supposed to write something for Allred one of these days.

I'm told Popgun, vol. 2 will be in shops on July 22. Also, Love the Way You Love, Side B is being prepped to go to the printer.

Current Soundtrack: The Beatles, White Album

Current Mood: creative

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Writer Richard Bruton has written a lovely review of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her for the Forbidden Planet website. You can read the whole thing here, but sample a couple of choice quotes now:

This carries on through the book, with Rich managing to structure it beautifully well, setting up big reveals and partial truths and never really letting us know which way it’s all going to end. Which is just as it should be. With some work the linear story is assembled, but Rich has written it in a clever way to leave the ending, just like real life, open and vague. I like d that very much. After all, why can’t comics be just as difficult and troublesome to resolve as real life?

Unbelievably this is Joëlle Jones’ first professional artwork in comics. It’s simple, expressive, sensual, beautiful, resonating, emotional and many more. I could just spend another paragraph finding the words. But just take it as a stunning art find. The fact that you barely notice her art at first, it so seemlessly blends with the story as to make it one and the same, is no fault, merely an indication of how well she tells this story. But she doesn’t just rely on one style in the book. Granted, most of the art is very clear, thick line work, but there are three vignettes where she switches to something softer, even using washes at one point. The effect is lovely.

Current Soundtrack: The Killers, Sawdust

Current Mood: bashful


* Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson, a surface-level documentary that hurts the legend even as it seeks to preserve it.

* Hellboy II: The Golden Army, a disappointing second go-around for the big red lug. This review hurt to write, because I had such high hopes for this film.

The Hellboy screening Joëlle and I went to had to be one of the worst I've ever attended. People were arguing over seats, mothers cursing in front of their own children, and the promoters did nothing to help by whipping the crowd into a frenzy with all of their free junk. You'd think there is a T-shirt shortage in the world judging by these animals rushing the stage to get some ugly red thing that is ultimately going to make them look like a tomato.

The Gonzo people weren't much better, but I have a far more interesting relationship with Thompson fans dating back to my time at the video store.

Right around when Breakfast with Hunter came out on DVD, a couple of guys came in and signed up at the store so they could rent it. I hate to say it, but when you work retail, you tend to judge people for shallow reasons and make snap decisions about them based on their appearance. It's not something any clerk is proud of, one hopes, but the sad fact is, you do develop an instinct and more often than not are right in your judgments.

In this case, the pair looked like a couple of real dirtbags. One was a little chubby, longer hair, kind of like your basic metal dude from high school. The other was the alpha male, skinnier, short and curly hair cut close to the skull, bad teeth, a smoker's voice and an unavoidable smoker's scent. I think when they left with the Breakfast with Hunter DVD, I said to my co-worker, "We're never going to see that disc again."

Sure enough, it didn't come back on time, and it ended up being over a week late. The phone number they gave us might have even been disconnected. Before all hope was lost, though, they returned, and the guys paid the entire late fee--which was huge because it was a new release--without argument. That's an important detail, because this store was in a fairly affluent, totally white, totally liberal neighborhood, where folks driving SUVs would rent documentaries about Wal-Mart and then try to lie and weasel their way out of a dollar late fee while threatening to leave our little mom-and-pop store to go to either Blockbuster or Netflix. I'm not exaggerating either. That scenario happened more than once. Maybe rich folks are rich because they are really cheap motherfuckers, I don't know.

So, here my instincts were totally off. The quote-unquote dirtbags were the ones who honored their debts and didn't make a stink over it. They kept coming back to the store, too, and they'd chat with the guys behind the counter and rent Alfred Hitchcock films five at a time. They were determined to watch every film he made. In order. They were always over a week late returning the movies, and they always came in intending to settle up.

And I always cut them a deal. Because not only did I respect their Hitchcock adventure, but they respected me in my peon job. I was wrong about them, and they left me thinking Hunter S. Thompson fans might be pretty cool dudes.

Until I saw Gonzo.

Hooo, boy. This was a scruffy, crusty, gutterpunk crowd through and through. They drank smuggled beers* and, I swear, I have never seen so many people take pee breaks so often in a movie before. I almost wanted to go check if there was a stash of cocaine behind the toilet they were all dipping into, or something. Despite overly obnoxious giggling at every infantile display of drug taking in the movie, however, they were a pretty quiet bunch--certainly better behaved than the Hellboy II herd.

