Old Books, New Art and Virtual Reality

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

When I was 12 or 13, I fell hard for The Smiths and Morrissey. In typical Morrissey fanatic fashion, I started reading the writers that the singer mentioned in songs and interviews. The biggie was Oscar Wilde. I went from The Picture of Dorian Gray, through the plays, fairy tales, basically anything I could find. I loved it all.

Years later, I stumbled across The Clark Library’s website and found out that they had this massive collection of works from Oscar Wilde and his co-horts. How the heck did this end up in L.A.? Maybe it didn’t matter. I had to see the Oscar Wilde collection. A few emails later, I had a story assignment and a tour scheduled.

“Inside the Clark Library’s Immense Oscar Wilde Collection”

Also, for KCET Artbound, I interviewed Stephanie Inagaki. She’s an L.A.-based artist whose portraits are both unexpected and beautiful.

“Stephanie Inagaki’s Intimate Portraits”

In other Artbound news, my recent story on L.A. punk legend Alice Bag one a recent vote, meaning that it will be the basis for an upcoming segment on the Artbound television series.

“Alice Bag’s Portraits of the Los Angeles Punk Scene”
Continue reading

A Horror Convention, a Japanese Film Festival and More

SonofMonsterpalooza20

 

Last weekend was Son of Monsterpalooza, which is a horror convention that is filled with special effects artists and other people who make monsters and other creepy things. I was there on Saturday to cover for L.A. Weekly. Not too long after arriving, I noticed that Tom Savini was sitting at a booth near the front of the convention center. Immediately, I knew I had to get a quote from him. If my brother– who spent pretty much all of his teenage years talking about horror movies– found out that I was here, that I saw Tom Savini and didn’t try to meet him, he would never let me live it down. So I went up to the booth and got quotes and a photo.

I spent four hours and change hitting up people for interviews and photos. One of the highlights was stopping by the Chiodo Bros. booth. They made Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I love that movie. In the end, I got two stories out of the experience.

“Son of Monsterpalooza, a Gathering of Monster-Makers in Burbank” (L.A. Weekly)

“10 Creepy Awesome Things We Saw at ‘Son of Monsterpalooza'” (Topless Robot)
Continue reading

Lots of Art and One TV Show

Monsterfink02

 

Last weekend, “Monsterfink!” opened at a nifty Burbank collectibles shop called Creature Features. The group art show, which featured more than 100 contributors, brought together monsters, hot rods and, of course, Rat Fink. It was about as Southern California as an art show can get and I wrote about the event for my L.A. Weekly column, Cult Stars.

Read: “In Burbank, an Art Show About Monsters and Hot Rods — and Rat Fink”

Speaking of monsters, I recently visited Chet Zar, kind of the monster painters, at his studio in the San Gabriel Valley. He’s currently working on a show to open next month at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, but you can see a little of what he’s doing in the story I wrote for MySpace.

Read: “This is ‘All Hallow’s Eve’: Artist Chet Zar Traverses From Tool to Fine Art”

Early in August, I had the chance to hang out with Alice Bag. She fronted The Bags, one of the original late-1970s L.A. punk bands. Since then, she’s played with a lot of groups. Plus, she wrote a memoir, Violence Girl. Now, she’s showing her paintings in galleries. A lot of her work focuses on documenting the history of women involved in the Los Angeles punk scene and it’s fascinating. I wrote about Alice Bag for KCET Artbound.

Read: “Alice Bag’s Portraits of the Los Angeles Punk Scene”

A few weeks ago, Black Jesus, the new show from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, premiered on Adult Swim and it’s become quite popular. I talked to one of the show’s starts, Kali Hawk, about her character and the controversy that hit the show before it launched for Paste.

Read: “Catching up With Black Jesus Actor Kali Hawk”  

Sunday night, Captured Aural Phantasy, who I previously profiled for L.A. Weekly, returns to El Cid with a new season of stage shows based on comic books and radio shows. I wrote a preview of this weekend’s event for L.A. Weekly.

Read: “5 Far-Out Things to do in L.A. This Week for $10 or Less” (It’s the third entry.)