Documentaries · Heads Up! · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here

Heads Up: BETTER THINGS t-shirts, with art by Jeffrey Jones

Don’t delay! The donation deadline is Thursday 28 February 11:59PM PT.

Well, folks, the deadline for donations to the Indiegogo fundraiser for Maria Paz Cabardo’s documentary film Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones is fast approaching. So far, the donation level that includes the 64-page art book, film DVD, and postcard set has been the most popular with Jones fans, with the level that includes the DVD by itself running a close second, but now, with only five days to go, producer/director Maria Cabardo has unveiled a very tempting new perk at the $55.00 level ($65.00 international): a t-shirt with art by Jeffrey Jones. And you don’t have just one design from which to choose; there are several. Take a look:


Now, the price may seem a bit high for a mere t-shirt, but keep mind that the main point here is to support a film about an artist whose work you love, not outfit the kids for school — although there are definitely kids (as well as adults) out there who would love one of those t-shirts! Rather, the t-shirts and other merchandise are merely Maria’s way of thanking you for your donation. And where else are you going to get a t-shirt with art by Jeffrey Jones on it, anyway? Nowhere, that’s where!

Colour and size options for the t-shirts are listed on the site, but if you don’t see a colour you like or the size you need, simply ask Maria about other options. Keep in mind, however, that Maria has recommended neutrally coloured fabrics (and white) because they work best for the full-colour artwork, which a commercial printing company will reproduce on the t-shirts by “ink transfer.” The images are not decals or iron-ons, which sit on the surface of the fabric and tend to flake away over time; rather, “the ink is transferred and is absorbed by the shirt and is completely washable and blends well after several washings.” Of course, the designs that feature Jones drawings in black ink — the “I’m Age” strip or the gorilla, for instance — would look great on a t-shirt of almost any colour. But, again, ask Maria about your options. You can contact her via the Indiegogo site or her twitter feed.

So visit the Better Things Indiegogo home page and donate today!


Please note that the Better Things fundraiser is a “flexible funding campaign,” so all of the money raised goes to the film — and everyone who donates will receive their chosen perks/rewards — regardless of the total amount of money raised by the deadline.

And please ALSO note: the cost of delivering the various perks/rewards at the various donation levels is going to substantially reduce the amount of money that Maria actually receives from the fundraiser, so the more money raised, the better. SPREAD THE WORD!

Don’t delay! The donation deadline is Thursday 28 February 11:59PM PT.

Documentaries · Heads Up! · Illustration Art · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look Here

Heads Up: The BETTER THINGS Jones-tribute art book!

Don’t delay! The donation deadline is Thursday 28 February 11:59PM PT.

If you visited the Indiegogo fundraiser for the independent documentary film, Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones, the last time I linked to it, you may have noticed that the “perks” at the $100.00 level include the following:

  • a limited-edition art book showcasing works by artists inspired by the work and example of Jeffrey Catherine Jones,
  • a set of 6-8 postcards featuring artwork randomly selected from the art book.

Since that time, producer/director/writer Maria Cabardo has added a $75.00 contribution tier with just the limited-edition art book as the perk.

And earlier today, 07 February 2013, Maria confirmed the roster of artists whose work will be reproduced in the book.

I’ve copied out the very diverse and impressive list of participating artists below and added links to various official and unofficial websites so you can check out their work; my apologies in advance if I’ve copied a name incorrectly or linked to the wrong website:

And last but definitely not least, the art book will feature reproductions of several pieces of art by JEFFREY JONES himself, including a watercolour sketch donated by collector Robert Weiner, president of Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc., that will be featured on the cover.

Here’s the official description of the book, cut and pasted from the Better Things Indiegogo home page:

An amazing collection of artwork from artists in the comics, publishing, role-playing, and entertainment field. This book is dedicated to help fund BETTER THINGS and was only made possible by their generosity and willingness to help get Jones’ story and art to the world. It contains 48 pgs of color and black and white work.

