New interview at Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


Here's an interview I just did with Sean Clancy at my hometown newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette-- discussing Come Again, punk, March, Run, Two Dead, and the area ghost legends which shaped our lives there.

Come Again will be out in comic book stores this Wednesday, July 11th! It'll be available in bookstores and online August 7th.

New interview at CBR

Here's a new interview I did at Comic Book Resources for the stories in my book You Don't Say (out May 20th from Top Shelf/IDW). Soon after doing this phone interview, I realized that the last few months of sleep deprivation had taken a toll on my ability to convey thoughts clearly-- sorry if it's a bit rambly or cloudy. Email interviews only for the next couple of months..!

You can directly pre-order signed, sketched copies of You Don't Say from me here, and I'll send them out as soon as they arrive.

Tem Eyos Ki's remastered LP masterpiece now available digitally!

I am honored to announce that, after being out-of-print for 9 years, North Little Rock punk/speed metal/chamber folk powerhouse Tem Eyos Ki has digitally reissued their classic 2002 LP on my Harlan Records site!

(download/listen here!)

The album is completely remixed and remastered by drummer/engineer Kevin Rains, and features a previously unreleased song as well. If you haven't heard this band (or this album), you're missing out on something powerful, visionary, and heartfelt. My favorite band of all time! Besides sharing membership with Soophie Nun Squad, members have gone on to perform in Humanbeast, Bloodhuff, V Manuscript, Universe, Divorce Chord, Holy Angell, and Zucura. Vocalist Maralie Armstrong-Rial is a multimedia performance artist, guitarist Eli Milholland runs the Gross Domestic Product cassette label, and guitarist Michael Lierly is an accomplished painter.

Here's a collection of Tem Eyos Ki photos up on my Flickr site.

You can also download digital versions of their 7", split 7" with Hundred Years War, and tour CDR.

Tem Eyos Ki in Richmond VA, June 2001. Photos by Chris Boarts Larson.

Soophie Nun Squad's 1st album now available digitally!

I've been working up a new archive site for Harlan Records, the punk record label I ran from 1994-2010, and i just put up Soophie Nun Squad's long out-of-print first album, Don't Let Them Take You Alive from 1997.

(cut to the chase and download it here!)

I'll be continuing to archive every release over the coming weeks... more soon!

My top graphic novel & album pairings up at CBC!

Recently I wrote a piece about five near-perfect teamups of graphic novels and albums-- check it out here! 

You'll find Moss Icon, Lungfish, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Tristeza, and Harold Budd/Brian Eno represented in the mix, along with comics by Katie Skelly, Eric Drooker, Gabriella Giandelli, Kolbeinn Karlsson, and yours truly.

new Harlan Records archive site is up!

From 1994-2010 I ran a small DIY punk label called Harlan Records. That label (and its accompanying site) and defunct, so I thought I'd start up a new site to document all of those moldy old releases and bands.

I'm still working out the kinks-- but the first release is up now. Soophie Nun Squad's "We Ate Slayer" demo tape from 1994! 

Please email me at if you have any photos or videos of any of the bands. Thanks!

In Memory of Sarah Kirsch

Last Wednesday, December 5th, we all lost a truly inspiring, compassionate, talented human being.

Sarah Kirsch (long-time fixture of the Bay Area hardcore punk community, formerly known as Mike Kirsch, and member of the bands Fuel, Sawhorse, Pinhead Gunpowder, Navio Forge, John Henry West, Sixteen Bullets, Torches To Rome, Bread and Circuits, Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack, Baader Brains, and Mothercountry Motherfuckers) passed away last week after a long and difficult battle with Fanconi Anemia. She was someone so fundamental in shaping the way I have grown to experience the world, how to move through it and how best to use my expressive energy in confronting it, that it's difficult to imagine a world without her.

Here are pieces on her passing in the SF Weekly and MaximumRockNRoll.

Growing up in Arkansas in the early 1990's, my friends and I spent countless hours skateboarding and trampolining to the Fuel LP while writing and drawing our early comics efforts. That LP remains my ALL-TIME favorite album. When I sent word to one of those friends, Nathan Wilson, about her passing, I urged a listen to the album in her honor. He remarked with such simplicity and truth, "She really did create a sound that is immediately accessible whenever I think about it (even 21 years later), and probably always will be." He didn't even need to actually play the record-- the sound was so pervasive, so deeply-rooted in every fiber of our beings, that he only needed to find the space in his heart where it (and she) resides.

Bread And Circuits in Memphis TN, June 1999.

