Storm Pitch: ARE WE NOT MEN? WE ARE DURACELL!

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Sorry, The Creep in the Art Department just couldn’t resist. An apocalyptic storm bearing down, and all the shit laid out on the counter, and it was just sitting there, man, a real MAD MEN moment. “Are we not men? WE ARE DURACELL.”

Some muscles never stop flexing.

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Blizzard Reading: My Hero, DALE COOPER OF TWIN PEAKS: “YOU’LL SEE ME AGAIN IN 25 YEARS.”

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 David Lynch’s Jan 12 2015 Tweet

 — This piece is slated to run in ANGRY MORON #4

My Hero, DALE COOPER OF TWIN PEAKS: “YOU’LL SEE ME AGAIN IN 25 YEARS.”

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Of course that’s Sheryl Lee as Laura Palmer, Twin Peak‘s dead heroine/spectre and emotional schism, warning FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) of even darker days to come during one of the show’s numerous dream sequences.

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In the summer of 2014 I was approached to write a series of essays for (what I was led to believe) would be an anthology of nonfiction pieces describing “the Twin Peaks experience.” The nature of the project was later revealed to be something else altogether, and I went elsewhere. But since I had given my opening volley my very best ammo, here you go.

TWIN PEAKS, a memoir by Simon Drax Part 1: Roll The Video Tape

She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic.”

Many things come wrapped in plastic: candy, porn, drugs, Laura Palmer—and video tapes.

I was fairly destitute in April 1990, living w/ five useless friends in a brooding ramshackle house in Allston, Massachusetts. We had cable, but little A/V equipment. We had a television, the five useless friends had their guitars, I had my shitty PC on which I wrote hopeless fiction, but we were without a single vital device: a VCR.

David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks would premiere in mere days, and being an obsessive geek in my early 20s who felt he had to own the shit he loved, I came to a desperate realization—I would tape every episode of Twin Peaks as they aired.

At this point in my life I had watched both Eraserhead and The Elephant Man a minimum of 500 times, had seen Blue Velvet twice on opening day, and was even fond of certain sequences of Dune. I just knew—Lynch and Frost’s show would be something strange, unexpected, vital. I had to have it, keep it, own it. There was just one problem. I didn’t have a VCR.

“MOM?!” I said into the phone, intentionally cracking my voice (bad acting) to fully project my desperation. “THE GREATEST DIRECTOR IN THE WORLD IS MAKING A TV SERIES AND I WANT TO TAPE IT, CAN I BORROW YOUR VCR?”

“What?” my mother said.

More quietly: “The greatest director in the world is making a TV series. May I borrow your VCR?”

“For how long?”

“Only eight episodes!”

“Eight what?”

Because she could not see me, I allowed myself the cruelty of rolling my eyes. “Eight weeks,” I told her.

“That’s a long time!” she said.

She doesn’t even use the fucking thing, I thought, but remaining calm, I said, “Not that long. I’ll take good care of it, and I’ll bring it right back.”

“Well…”

Short version: she said yes. I thanked her profusely, hung up the phone then danced around the room not unlike Laura Palmer’s good little boy spirit with the mask in FIRE WALK WITH ME. That scene of course would come later, and I’ll get to FIRE soon enough.

But back to April 1990—

It’s been nearly 25 years. Forgive me, the details have become a little blurred. I’d had a date, gone to a party, slept with a girl—or something or someone—the night before and the morning of TWIN PEAKS’ premiere, and I realized HOLY SHIT, I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIME. My mother lived 30 miles away from my ramshackle house, an hour’s drive each way, thanks to the congested Hell of Boston/Brighton/Allston.

(I broke the speed limit.)

Breaking the speed limit, I wondered what TWIN PEAKS would deliver that night.

I thought Kyle MacLachlan’s character would actually be a sinister villain. (Wrong.)

I thought there would be a huge body count. (Wrong.)

I thought there would be dream sequences. (NNNnnn… not really. Not yet.)

But I was certain of one thing: it would be good. (Yes.)

At my mom’s she gave me a big hug and kiss. She couldn’t see me wince or the blood that ran from my eyes, not because I didn’t like receiving a hug from my mother but because of the toxic levels of BEN GAY that swirled like the atmosphere of Venus in her apartment. We chatted, she offered me cookies, but to my disgrace I was too busy disconnecting the coaxial cables of her VCR then reconnecting them to her TV. In my feeble defense, she really never used the thing, ever. I’d bought her copies of CASABLANCA and GONE WITH THE WIND and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE and the like but she never watched them or anything else, ever. Maybe I’ll just keep it, I thought, full of evil, but then, No, No, Never, super boy scout, just like Dale Cooper, who was only hours from my future.

