READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!

READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!
A YA fantasy by Emily Devenport and Ernest Hogan

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ALIEN CONTACT REVIEWED, GUERRILLA MURAL MENTIONED


John Ottinger III calls Alien Contact “an excellent collection.” He's also the first reviewer to mention “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song.”

Though he admitted that he didn't really get the story, he wrote that: “It's likely to be the favorite story in the anthology of people with a less analytical and more artistic bent than myself, but for me it was rather confusing.”

So here's to all you artistically bent folks out there!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA GETS HOLIDAZED


We're getting Holidazed this time on Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga. Over here at Mondo Ernesto, we're offering some holiday extras:

El Vuh makes an offering for the Winter Solstice:




And in case you wanted to know what some of the Maya have to say about this:




Here in Aztlán, we have the tradition of the luminarias:




And, of course there's that all-important holiday tradition of tamales:


Saturday, December 17, 2011

AN EXPERIMENT IN BOOK REVIEWING


These days, you never know when you're going to end up in the middle of something experimental. Flaming chunks of the unexpected keep crashing down on your path, forcing you into out of your routine. It happens to me a lot.

So there I was, minding my own business, farting around – er, I mean, keeping in touch and promoting myself on Facebook – when I saw a post by Norman Spinrad announcing that several of his books were becoming available free from Amazon's Kindle Owner's Library from December 15 -17. I was especially interested in one title: An Experiment in Autobiography.

As a writer, I find writer's autobiographies fascinating. And Norman led an interesting life, through interesting times. I was hesitant about signing up for one more goddam thing, but what the hell, it wouldn't hurt to go on Amazon and see what the deal was.

When I looked up An Experiment in Autobiography, I noticed that they were offering if for $0.00, including free wireless via Amazon Whispernet. “You Save: $3.00 (100%)”

I got out my trusty iPod touch, and – without having to sign up for anything – purchased Norman Spinrad's autobiographical experiment for $0.00.

I started reading it right away, blasted through until the Low Battery message flashed, hit Dismiss, and kept going.

Yes, I enjoyed An Experiment in Autobiography. The journey through the writer's life from Beat Generation Fifties through the Psychedelic Sixties and beyond hooked and reeled me in. There's valuable background about the New Wave (the interface between science fiction and the Sixties “revolutions,” not the French movies, or the Seventies music) which, believe it or not kids, is going to come in handy in the next few tumultuous years. It also shows how hard it is to make it as a writer, and how there has been something very wrong with publishing in America for the last few decades. I highly recommend this book.

The free purchase deal may be gone by the time I post this (I'm an old-fashioned writer -- I write in a word-processing program, paste into my blog, edit, and all that good stuff), but if you get a free trial membership to Amazon Prime you'll be able to borrow it for free from the Kindle Owner's Library. The writer is supposed to get royalties on the lending. As Norman put it, “Let's see if it works or if it's a scam.”

Meanwhile, I downloaded free Spinrad ebooks – reading a writer's autobiography, or biography, tends to make you want to read and re-read their books.

No, I'm not sure about how all this is going to work out, but we've got to experiment here, and the worlds of librarian/futurist Stephen Abram's mind-blowing speech at the Phoenix Public Library's Staff Development Day echo through my mind: “We're not in the book business – we're in the reading business.”


BURRITO MELTDOWN FLASHES BACK


Suddenly, it hit me, like an orange gorilla dancing in front of a dazzling Arizona sunrise, my story "Burrito Meltdown" -- inspired by Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- is still available in the anthology Angel Body and other Magic for the Soul edited by Chris Reed and David Memmott, from Back Brain Recluse and Wordcraft of Oregon. Amazon even has a few used copies.

"Burrito Meltdown" is a wild romp about Arizona, illegal aliens, and UFOs, and it just as just as hip and relevant as ever thanks to Sheriff Joe and the Justice Department.

Here's how it begins:

A hyperscrambled satellite feed, from a CIA stealth saucer over Chiapas, Mexico:

Aerial view of unknown pre-Columbian ruins. On the top of a pyramid, priests in feathered headdresses commingle fresh blood from a male jaguar and a female human virgin.

The jaguar hisses. The virgin screams.

The priests look up, directly at the camera. One pulls a cell phone from under his robe and makes a call.

The camera zooms back to the horizon where a pyramid-shaped UFO appears. A beam of light lashed toward the camera.

The screen goes blank.

