for your consideration!


Folks!  If you’ve read and enjoyed Plrknib this year (and, hell, even if you haven’t!) please consider making Plrknib your write-in vote for Best Memoir in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017!  It’s easy enough to do.  Just click on this link here and enter – Plrknib.  There!  You’re done!  Excellent!  Wasn’t that easy?

You can only enter Plrknib as a Write-in for one category.  So, while we would certainly love you for to enter it in eg – humor, nonfiction, or debut Goodreads author (which technically, alas, it’s not – damn you, Miserable Holiday Stories!) – we would really love it if you’d plug us right there into the Memoir category.

And then…go vote for all those other books you loved this year!

Thanks, and remember – Reading Is Good!

halloween required reading


Once upon a time I was Reviews Editor for the well-respected comics/pop culture site PopImage (managed by the incredibly talented Chris Butcher, Ed Mathews and lots of other fine writers.)  Though PopImage is long gone, some of the content lingers including this piece I wrote about eleven of the most haunting comics available back in 2004.
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Halloween Required Reading
PopImage
October 21, 2004

It’s the time of year for ghosts and goblins to come out of their graves and start haunting up a storm. Herein, you’ll find my list of quality reading for your own All Hallow’s Eve. I had dozens of creators and books to choose from, for my personal best. Works by Rick Veitch, Gahan Wilson, Steve Gerber and Michael Fleisher were all considered as well as single issues of STRAY BULLETS (#2), WASTELAND and even NEGATION (#16). And you could pick up almost any issue of CREEPY, EERIE, or any EC comic and make an evening out of it. But I had criteria for my reading list. Above all, the stories I chose had to truly make your skin crawl. I wasn’t looking for twist-in-the-tales, I wanted stories that were creepy and disturbing in their essence.

Upon compiling my list, I realized that the most creepy and disturbing comics I’ve seen can be counted on two hands (or so) – but the few creators associated with such works do keep turning up: Addams, Moore, Gaiman – and especially, the artists – Wrightson, Ditko, Burns. Maybe you won’t agree with all of my choices, but I promise you – crack at least one of these open – and you’ll likely have a week’s worth of nightmares.

SWAMP THING: DARK GENESIS
by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson
DC/Vertigo

Scientist Alec Holland is enveloped in an explosion while working on his bio-restorative formula. Consumed by flames, he leaps into the murky bayou behind his lab, and emerges later as the tragic, muck-encrusted SWAMP THING.

In comics, Swamp Thing remains the most venerated horror icon. He wasn’t the first muck-monster in comics (The Heap toured the swamps throughout the 40’s), but he was the first one we related to. Wein and Wrightson’s short run in the early 70’s established Swamp Thing as a gothic, modern-day Frankenstein – a man turned swamp creature searching for his lost humanity. Swamp Thing was about identity and alienation. Swamp Thing gave a major outlet to comic’s premier horror artist of the moment, Berni Wrightson. (Wrightson was the only artist to ever draw Cain of HOUSE OF MYSTERY effectively.) Wrightson lush, texturized, moody art kept Swampy in full horror-mode when he could easily have turned into a b-grade superhero (which he would essentially become later). All the early issues are included in the tpb, including Arcane and his un-men.

Continue reading

obscenity trial in encyclopedia vol. 3

Very excited to announce that my extremely profane piece Obscenity Trial is in the long-awaited third volume of Encyclopedia.  I received my copy of Encyclopedia the other day and it is a gorgeous book, full of literary (and artistic/photographic) genius.  This tome has been swirling around in the ether for – literally – about five years now.  I was actually stunned to finally hold it in my hands.  But the encyclopedists have done fine, fine work.  You can order the book here.

Below is a (redacted) snippet from Obscenity Trial.  Pick up Vol 3 to read the full thing.

 

the d.w. eye reunion is happening

Yes, the d.w. eye Reunion is actually happening!  It’s going to be Friday, June 23, 2017 at the 20th Century Theater in Cincinnati.  For anyone who’s read Plrknib, this will essentially be the book coming to life before your very eyes (except everyone is significantly older).  Comedians appearing in the book who are scheduled to perform include Drew Hastings, Chili Challis, Rico Bruce Wade, Cap & Johnny, and myself.  (And this will be the first stand-up I’ve performed in Cinti in over 30 years!  Oy.)  We’re joined by a ton of great comics who performed at the eye shortly after the period that’s covered in the book, including Michael Flannery, Steve Caminiti, Jim Gilliece, and Mark Kline. And we expect to be joined by even more eye alumni.  (If you’re reading this and you ever performed at the eye, please contact me or Michael Flannery.)  Even Don Merriss, the original owner of the eye, will be on hand!

Flannery and I have been assembling this event for a couple months now.  If you’re in the area – this is going to be much more than a “night at a comedy club.”  We’re turning this into an event with a ton of surprises in store.

