Underground Comics Legend Gary Panter at Skylight Books Tonight


This summer is being hyped as the summer of the comic book movie. Okay, cool.

But as far as I’m concerned, it ain’t ever gonna get any cooler than the fall of 2005, when the Hammer and MOCA presented their joint exhibition Masters of American Comics, which highlighted the work of Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, and other past and present comic artist geniuses.

A slew of events are cropping up around town that are making me nostalgic for the two double-oh five.

First up is Master of American Comics featured artist Gary Panter, tonight (as in, TONIGHT!) at Skylight Books, signing copies of PictureBox’s exhaustingly comprehensive two-volume Gary Panter: The Book. Matt Groening, creator of Life in Hell and an obscure animated series called The Simpsons will do the introductions.

Who’s Gary Panter? You really oughtta know. More information and pics after the jump.

Image: Gary Panter’s Deadlier Than Male, acrylic on paper, 1986.

Continue reading Underground Comics Legend Gary Panter at Skylight Books Tonight

Mates of State Tickets! Here! Now! Yes!

mates.jpgEveryone’s favorite married couple indie band*, Mates of State, hit the Fonda on the 28th for a show celebrating the joys of wedlock. Ok, well, not really, but they do make good music together. Har har har. Wanna win some Goldenvoice tickets? Add a comment with your REAL EMAIL SMART GUY**, telling me what nauseatingly cute creative endeavor (safe for work, thanks again) you’d embark upon with your (real or hypothetical) spouse, and we’ll pick some winners to get a pair of free tickets. Knitting mittens for kittens together? Build your own home out of shipping containers together? Start your own catering business together? Wear matching handmade sweaters from your mom together? You name it, we’ll enter you to win.

*I actually prefer Low, but I think Mates of State def win the “aw, aren’t they cute” title.

*no real email = I can’t actually contact you if you win.

Don’t spit up = prizes. Spit up = hilarity.

logodstwweb.jpgHow’s this for improv fun:

Don’t Spit the Water is what you get when you cross the old game show Make Me Laugh with The Gong Show, and stir in some Pee Wee’s Playhouse for good measure. It’s easy – our contestants fill their cheeks with water, our comics try to make them laugh.

A weekly gig in Chicago, Don’t Spit the Water is making a one night appearance in Hollywood this Wednesday, and they’d like to extend an invitation to Metblog readers to attend. (full disclosure, Fuzzy Gerdes from Chicago Metblogs is one of the guys who’ll hopefull make you spit up).

Tickets are free, and the show is at the Comedy Central Stage… which means it could be as funny as Dave Chappelle… or as bad as Carlos Mencia. On the bright side, if it doesn’t make someone laugh, they win a “mystery prize.”

Don’t Spit the Water, 8pm, Wednesday, May 28th, 2008
Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Free, but reservations required: 323-960-5519

ICME: Captn Spot and 5 Aces


Sorry you can’t see the matte surfaced letters too well, but it spells out “Captn Spot”.  Who is Captain Spot?  Why does he have 5 “Nekkid Lady Aces” on the drivers door?  Why does he have cheesy double-knit polyester seat covers on his brand new Scion?  Why does he have a cheesy blue sponge steering wheel cover?  Why did it even get my attention?

Sign of Confusion

I don’t know where you stand on the issue of gay marriage but I’m all for it. I believe that people enjoying equal rights is a good thing.

I recently spotted a sign that shares my beliefs, but also leaves me confused. Take a look for yourself:

Gay Nuptial

This sign brings up some questions that I can’t answer:

  1. Is “congratulations” the right word to use in this case? Have you ever told someone; “Congratulations on no longer being discriminated against”? I rarely ever say that.
  2. It says “Gay Nuptial” as in one marriage. Are the people who own this florist only happy for one gay couple? Or do they know a woman named Gay Nuptial who is getting married soon?
  3. Isn’t it just a wee bit crass to take a landmark court decision that grants citizens basic human rights and use it as a marketing initiative?

Santa Monica Reinvents the (Ferris) Wheel

The Ferris Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier is back!  Did you miss it?  Did you see the Pier without the Wheel?  It looked kinda naked. 

The Argonaut and the Pacific Park Website  report that the Pier’s all-new Pacific Wheel will have its birthday bash this Wednesday evening, May 28.  Live music from the Surf City Allstars will begin at 8 p.m.  At 8:30, there will be a lighting ceremony for the new Wheel.  Local dignitaries and business leaders, including Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz, are scheduled to attend. The lighting will be accompanied by a “Close Proximity Pyrotechnics” show by the renowned Pyro Spectaculars by Souza, meaning that you will be able to stand underneath the fireworks without being burned by annoying flammable materials.

From 9:15 p.m. until midnight, all guests may ride the Wheel for free.  Pacific Park will also provide free popcorn and cotton candy. 

This promises to be a really fun event to mark the return of one of our most famous Los Angeles area landmarks.

For more information (as if you needed any!), call (310) 260-8744, or visit www.pacpark.com.

Eating in LA: Haejangchon Dolgooi Restaurant

My husband loves Korean BBQ…I have, uh, digestive problems, when we go. So, I really try to be at my whiny best when he suggests it. With a toddler and a little kid who wants to cook herself, almost any grill place is a nuisance. Yet, I do love watching my food get cooked right at the table, where I do it myself (Gyu Kaku) or the servers do it (any Korean BBQ restaurant).

