Tagged: James Kochalka

Most People Call Them Green Onions But They’re Really Scallions

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Who don’t love Christmas?  Most of us, but as Wonderlick said, it’s nice to pretend.  Here’s another hypothetical mix CD, and it’s all Christmas Songs, since it’s getting to be that time of year again (unless you’re reading this later, like, in January. In which case, well, I guess it’s still getting to be that time of year again, just much, much more slowly.), and there’s a lot of awful Christmas records out, so perhaps there will be some on here that people can actually enjoy, huh? (Also: I think there should be a moratorium on Xmas Mix CDs with the Pogues‘ “Fairytale Of New York”, just because it’s basically the One Good Song Everyone Knows About Already. Though it is basically my favorite Xmas song ever.)

The title comes from a piece not actually on here:  “Yulenet (Christmas Dragnet)” by Stan Freberg.  Honestly that and his single “Green Chri$tma$” are both must-hear records, so you should seek them out right away.  They’re both wonderful.
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Review: James Kochalka's Superf*ckers

superfckers350_lgFrom the printers of Top Shelf Productions and the field behind the author’s house in Vermont comes Superf*ckers, a compilation of the the craziest superhero parody you will ever read, all in inimitable Kochalka Quality.

James Kochalka, author of American Elf and frontman for the band James Kochalka Superstar, is the mastermind behind this expletive-laden gallery of gross-out humor, which boasts bright, attractive colors, inter-dimensional shower peeping and getting high off of unorthodox chemicals. Oh, and there’s a story in there somewhere, too, but who has time for a story when you’re so busy laughing at a dysfunctional team of superheroes verbally degrading each other?

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Review: “Johnny Boo and the Mean Little Boy” and “Dragon Puncher”, James Kochalka

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Johnny Boo and the Mean Little Boy, James Kochalka

Dragon Puncher, James Kochalka

 

There’s really no doubt that one of the things that has always been admirable about Kochalka‘s work is the joyously childlike spirit inherent in it — whether that be the subject matter of many of his earlier graphic novels, the lyrics to his songs, or even the ease with which he has collaborated with his young children on drawings for his autobiographical comic, American Elf. From drawings to dialogue, it’s not difficult to imagine his work appealing to children.

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James Kochalka and the Frog

A Australian Green Tree Frog

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I was staying in a hotel in New York, and James Kochalka was with me (though not sharing a room), and we were friends. Somehow James found a small frog, and was attempting to make it his pet, but the frog took more of a liking to me.

Actually, there were two Jameses, the standard one, and one that was James-At-About-10-Or-So. I think it was 10-James who found the frog, and Adult-James was sort of an observer. I was friends with both, although I think I ended up being a little bit more of a bully to 10-James — or not really a bully, more of an inadvertent one.
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Jeff Bridges… I Don’t Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem!

Jule Styne

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Here’s another hypothetical mix CD, this one called “Jeff Bridges… I Don’t Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem!” The title’s taken from one of my favorite Tom Goes To The Mayor episodes (though, really, they’re all pretty dang great), and the main idea of this mix is to expose people to bands or songs they might not know otherwise. None of the songs were chosen for ironic value; I tend to find all these songs very listenable, and hope others do as well. The songs worked themselves out into “sides” like an LP, although, length-wise, each “side” here would probably be about 2 sides of a real record, but since this is hypothetical, no one will mind.
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Comics Review: The Cute Manifesto

cute_manifesto_card[Purchase Book]

When James Kochalka‘s original essay “Craft Is The Enemy” appeared in The Comics Journal, it generated quite a bit of controversy. People misunderstood his point and thought that Kochalka was saying that the ability to draw well was a hinderance. He then wrote a followup, “Craft Is Not A Friend”, which clarified his position — not that drawing well is a hinderance, but that NOT drawing well wasn’t necessarily a hinderance either. The point was to make the best art that you can given the skills you’ve got — and use the fact that the more you create, the more your skills will grow, but that the SKILL itself shouldn’t be the goal. Kochalka says the goal isn’t to make good DRAWINGS, but to make good COMICS. And if good drawings come out of that, so much the better; but being a particularly good draftsman isn’t the same as being a good cartoonist.

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Interview: K. Thor Jensen

K. Thor Jensen

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This is the first Kittysneezes Interview.  In fact, that’s not quite true.  This was originally conducted for TODCRA, although the TODCRA interviews never really got off the ground.The idea was to have a standard format — the first half would be questions that everyone would answer, with the second half being questions tailor-made for the subject. The Kittysneezes interviews will follow the same format, though the questions of the first half have been tweaked — there are some new questions from this interview, and some questions that have been dropped. At Kittysneezes, there hasn’t been a set schedule for interviews, though I hope that it will be more frequent than TODCRA’s schedule (slated for monthly, ended up being never).

This first interview is with K. Thor Jensen, Cartoonist, Artist, Musician and faux 14-year-old-girl.  The interview was conducted during March and April of 2004, and as such, some things have changed. The biggest being that his graphic novel Red Eye, Black Eye has just been published by Alternative Comics (which has excellent distribution — I picked my copy up in a Barnes & Noble!); at the time, it was running on the Serializer website. He’s also currently playing bass in Music For Girls. Amber Forever is still online, though it hasn’t been updated for a few years. The best way to keep tabs on Thor is via his website, A Short And Happy Life. His work has appeared in The Stranger, Pulse Magazine, and lots of comics anthologies and self-published comics, among other work. Here is Thor’s online store, or you can purchase his outstanding Red Eye, Black Eye via Amazon.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that given the age, not all of the links will still work.  I’ve tried to update where I could, though.  So here we go!

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