THERE GOES TOKYO 002: SUICIDE CLUB

A monthly column from Spooky of Hockomock Press with thoughts on some unsung horror/sci-fi touchstones to come from Japanese cinema
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By the end of the twentieth century, suicide in Japan had reached its highest point since the early eighties. 1998 was an unprecedented spike, seeing a 33% rate increase over the previous year, and the relatively tame decade that preceded it. While this number did dwindle ever so slightly over the course of the early 2000’s, the number of suicides in Japan was consistently over 30,000 for the remainder of the decade. Though the Japanese government introduced initiatives to inhibit the number of suicides by 2007, one thing had become alarmingly clear: this was an incomprehensible epidemic. 

One film that seemed to capture the zeitgeist in its infancy was Sion Sono’s Suicide Club, premiering in late 2001, and seeing a wide release in Spring 2002. Though it’s gone on to become somewhat of a cult classic in its own right, the film is not typically considered in the same breadth as its turn-of-the-century J-Horror compatriots (Ringu; Ju-On: The Grudge; Audition), nor the hyper-violent nightmare visions (Battle Royale; Ichi the Killer) of that same period that it (admittedly) may share more similarities with. 

Though Suicide Club enjoyed minor success on the film festival circuit, it proved too divisive with audiences to achieve the international notoriety that those films did. Many felt the film had an interesting premise, but failed to live up to its complete potential— losing sight of its concept somewhere around the mid-point, while failing to come together under a singular, unified vision.

It is admittedly hard to let go of such an intriguing setup— Suicide Club begins with fifty Japanese schoolgirls cheerfully leaping in front of an oncoming train, their remains splattering all over the bystanders on the platform. It remains one of the most visceral, tension-filled opening sequences in the annals of horror, and any film, from any director, would have trouble living up to such a sequence. Even as someone who spent their childhood playing on the train tracks in the woods at their grandmother’s behest, this scene still unsettles yours truly.

But Suicide Club quickly shifts gears, shifting from several different viewpoints in almost vignette style rather than adopting a central character, all while the suicide craze sweeps the nation: detectives race to find the link between a chain of human skin (seriously) found at the scene of the mass suicide, and its relation to other suicides springing up around the country; teenagers playfully discuss the news until it becomes a much more immediate reality; a computer nerd leaves the police breadcrumbs on the internet; the girlfriend of a victim uncovers the whole conspiracy; a preteen idol group overtakes the cultural landscape.

Though these threads are only tangentially related in a plot sense, they all contain sequences which build tension through seemingly mundane circumstances, until they explode into surreal, satirical horror. As a result, every scene is filled with a nightmarish queasiness— constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, expecting the worst that Sono has already promised he can give you. This is a filmmaker who refuses to hold back— whether it be the recurring shot of a woman steadfastly chopping her own finger off, or a wannabe Charles Manson croons while his underling rapes and murders a woman just off camera, it’s hard to escape the feeling that Sono is challenging his audience to hate the movie

By the end of the film, frustration is completely understandable. Nearly none of the film’s central questions are answered, and viewers may feel like they’ve just been subject to horrible musings with no payoff. Is there a cult surrounding suicides in Japan? Why? Who is behind it all? Why are people willingly killing themselves? Conclusions are only vaguely hinted at, in a manner that seems so far removed from the eye-level realism that the film inhabits so effectively, in order to lend credence to the absurdity of the mayhem unfolding… but no denouement is ever provided. It is downright confounding. 

