Archive for November, 2016

Library Addition: Two Signed Books

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Here are two signed books I picked up during the most recent Half Price Books coupon sale:

  • Buckell, Tobias, The Apocalypse Ocean. Self-published, 2012. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Buckell: “To Sarah,/Tobias Buckell.” Originally offered at $50 through Kickstarter. Bought for $6.39.



  • Kaufman, Lloyd and Adam Jahnke. The Toxic Avenger: The Novel. Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2006. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine copy with a crease to bottom front corner. Inscribed by Kaufman: “To Cynthia & Kazuyoshi/Toxie Loves You!/Lloyd Kaufman.” Novelization of the cult film by its writer/director. Bought for $6.98 (though at one point Half Price had it marked at $50).



  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Peaked at Tony Sarg

    Thursday, November 24th, 2016

    I dislike Macy’s (for numerous reasons I need not detail here) and am bored by parades, but when I came across this image of an early balloon from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I thought it was so cool it must be fake:

    Turns out that not only is it real, but it was among the very first balloons featured in the parade, and was designed by a man named Tony Sarg:

    In 1921, Tony Sarg, a celebrated illustrator and puppeteer, bought a home on Nantucket and eventually opened a toy store in town. From his off-island studios nestled in Times Square, Sarg’s artwork appeared on the covers of magazines, on the pages of children’s books, and eventually in Macy’s department store window displays. Beginning in 1924, Macy’s held an annual Christmas parade to celebrate the holiday shopping season in New York City, and appointed Tony Sarg as its chief designer.

    After three years of the Christmas Parade, in November 1927, the president of Macy’s, Jesse Strauss, announced to America that the parade was going to take it up a notch, way up. The press and the people of New York City swelled with anticipation, all waiting to see what Tony Sarg had in mind. At one o’clock, Thanksgiving Day 1927, Sarg unveiled his lofty creations—first a twenty-one-foot balloon man that peeked into second story windows and then a jaw-dropping sixty-foot-long balloon dragon. The balloons were a huge hit, and have been the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Day Parade ever since.

    Later he used the same balloon (or a modified version of it) to hoax the media that there was a sea serpent out on Nantucket. What a card.

    Anyway, I don’t think Macy’s has had a balloon in the parade nearly as interesting since.

    Insert your own (SFW) Man from Nantucket limerick below.

    Colin Furze’s Insane (Yet Functional) Turkey Cooking Device

    Thursday, November 24th, 2016

    This is from last year, but I thought it would be perfect to save for Thanksgiving.

    Bon appetit, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    The Annual William Shatner Warning Not To Set Yourself on Fire Frying a Turkey

    Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

    In the now-annual tradition, I bring you a public service announcement from William Shatner: try not to set yourself on fire while frying a turkey.

    Behold the Shatner!

    For those with low Shatner thresholds, the advice is:

  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil.
  • Turn off the flame when lowering the turkey into the oil.
  • Use the metal dingus to lower it in.
  • Always fry your turkey away from your house.
  • Properly thaw the turkey before cooking.
  • Use a grease-approved fire extinguisher.
  • If you’re going to fry a turkey, this is pretty sound advice.

    Library Addition: Crowley’s Chemical Wedding

    Monday, November 21st, 2016

    Here’s an item I picked up backing the Kickstarter:

    Andreae, Johann Valentine and John Crowley. The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz: A Romance in Eight Days. Small Beer Press, 2016. First edition hardback, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued. Crowley’s version of the classic work of allegorical, alchemical fiction originally published in Germany in 1616, introduced and annotated by Crowley with two color illustrations. Bought for backing the Kickstarter to the tune of $30.


    The Lame Excuse Books Page Has Been Updated

    Sunday, November 20th, 2016

    The Lame Excuse Books Web Page has been updated.

    I’ve just started work on the next Lame Excuse Books catalog, so drop me a line if you’d like to receive it via email.

    Library Addition: Michael Swanwick Signed Poem on Leaf

    Friday, November 18th, 2016

    Here’s an incredibly odd (and likely fragile) item:

    Swanwick, Michael. Signed Poem on Leaf. Dragonstairs Press, 2016. First edition. Note: Signed poem on leaf is a description more than a title, since it’s literally a leaf with a poem written on one side, and signed, numbered (4/20) and dated “2016” by Swanwick on the other. This just showed up unexpectedly in the mail. In cardboard sleeve stating “For a friend of/Dragonstairs Press” and the shipping envelope.



    Library Addition: Signed First of Robert Bloch’s The King of Terrors

    Thursday, November 17th, 2016

    Another signed first edition I was able to pick up cheap:

    Bloch, Robert. The King of Terrors. Mysterious Press, 1977. First edition hardback, #129 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Near Fine slipcase with a few white marks to black slipcase at heel. Currey A, page 46. Flanagan, Robert Bloch: A Bio-Bibliography, page 49. Won off eBay for $21.50. I also have Bloch’s Out of the Mouths of Graves by the same publisher in the limited edition.


    Live Action Ghost in the Shell Trailer Drops

    Monday, November 14th, 2016

    I was pleasantly surprised to get to the end of the trailer and not automatically think “Boy, this is going to suck.”

    It might still suck, but it looks like they’re making a good-faith effort to capture the postcyberpunk vibe at the heart of the franchise. Never mind that I’m a much bigger fan of GitS:SAC than I am of the original movies, and that the movie leans much more heavily on the latter. (“No Tachikomas for you!”)

    Mood: Cautious optimism.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Japanese babY

    Sunday, November 13th, 2016

    Japanese babY [CIC] hails from Krasnodar, Russia. Here they are with a live version of “Твое солнце.” No, I don’t know how to pronounce that. The sound’s a little raw, as you might expect from a live club recording, but the riffs are tasty.

    Influences seem to be Jesus and Mary Chain, Sigur Ros, and maybe just a tiny hint of Laibach.