Tag Archives: Americana

Story & Review: Dive Bar Shirt Club and The Giant Jackalope

The Giant Jackalope illustration by Henry Chamberlain

It is always a pleasure to review anything that falls within the category of attire or accessory in the geek lifestyle. So, Comics Grinder is very happy to share with you Dive Bar Shirt Club. As the name implies, this is a club devoted to shirts. Each month you get a quality shirt honoring a dive bar chosen for its distinction and originality. A new dive bar design is featured every month and, once that month is up, that shirt is retired forever.

We all seek distinction and originality. It’s another way of simply saying that we are attracted to things that are cool. I was on the road, during a carefree summer in my youth, when I spotted what had to be the best roadside attraction I’d ever seen. It was an homage to the jackalope, that staple of Americana, the cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope. This sucker was huge and it was perched atop a glorious dive bar. It was a warm summer night that seemed to promise adventure. I had to walk in.

Inside the bar, I did a double-take. The place was immaculate. I was expecting it to be a well-worn, musty, and gaudy place. But, no, this place was classy. And there was no carryover of the jackalope theme. Instead, the red leather booths were nicely kept and all the brass piping was polished. There were a couple of gents in suits looking very retro. Again, I was expecting a far more casual vibe. The waitress was a beauty all done up in a vintage dress. All this seemed too formal for a place in the middle of nowhere. I was outside a little town in Texas, not a Vegas casino in the ’50s.

Her name was Sadie. “What will you have, stranger?” she asked with the longest lashes I’d ever had the pleasure to admire.

I’d had a good look at the list of mixed drinks. When I read it on the menu, I had to have it. “I’ll take The Jackalope.”

Sadie just stared at me. Her eyes grew wide. With a tremble in her voice, she asked, “You mean, The Jackalope, right?”

“Yes,” I said firmly, “I’m here for The Jackalope!”

I must have raised my voice because the two fugitives from “Mad Men” turned to have a good look at me. They proceeded to get up from their booth and walk over to me.

“You’re really here for The Jackalope?”

I think I lost it at that point. “I don’t know what you people mean!” I yelled and ran out the front door.

I was heading for my car when it dawned on me. I slowly turned around and looked up. There it was. It hissed and glared at me. Then, with a mighty leap, that monster flew up into the air like the most lucid nightmare. This was followed by a massive thud which was quickly followed by the lightening speed of a creature from hell. And, hell yes, it was distinctive and original!

If you’re like me, you desire that added spice, that distinction and originality. You too can find it in a unique t-shirt from Dive Bar Shirt Club. In the video below, I’m sporting just the ticket. This Dive Bar Shirt Club t-shirt celebrates Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa, California. This is one awesome combination of style and comfort.

Visit Dive Bar Shirt Club right here.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Americana, Beer, Fashion, pop culture, Style

The Troubled Genius of Al Capp

copyright © Capp Enterprises, Inc.

copyright © Capp Enterprises, Inc.

Denis Kitchen is a name synonymous with comics. An opportunity to discuss comics with him is to be treasured. Micahel Dooley interviews Denis Kitchen for Print Magazine’s Imprint blog about his latest project, a biography of master cartoonist, Al Capp. It is co-written with Michael Schumacher and entitled, “Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary,” which you can find here.

copyright © Capp Enterprises, Inc.

copyright © Capp Enterprises, Inc.

Al Capp was a larger-than-life pop culture icon without equal. His career is unique in every way. Never before, and never again, will there be such a comic strip superstar. Given a few more years, there won’t be any newspaper comic strips because there won’t be any newspapers. But, once there was a time when newspapers and comics strips were held in very high regard and an integral part of life. And, at the height of that era, there was one king of comics, Al Capp, creator of the transcendent comic strip, “Li’l Abner.”

Unfortunately, Al Capp was not without huge flaws. Despite his command of beautiful women with his ink brush renderings, he had great problems with actual flesh-and-blood women. It is documented that he attempted to rape a number of women, from college co-eds to Grace Kelly. Does it take away from his reputation? Yes, indeed, it does, as it should. However, the art, the career, and the accomplishment remains.

You can read the interview here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Al Capp, American History, Comic Strips, Comics, Humor, Li'l Abner, politics, pop culture, Satire

COMIC-CON 2012: DAVID LASKY

It is my honor to call David Lasky my friend. I’ve known him for many years as a wonderfully supportive fellow artist. While he wasn’t at Comic-Con this year, the book he, and Frank M. Young, have been working on for many years graces the cover of the Abrams ComicArts brochure for 2012 featuring an amazing line-up of titles and including new arrivals. What you see on the cover is pure David Lasky art. It is his own distinctive style that he has worked so very hard to cultivate. Mr. Lasky’s art is a force to be reckoned with! “The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song” chronicling the first major country music group, comes out in October, 2012. It is a 192 page hardback with a CD of Carter Family songs! Funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, this is must-have for anyone who loves comics, art, history and music.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abrams ComicArts, Art, Comics, Music