Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

THE FIGHTER - Gatti v Ward 1 Round 9



The Fighter is an outstanding film. Mark Walberg's portrayal of Micky Ward is the best thing he's done since he was a member of The Funky Bunch. And Christian Bale's portrayal of Ward's crack addicted brother is also pretty impressive. It's the best Bale performance I've seen. Come to think of it, it's the only Bale performance I've seen. Seriously, this flick is worth the ten bucks. And you don’t need to be a boxing fan to appreciate this movie
 I did a little YouTube surfing and found some of Ward’s old fights. The Sanchez fight in my last posting was reenacted in the film. The filmmakers didn't need to exaggerate the drama. The actual footage of Ward's fights with Arturo Gatti, who recently passed away, was more exciting than the bloody fights of the Rocky films. Check out this clip. Both of these men had hearts of lions.

Micky Ward vs Alfonso Sanchez Round 7


You can download THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON at Amazon.com for a measly 5 bucks by clicking on this link:                                        




Round seven of the Ward Sanchez fight is dramatized in the new film, The Fighter. By round seven, everybody had counted Micky Ward out – except Micky Ward. This footage proves that boxing is a metaphor for life. Nobody gets to count us out. It’s really not over until we say it’s over. And I don’t know about you guys, but I think I have a vicious kidney shot or two left in my arsenal. I’m in the late rounds so I’m going to need to launch my best punch real soon.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

JOHN WAYNE'S GHOST - Part 1


John Wayne’s Ghost
by William Z Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder

Chandler, Arizona - 2009

                                                                                1.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Too Hectic to Blog

ARGHHHHHH!
Things are a little too hectic to blog. I'll be back in a couple of weeks...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

IS STEVE MCQUEEN ALIVE AND CUTTING HAIR IN CHANDLER, ARIZONA? William Z. Snyder Sticks it to the Man - Part 3

Part three? It seems like I banged out part one a heckuva long time ago. Let’s see, there was the attempted haircut at Supercuts. Or was it Great Clips? Doesn’t matter which corporate joint it was, they’re all the same. The employees were rude and nasty.



Part two involved a satisfying fantasy in which I slugged it out with the rude and nasty low level representatives of everything that’s wrong with the corporations of the world.


Part three goes something like this…


The following Saturday, I found myself with a raggedy head of hair and a couple of free hours. It was time to get old school. I got in my car and searched for an old time, mom and pop operated barbershop. I must have driven past a dozen Supercuts, Great Clips, and Super Clips before a spotted an honest to goodness barber shop pole.


It was a small place. There were three barbers and four chairs. The football game was on the television. Two guys were cutting hair. The third barber looked like an old-guy version of Steve McQueen. None of these guys wore eye make-up or metal in their faces.


When the barber asked how he could help me, I fought back the urge to order pastrami on rye, asking instead for a haircut. Come to think of it, the guy sounded a little like Steve McQueen. He took his time, stopping to watch the football game often. I had almost forgotten the pleasure of an old fashioned haircut, complete with hot shaving cream and a straight razor. Yeah, it was a relaxing experience, not a lot of conversation, and that was ok.


I paid up and was on my way. The price was fifteen bucks, three dollars more than at the corporate owned joint. The guy gave me a pretty good hair cut, considering what he was working with. As a matter of fact, it’s the best haircut I’ve had in a long time, well worth the extra three bucks.


I stuck it to the man and you know what? I’m going to keep on sticking it to him! No more soulless, sociopathic corporate owned haircutting joints for this guy.

Oh, there’s one more thing; I distinctly heard one of the other guys call my barber Steve. Makes you wonder…

Sunday, November 14, 2010

WILLIAM Z. SNYDER STICKS IT TO THE MAN - Part 2

...continued from William Z. Snyder Sticks it to the Man - Part 1.

Backing my car out of the parking space, I noticed the Supercuts guy in the window. Would you believe me if I told you he was giving me the stink eye? Well, that’s exactly what the little creep was doing. So I waved him off with the palm of my hand. Believe it or not, the nut job nut raced out from Supercuts and kicked the side of my car with his meticulously shined steel toed Jackboots. Before I had time to react, the kook tore the windshield wiper away from my car.


He was out of his mind. Quite frankly, I’d taken all I could take.

It was on.


Slamming the car into neutral, I threw the door open and sprang from my car, ready to brawl it out with my antagonist.


“I’m not taking any more crap from anybody!” he screamed, winding his boot back to kick.


But I was ready and I wasn’t in any mood to take any crap myself. I caught his foot and sent him crashing onto the sidewalk.


My adrenaline was pumping.


“Get up!” I shouted, waving him toward me.

Someone leapt unto my back and wrapped an arm around my throat.


“Leave Marvin alone, you big galute!” screamed the woman on my back.


Marvin staggered back to his feet and came after me with my windshield wiper. Before he had a chance to swing, I cracked him in the nose with a hard, short right. Marvin dropped back to the sidewalk holding his profusely bleeding nose.

The woman on m back began digging her fingernails into my throat and gnawing on my right ear as two other female Supercuts employees rushed toward me from the front door. Reaching over my shoulder I grabbed the assailant on my back by her blouse, ripped her loose and a launched her into her charging coworkers. They fell like bowling pins.