Sarah and I finally met at a Seein Red/ Yaphet Kotto/ Deathreat show in Little Rock in 1998, and built a friendship in the year after that as we helped book shows for each other's bands, and embarked on a short leg of tour together (with Bread and Circuits, Former Members of Alfonsin, and Soophie Nun Squad). Especially in the reactionary-PC climate of the late '90's, this pairing seemed pretty weird and incompatible to most people, but it was apparent that Sarah "got" what Soophie was trying to do with our performances, and respected our creative vision with which we tried to intertwine levity, fantasy, politics, and human interaction. Likewise, Sarah's bands used a holistic approach to their work-- building up music, performance, packaging, text, and intention to convey something much more powerful than even the already incredibly passionate music. At times we'd be a bit nervous that we falsely represented ourselves as being apolitical or disconnected, especially in the presence of older punks who had a much more pointed and serious focus to their music, but Sarah would constantly put us at ease, shedding those pretensions, costuming up with us at shows and even tucking us all into bed in Memphis one night, singing us an ad-libbed Frampton-style lullabye while wailing away on her guitar with a head-mounted miner's light casting shadows across the room. I'll treasure that forever.

Sarah and her friends displayed hospitality and unrivaled generosity when Soophie embarked on our West Coast tours, showing up at her door with 12-14 people for entire weekends, at the time oblivious to how imposing our presence might've been-- she always made us feel right at home, well-fed, and ready to take in the sights and sounds of her lifelong home.

I feel so privileged to've been able to spend time and break bread with Sarah semi-regularly since then, to see her last band play on tour a few summers ago, and to spend as much time as possible with her in the hospital last February.

 In a scene/community that generally eschews the notion of heroes, Sarah was probably the closest thing I've ever had to a hero throughout most of my life, and this was made all the more sweet and amazing as our friendship grew over these past 15 years. 

I don't want to write anymore about this right now, so I'll just say this: Sarah, you are missed and loved by everyone whose life you've touched, and truly by everyone who knew you. You amaze me, and always will. I would not be who I am today without you.

I recommend these tracks to give a glimpse into her incredible musical vision:

Skinflutes-- "Rebel Run"
Fuel-- "Instrumental (2:52)", "Cue To You", and "For Lack Of Better Words (Shine)"
Sawhorse-- "One"
Pinhead Gunpowder-- "I Wanna" and "Hey Now"
Navio Forge-- "Weaponizing"
John Henry West-- "Avoiding"
Torches To Rome-- "Young Arsenal" and "Numbered Days"
Bread And Circuits-- "Statute Of Limitations" and "Bloodbath"
Colbom-- "Prisoner Of Work"
Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack-- "Postcards From The Future", "Transnational Vampire Killers", and "The Asymmetric Enemy"
Baader Brains-- "Fear Not The Lions" and "Vostok Welcoming Party"

R.I.P. Fat Shadow; new musical goings-on

This is a quick post in recognition of one of my favorite Bloomington-area bands, Fat Shadow, who recently called it quits. Fat Shadow was a perfect punk-meets-classic rock storm, carved from the spaces where Heart meets X, where Jefferson Airplane meets Dinosaur Jr.

In their time, they managed to release the outstanding Foot Of Love LP, which is available here on vinyl/download and here as a direct download

(Here are a ton of live Fat Shadow photos I took over the years as well.)

In the meantime, definitely check out these jams from its members:

Purple 7 is a new Replacements-meets-Guided By Voices power trio with Chris Mott (Fat Shadow, Door-Keys, Landlord), Will Staler (Defiance Ohio, Landlord), and Patrick Jennings (Hot New Mexicans). They've got an incredible 5-song 12" out now on Let's Pretend Records (and here's the download), and are currently touring as well.

Here's a video for their song "Poison Ivy."

Fat Shadow drummer Jeff Grant (also of Pink Razors and Stop It!!) has a solo band project called Full Sun, with two tapes under his belt, both still available as downloads. I highly recommend the Bare Floor recording! He's also playing guitar and singing in The Sands, a new band featuring folks from Memory Map, Magnolia Electric Co., and Coke Dares, as well as internet cat-celebrity Lil Bub's human caretaker.

Bassist/wailer Erin Tobey is currently in the process of hammering out what will be a stunning second solo album; her classic 2005 debut is still available as an LP here and download here. She is also an accomplished multimedia artist and has recently teamed up musically with Tammar, Vollmar, and one-off Donna Summer cover band Bad Girls.

