The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of Andrew Cartmel’s New Novel!

Andrew Cartmel’s The Vinyl Detective almost abates my hatred for hipsters. Almost. I don’t think anyone can stop hating hipsters. It’s just too easy to despise those bearded, coffee obsessed, man bun toting, shit bags that clog our beach streets with Fiats and Vespa scooters, but somehow (weirdly) Cartmel crafted a story that makes a coffee chugging – vinyl obsessed – hipster kind of cool. With a solid mystery to boot! Wow.

Written in Dead Wax begins when the nameless vinyl detective (later nicknamed “Chef”) is hired to find a rare Jazz LP by a now defunct 1950’s publishing label. Up until this point, Chef has eeked out a living by scouring London’s charity shops (I’m guessing that’s either like a pawn shop or a 2nd hand store…?) for rare records to sell online, or add to his vast collection. Then one day he is contacted by a foreign company’s very beautiful representative, Nevada, to help track down an incredibly rare jazz album, Easy Come, Easy Go, but finding the record won’t be easy. There just happen to be a pair of murderous blonde athletes also hunting the album and then there’s the dark mystery hidden in the record it self!

The thing is, I really enjoyed this book. Cartmel did a wonderful job of making his characters (though still disgustingly hipster-ish) likable and fun. Chef is an excellent detective, in a sort of not being a detective kind of way. He’s the total underdog hero, and as a geeky outsider myself, I can’t help but root for the underdog. I think the stories unique way of unfolding a mystery is also what makes the book such a great read. Written in Dead Wax takes it’s readers deep into the world of music, and (even better for geeks) collecting. I honestly have no opinion on what sounds better, CD or LP, but I’ve got a closet full of vintage Star Wars figures. I could easily tell you about the backing card, year produced, or existing variants of any of the collectible action figures (not dolls!) safely sealed away in the many containers which are piled to the ceiling in my closet. I can even spot reproductions and cheap knock offs. I don’t know why, but reading about collectors, and a mystery that goes deep into their respective world, was really refreshing. I honestly think this is one of the best mystery stories since The Big Lebowski! And yes, that was a mystery too. In fact; I’m almost willing (grudgingly) to consider the likes of Chef and Tinkler as geeks. Almost. ‘just have to lose the cats and any opinion about coffee.new16oz-coffee-cup Seriously!? What grown man keeps cats and gives a shit about the taste of coffee!? Coffee should be black and burn just as hard going out at as it did going in! That’s it. Its there to get the job done. You drink it, stay awake, and lose a year or so of unwanted life expectancy. When I put a $1.29 of hard earned cash down on the counter for my 7-11 what ever brew, I need it to do its goddamn job of keeping me upright and lucid for the next few hours. Not brag about its “aroma”, or what part of India a child laborer had to pull it out of. Coffee should be burly, stalwart, and humble. Just like my women. ‘merica.

Anyways… I’m very much looking forward to the release of the next book (The Run-Out Groove), and even if Titan doesn’t send me a review copy I’ll probably go pick one up. Yeah, I’m willing to spend my own money on the next edition. That’s how much I enjoyed this. Below I posted a copy of The Vinyl Detectives official synopsis. However, visit Titanbooks.com to get a copy of your own.

Cheers!

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others.
Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client.
Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…

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SDCC 2016 Photos!

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Two dorks lost in a sea of geeks…

Wow, what a break! Sorry for the extreme lack of post the last few days (weeks) but last Sunday we finished San Diego Comic Con 2016! Jason and I have been attending Comic-Con since 1995, and if my math is right (probably isn’t) then that is twenty one years of creative-geeky goodness packedIMG_0487 into a four day event. Usually right before our birthdays too!

Though will be Moocasting about this years con on the next episode (#119), I wanted to get some of our images online now. This year we met a lot of talented artist, performers, and cosplayers. I’ll be working hard to arrange interviews with as many as possible, but we also ran into a bunch of past Moocast interviewees like Nicole Brune, Josh Henaman, and Katrina Kuntsmann. All of whom had new art and comics out on their tables!

This last years con was incredibly inspiring, and I think we’re going to do it folks! Jason and I have been hitting the local smaller cons, but this next year I think we’re going to apply for artist alley and pro badges!IMG_3307_copy_t670 Yeah, we probably won’t get them, but we’re gonna try! Anyways, check out the images below, I’ll be adding these to our gallery pages as well.

Also, a special shout out goes to friend of the site Dean LeCrone who’s Dr. Peepers costume won Syfy’s 2016 Weirdly Awesome Cosplay! We’re going to have Dean on the podcast very soon to tell us the whole story, but check out the youtube video below too!

