Welcome to the home of the post-post modern artist, writer, and video maker the Obscure.
Wipe your shoes, clear your mind, and play nice with the other children.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pick of the Now: Morning Star Incense

Image via pearlessenceshop.com
So far, all of my recommendations have been for music, movies, art, books, comics, and more music. It's time I present a THING. Here it is: Morning Star Japanese Incense distributed by Nippon Kodo. I'm constantly burning incense, sage, and candles in my house, so I know a few things about making a place smell like an old stuffy temple. I must say that these Japanese sticks are by far my favorite. First of all, look at the packaging! Seeing these in a store, you feel like you're in the candy section picking out your favorite flavor of Blow-Pop. Each flavor -- I mean scent is radically different from the last, so you really have to go through a few before you can decide on a favorite.

From my experience, I found the Iris and the Mimosa to be a bit too subtle for my liking, but good for atmosphere, Lavender calmed my nerves entirely, Rose got me excited and nostalgic, Vanilla made me hungry for cakes, and Cedarwood and Pine made me feel like I was relaxing in a log cabin. My favorite, and the one I recommend to everybody, is Green Tea. Alas, it is also the rarest and tends not to appear in any shops. However, if you make friends with you local aromatherapy store / New Age hippie shop, you might talk them into ordering it. I did!

Lastly, be aware that incense (anything that burns, really) presents a health risk to your lungs. Use in moderation and in a well-ventilated area. Now excuse me while I go back chain smoking some Pall Malls, chugging a PBR, and shoveling down some McDoubles.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run Wrake (1965-2012)

Without a doubt, one of my favorite animated shorts of all time has got to be "Rabbit" by animator Run Wrake. In this short, we see the pages of a children's storybook come to life as the two children shed their innocent visages and become greedy, knife-wielding brutes. With no dialogue and complex layers of sound, Wrake tells a morality tale like you've never seen. And the labels on everything is so damn cute.
Sadly, Wrake passed away this Sunday at the age of 47. However, he has left behind a legacy of fantastic works in a variety of styles that influenced so many in the animation world. Do yourself a favor and check out some of the late master's works.

Cartoon Brew has more.

Slender Stories, Starting October 26

Banner created by Enigma

Sunday, October 21, 2012

ML: Stinky Cheese, Man

I think my favorite thing to ramble about... I mean properly review... is books, particularly children's books. In the tradition of "Round Trippin'" and "I Spy an I Spy," I present y third book review "Stinky Cheese, Man."

I can say with dignity that this book held the top spot on my list of favorites for many years as its snide humor and delightfully twisted artwork entertained me for a whole decade. Recently, while looking through boxes of my old stuff in search of my old cursed Jade Skull of Ahmitura (Thragh-zweitel-hrophganink!) I found this ol' book and decided to take a look. What a delight. One thing I forgot to mention in the video, though, is that "The Stinky Cheese Man" (the book, not the person) received a Caldecott Honorary Medal.

Oh, and the book has been adapted into a musical on a few occasions.

Watch "Stinky Cheese, Man"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"The Stranger" Danger

So we're all familiar with Albert Camus' short novel "The Stranger" right? If you read it for high school English class, you most likely had this cover.
Simple, slightly eye-catching and sparse... much like the novel. However, while browsing the hundreds of aisles at Chamblins Bookmine in Jacksonville, I came across this brilliant piece of counter-culture art-vomit.
Not sure who those guys are or... why this exists, but... there it is like a prop out of a strange 80's creative adaptation of Lysistrata or some crap. Surely, Camus would be proud.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pick of the Now: Brother Nash

In my search for good local art, I came across a fantastic comic in a store that immediately caught my eye. If you've read my novella "The Demon Bluesman" then you could guess that a story about a supernatural entity roaming the Earth effecting those around him is right up my alley. This is "Brother Nash" by Charlotte artist Bridgit Scheide. Remember that comic series "US 1?" Well this is kind of within that genre... except awesome rather than a punchline on "Atop the 4th Wall." It's like a throwback to that time in the late 70s when truckers ruled the pop-culture planet. CB radios and convoys anyone?

Within the world of Brother Nash, we meet interesting characters both mortal and paranormal, we witness mysterious events, and gaze upon some fantastic art work. The art touches many styles (cartoonish, realistic, expressionist, surrealist) without ever getting pigeon-holed into any one category... as a good comic should.

Issue One is available online via Webcomics Nation, although don't you think buying a physical copy is far better? Isn't it time truckers came back into style, particularly when the story involves ghosts and shape-shifting beasts? Give it a read.

Monday, October 1, 2012

ML: Yelp of the Dead

Hungry? Take a look at my latest addition to Memory Lane "Yelp of the Dead."

Having run out of restaurants to Yelp about, I decide to review some eateries that went the way of the dodo... which, incidentally, I hear was rather delicious. Though I never personally ate at a couple of these locations, the legacies they created can be felt today. Take a look.