Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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R.I.P. Riz Ortolani

January 23, 2014

Oh man, today’s a sad day for all fans of Italian genre films. The word just started spreading on Facebook with this Italian article being shared, and now it has been confirmed by Bloody Disgusting.com that composer Riz Ortolani passed away in Rome at the age of 87.

With a most impressive list of credits to his name, genre fans will probably remember him for composing the score for Ruggero Deodato‘s infamous Cannibal Holocaust. R.I.P.

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R.I.P. Mike Vraney

January 3, 2014
courtesy Something Weird Video.

courtesy Something Weird Video.

Oh man, I just heard via a friend online, and roughly five minutes ago Something Weird Video confirmed the really sad news via their official Facebook:

In Memorium
MIKE VRANEY
Founder of Something Weird
December 29, 1957 to January 2, 2014

We regret to tell you that Something Weird’s founder, Mike Vraney, passed away on January 2, 2014 after a long heroic battle with lung cancer. He was 56 years old, way too young to leave this planet. There was still so much Mike wanted to do in his life, so many films to be found, and adventures to be embarked upon.

This sad news may come as a shock to most of you. Mike was a very private person and didn’t want anyone, except his closest friends, family and colleagues, to know about his illness. He went through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments for over a year, but sadly the cancer spread and cruelly took him from us.

Mike had a larger-than-life personality and a genuine enthusiasm for movies. Something Weird was his heart and soul, he was obsessive in his pursuit of tracking down the weirdest, wildest movies out there. And it wasn’t enough to find a few forgotten films, he was always in search of the movie motherload. (Making 370 two-hour volumes of Nudie Cuties loops is a good example of this. Who does that?! Mike Vraney!) Even as a child, Mike loved movies. During his teenage years, he worked at the Bel-Kirk Drive-In, and then later as a projectionist at the Green Parrot and Apple Theaters in Seattle. Then around 1990, Mike went in search of as many old, unusual, obscure, and lost low budget exploitation movies as he could, and preserved them for prosperity. Mike amassed thousands of these rare movies and had them transferred to video so that people could relive the good old days of going to the drive-in or grindhouse theater, in their very own home. We have him to thank for introducing fandom to the wonderful world of sexploitation sinema, rescuing it from the dark recesses of forgotten film vaults and defunct movie theatres.

Some of you may know that prior to Something Weird, Mike was involved in the early Seattle punk rock music scene. He was a partner in Modern Productions, the group who started Seattle’s seminal rock venue, The Showbox, in 1979. Mike then went on to manage such well-known bands as The Dead Kennedys, TSOL, and Seattle’s own The Accused. Mike always seemed to be at the forefront of whatever was happening and cool.Mike’s second greatest passion in life was collecting old comics, vintage toys, movie memorabilia, and pop cultural ephemera. He enjoyed going to the swap meet and always had a magical ability for finding great stuff. But when he wasn’t working, collecting, or telling great stories, Mike spent quality time with his beloved family. Mike adored his wife and business partner, Lisa, and two (now young adult) children, Mark and Danielle. These three were the center of his universe, and his reason for getting up each and every morning.

The folks at Something Weird fully intend to honor Mike’s incredible legacy. Mike may be gone, but his remarkable achievements will live on. One of the happiest days of Mike’s life was when legendary David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney called him “the forty-first thief,” which to him was the ultimate compliment and recognition for his work. We’d like to think that Mike’s now hanging out with his old pals Dave and Dan, reminiscing and talking shop with Dwain Esper, Kroger Babb, Barry Mahon, Joe Sarno, Doris Wishman, Bob Cresse, Dale Berry, Michael Findlay and all the other exploiteers and smut peddlers who’ve gone to the great grindhouse in the sky.

We will miss Mike with all our hearts. Goodbye dear friend, husband, father, and fearless leader…
– Lisa Petrucci, Tim Lewis, Kendall Bechtel, Mark Vraney, Danielle Vraney of Something Weird Video

This just sucks, and, as Mike obviously kept his health issues private, a total surprise. R.I.P.