Estimated delivery: July 2013

Help Better Things meet its fundraising goal by donating at the $75.00 or $100.00 levels (or higher!), and receive the art book as thanks from your favourite artists. Go to the Better Things home page at Indiegogo and reserve a copy now!

UPDATE (10 February 2013):

If you are reluctant to contribute to the Better Things Indiegogo fundraiser because you think that the campaign is unlikely to reach its fundraising goal of $30,000 dollars — if you think, well, I see a perk that I really like, but it’s never going to happen for Better Things, so why should I bother — here’s something you should know:

Yes, indeed, the Better Things Indiegogo fundraiser is a “flexible funding campaign,” and as such, the campaign owner receives any money raised but in return has agreed to fulfill the perks even if the stated goal is not met. For more information, see “Following Up and Sending Perks.”

UPDATE (12 February 2013):

Maria Cabardo has announced more contributors and an enlarged page count for the art book via Twitter and the Indiegogo campaign announcements page:

Therese Nielsen ( and Patrick Hill has been added to the list of artists contributing to the Jones Artbook. It is now a 64-page art extravaganza [upgraded from 48 pages], a tribute to Jones and a wonderful example of the artistic community’s generosity.

UPDATE (13 February 2013):

Earlier today, Maria Cabardo posted a new pledge video:

Don’t delay! The donation deadline is Thursday 28 February 11:59PM PT.

Documentaries · Heads Up! · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones

Support BETTER THINGS via Indiegogo

The documentary, Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones, is complete, but as co-writer/producer/director Maria Cabardo notes in the introduction to her new Indiegogo funraising campaign, “The challenge now is to find the funds to repay these people [who have graciously loaned their skills and time to the project over the past few years] and bring the film to the widest audience possible and share the story of Jeffrey Catherine Jones and his art.” But that’s not all. If Cabardo meets her fundraising goal of $30,000, she will not only be able to pay her outstanding pre- and post-production debts, forthcoming marketing and advertising expenses, and ongoing production legal services and fees, but also will be able to complete a companion DVD of supplementary material, including cut interview footage with Jeffrey Catherine Jones himself, to accompany the feature.


If you would like to help Maria to take her completed documentary to the masses, or you would simply like to receive a copy of the forthcoming DVD or one of the many other rewards Maria is offering at various contribution levels, click here to check out her Indiegogo fundraiser. Unlike her previous Kickstarter campaign, which did not reach its fundraising goal and thus did not provide any money to the project — Jones fan that I am, I sent the money I had pledged anyway, no strings attached, and I’ve just contributed again, which means I’ve personally given a hundred and fifty bucks to the documentary — I say, unlike her unsuccessful Kickstarter, Cabardo’s Indiegogo fundraiser is a “flexible funding campaign,” which means that Maria will receive ALL of the funds contributed by Thu 28 Feb 11:59PM PT, and is obligated to deliver all of the perks/rewards, regardless of whether the rather ambitious goal of $30,000 is met or not.

Documentaries · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look There

Look There: Better things for BETTER THINGS?

Well would you look at that! When the Kickstarter for Maria Paz Cabardo’s documentary film Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones failed to reach its goal — and shame on everyone who didn’t support it — I sent my donation to Maria via PayPal anyway, and then, after a few months in 2011 when the film’s website seemed devoid of all life, I sort of forgot about the whole thing. Well, turns out, I shouldn’t have given up hope, because this morning I finally thought to check on the film’s progress and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the promotional site has been updated with a new design and new content, including comps of three different posters designed by John Pinsky. Take a look. And what’s more, this morning I also stumbled across an old post by Arnie Fenner, who back in March of this year announced on the Muddy Colors blog that the film is complete: “It’s edited. It’s scored. It’s a wrap.

