Wednesday, November 29, 2006


So here's the MOJO NIXON interview. If you don't know who he is, try this link or the great man's website.

Note that I wrote the questions, while Crackpot Dave actually asked the great man the questions over the phone. This interview also appears over at the entirely more legible

In the mid-eighties, at the height of the Reagan-Thatcher era, there was a lot of earnest arena-protest music, U2, Peter Gabriel, Midnight Oil and the like. Tepid stuff, mostly, lyrics that most people would have a hard time arguing with...war is bad, racism is bad, poverty is bad, etc. Whatever nugget of anger that may have existed in the genesis of the song was so blanketed by studio wash that all you that came across was whining.

But there was one voice that managed cut through the crap by being insensitive, funny and celebratory of sex, 'shrooms, and Bigfoot. That'd be MOJO FUCKING NIXON, of course -- no bullshit lyrics gibbered over some primitive ape-man rock and roll. With one whimpy email, we were able to get Mojo put it all back into perspective.

Who can forget such classics as "I Aint Going to Piss in No Jar", a version of “This Land is Your Land" that was probably intended to rock Wooody Guthrie out of his grave and "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin", about a desired sexual congress with MTV VJ Martha Quinn?

10 Albums and 20 Years later, you cannot kill Mojo Nixon. The rock-n-roll redneck prophet’s latest project, a political rantfest called “Lyin’ Cocksuckers” can now be heard on Sirius Channel 102. You can also hear Mojo Daily on Outlaw Radio, also on Sirius.

On to the interview:

Hail, Mojo.

G: So, a batch of cocksuckers got thrown out of office earlier this month, and have been replaced a whole new batch of hatchling cocksuckers. You think we’re better off?

MOJO: Look, the Republicans and the Democrats have been selling us the same bag of shit with different colors on it. You know it’s just a matter of who’s paying the piper. All politicians are whores. You don’t get elected to the Congress or the Senate without getting somewhere between 5 and a 100 million dollars. So somebody is paying those people and who’s ever payin’ is makin’ them dance. So I don’t think there is that big a difference, but I do think the election was a big FUCK YOU to George Bush and his idiotic Iraq policy. You’re gonna hear a lot of talk, I have a political talk show on Sirius 102 Sirius Stars, my political talk show LYIN’ COCKSUCKERS and you are gonna hear a lot of talk about how Iraq was mismanaged. Which is why we had to fire Rumsfeld. Iraq wasn’t mismanaged. IRAQ WAS A BAD IDEA FROM THE BEGINNING. Iraq has ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY nothing to do with 9-11. Saddam Hussein and Bin Ladin are TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and invading Iraq is possibly -- I mean short of dropping a nuclear bomb on Mecca it was the second dumbest thing we could do.

G:Anyone get elected that seems reasonably human to you?

MOJO: Naw, not really. I didn’t see anybody. There is a Senator from Vermont who claims to be a socialist and looks a little crazy. You know how John MCCain has that far away look in his eye? I know John McCain has kind of transformed himself from Maverick to Conservative stalwart here in the last ten years. Whatever they did to John McCain in the Hanoi Hilton, he’s looking at something REAL FAR AWAY that me and you can’t see. Same thing with the Senator from Vermont. He’s looking at something way off in the horizon. In his eyeball Karl Marx is dancing with Frederick Engels way off in the distance.

G: Michael J. Fox, who in 1987-ish you deemed the anti-Elvis, made an appearance this election season in campaign commercial down in
Missouri. Have you ever met up with the dude? Has he gained Elvisness throughout the years?

MOJO: I’ve never met with Michael J. Fox. AND I STAND BY WHAT I SAID. I will not pretend. I don’t care what kind of disease he’s got. I don’t pretend to be an evil yuppie twit, he shouldn’t pretend to be a rock and roller. In that BACK TO THE FUTURE movie, and in that awful Paul Schrader, Joan Jett thing, LIGHT OF DAY which had the Springsteen song which should have been a great working class rock and roll movie. And it’s a TURD! Because Michael J. Fox is in it. I don’t pretend to be an evil yuppie twit, he should not pretend to be a rock and roller. The idea that he invents duck walking and the Chuck Berry guitar riff.

