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Highly detailed action figures of King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Lemmy, Mad Max & more!
08.12.2016
01:57 pm

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A custom figure of Lemmy Kilmister by ‘Elvis 1976’ (or Sébastien Bontemps’ if you prefer…)
 
If you read Dangerous Minds on a regular basis then you know that from time to time myself or one of my intrepid colleagues enjoy spotlighting various action figures based on bands like Crass or perhaps a poseable version of Al Pacino’s portrayal fictional cocaine-gobbling drug lord Tony Montana from Scarface. If you dig these kinds of posts then I’ve no doubt that you will soon be coveting the custom action figures by Brussels-based artist Sébastien Bontemps who works under the moniker “Elvis 1976.”

Bontemps’ interest with action figure customization started with a Joker figure released by DC Comics in the late 2000s and though his exceptional creations are generally “one-offs” it does appear that the talented artist sells his figures from time to time. You can find out how to purchase one by contacting the folks over at One Sixth Warriors for more information.

If you’re more of a movie memorabilia kind of collector I’ve no doubt that Bontemps’ highly detailed take on the most famous mohawked member of Lord Humungus’ Marauders from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, the completely badass crossbow-wielding Wez will make your head spin. Images of some of my favorite inhabitants of Bontemps’ ultra-cool world follow. 
 

King Diamond!
 

Super Duper Alice Cooper.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
AR-15s, raw meat, cupcakes and kittens: The luscious, hyper-realistic paintings of Marc Dennis
08.12.2016
10:52 am

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Art

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Marc Dennis, Dragonslayer, 2011
 
Painter Marc Dennis has a cheeky meta-style often incorporating famous works of art into his hyper-realistic paintings. He has one that features a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader viewing a Picasso, and another where a museum-goer’s head blocks the vulva in Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. Dennis also likes iconographic figures like rappers or say, the Incredible Hulk, and his paintings tend to be a blend of modern pop and recognizable art world imagery. It can be a little heavy-handed at times, but the stuff in his Honey Bunny show—which takes its name from a Jeff Koons balloon bunny reproduction trinket featured in some of the paintings—is a bit more subtle and intriguing.

Dennis goes hard for contrast—kittens and guns, a fluffy dog and raw meat—favoring firearms with desserts or cute things to convey strangely masculine still lifes and pet portraiture. Dennis views his work as a sort of statement on paternity, saying in a live gallery interview:

The body of paintings that are represented in this exhibition have to do with one, my being an American male, a husband, a daddy—but most importantly a parent and the whole notion of being the dragon-slayer, the ultimate protector of my family. Hence the guns, the meat, the carcasses, the death, fragility.

The work is pretty macho for sure, but it has a sense of humor about itself, and the paintings themselves have a lushness and mystery that draws the eye.
 

Marc Dennis, Biggy Kitty, 2011
 

Marc Dennis, Divine Love, 2011
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
They Drive By Night: The bizarre, profane and fantastically WEIRD art of QSL cards (NSFW)
08.11.2016
05:31 pm

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Art
History

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I recently discovered the fascinating world of QSL cards, artifacts of an era before the Internet and iPhones when truckers and ham radio operators employed lines of communication made of tubes, transistors and magnetic coils. While surfing the ‘net, I stumbled upon Michelle Cross’s truly amazing collection of QSL cards. It was a stunning find: Thousands upon thousands of some of the weirdest art I’d ever encountered. It was mysterious and evocative. An underground culture where taboos were broken and secret off ramps lead to hidden worlds where truckin’ met fuckin. Racist, sexist, mucho macho and sometimes satirical, QSL cards were Facebook for the men (and few women) who drove by night. Lonely, restless, jacked-up on greenies and white line fever, looking to connect on the asphalt Interweb, always suspended in a state between here and there.

I asked Michelle Cross to write about her incredible QSL card collection (200,000 and growing) and she responded with enthusiasm. Read and enjoy.

When citizen’s band (CB) radio technology emerged in the early 1960s, operators initially used QSL cards in much the same way as ham operators did, to confirm and follow up on contacts made over the air. As CB radio grew in popularity in North America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, QSL cards became a more creative and freeform hobby, and a community formed around them. Participants would design a card or have one designed for them, get copies printed locally or by mail order, and start trading and collecting.
 

 
Not every CBer got involved with QSL cards; to put it in perspective, there were tens of millions of people on CB radio during its heyday, but only tens of thousands making and exchanging QSL cards. Those who did would often make and exchange hundreds or thousands of cards each, often without ever having spoken to one another over the air.
 

