Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BIGFOOT BOOKS

Last weekend I decided to take a busman's holiday and headed out to my friend Steve's new used and rare bookstore in Willow Creek with my friend Dan. Of course since it's located in the epicenter of Sasquatch country, the name of the place was a no-brainer--we (me, Steve and Rev'd Lord) formed a now dormant semi-satirical organization called The Church of Bigfoot, Scientist about 7 or 8 years ago, such was our devotion to the Bigfoot mythos at that time. Though Steve was apologetic for the mess, it's actually much neater and better organized than many used bookstores I've come across over the years. Located in an old doctor's office, the building has lots of nooks and crannies, including a meeting room stuffed to the gills with old National Geographics dating to the twenties. There's a great selection of fiction, politics and reference books too.

I browsed around and found a copy of Don Marquis' classic archy & mehitabel, a comic volume of free verse ostensibly written by a cockroach after hours at the newspaper Marquis was employed at in 1916. Not only is the poetry good (sort of a cartoon e.e. cummings, and sometimes surprisingly gritty and bleak), the book has line illustrations by George Herriman, the genius creator of Krazy Kat.


Check this one out:
archy confesses
coarse
jocosity
catches the crowd
shakespeare
and i
are often
low browed

the fish wife
curse
and the laugh
of the horse
shakespeare
and i
are frequently
coarse

aesthetic
excuses
in bill s behalf
are adduced
to refine
big bill s
coarse laugh

but bill
he would chuckle
to hear such guff
he pulled
rough stuff
and he liked rough stuff

hoping you
are the same
archy

Many people don't realize that Marquis and Herriman also invented punk in the early twenties...



The children's book room at Bigfoot Books is also worth seeking out for the creepy Keane waif prints on either wall.

A definite Village of the Damned vibe here.










For those who don't know the story behind the kitsch, Margaret Keane proved in a court that the paintings done under her husband's name were her work. She created a doe-eyed industry.





If you're heading out to Willow Creek on the 299 anytime soon, stop by. Steve will be glad to see you, as long as you don't interfere with his more lucrative internet sales (just kidding). The store's about a mile an a half past the main part of town, right past the Cabins and right before the big yellow burger joint.

Just listen for Leonard Cohen blasting out of the speakers....