Monday, December 12, 2011

THE LONG LIMBO-DANCE OF ZOMBIE-LOVING ANISE AND OTHER ABOMINATIONS


This is a convoluted tale of the writer biz. It's bizarre and disturbing. It's also true. So there.

The September/October 2011 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction features an excellent novelet by Chris DeVito, Anise. It's everything I look for in good, brain-slamming science fiction: sex, death, religion, politics, all twisted by technical innovations into a new reality that is actually our troubled world turned inside-out. The zombie trend that is all the rage these apocalyptic days is taken in an unexpected direction. And talk about a different kind of love story . . .

Yeah, I know, it's no longer on the stands, but I've noticed that over the last few years back issues of F&SF have been appearing on the freebie tables of science fiction conventions. Be on the lookout. Grab one if you can.

Anise comes off as very up-to-date. The only clue that is was really written in 1992, “when I was a lot less bloody and broken,” as Chris puts it, are the long, delirious paragraphs that modern advisors on commercial writing tell us readers won't plow through – but they are worth it.

Why would such a gem take so long to get published? This is where the truth gets ugly and twisted.

Like any good writer, Chris sent Anise out to the markets, and was rejected all over the place, until Scott Edelman bought it for Science Fiction Age. Unfortunately, the publisher “declined to publish it because of its explicit sexual content.” The contract eventually ran out, and Chris kept the money.

Yes, kids, these things do happen. I know, it's happened to me.

Like a good professional, Chris sent Anise around again, and “everyone rejected it all over again.”

In the mean time, Chris had written and published two books about the jazz great John Coltrane: The John Coltrane Reference, and Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews.




After this Chris became interested in fiction again: “I dug out Anise and – with no hope at all – submitted it to F&SF, partly because I have fond memories of the magazine and mostly because it's now the only print publication that doesn't have stated restrictions against explicit sex/violence.”

And editor Gordon Van Gelder had the good taste – not to mention the cojones – to buy and publish it.

It makes me happy because, like I said, I've had similar frustrating experiences in publishing.

I first “met” Chris back in the early Nineties, when the world was in economic turmoil, and I couldn't seem to sell anything I had written anywhere. People who wanted to start crazy magazines would seek me out. Yup, one of these folks was named Chris DeVito.

A sealed envelope arrive in the mail. It contained a copy of something called Fuck Science Fiction (no kidding – that was what it was called). The cover was a collage made from porn photos that you could play Name That Infection with. There was also a letter from Chris saying that he was a big fan of my infamous, twice (as far as I know) filmed story “The Frankenstein Penis,” and would love to publish me . . . but couldn't afford to pay me anything.

These folks who want to start magazines never seem to have any money.

I wrote him, saying to get back to me when he got ahold of come cash, and by the way, I had an idea for a sequel to “F-Penis,” “The Dracula Vagina,” that I would write when I found an editor insane enough to buy it.

After some lively correspondence, Chris bought and published “The Dracula Vagina” -- one of my most bizarre works – in a one-shot called Proud Flesh.




I also did illustrations and the cover. And there was a T-shirt. I still have mine, and wear it on special occasions.

I've had better luck publishing fiction than Chris, but I've been through the same Hell. The publishing establishment won't touch my novels. My short fiction usually appears in offbeat fringe markets (Analog seems to be the great exception). The worlds of mainstream publishing and science fiction have always been uncomfortable with me. They often make me feel like a Hell's Angel at a church social.

That's why I get this sharp-toothed smile when I look at allthe upheaval we see going on today.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA LOOKS AT GUADALUPE DAY


With la Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe coming up on December 12, Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, does an update on last year's UFOlogical speculations, looking at movies about the LADY. Here we've got some video of how the new holiday is celebrated in Mexico:

It does look like there's a preference for PreColumbian costumes, and dancing that harks back to ancient rituals involving virgins:




Though sometimes, it's more churchy with knee-walking pilgrims, music, and balloons:





Here the dances, costumes, and rituals look like an Aztec revival, as the pilgrims seem to be more like penitentes:





And why not some delicious pan dulce for fun and profit?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

GIVE THE GIFT OF ERNESTO

The seasonal consumer orgy has begun. May these rituals resurrect the world's economy. It's a lot like that great, ancient North American tradition of the potlatch:


So let me humbly suggest that while buying all those gifts, you give the gift of Ernesto – buy and give books and magazines with my stories.


The most recent of these is the anthology Alien Contact, edited by Marty Halpern, including “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song,” the diabolical germ of my novel Cortez on Jupiter (very soon to be an ebook – stay tuned for updates).


