Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Shooting War’s World Tour

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

SW_cover.jpgWhat started as a serialized webcomic on SMITH, soon became an online sensation, and now says the likes of USA Today, Penthouse, and The Wall Street Journal, is the most anticipated graphic novel of the season. We’re talking about Shooting War, Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman’s near-future story about a blogger in war-torn Iraq who wants to get the real war story, save the world—and party like it’s 2011.

SW_UKposter.jpgAnthony and Dan are about to head to London to celebrate the release of the UK version of the book (check out the poster Dan created on the left), come back in time for a November 19 U.S. release party at NYC’s Sutra Lounge, then hit the road for a national book tour.

This week, New York Magazine is running three excerpts from the book, which you really should buy as it’s longer and in many ways different from what you first read on SMITH. Long story short: Shooting War rocks. Congrats to the authors!

Happy Halloween (so what are you going as?)!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

1809190586_655fc80334.jpg HAPPY HALLOWEEN SMITHs!

Ok, Ok, I know we have the SMITH’s righteous PopuLIST going, but this blogger wants to know what you’re dressing up as TONIGHT. Me? Well, I’m going as that girl sitting at her local bar watching the annual Halloween Parade on TV with a glass of Pinot. Not very original, I did the same thing last year.

Come on, give us the scoop. Best costume gets a high-five from Larry Smith.

In the meantime, check out these adorable Halloween costumes courtesy of flickr’s Creative Commons. I considered scary, but got suckered in by cute. What can I say? I’m weak.

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A Sweet Little Superhero Story

Monday, October 29th, 2007

403370602_970f07fe91_m.jpgHere’s a piece with a wonderful storyline that I stumbled upon in the metro section of The New York Times . It’s about a superb group of do-gooding eccentrics who have created their own superhero society as a part of their efforts to clean up their city. Enjoy: Dressed for Halloween? No, to Clean Up Times Sq.

Happy superhero from Flickr user NYCArthur.

In Five Years, They’ll Regret This Video

Friday, October 26th, 2007

This week’s video comes courtesy of a colleague, who said something I thought was rather intelligent, namely that boys still too young to worry about getting laid should probably be prevented from posting videos like this to the Internet, on the theory that now they will be virgins forever. I agree, and I wonder—where are our Congresspeople when we really need them? This is a human tragedy in the making, people.

Wildfire Stories—Blogs, Twitter, Photos, Videos

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

socal_fire.jpgReading the blogs and clicking through the many photos may not bring the West Coast wildfires any closer to home, but it sure provides an intense, personal take on a tragedy in a way that the daily papers and wire services just don’t.

Our friend and Girl’s Gone Child blogger Rebecca Woolf writes beautifully on everything that lands in her lens; and as an L.A. resident and San Diego native she’s been feeling this fire’s pull. Her post, Things We’ll Never Lose in the Fire, belongs in this tragedy’s time capsule. The blog And Still I Persist provides a personal perspective with lots of maps and graphics and links to breaking news about the fires. Cat Dirt Sez combines information with anger. From Slashdot, we find a link to Jim Forbes’ ForbesOnTech, a blog typically devoted to “mobile computing, gardening and occasional fishing strategies” that he’s now turned into a space to blog about what he’s witnessing at the evacuation center near his home.

Here’s a collection of YouTube videos from Southern California.

SMITH’s Kathy Ritchie has scoured Flickr for shots of the fires and created this set of a handful of intense shots; you can see search results for “California” and “wildfires” here.

Lots of folks are providing quick, short updates on Twitter, including Doggpound, zenchoas, and in an interesting sign of the times, the L.A. Times. The site has a good rundown of SoCal Twitter fire followers.

Finally, here’s a google map of the fire.

Publishing Pet of the Year: SHOOTING WAR

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

PH_SW.jpg The reviews for Shooting War (the book), the graphic novel created by Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman and first serialized on SMITH, are starting to roll in. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today recently give the book props. The UK’s Financial Times says, “Dan Goldman … employs the computer to the full, overlaying figures on photo backgrounds and manipulating everything with software effects. The result is an eye-frazzling, mind-warping collage, like a sequence of Banksy murals, all aglow with doomy orange hues.”

