Monday, December 11, 2017
In case you haven't heard, some of my artwork (and my novels, and a magazine article I wrote and illustrated about the PreColumbian ball game) are on display in Omaha, Nebraska. They're in an exhibition called Mariposas: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. This is because Josh Rios and Anthony Romero included them in a project they call Is Our Future a Thing of the Past?
Thanks guys. I appreciate the support.
I'd also like to thank Josh for recently introducing me to the term Xicanxfuturisma. I like the alien look of it. It will be useful.
Meanwhile, here's some background on the pieces displayed:
Evening Spirits is a drawing in Crayola crayon (they suit my drawing style, and I like the idea of using non-fine art materials with a childish reputation). There's a calaca, or calavera if you want to be more formal, in Native-style, shamanistic clothing, sitting before a bowl of something possibly edible. He raises a bottle of an alcoholic or otherwise mind-altering beverage to a goddess who is manifesting in the smoke spewing from a volcano. The calaca looks like my fabled Calacanaut, and maybe a relative, or more earthly/spiritual incarnation.
Señor América (the accent is in the wrong place in the drawing--I do that, dyslexic mestizo that I am) rendered in red Crayola with a yellow grease pencil for the blazing sky. This sombrero-wearing calaca looks like the one from Evening Spirits, but was drawn years later. We are all skeletons under the skin. He stands at the border, kind of like one of Frida Kahlo's famous paintings. One side is cosmic with a meteor/comet thing, and a flame-crowned pyramid, the other is a factory that is mostly smoke-stack. He has fangs and sticks out his tongue.
High Aztech Scene was drawn when I was writing High Aztech. It was first sketched in yellow grease pencil, then finished in black grease pencil. Xolotl Zapata clutches his zumbador and is watched over by skull-faced disease-spirit who is armed with a flaming test-tube, while rioters attack a tank. Coatlicue oversees like a an intellectual kaiju. The mood and some of the ideas from the novel are suggested, like a postmodern cartoon/hieroglyph.
Galactic Aboriginie Journal is one of my battle-scared sketchbook covers from back in the days when I was struggling, and not sure if my efforts would ever amount to anything. I was trying to merge the primitive with the modern. We are the aboriginies of the galaxy. The lettering and drawing were done with the stopper top of an India ink bottle. I collaged an idol by drawing crude designs on a fashion model's hair and giving her an animal mouth, mounting her on machinery, with a car loaded with a typical American family for a body. Instead of breasts there is a fortune cookie prediction: “Unexpected gain. A new friend in the near future.”
High-Tech Voodootoons is another decaying sketchbook cover. The title is a good description of what I do, whether I'm writing or drawing. The snake head was made from the logo of a package of typewriter paper. (Uh-oh, do I have to explain what a typewriter was?) Once again I was drawing with the stopper from an India ink bottle. The sailing ship was part of the original sketchbook cover. The barcode was from typewriter paper. I like the way these things have gotten so bashed-up, looking like artifacts from some strange, ancient, lost civilization, and how any explanation can never convey to whole truth.
Everybody's future becomes a thing of past, eventually. All our cultures are tomorrow's archaeology.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Intruding into the hallowed world of Art:
Celebrating my career:
Transforming like the papalomeh:
Creating Latinoid visions of the future:
Monday, November 27, 2017
The futuristic pre-holiday is upon us. Once again, I'm shooting the idea at you that you should buy my books, and books with my stuff in them.
There are even some new 2017 products!
Like Altermundos: Latin@ Speculative Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, an important collection of essays and examples of how La Cultura is alive and well in the 21st century. It includes my Chicanonautica Manifesto and some of my drawings. My work gets mentioned by the other authors, and I come off like some kind of chingón.
Then there's Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction and Fantasy. It makes an excellent companion to Altermundos, and features Flying Under the Texas Radar with Paco and Los Freetails--wherein I show how Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars, left the Lone Star State for the Red Planet.
And Five to the Future: All New Novelettes of tomorrow and Beyond has Uno! . . . Dos! One-Two! Tres! Cuatro! a wild speculative romp inspired by recent EE.UU. political developments. There's also a story by my wife, the fabulous Emily Devenport.
Also out of 2017, and in the spirit of giving, here's a couple of things that you can read online for free: Lunch in the Ruins, a call to rebellion in The Jewish Mexican Literary Review;
and in Mithila Review, there's Gringos, an excerpt from High Aztech.
While you're in consumer-mode, pre-order my wife's new novel, Medusa Uploaded, and help make it a roaring success, because a rich wife could come in handy.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Some people dance with guajolotes at weddings:
Some have other ideas of what to do with them:
Yes, grasshopper tacos are a thing, even in Nueva York:
And Tezcatlipoca was evoked again:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
While shuffling through the stuff here at Hacienda Hogan, I ran across the above Brainpan Fallout flyer (I used to do that sort of thing, maybe I will again). It looked pretty good; I decided to include it in an art thing that I'll be announcing soon. I have plenty of copies, but decided to autograph them and scan it.