Yet Suicide Club is a film that demands patience from its audience– for its horrors to slowly unfurl in the mind, and the understanding that Sono was never really invested in the routine machinations of plot. Instead, the film’s genius lies in its cultural critique of the generation gap: fear of youth culture and attempts to pacify it; lack of understanding based on outdated perceptions; mass media frenzies and the extrapolation of violence; fear of the internet boom. Sono was hitting on topics that remain alarmingly relevant today, even if it wasn’t immediately apparent to audiences at the time. Though the structure of the film may seem frenetic in its presentation of story elements, it is meticulous in how it unravels the grander motifs at play, relying on lingering questions to disturb you more than an open-and-shut story you can pack away. 
Suicide Club was truly ahead of its time– a horror film for the Information Age that didn’t fully appreciate what it had at the time: something that relied more on haunting ideas and images than comprehensible jumps and jolts. As the decade marched on, the number of suicides in Japan was consistently over 30,000 per year for the remainder of the decade, mass media labelled misunderstood teenagers as part of a “suicide cult,” the internet lived up to its most depraved potential, and the cultural divide between youth and adults only widened. Sono obviously didn’t have a glimpse into the future, but it’s fair to say he crafted something frighteningly emblematic of it. Perhaps those visions of surrealistic horror were not so far removed from reality after all.

THERE GOES TOKYO 001: GODZILLA vs. DESTROYAH

A monthly column from Spooky of Hockomock Press with thoughts on some unsung horror/sci-fi touchstones to come from Japanese cinema
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When considering the history of Japanese horror and science fiction, there is no figure that looms larger than that of Godzilla– a worldwide staple of pop culture, the King of the Monsters debuted in 1954 as an allegory for the nuclear devastation suffered at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As sequels were produced, the original message suffered, but the character continued to thrive as the decades marched on– going from villain, to reluctant antihero of Japan, to children’s anthropomorphic superhero as any given film saw fit.

Image result for showa godzilla

The original run of Godzilla films, spanning from 1954 until 1975, is known as the Showa era: after the dire original entry, these films are mainly known for men-in-monster-costumes royal rumbles and outlandish set pieces comprised of stiff models and toy cars. Though the films produced in this period are considered classics of the genre (the Criterion Collection just released a box set for all fifteen entries), they also continued to see diminishing returns at the box office, and Toho (Godzilla’s parent company) put the series on hiatus for almost ten years. The era that followed, though never reaching the grim atmosphere of the original film, would reboot the franchise in a deliberate attempt to lend some gravity to the monstrous proceedings. 

As such, the Heisei period of the Godzilla franchise, comprised of entries produced from the eighties to mid-nineties, is generally looked upon less fondly than those previous films. This is due, in no small part, to their lack of accessibility to a generation of viewers who came of age in a time when the primary source for Godzilla films was late night television or video rental stores. The only way to see most of these new movies in nineties USA was when your parents “accidentally” left you at the dirt mall, and the man who sold Toho bootlegs put one of them on to keep you quiet until the police arrived. With heavier studio oversight restricting the absurdist creativity that was present in decades previous, and nostalgia playing less of a factor, the seven films that make up the Heisei era are frequently accused of lacking the heart and creative integrity of their predecessors. 

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Godzilla vs. Destoroya

This may be true to some degree, but it is certainly not the case with 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

If you’ve never seen a Godzilla film outside the original or the American interpretations, and you’re really itching to see what this sixty-five year old franchise is all about, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is the place to start– so I will now attempt to sell you on not only the twenty-second film of a franchise, but the final installment of a rebooted era, in which its main selling point dies.

Yes, Godzilla dies in this movie. No, it’s not really a spoiler. Not only was this the tagline on the poster of the film, but CNN was even doing news stories on it ahead of the film’s release, as Toho was pushing this as the final Godzilla film– that, of course, ended up not being the case, but the amount of care put into what was meant to be Godzilla’s swan song makes it stand out amongst an overcrowded field.

Image result for godzilla vs destoroyah cover

With that said, a Godzilla film is only as good as its villain, which brings us to the titular Destoroyah– an abominable amalgamation of the Xenomorph, the Predator, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Satan. This creature is born from a species of mutating Precambrian organisms, a direct side effect of the Oxygen Destroyer, the weapon used to the defeat of the original Godzilla in 1954 (yes, it’s that complicated). Destoroyah is not only the perfect thematic villain for this juncture in the series, but with a constantly-evolving look throughout the film, invokes the absolute peak of both suitmation technique and the kaiju genre. Though shamelessly borrowing from some of cinema’s most legendary creatures, Destoroyah is an exemplary showcase for the best this series has to offer.

