Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom

This is the best movie I've seen in awhile. Granted, not everyone is a fan of director Wes Anderson, but I am.
Anderson's blunt deadpan humor is on display in Moonrise Kingdom, the story of a pair of 12-year old would-be summer lovers on an island off the coast of Maine. A wayward scout and a moody adolescent girl, played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, abscond to the woods. It's a timeless love story full of humor, but as usual with Anderson, there is an undercurrent of potential mayhem and dread.


Here's what knocks me out: It's the way the director presents the narrative. Each shot is carefully constructed with characters and props placed in the most deliberate manner within the rectangle of the screen. The movie is visually rich with details such as era appropriate costumes (1965). As a cartoonist, I really respond to this! The overall feel is that of a DC comic of the era, straightforward narrative with no waste.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Bughouse T-Shirt

I finally got it together to add a Bughouse Tour T-Shirt to my online shop. Yahoo!

The image above prints full color on a cotton ringer T (white T, navy trim) for $18.49.


Dreams of the Fox Mini-Bike

When I was 12 years old, I somehow convinced my parents to get me a mini-bike. I'd saved a few bux and they put up the rest.


What is a mini-bike? Basically, you have a few feet of steel tube bent into a smallish bike frame. Bolt a couple 10-12" tires on, throw a lawn mower engine under a foam rubber seat, and you're off!

Mine was a Fox Sprite with a Tecumseh 3-horsepower lawnmower engine. The same frame as the one pictured here, only with a smaller engine and tires.

I could barely fold my lanky frame over this thing, but spent a couple years zipping around the woods, parks and farmlands adjacent to my neighborhood, situated near the border of Longmeadow and East Longmeadow, in western Massachusetts.

Come fall with its wind, cold and mud, come the full-on dusty dog days of baking-hot August, you'd find me blasting full-throttle over the bumpy baseball field of Turner Park, or through the undulating dirt fire roads of nearby Wolf Swamp neighborhood.

Really, the only things that could compete for my attention were A) Spider-Man comics drawn by John Romita, and B) a plucky girl named Cathy who lived a couple blocks away. Homework? What's that?!

More than a bit dangerous, I was lucky to get only a few scrapes in falls from the bike. Helmet? Who wore helmets on mini-bikes in 1969? I had an insane amount of fun and learned how to take an engine apaprt (if not put it back together!).

Steve Lafler
Manx Media custom screen printing

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Steve Lafler at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Musuem


 photo by Jeff Charles

Cartoonist Steve Lafler teams up with publisher CO2 to release Ménage a Bughouse. a 408-page volume collecting Lafler's trilogy of Bughouse graphic novels, Bughouse, Baja and Scalawag.

That's Lafler in the photo, the professional cartoonist as amateur guitar slinger. 

Lafler will be touring the U.S. during July to promote Ménage a Bughouse. The Bughouse tour comes to the Cartoon Art Museum July 25 at 7:00 p.m., with critic Richard Von Busack interviewing Lafler about his Bughouse collection and discussing Oaxaca, Mexico where Lafler resides.


The Cartoon Art Musuem, 655 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 227-8666

Bughouse Tour in Boulder, Colorado July 21


Here is the straight dope on the Boulder, CO. stop on the Bughouse tour:

Cartoonist Steve Lafler teams up with publisher CO2 to release Ménage a Bughouse. a 408-page volume collecting Lafler's trilogy of Bughouse graphic novels, Bughouse, Baja and Scalawag. Lafler will be touring the U.S. during July to promote Ménage a Bughouse. The Bughouse tour comes to Time Warp Comics in Boulder July 21 at 2 p.m.

Bughouse is the story of Jimmy Watts and his band of jazz playing bugs. The character driven story is set in a stylish “insect-noir” world, invoking an indigo-toned Manhattan of the early 1950s. Be-bop is king, and the alluring substance “bug juice” threatens to destroy the players against a backdrop of romance and intrigue.

Lafler puts the creative life and the pitfalls of addiction under the microscope in this tour-de-force collection, tossing his name into the hat for contention as the Great American Cartoonist.

I was inspired by The Autobiography of Miles Davis as well as the movie adaptation of William Burroughs Naked Lunch” quips Lafler. “The post-war Be-bop jazz and Beat literature scenes of New York called to me as an apt setting for an extended work”.

Critic Rob Clough named Bughouse to his top 100 graphic novels of the first decade of the new century at number 22.

