Gweek 118: The Weirdo Years


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In 1981, Robert Crumb launched Weirdo, a magazine-sized comic book that was inspired by Crumb's own underground comics and the post MAD-era magazines of Crumb's mentor Harvey Kurtzman. Weirdo was a launch pad for many talented cartoonists, including Peter Bagge, Dori Seda, and Dennis Worden. Crumb's own comic stories were the highlight of every issue, and Last Gasp (publisher of Weirdo) just released all of Crumb's Weirdo comics in a handsome 256-page anthology, entitled The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb: 1981-'93. I spoke to Janelle Hessig, a Bay Area cartoonist and writer and the current marketing director at Last Gasp Publishing, about Weirdo, and what became of some its the lesser-known contributors. Janelle also recommends the scandalous Life and Times of Little Richard, by Charles Wright. She calls it a "truly great oral history which includes a three-way with Buddy Holly, a childhood spent pooping in jars, and heeding the call of the Lord."

We were joined by returning Gweekster Rob Walker. He's a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo News, a regular contributor to Design Observer, and he recently started a new “watercooler therapy” advice column called The Workologist for the New York Times Sunday business section. His Procrastinaut blog is a must-read.

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Gweek 117: The Whole Earth Catalog for this century


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In this episode of Gweek, I interviewed Kevin Kelly about his upcoming Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities an oversized book that reviews over 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are (Kevin is my partner at the website Cool Tools). Stewart Brand, the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, calls it "The real deal." Read Kevin's essay about the Cool Tools book here.

I also interviewed Joshua Glenn about his Best Ever Adventure series of posts at HiLobrow. He says, "This month, I’ve been making two kinds of lists of my favorite adventures: the 21 best adventure novels of each decade (of the 20th century), and adventure novels and movies that best typify the genre’s 20 key themes and memes (e.g., treasure hunt, hunted man, conspiracy theory, DIY, frontier epic)." Josh is also working with Singularity & Co., the Brooklyn science fiction bookstore that runs the book club Save the Sci-Fi. They are preparing to launch a second book club dedicated to rescuing out-of-print adventure stories from copyright limbo. "The new book club will be called Save the Adventure," says Josh, "I’ll be the club’s editor! With 23 days to go on our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve raised $4,300 of the $12,000 we need to cover costs."

Links to other things we talked about: APE (Guy Kawasaki best guide to self publishing), 99Designs (crowdsourced professional design), CreateSpace (on-demand publishing), Martian Dice (customized dice game), and much more!

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Gweek 116: The policeman who turned into a flea


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In this episode of Gweek we talked with Toby Barlow, the author of the novel Sharp Teeth, which was notable for being an epic poem about werewolves in LA. We discussed his new novel, Babayaga, which takes place in 1959 Paris. It's got a CIA-funded literary magazine, weaponized LSD, a disenchanted American advertising executive, Russian witches, and a police detective who doesn't let the fact that he's been turned into a flea stop him from solving a gruesome murder case. We also discussed Slap Shot, an overlooked 1977 movie about a down-and-out hockey team starring Paul Newman, international mobile Internet cost-saving tips, the joy of playing Bridge with people in the same room, and how losing an iTunes password obliterated Toby's desire to listen to music.

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Gweek 115: Year Zero


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In this episode of Gweek we talk about DIY book publishing vs traditional book publishing, music designed to trick your lizard brain, software that turns photos into talking cartoon characters, a board game that teaches preschoolers about computer programming, and more!

This episode's guests:

Dean Putney, Boing Boing’s software developer and Gweek regular, who’s now self-publishing a book of his great-grandfather’s World War I photos thanks to Kickstarter.


Rob Reid, a writer and technology entrepreneur based in California. He wrote Year Zero -- a novel about aliens with a mad passion for human music – and founded the company that built the Rhapsody music service.


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Rob's novel, Year Zero is on sale for 99 cents in ebook formats. Get it here on Amazon, or other formats here.


