Friday, May 10, 2013

TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY!



 Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the day we played host to comix legends Peter Bagge and Daniel Clowes as part of their Hateball Tour, so what better time to dip into the Bizarro-Wuxtry Archive's vast holdings and share some precious memories? First up, a trio of photos made using the "Bizarro-Wuxtry Monkey Cam" (i.e. young Diego Aloysius Kirsch, our Official Teen Sidekick, climbing up to the top of some rickety shelves with a camera):

I am seen here conversing with Mr. Clowes,
while Mr. Bagge attends to the paying customers.
Note the eyeball cakes, baked by Karen Sweeney (Gerow).
More of me and Dan. The wall behind him
no longer exists, but cut across at about the middle
of the "new releases" rack. Mr. Clowes is seated
in almost the exact spot where the spinner rack
displaying his work is now located.
This shot would later be used as the author
photo in the hardback of Bagge's Hey, Buddy!,
but the origin of the photo had been forgotten, so
 Diego was inadvertently robbed of  a photo credit.

Some of our beloved regulars, two of which are still in town.

The gang checks out original art at prices that none of us could
afford, but would now be laughably cheap.
Karen Sweeney talks to Clowes while Marika
Wendelken mugs for the camera.

A view that more clearly shows the old back wall. At that point,
comics were in the left-hand room, and budget records at the right. 
Try as I might, I can't tell what Pete is reading here.

As well as doing tons of sketches and autographing all manner of comics and album covers, the guests of honor were called upon to autograph local artist/musician/elemental force of nature Deonna Mann. Please note that these shots were taken per her request, and I was not just being a perv.


Look at that baby face!
"Daniel Clowes"
"P. Bagge wuz here"

 Speaking of Ms. Mann, she also provided a puppet show in honorof our special guests, with music by her musical organization, the Medaglia D'Oro Orchestra. The police pointed out that no permit for such a performance had been issued, but we worked it out.

Onlookers await the beginning of the performance
Dee Goodman (RIP), and her future husband, noted alt-comix
artist Jeff (now Jess) Johnson.

Wade Hampton and Jim Stacy, hangin' tough
The puppet theater





 That evening, there was another concert in their honor, at the long-defunct Hoyt Street North club, featuring the Woggles and the La Brea Stompers (whose own poster for the event can be seen in the ninth and tenth photos above). Regrettably, my camera was suffering from a light leak, and most of the photos were ruined, including all the photos of the Woggles, except for this candid photo of the late, lamented George Montague Holton.


 I was, however, able to salvage a few photos of the Stompers' set. Their drummer, Richard E. Grant, isn't visible in any of them, but he looks just like this guy, except not horrible:


Anyway, here's what I do have:

Mr. Jim Stacy serenades the crowd, seemingly oblivious to
the fireball about to engulf him

Mr. Stacy wails on the mouth harp, while Mr. Trey Ledford tickles the strings
Mr. Wade Hampton lays down his funky bass licks
Later that year, the Stompers would commission an album cover from Clowes for their album Funzo's Knuckle Room, seen here in the highest quality image I could find (I never got a copy myself because it was only on CD).

The next day, we gathered up our VIPs and carried them to their next stop, Criminal Records in Atlanta. To build up their stamina, they finally dug into Karen's eyeball cakes.


 While we've had plenty of signings before and since (it's crazy to me to think that this was only three weeks after Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer came to the store), this was the biggest and best, and there's no way it would have happened without the hard work of my co-manager Shannon T. Stewart, the aforementioned Mr. Kirsch, Eric Levin at Criminal (we split the cost to bring the guys in) and all the folks in the bands, to whom I'm eternally grateful. Maybe we'll see if we can do it again for our Silver Jubilee.

2 comments:

rich tommaso said...

Man, what is up with Peter Bagge?? He looks like he can't be bothered, wearing his sunglasses indoors--but at least Clowes looks like he's havin' fun. Nice shot of Jeff Johnson and Dee!

John LeMaitre said...

...and to think I was there! Great seeing you and Athens today, Devlin!