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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: July 2005

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Antique Bakery, Volume 1
Story and art by Fumi Yoshinaga
Published by Digital Manga Publishing (better view of the artwork on this link)

Review by Ginger Mayerson

"Ohhh No No No. He's no ordinary gay. He's a demonically charmed gay, unspeakably gay, a legendary gay! He's scored with every man he's ever found pleasing, and his mere presence transforms the kitchen into a stage for TORRID romance... !!"

Oh my God. First I'm attracted to Alex Row, and now I'm in love with a manga.

Mmmm, "Antique Bakery." This manga makes me want cake! [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:42 PM PST [Link]

Two new comics podcasts at I Read Comics, and I'm even on Number 5, talking about "Yellow" and "Antique Bakery," which will be reviewed here very soon.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:46 AM PST [Link]

Yellow, Volume 1
Story and art by Makoto Tateno
Published by Digital Manga Publishing (better view of the artwork on this link)

Review by Ginger Mayerson

This book is the manga version of "Starsky and Hutch" if they were both prettier and Starsky was gay. No, really, that's not exactly what this is, but that's the general vibe I got from it. The heroes are named Taki (straight guy) and Goh (gay guy). They are "drug snatchers," which seems to mean they steal drugs from the Yakuza, but don't exactly turn them over to the police. They turn them over to a local café owner, who gives them tips on where to find the drugs to snatch. Well, anyway, as odd as that sounds, the plots are actually well done and make more sense that the preceding sentence or two. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:35 AM PST [Link]

Kizuna, Volume 1. The Bonds of Love
Story and art by Kazuma Kodaka
Published by Be Beautiful, a division of Central Park Media.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

This book starts with some very well drawn rough sex. At first it seems like a rape, but it turns out they just like it rough. Or the top, Kei (president of the tea ceremony club), has to subdue the bottom, Ranmaru (Ran [which means chaos, but probably not in this story], president of the kendo club), because... because... well, I don't know why, but that's how the book starts. The rest of their sex scenes are wonderfully sweet and tender. The ensuing calmer sex between them leads me to believe that a couple of nice dinners, some flowers, a weekend in the mountains or at the shore, foreplay, and suchlike, would have done the trick just as well. It would have taken longer to get to the first sex scene, but I guess I'm in the wrong genre for such thinking. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:28 AM PST [Link]

Selfish Love, Volume 1
Story and art by Naduki Koujima
Published by Be Beautiful, a division of Central Park Media.

Review by Ginger Mayerson

Okay, the sex, sorry, SEXXX, is in the last four stories at the end, which are unrelated to the main story, "Selfish Love." So, this being the kind of review that this is, let me deal with them first. They're those kind of sex scenes I still call "happy rapes," but in the yaoi context they're staring to grow on me. Either the sub isn't fighting too seriously or seriously being hurt, or he puts himself in a position to have sex with the hunky top, and protest all the while. Methinks the sub doth protest too much, yea verily, brother. Anyway, these stories make up for the dearth of sex in the main story, which I will tell you about right now. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 12:21 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Agent 44 Art Digest
By Jake Parker
Published by

Review by Ginger Mayerson

I loved Jake Parker's contribution to "Flight 1," and I enjoyed this little sketchbook very much. It has some great drawings in it, including sketches for "Flight 1," and a 10-page space age flying girl story. What could be better than that?

Visit the site, for more artwork. It's worth the time.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:31 PM PST [Link]

Daisy Kutter - The Last Train
by Kazu Kibuishi
Published by Viper Comics

Review by Ginger Mayerson

Once I got over the shock of robots in the Old West and Daisy Kutter's weird hair-do, I really enjoyed this book. I mean, who isn't a sucker for an independent blonde babe retired train-robber, gunslinger in an Old West that contains killer robots guarding trains?

The plot is classic: retired outlaw Daisy Kutter settles down and opens a dry goods store in some generic western town (that has robots [no, I don't know why, but it works]). She reluctantly accepts one last train robbing job, but with a hitch: she's robbing the train at owner's request and being well paid to do it. Of course things go right and things go wrong and many things are not what they seem. I won't spoil it for you, but the action scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat and the ending will make you misty.

Buy this thing, you'll love it. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 10:04 PM PST [Link]

Mermaids Spotted in L.A.
Gallery review by Paul Evans

Geisha mermaids, that is...And they can be seen through August 7 at Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park. The artist, J. Michael Walker, offers us a glimpse into his visionary world of these curious hybrid seductresses.