“I gotta go. Thank you. I love you.” But that VCR was tucked firmly under my arm.

Back in Allston, minutes from PEAKS’ premiere, my useless friends wandered into the “TV room” as I hurriedly made the coaxial connections.

“Man!” they said. “What’s that smell?!”

“Ben Gay,” I told them. “Shut up.”

“Man, how the fuck does Ben Gay permeate plastic—“

“I don’t know. Shut up!”

Because it was time. The VCR was hooked up, the cassette snapped in, the tape rolling. And TWIN PEAKS was unleashed to the universe.

Text © Simon Drax

Ah yeah. Composing this post now, this is how I imagine Dale Cooper’s response to my scribblings:

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He would not be amused or impressed.

Because after I was approached to write the series of TP essays and after I had produced the short piece above, I thought it would be instructive to watch Twin Peaks start-to-finish, something I hadn’t done in too many years, and it was… inspiring.

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Dale Cooper as realized by Lynch, Frost, and MacLachlan really is a hero. Not a one-dimensional Super Boy Scout but a man generous and absolutely loyal to his friends as well as razor-sharp and unflinching in the face of evil, fearless when dealing with shitheads and bastards. Re-watching Twin Peaks I realized I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to be Dale Cooper. Dale Cooper would never steal his mother’s unused VCR. Newsflash: I didn’t. It was returned as promised eight weeks later, where it would sit beneath her TV to be covered with dust and unused until her death in 2010, then thrown out.

As for Dale Cooper, matters grew dark as the original run of Twin Peaks came to a close.

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He didn’t fall in with a bad crowd. Like many good men, he got too close to the bad.

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Even when possessed by demonic Bob, Coop managed to land not only a punch but a mirror-shattering head-butt, above, giggling like a sick fuck of evil to come. And that was the last we saw of our hero.

Until 2016, that is.

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I look forward to your return, Coop. Dust off that black suit and smash Bob out of your skull!

Ω

dearest, your heart is wounded from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio

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Inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla
Illustration: Isabella Mazzanti

dearest, your heart is wounded from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Tracks:

Flowering Vines, Unwoman | The Pomegranate, Solitude Forest | Dulcinea, Redefine my pure faith | We Are As Ghosts, Friends of Alice Ivy | Under the Fate of the Blue Moon, JILL TRACY | Wake Up Wake Up, The Groundskeepers Daughter | Control Me, Kandle | Sisterblood, Burning Leaves | Tiny Wars and Quiet Storms, Alter der Ruine | Rosebuds, White Hex | FUTURE GHOSTS, Sidewalks and Skeletons | Carpe Nacht, Espectrostatic

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FAUN – ANDRO – LIVE

Slipped across the coffee bar from a friend this morning, sweet fingers sliding the file between the sugar and the stirrers. God, I’m blessed by such friends.

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The Old Favorites and Passionate Shit January Drax Mix

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Nothing new here, just good shit if you like the shit I like.

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This must be the 10th time I’ve included CROSS BONES STYLE by Cat Power in a mix. The song has an incantatory power over me, apparently—it seems an essential part of my mix spell. Part of the ritual. Rituals are good and potent, of course. We just have to be wary of losing ourselves in that whirling circle.

Anyway, enjoy. The Old Favorites and Passionate Shit January Drax Mix

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the amazing ANDROMEDA 3 cover reveal!

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Cover Design, Illustration, and Typography by Paul DiNovo

Source Material, Edward Poynter

Books are dreams.

We are lured by the cover, the copy, occasionally the endorsements, the spell of the first pages: books are dreams. They make promises that we want to believe.

Every time we take a book from the shelves or the table, dusty at the library or moldy from a flea market or yard sale, every time we open an unread book, we hope the bound paper in our hands contains the power to take us somewhere else.

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So here’s to dreaming and believing in new stories and new books, from the interior dreamer to the exterior reader, here’s to an amazing artist and designer I count myself lucky to call friend and ally. We’ll meet again soon in the semi-funny pages.

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VideoScope #93 Is In The House!

