Tag Archives: Mike Madrid

The Ashland Literary Arts Festival: You Know It Makes Sense.

It’s been a nuts summer around EAP World Headquarters, what with the sudden development of the (former) Ashland Literary Festival being turned over to us at the Southern Oregon Literary Alliance and Cascadia Publishers, transforming itself into the Ashland Literary Arts Festival. When the infrastructure was offered us by SOU’s Hannon Library, here in beautiful Ashland, of course we jumped at it. Whenever you get an offer of an infrastructure for a literary festival, well, you have to jump on it.

We started out saying it was going to be like that fairy tale, “Stone Soup”: We had a cauldron of boiling water with a big rock in it. Anybody got a carrot? Anybody got a head of garlic? Anybody got some noodles?

Just like in the fairy tale, next thing you know, everybody eats!

Seriously, it was pretty obvious that we here in the Pacific Northwest needed another meeting place for independent publishers, independent stories, and independent thought in general. So while we’re all scrambling to get into our places in time for the day–Saturday, October 28th, from 10 to 4 (and beyond), at the Hannon Library, on the Southern Oregon University campus in beautiful Ashland, Oregon–the day ahead is rich to bursting point with every conceivable literary ingredient. We’ve got workshops (Rethinking Schools! How to Make Your Own Podcast!) We’ve got stories (Southern Oregon! Hugo House in Seattle! Fantasy as Reality!) We’ve got poetry (Oregon’s poet laureate, the wonderful Elizabeth Woody! And poets galore!). We’ve got comics (EAP’s own Mike Madrid!). We’ve got literature (Too many to enumerate). We’ve got cooking (Jam Today and the wonderful Sarah Lemon of the Medford Mail Tribune will cook from a mystery bag of ingredients). We’ve got archaeology (Chelsea Rose!). We’ve got film (Alex Cox’s WALKER, sponsored by the Ashland Independent Film Festival, with a panel after…). We’ve got music (Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba plays from his latest album, and signs his EAP book on top of that).

As if that isn’t enough (I’m dizzy even thinking about it), the ever effervescent Laura Kimberly, of the Medford Public Library, has talked me into renting a karaoke machine for a Cosplay Karaoke Contest, followed by a Wonder Woman costume contest. I mean…I mean…


Just to tie it in to this EAP: The Magazine issue: ALAF is going to welcome not just our own Mike Madrid, but the poet Charles S. Kraszewski, and David Horowitz, too. I was dying to get Bruce Thompson to bring his Dr. Faustus puppet show, and Ronnie Pontiac and Tamra Lucid to bring themselves, but next time. When we hope we have a budget. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a budget?

When you look at what we’re doing without one, well. With one, the sky is not even the limit.

Welcome back.

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Mother Hubbard and EAP’s Raison d’être.

The whole purpose of Exterminating Angel Press is to find, develop, and publish stories that have been overlooked in the mad dash for competition to get to the top of…of what? We’re thinking about that too. What is it we’re all in this mad dash for? And what happens when one of us gets to the top and gets to dance on all the corpses down below?

Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Let’s dial back. It does seem to me that monoculture in any form is unhealthy, that it does, as they say, take all kinds to make a world. At least any kind of world that’s going to be worth living in.

So when Mike Madrid, EAP’s creative director and resident popular culture expert, discovered a whole treasure trove of comics from the 40’s and 50’s, all that had fallen into public domain out of lack of interest, lack of belief that there was anything interesting in them, and when he described one or two of them to me, I knew immediately this was an EAP sort of a thing. These are stories that reveal possibilities other than the usual ones we’re seeing now, the more stultified, endlessly repeated muscle bound superheroes who save a couple of worlds and then go on to have their own line of toys. These are stories about superheroines who didn’t make the cut. They were too out there to catch a mass market eye. A debutante who makes herself ugly to fight crime. A sexy pussy cat who beats up criminals without letting her dog boyfriend know what she’s doing. A queen of the jungle who refuses to let anyone exploit her territory, and the people and animals that live there.

Then there’s the postmenopausal superheroine, Mother Hubbard. I always find it interesting that when I tell people about her, the first reaction is stunned laughter. Then I usually say something like, “See, you laughed. Why did you laugh? What is is about the superhero story that we’ve all agreed on that makes that funny?”

It’s interesting. It tells us something about ourselves. And, as we say around here, until we know a little bit about ourselves, fuck all is going to change.

The main thing about these stories, though, is that, being so out there, so unexpected, so unlike any story lines that hardened and calcified afterwards, they are supremely entertaining. And we’ve got 28 of them, the whole stories, coming out with Mike’s commentary, in October. We’re working on it now. And if you want to get a look at his introduction, you can have a look here…


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Wonder Women of All Kinds, and a Wonder Man, too…

The documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of the American Superheroine is a smashing look at how the story of superheroines has helped form, and continues to form our culture, and EAP’s Mike Madrid, author of “The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines,” is one of the great interview subjects, along with Lynda Carter, Gloria Steinem, and Kathleen Hanna–so I think that makes him an honorary fabulous chick.

Anyway, I loved the doc so much, that when I heard my pal, the legendary independent film producer Margaret Matheson was coming to Boulder, I nudged the International Film Series director here, Pablo Kjolseth, into slotting Wonder Women! into their new Tuesday night documentary series, this Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7 pm, in Muenzinger Auditorium, on the University of Colorado campus, in Boulder.

Then, since all of Margaret’s many choices of films over an incredibly productive ongoing career are made based on the story told, and since all of EAP’s point is that stories form culture, and how has that happened, and how can that make our world a better place, anyway? And since both Margaret and I are always interested in what’s going on in other people’s heads, Pablo is letting us use the screening as a way to find out.

So Margaret and I will introduce the documentary, and lead a conversation afterward about just that. How stories interact with culture, and what that means for us, and what that means for how we can go on.

And as a matter of fact, I happen to have inside knowledge that a lot of Wonder Women are coming to the screening, creatives and strong wills of all kinds, and so I’m wondering what will happen next…

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