It was over As Quickly as it had started. Marvin was crying and the girls sat shaking their heads, trying to make sense of the birds and stars.


Placing my hands on hips, I threw my head back and laughed heartily


“How do you like them apples, Supercuts people?”


OK, that’s not really what happened. Guess I got a little carried away at the keyboard. I’d be lying if I told you that somewhere in the darkest recesses of my psyche, I didn’t enjoy fanaticizing about letting loose.


As for the real story of how I stuck it to the man, you’ll have to wait until next week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WILLIAM Z. SNYDER STICKS IT TO THE MAN - Part 1

For too many years I’ve been supporting the sociopathic corporations of the world by bringing my haircut business to the Supercuts conveniently located less than a mile from my home.

Not anymore, brother.



I’m sticking it to the man, baby.

It all started when I drove down to the local Supercuts for a quick buzz job last Sunday afternoon. Stepping through the door I was not greeted by a swooshy thirty-something hair stylist hairstylist with a whole lot of eye makeup and a half-dozen pieces of metal sticking out of his face. Three hairstylists were snipping away on their customers. Mister second rate Marilyn Manson finished sweeping up a pile of hair before casually strutting up to the counter.

“Can I help you?” he said, avoiding any semblance of eye contact and making it clear that helping me was the last thing he wanted to do.


“Can I get a tuna fish sandwich?”


This is my stock line for the ever changing array Supercuts employees who consistently ask me that ridiculous question.


“Right. We’re closed. We close at three, I’m sorry.


“Right,” I said turning and heading back to the car.


I really didn’t want that guy cutting my hair anyway. Inside the car, I turned the ignition key and the clock read 2:58. That’s when it hit me. It was time to find a new joint to cut my hair. Over the thirteen years I’d been frequenting the corner Supercuts, I’d received a few bad haircuts and a lot of mediocre haircuts, but they had only cut my hair the way I wanted twice. I usually shrugged and reminded myself that the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is about two weeks.

2:58.

I was tired of being pushed around by soulless corporations. Soulless corporations wear different faces too. On this particular day they wore the face of a thirty five year-old weirdo with eye makeup and a whole mess of metal stuck too his face who didn’t even bother to give up a courtesy laugh for my tuna fish sandwich line.

To be continued…

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Snyder Comics/Soaring Swine #24



WHO AMONGST US HAS NOT ASKED THIS PRESSING HISTORICAL QUESTION?

Bad Joke of the week:
What kind of hot dogs should be eaten on Halloween?
Halloweenies
I stole this bad joke from an episode of Happy Days.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Griggits

This panel ran in the Los Angeles Easy Reader back in 1984. The subject matter was a little more topical back then.

Friday, October 15, 2010

CRAPULOUS

Today’s secret word is crapulous. I came across the word while reading George Bernard Shaw’s introduction to his 1924 play, Saint Joan.


Shaw writes about Joan’s execution stating “… this result could have been produced by a crapulous inferiority as well as by a sublime superiority, the question of which of the two was operative in Joan’s case has to be faced.”


Crapulous. Nifty word, huh. And I can’t say I can recall crossing paths with crapulous. Initially I thought it was somehow connected to Thomas Crapper of flushing toilet fame. If I had had paid attention to my instruction on Greek roots, I would have known the word is a descendent of “kraipalÄ“,” meaning the giddiness and headache caused by drinking wine to excess.


To the point, our secret word of the day may defined as surcharged with liquor; alcoholism; sick from excessive indulgence in drinking or eating; drunk; given to excesses.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Soaring Swine #23 and the Latest News on THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON

                  Snyder Comics
The bad news is the release date is going to be pushed back a couple of months. This is due to the fact that I used my book dough to put a rebuilt transmission for my car. The good news is the guys at Chandler Auto and Tire have agreed to hawk my book. This brings the grand total of venues prepared to carry The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son to six.

Chandler Auto and Tire - Chandler, Arizona
Tempe Auto Repair - Tempe, Arizona
Second Use Building Materials - Seattle, Washington
Island Style Kitchen Design - Maui, Hawaii
Lakeside Sporting Goods - Beaver Island, Michigan
Geli Books - Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Flying Pigs #22

                                                      SNYDER COMICS #22
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

wheN piGs flY #21

snydertOOns 2010

I haven't had much time to work on the book. Teaching is hard. I've been busting my tail to keep ahead. Some teachers bust their tails to keep a foot, or an arm or a neck, but not me.

The editing process is under way and I'm meeting with a graphic designer to discuss the cover this week. 

The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son is on schedule to be released in November. The book will be available at the auto repair shop in Arizona, the lake sports store in Michigan, the kitchen design studio in Hawaii, the junk yard in Washington, and that book store in Thailand.

Bad Joke of the Week
A sasquatch was pulling his son in a sled across the Himilayas. After three hours the boy said to his father, "Are we there, Yeti?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.