And we’re all hot and bothered about a full-page rave in Penthouse:

“[W]e are drawn into this cruel action almost against our will. Written by journalist and filmmaker Anthony Lappé and vividly rendered by artist Dan Goldman, this astute, timely graphic novel exposes the brutality of war as well as the insipid way mainstream media reports it.”

Shooting War publishes on November 19 in the U.S., a few weeks earlier in the UK. Pre-order your copy here.

Join us on November 19 at NYC’s Sutra Lounge to celebrate the book’s release. More details coming soon via the SMITH Newsletter.

Why is this woman naked?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Writer Cole Kazdin is no stranger to the business of taking it all off. Her one-woman show, My Year Of Porn, about her time producing a documentary on the porn industry, was an off-off-Broadway sensation. So when she sent me a note wondering if SMITH had any interest in an essay on her traumatic experience as a nude model, I was all over it (so to speak). So take a ride on over to SMITH’s Memoirville section, where we feature personal essays like Cole Kazdin’s, memoirs-in-progress such as Jason Thompson’s piece of his upcoming book on his mother and mental illness, and excerpts from just-published books like Gonzo, an oral history about the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson. It’s one big storytelling stew—and it’s delicious.

Citizen Journalism in Action

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Very SMITHy — a DIY viral video on how to produce your own ‘zine.

Wow. So many buzzwords. If I just started talking about SEO and Web 2.0 I could start my own Internet company! NASDAQ, here I come.

Actually, now that I think about it, I think I’d probably have trouble with that whole folding thing. Not so much with the small motor skills — it’s a genetic issue. Seriously, you should see my mom’s handwriting. (Hi, Mom.)

Call for Submissions: First-Kiss Stories

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

1210131559_a0f5558f27_m.jpgMy high school reunion’s coming up, and along with the many emails from the organizers (including one goody-two-shoes type who now sports a address—she’ll be popular after a few drinks) has come a flood of memories. Given that this was high school and I was a teenage boy, most of my memories are around girls (cue Superbad trailer, uncensored version). Sure, we all have our R and NC-17 stuff from back in the day, but for me there’s nothing that beats a decidedly PG-13 first kiss. You only get one first kiss in life.* You also only get one first kiss with a new person, whether it’s first-and-only, first-of-many, or first-and-forever. First kisses, I am here to report, are the best. Have a first-kiss story?

The three years and going strong First Kiss Project wants it, explaining “the aim … is to record as many first kiss stories as possible. To capture those clumsy sweet first attempts to end our innocent and bumbling foolishness.” The site posts stories of debut smootches regularly, and accepts submissions of 350 words or less. If you decide to go down that lane, leave SMITH your first kiss tale here or via email. xoxo.

*You know who you are Jen G. Thank you.

Dog kissing baby from Flickr user crzytx1369.

“He shot out of the womb angry. And then he left that same way”

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

gonzocover.jpgThe above headline is one of my favorite bits from our just-published excerpt of Gonzo: An Oral History of Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson has never been lacking in publicity, but I think even those with a PhD in the good doctor’s life and times will love reading this take on Thompson’s boyhood days in Kentucky. These were the emerging artist’s days of war games and BB guns and sports and pranks and booze. Tossed in jail for a crime he may or may not have committed with two friends, young Hunter was hung out to dry while his better-connected compradors were sprung free. Historian Doug Brinkley recounts what happened:

Hunter wrote his mother these very philosophical letters from behind bars. They exude the desperation of a young man in jail looking for his freedom as well as contemplating how the rich get away with dastardly things and the poor don’t—that the buddies that he was with in the Cherokee Park event were waltzing because they knew the judge, and that he was the poor kid on the other side of the railroad tracks with no dad. The game was fixed.

Like so many young writers, I fell in love with his work, specifically Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas*, and fortunately got my own god-awful gonzo stage out of the way early, in college. Later, after editing a story my friend Cheryl wrote about being Thompson’s assistant, she thanked me by giving me a cigarette holder he’d given to her. I’m not an autograph hound or huge celebrity worshipper (or, for that matter, even a smoker), but I cherish it.

Read more about the beginnings of HST, storytelling legend, here.

* My wife tells the story of how as a twentysomething in San Francisco commuting to a temp job she hated, she would re-read Fear & Loathing, standing up, squashed in the train like an animal. It kept her sane.

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