Once it was scanned, it got the itch to use GIMP to fool around with it, like the way I do with my drawings.
First, I came up with this one. Kinda neon Halloweenie. A little late, but Dead Daze does come every year.
After the black light fantasy, I wanted to do something lighter, so I came up with this one, with lots of white. It's also—quite by accident—red, white, and blue. Nice and patriotic. Just the thing for Fourth of July.
Since I seemed to be heading in that direction, I decided to do one that was full-out psychedelic. Assaults the optic nerve all the way down to the hypothalamus, don't it? Damnear impossible to read, but ain't it pretty?
Who knows, maybe these things will come in handy. There may be folks out there that would like to use them decorate their living spaces, not knowing that these flyers may be part of a conspiracy to jangle their sensoria and warp their world views . . .
Friday, November 10, 2017
A Cuban from Brooklyn, he was touted as the American Jules Verne:
And wrote the Frank Reade Jr. books:
Some of his books took place in the Wild West:
And featured unconventional vehicles:
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Here's a few suggestions Halloween viewing:
Nobody does fear of what may lurk in Third World jungles like the British, as in The Woman Eater:
In Santo vs Las Lobas a cult of sexy female werewolves who only grow fur on their faces show up in Mexico:
In a classier vein, Jigoku (AKA The Sinners of Hell) goes to Buddhist Hell, after romp with yakuza, strippers, and manic jazz:
Friday, October 27, 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017
I know, I should have found this months ago, but I also shouldn't have to remind you that this has been one of the most batshit crazy years ever.
Besides, it's like what an anthropologist says in the story I'm working on:
“You find an interesting phenomenon, then when someone goes to back to verify it—it's vanished without a trace.”
I was starting to feel that way about The Red Dog Journal. Everything about it had disappeared from the Web. How was I supposed to tell people out Brainpan Fallout, when it looks like the weird magazine it originally appeared in never existed. Was I perpetrating some kind of hoax? And what kind sicko would bother to do such a thing?
Fortunately, Stephen Michael Barnes, the publisher of The Red Dog Journal, posted on his blog about it, giving his side of the bizarre story, and images, not only of the FAXmo flyer , but pages from the fax version the magazine itself—and they aren't all my work!
I feel vindicated.
So, kids, be sure to document your shenanigans. Unless, of course, they're the sort of thing that could get you arrested. In that case, change the names, and other things, to protect the “innocent.”
And if you're not up to any shenanigans, isn't it about time you got started?
Friday, October 13, 2017
A Hispanic cinematic tradition going back a century, to Segundo de Chomón:
Now there's an invisible guardian lurking about:
And an guest, also invisible:
And excitement at a local bar:
Thursday, October 12, 2017
This just in! The ebook of Alien Contact, edited by Marty Halpern is on sale again! Only $1.99! For both the mobi (Kindle) and the epub (Nook) versions!
It has my story "Guerrilla Mural of a Siren's Song" that I exploded into Cortez on Jupiter!
And great stories by those wonderful folks whose names are on the cover, and more!
For a limited time only! Do it now!
at 11:06 AM
Thursday, October 5, 2017
When the world becomes awash in turmoil (like now) I like tickle my visual cortex with some far-out animation.
Like Vince Collins' classic psychedelia, Euphoria:
Or Sally Cruikshank's phantasmagorical Quasi at the Quackadero:
We could always go back to School with Ivan Maximov:
Or visit Mirai Mizue's Lost Utopia:
How about Felix Colegrave's latest, Double King?
Friday, September 29, 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017
As we were leaving Truchas, Emily's mom mentioned that she would like to look at the old mission, Nuestra Señora del Sagrado Rosario, built in 1764, and recently restored. So we parked in front of an abandoned bar in a space labeled HARLEY PARKING. I took a picture—what the hell, let folks think we spend our vacation drinking and discussing politics with bikers . . .
Highway 84 goes through Northern New Mexico, cutting through Arizona into Utah. There are outback pizzarias, and mix-bag fantastic Aztlán geology all the way. A sign announced MONASTARY 13 MILES. Dead skunks were deodorized by the high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Trees on a mountain turned out to be microwave towers in disguise. John Wayne and Jesus watched over us in a Cheveron. We passed the skeletal ruins of a drive-in movie theater, and turned onto Highway 64, where a sign said VAYA CON DIOS.
"We are in Tony Hillerman Territory,” said Emily's mom.
On the reservation, there are practically no signs telling you what road you're on. Guess they must figure that if you don't know where you are, you shouldn't be there.
Also on the Rez, the Red Mesa High school team is the Redskins.
Back in Bluff, Utah, we couldn't resist the Navajo tacos at the Twin Rocks Cafe. Our server was blue-haired native girl.