CHUCK BERRY INVENTED THAT. Well, actually it was the guy from Louie Jordan’s band, but that’s a whole other story. The point being is that there is this Louie Jordan song, Caledonia, the famous Chuck Berry riff that’s at the beginning of Johnny B. Goode and all the Chuck Berry Songs (Mojo Performs Riff Here) that is actually from a Louie Jordan Song, Louis Jordan was kinda rock and roll before rock and roll. He was kinda novelty R&B guy in the late 40’s early 50’s, had a ton of hits. He has that guitar riff in the middle of it, only played half as fast. (Mojo does riff here). The Chuck Berry Riff. Nobody’s inventing anything. Everybody is STEALING something.

But back to Michael J. Fox and stem cell research. It just shows the poverty of the intellect, the poverty of the imgagination to say that somehow you are against abortion but you want to keep people crippled. I don’t understand… if you want to help- I understand the urge to want to help. I understand the urge to feed, to clothe, to heal the sick, to get the people good jobs and houses, to give people hope for people who have no hope but to be so crazy as to say “Oh no we can’t do stem cell research or the government can’t fund stem cell research” We MIGHT do something. Kinda like Iraq MIGHT have weapons of mass destruction and MIGHT have a link to Al-Qaeda. I can’t understand people calling themselves religious and being hateful. To me if a preacher is preaching hate, is preaching you to hate your enemies, to fear God... that’s not religion, that’s not helping humanity, that’s organizing an army to defeat somebody.

G: In his endeavor to become the new governor of the Once Great State of Texas, Kinky Friedman unfortunately did not succeed, but it was nice to have a guy that seemed like a human being rather than a haircut. What was getting out on the road with him like? Did you get the sense that people were excited by him?

MOJO: RICHARD KINKY BIG DICK FRIEDMAN, talked to him the other day.I got a great sense that people are sick and tired or regular politics. They’re sick and tired of people just standing there lying. Ya know politicians play this game “oh you know I am lying and I know I am lying but for the sake of political correctness, I have to lie”

Kinky just said what the fuck was on his mind. Ya know from one perspective Kinky should have gotten NO votes. He should have got one or two percent. He got twelve or thirteen percent. He got half a million votes, so that in and of itself is CRAZY, man. A Jewish comedic alt country singer song writer post-Chandler detective novelist gets a half a million votes in TEXAS? It’s amazing. But the other side of the equation is, there was one point in the middle of the summer when I was looking at the polls, I mean I can go online and look at the polls, Kinky was at about 24 percent. The Governor, the incumbent hand picked by George Bush to succeed him, Rick Perry was a bout 33%. All Kinky needed was for Rick Perry to get caught fucking a sheep or something and he could have WON! I talked to Kinky the other day after the election, I’m in San Diego and I called him and thanked him for letting me come along and you gave a good fight and he’s like:

“Now I can I tell you all the damn nasty perverted sex jokes I wanted to tell you during the campaign”

And there is a tape, a friend of Kinky’s, Kinky’s old manager Cleve, Cleve is an old time Austin Hippie and was Kinky’s right hand man for years, he got pushed out during the campaign. Cleve got me a job at a porno magazine. I was doing this thing called the “Poontango Report”

Cleve got a job there and said “Touring rock-N-Roll is gonna kill us. We’re gonna get jobs as editors of Porno Magazines”

I’m like HELL YA. This is a great idea. The greatest thing about working for a porno magazine -- one thing is -- you can say whatever the hell you want! SHIT, NO ONE’S READIN IT! Second thing is, my wife would come out and I would have all these porno magazines out on the floor, and she’d go “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?”

I’m looking at the competition, Baby.

So anyways, Cleve’s wife was sick. There was a big benefit for her down in Austin and I went. There were doing some kind of webcast through Digital Club Network. And they say you and Kinky gotta go into this little room and just talk for ten minutes. Kinky said some of the nastiest, craziest, perverted, shit you have ever heard in your life. If they had found the tape Kinky would have gotten negative votes.
Had they found the tape, they would have killed Kinky. They woulda killed Kinky and me. My head would be on Kinky’s body right now. Luckily they didn’t find the tape.

That’s one of Mojo’s rules. No audio, no video evidence. LET THE MYTHS BEGIN MY FRIENDS!!!

G: Mojo, what gives with this alt-country? What’s “alt” about it and what’s country about it? Who would you claim to be the godfathers of Alt-Country?