BILL AND WAYNE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES IN THE QUIRKY WORLD OF FILM


I don’t know about you folks, but I’m less than impressed with the modern day movie theater experience. The product is hardly worth the ten bucks admission. As for the theatergoers, forget it. Babies cry, children run, an insipid galaxy of blinking cell phones lit up by text messengers destroys all semblance of concentration, people hold conversations with each other or talk on their cell phones.


“Hello. Yeah, I’m at the movies. What’s up?”

Nincompoops.


I’ll steer clear of movie theaters whenever possible, thank you. I’ll stick with the dollar movie rentals in the red box at the grocery store. Better yet, I’ll pick up a couple of bagels head over to Big Wayne’s house for a Saturday morning quirky classic matinee.




Wayne and I recently enjoyed the 1966 comedy musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, staring comedic geniuses Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton. You might remember Jack Gilford as the guy from the Cracker Jacks commercials – if an ARP card and Buster Keaton for his silent film comedies – if you’re a ghost. This was Buster Keaton’s last film role. Based on the Broadway musical, set in ancient room and shot somewhere in Spain, the film provides an endless array of one-liners, running gags, pratfalls, and gorgeous women.


Wayne and I laughed out loud – a lot.

Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“For us there will never be happiness.”

“Then we must learn to be happy without it.”
“Was one a good year for wine?”

“Oh, her bridal bower becomes a burial bier of bitter bereavement!"
“Very good! Can you say "Titus the tailor told ten tall tales to Titania the titmouse"?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was well worth the price of a couple of bagels.
I'm giving this classic comedy musical a solid thumbs up, baby.

I'm William Snyder, the author of The Eight-Fingered Criminal's Son, a collection of mostly true stories about growing up in1970s Southern California. It'll make you laugh.
You can purchase the book at your local book store or order a copy by clicking on the link below. Go ahead, laugh a little...
http://www.amazon.com/The-Eight-Fingered-Criminals-William-Snyder/dp/1468142585/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334182364&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Sunday, September 5, 2010

wHen piGs flY #20

snYdertooNs 2010

THE LATEST NEWS ON THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON, A KOOKY COLLECTION OF QUIRKY STORIES, WRITTEN BY YOURS TRULY

The book is scheduled to release in November and will be available at the following venues: 

Tempe Auto Repair, Tempe, Arizona,
Island Style Kitchen Designs, Haiku, Hawaii,
Second Use Building Supplies, Seattle Washington
Island Sports, Beaver Island, Michigan
GELI Book Store, Bangkok, Thailand

Saturday, August 21, 2010

EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON Update and snYdertoOns #19

              snYdertoOns

The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son will be available for purchase in November at the following venues:

Lakeside Sports on Beaver Island, Michigan http://www.beaverisland.org/lakesports/index.html
Island Style Kitchen Designs on Mauii, Hawaii http://www.islandstyledesigns.com/
Tempe Auto Repair in Tempe, Arizona http://www.tempeautorepair.com/
GELI Book Store in Bangkok, Thailand
Second Use Building Materials in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seconduse.com/
 
The book will also be available for purchase from this site.
 
Tim Anderson of Second Use Building Supply in Seattle Washington asked me to clarify a couple of things.

First of all, Anderson is six feet eight inches tall, not six feet ten inches tall. Second, he does not lead the Seattle recreational league in penalty minutes - those guys are idiots. This doesn't mean, Anderson asked me to point out, that there won't be severe ramifications for anyone who tries the swipe the chained copy of The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son from the commode.

Lastly, I'd like to send out a heart felt thank you to Israel Carrasco out in Anaheim, California. Isreal, a talented comedy writer and up and coming stand up comedian, was kind enough to plug The Eight Finegered Criminal's Son on his blog.
http://israelcarrascojokes.blogspot.com/


Sunday, August 15, 2010

SELF PUBLISHING ON 800 BUCKS

THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON PICKS UP VENDOR NUMBER FIVE!


This just in: Tim Anderson of Second Use Building Materials in Seattle, Washington has agreed to carry my new book, The Eight Fingered Criminal's  Son, a kooky collection of quirky stories based on true events. In addition, Big Tim came up with the brilliant marketing strategy of chaining a copy of my new book next to the commode. The boys at Tempe Auto Repair have agreed to follow suit with chained this whole copy of the book in can idea.

Folks, this thing is taking off.


As a side line, Tim Anderson is a six foot ten inch defenseman in the Seattle Recreational Hockey League. Anderson is most proud of the fact that he leads the league in penalty minutes. So don't even think about stealing he copy from his john.


The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son will be available for purchase in November at the following venues:
Lakeside Sports on Beaver Island, Michigan
http://www.beaverisland.org/lakesports/index.html

Island Style Kitchen Designs on Mauii, Hawaii
http://www.islandstyledesigns.com/

Tempe Auto Repair in Tempe, Arizona
http://www.tempeautorepair.com/

GELI Book Store in Bangkok, Thailand

Second Use Building Materials in Seattle, Washington.
http://www.seconduse.com/

And just in case you won't be in Tempe, Seattle, Michigan, Hawaii ot Bangkok in the near future, The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son will be available at this site.

Above is a rendition, sketched by your's truly, of a scene from Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini, one of the stories in The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son.