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All roads converge in a forty-minute climax that pits Godzilla in a battle against his new foe, while the humans race to prevent Godzilla from triggering a nuclear apocalypse. Amidst some of the finest beam spam you’ll ever see, Godzilla and Destoroyah (and Godzilla Junior) march towards the inevitable conclusion that the marketing campaign promised, you will question whether you’re actually just watching stunt performers attack one another in monster costumes. Though the human characters traditionally become an afterthought once the monsters begin battling in these films, here there is a post-human element at play: the irresponsible use of nuclear power has resulted in the fate of the world being decided by two of its most hideous creations, while the humans struggle to find some semblance of footing in this narrative to turn the tides.

Though the film and its conclusion aren’t free from some of the genre’s most inherent issues (you’ll swear an action figure is being used once or twice), the filmmakers make well on their promise to send Godzilla off in a breathtaking finale. Toho couldn’t keep their hands off their favorite property for long (the series was rebooted again less than five years later), but Godzilla vs. Destoroyah still stands apart from the rest of the franchise due to its deliberate attempt to close the curtains. Not only does it maintain reverence for the themes of the original film and the techniques utilized throughout the Showa era, but it keeps its feet firmly planted in modern sensibilities in order to create a surprisingly moving monster melee.

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J’s Deep Cuts

A collection of actually scary songs.
Our bud and Made By artist @artwithjosh made a playlist of actually scary songs and writes up about his top 6 tracks that scare him the most.

Is it possible for just a song to truly frighten the listener? Are horror scores actually scary when taken out of the context of the movie? Does anyone really buy vinyl reissues of horror soundtracks… and then sit down and listen to them?

The answer to all three of these questions, is yes. 

With Halloween on the way, my music choices have started to get a little spookier. Since the start of October, each week, my wife and I have been blasting through movies that fit certain categories: Killers, Monsters, the Supernatural (and so on) and I’ve realized that RARELY is any of the music in the movies actually scary. There are some amazing horror soundtracks out there, but nine out of ten times, the music in most horror movies is either sparse, obnoxious or hokey.

We all know the shrieking strings in Psycho were effective in scaring audiences, that Michael Meyers doesn’t work without Carpenter’s ominous, plodding synths and that most good horror scores are intentionally written to FrEaK u OuT. 

But let me share with you some of the songs that make me feel personally freaked…

Let me share with you, a few… deep cuts.

Stigmata by Ministry 

“Cutting my face
And walking on splinters
I lost my soul
To the look in your eyes
Your eyes”

Where I lived in New Hampshire, on most nights there was very little to do. Aside from the movie theater and a couple pizza places, the town essentially closed down after 9 PM. For this reason my friends and I would drive to a neighboring town to go to a record shop that stayed open until midnight and to eat french fries/smoke cigarettes in the Denny’s. To get to said town you had to cruise down a dark, winding, strip of road for about 40 minutes, and you would eventually come upon Salem, NH. It was the fall and I was on a solo trip back from Salem when the speakers in my junker Ford Taurus station wagon began rattling and I almost drove off the fucking road. At about 20 seconds into Ministry’s Stigmata, the MOST unsettling scream/noise/chaos is unleashed upon listeners. The lyrics are dark, and violent. I have grown to really, really love this song, but Ministry, not so much. This song is basically like one of those youtube videos where nothing is going on, and you have been advised to turn the  volume ALL THE WAY UP on your phone/computer and then a dead person’s face suddenly appears and you realized you’ve been PrAnKeD. 

Suspiria by Goblin

For those who don’t know, Goblin are an incredibly cool Italian prog band who have made a career out of scoring horror movies. Goblin are the musical group behind most of Dario Argento’s notable films like Suspiria, Tenebre, Deep Red, Zombi etc. and the Suspiria theme is just plainly unsettling. 

Suspiria, visually, freaks me out. The whole atmosphere of the movie just makes me feel very nervous and thinking about getting lost in that huge dance academy, or having to sleep in that shadow-y gymnasium… no.

I don’t know if the low, tribal, woodwind sound is a didjeridu or something else- but when it’s paired with the spider-y, medieval-y melody, I don’t need to be watching Suspiria for the theme to make me feel uneasy. The only thing that usually frees me from the clutches of this spooky track is thinking about how cool it is that an Italian prog band named Goblin write such sick horror scores.