After we attended the Earth Day event on Wilshire Blvd. last month, we decided to grab some food. Being broke, really limited our options, but after asking around, we wound up at Haejangchon Dolgooi Restaurant, that I’m going to call Kimchi BBQ from now one because it’s the only English part of their sign. We really enjoyed it and decided to try it again on Saturday just to make sure it was consistent a month out.  The restaurant sits in the middle of a strip mall on 6th St. and has packed parking lot. After 6pm, there is valet, which any diner in Koreatown will know is practically mandatory.

There are a lot of options on the menu, but remember, this is a kimchi restaurant. Because of finances, we chose to go with the all-you-can-eat option. For $16.99 per person (children under 5 eat free), you get 5 different kimchis, kimchi pancake, short ribs, brisket and pork belly (which we took off since I don’t eat pork), fried rice, red bean paste soup and a bowl of salad.

The salad, kimchis and kimchi pancake are served first, probably to fill you up before the meat. The meat comes out and you can add more as you go along. Finally, when you’re done, the red bean paste soup comes out and the fried rice is cooked on there. In between batches of food, the servers use shredded radish clean the stone grill.

The restaurant is open from 11am to 2am, so there’s a late night eating place for you. Haejangchon Dolgooi has a patio on the side where smoking is allowed and the restaurant serves Korean beers, pomegranate and raspberry wines and several Korean vodkas. Haejangchon Dolgooi is located at 3821 W 6th St., in Koreatown at Hobart. You can call for reservations at (213) 389-8777.

CONCERT REVIEW: Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars @ LACMA 5.24


No…wait…Holy Cow!

How about ZOMG!!!11!!!1!!

The show was phenomenal.  There’s no two ways about it. I’ve seen some great shows at LACMA, but I have never seen people dancing during the entire show.  NEVER.

The Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars opened the show with Lee Morgan’s Caramba.  Nice and easy way to greet Opening Night of the Latin Sounds series at LACMA.  My kids love the song and we dance to at least a few times a week.  Needless to say, they were pretty happy to hear a song they knew.  Next they went into my baby boy’s favorite song, The Last Bullfighter.  I had never known the name of the song, yet we always “play matador” when we listen to it.  This song is when the dancing on east side of the courtyard started.  Continue reading CONCERT REVIEW: Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars @ LACMA 5.24

L.A. Times unveils database of California’s war deaths

flagdocbrown.jpgFrazier Park’s Brian Cody Prosser, an Army Staff Sargeant, became the first US soldier from California to be killed in Afghanistan after a U.S. bomb missed its target on December 5, 2001.

20 year old Army Specialist Mary J. Jaenichen, from Temecula, is California’s most recent casualty from the war in Iraq after being killed May 9th.

As of last Wednesday, of the United States’ 4563 casulaties between the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 492 were from California. The Los Angeles Times has just unveiled a database of these soldiers, providing photos and memories along with the raw data of dates of death, hometowns, and where their remains are buried. If you knew any of these military men or women, the Times allows you to leave your own thoughts.

Nearly 500 Californians have lost their lives while in service to their country in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least 58 were immigrants; more than 160 were parents, who left behind more than 300 children. One descended from two presidents; another was a Guatemalan street orphan taken in by an American family as a teenager. One high school lost six of its graduates.

More on the project at the L.A. Times. 

…photo by Doc Brown/Matthew K., used under Creative Commons…

Latin Sounds @ LACMA

Kickoff for the third year of the eagerly anticipated Latin Sounds music series starts Saturday, May 24th.  The free event will be held in the amphitheatre in Hancock Park.  It runs from 5 – 7 pm and features not only a Who’s Who of Latin Jazz bands, but sounds from all over the Carribean, Central and South America.  And happy, happy, joy, joy, opening night will open with LA’s own Jose Rizo‘s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars.  If you were lucky enough to catch the Latin Jazz Festival at the Greek back on the 10th, then you know you’re in for a treat.

Gosh, I hope it doesn’t rain.

Biking To Dodger Stadium (Updated)

So last year my wife Susan and I opted to pedestrianate to and from Dodger Stadium for the July 4 game and fireworks extravaganzo, choosing to invest the $15 parking fee we saved on buck-fiddy gameday-special Pabstesses at the Gold Room and Shortstop bars we patronized on our way there.

This season, following in the hallowed and historic bike treads of Militant Angeleno, my friend Michael and I will be kicking off the Memorial Day weekend by daring to bike up from the Arts District for tonight’s game against the St. Lous Cards — weirdass weather or not. We’re hoping the only thunder heard over Chavez Ravine this evening will be that generated by the bats of my beloved boys of summer, and we’re also banking that the notoriously weak bicycle parking situation there will be at least the same as the Militant found it at the top of the park when he went up there at the end of March — or at least no worse.

Let’s go Dodgers!

rack.jpgUPDATE (11:22 p.m.): I’m happy to report the rack (clickably pictured at right) was stilll in the same place the Militant had found it to the left of the gates at the Top Deck entrance. Even better it was augmented with its its own barriers (not pictured) for that extra air of security. In addition, the barriers funneled us to our very own Cyclists Entry Gate where we were not only able to avoid mixing and millling with all the motorati, but our tickets were scanned and we were allowed to enter without our packs being searched for any contraband items such as beach balls or weapons, FTW!

The fun part was then working our way down to our Field Level seats (and then all the way back up after the game was halted due to rain in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score 2-1 in favor of the Cards and one out and a 3-2 count to Matt Kemp, dammit). It would have been nice if there’d been field level bike parking, but I’m pretty sure the Dodgers front office is like “Who the hell with field level seats and a right mind would ride there fucking bike up here except some idiot with a suspended license or a day laborer or something — and they belong in the Top Deck anyway, gah!!”