***note: these are just the images I took from my iPhone. Jason was kind of our un-official photographer, and we’re still putting together all of his images, which will appear with the next Moocast! Also, Jason hurry up and get me the damn pictures! Lazy.

Cheers!

Cosplay, Art, and Stuff at the Con!

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Dead Letters!

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An Anthology of the Undelivered, The Missing, The Returned…

An Atomic Moo Book Review

The Dead Letter office is a real thing. According to Wikipedia (never a real source), the dead letter office is “is a facility within a postal system where un-deliverable mail is dealt with”. A lot of countries have dead letter offices, but I think the US is the only one to actually use the name. According to 99percentinvisible.com – over “90,000,000 items were marked undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) and entered the dead letter and parcel system.” This is all really cool, and (of course) it is also the prefect premise for dozens of stories the likes of which can be found in a new anthology from Titan Books! See how I brought that around. I think I’m good at this…

Anyways… Now out through Titan Books is a fantastic new collection of stories centered around the (mostly) sinister idea of unwanted mail! Okay… on the surface you wouldn’t think that was such a scary idea, but think about it: The wrong addressed letter, the misplaced package, that message that just disappeared, represent an idea of mystery. Opening a strangers mail is like a starting off point to the unknown! A possible leap into an unknown mystery! The shadowy secrets of your apartments former resident’s credit history suddenly laid bare! It’s possibly a goddamn ticket to the Twilight Zone, people!

Exploring the vast ocean possibly within 90 + million undelivered messages are eighteen writers (list below) who contribute their literary talents to this idea. Now I don’t want to give the idea that Dead Letters is all spooky horror stuff. The variety of stories cover everything from horror to mystery to the kind of mundane. One of my favorite stories in the book is actually one of the first stories and deals with a mysterious green envelope. Not necessarily an evil green letter (could be), but definitely a very bizarre green letter. Then other stories take you through painful personal histories or to mythical places. It’s this variety of ideas all based on the one premise that makes this book a fun read. There’s even an H.P. Lovecraft-esque story by Andrew Lane that reads incredibly spooky, and I think would have made Lovecraft proud. Overall, I really dug this book. Though, I thought it was weird every person in the story had a moral dilemma about opening a piece of lost mail (really? Not one guy/gal was like, “free shit!”), all of the stories take an unexpected journey and some of them are even kind of touching. I think this would be a much better book to read in the fall, closer to Halloween, but if you’re looking for an overall eerie vibe in your summer reading, then The Dead Letters would be a great place to start!

Dead Letters is available now in all major book stores, or you can get your copy online at Titanbooks.com. I posted the official synopsis below along with a complete list of contributing authors.

The Dead Letters Office: the final repository of the undelivered. Love missives unread, gifts unreceived, lost in postal limbo. Dead Letters: An Anthology features new stories from the masters of horror, fantasy and speculative fiction, each inspired by an inhabitant of the Dead Letters Office, including tales from Joanne Harris, China Miéville & Maria Dahvana Headley, Adam LG Nevill and Michael Marshall Smith.

Conrad Williams , Joanne Harris , Michael Marshall Smith , China Miéville , Nicholas Royle , Ramsey Campbell , Pat Cadigan , Nina Allan , Angela Slatter , Alison Moore , Kirsten Kaschock , Maria Dahvana Headley , Steven Hall , Lisa Tuttle , Muriel Gray , Claire Dean , Christopher Fowler , Adam LG Nevill , Andrew Lane

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The Atomic Moocast #118!

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The Doubleclicks Interview!

The Doubleclicks people! The Doubleclicks were on our show! This show! Finally! And I think we impressed them. Well, probably not, but the geek folk-duo singing sisters (Angela and Aubrey Webber)banana-768x503 are on this latest episode of the Atomic Moocast, and we’re now better people for it. The ladies (I had to learn that one) are currently on a summer tour and early last June we recorded an interview with them to discuss the tour, new songs, being creative, and how not to kill your sibling. Turns out they are really good at that. Anyways, it was extremely cool of them to be on our sputtering little podcast and we’re now even bigger fans of theirs!

Also, we’re really sick on this podcast. One of the reasons (usually its just my laziness) this podcast is later than normal is that both Jason and I got taken down by some alien cold/flu combo. It kicked the hell out of us, but we persevered and produced the podcast all the same. Still, please excuse all the coughs and snorts at the intro portion of the show.

So here we go folks! This Moocast is a fresh steaming pile of podcasting excellence just ready to be poured down your ear holes! Now would be the time to go grab a fizzy soda, some salty snacks, and a comfy chair. Then just settle in and let us dominate your brain for a little less than an hour. We’ll try not to muss it up too much…

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Free music used by the Atomic Moo cast is royalty free and was created and composed by Kevin MacLeod and can be found at Incompetech.com. Please support this site!