Frankie Teardrop by Suicide

Frankie is so desperate
He’s gonna kill his wife and kids
Frankie’s gonna kill his kid
Frankie picked up a gun”

I first heard about Suicide through my friend Carl who pointed out that Alan Vega’s signature “WOO!” yelp was stolen by Bruce Springsteen for his minimal masterpiece Nebraska. Apparently Springsteen was into Suicide and it was an homage to the duo. This song is incredibly dark. I was walking around Lower Allston/Boston in the middle of the day, heading back from a shift at a sandwich shop I worked at. I was listening to Suicide’s self-titled debut album for he first time. I had put in the time to find it and steal it via Mediafire and was thoroughly enjoying it and spacing out to the hypnotic art-punk of Alan Vega and Martin Rev when suddenly, Frankie Teardrop came on. 

The subject matter, the way Vega screams, the feeling you are left with when the song ends… jesus. It’s a really messed up song. Oh yeah, its also like, 11 minutes long.

Penetration by The Stooges

Penetrate
Penetrate me
I’m so fine, so fine, so fine
I get excited
I get excited
I’m alone, I’m so fine, pull a line”

I can’t remember when I first heard this particular Stooges album but it was definitely when I still had my V-card. I didn’t (and still don’t) know whether it was about having sex or shooting up, but Iggy’s vocal delivery is so menacing, violent and hard that it scared me. Iggy Pop used to freak out his audience when he would cut his chest open on stage and Penetration sounds like a song written by a dude… who would cut his chest open on stage (and is super into pain).

This song is very mean sounding. The opening guitar riff sounds like it’s about to steal a cop car. If you listen to how Iggy’s sings on this, and not just the lyrics, it sounds like he is trying to convince someone to slit his throat.

Lover’s Prayer by Laurence Vanay

Whooooooo the hell decides to write/record songs that sound like this, but not for a horror movie? I listened to this hungover, over the winter and it kind of helped ease my hangover, but by making me feel like I just might be actually dead. I decided to research a little bit by googling “Is Laurence Vanay an evil person?”  The answer was no, Vanay, as explained on the Light in the Attic (record label) website, is a pseudonym for a woman named Jacqueline Thibault, who once said: 

“Since childhood, I improvised and composed songs and instrumental music… it seemed to me that music was the true language of emotions.”

I would have to assume that her childhood consisted of talking to spiders, digging up dead bodies, bringing them home to her small, dimly lit cottage (where she lives alone, because she killed her family) and then composing strange, haunting songs for her audience of corpses. 

This track just weirds me out, at the same time I think it’s great and I really enjoy this record when I’m in my sober moments and trying to relax. Light in the Attic do such a great job of releasing hard-to-find or previously unreleased albums of all styles/genres. Most songs on this (1975) reissue genuinely sound like they were pulled from a 70’s horror soundtrack and I’m glad we get a chance to hear them. 

Mind Playing Tricks on Me by The Geto Boys 

The more I swung, the more blood flew
Then he disappeared and my boys disappeared too
Then I felt just like a fiend
It wasn’t even close to Halloween
It was dark as fuck on the streets
My hands were all bloody, from punching on the concrete
God damn homey
My mind is playing tricks on me”

This Geto Boys’ VERY REAL album art alone is prettyyyy spooky. You know, cause it’s a picture of two tough dudes pushing a stretcher holding a little person who HAS BEEN SHOT IN HIS EYEHOLE while he nonchalantly holds a cordless 1991-era phone up to his ear. Apparently Bushwick Bill was trying to get his girlfriend to kill him and while they fought for/against the gun, it went off and he was shot in the eye. As far as the subject matter goes, I most certainly do not have to worry about any of the shit that is rapped about in Mind Playing Tricks on Me. It’s a PTSD-fueled, NIGHTMARE portrait of day to day life in a bad area. BUT, as someone who oftentimes feels paranoid, nervous (and sweating as a result) this song does a great job of inducing anxiety. Another frightening aspect of this song is how ridiculously cool it sounds. I was pretty sure the recurring jazzy guitar sample was taken from a George Benson song, but it’s actually Isaac Hayes, and it sounds like something you’d be more likely to hear playing in Market Basket and not fueling a gangsta rap track. The overall production (this hypnotic driving haze) perfectly backs the trio’s verses, and together they create a horrific atmosphere of impending doom.