Dean's self published book about his great-grandfather's collection of a World War I photos, Walter Koessler 1914-1918.


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Gweek 114: Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion


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In this episode David and I interviewed Brett Gurewitz, the guitarist and songwriter for the band Bad Religion. Brett joined the band when he was a high school student in 1979. Today, he is still in the band and still writing and recording music with Bad Religion, but he also runs the Epitaph record label as well as a number of other labels, with an impressive artist roster including Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Booker T, and Mavis Staples. More recently, Brett became a partner in a new comic book company born out of the Occupy Comics kickstarter, called Black Mask Studios. We talked to Brett about all this and more.

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Gweek 113: Underground comics legend Denis Kitchen and author Peter Bebergal


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff. This episode's guests:

Peter Bebergal, the author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and writes frequently on the speculative and slightly fringe. He is currently writing Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock & Roll to be published by Tarcher/Penguin. He blogs at mysterytheater.blogspot.com.


Denis Kitchen began his career in the late '60s as one of the pioneering underground cartoonists and quickly became publisher. Over three decades his Kitchen Sink Press published such artists as Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Art Spiegelman, Charles Burns, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and countless others. He founded the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in 1986 to protect 1st Amendment rights in the comics industry. He still wears many hats: author, artist, curator, literary and art agent, and coming full circle, to publishing again. The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen is out from Dark Horse Books, and he co-authored two biographies of famous cartoonists: Harvey Kurtzman for Abrams, and Al Capp for Bloomsbury.

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Gweek 112: Chip Kidd, rockstar of graphic design


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My guest today Chip Kidd. For more 26 years Kidd has designed over 1000 iconic award-winning book covers that have revolutionized and inspired jacket design. He’s the author of The Cheese Monkeys, The Learners, the graphic novel Batman: Death by Design, and many other books about comics and design. Hailed by USA Today as "the closest thing to a rock star" in graphic design you can find him online at ChipKidd.com.

I talked to Chip about his new design principles book for children aged 10 and up called, GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design.

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Gweek 111: Smarter Than You Think


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

This episode's guests:

Clive Thompson is a science and technology journalist, whose new book just came out: Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (website). He’s a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Wired, and blogs at Collision Detection, and can be found on Twitter as @pomeranian99. (Photo of Clive by Tom Igoe)


Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids' field guide to serious fun. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction's Radium Age.

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Gweek 110: "The Boogie Nights of the drug trade"

An interview with journalist Joshuah Bearman about a high school dope-smuggling ring.


Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, TV shows, music, movies, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

This episode's guest:

Joshuah Bearman. In 2007 Joshuah wrote the now-famous Argo article for Wired, which Ben Affleck turned into a movie that won Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards. He has also written for for Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Wired, Playboy, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. He also recently co-founded Epic, an online longform journalism site.

Today, I spoke to Josh about a 30,000 word story he wrote for GQ and The Atavist about a group of Southern California high schoolers who started one of the largest marijuana smuggling rings in the world. It's Coronado High, and is available on Kindle for $1.99, or for $2.99 as a multimedia iOS piece from The Atavist.

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Gweek 109: Peter Bebergal and Koichi


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This episode's guest:

Peter Bebergal, the author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and writes frequently on the speculative and slightly fringe. He is currently writing Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock & Roll to be published by Tarcher/Penguin. He blogs at mysterytheater.blogspot.com.


Koichi is the editor of the Japanese language and culture blog Tofugu and the author of Japanese language resources, WaniKani and TextFugu.


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Gweek 108: Adventure Time with Martin & Olivia Olson


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Martin Olson and his daughter Olivia Olson do so many cool things that it’s hard to know where to start. Martin is the head writer for the fantastic Disney animated series Phineas and Ferb. Not only has he written for every episode of the show, he’s also written over 200 songs for the series.

Martin’s 21-year-old daughter Olivia, plays the character Vanessa Doofenshmirtz on Phineas and Ferb, and she plays Marceline the Vampire Queen on Cartoon Network's animated series Adventure Time!, a cartoon my daughter Jane and I are obsessed with. Olivia sings on both series. (Here's Olivia singing “All I want for Christmas” in the movie Love Actually when she was 11).

