Friday, August 30, 2013


We're a few months early, but it's that time of year again.

Our friend Mick Morris died a few months back because he had a heart condition. He thought he'd be okay and beat it, but one night after he left the hospital, he went to sleep and never woke up. It's a sad story because he was in his early 30's, had a fiance and a young son.

Mick was one of the first dudes I met when I started getting into hardcore, local shows, straight edge and veganism way back in the late 90's. He worked at The Heavy Metal Shop and lived at the house where the Bucket of Death was born. I hadn't talked to Mick for a few years because he had moved to California, played for Eighteen Visions and toured all the time. We just fell out of touch. He moved back to SLC a little bit ago, but I never crossed paths with him and heard about his death through the Internet.

This weekend, his old band Clear is getting back together for a reunion/benefit show for his son. They asked Tamerlane to play and we said yes. Daryl is busy with being a doctor and new dad and Jake wasn't interested, so we've got a couple of hired guns filling in. It's most likely our only show of the year, so come on out, support Mick's kid and watch a bunch of old guys relive their glory days.

It'll be a good time for a good cause.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013



Sadly, the Half-Assed Reviews have been pretty much non-existent as of late. I still see movies and have more time to write about them, but I just don't. My little notebook of movies I've seen in the theater is almost full. I started it in 2003 and it seems fitting that it'll be full by the end of the year. 10 years of movies in one little notebook. I'll probably hold on to it for a lot longer than I actually need to because I tend to keep things like that for no reason.

But the good news is that you can keep up with some extra half-assed reviews by following my Letterboxd account. I spent most of the night last night cataloging everything I've seen in the theater so far in 2013 and writing quick reviews for all of them.

It's a pretty cool little site. There's no app, but it's optimized for mobile use and works pretty well. It's mostly a place where I talk about how badass The Rock is and give most of the movies three out of five stars.

So far, my highest rated movie of 2013 is MUD and my lowest is JACK THE GIANT SLAYER.

You could always use another social media site to share pointless info with, right? So let's be friends.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


There will be a better, more informative post up soon, but just to give you a heads up, I'll have an Old News Records booth at Salt Lake Comic Con on September 5, 6 and 7.

I'll have more copies of Tulip, Filler (1 and 2), hopefully some more Long Live Sloan shirts and maybe a new design special for the con, too.

If things fall into place, maybe a mini-comic or two as well. Fingers crossed.

More info soon, but right now I'm busy formulating a game plan to get Tia Carrere to fall in love with me. It's taking up the majority of my time.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Salt Lake, I love you.

Craft Lake City was this past weekend and it was awesome. Long hours and a lot of work went into it, but it was totally worth it. I set up shop around 1 pm on Friday and when the doors finally opened a few hours later, Gallivan Center was packed for the rest of the night. Saturday was no different, just a lot longer and a lot hotter.

Old News Records is kind of a boutique thing and has never been very serious for me, but it's always been fun to do. I put out a couple of CD's right before CD's became a thing that nobody actually wanted. It's been pretty quiet since then.

Last year, when I published a zine called Filler, my friend Mike gave me an excerpt from a novel he'd been working on called Tulip. We talked a little bit about it, but not much. A few months later when we were doing the Top 5, he mentioned it was hard for a first-time writer to gain any sort of traction. I told him I'd be applying for Craft Lake City, and if I got in I'd just turn ONR into a publishing company and put it out for him.

Cut to May when they announced the vendors for the 2013 festival, I was sitting on my couch and got the news via Twitter that Old News Records was in. I sent a text to Mike and told him to get it ready because we were doing it. He was nervous and excited all at once. I threw together some ideas for other projects, like another zine and a few mini-comics, but Mike's book was the main thing I wanted to get finished. Everything else could be done or not and I wouldn't really care, but Tulip needed to be ready.

It was. And it looks fantastic.

Huge thanks to Mike Farfel for writing a great book and letting me be a part of it. Tulip is truly a fun read and I'm honored to be a part of something like this. And at some point this week I'll have it available in the Old News Records shop.