Watch Tom Jones in the latest promotional video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5S4Jcl_iRw&feature=player_embedded

Saturday, August 7, 2010

wheN piGs flY #18 and The Latest News on THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON

                                     snYdertOOns


THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON will be available for purchase at this site or at GELI Book Store in Bangkok, Thailand and Tempe Auto Repair in Tempe, Arizona in November. We'll be announcing two new venues this week and promotional video number three is in the works. Stay tuned for more information...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

THE LATEST PROMOTIONAL VIDEO FOR THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON



THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THIS BLOG, THAT BOOK STORE IN THAILAND AND TEMPE AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR IN TEMPE, ARIZONA THIS NOVEMBER!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

1984 Griggit Cartoon,the Latest News on THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON and Tom Jones


This cartoon, drawn by yours truly, appeared in the Los Angeles Easy Reader in 1984.

                                  THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINALS SON NEWS

The book is scheduled to come out in early November.

In addition to GELI Book Store in Bangkok, Thailand, the Eight Fingered Criminal's Son will be available at Tempe Auto Repair in Tempe, Arizona. Sure selling a book at an auto repair shop is a weird idea, but it just might be weird enough to work - darn it.

A second book promo starring music legend, Tom Jones is in the capable hands of editor extraordinaire, Brady "Cat" White. I should have it up on Blogger, YouTube, and Face Book tomorrow.


Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 6" Display, White - 2nd Generation

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An excerpt from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son

THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON NEWS

The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son, a collection of mostly true and usually funny stories by Willaim Z. Snyder, can be downloaded at Amazon.com. There is no need for a Kindle. Just click on the link below.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Eight-Fingered-Criminals-Son-ebook/dp/B005NWH8L4



An excerpt from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son
Danny Gilroy's Pencil
by W.Z Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder


Hawthorne, California - 1968
The life of a fourth grader at Saint Joseph’s Parish School was not easy. To begin with, we had to deal with Sister Claudia. She was the creepiest nun I had ever known. Unless she’s 160 years old, the woman is dead by now and it is bad form to disrespect the deceased. Oh what the heck, Sister Claudia looked like a corpse even when she was alive. The old gal was incredibly emaciated, looking very much like a plucked chicken. Her pallid cracked skin was pulled tight against her face while scraggly bright red hairs shot out from under her black and white nun’s habit. Her dental situation a real mess; about twice the size of normal teeth, yellow choppers jutted out from her gums in every direction but up and down. I tried to follow her directions because her lips rose up when she screamed at us, exposing those horrible, yellow teeth. Like all of the nuns, Sister Claudia was more than willing to whack me upside the head with the flat of her hand or pummel my knuckles with the hard side of a ruler. She was a terrible teacher. The woman raced through math concepts and refused to field questions. Math class for me was constant bewilderment. My mother had to hire a tutor so I could pass the fourth grade.

Sister Claudia told us creepy stories we knew to be hogwash, but they held our attention nonetheless. Once, she went into a tirade about the dangers of throwing snowballs. In the 29 years I lived in Hawthorne, California, it never snowed. Not once. Yet Sister Claudia felt compelled to deliver her cautionary tale.

When I was in the fifth grade, I lived in Boston. Even though we had been told it was dangerous to throw snowballs, some of the children failed to heed the advice of caring adults. I remember one particular day, school had let out and I was on my way home. A boy named Jimmy Dolan began throwing snowballs at some of the children. One of the boys threw a snowball back at Jimmy. Now boys and girls, that snowball hit Jimmy Dolan in the corner of his left eye and knocked his eyeball out of the socket. And Jimmy ran home with his eyeball hanging from his eye socket by a string of tissue. The doctors couldn’t save that eye and Jimmy Dolan wears an eye patch to this day. So the next time you want to throw snowballs, think of poor Jimmy Dolan and his eye patch.

Although I’m sure the story never happened, I do think of Jimmy Dolan and get the heebie-jeebies when I see a movie in which someone heaves a snowball. That nun really got deep into my psyche. I guess that’s what nuns do. I clearly remember wondering what it would be like to have my eyeball swinging from the socket by a two-foot string. Would I still be able to see from the swinging eyeball? If I held the eyeball behind my head, could I see what was going on behind me?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

SELF PUBLISHING ON 800 BUCKS

THE EIGHT FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON NEWS

The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son, a collection of mostly true and usually funny stories by Willaim Z. Snyder, will be available at this website in November.

You can also pick the the collection of stories up at that bookstore in Thailand...

Watch the epic book promo for The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son here:


                                                                                                                           

                                         Brady "Cat" White and Ian "Avis Babinski" Welsh
 
Ladies and germs, The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son publicity campaign is officially up and running.
.
                                                         Dickey "Tom Jones" Imburgia
 
We shot the first promotional video in my garage. It was a sweltering 112 degrees. But did that slow down my tough as nails cast and crew? Heck no. As a matter of fact, my brilliant team of Brady "Cat" White, Ian "Avis Babinski" Welch and Dickey "Tom Jones" Imburgia have agreed to shoot another video. So watch for next  Eight Fingered Criminal's Son promotional video. I know, you'll be waiting on pins and needles.
 