Also the night before the show, Thursday 6/22, we’ll be doing a signing of Plrknib at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.

For more info, please visit our new d.w. eye site. You can also let us know you’re coming by signing up at our Facebook event page.

More updates as we get them!

plrknib in cincinnati magazine

Lots of exciting Plrknib news this week – and in the weeks to come!  An excerpt from the book – nicely titled “Funny Guy” – is featured in the current “After Dark” issue of Cincinnati Magazine.  It’s only available in the print edition of the magazine – which you can order here.  Here’s a snippet from the piece, below.

If you’re in Cincinnati and looking to pick up a copy of Plrknib (along with the new Cincinnati Magazine) in an actual bookstore, one place you can certainly find it is at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion.  A friend sent in the lovely picture below.  How appropriate to be sandwiched between Savages and Madness!  (I was told by someone else that it was a store pick in JBB, and had one of those “why you should check this out” notes above it.  How nice.)

And we have some VERY BIG announcements coming soon, especially again, for folks in the Cincinnati/Ohio area.

Stay tuned.

one minute plays: a practical guide to tiny theatre

Hey look!  The good folks at Gi60 have just published One Minute Plays:  A Practical Guide to Tiny Theatre.

One Minute Plays demystifies the super-short-form play, demonstrating that this rich, accessible format offers great energy and variety not only to audiences but to everyone involved in its creation and performance. The one minute play offers a unique challenge to actors, directors and writers: how do you create a whole world, where actors have room to perform and where audiences have a true experience all in 60 seconds? This handbook includes:

  • An anthology of 200 one-minute plays selected from the annual Gone in 60 Seconds festival.
  • A toolbox of exercises, methodologies and techniques for educators, practitioners and workshop leaders at all levels.
  • Tips and advice on the demands of storytelling, inclusivity and creative challenges.
  • Detailed practical information about creating your own minute festival, including play selection, running order, staging and marketing.

I’m also thrilled that a few of my own Gi60 pieces have been included:  Ace and Me, King Kwik, Nothing, and Sleep Tight.

You can order a copy of this highly recommended book here.

You can also pick up a copy at the author’s party on Monday, May 1st at the Drama Bookshop in NYC.  Should be a great time, and they’ll be doing staged readings of several pieces, including Sleep Tight.

irresistibly absorbing

dog-on-couch

(I got a little tired of re-posting the cover of the book; so here’s a picture of a dog.)

Yes, Plrknib now has something in common with toilet paper!

Hey – we got a super lovely review over at New Pop Lit!

Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to post references to a lot of reviews – because then I should be posting the bad ones, too, right?  (Not too many of those, yet, tho. Give it time!)  But this one is super-lovely, so…

Here’s a little excerpt…

….Like a comedian’s joke, Plrknib is the kind of narrative you fight against when you start reading it, but it pulls you along despite yourself. Like most of Bernstein’s writing, it’s irresistibly absorbing. Where is this book heading, you ask? What does “plrknib” mean? You’re skeptical, but you continue reading.

You can read the whole thing here.

And of course you can get the book here

a plrknib update!

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Well, it’s been an interesting month-and-a-half to say the least!  Support for Plrknib has been extremely positive.  Thanks so much to all of you who have been buying copies and leaving reviews.  It is much appreciated!

Plrknib has gotten some very lovely initial reviews at both Amazon and Goodreads. We’ve also been doing Goodreads Giveaways.  The latest one is for five signed copies of the paperback.  More information is here.

Plrknib now has two different Facebook pages.  One for the book itself here. And this one dedicated to d.w. eye, the club that’s referenced throughout the book. Please like both pages to get updates on the book and the comics!

We’ve added a Press Section over at the Plrknib site, where you can see some of the recent coverage that the book has been getting.  You can expect to see more in the coming weeks.

Plrknib has also been featured on Publisher’s Weekly’s indie site Booklife for the past week.

Also, since the book is about stand-up, some folks have asked if I’m still performing – and if so, where.  Yes, there are a bunch of dates coming up in 2017, and we’ll be posting those here.  And chances are good that we’ll be giving away signed copies of the book at some of these performances…

 

PLRKNIB LAUNCHES ON AMAZON

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I’m extremely excited to announce that Plrknib is now available at Amazon.

Plrknib – which has been serialized for the past year over at www.plrknib.com – is about my experience doing stand-up comedy during my senior year of high school in 1980.

Early reviews have been great.  Including:

“Hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”

“The Power of Jokes permeates this book…in a way rarely seen in fiction.”

“I felt as though I was on stage with him 30 years ago.”

Plrknib retails for $1.99 (ebook) and $6.99 (paperback).

And! – for this week only – if you’d like a free review copy, contact me at alexb0917@gmail.com and we’ll set you up!