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Loud Comix #2

December 9, 2013
artwork by Sellergren Design - Art is the Enemy

artwork by Sellergren Design – Art is the Enemy

Here we go: Just in time for X-Mas Birdcage Bottom Books announced that the second issue of Jamie Vayda‘s much-hailed underground comic book Loud Comix is printed and available! Just the perfect gift for the D.I.Y. enthusiast/punk rock storytelling fan in yer family!

With stories from Sal Canzonieri, Eric Todd, Darin Martinez, Christian Maes (aka Captain Catastrophy – The International Man of Danger), Erika Lane and Alan King, this issue promises more entertaining modern-day Southern gothic and comes wrapped in a sleeve courtesy yours truly. We’re talking 32 pages, b&w interior (with tan cover-stock) and $6 for the whole enchilada. Get it here.

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Rue Morgue Magazine!

December 3, 2013
courtesy Rue Morgue Magazine!

courtesy Rue Morgue Magazine!

Oh, man this is big. I mean real big. This is huge! Just found out that the December issue of Rue Morgue Magazine includes not only interviews and features on William Friedkin (it’s the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist), Wes Craven (regarding The Serpent and the Rainbow), the recently reformed (and touring) GOBLIN (!!!), but also a review/feature of Call Me Greenhorn‘s faux zombie-OST L’Isola dei Morti Viventi! Yikes! How’s that for an early X-mas present?

Wrapped in a gorgeous sleeve courtesy Jason Edmiston (you gotta check out his stuff on Facebook, it’s amazing!) and filled with tons more goodies plus a giveaway, you can get your copy here (subscriptions available too!) Once again, the zombie album:

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R.I.P. Junior Murvin!

December 3, 2013
courtesy Last.FM

courtesy Last.FM

Just received the news via BBC that reggae vocalist Junior Murvin passed away in hospital in Port Antonio on Monday. Although cause of death hasn’t been established, the singer was being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Murvin reached the UK charts with his Lee Perry-produced classic Police and Thieves that became closely associated with the Notting Hill Carnival in London which ended in rioting the year it was released. It became a staple in the punk rock community after The Clash covered it on their debut album.

Murvin was 67.

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Alan Forbes benefit

November 13, 2013

alanforbes

Via the Secret Serpents official blog comes bummer news:

On Monday, October 21st, Alan Forbes was attacked in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco. The attack left him with two skull fractures and damage to his right eye.

As do a lot of artists, he has no insurance to cover the growing medical expenses. To help cover the medical expenses there are two benefit shows set up in San Francisco as well as other fundraisers. Each show will have silent auctions.

Contributing bands include acts such as Queens of the Stone Age and AFI, with artists including personal fave Stainboy.

Get details via the blog or their official page on Facebook. Spread the word!

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Life of Crime

November 9, 2013

Well, I’ll be brief: I’ve recently been asked to join the contributing staff – or, make that asked to contribute – of U.S. true crime magazine Serial Killer Magazine. I sent off my Society 6 portfolio this past week – available here, natch – and editor-in-chief James Gilks answered with an email expressing his interest in using my illustrations for an upcoming issue.

That’s pretty much all the info I have to share at the moment. You’ll find more information about this mammoth graphic novel (that used to be distributed by Barnes and Nobel no less!) via their official website, and I’ll post updates later on.

copyright Serial Killer Magazine!

copyright Serial Killer Magazine!

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Halloween!

October 30, 2013
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Well, finally October 30th is here! As the month is coming to an end it’s time to sum up what I’ve been occupied with and give peeps a chance to check out what they might’ve initially missed out on.

jacko2FBFirst off I finished up eight thematically fitting designs available on my Society 6 page. Heavily influenced by IMPKO‘s sticker designs from the mid-60s, there’s vampires, werewolves, skulls and hobgoblins – plus two pretty damn nifty Jack o Lanterns if I may say so myself! You’ll find the portfolio/page on Facebook here - 1,300 fans and counting! – and stickers are available via Red Bubble here.