Like what you heard? Check out and follow buzzinfly on their Spotify to listen to a curated collection of playlists.

HGP ‘Made By’ Artist Interview Series 002: Thank You Sean

Interview by Throwaway Press contributor and member of the HGPSCC, Jacob Lyle.
Instagram · Website

Boston based artist Sean Patrick (@thankyou_sean) is, from what I can gather, a soft spoken guy. We corresponded via email for this interview and although his answers were short and to the point, he certainly has a way of making a lot with very little. Just take one glance at his art and I think you’ll know what I mean. His subversive takes on American Culture are equal parts comical as they are completely relatable. It’s reminiscent of a life spent wrought with anxiety, something many of us in the HGP community are all too familiar with I’m sure.

Sean most recently collaborated with HGP on the Live Laugh Love Tapestry – a piece that perfectly incapsulates his vibe. Having grown up in a house with “Live, Laugh, Love” painted above our dining room table, this piece hits close to home with a guttural guffaw.

The first thing Sean says is an apology for his sarcasm. I told him that isn’t a problem at HGP as it’s something most of us relish in.

DIY OR DIE PUMPKIN

JL: Hi Sean! Tell us a little about yourself.

SP: Hello. My name is Sean. I live in Boston. I make art and I work at a bar sometimes. I am originally from Western Massachusetts.

JL: When did you get into illustration?

SP: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a professional artist, so I was always surrounded by and encouraged to make art from an early age.

SKINNY WALLET

JL: Tell me a little about the Live, Laugh, Love Tapestry you did for HGP. Where did the inspiration for it come from? Personally, It’s a favorite of mine because my mom always had it all over our house and I found it a little nauseating. I think your piece breathes (or sucks) some new life into it!

SP: The Live Laugh Love design is just my take on the phrase commonly tattooed on/ hung in the homes of the “super positive” (some of the worst) people I’ve met. Your mom is probably fine though, in fact I’m sure she’s very nice, maybe just a little confused.

JL: Do you have a favorite piece of yours that you’ve made?

SP: I like most of the pieces I’ve made in the past year or so. They’re OK.

JL: You draw these very similar characters, most with the same expression. I’m wondering, does that character have a name, backstory? Is it you?

SP: The character doesn’t have a name. It’s me. It’s you.

JL: Who are some artists that you draw inspiration from?

SP: I draw inspiration from this beautiful planet we live on and all of the wonderful things that happen on it all day every day.

GAMEGEAR

JL: I want to get a little personal here and say that your work connects on a pretty deep level. There’s a real sense of nihilism that’s kind of birthed out of exhaustion which really resonates – I feel it quite often. Do you get that a lot – that people connect with your work?

SP: I do get that a lot. If you relate to my work I’m sorry, but sometimes it feels better to know that we’re all going through it together. If we can laugh about it, maybe that helps.

JL: And lastly… what can the readers look forward to? What are you working on? Any plans to collaborate with HGP in the future?

SP: I’ll be vending at THE FEST in Gainesville FL at the end of October, and at the Boston Art Book Fair the first weekend of November. Come say “HI”. I’m always working on something new, and open for collaborations with my buds HGP forever and always. OK Thanks cya.

Stroll on by Sean’s instagram @thankyou_sean to get a look at his work, or shop here. And if you’re around any of the festivals, stop on by and support a local artist!

