John Bergin

Utah grocery employee recounts mask policy drama at the store

If you've wondered what it must be like for employees working in stores and having to deal with mask-deniers while trying to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing, wonder no more.

This guy from Provo, UT has a Twitter thread of what his life has been like trying to implement a new mandatory mask-wearing policy in the grocery store he works in.

As my friend John Bergin commented: "This entire thread reads like a Thomas M. Disch novel with a dash of Kafka. Not even exaggerating."

Image: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash Read the rest

Cartoonist Kayfabe takes a look back at James O'Barr's The Crow

In this nearly an hour and half video, Ed and Jim of Cartoonist Kayfabe take a deep dive into James O'Barr's The Crow, the hugely influential late-80s indie comic book.

As usually for a Cartoonist Kayfabe, they point out many interesting details as they do a page-by-page deconstruction of the book. They point out, for instance, the widespread distribution of The Crow through bookstore chains way before other indies. And how The Crow also showed up in mainstream comic book magazines and collections at the time, bringing readers from the superhero market into the indies. The also point how inspiring it was for young comic book artists to be exposed to it to see what an indie book could be when one person is the creator of everything, rather than mainstream team-based comics.

The influence of 80s Frank Miller and Alan Moore on O'Barr is also discussed. They also point out how ahead of his time O'Barr was in depicting Detroit as a post-industrial city (and how making a gritty city a character itself becomes a mainstay of outlaw comics going forward).

I love the way they point out all of the techniques he used, his inventive title lettering, his use of other arts (poetry, music, film) in quotes and references, and much more. Nice to see our pal, John Bergin, get a shout-out (he wrote the intro to the Kitchen Sink Press edition of The Crow that they page through).

If you're a fan of The Crow, indie comics, single-creator comics, and moody AF Gothic art, this is a very enjoyable and inspiring 73 minutes. Read the rest

New Blackmouth record, featuring Jarboe (formerly of Swans)

Multi-talented musician, artist, and graphic designer, John Bergin, has just released a new Blackmouth recording. Blackmouth is John, his long-time collaborator, Brett Smith, and Jarboe (formerly of Swans).

The trio's first album was released in 1999. The current record is a deluxe edition featuring 26 tracks and includes the 1999 recording. Here is the first video from the album.

Previous coverage of John Bergin on Boing Boing:

John Bergin goes pop-art post-apocalypse in new Wednesday comic Moving Paintings From Inside

Image: YouTube Read the rest

John Bergin goes pop-art post-apocalypse in new Wednesday comic

Wednesday is chockablock with Warrrior-worthy car chases and road battles, rival gang-tribes, beautifully and memorably-rendered characters, those 80s pop-art colors and sensibilities, and that bad-ass, supercharged blown-hemi Barracuda.

Pitch-drop experiments: science's long wait

Maggie Koerth-Baker reports on the strange science of an experimental result decades in the making.

Great Graphic Novels: From Inside, by John Bergin

Last month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

From Inside, by John Bergin

I am walking down a tunnel. No, it's the stairwell, the former stairwell. Its skeleton juts with unjoined charcoal ribs. I usually stay upstairs in the place where we used to lie next to each other and breathe.

Something important drew me down here. I remembered that sometime a message had come from Mark Frauenfelder, from Boing Boing. He wanted me to write about a graphic novel. The details elude me, the memory floats like a tiny grey cloud on the parched desert of my mind. I need a deluge. I have learned, though, to subsist on dew. There is no way to check email any more.

I push a pile of blackened books around with my burnt Docs, afraid to reach in with my hands. I don't remember when the fire happened. Maybe it is still happening.

The scorched tomes stir: Joel Peter Witkin's collection of Victorian death portraits, the title dissolved into the plasticky gloss of the book's cover. Marianne Wiggins' John Dollar, its spine worn off years ago. Jane Austen. Richard Kadrey. Colette. James Joyce. Edward Eager. Rumi. Susan Cooper. Lidia Yuknavitch. George Saunders.

George Saunders! Read the rest

Moving Paintings From Inside

Ed Note: Boingboing's current guest blogger Gareth Branwyn writes on technology, pop and fringe culture. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maker Media. Recent projects have included co-creating The Maker's Notebook and editing The Best of MAKE and The Best of Instructables collections.

In 1993, I was honored to be asked by my friend, artist and musician John Bergin, to write the precis for his graphic novel From Inside. It was an exciting time. Kevin Eastman, fat with cash from the meteoric success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, created the Tundra imprint and published such ground-breaking work as Alan Moore and Bill Sienkiewicz's Big Numbers, Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell, Stephen R. Bissette's Taboo, and Dave McKean's Cages. Bergin and his friend James O'Barr brought over The Crow, Kerosene, and the Bone Saw collection. And then there was From Inside. In the introduction, I wrote:

John Bergin's work exists in a world of perpetual darkness and droning ambiance. His artistry lies not so much in his ability to maintain this consistent dark vision (which he does with a vengeance), but in his ability to build a rich and complex world inside such a singular dimension. He has the ability to dance right on the edge of suffocating nihilism, while providing just enough oxygen to sustain life.The beauty of his art uplifts you, while its devastating message crushes you to dust.

From Inside has always been a film, even when it was a comic book. Read the rest