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Posts Tagged ‘cartoon’

The Alligator Lady

August 9, 2012 | by

It was one of our first tours back in the summer of 1999. We had been on the road for a month when we pulled into Lawrence, Kansas. The show at the Replay Lounge was sparsely attended, and we spent most of the night dumping quarters into tired, malfunctioning versions of Pole Position, Joust, Tempest, and Dig Dug. At the bar, we heard a rumor about a woman in Kansas City who raised alligators in her home.

The next morning we drove into Kansas City to eat Gates BBQ and look for the house. We were pointed in a general direction, but no one in town could verify this place actually existed. We found ourselves in a lonely part of town right at the edge of the city’s border. After two blocks of knocking on doors, we were ready to call it quits, and then an elderly woman in her seventies opened the door. We introduced ourselves as alligator enthusiasts and asked if she knew anything about the legend of Alligator Woman. “Know her? I am her.” She had a bright smile like a former actor. Her teeth were perfect. No stains, gaps, or cracks in those real teeth. She pushed aside a pile of chicken wire and welcomed us into the dark rooms. I can’t even tell you how good it was.

Excerpted from Who Farted Wrong? Illustrated Weight Loss for the Mind, by permission of Write Bloody Publishing.




Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns

September 1, 2011 | by

I first noticed William Steig’s covers and cartoons around 1970, when I was a teenager and would page through my parents’ New Yorker magazines. His drawings didn’t look like the rest of the cartoons in the magazine. They didn’t have gag lines. There were no boardrooms, no cocktail parties with people saying witty things to one another. His men and women looked as if they were out of the Past, although I wasn’t completely clear as to what era of the Past they were from. Sometimes the drawings made me laugh, and sometimes they didn’t, but I always wanted to look at them. I had a sense that these cartoons were made by someone who had had to create his own language, both visual and verbal, with which to express his view of the world.

His subjects? Animals, both real and imaginary. Also cowboys, farmers, knights on horseback, damsels in distress, gigantic ladies and teeny-tiny men, grandmas, clowns of indeterminate gender, average joes, families, old couples, young couples, artists, deep thinkers, fools, loners, lovers, and hoboes, among other things.

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A Week in Culture: Joe Ollmann, Cartoonist, Part 3

June 16, 2011 | by

This is the third and final installment of Ollmann’s culture diary. Click here to read part 1 and here to read part 2.


Recently, I went to Bar Pam Pam, a mysterious old-man bar in my neighborhood that I have often passed but never had the courage to enter. My friend Murray and I asked what was on tap, and the owner said, “Vieux Montreal” and stopped there. I liked that—it was like an old-time saloon. What kind of beer do you have? Just beer, stranger. This bar was wonderful, genuine, unmanufactured focus-group atmosphere, no loud music and a welcome refuge from hipsters and young people. The old-man bar, like many old men, is an institution that is dying out. It made me think of all of the other old-man bars that I know and love in Montreal. Come with me, I’ll show you …

Bar Pam Pam

I’ve already told you the appeal of this little gem, mere footsteps from my home! But a few notes from my visit there are worth the telling. A tipsy woman took out her guitar, randomly sang “Me and Bobby McGee” in heavily accented English, put the guitar back in its case, and continued drinking. No one else clapped or even seemed to notice this performance. Later, a heavy, bearded dude came in, and the bartender immediately brought a pitcher and glass to his table.

“Why you bring this? You never see me before,” said the bearded man.

“My friend, every night you come, this I know,” said the bartender, with a smile that was met by one from the bearded man. This was obviously their ritual.

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