BOOKS

National Lampoon 1964 High School Yearbook Parody

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National Lampoon 1964 High School Yearbook Parody is an American humor book that was first published in 1973. It was a spin-off from National Lampoon magazine. The book was a parody of a high school yearbook from the early 1960s. It was edited by P. J. O’Rourke and Doug Kenney with art direction by David Kaestle. Much of the writing was by P. J. O’Rourke and Doug Kenney. The “literary magazine” was written by Sean Kelly; the sports page was by Christopher Cerf; and the Principal’s Letter and the “In Memorium” piece were both by Ed Subitzky.

Whatever Happened to Savage Lucy?

 

by Bradley James Weber
art by Troy Little from the graphic
novel Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Top Shelf Comix

 . . .  the door hit something, which I recognized at once as a human form: a girl of indeterminate age with the face and form of a Pit Bull. She was wearing a shapeless blue smock and here eyes were angry . . . .
— Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

LSDChicago, Ill. — After 45-years of exposure and accolades for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Savage Lucy — the young, half-mad, Barbara Streisand fan from Kaspiel, Montana — remains a cipher.

Thompson portrays her as just another misfit wandering the shrill Las Vegas landscape. But who was she, really? And what happened to her after being left in the marginal care of a McCarren Airport cab hassler?

Lucy is the specter that haunts the Vegas book. No one know who she was or what happened to her; no one has come forward to claim her identity. Why not?

Lucy wasn’t a real person.

She remains under chemical restraint in some shabby, state-run loony bin.

She has never heard of HST, the Vegas book or film, and has no inkling that she’s been immortalized.

She is alive and well and passing herself off as just another upright citizen with a secret history of untoward weirdness.

According to my friend, Charlie Helborn, the real question is not who Lucy might have been historically but who Savage Lucy is in terms of the book.

“What does she represent vis-à-vis Duke, Gonzo, Las Vegas, and the American Dream?” Continue reading

A New Light in the Hunter S. Thompson Kitchen

originally published in Leo Weekly

From Kentucky to Denver and Beyond- One Gonzo Spirit Road Trip

A few weeks ago Clayton Luce (Gonzo Today publisher & Founding Editor), Nick Storm (Storm Generation Films & Pure Politics), and I (Gonzo Today Poetry Editor) took a 72-hour non-stop road trip to Denver, Colorado, where we had a One Gonzo Spirit Summit with Juan and Jennifer and Will Thompson. Historian Douglas Brinkley and publisher DJ Watkins also stopped in for a visit. On the drive back Clayton and Nick and I took turns reading a proof copy of Juan’s new book out loud to each other. The book will be released in early January. Here’s what I wrote about the book: 

“Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson is the book every Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo fan has been waiting for. Stunning. Gut Wrenching. Brutally honest. Eloquently written. A revelation. On the entire high speed emotional roller coaster ride I laughed and I cried. Juan F. Thompson has done a heroic job of revealing the dark terror and inspired beauty of being the only child of one of the greatest writers in history.” 

-Ron Whitehead 

Part-1

It-was-going-to-be-a-fast-tripand a long ride — eighty miles per hour across the heart of the nation, running along the main artery towards Denver. We brought along the cooler with iced drinks, camera bags, audio equipment and other provisions, and the mad poet had traded his shiny red convertible for a compact import car that might make the trip but certainly wasn’t going to draw any attention. This trip would require absolute stealth. There could be no sudden run-ins with cops, poorly executed lane changes, or anything at all that might give any sort of law enforcement a reason to search the car. The kit bag was in the trunk, along with a large pile of miscellaneous stereo equipment, books, rolls of artwork, CD’s, framed paintings, exotic fragrances, official documents and a heaping pile of other crap that would be necessary for the trip.

Ron “The Bone Man” Whitehead and his documentarian, Nick Storm, pulled up to my house at 4:30A.M., late as usual but still too early for me. My wife was sobbing desperately, begging me not to leave with what she repeatedly described as “vicious savages.”  I was trying to pack, think and weasel my way out of the house at the same time, as she wailed and heaved and cried out into the darkness, her voice echoing down through the predawn mist of the lower Highlands as lights flipped on and people awoke to the sounds of sorrow.

“Don’t  worry,” I said, “Try not to think too much about it. My odds of surviving an 11,000 mile trip are somewhere in the neighborhood of around 25,000/1. These are good people. We have all that we need. We are ready.”

Four hours later we were barreling through St. Louis, Whitehead at the wheel jabbering hysterically about attorneys and vicious thieves and liars and cheap money pimps somewhere in the Dark Valley. I remember hunkering down in my seat, covering my head in the pillows we had thrown in the back and trying to block it all out. I awoke again about half way through the great state of Missouri at a rest stop. Ron had apparently come down from whatever adrenaline rush he had been on for the previous eight hours, and now Nick Storm was going to take the pilot’s seat. I had time for half a cigarette before they hustled me back into the compact, and we sped off again, heading west as conversation drifted into a dull murmur and then silence.

Continue reading

Review: Fear & Loathing the Graphic Novel



fear-and-loathing-front-75dpi_copy0_lgby Bradley James Weber

 “. . . an amphetamine-paced series of cartoon-like sketches, centered on two hapless acid abusers who come to seem like the bastard descendants of Don Quixote and Sancho Panzo.”
–– William Stephenson, Gonzo Republic

William Stephenson’s description of Hunter Thompson’s masterwork, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, serves equally well for the new graphic novel adaptation by Canadian comic book artist Troy Little (Chiaroscuro, Angora Napkin).

Adapting something like the Vegas book to the comics form is an inspired and ballsy move, and Little has the artistic chops to capture the cartoon nature of Duke and Gonzo: his line, layouts, and lettering showcase the antics of a pair of free-range loonies on a drug-fueled tear through Sin City.

Having strategically paired-down the original text to what could be meaningfully conveyed in a comics format, Little still hits all the big notes and set pieces.”The Wave Speech” is there, as are the ruminations on high-speed driving and the musings on the insanity of a couple of heads attempting to infiltrate a police narcotics convention.

Even so, something about the graphic novel has grounded the alternating currents of fear and loathing driving Thompson’s original work. Continue reading