Let’s see if the traitors fleeing the pirate ship run by Bush and Cheney have as many tricks as my personal hero, Felix the Cat. _Hopefully not! _ They deserve whatever is coming to them! Meanwhile
On this snowbound Solstice weekend in New England, I happened to be reading reviews of The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, and pondering the ways in which humans have envisioned our first contact with alien life forms. Without going too heavily into the subject, I pondered the range of human-alien frission typically presented in SF, from the over-hyped assumption of instant warfare, or the however improbable love at first site, to the more nuanced anthropological approaches of Chad Oliver and the intensely portrayed psychological gestalts of Theodore Sturgeon. At that point Sturgeon’s amazing story To Marry Medusa (aka _The Cosmic Rape_) popped into my mind, and in particular the lush red cover image for the 1968 paperback by Paul Lehr. This image, so typical of Lehr (with a mountainous half-organic construction looming in the center, while miniscule beings flit around it like so many fleas,) represents the contact between human and alien minds in the realm of abstraction and metaphor. In that sense it fascinates more than the familiar image of some athletic dork with a ray gun zapping the tentacles off of a bug-eyed wierdo.
It crawled off to wheeze in the Art Institute of Boston annex behind Kenmore Square, under the beer-breath shadow of Fenway Park. Although I still preferred the big ratty room full of zines at MassArt, where Beantown Zinetown used to live, it’s still nice to know that zine makers have a place to gather and set up their wares. This year’s Boston Zine Fair was split up on three floors of the Institute, which also had it’s advantages since there were smaller clusters of tables where visitors could converse with zinemakers. On the other hand, the sparse attendance makes for some sort of awkard transitions when someone else walks into the room. In the MassArt space it was easier to sort of wander around aimlessly and go back to a table when a conversation came to it’s natural conclusion. Even so, there were some people who really couldn’t be overlooked at this year’s event. In particular I’m glad to have met the artist Dan Nolan, who has a new graphic novel called Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy. Nolan is doing an all-out marketing blitz for this comic, which is printed on glossy paper in full color (looks like 5 color process). When I saw the printing job on his novel I said: “man you are plunging directly into bankruptcy… in the most flamboyant fashion possible!” Nolan replied, “You know I thought that nothing could be worse financially than being a painter, until I discovered publishing my own comics.” What really amused me was that Nolan was standing there in his own Death Boy t-shirt under a bathrobe. In front of him was a peanut butter sandwich on a plate with a single bite taken out of it. Right in next to the sandwich was a single proof copy of the novel. And right behind the artist was the original oil painting that became the basis of his Death Boy novel. His entire look was amusingly surrealistic. Worth checking out his stuff.
Browsing for a cheap paperback at Goodwill in Davis Square, I just happened to find a beat up first edition hardcover copy of The Fifty Minute Hour, by Robert Lindner. I grabbed this for the collecti