Category Archives: bedtime stories

new reading matter

just started, only read a couple of dozen pages… – the writer bizarrely obsessed with totally inconsequential “coincidences” – right from the off he makes a big deal out of syd barrett being born the same month as mclaren – syd being similar to sid (as in vicious), get it? – as well as affording some flimsy new angle on mentioning that important piece of (pre)pistols mythology: the johnny lydon “i hate pink floyd” t-shirt – ted bundy also born the same year, “surprising malcolm didn’t become a serial killer” – mention of mclaren going to art school (and coincidentally the pistols playing their first gig at an art school) means we get a whole pointless list of art school rock-stars/has-beens like pete townshend, ray davies, jeff beck (later to work with mclaren, gosh incredible!) and freddie mercury – do such “boring old farts” really have any place in a book predominantly on the sex pistols? – irrelevant factoids ad nauseam – it’s like the author really desperate to show he’s done his homework or summink? – it rushes thru events/”facts” with gutter press brevity – or like a wikipedia article [citation needed], with similar untrustworthiness – you won’t learn anything new or gain any fresh insights but i suppose it’s not so terribly bad really – i like the (cheesy) cover – of course this book is far better (look, right next to a book on syd!!! – wow just wow!!! – utterly amazing coincidence no?!!!)

recent reading

ploughed thru many manga scanlations but few worthy of note – “boys on the run” by kengo hanazawa much loved tho – acutely embarrassing and painfully funny – the one-off “shark skin man and peach hip girl” by mochizuki minetaro (creator of “dragon head”) also enjoyed – “abara” by tsutomu nifei, like all his books made less sense the more you read but would love to play a video game that looked like this – and read “blankets” by craig thompson just to see what all the fuss is about – it is a good read, tho the religious stuff grated for me – also finally finished russell brand’s “booky wook 2” – comedy books always a bit of a slog, if not unreadable (rik mayall!)

…in a way brings me to irvine welsh’s “skagboys”, my current bedtime story – a hefty great brick of a book cobbled together from “trainspotting” leftovers – a prequel – picking this up in the bookstore i was actually most taken and sold by the nice fetishistic soft rubber-ish feel to the cover, haha! – i wouldn’t call myself a fan but have read many of his books – mostly quite entertaining – tho always wonder how american and other foreign readers deal with the scottish vernacular – even without having to translate this word by word it’s a bit of a slow read – but around 160 pages in i’m starting to get into it – thatcher era setting always good for me

new reading matter

shinjuku kinokuniya foreign floor have rearranged their shelves – and introduced the foreign bookstore comfy chairs thing (personally i don’t see how this exactly encourages sales?) – the happiest (tho maybe short-lived due to lack of interest) result of this for me is a slightly bigger improved comix section with increased stock of fantagraphics and indie books – not as cheap as but at least no three week wait and order cancellation – the joost swarte “(nearly) complete comics” book snapped up on sight – and an obligatory once-over at the books on japan section added another item to my shopping basket – gaijin books are a generally unsatisfying genre (this one a notable exception) – they are either serious, staid and dull or else frivolous otaku culture crap (typically little more than useless out-of-date shop lists written by japanophiles who probably spent no more than two weeks in japan) – “tune in tokyo” looks pretty promising tho – witty and apparently self-obsessed – i’m okay with that – at least it’s unlikely he’ll be bragging with fake modesty about first name friendship with every yakuza boss in japan and simply talking day-to-day nonsense i can relate to

new/recent reading matter

  • art spiegelman – meta maus
  • everything you wanted to know and more behind maus

  • comics journal 301
  • a book amazon failed to send me but my sister managed to get for me (r crumbo for crimbo!) – tho the parcel opened for inspection by japanese customs – some malignant force didn’t want me to get hold of it? – anyway, everything you wanted to know and more behind crumb’s genesis book – a 50 page joe sacco interview too makes it even more attractive despite taking up 5 centimeters of my precious bookshelf space

  • jake chapman – memoirs of my writer’s block
  • another xmas present, already read – about an amateur writer getting ghostwriters to rewrite her tale of the tallest man in the world employed to rescue two dolphins by reaching his long arms down their throats and pulling out shards of plastic that they’d eaten and had become stuck in their stomach lining – the novel made up of hilarious email exchanges and the (tedious) rewrites – the dolphin story is actually true and i’d like to think the whole thing was a real prank conducted by jake posing as the batty writer, reproducing actual letters etc – quote by dinos on the back cover also wickedly funny: “I always suspected that Jake wasn’t really an artist, having read this I suspect he’s not really a writer either.”

  • infinity net : the autobiography of yayoi kusama
  • pen books : we love yayoi kusama
  • self-confessed nutcase and self-confessed best artist in the world – but, really, any artist that doesn’t really believe they are the best should give up now?! – the former her autobiography (from 2002) just published in english for the first time – the latter a nice magazine style overview of her career to date in japanese and english

    new reading matter

    fat book of essays on yba and pop artists (and a bit on the clash for some reason) by gordon burn, the drinking buddy of damien hirst

    I hate it when people write things that sound like they’ve swallowed a fucking dictionary

    says damien – or to quote romain slocombe (from the intro to my forthcoming b/w book): critics are as essential to art as ants to a picnic (…paraphrasing george sanders) – but gordon burn is not yer typical art commentator – his previous book of interviews with hirst was decidedly down to earth chat re the passion for art – i was also very partial to his novelistic books on the yorkshire ripper and fred’n’rose west