 
I wrote the script with the intention of producing a 30 to 45 second promo. That's right, I actually wrote a script. The final product was three and a half minutes. Guess we had alittle too much fun. Wait is that possible? So we'll tighten up on the next one.

The idea is to create a grass roots buzz about the book. We'll see if it works. I sent links of the You Tube video to a hundred people via Face Book and email. The You Tube video has received just under 300 hits. I'm going to call it a minor buzz.


Thanks to Guely of Sweden for featuring my goofy  promo on his blog. You're the man, Guely.


                                                                   The Peanut Gallery: J-Man, Sophia, Barit, and Macaulay

Did I mention The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son will be available in a book store in Thailand?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Self Publishing on 800 Bucks

Last week I announced my intention to self publish a collection of stories called The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son. Going by the comments on my little blog proclamation, I can safely state that no less than twelve people are now aware that my book will soon be published.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re right. Baby, this thing is big.

In case you missed the announcement, a book store in Thailand has agreed to carry the book. Yeah, The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son will be available soon at a book store near you, if you happen to live in Bangkok, Thailand.

The book will also be on my web site and from the trunk of my car. I just think it’s cool that my first book store is in Bangkok.

Here are my latest moves:

Budget
My budget is 800 bucks. I spent 14 bucks taking my Indie filmmaker to the Village The film guy thinks he contracted food poisoning, Nice start, huh? I have 786 dollars left in budget.

Publicity
Somehow, I convinced a couple of independent filmmakers to help me shoot a 45 second promotional video this week. Watch for the video on Face Book, You Tube and Blogger.

Editing
I used to say I wouldn’t self publish anything unless it was edited by a pro with a legit track record. Come to think of it, I also used to say I’d never self publish. The point is I did a little research on genuine editors with legit track records and I learned these people cost a lot of money. I do not have a lot of money; therefore, I’ve enlisted three friends; a technical writer and two outstanding teachers to give my stories the once over for glaring typos or errors I may have missed.

Printing
Several people have steered me to Lulu. I’m having trouble getting concrete prices from these people. I spent a few hours researching printing and book publishing companies. The cost of a hundred books seems to range from five hundred to several thousand bucks. There are several printers within driving distance of my house; working with one of these outfits would save shipping costs. I don’t plan to print until late October, so I’ll take my time on this the most expensive aspect of publishing and printing my first hundred books.

Watch for the epic promotional video and I’ll keep you posted on the process. Many of you have shared information and advice. Thank you and please, keep the pointers coming.

If you’re thinking of self publishing you need to check out this article.

http://reviews.cnet.com/self-publishing/


I dug up this sketch in an old journal. I'm thinking it might serve as a rough draft for the cover.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

LeBron James and The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son **

Ladies and germs, I have an announcement to make. I’m preparing to publish a short collection of The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son stories. You may have read excepts on this blog.

No, I don’t have an agent or a publisher – unless you count me. The agent and publisher search was a big fat bust – left me with way too much negative mojo. New ways to skin this publishing cat seem to be popping up all the time*. Heck, the Japanese are publishing books on their cell phones for crying out loud.

And I have a book store. That’s right; a book store has offered to carry my collection of stories. OK, the store is owned by a friend and it’s in Bangkok, but darn it, it’s a starting point ain’t it?

My plan is pretty raw at this stage. First, I find a printer to help me self publish 100 copies of The Eight Fingered Criminal’s Son. Then I send twenty copies to Thailand. I promote and sell the remaining eighty books from the trunk of my car and my keyboard. That’s it so far. I’m keeping it real simple to start.

Consider this  announcement the beginning of The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son publicity campaign. I’ll keep you posted as I search for a printer and formulate my plan to take over the book world.

I know several talented writers frequent this blog and I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on printing and marketing.

* Who were these people that were running around looking for new ways to skin cats?
** I added LeBron James to see if I experienced an increase in hits...



This illustration is from my children's book, How Larry the Griggit Learned to Fly. It serves as an accurate metaphor for my attempt to secure an agent and conventional publisher.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A FACE IN THE CROWD

BILL AND WAYNE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES IN THE QUIRKY WORLD OF FILM

Big Wayne and I met recently for another quirky adventure in the world of film. I brought the bacon, egg and Tabasco bagels and he provided the movie. After watching this absolute gem, I’ll never doubt the big man’s recommendations. It's hard believe this movie has been around so long and I missed it. Big Wayne also known as The Hoosier Daddy, is now my own personal Mr. Movie Miyagi. I don’t make a movie move without asking Big Wayne.


The movie?


I’m talking about the 1957 classic, A Face in the Crowd, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Andy Griffith. While I’ve been a fan of Kazan’s work on East of Eden, On the Waterfront and Viva Zapata, I’d only known Griffith as Barny Fife’s sidekick, Sherriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Don’t get me wrong, Griffith was very good as the iconic more wholesome than white bread sheriff. I always figured he was pretty much being himself; I had no idea the man could act. From the moment he appeared on screen, Griffith was nothing short of mesmerizing. I’m telling you, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the guy - I couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do next.