 
Professional illustrators and printers began to offer QSL card services. Some artists would create collectible numbered series of their work. Enthusiasts would order multiple cards from different artists and printers. QSL swap clubs were started to facilitate collecting and would have dozens and sometimes hundreds of members. CBers would meet up at events, jamborees or what they’d call “coffee breaks” and could trade and order more cards in person. The hobby spread across North America, and had a presence in Europe and the UK as well. It began to decline in the late 1970s and was essentially over by the early to mid 1980s.
 

 
I first encountered some QSL cards in an antique shop in the early 2000s. Growing up in the 90s I was really into independent and underground art, media and culture, especially zines, so I’d always gravitated towards obscure printed matter. QSL cards definitely resonated with me on a similar level as zines had, but it took a while to figure out what on earth they were. I did some research and found a few more, but there was almost no information outside of what was contained in the cards themselves and whatever I could find out from people who were originally involved. There was no evidence that anyone had made a systematic attempt to preserve and document them, so I started a website and kept collecting. It’s now the largest known collection of its kind. It currently numbers around 200,000 cards but is by no means complete or exhaustive. Information is hard to come by. Often the original participants have passed away or have forgotten many of the details after half a century, so the history is patchy, but the cards themselves provide a lot of information and insight.
 

 
The cards were a form of social media for their time, a snapshot of almost everything going on in society and culture, taboos and all. I like to showcase the cards that hint at strange, underground and taboo activities and themes, but as a whole, QSL cards were never limited to one particular subculture or scene.
 

 
QSL graphics range from primitive line drawings to R. Crumb-like stylishness. I have yet to track anyone down who can tell me anything about Michel Dumais and his artist Henry Paul. They designed hundreds of cards and were pretty much the only professional QSL card printer and artist in Quebec. “Runnin Bare” is a man named Jesse from the Pacific Northwest. He was not only an artist but a printer too. His company printed millions of cards designed by him and other artists in the 1970s. He designed a few thousand Runnin Bare cards himself, and also hired a few artists to draw series under his name. Runnin Bare himself was not a very sexy or explicit artist—his cartoons and jokes are mostly tame and lighthearted. Between the demands of the work and a personal tragedy (the loss of a young daughter) he eventually burned out on the caricature cartoon style and gravitated more towards nature drawings by the end.
 
More QSL excitement after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Tour the bohemian Lower East Side of 1995 for alternative fashion, underground art and punk opera!
08.11.2016
11:02 am

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History
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These videos, from documentarian Corey Shaff, are a record of a New York long since passed, despite being only 20 years old. Yes, the rapid gentrification of the Lower East side has rendered the areas you see here nearly unrecognizable, but before you bemoan the lost “real” NYC, it’s worth remembering that the changing landscape of New York is its most consistent feature—you’ll notice some of the subjects in these shorts talking about how different the neighborhood is from the one they remember. Of course the most recent changes in New York has left it all but unlivable for the working people and artists it once boasted, though somehow they keep coming, and finding a way to stay.

Shaff covers some fascinating ground in these three little shorts. There’s a five-minute tour of Ludlow Street, where little theaters and punk bridal shops and millineries exist alongside older businesses, like a pillow shop where the owner still uses techniques from the old country. It’s a cool look at at artistically thriving area with old and new artisans—there’s even a shot of The Mercury Lounge with its original signage at the end. The longer second film centers on 2B, a gritty art space that operate for nine years before being replaced by a corporate drug store. My favorite film is the third one, a look at the Amato Opera House on the Bowery. The tiny little venue had world class artists crammed onto a tiny stage, spitting distance from the audience, for a truly intimate yet grand experience. Shaff’s wife Stefanie Lindahl says the documentary was a little too gritty for some viewers:

I remember how Corey wanted to juxtapose the Bowery ‘bums’ with the goings on within the opera house, but PBS nixed the idea as ‘too scary,’ so he had to cut out the footage.

It’s a weirdly selective documentary that covers the Bowery in ‘95 yet leaves out the bums, but this is the sentiment and aversion that has shaped the New York of today—one that prefers Applebee’s to artists.

