EASTHAMPTON – Thomas J. Pappalardo had a string of luck with design contests when a friend sent him an item about Easthampton City Arts looking for someone to create a mural on a downtown building.
Pappalardo, a Northampton resident who runs a design business, had some successes creating a commercial for an area station and in a Home Depot house decorating contest.
“Someone forwarded me the press release and said, ‘Hey, you should give that a try,'” Pappalardo said. Continue reading
EASTHAMPTON – An outdoor mural slated to be painted in the spring will give Cottage Street a new look. Easthampton City Arts this month unanimously voted to award a $3,000 to Northampton-based graphic designer Tom Pappalardo to paint his design on the outer wall of 75 Cottage St., which houses Whiskerz Pub and faces a municipal parking lot. Continue reading
Broken Lines: Book One of Four, Maybe is simply about good and evil. You have evil firemen vs. a Cowboy complete with six shooters, a Spaceman who feeds red licorice through his suit, and Maggie the waitress. These characters come together to form Standard Design’s delightful self-published illustrated novel. Continue reading
This unusual comic is a compendium of nearly 10 years worth of goofy comics initially drawn by two friends just to amuse themselves, but now published to hopefully amuse others as well. Their single most successful creation is the Conan the Barbarian parody called “Barbarian Lord” . One-page “Barbarian Lord” episodes recur periodically throughout this issue, giving the reader sufficient time to adjust to its comedic weirdness. Each episode finds Barbarian Lord typically confronted by some blustery foe whose bravado is unmercifully dispatched by Barbarian Lord’s fist, sword, or battleaxe. Each slaying is then followed by a single-panel feature entitled “Poetry of Barbarian Lord”, wherein BL offers a tersely worded, haiku-like account of some past atrocity. Continue reading
Spatializing Sound in the Time Domain – Listeners are likely to decide by the very first song whether they love or hate Northampton’s No-Shadow Kick (according to the EP’s cover, now “The” No-Shadow Kick): the lead singer has an intense low nasal yowl, which works well with the mischievous lyrics and turbulent guitars. Those who enjoy the voices of Frank Black (Pixies) or Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil) will likely be charmed; others may find frontman Tom Pappalardo’s singing style a turn-off. At seven songs, one of which is crap (aptly named “It Doesn’t Matter (You Motherfucker)”), Spatializing Sound in the Time Domain is short, but with so few duds on the list, the overall effect is more one of pithiness than of brevity. Continue reading
Tom refers to this as “a collection/retrospective of the last ten wasted years of my artistic life (ha).” Well, he’s full of wilderness muffin mix, for rather it’s a collection of zany gag cartoons and longer pieces, all in a booklet that’s strangely reassuring to hold. Several pages show the influence of Chris Ware’s jolly despair, mostly in the bits featuring a sad sack who looks like a cross between Sluggo and Ware’s gloomy potato man. Recommended: four pages adapting the audio drama at the end of the long version of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City”. Hopefully, Tom will have something else for us to groove upon before another decade passes. Continue reading
How long have you been making posters?
Well, since 1992 or 93, probably. But, you know, I’ve only been taking it seriously for about, oh….three weeks or so.
Do bands or venues tell you what they’d like their poster to look like?
No, not really anything beyond “Don’t do color – we can’t afford it.”
How did you first get in to making posters? Continue reading
This is not what a Northampton band is supposed to sound like. There’s not a hook to be found. Nor the slightest hint of twang. And no one, not anyone at all, would consider describing No-Shadow Kick‘s music as accessible. Because it isn’t. And it doesn’t want to be. Continue reading
Creating a sense of horror in a comic book can be a daunting task these days. With the current profusion of wanton gore, insane clowns, and killer toys throughout the zine world, are there any novel ideas left to send chills down the collective spine of a jaded audience? Luckily for Caliber Comics, their new one-shot book successfully identifies and exploits one of those novel ideas: the nursery rhyme. While fairy tales have often been transformed into film horror (e.g. Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves), never before has a comic taken such a benign genre and twisted it into a more grotesquely frightening final product. Continue reading