Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Memories . . . they tend to fade. You never know what will bring them back. And when they do, it can be hard to document them, make them history. Sometimes you have just let them become legend . . .

Like when I was watching Disney's Fantasia with Emily not long ago. We were enjoying the Stravinsky Rite of Spring sequence, the one with the dinosaurs, and memories floated up out of the murky recesses of my brain:

It was of my paternal grandfather, Grandpa Hogan. He did art projects for the WPA during the Great Depression, drew the California missions, and told of “going to the museum to draw prehistoric animals for Walt Disney.”

The timeline puts it about right – there's a possibility that the Fantasia dinosaurs were based on drawings he did!

Luckily, I asked my Aunt Teri:

I remember the stories! The same way you mentioned them. I always thought the same about the Fantasia dinosaurs. I remember him telling us that the work was temp and Disney offered him a permanent position at lower pay than another offer he got, and he took the better offer. Said he had no idea that Disney studios would become so successful.

Did he have any professional art training?

No. He just loved it. I do remember him saying that his mother kept the kitchen table covered with an oilcloth table cloth. You know the kind that had a plastic-like top and a soft cloth underside. My grandfather used to flip the cloth edge up and sketch while he drank a beer after dinner. Your Grandpa said he would keep moving around the table and sketching the underside of the cloth until it was full and then Abuelita would get a new one. This after-dinner activity was something both your Grandpa and his dad did. Art runs in the family. Your grandpa said that his dad sketched mostly wild west art and often some renderings of the old L.A. streetcars, he was a conductor on one.

What other education did he have?

He graduated from Montebello High School. I'm not sure what year but I think it was around 1929 or 30 maybe a year or two later. He was on the gymnastics team! He did relate a story of one of his teachers, a Mr. Carter, who was the brother of Howard Carter who discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt. Grandpa said his teacher brought letters to class that he read from his brother, Howard, while the actual dig was going on. This will give you an idea of the time period.

History reached out and touched Grandpa Hogan, all the way from ancient Egypt!

There's no documentation. The Hogans have never been big on documentation. Grandpa used to say he didn't have a birth certificate because “the church burned down.”

So like in John Ford's The Man who Shot Liberty Valance:

This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

Friday, October 25, 2013


The latest Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga is an announcement of the new anthology Motheship: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, that includes my story, “Skin Dragons Talk.”

It used to be, that outer space, technology, and the future were consider white things:

These days, things are different:

And, Sun Ra was way ahead of everybody on this:

I've said that Miles Davis may have invented cyberpunk with On the Corner. It also makes a great Afrofuturist soundtrack:

Monday, October 14, 2013


Last week, Søren Heinecke informed me that when he tried the links here at Mondo Ernesto to reread Brainpan Fallout – they were dead. with its archived material from The Red Dog Journal were gone. How was I going to prove that Brainpan, and all the craziness connected to it, ever happened?

I tried Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, but it was down for repairs!

Luckily, in a few hours it was back, and I found new links that can get you to the original Red Dog Journal version of Brainpan Fallout, complete with all the original typos and mistakes, and the fun, between-the-chapters self-promotional stuff. Get glimpses of my personal life! Find out about the neobohemian scene in Phoenix back in the Nineties!

Just to make it easier for you, here's the links to the Introduction, Part One, Part Two, and Part Three, as they original appeared through the pre-World Wide Web, FaxMo network, in the coffee house giveaway zine, and the original Red Dog website. Have fun!

It's all got me seriously thinking about putting the complete, annotated Brainpan Fallout out as an ebook. Who knows? The world may finally be ready for it.

If not, what the hell, it probably needs the shock therapy.

Thanks to Paul Riddell, Kevin Mcveigh, Richard Palmer, Alex Jay Berman, and again, Søren Heinecke for their interest.

Friday, October 11, 2013


This time in Chicanonautica, at La Bloga, I review Hank Lopez's Afro-6, considered to be the first science fiction novel by a Chicano.

It was published back in 1969. It was a different world. Men went to the Moon:

Back on Earth, all kinds of things were happening:

Sam Greenlee's The Spook Who Sat by the Door was eventually made into a movie:

And let's not forget Ruben Salazar:

Friday, October 4, 2013


Awk! October already? And I see Tezcatlipoca has been on the job, throwing the world into chaos. He even dropped in and did a number on my life the other day. What a god! With him around, we'll never have to worry about the human race dying off from mass boredom.

It also means Día de los Muertos is coming. And, if we include Halloween in the three-day Dead Daze fiesta, like I did in my novel Smoking Mirror Blues, it's coming fast, maybe too fast.

Meanwhile, this is the perfect time of year to read (or reread) Smoking Mirror Blues to get ready for both Halloween and los Días!

If you don't already have a copy, you can buy the Kindle edition from Amazon, where they're also offering the original trade paperback at prices from $120.00 to $186.75!

Luckily, the publisher, Wordcraft of Oregon is still offering it for $12. (Scroll about halfway down the page.)

If you have an other-than-Kindle ereader, you can buy it from from Smashwords in a variety of formats, and even read a free sample online!

So get with it. Read about Tezcatlipoca before he pops up in your life for real.