Watch ‘em after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘The Insult’: The web comic that makes a mockery of making a man out of ‘Mac’
08.10.2016
11:45 am

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Amusing
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“The Insult that Made a Man out of ‘Mac’” (or a variation on the theme) was impossible to avoid if you read practically ANY comic book between the 1940s and the 1980s—and maybe beyond. It was an ad for the Charles Atlas “Dynamic-Tension” fitness program—our hero, a weakling named “Mac,” is humiliated in front of his girlfriend by an archetypal sand-kicking bully on the beach. Later, at home, wounded by the affront, Mac subscribes to the Atlas Dynamic-Tension program and quickly becomes a he-man cut like a Greek statue. He returns to the scene of his emasculation to knock the bully down with a single punch and become the “HERO OF THE BEACH!” His girlfriend of course immediately returns to his side, but other women are taking notice of the musclebound Mac, sooooo…
 

 
I am frankly baffled by a contradiction as regards the longevity of that ad. Not that it doesn’t deserve its classic status—disregard for the moment the cringeworthiness of its deference to violent machismo and misogyny and note how well it adheres to the “Hero’s Journey” template, though it first appeared years before Joseph Campbell named and described that literary trope in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. My problem is just that, OK, look, obviously people were buying the program or the ad wouldn’t have run in every comic for decades, but male comics fanatics aren’t exactly reputed for being chiseled physical specimens (obviously there are exceptions but go to a con and tell me how much beefcake you see). If the ad was so successful, wouldn’t the opposite be the case? Wouldn’t the comic shop guy on The Simpsons be an Adonis instead of an obese, embittered, overlooked snob?

I’m tempted to conclude that nobody who bought the book actually followed through with it.

The ad’s eternal appeal has made it fit matter for parody, and indeed, it’s been parodied plenty. Recently, John “Derf” Backderf, the Eisner-winning author of Trashed and My Friend Dahmer (we’ve told you about him before), hipped me to “The Insult,” a webcomic that’s detourned the ad nearly 100 times. Currently, its creator Scott Marshall is posting a new one every day in a lead-up both to his own birthday and to this weekend’s Dartmouth Comics Arts Festival in Nova Scotia. If you have an idea for an “Insult” strip, Marshall maintains an online suggestion box.

Here’s an assortment of strips. Dangerous Minds’ column width makes them a little small to read properly, but a mouse click will spawn an enlargement.
 

 

 
More ‘Insults’ after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Soft Machine: Body part sculptures made from fabric
08.10.2016
11:31 am

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Art

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Karine Jollet is an artist whose work explores the enigma of the human body. She creates “soft sculptures” out of recycled fabrics into anatomically correct body shapes.

Jollet sees an analogy between her working materials and “our own biological tissues: bones, fibers, crystals.”

I start with old bed sheets and shirts, embroidered handkerchieves and second-hand fabrics that I cut up, put the fragments together, pad them and then sew them by hand.

The resulting anatomical sculptures are beautiful yet slightly surreal—a lace skull, a pillow brain, squeezable metatarsals. Jollet believes anatomy possesses “a hidden dimension that connects us to an invisible, ideal order of things and also to a secret, dreamlike reality.”

These soft sculptures are produced in a dazzling white as “white evokes a world beyond the visible, beyond the living space of unity and purity.”

More of her work can be viewed here.
 
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More cloth body parts, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The alluring vivisected mechanical pin-ups of Fernando Vincente
08.09.2016
01:39 pm

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Art
Sex

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A painting of a pin-up mashedup with mechanical parts from a Mercedes Benz by Fernando Vicente.
 
Self-taught Spanish painter, artist and illustrator Fernando Vicente has been working at his craft since the early 80s in Madrid and his work has been featured in publications all around the world such as Playboy, Vogue and various European magazines and book covers. In the case of Vicente’s series Anatomies the artist has united two of his favorite things—his love of mechanics and anatom—to rather strangely stellar results.

According to Vicente the bionic pin-ups featured in Anatomies came to be after the artist purchased a large collection of posters from an actual mechanic which he then incorporated into his paintings creating a kind of sexy “cyberpunk” woman with her inner “mechanical anatomy” exposed. During his career Vicente has collected hordes of materials such as maps, atlases, medical books, and vintage advertising posters during his frequent visits to flea markets held in and around Madrid, all of which end up being incorporated into his compelling creations. As you will see in this post Vicente is fairly enamoured with what’s going on inside the human body. Here’s more from Vicente on that:

Inside the human body is a tremendous beauty, I am captured by it. For a long time the inside of the human body was for exclusive use for medical and scientific purposes. Now it’s time to claim it for our own contemplation.

If you dig what you see Vicente’s artwork has been the subject of a few books such as the self-titled 2014 tome Fernando Vicente, and The Pin-Ups of Fernando Vicente among others. You can also purchase prints of Vicente’s vast catalog as well over at the artist’s website. Images of the hiss revved-up anatomical women follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
R. Crumb illustrates incest, murder & other sordid situations from the ‘Book of Genesis’ (NSFW)
08.09.2016
12:18 pm

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Art
Heroes

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It was hard to draw God. Should God just be a bright light? Should I use word balloons? Should God be a woman?