You can still order Tales of the Talisman, Vol. 6, No. 3, with my story “The Great Mars-A-Go-Go Mexican Standoff” in which Spike Gershwin, interplanetary detective, saves the Solar System, from a stateroom of a luxury spaceliner/casino while wearing a Godzilla suit. I've been getting the urge to write more about Spike, so get this and be ready.


2020 Visions, edited by Rick Novy, is an exciting pack of stories about the near future. My contribution is “Radiation is Groovy, Kill the Pigs,” a wild romp with Victor Theremin, the science fiction writer whose life has become indistinguishable from what he writes, through the exploding US/Mexico border as radioactive marijuana runs amok. There's also Em's wonderful “If the Sun's at Five O'Clock, It Must be Yellow Daisies.”


Full-Throttle Space Tales #4: Space Horrors, edited by David Lee Summers, delivers the scares beyond Earth's atmosphere. “Plan 9 in Outer Space,” my collaboration with my wife Emily, is an offbeat tale of deep space zombies, and a guy who wants to be the Ed Wood of his generation.


Also still available, as both paperback and ebook, is Voices for the Cure: A Speculative Fiction Anthology to Benefit the American Diabetes Association, edited by James Palmer. In “Human Sacrifice for Fun and Profit” I introduce Victor Theremin. Somehow, I contemplated the Singularity and created a monster alter ego who took on life of his own – watch out, I may write more about him if things get crazy enough. And the money goes to diabetes research, so you get to read my perverse story and feel that you're helping make the world a better place.

Speaking of human sacrifice, I guess if the potlatch strategy doesn't get the economy rolling, we can always try something more like the rituals of my Aztec ancestors.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA HAS A GUAJOLOTE THANKSGIVING


It's Thanksgiving and guajolote this time on Chicanonautica over at La Bloga. So here's some video extras that celebrate the guajolote:


We start with an irreverent tribute:





Then show an interesting wedding ritual:





And demonstrate that in Spanish, “gobble, gobble,” translates to “gordo, gordo.”




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

REPORT ON ALIEN CONTACT


All you have to do is click on the link here on Mondo Ernesto, and you can read “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song” for free. Why should you bother shelling out hard-earned cash for Alien Contact?

I've been pondering this conundrum. Marty Halpern asked me to review the ebook version when I told him I had successfully loaded it into my trusty iPod touch. At first I wasn't sure if it would be considered kosher, but then I realized that most of this book was written by other people, and if I come clean and admit that this is promotion rather than an attempt at “objective” criticism (can a critic ever really be objective?) it should okay, especially if I make it entertaining.

So here I am in my straw hat and striped jacket, waving around a bamboo cane in front of the gaudy, hand-painted facade of this sideshow. Come one, come all! We've got it right here! Some of the best science fiction of the last thirty years, in a convenient package that you can have in both paperback or Kindle formats!

Following Marty's suggestion, I read the e-version, and it turns out to be a great way to read an anthology. I carried it around in my pocket and read it on the run, having some blowmind lunch breaks, making some crazy days better then they might have been.

In his introduction, Marty gives a nod to the Bug-Eyed Monsters of pulp science fiction, and to sci-fi movies. The original Invaders from Mars, and Alien were an influence on him, as they were with me. But Alien Contact isn't all just invasions, space wars, and extraterrestrial menace – though there's plenty of that, too. We get a diverse spread of variations on this theme that cause the mind to reel. We get aliens in many forms and settings, interacting with a variety of humans.

It makes me realize that that when you have humans contacting aliens, the humans are forced to define themselves.




My favorites were:

The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, Everything” in which George Alec Effinger (look him up if you haven't heard of him) has fun with the idea of “higher” intelligence.

Kin” Bruce McAllister's gloomy, but brilliant take on how humans may be treated by a “superior” species.

Sunday Night Yams at Minnie and Earls'” is the kind of story I always hoped for when reading science fiction – Adam-Troy Castro turns conventional ideas about space travel and aliens inside out, and reminds us that when looking at the unknown, we should expect the unexpected.

Exo-Skeleton Town” is an extremely original tale in which Jeffery Ford performs daring feats of the imagination on how humans interact with aliens, but also how technology will change the way we interact with each other; it refers to old movies.

Lambing Season” has Molly Gloss' New-Mexico-sheepherding-heroine's skill with living among other species come in handy when she meets an extraterrestrial.

