Here are some gets from the Lawrenceburg Antique Show: toy tambourine, pinback buttons (Community Chest, Cincinnati Schools Good Teeth, Tommy Sands), safety award trophy, vintage photos, Mego printing set, and weird felt dolls.
Got it for only $40 at the Burlington Antique Show. It’s from an old farmhouse, the seller said. He also warned us that it doesn’t work and then knocked the price down $20 because Steph inadvertently had her shirt unbuttoned. WGBH was there filming some flea market show. I stood in the background while they shot a crucial haggling scene, so look for me on TV on whatever show that was!
From antique malls in Columbus, Springfield, and a toy show in Dayton: Patty Duke fashion dolls (that I’ve been looking for forever!), Space Rover Water Gun box, Tru Vue 3-D Viewer in box, ice cream displays for a diner, Marx Creature from the Black Lagoon figure, What to Do About Your Tensions book, Rick Nelson sheet music, Alley Oop game, and two complete Kopeefun sets that were free because a guy at the toy show didn’t want them anymore.
Sad news. David Bowman, author of two of my favorite books, Bunny Modern and Let the Dog Drive has passed away.
Let the Dog Drive is a sort of impressionistic road trip/detective/love story hybrid sort of novel. Bunny Modern is about assassin nannies in post-apocalyptic electricity-less New York. But both of those descriptions are underselling incredible weirdness and heart and idiosyncrasy of both books. Nobody wrote or writes books quite like Bowman. Reviews of both books, especially Bunny Modern, were frequently mixed or unkind. Such was the singular quality of Bowman that reviewers didn’t really know what to make of him–too literary to be straight-ahead genre, too wacky to satisfy boring readers of straight-ahead literary stuff. (Actually, I think you could say the same of Chômu, which is why I’m so thrilled they’re publishing my book.)
I happened to e-mail Bowman just a few months ago, in late January, at the behest of my friend and teacher Michael Griffith, one of the few people to write a positive review of Bunny. His response was very kind and unnecessarily encouraging of my own writing career. He called me his “first fan of the 21st century.” He said he’d written another couple of novels since Bunny (which came out in 1997) but felt like he was starting all over again in terms of trying to get them published. I hope desperately that something comes of them, but even more so, I just hope Bowman’s work isn’t forgotten.
Well, the book’s title has started to do its job, judging from this.
Interesting that they refer to me as “Wisconsin writer.” My position in the denigrated Midwest has probably informed aspects of my writing (like my cynicism, inferiority complex, and insecurity), but I wouldn’t lump myself in with those who usually hold the title. I’m not a big fan of quiet stories of human dignity. I prefer loud stories of animal depravity.
Far be it from me to compare myself to someone whose artistic achievements will forever immeasurably outweigh my own, but I liked this bit from an interview in the new The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist (which is excellent):
I know where I need to get in terms of the feel of the strip, and I know the resting place, and that’s just something you pick up after years of doing this. My generation watched thousands of hours of television, and after watching hundreds of episodes of Mannix you develop an innate sense of how a narrative works. I don’t think this is the case with kids anymore, because television has come to be dominated by reality shows, which are less structured.
Reminds me of what I said here, much less eloquently. For better or worse, I am of the probably the last generation to grow up having watched thousands of hours of horrible, formulaic TV.
We went on a Louisville antique safari over the weekend. Unfortunately, even after hitting 5+ antique malls, we didn’t make any good finds. There was some neat architectural salvage type stuff that was fun to look at, but besides that, the experience was fairly underwhelming. I’ve head that, while the South is deep into its own historical legacy, it also fixates on the new, new, new (and often cruddy–like crappily built new houses and cars). This was reflected in the antique mall stock, which offered super-old iron pots and stuff, a seemingly limitless supply of 90s Pier One style home furnishings, and nothing in between. (My sweet spot, of course, is 1950s and 1960s toys and junk.)
One place, however, did deliver, at least a little bit: The South Louisville Toy and Antique Mall. There, amongst a bunch of 1990s Spawn and X-Men action figures, were some nice and reasonably priced buys. We got a copy of the infamous drinking board game Pass-Out for only $2, some neat pinbacks for my collection (The Monkees, a generic Happy Birthday, and a Smokey the Bear), and a couple of tin soldiers for shooting a BB gun at. Not a terrible haul, but I expected more.
The next day we stopped by the Ohio Valley Antique Mall here in town to pick up a chair I’ve had my eye on and just a cursory walk-through made me grateful to live in Cincinnati. We found this beautiful, pristine, unused record binder with quintessential teenage imagery. I also grabbed a sizable, plastic Q*Bert bank. I don’t usually go for 80s stuff, but the price was right and I just liked the look of it.
Review copies of Magical Teenage Princess have gone out to the big reviewing-type places and I received my own galley yesterday. I got so excited I carried it around with me everywhere I went, although I was too shy to actually show it to anyone. I just held it against my chest and constantly glanced down, hoping someone would ask about it. No one did. See it, below, pictured with two other great works of literature