Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here's Radio Insecto

Bill Stair and I debuted our Oaxaca based cowpunk band Radio Insecto at La Jicara October 28th. We had a blast! The last table was filled as we opened with my tune Jack Black. We went on to cover tunes from the Velvet Underground to Cracker and the Cramps among others, with a stack of originals peppered throughout the night.

 As I pretty much play guitar like a cave man, it was my great pleasure to hit the stage with Bill Stair on bass and mandolin, Matt Cowe on lead guitar and Samuel Paloma Aquino (El Lobo) on bongos. We had a driving, tasty sound with these guys at the controls. Sam counted off each song and played tight and funky. Bill picked some brilliant bits on mando, nailing solos that hailed from Tennessee to Eastern Europe, and shook the walls real bad and funky on bass. Matt laid into swamp blues on Human Fly, yet dropped in gorgeous, emotive solo work on tunes from the Spanish influenced Camelita to the Celtic keening of Dirty Old Town. He snapped off a perfect bit of 12 bar blues in E in the middle of Ripe Pineapple Drunk, an original by Bill Stair and myself.

Best of all, we had Mr. Bill Blak himself on washtub bass for our more country blues and bluegrass numbers, and he punched up the sound, shook his thing and drove the ladies insane. People got up and danced, the place was hummin'. OK, so I sang like a cow gargling cactus on Baby's In Black, but you gotta stink it up somewhere!

All in all a fine debut for Radio Insecto! I'll post more about our adventures as we forge ahead.

Photos by Jeff Charles.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oaxacan Artist Humberto Batista

Oaxaca is the artistic soul and cultural center of southern Mexico. This city is the home of well renowned visual artists such as Francisco Toledo and the late Rodolfo Morales. It's been my good fortune to meet several outstanding artists in Oaxaca, including painter and assemblage artist Humberto Batista.

 Fantasia Abstracta #5

Working from his studio in central Oaxaca, Batista creates abstract paintings and assemblage pieces that reflect his interest in reconciling the joy of life with the inevitability of death. His mastery of materials and techniques and his playful sense of humor combine to produce works revealing a deep understanding of the human condition and the animal vitality that pushes us through life.

Calaquita De La Soledad

I am always delighted to see what Humberto Batista creates. His paintings engage my eye and mind -- the latest abstract canvas never fails to speak to me with it's juxtaposition of color, line and form. There is a narrative element to every work, as the artist references the totality his experience as a modern Mexican artist with a wit and flair that I can't get enough of.

 Fantasia Abstracta #2

It is possible to contact Humberto Batista to arrange for a studio visit to view his work while visiting Oaxaca -- I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ghostshrimp Brand Illustration & Art

Hey, I must recommend a visit to the updated site from illustrator/cartoon genius Ghostshrimp.

Why, because he created the WORLD art for the great Cartoon Network show Adventure Time? Because he's working on a cool upcoming animated series Mars Safari? Or because he's my beloved nephew and all around great guy? Your choice.


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Lafler Catalog Update

Here are up to date links to help get your hands on Steve Lafler graphic novels and T-Shirts.

photo by Scott Hoover

I am searching for meaning and truth in a world ruled by, you know, the rulers. Only through these graphic novels and T-Shirts can each of us reach illumination (actual instructions embedded within each product).

I have a graphic novel store at, where you can find El Vocho, my 2010 graphic novel, 40 Hour Man by Stephen Beaupre and myself, and Tranny.

 I love bugs.

Yes, this graphic novel is about boys dressing up like girls. WTF? I guess you'll just have to read it.

Monster, Car and Guitar T-shirts are available at my Cafe Press store.

I would wear this Wolf Man on a T-Shirt! Would you???

My Bughouse trilogy of graphic novels can still be purchased at Top Shelf Comics.

Some people really like this Bughouse graphic novel, they says it's my best one.

I also have acrylic paintings for sale, generally in the $150 - 300 range for sizes from 8"x10" to 11"x14".
The price includes shipping via DHL, insured. Payment is via Paypal. If you are interested, let's talk. You can click the link of my highlighted name at the bottom of this post to send me an email. Or you can phone me at 503-213-3671.
I do commissions too -- I did a big painting last year for a friend on a Mexican theme (OK, so it was a $1,000 job), but we had a great time with it.

Who am I?! Here is a Steve Lafler interview with Robert Clough at the Comics Journal

Here is a link to an audio interview Steve Lafler with Robin McConnell of Inkstuds Radio.

My goal here, as always, is to buy the next tank of gas for my car, stuff like that.


Steve Lafler

Steve Jobs, RIP

I'd posted this morning of October 5 under the heading "Steve Jobs is not my guru, but..."
I woke up today with an urge to dig up this favorite quote from Mr. Jobs. I was aware of his health problems, but had not been tracking them.
Now upon coming home, my wife Serena tells me that Steve Jobs just passed away. He was quite an innovator, a revolutionary in a sense, an inspiring smart dude. Sure, his ego was beyond huge, but nobody's perfect. My heart goes out to his family.
Here is the original post I put up this morning before returning to add this upon news of his death.

I do like this quote from Mr. Jobs:

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Hey Hey My My, Cool Comics Will Never Die

This weekend brings another APE (Alternative Comics Convention) in San Francisco, and I feel the pull. From my post in Oaxaca, I long to be at APE.

For those of us who can't be there, I am happy to report that you can score the best of weird, small press and alternative comics from lots of entrepreneurial distributors and shops.

Wow Cool, the long running alt comics distrib run by Marc Arsenault, is alive and well with an updated site.

King Kat comics genius John Porcellino maintains Spit and a Half zine and comics distribution, featuring many great artists like Carrie McNinch.

Sparkplug Comic Books continues to publish and distribute great quirky comics by talents like Austin English despite the recent death of beloved founder Dylan Williams.

Another stop on the mini-comics/alt comics distribution tour is Poopsheet. I can't imagine a better name than that!

You can always rely on Last Gasp of San Francisco, the venerable publisher and distributor run by Ron Turner and his son Colin. I couldn't help but link to my recent graphic novel El Vocho at the Last Gasp site, whatcha gonna do!

By kicking around a bit at these links, you can set yourself up with enough cool offbeat comics to keep you busy for quite awhile.