Griffith portrays Lonesome Rhodes, a guitar picking drifter who is discovered by a radio hostess (Patricia Neal). America falls in love with Rhodes’ countrified wisdom and guitar picking, propelling him to stardom. Rhodes starts out speaking the truth, fighting the man but due to his addictive personality he becomes the man. I should point out that Griffith’s bluesy singing and guitar playing is very good, edgy – real edgy.

Patrica Neal, Walter Mathaw, Tony Franciosca and Lee Remick make up a supporting cast that is nothing to sneeze at.

Great movie. One of the best I’ve seen. If you haven’t already seen it, watch the darned thing. If you have already seen it, maby you ought to watch it again You won’t be disappointed. Big Wayne knows his movies.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

KOOKIE THE WONDER DOG

                                                     An excerpt from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son
Kookie the Wonderdog
by W.Z Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder
Hawthorne, California-1965ish


Two narrow strips of cracked white concrete crept along the side of the house. Green and yellow weeds sprouted from cracks. Leading up to a battered wooden garage, the driveway was cut in half by a rickety swinging gate that separated the front and back yards. It was at this gate that my best friend, Kookie the Wonder Dog, nearly met an early demise.


I was just a squirt, maybe five or six. My Uncle Ronnie, who was attending UCLA, was hanging out in the back yard with some of his buddies. They were wearing crew cuts, smoking Kools, and drinking cans of Schlitz beer. Each of them was dressed in cuffed Levis and an unbuttoned Pendleton worn over a pressed white t-shirt.


One of the guys was tossing sticks for Kookie the Wonder Dog. The dog was a victim of OCDFD- that is Obsessive Compulsive Doggy Fetching Disorder. Kookie had a true need to fetch. And she would fetch anything; sticks, rocks, bricks; it didn't matter. I can remember throwing the same rock for her into a river for several hours. I guess I was easily entertained at the time. Kookie kept diving, sometimes twenty or thirty times on one rock fetching trip, but she never failed to come back with the same rock that I had thrown.


Half dachshund and half beagle; that was the heritage some veterinarian had determined for her. The loveable mutt followed my father home from a bar one day. I was told she was named after the subject of the song with the line: Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb. She was always covered with fleas – sometimes freeways of fleas commuted from one end of her body to the other. I can remember spending hours hunting the fleas through the short brown fur on Kookie’s back. I ran my fingers through her fur until I spotted one of the little devils. Then I would pinch them in half between my fingernails. I was a respectable flea hunter. Her floppy ears were shredded like the frills of Daniel Boone’s buckskin shirt. Kookie the Wonder Dog and the German Sheppard down the street at the Florchamp's place fought viciously and often. She survived being run over cars time after time again. And somehow that flea ridden mutt lived to be more than twenty years of age.


Just for the heck of it, one of my uncle’s buddies picked up a two-by-four and heaved it over the gate and into the front yard. Kookie the Wonder Dog was on that two-by-four like a cheap suit. She balanced the piece of wood in between her choppers and headed for the back yard at full speed. There was a problem. The gate was a couple of feet narrower than the two-by-four. Physics took over when that hunk of wood slammed into the immovable objects that were the gateposts. That little dog was propelled a full fifteen feet into the weathered wooden garage door. SMASH. For a split second, Kookie the Wonder dog stuck to that garage door like a bug on to a windshield. Then she slid to the cement driveway where she lay with her legs saluting the sun like a dead cockroach.

 "You killed my sister's dog you dumb sun of a bitch!" my uncle said, grabbing hold of the guy’s Pendleton and shoving him into the aluminum trashcans, spilling corn rinds and coffee grounds and beer cans all over the driveway. The two were trading punches and wrestling in the garbage when Kookie came to, gave her head a good shake and waddled to the front yard. She dragged the two by four into the back yard and began barking for someone to play fetch with her. The combatants stopped pummeling each other and looked at the mutt as if she were some kind of doggy ghost.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Griggit Comics - 1984

This panel ran in the L.A. Easy Reader back in '84.
Yeah, I drew a lot of comics in the eighties, but now I don't care what the temperature is...
sorry, it just kinda came out.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST

Bill and Wayne's Excellent Adventures in the World of Film

Bill and Wayne’s latest adventure in the quirky world of movies involved sausage, egg and Tabasco bagels and a classic spaghetti western called Once Upon a Time in the West. Not only was the old flick a little bit quirky, it was a little bit kooky, strange and a lot dark and spooky.

Sergio Leone, a man whose name is synonymous with spaghetti westerns, is responsible for this masterpiece. Filmed in Spain and Utah, there is a hellish feel to the experience. Everything is filthy, dusty, dry and dilapidated. The flaming sun constantly beats down on the ghostly characters.

Leone toys with time, slowing everything down to a fiendish snail’s pace. The opening scene is a movie in itself as Leone spends what seems like hours focusing on a fly on Jack Elam’s head and water dripping insipidly on Woody Strode’s head. And it’s captivating. Alfred Hitchcock said there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation. Leone is down with Hitchcock’s concept. The film is 999 percent anticipation and .001 percent bang. Hope my math is right there. But the bangs are pretty damned explosive.

