Friday, April 18, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
©Ernest Hogan 2014
Death? Dismemberment? Brain-damage? I was gleefully flirting with them all at 60 mph as I kept pedaling my customized Chinese Flying Pigeon into the downhill slope of Cave Creek Road. Adrenaline spurted into the RC-Cola-spiked-with-Folgers-Coffee-Crystals that had my heart pounding a serious hyperrhythm. Since I can cut in and out of traffic, down sidewalks and alleys, etc., I can get any small package I can strap onto the Pigeon or put in my backpack from point A to point B in Phoenix faster than any motored vehicle can -- especially during rush hours.
I usually deliver disks, sometimes documents, sometimes sealed packages that I don't ask about -- hey, we all gotta make a living somehow, and there simply ain't enough time to looksee if it's legal this week. And how else am I gonna get my burger bucks AND save up for the virtual reality system of my wettest dreams?
This time it was one of those mysterious packages picked up from a nervous taser-toting Nigerian in a Moon Valley parking lot to my long-time, not-quite-a-friend Doc Burnout, who for some reason would be waiting for me in the coffee shop of the Smitty's in Sunnyslope rather than masturbating over the latest Mondo 2000 in his sleazy little apartment across the street, as usual.
Go figure. I shoulda known.
When I zipped into the Smitty's parking lot, past a faded yellow Honda that screeched its brakes as both the driver and passenger gave me the finger, I heard Burnout's raspy voice straining at full volume:
"FOR TOFFLER'S SAKE, FLASH, GET OUT OF HERE!"
And the Nigerian threatened to give me his own special electroshock treatment if I didn't get the package to Doc muy pronto. I was confused.
Then there was the sound of automatic gunfire.
I put the Pigeon into a sideways skid, pointing my left workboot to catch my fall as everything went into slow-motion. I was soon part of a high-tech Hollywood-style macho ballet, trying to kill my forward motion while the Doc and several Asian guys in expensive Italian suits blasted away at each other with Uzis. Tattooed bystanders took off to take extra doses of their medication as I lost control, and tumbled across the sizzling asphalt until I skidded on my skull into an overflowing dumpster.
No pain, not at that moment. Just a gooey blackness engulfing me as I heard:
"We can rebuild him. We have the technology."
NEXT WEEK: MUTATECHNIC RESURRECTION
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Another Captain America movie is raking in the bucks at the box office. We should take time to remember Joe Simon, who with Jack Kirby created the character. A good way is to read Simon's book, My Life in Comics.
It takes us back to the days when superheroes weren't corporate porperty, and comics were created by lively individuals in a mad race to come up with something new to capture the audience's attention. If they were lucky, they could make a living, too.
My Life in Comics captures this phase in the history of American pop culture, and the personalities behind it. It starts with Simon's early days working as an artist and sports reporter for the newspapers, and how he got into comic books when things changed, technology allowed for the use of more photographs – he compares it to what's happening with the internet today. We see behind the scenes of the origin of comic books as we know them today. He also tells of the struggle to keep the rights and get credit for his creations, including Captain America.
As I work on a comics/illustraton project, this book makes me yearn to be a work-a-day cartoonist. Yeah, things are changing. New media means new opportuinities. A fella can dream, can't he?
Meanwhile, Marvel, and DC are becoming faceless corporate entities, like Disney. Will they ever do anything besides reboot their creaky, old franchises?
Guess I better get back to work.
Monday, April 7, 2014
©Ernest Hogan 2014
It was one of those dangerous experiments in things that man was not meant to know that went horribly wrong and almost destroyed the experimenter. Just like in all those cheapo black&white sci-fi flicks I watched on TV back in childhood, way back in those days before cable. My earliest role-models were Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and Peter Lorre. As a boy I wanted to be a mad scientist.
Anyway, it was a different world back then when all this started, it was 1993: A man named George Bush had saved the world on CNN, everyone loved him even though the economy was in the toilet. The South-Central riots were still sending off aftershocks. My wife (the fabulous Emily Devenport) and I were impoverished, the Nueva York publishing industry didn't seem to want to touch our work with a teflon-lined ten-foot pole. Copies of my first novel, Cortez on Jupiter, mysteriously vanished, the publisher claiming that nobody bought them, even though people on three continents were seeking them out. Emily's publisher had bought a book ages earlier, and now wasn't returning any calls. High Aztech, my second novel had come out, but was not getting reviewed -- people kept telling me, "What? Your book came out? Gee, Tor sends me copies of all their books, but yours wasn't in the package." Em and I had gone back to cleaning houses for burger bucks, and were spending spare hours drinking iced-tea at midnight (a quaint Phoenix custom, which seems downright sensible during the blistering high summer) listening to friends' crazy ideas.
One of these friends was Stephen Michael Barnes (not be confused with Steven Barnes, the black science fiction writer -- this is a white guy, the anarchist publisher) who had an idea for a magazine called The Red Dog Journal. The guy was amazing. He couldn't be stopped. Just when we'd figured the Dog was a goner, Barnes would switch modes and media, and come up with new resources -- he was reading Hakim Bey's T.A.Z. and taking it to heart. The Reddog lived in mutation frenzy . . .