Highway 95 is a spectacular eye fry. “Kind of like being on Mars,” said Emily.
Next to the Colorado is a smaller river called the Dirty Devil.
Our favorite spot was Hog Springs. It's the home turf of the Moqui Queen.
In Hanksville we couldn't resist stopping at Carl's Critter Garden, though Emily's mom thought the Frankenmechanoid creatures were ugly.
We kept seeing llamas along Highway 12.
At Rustler's Restaurant in Tropic, the pulled pork sandwiches were great, but the western décor was bland. I didn't bother to take any pictures. After a while, the people at the next table started talked about Obama, socialism, and how they messed up everything.
Things were different at Bryce Pioneer Village. Em's mom's room had a photo of Siting Bull and a demented-looking portrait of John Wayne, who's becoming a secular saint in these parts.
Our room had a print of Frederic Remington's Apache Ambush, with the warrior taking aim at a covered wagon, and a copy of The Book of Mormon in German.
That night, the live country music next door didn't keep us up. Utah shitkickers must be a mellower breed.
In the morning, a lot of German was being spoken at the breakfast bar.
A Bryce Canyon we ogled the hoodoo rock castles below where sea monsters once swam.
Zion National park is a geological phantasmagoria, with lots of datura in bloom.
We stayed in Kanab, the cowboy gateway to Bryce/Zion. In memory of the days when Hollywood would come over to use Utah for its mythic Texas, the place bristles with TV/movie Wild West décor.
The Lone Ranger lives here—a poster was in both the rooms we rented, and a cutout guarded an intersection
I enjoyed chicken-fried steak at Houston's Trail's End Restaurant near a replica of the iconic Trail's End statue.
Finally, it was a banzai run down 89A, back across the Rez, down to Flagstaff where we heard the Grateful Dead--“What a long, strange trip it's been”-- in a Shell station that was attended by young Indian man.
Back in Phoenix, on the 101, a car was flying a full-size Confederate flag.
Monday, September 18, 2017
We took a meandering shot up Highway 25, zigzagging across the Rio Grande to the WiFi-less outback.
Did a pit stop in Belén. In English, that's Bethlehem. I wonder what they do at Christmas time. A Mad Max-ish two-seater motor trike was also filling up. A local newspaper announced that archeologists were going to excavate their old mission.
New Mexico is an archeological wonderland. And the homeland of a new futurism.
A truck labeled MAGICO LOGISTICS passed by. Actual, live bison grazed in a fenced field. There were lots of pueblos, solar panels . . . casinos . . .
Huge ravens greeted us in Truchas.
Once we unpacked, Em and I did quick run to Taos. I found all three volumes of Eduardo Galeano's Memory of Fire trilogy.
There was a new mural at the Wired? Cafe, and a Zen sand garden. The times—among other things—are a-changing, to quote that Nobel-prize-winning dude.
While taking pictures of some motel totem poles, I found a hidden mural of an arrow-shot Billy the Kid.
The next morning Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Trump declared it a disaster. And pardoned Joe Arpiao. And I thought we were out of Trumpizona.
A grasshopper had become the guardian of the farm house's front door. We did a thrift store expedition to Española with it's creaky buildings, treacherous staircases and dangerous parking lots. I snagged more books and a Waco baseball cap with a cowboy riding a giant scorpion, that suits my mood this year.
We passed a place where you couldn't tell where the junkyard ended and the parking lot began. Is this a brave new world, or an archeological site? What kind of America did we come from? What are we building to replace it?
Someone had painted TRUMP in red circle-and-slash “no” symbol, with marking that made it look like the New Mexico sun sign.
On another wall, in neat, black letters: IMPEACH!
Seems like we were always crossing a county line, or entering another Indian reservation, and stumbling into serendipitous photo ops.
Back in Taos, we cruised Paseo Pueblo de Sur, that I like to think of as Dumb Fucking White People Road. There's a hill where about twenty years ago, our car stalled. I jumped out to push it. A car full of Indian kids whizzed by, and one of them yelled, “Dumb fucking white people!” Some people think I'm white, others think I'm black. Go figure.
We saw vultures on Salazar Road, where the police had pulled over a guy with that aging New Mexico scallywag look about him.
There were lots of white kids with dredlocks, man-buns, and/or mohawks. A traditional counterculture, if you will. I wonder if it will survive under Trump and the apocalyptic TV reports from Texas. Emily reminded me, “The woo-wooism is strong in this one,” a wild storm sent it's tentacles in from the hills, occasionally raining on us.
In Santa Fe, a cleancut white boy carried a barbell-like thing that might be a post-modern boom box.
The Super 8 Motel offered “Law Enforcement Rates.”
I found out that the Santa Fe Indian School's team was the Braves, and took a lot of pictures of murals along Cerrillos Road.
The rain started to pour once we got back to Truchas. The grasshopper had abandoned his post.