Henry Fonda, the blue eyed iconic all American actor, is evil personified. Seeing Fonda cross over to the dark side is shocking and down right scary. Charles Bronson is magnificent (sorry, couldn’t help the cheap allusion) as the revenge bent gunfighter who speaks through a harmonica. Jason Robards plays it cool as a sometimes good, sometimes bad gunfighter. He delivers this line of the movie to the smoking hot damsel in distress, played by Claudia Cardinale: “You remind me of my mother; she was a whore…”

I’ve heard great things about this old standard over the years and I can’t believe it eluded me for so many years. Now that I’ve seen it I can comfortably say baby, the emperor is fully clothed.

Once Upon a Time in the West gets two thumbs up, five stars, and a full tub of quirky flavored popcorn.
















Artist's rendering of Bill and Wayne

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

WHEN PIGS FLY - snYder coMics #13


Sophisticated, soshmisticated - I can't help digging bad puns...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

JOHNNY GUITAR

BILL AND WAYNE'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF QUIRKY FILM

The latest excellent adventure in the quirky world of film came at the recommendation Guely of Sweden and RDD, the Hoosier Lawyer. My father in law Wayne and I took a look at the classic western, Johnny Guitar Saturday morning and there were sausage, egg and Tabasco sauce bagels.

Johnny Guitar, directed by Nicholas Ray, ain’t you’re run of the mill cowboy picture; the 1954 movie is a calculated attack on McCarthyism. The title character is played by Sterling Hayden, a blacklisted B movie actor and a decorated World War II veteran. In spite of the title, Johnny Guitar is a kinda cool, kinda goofy supporting character. The women run the show in this flick. Hey, I have five daughters; I’m cool with feminism.

The heroine, played by all time melodrama queen Joan Crawford, gesticulates and shouts and cries constantly at her nemesis played by Mercedes McCambridge. And McCambridge shouts, moans, shakes her fists and overacts right back. McCambridge, who would fittingly go on to serve as the voice of the devil in The Exorcist, plays a sexually repressed loudmouth weirdo, a female version of Tail gunner Joe McCarthy. These opposing crazy broads are reminiscent of the some of the nuns back in my Catholic school days.

The dialogue and musical score are tremendously over the top, giving the film the feel of a B science fiction movie. I kept waiting for the creature to pop out of the lagoon. At times it feels like an opera or a silent movie. I don’t know how to categorize the movie. All I can say it’s as bizarre as hell and it sure doesn’t play like a 1950s western.

The movie is fittingly set against the bizarre red rocks of Sedona. The characters are clad in sharp black and bright blues, reds and whites, bringing about a Disney feel.

Ray smashes the viewer in the noggin with blatant sexual symbolism. The women strap on guns while the parade of waterfalls, caves, trains, blasting storms and raging fires never stop.

Ernie Borgnine heats things up as a ridiculously psychotic and surprise, surprise, sexually repressed bad guy while John Carradine manages to do some legitimate acting in the middle of all of this insanity. First rate character actors like Royal Dano, Scott Brady and Ward Bond keep things interesting.

The dialogue is laugh out loud corny. When Sterling introduces himself as Johnny Guitar a cowboy smirks, “Guitar ain’t no kind of name.” The cowboy’s name is, get this, The Dancin’ Kid. Later in the film The Dancin’ Kid offers Johnny Guitar his hand and Johnny Guitar says, “I never shake hands with a left handed gun.” The line is so campy it’s cool – quirky cool.

The whole darned movie is quirky cool. I liked the darned thing – dammit - and so did my bagel eatin’ movie watchin’ partner, Wayne. Tabasco soaked egg and sausage bagels with a kooky old movie like Johnny Guitar is a way quirky cool way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Any man who loves his mother
is man enough for me.
Brightening her eyes, sending her flowers,
though it's no anniversary.

Many men want fame and fortune,
it's gold they love to see,
but I say a man who loves his mother
is man enough for me.

Many men love dogs and kittens,
and pet them constantly.
Show me a man who loves his mother
as much as she wants to be,
and I'll show you a man
who's a lot like me.


Dean Martin Sang this coolest mother song of all time in Robin and the Seven Hoods.

You can watch the film clip here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w8SHp1LFfU


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hoop Tree


I took this picture in Prescott a couple of months ago.
There was something about the juxtaposition of the hoop against the tree that pretty much blew my mind...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini

An excerpt from The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son
Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini
by W.Z Snyder
© 2008 William Snyder


Dart Safety and the Purple Bikini (1972)
When Cary Babinski showed up in my driveway I could barley see him for the onrush of late morning sunlight from behind. I had been hanging out in the garage, throwing darts. I spent a lot of time hanging out in that musty old garage that summer. Surfer Girl by Hawthorne’s own Beach Boys was playing on the baby blue transistor radio my father had sent me for Christmas.

“Hey Billy, can I play with you?”

Cary was nine and I was eleven.

“I don’t play, I hang out you little geek,” I unloaded on the goofy little kid.