At one point, Stephen had helped Phil Esch with a new idea called FaxMO -- a fax-accessible information service, that included Reddog material. He asked me if I'd do some entertainment stuff, like serializing a short story or something. I thought about it.
You see, being trashed by Nueva York left me depressed, and with a horrible case of writer's block. At one point I turned on the computer, and could do nothing but weep. Why bother? Even in the magazine world, the only people who were willing to publish me were those who couldn't afford to pay. Meanwhile, Em and I has signed up as custodians for a local school district so we could afford to keep eating.
Serializing a short story seemed stupid to me, but I thought about the form of one-page fax, and a business that wanted to keep people calling. I thought of a serial. I always liked that to-be-continued stuff. It has also traditionally been used to lure consumers to new media, like newspapers, movies, radio, television . . . so why not fax?
Another iced-tea-at-midnight buddy was Rick Cook, whose Wiz novels had recently attained cult status among computer geeks (heh, don't blame me -- that's what they call themselves). Rick had explained how A.E. Van Vogt's novels were so strange because he was practically the only writer to actually use the technique of putting a mini-climax at the end of every 800 words, which ends up creating a high-speed pulp fiction pace, and at the same time disrupting and disjointing the story until it resembles something out of William Burroughs' cut-up experiments. (Someday I'm going to have to write an essay on how Van Vogt and other pulp sf writers are precursors to Burroughs.) He also had a theory that Philip K. Dick's novels were like a parlor game: A group of people could get together at a party, throw together a few random ideas, and come up with something like a Phildick novel. Hm . . . went something deep inside my brain.
I also had this title, "Brainpan Fallout," that I thought was suitably surreal and applied to life in the Nineties. In Science Fiction Eye, I had recently shot my mouth off about the need for "sci-fi that the kids can dance to" and this looked like a chance to demonstrate what I meant.
Not sure where all this was going, I started carrying around a poorman's laptop (i.e; a memo book and ballpoint pen), and like Hunter Thompson, would jot down bits of random weirdness that I saw as Emily and I rushed around Phoenix in our never-ending struggle for survival. Add some gonzo journalism to the mix, and stir. Hey, did it just move on its own?
The one-page fax format meant the disruptive mini-climaxes came about every 400 words, so pacing was faster, as if Van Vogt had gotten a hold of some of Dick's amphetamines. Fasten your seat belts. Keep your hands and feet inside the capsule. Remember, I am a professional, so kids, don't try this at home -- or at least don't come running to me because you need to scrape your brains off the ceiling.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
Muy misterioso. For the last month or so the most popular posting here on Mondo Ernesto has been one about Brainpan Fallout from way back in 2012. Every day follks were clicking on it. I did to, to see what the hell was going on.
Turns out it has links to the Red Dog Journal version that is still available, original typos and all.
At the end I did say that, “I'll serialize the final edit of Brainpan Fallout here at Mondo Ernesto,” and never got around to it. It's been a busy couple of years.
Since there does seem to be interest in Brainpan Fallout, I'm going to do that serialization. Besides, it will give me a break from my Mondo Ernesto duties, and give me a chance to work on all those other important projects.
So stay tuned.
at 8:19 AM
Friday, March 28, 2014
Among other things, it's revealed that this song became the theme to Disney's The Three Caballeros.
There's some peculiar political overtones in the Roy Rogers universe:
And, of course, Trigger is damnear supernatural:
But some things are best kept under your hat:
And how's that border fence coming along?
Monday, March 17, 2014
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Time to not only recognise that I'm a Chicano with an Irish heritage, but remind everyone about the the St. Patrick/Damballah connection through the cosmic symbolism of serpent imagery.
Of course, these days, St. Patrick's Day is mostly commercialismo:
And St. Paddy himself has gotten a CGI Hollywood fantasy makeover:
But Damballah is still dancing in the streets:
Ancient magic dances to new music:
It even comes through in Tongolélé's vudú from the Boris Karloff movie Snake People, that introduced me to Damballah:
Friday, March 14, 2014
Chicanonautica goes to the dogs, over at La Bloga.
I didn't make it up, wild Chihuahuas are terrorizing Arizona neighborhoods:
In case you need to use xoloitzcuintli in conversation:
More about the Mexican hairless:
And in Texas, if something looks like the chupacabras, it's shoot first and ask questions later:
Monday, March 10, 2014
We live in a wonderful age, kids. You can go online and plug into interesting cultural happenings all over the world. Can't make it to New Orleans or Rio? No problema! You can catch Mardi Gras and Carnival on the interwebs.
You can find longer videos on the YouTube channels, Carnaval Completo and Carnaval Carioca. But meanwhile, here are some shorter shots . . .
Let start in New Orleans, where they've got tradition:
And King Kong was manifested:
But, mostly people were happy:
Down in Rio, there was an Occupy Carnival movement. If you look close, you can see anti-government activists among the topless dancers:
Meanwhile, Planet Sambadrome came to glorious life:
And the samba schools taught some lessons in postcolonial, Afrofuturistic, alternate historic, ecstatic utopianism:
These muses should inspire you: