Friday, August 07, 2015

COMICS REVIEW: Snake Pit Gets Old

SNAKE PIT GETS OLD
Diary Comics from 2010-2012 
Ben Snakepit (Microcosm)

Snakepit gets old, I get old, we all get old. I enjoy diary comics. From Jesse Reklaw’s 10,000 Things to Do to James Kochalka's American Elf and The Sketchbook Diaries. Can reading them get a little mundane after awhile? Sure. Can life? You bet, but the act of reading them (and creating them as well, no doubt) becomes a ritual. Life ain’t all cheesecake and raspberry smoothies, at least in my experience. I keep a journal myself. Been doing it for about five years. It reads much like this comic. There are plenty of fun nights and hungover days. There are hours filled with sucky work, but there are small victories and funny stuff in there too. Ben thinks he can’t draw. So what? Not the point. I enjoyed reading this compilation of daily strips and I liked seeing what song he listened to on a given day. Don’t always agree with his opinion of movies and he’s dead wrong about Hunter S. Thompson, but he's right about Hose Got CableChris Auman

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hey Philippines, Give Us Back Chris Brown!

Just kidding, you can keep him.


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Burning Like a Heatwave: 20th Anniversary of the Summer of 1995

Boy, it sure got hot around Chicago in the summer of 1995. Not like the 66 degrees temps we have here today. Here's how I remembered that summer a few years later in 1997.  (Originally published in RW #9)


Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cassetty Stickers on Your Phone? Yep.

CASSETTY STICKERS ARE HERE!

Get real super excited Cassetty Fans, 'cause everyone's favorite cassette tape finally has his own line of stickers from LINE. LINE is a Japanese communications app. that you can download for free! It's big in Japan, so get in now before it explodes worldwide.


Friday, June 05, 2015

ZINE REVIEW: Dwelling Portably

DWELLING PORTABLY
2009-2015
Bert and Holly Davis (Microcosm)

Dwelling Portably has been around awhile — dang near forty years, in fact. I remember receiving issues in my P.O. box back in the Nineties. Even then this zine was crammed to the margins with advice about existing off the grid and living off the land. I loved the idea of DP and the chaotic look and feel of it, but the information contained within never held much relevance to me as an urban dweller. It’s nice to see it compiled here, although the type is just as tiny and condensed as ever. DP is still jam packed to bursting with how-to's, advice and DIY guides for the nomadic life and is still dutifully put together by Bert and Holly Davis who have been dwelling portably in Somewhereville, Oregon for well past thirty yearsChris Auman

Monday, April 13, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Brew it Yourself

BREW IT YOURSELF
Professional Craft Blueprints for Home Brewing
Erik Spellmeyer (Microcosm)

Home brewing has come a long way since the the mid 90s when a roommate of mine brought home some ridiculous contraption called Mr. Beer. While Mr. Beer did allow you to brew your own suds back in the day, it sure produced an awful tasting end product. At least that was my experience. Not to be outdone, another roommate during this period also tried his hand at home brewing. Instead of some preformed plastic gizmo, he kicked it a little more old school with stainless steel pots, big thermometers, giant wooden stirring spoons and whatnot. His output tasted like crap too. Were either of these gents to read my description of their beer making efforts here today, they would undoubtedly, wholeheartedly defend their product and defy that it tasted anything but delicious. My taste buds don’t lie, however.

At any rate, we’ve come a long way from the skunky flavor, moldy basement aroma and horrendous aftertaste of Mr. Beer and his ilk, and Mr. and Ms. Beer Drinker appreciate that. It's too bad this book, Brew it Yourself, wasn't lying around the apartment back then because that certainly would have helped the situation.

Brew it Yourself  is a do-it-yourself guide that comes correct with info and how-tos on the how to of extract brewing, all grain brewing and the importance of sanitation to the fermenting process. Written by beer crafter and suds enthusiast, Erik Spellmeyer, this is an informative guide that will allow anyone with a little time, a little money and a passion for great hops to brew their own. You can make it as easy or as involved as you like. There are recipes for pales, ales and extra special bitter beers as well as a glossary, conversion guide and a brew log to chart your progress, or lack thereof.

I must confess that I do not plan on brewing my own beer, ever. I prefer getting beer the old fashioned way, I buy it already bottled. However, I am definitely going to pass this book on to Roommate #1 who has since returned to home brewing, this time employing a much more efficient system, and is no doubt brewing delicious malts and IPAs while the former Mr. Beer more than likely lies at the bottom of a deep landfill somewhereChris Auman