Broken Lines Is a Rollicking, Careening Adventure Unlike Any Other
With a bizarre plot, metafiction that breaks the fourth wall, and lots of visual candy, Tom Pappalardo’s Broken Lines is entertainingly unique. Pappalardo has written stories, essays, and comic strips and worked in graphic design, all skills that come to bear in Broken Lines. Continue reading →
These hilarious shorts are a perfect snarkfest, combining people watching and café criticism with abundant humor. Pappalardo visits coffee emporiums in Northampton, Amherst, and other towns in western Massachusetts to sample brews ranging from fabulous to putrid and to jot his impressions of baristas and customers. He ranges from local coffeehouses to Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks locations, going so far as to reference the noncontroversy of the 2015 red holiday cups; he even experiences coffee in his local public library. In one riff, he rails against the ludicrousness of far-distant coffee pickup counters; elsewhere, he visits a Dunkin’ Donuts dominated by painful country music. Pappalardo’s enjoyment of doughnuts, pie, and other comestibles adds delight to the collection, as does his recording of overheard conversations and scenes. This collection is good for a consistent supply of laughs, regardless of whether readers live in Massachusetts or drink coffee.
– Publishers WeeklyContinue reading →
I’m sitting at my desk on post-election day, reviewing eight pages of aborted paragraphs I’ve scribbled in my notebook, wrestling with the desire to communicate and connect with you, to say something important or useful or — if all else fails — something clever or entertaining. The eight pages have come up short on all fronts. I got bupkis. Continue reading →
They will lower me into the hole they’ve dug in my yard,
My casket lined with VHS tapes and Sharpies,
USB cables coiled around my chest,
And a rotary telephone held in each cold hand.
My mouth filled with keys to forgotten doors,
A 9-volt battery covering each eye,
Resting on a cushion of thrift store t-shirts
Cradling my sketchbook-stuffed corpse.
Balancing atop a shifting platform of scrap plywood,
Old books, rub-on lettering, and coffee mugs,
A choir of well-meaning friends will burst forth in joyful melody,
“Everything must go! Everything must go!”
And the mourners, bravely choking back their tears and regrets,
Will be required to take home a minimum of ten compact discs,
To be prominently displayed in their homes as a shrine
For the laughing dead man who never has to move again.
I am dreaming. I think about Lucinda Williams, and then I’m talking to her. I ask her if it’s difficult having such an unusual name. My sleeping brain constructs a dream-world where you need to possess a rock with your name written on it in order to have that name. There are name-rocks all over the place, but the polished Lucindas are rare gems, hard to find. Continue reading →
“Whaaat?” asks the spaceman in disbelief. “No, it’s cool! Like a mascot!”
They sit in the rear booth of the Stop-N-Go Diner just off of Route 28. Two cups of coffee rest on the table, surrounded by breakfast debris. Above the din of ordering, smalltalk, and determined mastication rises the tinny sound of that accursed “Life Is A Highway” song. It leaks out of the diner’s table jukeboxes, thirty-odd speakers radiating unspeakable brain damage. Continue reading →
There’s an insidious monster whispering in the ears of amateur illustrators and designers, haunting Twitter feeds and blogs and tumblrs across the web. It isn’t an art movement or anything, it’s an internet trend. I have come to refer to it in my head as Stunt Design.
Stunt Design, n. The phenomenon of designers & illustrators creating gimmicky graphics purely in the hopes of ‘going viral’ on pop culture/arts blogs.Continue reading →
I stopped by the ol’ podcast shack to talk to Bill Dwight and Jaz Tupelo about my book Everything You Didn’t Ask For. Discussed: My soul, suicide, old movies, Charles Schulz, internet trolls, One More Cup Of Coffee (now a book you can purchase!), and other ramblings. I bet I will sell thousands of copies because of this! Check out a bunch of other cool stuff at The Bill Dwight Show.