Jim Gilliece was a d.w. eye favorite that I did not know during my tour of duty at the club back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I knew Jim had been a part of Chip Chinery’s Comic Relief show in 1991, but I never met him until last summer’s d.w. eye Reunion show, that we assembled after my book, Plrknibcame out. One of the great things about the reunion was that so many people – performers and fans – came out of the woodwork to celebrate the legacy of d.w. eye. It’s been more than a year now, and I can still barely describe what an extraordinary, funny, emotional evening that was.
One of the highlights was getting to meet Jim Gilliece for the first time. As you can see in the video, Jim was warmly called to the stage by an audience that knew and loved him. And not just from his stand-up, but from his years of running Chez Nora in Covington, KY. Jim, I learned later, came out of stand-up retirement to do that eye reunion show – and as you can see – when he performs he is totally in control of what he’s doing onstage. I vividly remember watching his act and being deeply impressed. I got to spend some time with him after the show, and he wasn’t just funny, but tremendously sweet and generous to boot.
Jim passed away this past Saturday from lung cancer. I feel honored that I got to share an evening with him. You can read more about him here.
Two books that are “fast, breezy reads” great for taking on vacation.
Miserable Adventure Stories is a new collection of quirky sci-fi and adventure stories, including the award-winning “Raglan Oracle”. From Amazon:
“It’s a light, easy read and I resented it for making me want more.” “This is a wonderful collection that had me howling while I was reading it on a plane in the dark.” “A variegated collection of pop fiction by one of the best practitioners of the pop story…the stories aren’t miserable, they’re masterful.”
Plrknib is my memoir about doing stand-up in high school in the late 70’s at the d.w eye club in Cincinnati. (Last summer, the book was a hit in Cinti and prompted a sold-out reunion performance of the d.w. eye comics.)
“The Power of Jokes permeates this book in a way that’s rarely seen in fiction. “High, hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.” “I started reading PLRKNIB in an airport in DC and couldn’t put it down.”
Both books are available on Amazon and at finer bookstores everywhere.
Chicago area and nearby residents! Both Plrknib and Miserable Adventure Stories are now available at Quimby’s! – Chicago’s favorite independently owned bookstore that sells independently-published and small press books, comics, zines and ephemera. They “favor the unusual, the aberrant, the saucy and the lowbrow.”
And god knows, Prom on Mars books are certainly lowbrow!
I, myself, have never actually been to Quimby’s – don’t get to the Chicago area too much – but I hear it is super cool and groovy! And don’t forget to pick up some underground zines while you’re there!
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. Justclick 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 Memoircategory.
And then…go vote for all those other books you loved this year!
Come join us in Cincinnati for the first stop of the d.w. eye Reunion Weekend at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion! If you’re a fan of Plrknib, you don’t want to miss this historic event! Essentially, this will be the book coming to life – as the author is joined by the d.w. eye comics themselves!
The festivities, of course, continue Friday night, June 23, at the20th Century Theater in Cincinnati – for a one-night-only reunion performance of the d.w. eye comics. This isn’t just another night at a comedy club. The eye comics have been working on this special event for months.
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.
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.
Nice, in-depth article about Plrkniband d.w. eye today at WVXU (in Cincinnati) written by John Kiesewetter, someone who was there at the time and remembers the comics intimately. This leads into an interview coming up this Sunday night on WVXU with Kiese and fellow eye alum, Michael Flannery.
Mike Flannery came to the eye right when I was heading off to college and just tore the place up. He went on to become hugely popular, winning Showtime’s funniest comic in Ohio twice, hosting the kids’ show Club 19, anchoring WCPO TV news, and basically becoming the most famous eye personality in Cinti.
Back in the mid-80’s I performed with him at least twice – once in ’85 at Aunt Maudie’s, and once in late ’87 at the Funnybone – where he shredded the place and I died a horrible death.
Flan remains very much on top of his game. So, it was a real honor doing the VXU interview alongside him. And…we may be doing some additional performing together in the near future. Watch this space…
(You can hear the Plrknibinterview this Sunday, March 19th at 7p on WVXU’s Around Cincinnati.)