August 30, 2005
I have been reading Emily Flake's Lulu Eightball comic in Birmingham's Black & White for a while, Flake's comics are always my second stop in the B&W (after the music listings, of course), and her wonderful black comedy never fails to make me laugh and feel better about my own evil foibles (many of which I share with Lulu). LHB sponsor and favorite bookstore Atomic Books chose to make this collection its first selection as a publisher, a distinctive start to their publishing fortunes. When I received the book, one glance at the cover instantly made me smile with anticipation for the strips I may have missed (plus, there is a monkey with a hip flask, and that's always funny).
In her own words, here is Emily Flake's "Book Notes" submission for her comic collection, Lulu Eightball:
Lulu Eightball – the playlist
The "Courtin' Songs" strip references Faure's "Requiem" which my father did indeed use to woo my mother. Hey sweet thing, you wanna kick back and groove to some dirges? Slick fellow, my dad. That strip also mentions the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song. Owning BTVS dvd sets is certainly a way to get Lulu into bed, although she won’t actually do anything in there, because Buffy will be on. Lulu doesn’t really talk too much about music, because then everyone will know how much she likes Billy Joel. Ok, how much I like Billy Joel. Yeah, I said it. You hear me? I LIKE BILLY JOEL.
Here are a few other albums that get played a lot at Lulu Eightball HQ. Notes where I felt it necessary.
For the record (har), “The Longest Time?” “Uptown Girl? “Movin’ Out?” Come the f*ck on! Solid gold, folks!
Heatmiser – Dead Air: Elliott Smith was in this band, before he got all quiet and pretty and eventually, dead. I like me some quiet pretty Elliott Smith too, but this particular Heatmiser album is just such a rocker, catchy as hell.
New Pornographers – Mass Romantic
Neko Case – Canadian Amp
The Handsome Family. Anything by the Handsome Family, really. Particularly Through the Trees. This is one of the loveliest, saddest albums of all time. Their gallows humor and loneliness is at the heart of a lot of what I try to do with my comic strip. "The Woman Downstairs" marks the only moment I ever loved Chicago, when I lived there – a cold November evening, walking across Ashland Avenue, the wind, as in the lyric, screaming down it, the giant clouds hanging low and racing in the sky, the whole scene so melancholy and beautiful and very privately sad, I could have died. That's something I miss.
The Arcade Fire – Funeral: I will cheerfully hop on the bandwagon of praising these folks to the stars. Shit, I’ll drive the bandwagon if you want. I actually can’t work during the first two songs, that’s how pretty they are. You know what those songs have? They have hope. And grandeur and beauty and risk. They’re f*cking...they’re noble.
Wire – On Returning
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Elliott Smith (toldja) – Roman Candle
Pinback – self-titled
Love – Forever Changes
And, if you really want to know something about me and the way I think, go find a song called "Fish and Bird" by Tom Waits. Maybe it says I’m a sucker, a sap, a maudlin fool with pedestrian emotions. Maybe it says I think whales and birds can actually love one another. All I know, is that I cannot hear it without bursting into tears.