Ménage a Bughouse retails for $24.99. A hardback edition will be available for $39.99. The large format book (8.5 x 11) showcases Lafler's fluid brushwork.

Steve Lafler is a master cartoonist and his work is in a class by itself; an unpredictable amalgam of fun, intelligence, breeziness and glorious strangeness that keeps your eyes fed and your synapses sizzling.” --Jim Woodring

Time Warp Comics, 3105 28th St., Boulder, CO 80301 (303) 443-4500

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bughousee Book tour at Locust Moon in Philadelphia


Cartoonist Steve Lafler brings his Bughouse Book Tour to Locust Moon Comics and Movies in Philadelphia on July 14.

Lafler teams up with publisher CO2 to release Ménage a Bughouse. a 408-page volume collecting Lafler's trilogy of Bughouse graphic novels, Bughouse, Baja and Scalawag, previously released on the Top Shelf imprint.

Bughouse is the story of Jimmy Watts and his band of jazz playing bugs. The character driven story is set in a stylish “insect-noir” world, invoking an indigo-toned Manhattan of the early 1950s. Be-bop is king, and the alluring substance “bug juice” threatens to destroy the players against a backdrop of romance and intrigue.

Lafler puts the creative life and the pitfalls of addiction under the microscope in this tour-de-force collection, tossing his name into the hat for contention as the Great American Cartoonist.

I was inspired by The Autobiography of Miles Davis as well as the movie adaptation of William Burroughs Naked Lunch” quips Lafler. “The post-war Be-bop jazz and Beat literature scenes of New York called to me as an apt setting for an extended work”.

Critic Rob Clough named Bughouse to his top 100 graphic novels of the first decade of the new century at number 22.

The event is July 14 at 8:00 p.m. Locust Moon Comics and Movies, 4040 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Lafler will sign books & art, and perform a short set of Oaxacabilly music, a blend of country-punk and hysterical hillbilly cacophony.

Ménage a Bughouse retails for $24.99. A hardback edition will be available for $39.99. The large format book (8.5 x 11) showcases Lafler's fluid brushwork.

Steve Lafler is a master cartoonist and his work is in a class by itself; an unpredictable amalgam of fun, intelligence, breeziness and glorious strangeness that keeps your eyes fed and your synapses sizzling.” --Jim Woodring

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bughouse Tour Poster


Bill Cucinotta at CO2 (my publisher) put together this cool tour poster for me. Thanks Bill!

It's not too late to order the new Menage a Bughouse book from my indiegogo page. Just a few days left to snag this complete Bughouse phone book/door stop (and help underwrite the tour!).

Steve Lafler


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bughouse Tour Border Crossing

Let's get the Bughouse Tour from Mexico into the States!

video

Steve, Geni and Max get their mojo going at the border.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Bughouse Tour Indiegogo campaign

It's on -- I'm touring the US in July in support of Ménage a Bughouse, my 408-page collection of my bugs-playing-jazz opus. CO2 is publishing this career watershed book.
I've started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the tour, and the campaign doubles as a great way to pre-order the book at this link.

The campaign also offers rewards such as original sketches and art to backers.

Bughouse is the story of Jimmy Watts and his band of jazz playing bugs. The character driven story is set in a stylish “insect-noir” world, invoking an indigo-toned Manhattan of the early 1950s. Be-bop is king, and the alluring substance “bug juice” threatens to destroy the players against a backdrop of romance and intrigue. 

Tour Dates

July 11, Ada Books, Providence, RI
July 12, MoCCA, New York City
July 14, Locust Moon Comics, Philadelphia, PA
July 17, Boxcar Books, Bloomington IN
July 18, Daydream Comics, Iowa City, IA
July 20, Time Warp Comics, Boulder, CO
July 25, Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco, CA
July 28, Cosmic Monkey Comics, Portland, OR

 See you out there on Route 66!

 
Steve Lafler is a master cartoonist and his work is in a class by itself; an unpredictable amalgam of fun, intelligence, breeziness and glorious strangeness that keeps your eyes fed and your synapses sizzling.” 
 --Jim Woodring


 



Thursday, June 07, 2012

Coming Soon: Menage a Bughouse

Don't look now, but I am just about to publish my collected Bughouse under the title Menage a Bughouse with CO2.
This will be a 408-page volume collecting all three of my Bughouse graphic novels. 


Before you know it, I will be unleashing a steady stream of brazen PR in support of the book. For now, I'm just gonna give you a peek at the cover.