MOJO:There is a lot, Ryan Adams and No Depression and there is a bunch of snooze grazing sensitive fucks who think that Gram Parsons is the second coming of Bob Dylan that is giving this whole thing a bad name. Kinda of Poindexter types who think too much. The Alt-Country that I am interested in is the “Fuck You” alt country. You know that picture of Johnny Cash giving the finger? Johnny Cash giving the finger, David Allen Coe, THE BEAT FARMERS, the Blasters, you know, George Jones.


You know, his wife takes the keys away from him. So he drives the lawnmower to the liquor store.

THAT’S what I am talking about.

When country and rock and roll come together… Joe Ely. Joe Ely is the perfect artist. Too country for Rock-n-Roll… Too Rock-N-Roll for country. Steve Earle. He’s been married seven times and had to get off of heroin nine different ways.

Steve Earle has a nice FUCK YOU attitude.

G: What are you rocking out to these days? Do you still tour with the Sonic Love Jug?

MOJO: Naw, I’m retired from touring. We came out of retirement to help Kinky get on the ballot in the Spring, that almost killed me. Sonic Love Jug has been retired for ten years. I haven’t been playing much at all. My bass player Earl Friedman… his wife, something of a hussy, left him. Went off with some other guy. We might have to get the band together next year to get Earl Friedman laid.

We’re not doing it for me. We’re doing it so Earl can get some new poontang.

G: What sort of voodoo is needed to kill Nashville once and for all?

MOJO: Oh, it’ll never die. Nashville.

The thing that you always have to remember is that Britney Spears and Madonna have more in common with today’s Nashville than today’s Nashville has in common with Loretta Lynne and Hank Williams. Those people CAN’T WAIT TO SELL OUT. They’re selling out on the way out.

Selling real hillbilly music is a niche market. It’s like selling Zydeco or Ska or Bluegrass or Rockabilly. There are only so many people that like that kind of music, right?

Occasionally someone may make the cross to the mainstream, someone doing real country music. But they don’t care anything about that; it’s just pop music to them and it has been for a long time.

And most of the guys in Nashville are really just doing the Springsteen, Fogerty, Bob Seger, Johnny Cougar three chord rock. They’re not country. They have more in common with John Cougar than with Hank Williams.

And Garth Brooks, he’s a problem. Garth Brooks biggest influence was James Fucking Taylor; James Taylor and KISS… and he makes both of them look good! You’ve got to imagine, these guys grew up in the 70’s, the guys who are the pretty boy country singers now.

You know I was out with Sirius doing Outlaw Country and Keith Urban played and everyone talked about how good he palyed.

HE STUNK. He was awful. HE put the M in mediocre. I called him Mr. Nicole Kidman and almost got fired.

But hell, it was worth it.

G: In the 80’s you were a vocal opponent of the War on Drugs, suggesting “we should have a war on wars.” Whatever happened to the War on Drugs, did we win? Is it still going on?

MOJO: Oh, it’s still gong on. Police Departments are still getting money. Sooner or later this will all go away. The War on Drugs is still going on.

It’s good business for the jailers, for the prosecutors, for the police departments getting grant money. You know, getting a piece of that DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) grant money so they can buy a tank. The War on Drugs will never be won. There will always be a sheriff in a small town in the middle of nowhere who will turn his head for five minutes for $100,000. In fact, where I grew up in Danville, Virginia… just one county over in Martinsville, Virginia they just had a big deal where the local police who don’t get paid much money were confiscating the drugs from the drug dealers and selling it back to them at 80% of the dealers’ selling price.

They just got caught doing that.

That’s always going to happen.

Eventually all drugs will be legalized. You know people get on their high moral horse. As long as cigarettes and alcohol are legal, you have no moral foot to stand on. As long as drug companies are on the T.V. advertising WHAM-A-SEX or whatever the fuck it is, a purple pill, you have no moral foot to stand on.

Why can’t we, as adults, pick and choose what drugs to kill ourselves with? We’re all going to die, I want to die happy.

G: How’s radio treating you? Lying Cocksuckers, your show on Sirius Satellite, is one of the finest of all frequency modulated products currently available to peckerwoods like me.

MOJO: It’s going fantastic. I was working for awhile for Clear Channel, I went to Cincinnati in 1998, I got fired from talk radio there twice. I was working on a morning show from WNEN and I learned a lot about radio, but I was being handcuffed quite a bit. So I came back to San Diego and I was doing afternoon drive on KGB. I was making a ton of money, but I was not happy. This Sirius thing, Outlaw Country and Lyin Cocksuckers is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

I can play anything I want. Once a week, I play “Tie My Pecker to My Leg” by ME.


