The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries Tagged as 'Books'

The Unknown Adjective and Other Stories

July 2nd, 2014 · 3 Comments

The Unknown Adjective has arrived! “Mr. Skinner knows many terrible, terrible secrets about us. We are once again fortunate that he chooses to share them so deftly and so altruistically.” —Mark Newgarden “Witty and ingenious comics from the exceptionally-talented writer, musician, performer, ventriloquist, and cartoonist Doug Skinner. It’s exciting to finally have these little-seen strips available […]

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Tags: Books

Merde à la Belle Époque

February 4th, 2014 · No Comments

Merde à la Belle Époque is now available from Black Scat Books! Doug Skinner has chosen, translated, and annotated a choice selection of scatological texts from Paris’s Bohemian heyday. The texts range from 1883 to 1902, and include poems, stories, a play, a rebus and a letter. You’ll find Alphonse Allais, George Auriol, Georges Courteline, […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Books

Pierre Gustave Brunet and the Literature of the Insane

January 27th, 2014 · No Comments

Pierre Gustave Brunet (1805-1896) compiled bibliographies.  I know nothing else about him.  His output was remarkable, though, as were the subjects he chose: Pope Joan, Biblical apocrypha, theological curiosities, imaginary libraries, fictional publishers, literary frauds, scatological texts, facetious literature, and lost books, among others. His best remembered work is probably his 1880 compendium, Les Fous […]

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Tags: Books · Literature

Who Was Marion Kinnaird?

January 15th, 2014 · 3 Comments

In 1932, a certain Marion Kinnaird had a choice assignment: to write children’s books based on two grand old comic strips, Frederick Opper’s “Happy Hooligan” and James Swinnerton’s “Little Jimmy.”  They were published by McLoughlin Bros. in a large format (10″ x 13″), with four-color  covers and three-color interiors.  For Opper, he or she came […]

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Tags: Books · Cartoons · Mysteries

A Word From Black Scat Books

December 10th, 2013 · No Comments

My publisher, Black Scat Books, has passed along this reminder for the holiday season.  My illustrated translation of Alphonse Allais’s Captain Cap will chase away Seasonally Affected Depression.  You can find a copy on Amazon; New Yorkers who prefer brick and mortar can obtain a copy at Spoonbill & Sugartown, in Williamsburg. (Posted by Doug […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Books

Happy Birthday, Alphonse Allais!

October 20th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Alphonse Allais was born on October 20, 1854.  We celebrate his birthday here by posting my drawings of him with his curious colleague, Captain Cap, from Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks, available in my illustrated translation from Black Scat Books. And one picture from the fourth chapbook, which didn’t make it into […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Books · Literature


October 1st, 2013 · No Comments

Richard Toronto worked for years on a biography of Richard Shaver, the curious writer whose stories about caverns, ancient machines, and the notorious dero had such an impact on early ufology and on science fiction.  The result, War Over Lemuria, has now been published by McFarland, and is racking up good reviews.  So much material […]

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Tags: Books

Little Blue Books by Forteans (5): T. Swann Harding

September 3rd, 2013 · 2 Comments

T. Swann Harding replaced Harry Elmer Barnes as a Founder of the Fortean Society.  As usual, I don’t know how active he was.  His papers, now in the Library of Congress, contain correspondence with Thayer, and he did contribute to Doubt, so I assume he was involved more than some of the others. I haven’t […]

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Tags: Books · Forteana

Captain Cap, Volume 3

August 5th, 2013 · No Comments

The third volume of the adventures of Captain Cap (there will be four) is now available from Black Scat Books, in a limited edition of 125.  The adventures of the prototypical ‘pataphysical antihero, first published by Alphonse Allais in 1902, have been scrupulously translated, illustrated, and annotated by Doug Skinner; they appear in English for […]

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Tags: 'pataphysics · Alphonse Allais · Books

The Ullage Group Presents Mark Pilkington

November 4th, 2012 · No Comments

Our old friend Mark Pilkington is in town, on a visit from London.  We had planned to organize a second film festival, and show some of his film work, with other material.  However, his planned talk at that fine institution, the Observatory at Proteus Gowanus, has been canceled, due, as you might guess, to the […]

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Tags: Books · Bulletins · Forteana