HGP ‘Made By’ Artist Interview Series 001: Jeff Wheeler

Interview by Throwaway Press contributor and member of the HGPSCC, Jacob Lyle.
Instagram · Website

A farm boy from Barnstead, New Hampshire turned skate enthusiast at a young age, Providence artist Jeff Wheeler grew up watching peak 90s Nickelodeon shows and playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. He’s got a weird, twisted sense of humor- you might not know it at first glance because Jeff is warm, friendly, and kind. He’s the kind of dude you’d like to grab a six pack with and go fishing down at the local watering hole. Just make sure you bring your board…

When I call Jeff, he says he’s been listening to comedian Tom Segura’s podcast “Your Mom’s House.” While I’d never heard of the podcast, I’m very familiar with Segura and we share about our mutual taste in comedy. Right away I can tell this will be a good conversation.

JL: Hey Jeff. Tell me a little about your story, when did you begin illustrating?

JW: I started drawing when I was really really young. It sounds wack, but I pretty much started as soon as I could pick up a pencil. My grandma was a really good artist, she was very creative, and she was really good at drawing people. So she’d always draw my favorite characters from movies and I would sit and draw with her. That’s what first got me sparked on it. And then I just never stopped. I got into all the weird Nickelodeon shows like “Ah, Real Monsters” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog.” I just really liked weird shit, so I started drawing a lot of weird shit. And haven’t really stopped I guess.

JL: So you’d say your grandmother was your big inspiration to start- what about some others?

JW: Once I started skateboarding, that’s when I got consumed with that kind of culture. Skate art, for me, was the pinnacle of illustration and design and it was the only kind of stuff I wanted to draw. That marked a moment in my life when I really decided what was cool and what I liked about artwork – when I started seeing artists like Jim Philips and Sean Cliver and Mark McKee and Pushead and all of those skateboard artists. Those guys really shaped my interest in what I wanted to do.

JL: And when did you start skateboarding?

JW: When I was 11. My father’s a farmer in the middle of nowhere in NH, so I wasn’t near the culture at all. But I remember the first game I got was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4. Before the game, before you’d start skating, they always showed all the pros and their footage. That’s when I was like “Oh yeah… awh yes!”

JL: Oh man, I think I watched the Rodney Mullen video I don’t know how many times…

JW: Yes, dude! That was my shit. Rodney Mullen was a big inspiration for me. I lived in the middle of nowhere – all I had was a driveway – I didn’t have ledges or drops or anything…I was just skating flat ground. So with Rodney Mullen being a freestyle skateboarder as well as a street skateboarder, I could try to emulate what he was doing just on my parents driveway – I didn’t need anything else.

JL: You recently did some work for Thrasher right? That must have been a dream come true…

JW: Yeah that really was. So last year (2018) around the summer I did a comic and I submitted it to them and it got in! And that was the first experience where I was really stoked on what I was doing because, growing up, Thrasher was what I really cared about the most. I was subscribed to all the skate magazines back then but Thrasher is the one I still get. So I was just really stoked on getting my comic in there.

JL: Absolutely – it must feel like you’re giving the 11 year old you a high-five?.

JW: That’s what I say. For everything, if you’re doing things that make a younger version of yourself stoked – then you’re probably doing it right. So yeah Thrasher was definitely one of those moments. And then I got a canvas section in the July issue this year. If you’re not familiar with the magazine, it’s this two-page spread dedicated to a single artist’s work. They actually asked me to submit about two years ago and never heard back until I opened up the July issue and it was just there!

Wheeler’s Day Off patch

JL: Let’s talk about the Wheeler’s Day Off patch you did for Hungry Ghost Press. If I can be personal, it gave me a sense of nostalgia, like I was back in southern Indiana with my Grandpa fishing on the lake! Is there a story behind it?

JW: So that’s pretty spot on. Growing up in a small town, that’s how my dad and I spent time together, going fishing. Obviously I wasn’t drinking any beers back then, but he and his friends would while fishing and it’s just the perfect marriage – beer and fishing! Now that I’m older I like to draw things that bring me to a place of relaxation and that’s definitely one of the things. And I thought how can I merge the two? So I did this bass popping up out of the lake with a mug of beer and I just thought it was this cool little illustration. I’m glad it made you feel the same way – the nostalgia.

JL: Absolutely. When HGP asked me which Made By piece I wanted to do an interview on, yours was the first thing that came to mind. It just opens up that world of nostalgia, looks like a sign that you’d see hanging off a dive bar in some Wisconsin lake town.