Now I was plenty goofy myself and had experienced more than my share of derision from those my own age and even more from the older kids in the neighborhood so it was nice to have someone I could shove around once in a while. Cary sat on a sawhorse and watched me throw darts. I was showing off. I was picturing myself as Mingo from the Daniel Boone show throwing knives and hatchets. Mingo’s real name was Ed Ames and I'd seen him demonstrate his real life expertise with hatchet throwing on the Johnny Carson Show earlier that week.

“Let me throw the darts Billy.”

“You’re too young; darts are dangerous and you could get hurt. Then it would be my responsibility.”

“C’mon, I wanna’ play.”

“Shut up and watch the master you little dork.”

I let him retrieve the darts after I threw them. Feeling mighty confident after a few particularly good tosses, I was starting to picture myself in Mingo’s league. Mingo was without a doubt the coolest guy on the Daniel Boone show, cooler than Rosie Greer or Daniel Boone. He was a bad ass Indian dude who had been educated in England.

“Come on Billy, let me play.”

It was pathetic.

“OK.”

I had a bad idea. I picked up a flat yellow carpenter’s pencil and pulled Cary over to the dartboard.

“Now, put this pencil in your mouth.”

“Put the pencil in my mouth?”

“Yeah, like a cigarette.”

I was impatient.

“Ohhhh, your goanna’ knock the pencil outta’ my mouth like Mingo did on with the hatchets on Johnny Carson!”

The kid was excited.

I shoved the pencil into his mouth, backed up a few paces and picked out a dart.

“Yeah, that’s it Babinski, now hold still.”

The kid was shaking as I took careful aim.

“Are you sure you know how to do this Billy?”

“Sure I’m sure, now hold still.”

I was concentrating with everything I had. None too happy with what has going on, Kookie the Wonder Dog began to whimper at me feet.

“Shut up Kookie, I’m trying to concentrate.”

Beads of sweat began to form on Cary Babinski’s forehead as he attempted to stand still with his ear pressed against the dartboard. It was already hot. A prop plane buzzed low overhead. I took careful aim at the yellow pencil. The moist salty ocean air caused the metal and plastic dart feel slippery between my fingers. I squinted. I was one with Mingo. The smell of lawnmower gasoline, sawdust and spilled laundry detergent and the Pacific Ocean breeze filled my lungs as took a deep breath. In one motion, I released the air and the dart, hard and smooth. The dart sailed across the garage.

Thhhwwwwwack.

“ARGHHH!” Babinski bellowed in sheer terror.

You can read the rest in The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son. Check current postings to purchase the book...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Dealing with Atrophy

I had trouble getting out of bed this morning. My back hurt. So did my knees and ankles – and my neck. My left rotator cuff was feeling a little funky too. I must have been moving pretty slow because my wife told me I was walking around like an old man. I’ve been walking around like this for a couple of weeks now and I have a dumbass waitress at Valle Luna Mexican Restaurant to thank. You see, the family went out for a relaxing dinner a couple of weeks ago and the dumbass waitress passed out the menus she deemed it necessary to grace me with the senior citizen’s menu.

“Really? Really” I asked, “You think I’m a senior citizen???”

“Well, the senior menu is for fifty-five and over.”

“YOU THINK I’M FIFTY-FIVE?”

For the record, I just turned fifty. Now I understood I was on the back nine and all but I had this ego fed vision of myself appearing much younger than fifty. I thought of myself as physically fit, agile, with cat like speed and the ability to hop chain link fences and the like.

I guess I got smacked upside the head with an epiphany and a half, courtesy of the bored waitress with a deadpan delivery, now didn’t I? The truth of the matter seems to be I’m a fifty year old dude who looks fifty – even fifty-five.

And so I’ve been grunting out daily ninety minute workouts at the gym, the result of which has been, according to my lovely wife, to make me appear even older.

One of my students asked why I was moving so slow. I told the class the menu story. They seemed to find humor in my struggle against the inevitable. A sweet little girl in the back of the room asked me if I was aware there was a sizeable bald spot on the back of my head and if I ever considered using the spray on hair product her grandfather uses.

My wife and students don’t seem to do much good helping me deal with the inevitable effects of atrophy, but waitresses with senior citizen’s menu’s are the worst.

Dumbass Valle Luna waitress.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

snYder coMics #11 - WHEN PIGS FLY


I've run across a few people with goofy names over the years.
Extacy Queen, Liberty Bell and Ivy Wall are fomer students and Roy Beadknopf is a former classmate.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Arizona Justice League of Photographers in Old Town Scottsdale

The Arizona Justice League recently got together for an early Sunday morning shoot in Old Town Scottsdale.
Of course the Banana was there too.

Clif the Lawyer pointed out that this was an interesting piece of art. Too bad the artists got the letters backwards.

The banana was lurking. The banana is always lurking.



Can't tell you why, but I dig doors on old buildings.




I was playing Peter Pan, trying to catch my shadow.

Couldn't resist the white against the blue Arizona morning sky.


The green and blue was working for me too.

Anybody else ancient enough to remember Roy and Dale and Trigger?

"In the name of everything that's good Clif, get the hell out of there!"


Cowabunga!