I can say “George Jones sings so good it makes your dick hard. Mojo Nixon, Sirius Satellite Radio.”

And then, I am doing this out of my house is San Diego.

So I can say anything I want, I can do anything I want. I’ve got little to no supervision. On LYIN’ COCKSUCKERS, I even tested it one time to see if someone was secretly listening and say “Oh. No you can’t go that far”

I did fucking ten minutes about Barbara Bush having a clit like a hot dog. Her clit is so big it has little clit’s orbiting around it. NOBODY SAID NOTHING!


G: It’s jive, of course, that truly interesting adult type conservation is banished to subscription radio, for the Sake of the Children. Who are these Children and how’d they become such tyrannical bunch of assholes?

MOJO: I don’t know. This whole idea of family values. Ya know, how do you make a family?

Ya make a family by fucking. How do you fuck? By getting nekkid.

So, the two greatest family values are nekkid people fucking.

G: You just started a new Nascar Show on Sirius in addition to Lying Cocksuckers…

MOJO: I just did my preview the other day. It went great. I have been preparing my whole life to do a NASCAR talk show. I think it will all work out real good.

G: Tell me about Nascar. I don’t get it. I don’t get the fans. I don’t get the sport. Enlighten me.

MOJO: I love racing. Did you ever race a Go-Kart as a kid? You go into the turn and there is point when you go too fast and you are going to hit the turn too fast and spin out and hit the wall. There’s another part when you are going too slow. Then there is the racing part when you are in between, on the razor’s edge of adhesion. If you go much faster than that or you break a little less you are going to wreck. If you do it just right, well then, you’ll beat the guy behind you. I grew up around it down South. My Daddy was a big fan.


I love smelling the rubber. I love hearing the sound of the engines, seeing the flames coming out of the exhaust. I love seeing three guys going for one spot down the back straight away. AHH!

You know, it’s really just three guys from North Carolina turning left for no reason. You know what it really is?

It’s an existential need to fill the void, the emptiness that you feel inside. I know your life is empty. I know traditional religion and Lama Lama New Age shit is not fulfilling your life. I’m fulfilling my life with a bunch of rednecks from North Carolina turning left for no good reason. HAHAHAHA!

G: Let me just say that your album “Bo-Day-Shus!!” hipped the teenage me to the fact there were alternatives to wearing khakis and listening to Phil Collins, or wearing eyeliners and listening to Depeche Mode. So, I owe you. Records, you making any?

MOJO: I don’t think so. I made a record around eight years ago called SOCK RAY BLUE, nobody gave a shit. I spent a lot of time on it, writing songs and it’s about the best record I could have made.

I COULD make another record that would be just a different version of SOCK RAY BLUE.

But FUCK, I made ten records, ain’t that enough? I keep thinking I am going get a lot better as singer or a songwriter or a guitar player, but I’m not, I’m a one trick pony. I got three or four kinds of songs I can write and play. They’re okay, but they’re not great.

What people really liked was coming to the show and seeing the monkey show. The greatest thing about the show was Hell Fuck you didn’t know what I was going to say. HAHAHAHAHA. Hell, I didn’t know either.

And DEPECHE MODE: how come they didn’t die in a plane crash? Lynard Skynard gets killed in a plane crash and DEPECHE MODE is as alive as a motherfucker.

G: Who is the biggest lyin’ cocksucker of them all?

MOJO: You know I would tempted to say George Bush, but you know he is just…

You know who the biggest lying cocksucker is? The biggest lying cocksucker of all time is whoever convinced us that the act of creating life is dirty. And that we should be ashamed and we should be ashamed our naked bodies. I really don’t believe that there is a god in the traditional sense of the word. If there is a devil.. that’s who it is.

WHO TRICKED US? Who somehow tricked us into being ashamed of our bodies and creating life? THAT is greatest lying cocksucker of them all.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Uncle Steve Gets Busted

My brother Steve is a goof. He's older than me by a decade, and it's readily apparent to anyone who has spent anytime with him is he an oldest child. He assumes the mantle of arbitrary tyrant with a remarkable souciance. In other words, he's comfortable being an ass whenever it amuses him.

This past Halloween at a cookie decorating party at the house my incredibly talented baker sister, he made Ruby cry, teasing her that he was going to take her dollar, taking it much further than was appropriate for a five year old. Ruby, not one to pull punches, let him know he was being a jerk. Her auntie did a good job of comforting Ruby.