Songs used:

  • Funk Game Loop
  • As I Figure
  • Who Likes to Party
  • Fast Talkin

Show Notes and Links

2016 Massive Summer Tour

Vote for PRESIDENT SNAKES

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Wicked Kingdom

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Illustrated Playing Cards by Wylie Beckert

Hey El Moochadores, I just came across another great looking Kickstarter for an illustrative playing card set. Wicked Kingdom by professional illustrator Wylie Beckert features hand painted fantasy art work with a narrative. Here are the Kickstarter details:

Printed by the USPCC on casino-quality Bee card stock, Wicked Kingdom3e904993cfc85ff7eeae001b534dc08c_original is an art-rich 54-card poker deck, featuring dual-identity face cards with a narrative twist and obsessively detailed, hand-painted artwork throughout. Hand-drawn pips, elegantly watermarked number cards, and unique not-quite-two-way backs add to the intensely illustrated flavor of the deck.

Wicked Kingdom is more than just another deck of pretty pictures (although it has those too, in spades). Each face card has a personality, a backstory… and a hidden agenda. With every card, the plot thickens… The artwork and backstories for each card are featured in the art book, alongside process write-ups, work-in-progress snapshots, and notes from the creation of the traditionally painted images.

This Kickstarter is already massively successful with over $80,000.00 in contributions, but there’s still time to contribute and get in on some of the special rewards just for the campaign. As of this post there are nine days left.

I’ve posted some sample images below along with the kickstarter promotional video from Beckert. Check it out and then hit the links above to learn more about the project, rewards, and to just see some amazing illustration work!

Enjoy!

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THE POWER KNIGHTS: UNBOUNDED!

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New Kickstarter from Kid Comics

Okay El Moochadores, today I’ve got a fun new comic book to share with you. Well, a Kickstarter for a fun new comic book. From Kid Comics and creator Keithan Jones check out The Power Knights: Unbounded! The story is about two brothers who meet six other worldly warriors, each with a unique power. According to the kickstarter page,Cover this comic is actually based on a comic book Jones had wanted to create when he was eleven years old. I like the follow through gumption, and from what I’ve seen on the KS page this book kind of has a cool 1980’s/ 1990’s “power team” vibe. Think: “Thundercats”, or “Silverhawks”, or even “Bionic Six!” Remember Bionic Six? Nobody ever remembers that one.

Anyways, The comic has some incredible illustrative talent behind it and indie comic lovers will want check it out. I’ve posted a few of the sample pages below along with the Kickstarter promo video and a complete (official) synopsis. As of today the Kickstarter has a little less than two weeks left, so if you’re interested in helping out, click the link above and check out the rewards for donating. You know, I think I still remember the Bionic Six theme song. Shit, now that’s gonna be stuck in my head all day…

Cheers!

…two brothers, Kandle and Davion Watson, and how their lives were completely upended by their encounter with six uniquely powered warriors, Metal Star, Bluzara, Dragon Blaze, Camouflage, Princess Raxi and Warseed. These extraterrestrial warriors were sent into a blackhole, to die for war crimes they committed against their will. Yet, they inexplicably survive, and crash land on Earth. To avoid detection from mankind, some assimilate into society, while others live reclusively in the shadows. Warseed however, scoffs at taking a backseat to the weaker human race. He desires to take command of his own destiny by transforming humans into a powerful hybrid army to take control of Earth. Davion Watson, mourning the loss of his father to an incurable disease, is seduced by Warseed’s promise of a new world, where disease and suffering are eliminated through science. Inedibly, Warseed soon discovers, mankind is not so easily tamed, as he is ultimately betrayed by Davion.

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The Art & Making of Independence Day Resurgence!

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An Atomic Moo Book Review!

Way back in 1996, I was a handsome 19 year-old with a bright future. True, I would soon squander that future on many hours playing video games, and then going to school for a journalism degree, but in July of 1996 my friends and I had just gotten back from our 2nd SDCC and that night we jumped into line to see this fantastic new movie called Independence day! Which, despite a few cinematic foibles, was really fun! Big flying saucers come to Earth and blow everything up and it’s up to Brundle-fly, the Fresh Prince, and Lone Star to save our world! Epic. Yeah, ID4 has taken some criticism over the years, but since then we’ve seen giant piles of shit like Force Awakens, so… hindsight, right?