JW: Totally and I really love those sort of nautical t-shirts people buy on vacation. It’s funny, my girlfriend and I went up to Pittsburg, NH recently and they’ve got a bunch of gift shops up there and I just love all of those designs – they get me really inspired to make that shit.

JL: Do you have anything new planned with HGP in the future?

JW: Yeah, actually Chris was talking about another design. He’s shooting for September. I made a gif of this guy with a split open head and blood shooting out and Chris was talking about making a design out of that. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to talk about that actually… I mean anyway, I’m local, so I’m sure we’ll get together on something again soon!

JL: Well besides that, what kind of art do you have planned for yourself?

JW: I’ve got kind of a lot coming up. So, I started freelancing in 2016 – I work at a screen printing place too and all my time I’m not there I spend freelancing. And for a while I was just never saying “no” and I’m to the point now where I know what I do and do not what to do, so moving forward I’m doing just what I want to do. Like more skateboard stuff. I work for a lot of local New England companies, so where I’d like to be is maybe doing some more West Coast brands and stuff like that – just be more involved in the skate community. I’d love to do more apparel, maybe work on my own designs. The screen printing job sort of allows me to print my own stuff off and I actually just put my third design up on my shop.

You can find Jeff Wheeler at his website at www.jeffwheelerillustration.com or in his shop JeffWheelerArt on Etsy or on his Instagram @deafwheeler

“I look pretty goofy but fuck it, I think it’ll pair well for the blog!”
-JW

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

The Making Of: The Grillo’s Pickles x HGP Vintage Varsity Jacket

A jacket for the elite pickle-eaters everywhere. The Grillo’s x HGP Vintage Varsity Jacket project was born out of a shared love of things that taste good, things that look good, and the thrill of the chase for good vintage.

Watch it all come together, in unreal time over on the Hungry Ghost Press channel.

The jacket itself is from Caplan’s Sport Shop, a staple in downtown Portland, Oregon for decades. It was founded in 1905 by Harry Caplan, changed hands in the 1980’s, then eventually shut down in 2003 because rent’s too high and there’s nowhere to park. From what I’ve come to understand, it was THE place to buy varsity jackets, just like this one, with wool bodies and leather sleeves.

Photo: Oregon Jewish Museum www.ojmche.org
Photo: Bob Ellis, The Oregonian

The Grillo’s ‘G’ on the front was thrifted. We think it’s a lacrosse letter, but the embroidery is up to your own interpretation. You can watch me sew the ‘G’ and the HGP chain patch onto the jacket to some sweet royalty free music by clicking on the photos of my hands below!!

Watch me sew this chain, it’s super fun

Zine Library

Do you ever sit around and you’re like “Damn, I wish I had some zines to read and look at”.

MAIL ZINES TO US AT 
HUNGRY GHOST PRESS
60 VALLEY ST.
UNIT 2
PROVIDENCE, RI 02909

Or sometimes you’re are like, “Damn, I’d love to share the zine/comic/art book I made with some other folks”.

Well you’re sure going to be happy to hear that we have our very own FREE Zine Library in our store!

That’s right! Want a zine? Come grab one! Got a zine to donate? Come drop it off!

You may be asking yourself, “Well, damn. How does this thing operate?”.

And really, it’s pretty easy.

If you want a zine. Come take one. When you’re done with it, try to drop it back off here, if you can’t do that, you can send it back to us. And if you can’t do that, we understand. It’s okay! Just take the zine and give it to a friend! Tell them to do the same stuff. If a zine can’t make it back to us, just keep it in circulation! Pass it along and let others enjoy it.

Now, maybe you’re like, “That’s really cool! But, I HAVE a zine and want to donate it to the library!”.

Well, that’s rule. You can send it to us or drop it off in store. Please feel free to share as much or as little info you want. We’ll try and make sure to give you a shout on the instagram and do updates of the library with blog posts every once in a while.

If you also have any stickers you want to share, we keep a FREE container at our register of all our friends and rad people that make up the store and community.

If you have any questions about anything, just reach out!