Tag Archives: Story

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.

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

Interview: Marco Kalantari and ‘The Shaman’

Director Marco Kalantari on set of THE SHAMAN

Director Marco Kalantari on set of THE SHAMAN

“God sleeps in stone, Breathes in plants, Dreams in animals, And awakens in man.”
~ Ancient Hindu Proverb

I quoted back to the director one of his favorite proverbs. I was wondering about how it connected with his latest work, “The Shaman.” Marco Kalantari said he was looking for a way to create a synergy between today’s science fiction and ancient legends. And, on that intriguing note, we began our interview. “The Shaman” is definitely something unusual with shades of “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” mixed with a distinctive vision. It is one story with great potential for being expanded into a feature length film. What you’ll come away with the feeling you’ve just seen something unusual. And, if you’re in the New York metro area, you will get a first look at it during the Tribeca Film Festival, April 15-26. Details here.

Marco Kalantari is a talented filmmaker devoted to telling a good story with a quirky twist. His short film, “The Shaman,” (review here) is one of the gems you’ll find at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. His commercial work in the Asian market has led to some of the most remarkable sci-fi inspired mini-movies for such global brands as Nokia, Pepsi, Chevrolet, BMW, HSBC, and Panasonic.

The eccentric Austrian filmmaker started his international career with a Silver Lion in Cannes 2003 for his television commercial for “Medecins Sans Frontiers.” Within a year he became one of the most demanded directors on the Indian TVC market, and soon shot all over Asia, including China, South-East Asia, Hongkong, and Japan. Since 2010 Marco is managed by Savage/Prague in Europe and the US, and by AOI promotions in Japan, being the first foreigner to start such a relationship with a major Japanese production company.

As Kalantari states, he’s been working his way from the East to the West. And it is this Eastern tradition of focusing on stories with vivid characters and intricate worlds which informs his work. He considers himself a “professional dreamer.” In 2006, Buena Vista International released his first movie “Ainoa,” which also travelled to festivals around the world. And it is with “The Shaman” that he further demonstrates his powerful storytelling.

It is a pleasure to share with you my interview with the director. You can listen to it by clicking the link below:

Visit Marco Kalantari and keep up with “The Shaman” right here.

Marco Kalantari’s “The Shaman” will be on view at the Tribeca Film Festival. The first showing will be on Saturday, April 18. For details on The Shaman schedule during the Tribeca Film Festival, go right here.

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Filed under Interviews, movies, science fiction, Tribeca Film Festival

Story: The Girl in the Cafe and an Ionized Environment

Pretty-Girl-Seattle-Cafe-Henry-Chamberlain-art

The Girl in the Cafe and an Ionized Environment
Art and fiction by Henry Chamberlain

She sat at her regular table on the second floor of her favorite cafe. It was the same old crowd. It was a steamy summer day. She had the whole world before her. There was the Space Needle right out the window to keep her company. She made herself comfortable. She wiggled her toes. Someone was overheard saying, “An ionized environment really helps.”

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Filed under Feet, Fiction, Seattle, Story, Storytelling, Style, Technology

Interview: Liz Plourde and Randy Michaels and HOW I MADE THE WORLD

How-I-Made-The-World-Plourde-comics

“How I Made the World,” is an intriguing title, don’t you think? It happens to be the title for a series of comics about Liz, a college student and writer who expresses herself in true epic glory, like any young person should. Now, this is most assuredly a SERIES, not a ONE-SHOT. There may have been a bit of confusion regarding this since the Diamond Previews catalog, the monthly bible for all comics retailers and regular comics buyers, has given the “one-shot” label to this series. Okay, now that we have that cleared up, here is an interview with the creators. It was a pleasure to get to chat for a bit with Liz and Randy.

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Filed under Comics, Interviews, mini-comics, Xeric Grant

Review: LUMBERJANES #1

Lumberjanes-Ellis-Stevenson

“Lumberjanes,” published by Boom! Box, is a comic with repeated allusions to the third eye and offbeat pop culture references. I can understand Joan Jett. But Bessie Coleman? As one of the precocious characters here would ask, “Just what in the junk is going on here, anyway?”

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Comics, Comics Reviews

EAST and WEST: The Significance of Plot Without Conflict

Western narrative, from Still Eating Oranges

Western narrative, from Still Eating Oranges

How do we change the world? It can be as simple as how we see the world. There are numerous influences we need to consider. One is as simple as how we tell stories. In the West, for example, there is a rigidly ingrained method for storytelling, and for communication in general. It has conflict built in that must be confronted and resolved. While it may sound like an overstatement, this method embraces aggression, and violence. Why not try another method and see what results?

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Filed under China, Comics, Japan, Kishōtenketsu, Manga, philosophy, Yonkoma