And if any or all of these stories cause you to lust for more about where they came from, there's a lot of background information available, online at More Red Ink and SF Signal.

I agree with Keith Brooke in his review in The Guardian that Alien Contact is “an excellent snapshot of modern SF.” It would be a great gift idea for those just starting out with the genre, and for those of us who remember a lot of the stories from when they first appeared in magazines.

You're probably going to want to read it yourself, too.


Monday, November 14, 2011

THE BUY IT – READ IT – LIVE IT FLASHBACK


My announcement for Alien Contact wasn't the first time I used the “Buy It – Read It – Live It” slogan. It's been rattling around my brain for years. While shuffling through a box of old art work looking for “alien” images for this current publicity blitz, I ran across the original drawing I did back in 1996.

I drew it at a book signing event at a Phoenix bookstore that probably isn't there anymore. My wife Emily was there, so was Rick Cook, and the late G. Harry Stine. Michael Stackpole, and a few other local writers may have been there, too.

Please forgive the memory fog – this was way back in the 20th century . . .

Anyway, the slogan was inspired by how, even way back then, everyday life was beginning to seem like science fiction. At least, to those of us old enough to remember when weird, technological wonders were something you used to go out searching for, rather than part of an ever more interactive environment.

Hello. I am an innovation. I am going to make your day more complicated.”

The slogan also fit the whole “alien contact” theme, so I did a bit of recycling and retrofitting, and turned it loose into the unsuspecting world.

It just goes to show that you never know when these things lurking in the back our your brain will come in handy.

I may do some variations on it in future hype-o-ramas.

Watch for these exciting developments.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

STANZA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE


I wasn't expecting a notification about a Stanza upgrade on my iPod touch. Not after the recent fiasco with the upgrade to iOS 5.0. But, somehow the corporate entities – that usually behave non-humanoid aliens or schizophrenic gods – got together and fixed the ugly situation that left readers separated from their ebooks. I did the upgrade, and Stanza works again, all my ebooks are there – including the ones I paid good American money for.

So now, with eBook Search, and Stanza, I've come out of this ahead, with more access to ancient, weird, obscure reading material, mostly for free. I am a happy customer, consumer, user, or whatever we're all becoming in this here 21st century.

It is also raining in Phoenix today. I wonder what the temperature is like in Hell . . .

Thursday, November 10, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA SEEKS SCI-FI CHICANOS


This time, Chicanonatuica not only uses La Bloga to shamelessly pimp Alien Contact, but speculates on the possibility of there being other Chicano science fiction writers, lost in the 21st Century cyberwilderness.

Science fiction beamed its way into the barrio from the beginning, no sociological borders were able to hold it back. I remember my father using the word "teleport" in a room full of Chicanos while describing an episode of The Outer Limits and everybody knew what it meant.

Dad and I also used to watch Space Patrol back in East L.A.:





And Commando Cody:





The first time I saw Forbidden Planet was at a local drive-in:





Later, KHJ-TV channel 9's Strange Tales of Science Fiction introduced me to many an Atomic Age flick that messed with my grade school mind, and this was the theme song:





This cultural phenomenon was well documented by Chicano-influenced Frank Zappa:


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ERNESTO INTERVIEW AT SF SIGNAL


Check out this interview with me at SF Signal. I talk about Alien Contact, "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song," and the "alien" subgenre.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

SHANGHAIED ACROSS THE EREADER FRONTIER

The Information Age is such fun. You never know when something in going to come hurtling down the electronic pike and make your week more exciting.

And my week was pretty exciting already, with Alien Contact coming out with my story “Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song.” I had also just downloaded an advance copy of the ebook version, via Stanza into my iPod touch, and was looking forward to carrying it around and flashing it at people.

I was feeling so good, I decided -- aw, what the hell – download the new iPod software that my computer had been nagging me about, get all upgraded and ready to go . . .

So I put the new iOS 5.0 into my iPod touch, then went to get a peek at the Alien Contact cover. I got an error message:

Unhandled exception . . . You can try to continue but the application may be unstable.”

Unstable? It was frozen solid – totally unresponsive!

I grumbled obscenities as I figured out how to get the Alien Contact epub file into my iPod touch though iTunes and iBooks.

Then I surfed into the news that iOS 5.0 has been discovered to be incompatible with Stanza, making that app useless on the iPod and iPad and separating readers from their books.