The paintings on view, according to Walker, are meant to honor women. Initially, one may view these works as lighthearted, playful narratives but there might be more at work here. Walker’s process is quite simple and he succeeds in making large works on canvas look more like intimate pen and ink drawings. The geisha mermaids and accompanying narrative are painted in black over an apocalyptic color-field under-paint (greens, yellows, and reds). It’s an effective and no nonsense device. The ubiquitous black forces the viewer to contend with or contemplate the protagonist in Walker’s stories. [more]

Posted by Paul Evans @ 01:50 PM PST [Link]

Interview with J. Michael Walker

J. Michael Walker is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work is grounded in his decades-long immersion in the rural Mexican culture into which he married over twenty-five years ago. He is the recipient of more than a dozen grants, artist residencies, fellowships, and public art commissions; and has participated in more than eighty-five exhibitions in the United States and Mexico, including solo shows at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, at Harvard University; el Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, in Mexico City; and the Arkansas Arts Center. He is also a California Humanities Scholar. He very kindly gave this interview via email to Ginger Mayerson of J LHLS and Kathy Gallegos of Avenue 50 Studio in July of 2005.

Ginger Mayerson: What are you working on these days?

J. Michael Walker: Around mid-March I completed the latest installment of my ongoing public art project, "All the Saints of the City of the Angels", which is a poetic and visual exploration of the cultural heritage of Los Angeles. At that point I wanted to try something different -- and that certainly is what occurred. I brought a dozen or so large square canvases into my studio and began envisioning a theme to paint. I had recently been spending quite a bit of time listening -- and I would emphasize "listening" -- to my close female friends as they spoke of what they're going through, what they like and dislike, what they put up with and are tired of, what they wish they were doing, etc. All those thoughts and sentiments somehow coalesced into this strange but charming hybrid of the Geisha Mermaid, who became the focus of (so far) 20 paintings.

As an artist I work intuitively, but analyzing it, I think that the elegance an erudition of geishas married with the freedom and earth-connectedness of mermaids helped create a thematic voice for a lot of what I heard my women friends expressing. I've just fallen in love with Geisha Mermaids -- and I am deeply moved by the positive response they have elicited in others, and in women in particular. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 01:23 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

An Interview with Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple is a New York-based artist, model, and dancer. She very kindly gave artist, illustrator, photographer, comic book, and graphic novel creator Molly Kiely, who did J LHLS a huge favor (because Ginger Mayerson really knows how to beg), this interview in July of 2005. We here at J LHLS thank them both from the bottom of our editorial hearts.

Molly Kiely: First of all, Crab Apple or Cra' Bopple? What inspired you to choose a pseudonym? I know my mom wished for years that I used one, but it never occurred to me. (But then my name is already Molly…)

Molly Crabapple: Crab-Apple. No relation to the Simpsons teacher!

I got my pseudonym when I was living in Paris. My boyfriend of the time, a playwright liberally plagiarizing from Sheridan, made a character after me. The disreputable lass hangs from a gibbet by act three.

He named her Molly Crabapple, because, like me, he didn't think her very sweet. [more]

Posted by Editor @ 02:03 PM PST [Link]

Monday, July 18, 2005

Wonderland Scents
By Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

A perfume review by Kathryn Ramage (with some assistance from Kay Ramage)

According to their Web site, the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab specializes "in formulating intriguing, compelling body and household blends with a dark, romantic Gothic tone." Their featured products "run the aesthetic gamut of magickal [sic], pagan and mythological blends, Renaissance, Medieval and Victorian formulas, and horror/Gothic-themed scents."

Among the esoteric potions produced by these modern-day alchemists are perfumes inspired by literary allusions. Browsing through the Web site's pages, which are decorated by grisly medieval woodcuts and Aubrey Beardsley illustrations, one can find perfumes with names like "Grand Guignol" and "Penny Dreadful," the recent line of Lovecraftian "Springtime in Arkham" scents (I was extremely amused and very much tempted by the Gibbering Madness gift pack), and the Alice in Wonderland-themed set titled "Mad Tea Party" that I chose to sample for this review. [more]

Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 10:34 PM PST [Link]

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
By Steve Coll
Published by Penguin Press

Review by Richard Mellott

The title makes reading the book anti-climactic, but the details are interesting. In this "Day of the Jackal" inspired life we are all living, as we conduct our lives here in the West Coast Bull's Eye, the townies are always speculating about the new stranger in town. Our Cowboy Nation, led by Trail Boss Bush, got bushwhacked a while back, and we're still looking for the varmint what done it. What you don't know is that the Sheriff was in on it, having at one time hired this gang of thugs to clean out a bunch of rustlers on the other side of the Big Valley. Sorry, I digress into fantasy... or do I? [more]

Posted by Richard Mellott @ 10:16 PM PST [Link]

The Never-Ending Battle
Written by Roger Stern
Published by Pocket Star Books

Review by Jack Shaver and Kelly Taylor

It's important to note right out of the gate that reading a comic book has as much in common with sitting back and watching a movie as with reading pure prose. That comics are a visual medium has everything to do with the flamboyant appearance of the characters, and the power fantasy elements of super heroics. There's no reason that a story about a flying man CAN'T work as prose, of course, but watching a man fly has a simple immediacy that reading a description of flying rarely matches. Similarly, reading is a more intellectual activity than watching; thus, visual mediums are far more likely to portray action and spectacle- requiring an increased suspension of belief. [more]

Posted by Kelly S Taylor @ 09:57 PM PST [Link]

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