The Annex

I used to live in Los Feliz. Now I live in Burbank. Every so often, I go back to Los Feliz, and the other night I went to Skylight Books. My favorite thing is the bookstore's Art Annex. It's a few doors down on Vermont and stocked with graphic novels, art books, screenwriting books, photography books, and chapbooks. It's like the creative, mutant, smaller twin to Skylight. While there, I happened across a new book by Dave Cooper, a longtime favorite artist of mine. He's a maker of what could be called comics and a kind of psycho-surrealist. I first fell in love with his work through Ripple, which is a crazy magical work that forces you to think about the body, and sex, and human relations in all kinds of mind-bending new ways. A few weeks ago, when I was at Wacko, I spotted an Eddy Table doll, so I figured something was afoot. In any case, I was delighted to discover the latest work by Cooper at the Art Annex: Mud Bite. What's Mud Bite? It's hard to say. It's the story of a guy with bulging eyes, and a girl with a skin problem, and a river of mud. And there are scary bugs, too. It's a joy to encounter -- filled with curious and awful things, moments of bizarre beauty and strange twists, and oddly enlightening to your soul. Check out the trailer for "The Absence of Eddy Table." Holy cow!

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Last Weekend

Last weekend, I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I'd been to the FoB before, but when it was at UCLA, and it's now at USC, which I'd never been to before. USC is sprawling and nice, but there's something sort of flat and banal about it. Although there is some interesting architecture. I was there to see my friend Matt Young sit on a panel and discuss his new memoir, EAT THE APPLE, which is an amazing and experimental memoir that explores what multiple deployments do to a young Marine's mind. I highly recommend it. I got to meet BLACK HAWK DOWN author Mark Bowden, who was on the panel and discussing his new book, HUE 1968; read his rave of Matt's book in the New York Times. We didn't stay long at the FoB, because there were amazing shrimp tacos to be had at the appropriately named Best Fish Taco in Los Feliz. That inspired choice was thanks to Maggie Waz, a great young, talented, and hilarious writer who has an alter ego that is going to Mars.

Buy "The Tumor" -- a new digital short story that's been called "a masterpiece."

Operation Odessa

If you haven't seen it already, watch "Operation Odessa." It's on Showtime, and it's a fascinating, brilliant, hilarious, gorgeous, energetic documentary involving three guys, a lot of cocaine, and a Russian submarine. If you love hustlers, international intrigue, and strippers, you will love this movie. My favorite character is Nelson Yester, seen here and known as Tony. He's a man with global connections who's the brains behind the operations. He seems unable to resist engaging in whatever series of actions will result in the highest yield with the greatest risk. "Being a player was in my destiny," he pronounces as if to be a man-of-the-underworld is a higher calling.

Buy "The Tumor" -- a new digital short story that's been called "a masterpiece."

Quiet

I took this photo the other day near Fairfax, I think, in Los Angeles. Earlier, I'd been to LACMA. It's a billboard for "A Quiet Place." People responded positively to the image. I like it because it reminded me of the photos I used to take in LA, when I lived here before (I moved back to LA last October). There's something fantastical about LA -- the blurring between reality and fiction, the larger than life facade, the staggering sprawl. I'm very happy to be embedded in it.

My shocking short story "The Tumor" has been called "a masterpiece." Buy it today!

The House

There's a house in the San Fernando Valley that's not far from where I live, and the owner has filled the foliage growing in the section of dirt between the sidewalk and the curb with a collection of curious things. There are inspirational signs, small gnomes, a happy Buddha. I don't know who owns the house or what the purpose of this collection is. Suffice to say, the snake that's hanging in the tree is striking.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor"! It's been called "a masterpiece."

Tough Girls

Not long ago, I went to a strip club in the San Fernando Valley where porn stars and strippers were engaged in cage fighting. I expected it to be something like the WWE, but in reality it was a bit more like the UFC. I spoke to several of the fighters -- all women -- and it occurred to me that maybe fighting wasn't so different from stripping or performing in the adult business. It's about pushing yourself to extremes, taking your body to its limits, and enjoying the spectacle.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor"! It's been called "a masterpiece."

Where Deckard Lived

I made a quick detour up to the Ennis House today, in the hills above Los Feliz. This is the house where Deckard lived in "Blade Runner." Oh, and it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's one of my favorite residential homes in the world. I used to live nearby and would walk by it regularly. Before they stopped doing so, I went on a tour of the place. It is truly extraordinary. For a time, it appeared that it would fall into ruin, but billionaire Ron Burkle bought it, and he saved it. It's still standing.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor"! It's been called "a masterpiece."

Comixxx

I drafted an outline for a comic the other day. It had to do with Porn Valley. I made it on some index cards I had lying around. I used to make comics. You can read one of them, "My, My American Bukkake, Too," on Artbomb. I made that one using photos I took on a porn set, which I ran through a Photoshop process called Stamp, then messed with them to make them how I liked. I should probably do a third one.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor"! It's been called "a masterpiece."