Friday, January 7, 2011

The New Trend

Hey, baby-dolls, your uncle Jimmy here. So I've been giving it a think, and I realized that the reason I ground this bloggity to a halt last month wasn't just that I've got quite a few other projects going at once over here, but it was also that I've just kinda run out of things to talk about concerning comical books. See, back in 2007, 2008, when I first turned my jaundiced eye to comics criticism, I did so with a fairly specific purpose in mind. I wanted to simultaneously bolster the more serious, more academic side of comics criticism--especially as regards superheroes--while keeping a distinct tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about the whole affair, y'know, keep it readable. And if I may pat myself on the back, I think I pretty well hit that target. But after a little less than a couple of years now, plus the comics writing I've been doing for other sites, I'm just plumb outta stuff to say. I'm sure that'll change after a while, but for now, that vein is fairly played out.

But I still have found it handy to keep this blog as a home for myself, a showcase of all my other writing out there. So what I think I'll do here during the duration is once a month keep all you cats and kittens out there up to speed on where you can read your fill of Callaway good(?)ness. For the three of you who aren't on my Faceybook, this'll be a good way to keep track of the various articles and short stories I crank out like a bad counterfeiter.

So first and foremost, we have the four bloggies I run that are collectively referred to as the Let's Exploit Everybody! quartet. First at Let's Kill Everybody!, we have my favorite guy, Cameron Ashley, and his excellent take on 1978's The Toolbox Murders, with one of my other favorite Camerons, Cameron Mitchell. Then yours truly attempts to dig the revenge angle out of the 1975 kung-fu scorcher, Master of the Flying Guillotine, but has to settle for just the kick-ass action scenes (which is just fine, as it turns out), in December's Let's Fight Everybody! entry. Over at Let's Fuck Everybody!, Laura Roberts goes boldly where no man has gone before (wink wink, nudge nudge) with 1968's Barbarella. And finally, I again marvel at the power of comedy with the 3-B classic 1983 film, Strange Brew. So like, okay, go check 'em out, eh?

And yes, submissions for all four blogs are now more wide open than your mom on a Tuesday night, so please for the love of God, send some stuff in. I have a few in the hole from our regulars like Brian Roe and Laura Roberts, and some exciting stuff from the newest kid on the exploitation block, Alec Cizak. But seriously, I need subs for these bad boys. This means you!

Over at Pop Matters, where I've been writing for the past year or so (mostly about comics), things have slowed a bit. But I'm still regularly contributing book reviews. My latest was on a book entitled Toilet, which is a quite interesting social study of the public restroom and all of its attendant politics (that is politics attendant to public restrooms, not the heated elections for head men's room attendant at 4th & B). Check it out, even if only to reminisce with me about that one Mr. Show sketch.

Over at Gestalt Mash, I recently wrote about a subject that's been on my mind much over this past year, and that is artistic responsibility. Or should I say, the perceived irresponsibility of artists. I feel strongly that artists should only be responsible to their muse, whatever form she may take. Bill collectors and ex-girlfriends whistle a different tune. But if you watch The Goonies, you can see clearly why they should, each and every one of them, go fuck themselves if they don't like it. I ain't riding up Troy's Bucket.

The end of every year means the beginning of a buncha no-names contributing their lists of the top ten (or so) consumables of the year. So why should I be any different? Over at Day Labor, the blog for the web-zine Crimefactory, I pony up my top ten books that I read this year (obviously, not even close to the actual number of good books I read this year). And over at Chris Rhatigan's Death by Killing, I offer five of the finest stories I read within this little on-line community of scumbag crime writers (a number even less close to the actual number of searingly good crime stories posted this past year). So by all means, check these out and read and support these highly talented (if somewhat pained and borderline psychotic) writerly types.

Also, over the past year Nigel Bird has been running a series of interviews called "Dancing with Myself," wherein authors ask themselves a few questions. My aforementioned fave Cameron Ashley and I were flattered to have Nigel invite us, but we also both felt that we were each close enough to schizophrenia that engaging in this activity might finally push us over the edge. But since Cameron was gonna be state-side this past fall, we instead interviewed each other as I guided my 1993 Ford Probe down the 101 from San Francisco back to sunny(-ish) San Diego. Nigel then ran the really, really long result in three parts under the not-overly-romantic title "Dancing Cheek to Cheek." You can read the first part here, and then figure the rest out for yourself (I can't read it, though, I fuckin' miss that guy too much)(how gay).

Why were we driving back from San Francisco? Well, aside from the obvious gay jokes you can make here (go ahead, I'll wait), Smashley and I were in attendance this past October for BoucherCon, that yearly conglomeration of mystery/crime writers and readers and the booze that loves them. Of the many, many grand things to come out of that trip, one of them arrived in my P.O. box yesterday. Yeah, your old uncle Jimmy finally got something printed on paper and ink that was not a public retraction. The most recent issue of Crimespree (#39, for those of you keeping score at home) features an article aptly titled "Jimmy's First BoucherCon!" So get on over to the ol' Crimespree website and see about wrangling yourself up a copy or six.

Jesus, does it ever end? The answer is yes. My short fiction output seems to have taken a minor downturn, but believe you me, I got a lot in the hopper. Lately, most of my fiction has popped up over at Title Fights, with such titles as "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," "Use Your Mighty Wisdom," and "The Large Majority of Normal Women." I also took part in Donna Moore's Ramones flash challenge with my effort, "The KKK Took My Baby Away" (which is also currently being made into a short film by my bowling team and I). And over at A Twist of Noir, the 600-to-700 challenge marches on, despite poor Christopher really getting the short end of the stick in his personal life lately. My work will be bookending these one hundred stories, starting here with "Six Hundred," and ending in a couple months (I would guess) with "Seven Hundred," which I sent off to our esteemed Mr. Grant just a few weeks ago. In the meantime, you can catch up with all the other stories, including those by such heavyweights as Chris Benton, Eric Beetner, and my favorite New Year's date thus far, Matthew C. Funk.

As always, the above links as well as links to just about every other single goddamn thing I've written in the past couple years are just to your right (no, your other right).

All right, enough of my yakkin'. Let's boogie.