Martin is the author of two terrific books, which I’ve reviewed on Boing Boing: The Encyclopaedia of Hell (published by Feral House) and The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, which he writes as the character he plays in the series, Hunson Abadeer, aka the Lord of Evil, who coincidentally happens to be Marceline’s father..

Olivia has a new EP of her music out, called Beauty Is Chaos, and she and her father just put out a full-length CD of songs called The Father Daughter Album of Unspeakable Beauty.

Martin and Olivia came over to my house for the interview, and Jane joined us for the discussion.

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Gweek 107: Adrian Tomine and Rob Walker


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Guests:

Adrian Tomine is a cartoonist whose books include Shortcomings, Summer Blonde, and his ongoing comic book series Optic Nerve. He’s also a regular contributor to The New Yorker, and the first ten years of his work for that magazine was recently collected in the book New York Drawings.


Rob Walker is a technology and culture columnist for Yahoo News, a regular contributor to Design Observer, and he just started a new “watercooler therapy” advice column called The Workologist for the New York Times Sunday business section. His latest book is called Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things, co-edited with Joshua Glenn.


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Gweek 106: You Are Now Less Dumb


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Guests:

David McRaney creator of the the blog You Are Not So Smart, where he writes about the psychology of self-delusion. He also hosts the podcast of the same name and is the author of the book based on the blog, You Are Not So Smart, and the sequel, You Are Now Less Dumb, which was released July 30.


Dean Putney, Boing Boing's coding and development wizard.


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Show notes:

David's books about the psychology of self-delusion: You Are Not So Smart, and You Are Now Less Dumb.


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Gweek 105: Gareth Branwyn and Jim McCann


This week's episode of Gweek is sponsored by Rickshaw Bagworks, manufacturers of San Francisco-made messenger bags, backpacks, and laptop sleeves. Use the discount code boingboing for 15% off an entire order through August 15th.

Joining me in this episode:

Gareth Branwyn writes on art, technology and culture. He is the former Editorial Director of MAKE and has been an editor at Mondo 2000, Wired, and bOING bOING (print). He has written seven books, including Jamming the Media, co-authoring Boing Boing's Happy Mutant Handbook, and Jargon Watch. He is currently putting together a collection of his best work, called Borg Like Me (& Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems).

Jim McCann is an award-winning playwright and comic book writer. He is the writer & co-creator of Return of the Dapper Men, which garnered 5 Eisner nominations and won the Eisner for Best Graphic Novel. This award-winning team has reunited to launch Lost Vegas from Image in March 2013, a universe filled with intrigue as one gambler-turned-slave has 24 hours to go all in and pull off the greatest heist the universe has seen. In 2012 McCann launched Mind the Gap, an ongoing paranormal thriller/mystery series from Image. McCann has also written the following titles: New Avengers: The Reunion; Hawkeye & Mockingbird: Ghosts; Widowmaker; Hawkeye: Blindspot; and Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol. He writes in Los Angeles and believes Mac & Cheese should be at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

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Mind the Gap, written by Jim McCann. Volume 2 (issues 6-10) is out now.


Borg Like Me (& Other Tales of Art, Eros, and Embedded Systems), Gareth's Kickstarter project.
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Gweek 104: Andy Ihnatko and Joshua Glenn


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Joining me in this episode:

Andy Ihnatko, technology journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times, and host of The Ihnatko Almanac, a weekly discussion that mostly focuses on the Clickable Arts: the movies, music, books, comics, articles, and other bits of entertainment and news.


Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and semiotician. He is co-author of Significant Objects, published by Fantagraphics, and Unbored, the kids' field guide to serious fun coming from Bloomsbury this fall. He edits the website HiLobrow, which as HiLoBooks is now publishing classics -- by Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others -- from what he calls science fiction's Radium Age.

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