by J.T. Dockery
(all snapshots by Carey Gough)
As previously reported, I shook up the Old Kentucky Home reality principle and relocated to Vermont. Not one to stay gone for long, I've been back in the state for a stretch of four months, and soon to make my way back to the northeast, so now seemed a good a time as any to speak here about some of the movements I've been making.
For one thing, I've already been busy blogging my poor little old heart out over at Covertly and By Snatches. In my State of the Union address, I touch upon a lot of what the Doc has been cooking. Rather than repeat statements from that document, I'll just suggest you click that link in the previous sentence, and let me expand further on that information here.
I've somewhat changed my mind about double-posting contemporary comics reviews. What I will do, as I am now, is link to them in context of running my mouth on other topics in this clubhouse. Oh, for one thing, the Stumptown comics festival award that included work of mine, Lies Grown Ups Told Me, did in fact win that award for best anthology.
Recently I've thrown words at Dunja Jankovic, Josh Bayer, R. Clint Colburn, and Max Clotfelter. What started as an odyssey in Transylvania Gentlemen with Tom Neely & Chris Cilla, Geoff Grogan, the fourth installment of the Studygroup 12 anthology, and then morphed into an interview with Julia Gfrörer in a Victorian Squares way, now takes the form it will take for what's left of the foreseeable future.
My original idea to toss contemporary comics reviews in the mix of JSH and I prattling on about whatever popped into our noggins was to break the chains of presenting comics in a comics-centric only context, a manner by which to fight the future, that part of the future which bends towards each subculture that is sinking more and more into isolated rabbit holes, which begets a kind of head up one's own bunghole reality principle, a tendency of the modern age of which this old syncretic boy does not approve. I am interested in everything, and it was my hope to get at other people interested in a wide variety of topics, to possibly get them interested in the new comics I find interesting and not speak to the choir of people who live and breathe comics (but not exclude them either, and, hell, invite them to the party where we talk about beer, bourbon, boxing other things literary). JSH's apparent response to toss in his own meditations on the Dregs of Comicdom into the mix of me investigating the current cream of the avant-garde crop was pitch perfect.
Speaking of being interested in everything, you'd probably take from my State of the Union and these words up until this moment, that I live and breathe comics. But, oh no, this roving reporter has been on many an adventure that don't have jack to do with the fine tradition of sequential art. You can peep a picture of me standing at the gates to the Rosine Cemetery where the final remains of Bill Monroe are at rest in western Kentucky at the State of the Union page. Besides exploring greater Muhlenberg county where a man can see Merle Travis's Nudie's suit and a few other things, I went on a journey with Kentucky born photographer Carey Gough, who currently resides in the UK (that's the United Kingdom not the University of Kentucky) who was back in the states for a spring time visit.
With the Stooges song "Death Trip" in my head, I woke up early the day we were to be headed out to Knoxville, Tennessee to follow the path that led ol' Hank William's last ride, in which he left this mortal coil in the back seat of a Cadillac in nineteen hundred and fifty three. From his last night in a hotel in Knoxville along the old highways to Oak Hill, WV where he was officially pronounced dead. There's a lot of confusion and contradiction in the story of Hank's death, and, with Carey's collection of documents and articles, we became like detectives as much as tourists finding our way, searching for landmarks and clues. We plan on collaborating on a book to document the trip, so I'll just let these words stand for now, use some of Carey's informal digital snapshots to decorate this particular missive (her "real" film photographs will be coming along later), and point you in the direction of Louisville, Kentucky's own Courier-Journal recent article on our Ms. Gough.
It seems strange to me that it's been over five years since I said to Colonel J.S. Holland that in the modern age the lounge act of Cheeseburger & Fries could trasnmutate into a back and forth blog, with each of us contributing, and the banter that the act always practiced before during and between songs could exist as articles. And it was Jeff that gave context to it all with his Transylvania Gentlemen concept. And then it all fucked back in on itself again into this Victorian Sqaures clubhouse, with the Transylvania Gentlemen notion itself transmutating into something that if I was aware of such particulars, I wouldn't be at liberty to speak of such particulars, sir. Then, just to prove when it seems like our patterns are predictable, JSH and I for different reasons spend the past year blogging for free less than ever, and it seems to hit the right note that in that space, Brine Manley (Eggroll to our Cheeseburger & Fries) suddenly starts up his own machine, which has been running in our absence. And suddenly we're both back here, which goes to show that between Creeps Time and the End Times, you just gotta hang onto our coattails.