The Haunted House of Horror’s Horrific Halloween Twist-a-Rama 2 compilation (God, I really should’ve picked a shorter name for this installment!) has gotten some nice feedback, and gives you an hour of retro fun and madness with novelty tracks such as Charles FoxThe Green Slime Theme Song,  Joe Johnson‘s The Gila Monster and Milton DeLugg‘s The Creep. Check it out here and the first installment here. If you’re more of a YouTube kinda person that first installment is also available as a playlist here.

While on the subject of music Call Me Greenhorn‘s EP The Ghost of Lee Van Cleef will add a nice flavor to your Halloween bash. Three tracks in total, it mixes novelty tracks with spaghetti western themes, and you can get your hands on it via my Bandcamp. Speaking of which, there are some pretty cool stuff to be announced in the near future, so head on over to my Facebook and join the all-new mailing list to stay up to date!

Happy Halloween!

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R.I.P. Lou Reed

October 27, 2013

Well, as the news of his death is spreading like wildfire online, I find myself actually kinda stunned hearing about the passing of Lou Reed. Gee, the grandfather of the racket I spent so much time creating myself is dead and I really don’t know what to say. Along with Iggy Pop (and his team of knuckle draggers aka The Stooges), Lou and The Velvet Underground crawled out of the New York sewers during the “Summer of Love” to freak out America’s flower children with their new brand of dirty, grimy and sometimes barely-in-tune rock ‘n’ roll, that even though initially proven completely commercially unviable turned out to influence generations to come. It took a decade for Punk Rock to gel as a valid musical statement, and Lou and his band of drugged-out miscreants was half responsible for it. That’s quite a unique effort for a musician that took pride in knowing only two chords.

copyright Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

copyright Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On the other hand Lou was apparently a notorious asshole that prided himself with being quite impossible to deal with. The legend goes that when John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil (respectively editor-in-chief and official mascot of Punk Magazine) trekked down to Bowery shithole CBGB’s to check out this new amazing band called The Ramones, they found Lou sitting among the patrons and decided to interview him as well for their first issue and get a two-fer out of the evening. Lou – who actually was an early fan of the Ramones – dragged them along for the night hurling snide remarks, sarcasm and insults their way, which was brilliantly recreated as a cartoon in the debut issue. And for those that own McNeil’s book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk knows of his “steaming” fan encounter that left said fan disillusioned and repulsed. But hey, that is rock ‘n’ roll and no one ever said you had to appreciate the man in order to appreciate his art.

As great as some of his solo work might be (like the Bowie-produced album Transformer) there were also godawful albums throughout his career like Metal Machine Music or the much-maligned Metallica collaboration Lulu, but I’m guessing that’s what truly makes a great artist. They have a tendency to either be impeccably brilliant or a goddamn train wreck – there’s no honor in middle-of-the-road-ish qualities and mediocrity’s for the birds. That said I’d still say I always was, and probably always will be, a bigger fan of The Velvet Underground than Lou’s solo career. The band was solid and had a truly unique (albeit unsettling) vision until drugs and egos started taking their toll. And I’d guess that the constraints within said group that Lou probably thought were frustrating at the time might’ve actually done him good if he’d stuck around a little longer. But that really doesn’t matter know.

Dead at 71 years, with 51 of those spent creating a racket truly his own, the guy pulled it off his way. In the process he also managed to influence some snot-nosed punks to pick up guitars and start creating their own racket. And that’s quite a feat. Rest in peace, Lou.

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Two-Fer (plus one)

October 23, 2013

Things are moving along quite nicely in the Adventures of Superseven camp! The latest episode Operation: Hard Kill in Fresno was released a couple of days ago, offering up some nice puns and silly action.  Got some cool music as well courtesy me (The Fez) and The Jimmy C, including his cover of Superseven Chase Theme that I provided some moog and other weird noises for.

Speaking of which, Robert Griffth sent me an email hepping me that the all-new blooper reel for the show has been made available on YouTube (check below), and the series was recently made official selection at the 2014 Rome Web Awards (yay!). Check out their official website here.

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