The incident has all the markings of an incipient family legend -- "The Halloween That Uncle Steve Made Ruby Cry."

We recently went back to my sister's house for another family function, and Steve seemed a bit chastened and Ruby's defenses were on high alert. They kinda had a little truce for the evening and played nicely together, the 47 year old and the 5 year old.

Despite the truce, however, Ruby didn't forget the Halloween debacle, and the whole 30 minute drive home, she kept mentioning her desire to get even with Uncle Steve. Ruby is a straight up grrrl.

I told my sister about Ruby's scheming in the car, and we laughed about it, and then I forgot the incident.

Now, fast forward to Thanksgiving, this past Thursday. I have Statcounter installed... it's a nifty little free service that tells you who visited your site, how they got there, their visit path, etc.

Spread out over hours on Thanksgiving, someone in Livermore, the very town where my brother lives searched obsessively across the site for blog entries that included the terms "Steve", "Brother", "Car", "Ruby". What a psycho!

The criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Just Call Me The Berkeley-Beijing Axis.

A mystical valley of Chinese provenance.

Am back, like the resurrection of the fucking Christ. Beijing is a crazy, tiring city, a lot of fun, but a lot of work.

So, this is what I learned:

*Beijing has amazing sushi.

*Rickshaw drivers really, really want to take you to your hotel for a lot of money.

*A program of 24 hour construction on hundreds of highrises is bad for the air. (There is going to be a mortarium on construction in Beijing for the year prior to the Olympics, so they are going full bore up until the deadline. There are miles and miles of empty skins, waiting for their guts. It's surreal.)

*Little kids like to practice their English.

*Lane markers on Chinese highways are sort of vague recommendation for position, particularly if you are a giant truck.

*The Beijing art scene is wonderful and legit.

*There are several systems for the Romanization of Chinese words (using western letters to spell Chinese words, in other, uh, words), and when your map uses one and the street signs of Beijing use another, you are in for a long, long walk.

*Chopstick shops are big business, I guess that's not really that surprising, but the concept of the chopstick showroom wasn't one I was prepared for.

*The warriors who manned The Great Wall must have had tight, pert buttocks with all that stairclimbing. Seriously.

*It's the Chinese's century. It really is. Good luck, guys. Unblock Blogger in the meantime.

Friend Dave manned the Mojo Nixon interview and did an amazing job. Will be posted soon.

If you're one of my countrypeople, Happy Thanksgiving. If you are a North American of a boreal dispostion, happy belated Thanksgiving. Everyone else, have a swell Thursday or Friday per local custom.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

My globalization breakfast

Had at the hotel buffet:

2 Beef Shu Mai

A pork bun

A banana

A cup of yogurt

Pot of Earl Grey

Fruit Salad (with yummy white Kiwifruit)

A pair of bacon rashers

A puffy South African blathering on and on at the next
table about supplychain issues.

A short memoir about a year spent on the police
department of a sleepy village in Cape Cod,

I am now going to walk to a store run by a Canadian
and a Pom.


You know what would be really, really funny?

This: an overfed American business doofus staying at
an overstuffed hotel in Beijing complained about
globalisation. Why? Because he can't find any cool
"authentic" local toys to take to his hyperactive
moppets at home. That'd be hilarious.


In Beijing, the City of the Itchy Throat.

I'm in Beijing for a week or so, blogging via email
because the PRC government thinks that the Bastard of
Art and Commerce is seditious or something. Blogger is
a url non grata, and just like parts of and
Wikipedia. So, nyah.

My mo on these trips is to hate a city the night I
arrive, then poke around the next day and decide it's
actually pretty great. The bureaucracy of arrival and
inevitable 1 hour ride on a strange highway to a site
unseen always gets me down, as does checking in to
hotels. The first nights' dinner is also trying, as
it's usually involves some jocularity on the part of
the in-country production company's rep, taking the
group to a 'special' restuarant that only locals go
to, usual to eat some form of horse penis. Or bull's
penis in this case of this past evening. Szechuan hot
pot. Didn't eat the bull dong, looked vaguely like
calamari. Being up 24 hours straight (can't sleep on
planes) makes me less adventurous, vis a vis organ
meats. The rest of the food was delicious, however.

The next day the smell gets to me. Not true in all
cities, of course. But in Beijing it is. It's this
weird combo of saffron and diesel that's everywhere.
It's not even a bad smell, necessarily. It's just so
<i>there</a>, everywhere, like the cooking of the city
gets trapped in the smog. The physiological result of
this shroud is a niggling itchy throat.

But Beijing is an impressive city, full of little
quiet lanes and very wide bike lanes. I took me fat
ass out for bike ride with some colleagues to see the
Forbidden City and Mao's tomb. It was a lot of fun,
and people are friendly. Lots of little kids
practicing their English for their future dominating
the globe. It doesn't seem like a tired city, it's all
go-go for the Olympics. The construction is 24 hours,
7 days a week, and they're expanding the subway lines
from two to seven in just a few years' time. Crazy.

Mao's tomb was fascinating. It's a like funeral that's
been going on for forty years. Thousands of people
cycle through every day, and it's odd to be in a quick
moving line (seriously, if your shoes are untied
that's how they're going to stay for the duration as I
found out. I also experienced the high tolerance the
Chinese adult male has for having his hand pressed to
the fleshy backside of a corpulent American male for
twenty minute intervals) that's dead silent. In the
Masouleum itself you enter a huge room where a giant
white marble statue of Mao smiles at you from a big
comfy chair done up in Chinoise upholstery. And if you
are a superfan, you can purchase a yellow rose outside
(wasn't aware Mao was a Texan) to lay at his feet.

You're in the this antechamber for all of 7 minutes,
then you enter Da Show, Mao's carcass draped in a
hammer and sickle flag in a glass coffin, waiting for
his prince to come. There's a soft spot light on Mao's
head, which for the life of me looks like it's been
carved out of butter. The China Dairy Council must
have paid some boucoup buckage for that product

You're in there for maybe four minutes, just long
enought to notice that the trademark Mao mole just
isn't there. Then you are shot out directly into the
gift shop, just like Epcot.

Stopped at this huge tourist clothes store, where you
can buy weird knockoff crap (the Burberry tuff was
labeled "Brrrbry". Need a vowel there fucktard.) It's
this crazy five story haggle store with these little
booths. One of the shop girl kept asking me "Why not
get a t-shirt, Happy Buddha?"

Perhaps it was her comment that prompted me to get a
bathing suit and go swimming at the hotel. It's this
sassy little lyrca number that says "Swimming!!" on
the side. Think I might forget this one in the room
come tuesday.

The hotel, the Peninsula, is really posh and all that,
with some kind of douchebag shopping arcade at the
bottom filled with douchey luxury brands. Oh, and a
hooker bar. Want to find the hookers in any given
city? Travel on business.

Tomorrow we go to the Wall, to shoot some footage for
a commercial. That should be amazing. More later...

Rediscover idiocy. Bastard of Art and Commerce.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Interview: Jim, maker of incredibly strange and profane toys.

Obviously, this is not Jim

Friend and sometime commute pal Jim comes from an incredibly large and talented family of musicians, authors, editors, and other sort of fancy pants bohemians.

Jim himself is an author, but the kicker for me is he is also a toymaker. Jim is a co-founder of StrangeCo., “Purveyors of the Peculiar”. He’s also a bit of an art toy evangelist. Here’s a briefish email interview with Jim. He’s cool.

G: So you make… dolls? Toys? Objects d’Art? Thingies? What do you call them?

J: We make collectible vinyl toys, based on original designs by independent artists. They're known by all sorts of descriptive terms - Designer Toys, Urban Vinyl, Art Toys, Fashion Toys.... I do like Thingies, though, certainly the most concise.

In our host high falutin’ moments, we like to think that we are creating accurate, fun 3-D representations of a particular artist's 2-D character design, an in the process making affordable pieces of sculpture art - kind of like a vinyl limited edition print.

G: Who designs them?

J: We work with quite a number of artists, actually, most of whom have had some success in one form of subculture art mode or another - street artists, independent cartoonists, illustrators, etc. To bat around some names for your avid readers: Mars-1,Jim Woodring,Ron English,Friends With You,Gary Baseman,Tim Biskup,Todd Schorr,Kathy Steico-Schorr,tokidoki.... there's a ton more and even more that we'd like to work with, but hey - can't take up too much room in your blog, eh?

G: Do you have an art background?

J: I'm more a man of letters, but I certainly appreciate good visual art.

G: Is “playability” considered when creating your stuff, or is it meant for the shelf?

J: It's actually more about "poseability" than playability - the toys we make usually have a few points of articulation (arms, legs, and neck are the general standard), so you can move the character into a couple of different postures. But we see the advantage of playability, too - we'd like to make the perfect desk fiddler for those nervous moments of pause between typing on the computer and answering the telephone.