Anyways, the point is: ID4 was fun, and one of the best things about The Art & Making of Independence Day: Resurgence was remembering the good times of seeing giant alien frisbees laser the shit out of all our major cities.04_independence_day_bluray True, I have not yet seen the new movie. Not because of any negative reviews or anything like that. It’s just that I’m very broke right now, and getting over a nasty flu. I didn’t want to go to the movies, throw up, and have people thinking I was critiquing the movie. However, I can totally throw up from home, and write a critique on the official companion. Groovy.

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Daily Paintings

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Kickstarter for the best of Piper Thibodeau’s daily paintings!

Piper Thibodeau is professional illustrator and character designer from Canada. I’ve followed her Daily Paintings on the Deviant Art forkickstarter_for_daily_paintings_now_live__by_cryptid_creations-da7ggpz a few years now and she has an incredible amount of talent. She’s now putting together a single volume of work that’ll be funded with a Kickstarter. The characters she creates are a lot of fun and I think it’s incredible that she’s done one a day for four years! According to her kickstarter the hard cover book with about 140 pages of some of her best characters. The book will also include a few exclusive characters.

Check out a few sample images below, but make sure to hit the link above to read more about the project and possible rewards for contributing. Also, visit Piper’s website to see more of her portfolio.

Cheers!

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Colossalcon 2016!

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Okay El Moochadores, sorry for the lack of post this last week, but I kind of got hit with something and have been under the weather. Well… near’r to death… Anyways, I’m better and we should be getting back on track with some new posts. Here we go!

Beat Down Boogie is back with another fantastic video showing us the fun cosplay at this years Colossalcon 2016. Which looks like the best damn pool party ever! Colossalcon is an anime, gaming, and Japanese culture convention that takes place in Sandusky, Ohio. Wasn’t Tommy Boy from Sandusky? Anyways, check out all the sexy cosplay fun with a smattering of images below. More images can be found on the Beat Down Boogie facebook page.

Enjoy!

Images:

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The Nice Guys

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An Atomic Moo Book Review of the official movie novel!


Titan Books sent me a review copy of The Nice Guys, and I really wanted to get the review done before this film hit theaters. However, at the time I was slammed with work stuff, and getting us ready for our first comic book convention. So, it was really cool when my twin brother (Chudd) said that he would read the book and write the review. Awesome, I thought. Then some time passed, and no review. Then more time passed, and still no review. Then way too much time passed and I asked Chudd about the book. “Oh yeah,” he said. “It was good.” “Okay,” I said. “Can you put that in writing?” An hour later I came back to my desk where I found a very “abused” paperback and a piece of paper that read: “it was good.”


Fuck.

So, I started to read the book, but the novel was warped and distorted. So, being a little curious I asked Chudd what had happened. “Oh yeah. It got wet,” he said.
“Did you drop in the sink,” I asked.
“No, just the toilet.”

Doubledamitfuck… So, yeah, it took awhile, but here’s my review:

The thing is, Chudd was right. This book was good. Really good. Written by Charles Ardai, The Nice Guys is a fun mystery set in 1970’s Los Angeles about two, somewhat less than bright, men on the trail of a missing girl. The story begins with Holland March. He’s a private investigator, and former cop, who is initially hired to find out if a porn star, who has been recently killed in a car accident, was actually still alive.The_Nice_Guys_square_grande March discovers that a girl named Amelia is how involved, but his investigation is cut short when Amelia hires professional thug, Jackson Healy, to beat up March and stop his snooping around. Then Amelia disappears and March and Healy go looking through a world of corrupt politicians, auto companies, and porn films, to find the missing girl.

If you haven’t already seen the movie, then go pick this book up. It’s fun, energetic, and full of likable characters all set in groovy 1970’s detective story. This is like Maltese Falcon with a pulse… and with somewhat less intelligent P.I.’s. Both the characters of March and Healy are so off the beaten path that their some what clueless way of getting things done kind of reminded me of the Big Lebowski. The mismatch pair bumble their way through the investigation and encounter some very “laugh out loud” moments. Which doesn’t often happen with a book. I don’t really have a lot of negative stuff to say about this story. It did it’s job and kept me entertained. If anything, I’m more stoked to see the movie now to see how it all plays out in real(-ish) life. Definitely add this one to your summer reading list and enjoy the ride. Also, since reading this book I’ve been listening to a steady stream of Earth Wind & Fire and KC and the Sunshine Band. groov’n.

The Good Guys can be found at all major book stores or you can get your own copy online at Titanbooks.com. Check out the official synopsis and trailer for the movie below!

The official novelization of the upcoming comedic detective thriller, The Nice Guys, starring Oscar Award Winner Russell Crowe, Oscar Award Nominee Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, and Oscar Award Winner Kim Basinger.

The film takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl (Margaret Qualley) and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.

THE NICE GUYS Trailer Red Band 2016 (NSFW)

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