All except one guy, who was in the row in front of us, on the end. Plastorm and I were sitting in the middle, so at least not directly behind him. He was an older gentleman, moustache, bald on top but long hair on the sides and back (a bald man's mullet), and the body equivalent of a misshapen potato. This fella was whooping and hollering the most, clapping and cheering every time Hunter snorted a line, made a joke about Nixon, or pulled some other oafish antic. He also got really excited every time a song he liked was used in the movie. It's not really that hard to hear "Sympathy for the Devil," it's not exactly an obscure tune, but to listen to this knucklehead, you'd think the filmmakers had unearthed a lost classic. I wanted to go over and whisper to him, "There are these things called CDs, and they come with your favorite songs already on them so you can listen to them whenever you want!"

At one point, Plas said to me, "Somebody's reliving his youth over there."

To which I replied, "Yeah, but you know back when all this was happening, he was really doing nothing, he was sitting at home." I'd bet anything that dude was the social activist equivalent of a gardenburger hanging around a barbeque on a Texas cattle ranch trying to convince the diners that he was real meat. Like a housewife at a rock concert, this was his one chance to cut loose.

I guess I don't really have some profound point to go with this. The closest I can get is this: you really never can tell, and it doesn't matter the group, there are going to be some people who will surprise you for how cool they are and some who are total douchebags. (Why wasn't that gardenburger wearing an Hawaiian shirt to warn us?) As John Wesley Harding said in "The Devil in Me," his updating of the aforementioned "Sympathy for the Devil," "You can call me by my real name, you can call me humanity...because it all seems just like human behavior to me."

EDIT: Maybe Patton Oswalt has an inkling of what I think I might be trying to say.

* Granted, I am not one to talk about smuggling booze into the theatre. But hey, at least it's not Pabst.


* Aria, a truly awful reissue of an interesting, experimental movie that, while not entirely successful, deserves better.

* Belle Toujours, an exercise in hubris that seeks to create a sequel to Louis Bunuel's Belle de Jour. "You're better off sticking to the original" appears to be the lesson of the week.

* Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Jamie Babbit's tribute to DIY activism never finds its satirical groove. Popular fans will be pleased to see Carly Pope and Leslie Grossman in a movie together, though.

* Never Forever, a worthwhile indie drama about a woman falling for the man she's hired to secretly get her pregnant. That's about as close as small films like this get to a high concept, I think.

* Times and Winds, a beautiful film about three children growing up in Turkey. Easily the best of this batch.


This week's reviews written specifically for the site are:

* The Naked Kiss, Sam Fuller's whacked-out pulp fiction in full, twisted overdrive. If you've never seen this movie, just watch the clips I've posted and see if you can resist.

Current Soundtrack: various, including Rod Stewart & PP Arnold, the Buzzcocks, Madonna, Stereolab, Girls Aloud, Ali Akbar Khan/Jyotitindra Moitra, Ennio Morricone (Danger: Diabolik), Depeche Mode vs. Deep Dish, Faye Wong, the Shins, the Beatles vs. Depeche Mode, Lavender Diamond, Dashboard Confessional, the Warlocks

Current Mood: disappointed

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


The pretty little things Wong Kar-Wai does for money:

There is Only One Sun (2007) to promote the Philips Aurea TV

Midnight Poison commercial for Dior, starring Eva Green

Compilation of older Wong Kar-Wai commercials shot by Christopher Doyle, starring Asano Tadanobu and Karen Mok.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I didn't realize the new Mike Leigh film, Happy-Go-Lucky had come out already. Looks like the U.S. won't see it until October.

Quite some time ago, I signed a release for them to use images from Love the Way You Love as set decoration. This was before the movie even had a title. Has anyone seen the movie? I am curious if anything from the comic actually made it into the final edit. (I am kind of thinking not, or someone might have noticed.)

It's not that this stuff usually translates into added sales, but it's something I can brag about to film geeks.

Current Soundtrack: Supergrass, "Butterfly;" Suede, "ABC Song"

Portland artist and Robopocalypse member Mathew Grigsby sent me these two drawings he did of characters from Love the Way You Love. Apparently the rest of the band is to follow.

Current Soundtrack: on shuffle: The Shins, Amy Winehouse

Current Mood: cool

e-mail = golightly at confessions123.com * Criterion Confessions * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * ComicSpace * Last FM * GoodReads * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich