The Notorious JT

From the late nineties onwards, the blistering prose of JT Leroy captivated many, many readers all across the world. Like a cross between Kathy Acker and Dennis Cooper,his fiction resonated, weaving high art from low places. In person,too, Leroy bewitched the literary establishment, a taciturn, androgynous and socially awkward figure in shades, wig and hat.Continue reading “The Notorious JT”

Actually, You Can Judge A Book…

…By looking at the cover, sometimes. Artwork on books is increasingly becoming more important, as it can illustrate the contents beautifully. Some are so gorgeous as to be collectible. One such case is with Angela Carter and her dazzling novel, Nights At The Circus. Her main character, Fevvers, is a stunning, buxom trapeze artist showgirlContinue reading “Actually, You Can Judge A Book…”

Frank Kozik Was Bad-Ass

The American artist, best known for Kidrobot, Labbit the smoking rabbit and his wild, colour- saturated poster designs and graphics has unexpectedly passed away on May 6th at 61. If you grew up in the 90s, you’ll likely be familiar with his band poster images and magazine covers, with a plethora of cheeky, devilish characters.Continue reading “Frank Kozik Was Bad-Ass”

Why ‘The Magic Toyshop’ Endures

It’s almost unthinkable nowadays, but Angela Carter wrote about dark themes like violence and sexuality in fairytales, when no-one else dared. She was completely prescient. In these days of binge watching, we’re used to Netflix shows and horror film tropes, where young women dressed as sexy wicked stepmothers offer apples to pouting Snow Whites, andContinue reading “Why ‘The Magic Toyshop’ Endures”

The Company of Wolves (1984)

Angela Carter… So much to answer for. I first read The Bloody Chamber in 1987 as a young teen, exactly the right time to discover her voluptuous, gory, evocative prose. Her descriptions of sex, death, circuses, films, literature and the theatre were vivid and lucid, patently original. Without het, I question if Guillermo del Toro,Continue reading “The Company of Wolves (1984)”

Burroughs’ Advice For Writers

Burroughs in 1959 by Loomis Dean For me- and I’m sure many other writers relate to this – writing is as much an external process as an internal one. I see writing as an essential living, breathing component, something I have to get out of my system. I often have a need to lasso thoughtsContinue reading “Burroughs’ Advice For Writers”

Book Review: Alex Rigg- Mouth to Mouth: Short Stories 1997-2001

Oceanallover’s artistic director Alex Rigg seems allergic to cliché. His site-specific theatre work- whether in performance, costume, music or text- is never about empty sensationalism; he reacts to, and transforms, the spaces around him. The work is unique, often something otherworldly and satirical. So it is with this collection of his short stories., gorgeously illustratedContinue reading “Book Review: Alex Rigg- Mouth to Mouth: Short Stories 1997-2001”

Why Faster Was Prescient

Written in 1999 by New York author James Gleick, Faster was ridiculously ahead of its time. Gleick, a brilliant science writer with a particular focus on technology and its sociological impact, postulated that the internet and the speed of progress was going to be corrosive, creating a collective burnout. From examining the time people tookContinue reading “Why Faster Was Prescient”

Make It Gorey

As Halloween doth approach e’er closer, I felt it fitting to doff a silken top hat to the great genius of art and literature, Edward Gorey. A true eccentric, Gorey, who wrote luxurious macabre prose augmented by pale, spindly creatures often meeting their untimely demise, wore fur coats and sneakers, oft with moustache and beard,Continue reading “Make It Gorey”

Spock’s Hubris

Say what you like about ol’ William Shatner, he never attempted a book of appalling poetry. Unlike Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy. Perhaps such artistic hubris was due to the fact that said actor shared his first name with Laughing Len Cohen, but let us not ask why. How bad is it? It’s pissed JimContinue reading “Spock’s Hubris”