And now, everyone else that helped make Craft Lake City as amazing as it was:

First and foremost, Angela Brown and Karamea Puriri for working long hours and putting together a great event. To the dedicated SLUG staff who was there early every morning to late into the night - Alexander Ortega, Esther Merono, Nate Ryan and the rest.

The the amazing people at Molding Box - Ian, Matt & Lauren - for helping me get everything printed in time.

Everyone that had any part of making Filler what it was - Makenna, Chris, Candace, Danielle, Danny, John, The Big Dogg and the duck that I named Alan just now. Austin for bringing me a sandwich from Bud's, my parents for bringing me cookies, chips and some Arnold Palmer's and then letting me steal their patio umbrella all day Saturday. Also, thanks to all the dudes that turned my table into a hardcore hangout for a few hours both days and made it look like something really cool was going on so more people wandered over.

Thanks to the rest of the people in my quiet, shady area, too - Robin Banks (Design Flaw!), Audrey Patten (Midwest Meets West) and her trusty sidekick Casey, Carrie Wakefield and her Metalhead Jewelry Design. We partied all weekend and it was awesome.

I also want to say thanks to everyone that came by my table and picked something up or even just stopped to check things out (even if you were only admiring my early-70's NBA team tablecloth that I stole from Scott Whittaker). You're all fantastic and I wouldn't have had as much fun without you.

It was a hell of a weekend that made it incredibly hard to come back and sit in an office all day on Monday. I just want to be able to do things like CLC and make enough money to live off of. Is that too much to ask?

Luckily for me, Salt Lake Comic Con is only a month away.

Thanks again, everyone. I really mean it.

Monday, August 5, 2013


I like Ryan Ottley. He's an awesome dude and a really great artist. I might have a slightly biased opinion, because INVINCIBLE is a great comic and one that I love reading. When Esther (SLUG Mag managing editor) gave me a list of options to interview about SL Comic Con and he was on it, I didn't even let her finish the list.

He and I met up at the Draw Night thing he does with his artist friends, sat outside and chatted for a bit. It was a good time and we talked about a lot of stuff - including a good chunk that I couldn't even get close to fitting in to the space I had. Luckily for you, that's what the Interview Outtakes feature is for. I'll throw that up later this month, but until then, feast your eyes on Ryan Ottley's Draw Life.

SLUG Mag -- When Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee and Todd McFarlane (among others) founded Image Comics, they revolutionized the comic book industry. The artists were treated like—and acted like—rock stars everywhere they went. It was that attitude that put the creator-owned mindset of Image on equal footing with Marvel and DC.

Twenty years later, Image Comics is still a force led by some of the most famous creators working today. Its continued success is thanks, in large part, to books like Invincible—illustrated by local artist Ryan Ottley. Ottley may not have the bombastic, rock star personality of some of his Image peers, but he is every bit as talented. His line work is some of the cleanest and most detailed in the industry, and the level of gore he reaches at times is a stark contrast to the personality of the mild-mannered Utah resident.

Read the rest.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I was visiting my family in Arizona.*

It was early in the morning and my mom and Aunt Karen were sitting in the kitchen. A newspaper was spread out on the counter. I glanced at it as I walked by. Something in it caught my eye, so I stopped for a closer look. At the bottom of the opened page there was an ad that read something like, “One lucky citizen will receive a phone call from Al Gore today!”

The ad confused me, because that was literally the only thing it said. There was a picture of Al Gore smiling at the camera with a flashy border around the whole thing, but there was no additional information. As I was thinking about it, the phone rang behind me. It was a cordless phone hung up on the wall next to the refrigerator. I was on the side of the counter nearest to it, and my mom and aunt were on the other. Karen motioned for me to go ahead and get it, which was weird since it was her home and I could have just as easily lifted the phone off the hanger and handed it to her. She said no, and told me to answer it. I did.