G: You’ve commissioned some heavy hitting underground and fancy pantsy comic artists, like Peter Bagge and Jim Woodring. Do they dig what you’re doing? Do the artist ever get hands-on with the production stuff?

J: Yeah, both of those guys like what's going on with the weird toy
thing. It's an opportunity to take ideas that would otherwise only
exist in 2 dimensions and turn it into 3-D, and still retain some of
the feel of a mass-produced publication.

G: How big is the market for art toys in the US versus, say, Japan?

J: Japan, I think, has a more established toy collector culture, and is always "cooler" than the United States. But for what we do, the US
and Europe are bigger markets.

G: You just got back from the San Diego ComicCon. It’s interesting to me because your stuff has more of an urban culture feel in contrast with the whole men-in-tights thang that I associate with Comic cons. How do the more straight ahead comic fanboys approach you guys?

J: Well, Mr. Mills, it just ain't your granddaddy's comic con any more. The San Diego Comic Con is huge now, encapsulating way more than the normal superhero fare. A lot of people attend comic con specifically for the contemporary art angle. Ralph Bakshi has a booth at Comic Con, and this year I met Moebius. How cool is that? With that said, the folks in Batman costumes either like what we do or are indifferent to it. There's something for everyone at comic con now.

G: So, at your desk, it’s late, no one is around. Do you bust out some figures and start making explosion sounds?

J: I have a new USB hub on my desk that makes an auto-destruct sound when you flip a switch, I suppose to stand in for those times when you really feel like blowing up your computer. It makes a nice explosion sound, without me having to screw my face up and risk spittle all over my desk.

G: Can you guarantee that none of your figure will come to life and stab me to death in my sleep?

J: No Chuckies that I'm aware of. You're in good shape and can rest easy.

G: You’ve got smallish kids in your home. Do you play the “Dude, I’m a freakin’ toymaker. You are living with a goddamn TOYMAKER. Do you even comprehend HOW RAD THAT IS?” card very often?

J: Nathaniel, my eldest, who's in 2nd grade, took one of the toys that we sell to his class sharing day. He's already spreading the mystique around without any prompting be me, so I'm saving this card for an occasion of maximum effect. In the mean time, I prefer to rule with an iron fist - with an occasional boom explosion sound, runaway spittle and all.

Next up: possibly the promised Mojo Nixon interview?? We shall see. Mojo is a talker not a typer, so friend Dave is going to interview him over the phone. I’m going to China on a business trip, so Dave is handling the interrogation, which works out because I have a horrible, nasally voice.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

What I do at my idiotic job.

Here’s some short commercials I made a month or so ago. Kind of funny.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Guest Post: Paula is drunk.

Paula (the wife) went out with the girls and came home shit-housed. This is what she posted to her blog, drunk:

Listen, I am drunk!

Greg thinks I am drunk. Just because I tried to draw on his face with a permanent marker! I just wanted to draw a little Hitler mustache... something subtle.

I just got home from drinking with the ladies. But I am not done partying for the night. Greg is opening a bottle of wine.

I got carded at the Mallard, and some chick came up to me and said "Amelia!" and when she realized I was not Amelia, she explained that Amelia is some friend of hers that is the life of the party or some shit. That's me alright. Life of the fucking party.

We almost got hit with billard balls many times at the Mallard. They whizzed by our heads. Crack! They hit the wall behind our heads. I am suprised I didn't get hit in the head with a billard ball.

I guess when I am drunk I say "Listen, Greg..." over and over.

Greg cannot find a bottle opener. He is a man. Men don't know where the bottle openers are. It's in the fucking drawer by the dishwasher! If you can't fucking find it, use your damn teeth. It's simple, really.

I have to go hiking soon. I better go to bed. But first, a glass of wine.

The ladies are great. We are planning a big hike. How is it that we are always hiking and planning more hikes? That's what we do. Hike. Or drink and make dinner. Or shop. Three things. Hike. Drink. Shop. In any combination. Tommorrow it's hike and shop. Jeremy's is slashing prices *again*. 20% off 50% off. You do the math.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

A major-ish interview is coming up.

Major-ish to me anyway. Mojo Nixon. A hero of my youth and a truly great man. Pal Dave emailed his publicist and I'm going to interview him for Dave's little Internets,

I'm all giddy!