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YET ANOTHER AMAZING ISSUE! How does The Phantom do it?!

Well, the source material does inspire.

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Spoiler: After being in a film w/ fucking ELVIS, Laurel Goodwin was hired for Star Trek’s THE CAGE because, get this, she had great legs. So in a fit of cinematic genius the wardrobe manager decided to shroud her in one of the bulkiest, grossest costumes ever designed for any woman, ever.

Yes, I am a pig. My Male Gaze is firmly cemented in my cranium. I’m turning 50 in a few weeks, and I doubt I’ll ever change. But it was Gene Roddenberry who would insist on “revenge,” dressing first Nichole Nichols in a “dress uniform” that barely covered her ass AND THEN insisting Marina Sirtis wear something similar an astonishing 20 years later.

Yeah, THE FUTURE LOOKS GREAT FOR WOMEN.

Kidding.

Anyway, the new ‘SCOPE is so chock full of great shit it’s sick. Available at better bookstores everywhere, or visit The Phantom online at videoscopemag.com.

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Andromeda Dreaming

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The Andromeda Galaxy

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Andromeda, flagship of United Earth Forces, War w/ The White Comet, Yamato

Andromeda_Pencil_Poynter, Edward John

Andromeda, study by Poynter

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Andromeda, finished, by Poynter

Was Eddie Poynter into it or what?

Anyway—

THE ANDROMEDA 3

excerpt

by simon drax

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They arrive at the tall guy’s secret house. It’s a secluded cottage in the woods. He carries each tied up girl inside, placing them gently on the floor in front of a roaring fire, a massive stone fireplace.

 The Tall Guy takes a seat. Lights a cigarette, pours himself a drink.

“I’m going to untie you both in a minute,” he says, “and let you bathe and relax. But then—we must talk. And then I must bind you, again.”

Romana and Ali swap a desperate glance. Romana nods yes. Ali shakes her head no. Then they both tilt toward each other, friends, eyes searching. And then they slowly nod.

Bound hand and foot on the floor, they turn to their captor. “Yes.”

“Good.” The Tall Guy leans forward. “The two of you are essential to all future life in the Milky Way Galaxy. There is a super massive Black Hole in the center of our galaxy that will wreak untold havoc unless you two (and an undiscovered third) unite and use your power to subdue the black hole. Alas, this gravitational shift will cause massive grief to neighboring galaxies—especially Andromeda.”

Ali bares her teeth, her arms and feet aching from the rope. She turns to her captor. “We’re supposed to believe this shit?!”

“Yes,” he says, nonplussed. He leans forward. “I am from the future. This is recorded history. It must not go wrong at any cost. But our enemies—“

“Those soldiers?” Ramona says.

“Yes. They are soldiers from the future, from Andromeda. They’ve come here to change history, they want to kill you, stop you.”

Their captor leans back in his chair. “And then there is the matter of the third.”

On their stomachs, bound hand and foot, Ali and Romana exchange a glance. “Third?”

“Yes, the third. The lost sister, the final segment of the triad. The missing element of the Triple Goddess that will seal the Black Hole and ensure continued life in the Milky Way Galaxy.”

“Who is she? Where is she?”

Their captor sits back in his chair and draws on his cigarette. The two girls bound hand and foot under punishing coils of rope can only twist on the floor and await his answer.

Finally he says, “We don’t know where she is, but we will find her. Your lost sister is vital.”

Ali and Romana exchange a baffled glance, share a quick kiss, then both turn with venom to their captor. “WE’RE NOT SISTERS.”

“Ah, but you are. We shall find her.”

He unsheathes his knife. “I will untie you now. I will draw a bath for the both of you. But I expect you to behave.”

“Maybe,” Ali says as her wrists are freed.

“The Black Hole MUST be sealed. The strange weather, the storms you’re experiencing? It’s not what you call ‘climate change,’ it’s the Black Hole. It’s decimating the galaxy at an astonishing rate. Earth will be utterly destroyed in 2 of your years.”

“But NASA—the government—they would know!”

The Tall Guy draws a sad drag from his smoke as he cuts the rope binding the girls. “They do know.”

He stands as the girls wriggle free from the ropes. “They’re just not telling you.”

† † †

ANDROMEDA 3

coming from a major publisher

new cover design soon

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Daddy’s Worst Driving Nightmare

VANGELIS! FUCK YEAH!

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Ω

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