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eNewsletter #5, May 2000

eNewsletter #5, May 2000


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In April, Will the Thrill hosted 4 Thursdays of Incredibly Strange Films at the Parkway Theater in Oakland on Park Avenue. Vale showed up to speak, sell books, and enjoy the films on the big screen. He has this to say: “The Parkway, at least on the Thursday nights curated by Will the Thrill, is probably the “best” alternative cinema venue in the Bay Area for these reasons: admission is low, usually $5; the screen size is large with good projection, and most importantly, you can sit in comfortable sofas with adjoining tables and eat a full meal, have pizza, pitchers of beer and glasses of wine–how many theatres are left where you can do that? Additionally, there are quite a few giveaways of prizes, this past month: Incredibly Strange Film books, Incredibly Strange Music books, John Stanley’s Creature Features Guides (both hardback and paperback), CDs, signed photographs, lobby cards, Hungry Freaks magazines, and other gifts. Perhaps best of all is the old-fashioned Wheel of Fortune spun by Monica, Will’s fashionably-garbed girlfriend. Visionary dream paintings by Carl Linkhart, an undiscovered Outsider Art painter and Oakland resident, graced the lobby walls.
“While I missed the showing of Ray Dennis Steckler’s Incredibly Strange Creatures that Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, I did see a great print of his B&W classic Thrill Killers, featuring Ray as the truly scary Mad Dog Click (Will and I joked that Ray, as the parent of two young teenagers, has become Mellow Dog Click). Plus, there were great shorts and trailers. The other features included one of my favorites of all time, Spider Baby, on the theme of a family of outsiders pitched against the hostile “straight” world…even more “out-there” than the Addams Family…love those feral teen-age daughters and Lon Chaney, Jr as the wise old uncle. Final night was all shorts, including some scary vintage tobacco commercials, a frenetic Tahitian love dance (fastest hip movements I’ve ever seen), and a long, amazing Ultraman episode.”
Check out The Parkway and Will the Thrill’s latest offerings at


Speaking of Incredibly Strange… Marian Wallace’s (mine) latest experimental film entitled “Music to Strip By” features many of Vale’s racier album covers from his Incredibly Strange music collection. This will be playing May 20th and 21st at the Victoria Theater in the Mission district of San Francisco at the Sprocket Ensemble’s “Ideas in Animation” Show. Showtime is 8:00 PM, tickets are $10 ($7 for students). Playing that weekend are films by Rock Ross, Eli and Michael Rudnick, Victoria Livingstone and Nina Paley. Additionally there will be performances from special guests Connie Champagne and Jorge Scott. Read up on Connie Champagne in Swing! The New Retro Renaissance. Further information on the show can be found at,


We are in the extended process of entering the higher-speed internet world. Having had an unsatisfactory attempt with Pac Bell (it didn’t seem any faster than our 56K modem), we have been soliciting information from other servers. What we’d hope is to spend something like $100 monthly for a service that at best includes security (i.e. firewall and encryption), web hosting for up to 50 MB of space and ability to use our own domain names in that webspace. More than one static IP would be a plus. Also, of course, some speed improvement over the dial-up. Is this possible? Any contenders or recommendations, please email us with the info.


There is one particular project which is now being concentrated on. It will be a medium-large, well-illustrated book on an under-(media) covered subject of the new millennium. We are hesitant to give out the title and subject yet. As a distributor who recently declined to take on our wholesale distribution put it: “It’s getting harder to be cutting-edge nowadays.” There are big-bucks book publishers out there who would love to get our ideas and beat us to the bookstore… so we’re withholding info until the official press goes out, hopefully late this summer, when we send the files to the printer. But for more information try to get a look at a new:


Contained in George’s tape of Vale pontificating on the state of the world in general and independent publishing in particular are some facts and even photos from our forthcoming project. George went off to Baltimore for a film festival before we could get the title of this piece, but he shot footage around our office, including the non-cooperation of Valentine (4-years-old) and a couple of cameo statements by me, Marian. Also our current project is discussed and some of the cover shot contenders pictured. At least this is what he taped; we haven’t seen the final result.


Ed Hardy has a new book out: “Tattooing the Invisible Man,” a co-production with Hardy Marks and Smart Art Press. Due to other commitments, we missed Ed’s book signing at City Lights in April. He will be getting an honorary degree from the San Francisco Art Institute May 14th though, and we’ll try to see him there. For those of you who don’t know Ed, he is a tattoo artist extraordinaire with a shop in North Beach: Tattoo City, 700 Lombard, at Filbert. Read up on him in Modern Primitives.


As usual, it was a lot of fun to see old friends and find out what people are doing in the world of anarchy, even though attendance was down, due to the I.M.F. Washington, D.C. protest. Charles Gatewood and Vale had adjoining tables behind City Lights Books and Manic D Press, which will be publishing a San Francisco Underground Guide with a chapter on North Beach/Chinatown by Vale.


We will be signing on with a new distributor starting as early as June 2000. Our current distributor of 21 years, Subterranean Company in Oregon, is going the way of so many independents: under. Actually, Craig and Claudia Broadley have started a successful winery and are going with that full-time starting next year. Peo

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