Lit

Beating chest for APE

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I used to live in a town where the alternative-alternative (holler!) weekly had a comics page. Paging to the back of said volume each seven days I'd look for Tony Millionaire's joint, Maakies. Millionaire's rounding out a phalanx of guest speakers at this weekend's APE (Sat/16 and Sun/17), so I'm thinking back to the days when his preciously drawn little derelicts marked my Wednesdays.

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A different lit: Another kind of Castro sex store

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"It's really one of the only places in the Castro that isn't focused on drinking or shopping,” says events coordinator Oscar Raymundo of his book nook on the neighborhood's main drag, A Different Light. Ambling down Castro Street, one really doesn't see too much geared towards the intellectual pursuit – punnily-named beauty salons, cheap bars, and spendy restaurants are far more evocative of the enclave's milieu. Raymundo would be the first to admit, however, that the bookstore where he works deals in a theme that plays a central role in Castro life: sexuality, and the varying ways in which the LGBT community lives the theme.

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Will the Thrill says good-bye (kinda) to movies -- and hello to "Mermaid"

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I received an email the other day with the terribly alarming subject line "FINAL. THRILLVILLES. EVER. No fooling." Could Will "The Thrill" Viharo, a veteran host of cult movie nights around the Bay Area, be hanging up his fez and smoking jacket for good?

Well, not exactly. Fans already know he's been scaling back his "Thrillville" events since the Parkway Theater closed and the Cerrito Theater changed ownership in 2009 (both East Bay venues, operated by Speakeasy Theaters, had hosted Viharo's regularly-scheduled B-movie extravaganzas). Over the past year, Viharo's taken his show -- which includes his wife and assistant, Monica Tiki Goddess, and usually a pre-movie band or performing group -- on the road, sprinkling a bit of sleaze, gore, trash, and monster mayhem on an assortment of Bay Area theaters.

Now, he explains in his (sorta) sign-off email, "I am giving up the Thrillville road show concept and sticking exclusively to my new home base at Forbidden Island in Alameda, where I'll be hosting my mellower movie series 'Forbidden Thrills' one Monday a month, for as long as people show up. It's a stripped down version of Thrillville — (mostly) public domain cult classics, cocktail specials, prizes, no cover, [and] free popcorn." In other words, you can take the Thrill off the B-movie road, but you can't take him out of the tiki bar. Or something.

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Old reliable true confessions -- John Waters on secret idols, polar opposites, and role models

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By Ryan Lattanzio

John Waters. Forefather of filth, pundit of provocation. Not to be mistaken, of course, for 1934 Academy Award recipient John Waters, who kept coming up in my research of the other John Waters.

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A 40-year Last Gasp that's getting stronger

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By Cécile Lepage

Last Gasp, San Francisco’s landmark independent and underground publisher, is turning 40. To celebrate this feat – in four decades, Last Gasp has spawned more than 300 comics and 250 books – it is throwing a party and an art show Thurs/April 1 at 111 Minna Gallery. Read more »

Trash Lit: Grafton's craft in 'U is for Undertow'

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U is for Undertow
Sue Grafton
Putnam. 403 pages, $27.95

I love the Sue Grafton books. I bought A is for Alibi in 1983, when it came out, and I’ve read every one of them since. Unlike, say, Patricia Cornwell, whose characters age (and get crabbier) as time passes, Kinsey Milhone is eternal, always young, always living in a town called Santa Teresa that’s a lot like Santa Barbara, always living with her old (but never dying) landlord, Henry, always eating at the foul Hungarian restaurant down the street. Read more »