I was contemplating recently dead Steve Jobs quivering between sainthood and godhood as his corporation pulls an underhanded power grab, when I heard from Marty Halpern, editor of Alien Contact, who had seen my tweet about downloading the ebook, asking if I would be willing to review it.

I asked Marty if it would be kosher for me to review the book when I had a story in it. He said it would be okay, if I explained the situation and talked about the parts of the book I didn't write. Kinda weird, but that tends to be my speciality, so I said, yes, I'll do it.

Then I went shopping for a new eReader app.

I found one called eBook Search. It's free, and works through iTunes and iBooks. (I wonder if there's a Ouija board app that would allow an interview with Steve Jobs about this?) There are a lot of pop-up ads asking “Are you a Stanza Refugee?” and offering to get rid of the ads for 99 cents. Like Stanza, eBook Search has access to ebooks from Feedbooks, Project Gutenberg, Smashwords, and Munseys.

It also has access to Baen Books and Internet Archive, where found some books I couldn't get through Stanza, like: P.T. Barnum's autobiography, because I feel it will help in surviving the the world the way it is rapidly developing; Vincente Blasco Ibáñez' classic bullfighting novel Blood and Sand; and Dames Don't Care by Peter Cheyney, creator of hardboiled detective Lemmy Caution.

But still, there are a number of books that I had on Stanza that I no longer have access to, some that I paid for.

I suppose that somewhere, Steve Jobs and P.T. Barnum are having good laugh.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WHERE DID PABLO CORTEZ COME FROM?


And the selling of Alien Contact, and "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song" is off and running, with a guest blog I wrote over at SF Signal. It's called "Once Upon a Time in SoCal: The Making of 'Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song," and it offers some yet undisclosed insights into how I came up with a character like Pablo Cortez, and the bizarre fate of the original story, and it how it became the novel Cortez on Jupiter. There are things I've never told before here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA DÍA DAZED AGAIN

Over at La Bolga, I've got a Chicanonautica for Día de los Muertos going. Here at Mondo Ernesto, I've got some extras that work Halloween/Muertos interface:

From Argentina, we have some kick-but exorcists that will make everyone forget about Linda Blair:




In other news, Puerto Rico is not immune to zombie infestation:




Meanwhile, at the Hollywood Cemetery:





And let's finish up with a Nahuatl blessing:


Sunday, October 23, 2011

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE WRITER BIZ FRONT


From just looking at this blog, you might get the idea that I've been spending most of my time wallowing in strange and obscure entertainment – not that that wouldn't be a bad life. Unfortunately, I'm more of a workboy than a playboy these days. Besides checking in, sorting, and shelving stuff (not just books) for the Phoenix Public Library at more than one location, the writer biz keep growing new heads and grotesque new appendages just when I think I've thwacked it into submission.

November 1st is hurtling at us, Marty Halpern's Alien Contact anthology is coming out. I already have my contributor's copy where I can see my name listed among a whole lot of famous writers. Soon I'll be poking through the smoldering bookselling wasteland, hoping to see it for sale. I'll also be hyping it – though these days the word “pimp” is the more popular term.

I had hoped to have Cortez on Jupiter available as an ebook by now, but it's still in the final stages of all-important proofreading – something I've learned is extremely important in self-publishing. And there're all those wonder technical details I've been learning about. Talk about new life and new civilizations!

I'm also trying to get another ebook done, Obsidian Harvest, the Aztec dinosaur detective novella I collaborated on with Rick Cook. When Rick and I get to brainstorming, it can get wild. I'm not only coming up with a cover, but illustrations, and I'm having these visions of an animated book trailer that may take me into some truly dangerous territory.

Meanwhile, other writers are getting interesting and usual ebooks out. Cat Eldridge of The Green Man Review informed me about Neil Gaiman's Snow Glass Apples and Murder Mysteries. And others are popping up all the time. It shames me into getting back to work.

Then there's the ebookization Smoking Mirror Blues and High Aztech that folks are screaming for.

And, yes, I am still writing. I've got this poststeamppunk Pancho Villa - Nikola Tesla - airship -deathray thing that I keep getting distracted from. When I get back to it I've found that vision has changed, which has caused the story to go off in another direction. I end up chasing it through the apocalyptic landscape of our times.

Y'know, it's kinda fun.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA , JESÚS HELGUERA, CALENDARS, POSTERS, CARS, AND SIDEWALKS


The latest Chicanonautica over at La Bloga tells of how my search for an Aztec detective led me to the works of Mexican painter Jesús Helguera, whose classical images are known from being seen on calendars, posters, cars, and sidewalks.