“Hi. Who’s this?”
“Trevor. Who’s this?”
“Al Gore. I guess you’re the lucky winner!”
“Um, hold on. It’s my aunt’s house. You should probably talk to her.”
“No, no, no. You answered the phone and that means you’ve won. You get to spend the next 45 minutes on the phone with me.” **

My mom and Aunt Karen looked confused as to why I hadn’t passed the phone to them. I pointed to the ad in the paper.

“He said I can’t hand the phone to anyone. I answered so I have to be the one to talk.”

Both of their eyes lit up and they exchanged huge smiles. They both started running around the house telling everyone else what was happening.

“Bob! Kim! Trevor’s on the phone with Al Gore! Al Gore! Come up here!”

Everyone started flooding into the kitchen to watch me. Things started to get awkward because as I was talking to Al Gore about nothing in particular, the crowd got bigger and bigger. My brother showed up, his wife and son not far behind, all my cousins and their kids. I didn’t even know all of these people were in the house, but there they were. I eventually wandered into the backyard, down the steps from the sliding glass door, across the deck and to the back lawn. I paced back and forth as my entire family watched through the window.

I don’t think any of them actually like Al Gore as a politician and they’re not fans of his environmental efforts – he’s just the closest thing to a celebrity as they could get. They weren’t jealous that I was the one talking to him and not them, they were just happy to be within a single degree of separation of someone that’s been on TV before.

The first real meaty conversation we got into was about stamps.*** He was telling me about his stamp collection, but it was one he'd just barely started, so the only ones he'd collected so far were the "Forever" stamps that you can buy at the supermarket. He bought his at the post office from the self-service kiosk. He was really excited about it. I told him about my Grandpa's collection that he'd been working on for most of my life and probably before that, too. Al Gore was impressed. I looked up to the window to see if my Grandpa was there, but he wasn't. I relayed this info to Al, but he quickly shot me down. "Well, even if he was there I wouldn't be able to talk to him. You're the one that answered the phone."

Not for a single minute did my new friend Al and I talk politics or the environment. As soon as I got to one end of the yard, it ceased to be a yard anymore and turned into a desolate alleyway. Al Gore was suddenly giving me tips on how to navigate my way through various scenarios that play out in horror movies. As he began to describe whatever situation popped in to his head, that’s what my surroundings became. When he started talking about how to avoid a herd of zombies in an alley,**** all of a sudden I was in an alley looking for places to avoid the undead lumbering towards me. When he started giving me tips on evading a serial killer chasing my through the streets in the middle of the night, that’s what was around the next corner.

There was, however, always one exception. Wherever I ended up, whatever the scene became, there was always a window about 10 feet above me where my whole family was watching. They were never worried about me, because Al Gore was always able to tell me exactly what to do, exactly when to do it. I was never in any danger whatsoever.

Eventually my 45 minutes were up and he said he had to go. I understood, we said our goodbye’s and hung up the phone. That’s when the window to my aunt’s kitchen disappeared and I was all alone in a weird alleyway/neighborhood street hybrid. One half was the alley and the other half was a quiet suburban street lined with trees. I had no phone anymore and no way to get back to wherever I was supposed to be.

That's when I woke up.

This was a dream I had the other night. Lately I've been having weird dreams and in the middle of the night when I wake up, I take notes about them. The next morning, I try to remember everything I can about the dream, so I decided to start fleshing them out.

Here are the footnotes.

* Aside from my Grandpa for 5 months out of the year, I have no family in Arizona whatsoever. My Aunt Karen lives in the suburbs of Sandy. Everything about the house was the same, it was just in Arizona and the only reason I know that is because the newspaper was the Arizona Republic.

** This is the only actual dialogue that I remember.

*** I'm pretty sure this portion of the dream/conversation came about because earlier that day I'd been watching Jeopardy Kid's Week (which I killed at, by the way) and there was a category about stamps that I did surprisingly well at.

**** I woke up once in the middle of this dream because I jumped when a zombie came out of literally nowhere. I must have twitched in bed, which scared my cats because they jumped off the bed which is what woke me up. Luckily, I fell right back asleep and right back into the middle of the dream.