—R. Crumb on his 2009 illustrated version of the “Book of Genesis”

According to seminal underground comic book artist and illustrator of gargantuan women Robert Crumb, his unique artistic style was the product of good old LSD. Prior to taking his first trip in 1965 Crumb was newly married to his soon-to-be ex-wife Dana Morgan and unhappily employed as a greeting card illustrator. As drugs were still legal at the time, Crumb decided to drop acid one weekend and by the time the workweek arrived on Monday his entire perspective on pretty much everything (including his art) had changed for the better.
 

R. Crumb on ACID.
 
We have so many illustrated oddities to thank Crumb and his pal LSD for from Zap Comix, Mr. Natural and the weirdos within the pages of Crumb’s long-running Weirdo. And if anyone could possibly make anything related to one of the greatest works of fiction otherwise known as The Bible more interesting it’s Mr. Crumb. Which is exactly what Crumb did back in 2009 when he published his own 200+ page illustrated take on all 50 chapters that make up Genesis, The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb. Though not a fan of organized religion himself, Crumb’s take on Genesis was brutally faithful to its ancient predecessor and is full of comic-styled depictions of sex, murder and debauchery that so displeased “God” that he decided to wipe out his creations in a flood.

Much like the disclaimer on the book’s cover Crumb truly left “nothing out” of his adaptation of Genesis—which likely riled up religious types when they saw passages from the first book of the Old Testament detailing incestual situations illustrated by the sex-obsessed cartoonist. But I’m not one of those types so I wholehearted endorse Crumb’s herculean effort. If this R. Crumb artifact if missing from your collection, you can get a copy here.

Images from The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb follow and as you might imagine are NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Brutally honest cartoons capture the harsh reality of the stripping life (NSFW)
08.08.2016
09:10 am

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Art
Books
Sex

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The Beaver Show is a collection of raunchy, funny, and honest cartoons by Jacqueline Frances. It’s a memoir of sorts that focuses on one of the most sexualized workplaces a woman can have—the strip club. As “Jacq” says, her job is to dance, naked, “for large (and occasionally insultingly modest) sums of money.” As a result, many of her work relationships are measured in minutes, and her closest confidantes are the other women doing the stripping.
 

 
In addition to entertaining and amusing, the book is a kind of all-purpose introduction and “how-to” for the stripping life, it supplies an education for women who might want to become strippers, and it powerfully serves to correct the behavior of the male clients that pay Jacq’s rent. Here are some of the useful things you’ll learn about what it’s like to be a stripper if you read The Beaver Show:
 

When you interact with strippers, they’re working. That means their main concern is getting paid. So pay them.

You might be looking for some kind of personal connection at the strip club, but they probably aren’t.

A “hot” client is probably a bit of a jerk and probably smells awful. If you want to impress a stripper, take a shower.

You’re probably not the first to wonder how they ended up doing this, so don’t ask.

Believe it or not, strippers are people, and they dislike it when you objectify them.

 
The Beaver Show appears to be a self-published project; I have nothing but admiration for “Jacq the Stripper” (as she signs her strips) for her determination in bypassing the regular publishing gatekeepers and getting her cartoons out there, come what may.

This is a raw and honest depiction of an arena that is in many ways governed by lust and power and sometimes greed. It’s a decidedly female perspective, and it can’t be surprising that the male animal doesn’t come off looking very good.

You can buy the book on Amazon or at select bookstores in Montreal, New York, and Baltimore. The price of the book is $19.99, a.k.a. “the price of a lapdance,” as she puts it.

You can see more single-panel cartoons like these at her website.
 

 
Much more after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Lemmy Kilmister homaged with sick new custom Motörhead ‘Warpig’ bass
08.08.2016
08:51 am

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Heroes
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Custom ‘Lemmy Bass’ by Cynosure Guitars.
 
Set to make their debut to the word at massive UK heavy metal festival Bloodstock are two new custom bass guitars that were created to memorialize the forever frontman of Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister.

Paul Raymond Gregory the man behind Bloodstock commissioned Cynosure Guitars to make two different Lemmy inspired basses—“The Lemmy Bass” with a body carved in Wenge wood (found in Central Africa) in the image of Motörhead’s famous “Warpig” (also known as “Snaggletooth” complete with a nose ring and Zebra wood eyes that function as volume controls) and a more classic bass with touches inspired by Lemmy’s love of German WWII military artifacts.

In addition to getting an eyeful of both incredible bass guitars the bar at Bloodstock has been renamed “Lemmy’s Bar” in honor of the rebellious Kilmister who as we all know had a nearly life-long relationship with booze—specifically his beloved Jack and Coke. While I know many of our readers are big Motörhead fans and are probably saying out loud “shut up and take my money!” both fully-functional basses are at this time one-offs and do not appear to be for sale. Yet.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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