Vocalist Daun Fields also performs and records as Vera Maleta, and released several albums fronting The Door-Keys. She also has a blog called Crocosmia, chronicling her relationship to magic, growth, and the creative spirit.

limited-edition bookplate for French ANY EMPIRE!/ fundraising for Sarah Kirsch

Here's a a full-color bookplate I just finished, limited to 150 copies of the French translation of Any Empire, to be released in October by Sarbacane!

I'll have the original artwork (9"x12") for sale this weekend at SPX, and will be donating ALL my original artwork sales to help my friend Sarah Kirsch with mounting medical/living expenses during her long and ongoing fight with Fanconi Anemia. If you can't make it to SPX but are interested in this piece (or others), please email me at and let me know. Thanks!

Some of you who were a part of the punk/hardcore scenes of the 1990's (and beyond) may know Sarah Kirsch (formerly known as Mike Kirsch) as the guitarist/vocalist for some of the best punk bands of all time, including Fuel, Sawhorse, Pinhead Gunpowder, John Henry West, Navio Forge, Torches To Rome, Bread And Circuits, Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack, Baader Brains, and most recently Mothercountry Motherfuckers. Her music truly changed and shaped my life as an adolescent, lent clarity, power, and passion to my experiences, and inspired me to do the same with my own creative efforts.

You can directly contribute to Sarah's medical/living expense fund here. The costs have been truly staggering and will remain so-- ANYTHING you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

Illustration in FLUKE #10, out now!

I did an illustration (and a variant cover) for the new issue of Fluke zine, hot off the presses! It features interviews with Burt Taggart (The Big Cats, Max Recordings, Chino Horde, Five-0), Emily's Army (Billy Joe Armstrong's teenage son's band), Mystic Knights of the Cobra, Anna Joy Springer (Blatz/ Gr'ups), and more. 

Fluke is a punk zine started in my hometown of North Little Rock in 1991 by Matthew Thompson, Steve Schmidt, and Jason White, and is carried on today by Matthew in his home of Tucson, AZ. Order issues here. Thanks!

Photos from Bloomington's Rock N Roll Prom 2012!

Here's a link to some band photos I took last weekend at Bloomington's annual Rock N Roll Prom, which raises funds to benefit Boxcar Books and the Midwest Pages To Prisoners Project.

Fleetwood Mac, Devo, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and No Doubt were all finely represented. I gotta say Fleetwood Wac was truly transcendent. You all make me proud to live in this town, surrounded by such talented and beautiful friends. (Now let me sneak up in your cover band next year.)

Soophie Nun Squad albums now available for download!

Soophie Nun Squad was a 10-piece, way-over-the-top punk ensemble I was in from 1992-2006, based in Little Rock, AR. Our last three records are now available digitally from Plan-It-X Records for less than $5 each-- download links are below.

Members of Soophie Nun Squad were/are also part of Humanbeast, Universe, V Manuscript, Tem Eyos Ki, Divorce Chord, Wait, Bloodhuff, Boomfancy, Sand City, The Insides, Shake Ray Turbine, William Martyr 17, Madeline, Sugar And The Raw, The Evelyns, R.I.O.T.S., Rainy Day Regatta, Deadbird, Zucura, The Body, and dozens more bands.

If anyone has photos or video of Soophie Nun Squad or Tem Eyos Ki, please email me!

The Devil, The Metal, The Big Booty Beats (2000)

Soophie Nun Squad/ Abe Froman split LP (2003)

Passion Slays The Dragon (2003)

UNIVERSE tour update!

Here are the updated shows for our southern tour:

Thurs June 17 Bloomington IN @ The Bishop w/ Holiday Band
Wed June 23 Bloomington IN @ Greek's Pizza w/ Andrew Jackson Jihad, Busman's Holiday, Art Vanduhlay
Thurs June 24 Louisville KY @ Skull Alley w/ Andrew Jackson Jihad
Fri June 25 Cairo IL @ Ace of Cups w/ Andrew Jackson Jihad
Sat June 26 Little Rock AR @ Juanita's Party Room w/ Iron Tongue, Zucura
Sun June 27 New Orleans LA @ The Big Top.
Mon June 28 Pensacola FL @ Sluggo's.
Tue June 29 Tallahassee FL @ Charles Mansion
Wed June 30 St. Augustine FL @ Nobby's w/ Tubers, The Cougs
Thurs July 1 Gainesville FL @ Wayward Council w/ Die Hoffnung
Fri July 2 Atlanta GA @ Wonderroot
Sat July 3 Chattanooga TN @ TBA

more info as I get it!
Our CD's are in, and we're just finishing up the packaging. They'll be ready at shows and through mailorder on the 23rd!