No word yet if and when DVDs will be available for purchase, but I do hope it’s soon! Because there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that Better Things will ever show in a theatre near me. More’s the pity…

Pinsky designed another, slightly more provocative poster for the film, but it’s only available on the film’s website as a tiny thumbnail at the moment:


Look Here: Barry N. Malzberg’s Favorite Astoundings

Here, courtesy of YouTube and producer Greg Moosnick, is Barry N. Malzberg’s short “extra” to the DVD release of Eric Solstein’s documentary film, John W. Campbell’s Golden Age of Science Fiction. Malzberg received the inaugural John W. Campbell Memorial Award for his distinctly un-Campbellian novel, Beyond Apollo. But don’t hold that against him…


Those Sexy Vintage Sleaze Books: Archive for the Barry N. Malzberg Category

The “Agony Column Podcast News Report” at has a link to an MP3 file of Malzberg reading from his indispensible collection of SF criticism, Breakfast in the Ruins.

Documentaries · Look There · Movies · Samuel R. Delany · YouTube Finds

Look There: The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman

I’m a bit late to notice this, but back in November of 2009, MaestroMedia Productions released a two-disk DVD set of The Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman, produced, written, directed, and photographed by Fred Barney Taylor. Available for a mere US$30 plus shipping and handling (request a total if you live outside the United States), the DVD set includes the original 80-minute documentary, along with a second DVD with over two hours of raw footage of Delany in conversation and a digital transfer of Delany’s “lost” 16-mm film from 1971, The Orchid (which, comic readers may be interested to know, includes Bernie Wrightson as an extra).

From the official Facebook Web site for the film:

The iconic and larger-than life Samuel R. Delany, best known as the author of Dhalgren and Babel-17, winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, is considered a grandmaster of the sci-fi community. Born and raised in New York City, Delany began writing in the early 1960s and became famous for his provocative futuristic explorations of race and sexual identity. He was a rebellious pioneer who opened up the white male universe of science fiction to issues of race, gender and sexuality

The grandson of a slave, he has written frankly about his life and sexual adventures as a gay African-American, notably in his brilliantly reflexive memoir, The Motion of Light and [in] Water and in Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, a social and critical complaint about the disappearance of the area’s famous porn theatres.

Back in the day, Chip shared a stage with Bob Dylan, drank with W.H. Auden, wrote an opera, made a film, formed a theatre company, and authored several issues of Wonder Woman. He has had, by his count, over 50,000 sexual partners during the course of his lifetime.

Taylor uses visually-stunning images of water and bridges as abstract compositions; a visual correlative of the author’s multi-layered writing. By juxtaposing Delany’s flow of memories, readings and archival footage with mesmerizing imagery of the city, The Polymath expresses in vivid detail the complexities of an eclectic intellectual.

Also, if you’re a fan of Delany, watch for his new novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, which, if Amazon is to be believed, will appear in early 2011.

Documentaries · Jeffrey "Jeff" Catherine Jones · Look There

Look There: Jeffrey Jones Documentary in the Works

Here’s a rough-cut trailer featuring parts of Michael Kaluta’s interview for Better Things: Life + Choices of Jeffrey Jones:


Wrightson’s fascinating unpublished layouts for his section of The Studio (Dragon’s Dream, 1979) — added 03 May 2010, because it sort of relates to the conversation in the comments section of this post.

Captain Beefheart · Documentaries · Interlude · YouTube Finds

Captain Beefheart Documentary

I recommended Beefheart and his Magic Band to the adult son of my wife’s sister, a young man who is heavily into music both as a listener and as a working muscian and songwriter, but he would have none of it. In fact, he sent me the CD he bought for himself, so now I have two copies of Clear Spot/The Spotlight Kid, a double-album CD which isn’t exactly hardcore Beefheart but which is a good entry point for people who want to ease into the oeuvre. Cool thing is, I’ve played Beefheart enough around the house and in the car that my fourteen-year-old son is a fan. Maybe that’s the trick: repeated exposure. Or maybe it’s just parental influence/approval. No matter. Whatever it is, BEEFHEART LIVES!







“Rock ‘n’ roll is a fixation, that bom, bom, bom, bom, bom, momma heartbeat. I don’t like hypnotics, you see, I’m doing non-hypnotic music to break up the catatonic state. And I think there is one right now.”
— Captain Beefheart