Mexican art often finds a home in other places than the galleries and museums of the fine art world. Chicano art thrives in these populist venues. These products of popular culture often say more about us than is ever shown in them alta classe places.

I know that these horror movie posters say something to me, and probably reveal a lot about me:





My visions of – and life in – the Wild West look more like these than Hollywood's efforts:





There's something about the hand-painted signs of the world's barrios:





Lowriders with airbrushes often get inspired:





And even a tuba can be transformed by paint:



Sunday, October 9, 2011

VICTOR THEREMIN HACKS AGAIN


I was looking over the stats for Mondo Ernesto, wondering why I was getting a lot of visits from Russia, the Netherlands, and the Ukraine lately, when my screen went black. Suddenly, flashing block letters scrolled by:

YOU BEEN HACKED, SUCKA!

Before I could reach over to turn my computer off, a cornball starfield appeared. Flaming letters in familiar handwriting spelled:

Hi Ernest, this is Victor Theremin. I've been having a wild time in the Ukraine, the Netherlands, and Russia. Wish you were here.

Then my computer restarted itself. A blinding light flashed outside my window. My eardrums popped. I did another restart, just in case.



Monday, October 3, 2011

HOUDINI VERSUS THE ROBOT-CONTROLED CORPORATION

It was another peculiar image that sent me on a decades-long quest: Houdini fighting with a robot. It was a clunky robot, but then it was from a silent movie. It was more than man-sized, but there also was a small, doll-sized version. Sometimes it carried a candelabra.





I first saw it on Jay Ward's experiment in pre-postmodernism, Fractured Flickers. What was this movie? I longed to see it. Someday.

Later I read about it in some Houdini biographies. It was The Master Mystery, a silent serial. There was even a novelization.

Houdini plays a Justice Department agent investigating a corporation that buys patents to keep the inventions off the market in order to extort big payoffs from established businesses who would have to compete with the new technology. A top executive's brain has been “transplanted” into an “automaton” – the robot who went by the name of Candlestick Parker in Fractured Flickers!





The automaton gives orders to a gang of thugs who keep putting Houdini into complicated death traps that he can escape from rather than simply shooting or stabbing him. Not very smart – but then they are following the orders of a corporate executive.

There's also a mind-paralyzing drug that the automaton used that candelabra to deploy, a heroine and a villainess who both fall in love with Houdini, a fake fortune teller, Fu Manchu/Yellow Peril Asians, a hypnosis machine, and an idol with heat ray eyes.

Sections are damaged and/or missing, entire chapters are synopsized, and it ends with the cliff-hanger of the penultimate chapter, making it look like the evil corporation triumphs -- just why is the world still hanging onto fossil fuels?

But it's still pretty damn entertaining.





I think this is because the complete story isn't the point. The appeal of serials isn't linear. They are slices of melodrama rather than life. The plot isn't as important as the delirious effect of the stream of mayhem that keeps titillating the audience before it has to go back to life in a fracturing world.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CHICANONAUTICA EXPLORES WILD WEST MEXICAN COMIC BOOKS


My latest Chicanonautica at La Bloga takes a look at the outrageous Mexican comic book Frontera Violenta.



Since I'm overdue returning to this popular subject – every day, people visit my other posts about it – here are some more examples from my collection, this time focusing on the western genre:




A long-time favorite is Aguila Solitaria (“Lone Eagle”), an Indian raised Tarzan-style by eagles, who wears wings that allow him to fly -- a Native American superhero out for ¡LA VENGANZA!




The most popular western Mexican comic book is El Libro Vaquero, that promises – among other things – “the most emotional stories of the Old West.”




This ad for El Libro Vaquero hypes “magnificent colors” and “the authentic cowboy flavor” in “the best magazine in Latin America.




Here's a blonde Indian warrior-princess beckoning us to read “true and authentic stories of the Legendary West.”


Something from the days of monochrome comics printed in a sepia ink that had a pungent uric acid smell when fresh. I never could make out the second word in the title, but it offers “intrepid and reckless gunmen and the most beautiful and sensual women.”



Another look at the mystery title. “The most intrepid and valiant men who forged the Legend of the West with the most beautiful women.”



Getting literary, here's a page from Novelas Inmortales No. 502, “El Jeque de Kalhuran” with Karl May's Old Shatterhand in Arabia, having a flashback to his days in Arizona with his Apache pal, Winnetou.