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A shamelessly self-promoting column

by Chris Auman, Skeleton Crew Member

October 2019


Eyeballs in hand.

I love fall

Yeah, I’m a sucker for autumnal weather. When the leaves start falling and the temperatures start dropping and the Bears start losing (sigh), you know summer is over. October started off with a couple of 80+ degrizzle days though. I was not happy about that, but we’re back to seasonal coolness here in Chicago, so that’s cool.

Speaking of cool things, there are two new interviews up on the Reglar Wiglar site. Chicago punk rock crazies Lollygagger just released their new video album, Lollygagger Family Fun Variety Hour and subjected themselves to the interview treatment. Also, you may remember me heaping praise on the bloody fine comics series Head Lopper last month. I reached out to head lopper and creator Andrew Maclean and he answered a few of my burning questions. You can read that interview here.

Old Joe, a short thriller by Chris Auman

On the front burner

I published a new lit zine in the form of a short thriller, called Old Joe. This is a story I wrote for a creative writing class at DePaul University in 1989 and it was published in Reglar Wiglar #9 in 1997. I know what you’re asking yourself internally, why is he messing around with such ancient shit as that? That’s a legit question, but it helps me practice making zines. And I think my tendency to repackage stuff stems back to my misspent youth reading Mad Magazine. Notoriously cheap publisher Bill Gaines would rerun content dozens of times in the form of paperback books and super specials. Why not emulate the greats? Check out RoosterCow Press if you want to order a copy.

Meet BeeBop & LuBop

Here are my two latest comics characters starring in a strip based on real life events.

On the back burner

Next up on the publication schedule is Used Records #1 wherein Mike Dixon and I will review a smattering of used records culled from various book and record stores. Not sure if this will be out before the end of the year, but you never know. Actually, sometimes you do know and I think I can say with a reasonable amount of confidence that is will be the first publication of 2020.

On the stereo

I am very ridiculously happy that a record store (Tone Deaf) opened up a block and a half from my house in Portage Park. Recent purchases of Donovan, Allman Brothers, War, and Bruce Cockburn have been in rotation on the turntable.

Not only that, but I recently sighted one of the Portage Park parakeets in my backyard. Portage Park is definitely on the rise, but I digress.

I started the month off on a full-on metal jag featuring the best (worst) stuff from my teenage years. I was adamantly NOT a metal fan back in the day, but my headbanging friends routinely subjected me to hours and hours of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Metallica. Those bands I actually liked, but I also got a fair share of stuff like Helloween, Ratt, Krokus, and Dokken. On a very related note, I saw Megadeth open for Iron Maiden at the Rosemont Horizon on the "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son Tour" in 1988 and I am just now getting into Rust In Peace. Sometimes it takes awhile. Great record, as I'm sure you already know.

Oh, and I have really been digging the new Oh Sees record Face Stabber. While I cannot condone stabbing faces, this record is pretty awesome. I don't do much record reviewing these days, but you can read my friend David Gill's review of the album. He's smart about stuff like that.

On the bookshelf

Getting into the Halloween spirit, I have been reading H.P. Lovecraft's Black Seas of Infinity (maybe I am a metalhead now). I can see why he has a cult following, but he's kind of a poor man's Edgar Allen Poe.

I received a review copy of Alexander Herbert's oral history of punk from the Soviet Era to the present, What About Tomorrow. It's taken me some time to get through it, but I do have a review of it on reglarwiglar.com. Check it out if you're interested in global punk rock scenes.

That's all I got. Have a good fall, ya'll!

© 2019 chris auman