Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the season...

These are the best Snow Globes we have ever seen. Yes, we are aware of the absurdity of the previous sentence. Just look and see.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Useful Potato

REJOICE dear reader!

Lightbulb Detective Agency has released its’ second collection of musical experiments! Distributed in the Compact Disc format, this compilation of bold musical statements has been cleverly titled “A Useful Potato”. Finally the legendary pieces The final 24 hours of Dr. Leon Brophy and Bait and Switch will see the light of day. Surely these recordings will cause you to ask the question “what the heck were these guys thinking?”

Well, you are in luck! We will tell you exactly what we were thinking!

From the Liner notes of A Useful Potato:

“The music for The final 24 hours of Dr. Leon Brophy was written over the course of several recording sessions. The total length of time spent in these sessions was 24 hours. No musical ideas were discussed or created outside of these sessions.

The entirety of bait and switch was recorded in one day at the Listen Laboratory in Fayetteville AR by Dwight Chalmers. All of the music was improvised with no prior discussion or preparation except for tempo and general texture. The recording was conducted in three sections that were later edited together to make one continuous piece. One section contains overlapping improvisations, where the musicians where overdubbing on a previous performance.”

There, that was easy right? Think of how smug you’ll feel going out into the world knowing that you “get it” and that everyone else doesn’t! You can hold your head high because you’ve got the “inside scoop” on what will be regarded as a musical milestone by future generations!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Interrogation: Dax Delap

Dax Delap has been a longtime friend and co-conspirator with us here at Lightbulb Detective Agency. He needs no introduction to anyone that knows him. He is an excellent illustrator and has a unique vision as a storyteller. He did not pay us to say that. If you like stuff that is good, check out his work at His blog I Am Biggest is also very good and is updated quite often.

We recently conducted and interrogation with Dax about his upcoming projects and his work process. Most of this information has been fact checked and verified except one question and answer that we made up. It’s a complete lie. In fact he’ll probably sue us. We won’t tell you which one is bogus; you’ll just have to guess.

SO...Dax....Tell me a little about what you are working on now and how it will be differentfrom your previous work...

Right now I'm working on a comic I'm calling "The Big Black"'s the kindof story I gravitate towards, in that the narrative is pretty dream-like. Ina lot of ways it's similar to the woodcut novels of guys like Lynd Ward andFranz Masereel. But as to how it's different...probably mostly in the manner I'm going about doing it. I know the framework of the story from beginningto end, which is new for me. I usually start a story not knowing exactly howit's going to end, or maybe I'll have an ending in mind, but no idea how toget there. This time the only surprises are in little details like pacingand page layout, which I work out on the spot.

So, were you actively trying to approach making a story from a differentway? Or did the framework just present itself to you as a whole?

No, what happened was that I had several months of a kind of block as far ashow the story was going to go, or even what kind of story I wanted it to be,and suddenly one day I realized that the idea of a beginning that I hadplanned could instead be used as a more interesting ending. Once that piecefit into place the whole thing came together in my head very quickly.
So, you seem to be more aware of your dreams than just about anyone I know, and you mentioned earlier that a lot of your work has a dreamlike quality.

Do you have any thoughts on the function of dreams? Why do you think you are drawn to that dreamlike quality?

I guess dreams are like seepage from the mind when you're asleep. The brain can't shut off, so what we get are stories or scenarios that are made up of strange bits of memory and things we've observed, thought about, are fooling ourselves into thinking we're *not* thinking about, and on and on. The unconscious seems to be a great dumping ground for all this stuff. So in some ways it comes out as a kind of unfiltered imagination. Comics are great for getting across dream imagery and that kind of skewed dream logic...say there's a guy in a business suit and then somehow an instant later he's wearing a prayer shawl or something, that sort of thing the mind does in dreams. On film there would probably have to be a cut to something else and then a cut back, but in comics there's a number of ways you could present that and still preserve what that feeling is like...that strange shifting or re-writing that happens in the periphery, when your mind loses focus on some detail or whatever. But you can alter the telling of a story in a comparable way, which dreams do a lot. That's what I really find interesting. It kind of moves beyond plot and into a kind of sensation.

Most of your work has no dialogue. Is this a way to keep from interjecting too much "plot"? Do you have any plans to do stuff that is more dialogue heavy?

I've had a story idea for years that, if I ever do it, would have to have dialogue, or at least captions. Because it takes place in a certain historical time and place...there would be too much information for me to convey, really, in that kind of story, so I'd have to use words there. But yeah, I tend to leave dialogue out mostly to keep things more intuitive. Plus, I don't like word balloons, just from a style point-of-view. I don't like arranging things around them.

The story idea I have has to do with the "truth" behind Hassan-i-Sabbah, the 11th century Ismali missionary leader...and basically how over time truth becomes subjective. But I'm not ready to do that story yet. It requires an awful lot of study, not just of Hassan but of that time period and culture...I would feel kind of irresponsible if I started it before I felt I was ready.

What inspired you to write the story about Hassan? Do you see it as being a larger work when finished?

Yeah, the Hassan idea would end up being a lot longer than anything I've done thus far. With Hassan I just found it interesting that all of the West's info on him comes from Marco Polo, and what he heard was essentially hearsay shortly after the Mongols dismantled the Assassins sect that Hassan had formed about two hundred years earlier. Similarly, most of the West's knowledge of the Mongol Empire came from hearsay and propaganda--much of which was actually engineered by the Mongols themselves to make others fear them even more--and so that knowledge wasn't exactly true. Now, maybe there's some truth to what Marco Polo heard, but it's more likely that the truth and the myth have kind of intertwined by this point. So by now, in this case, 'truth' is an abstract notion. I find that really interesting.

Have you ever tried rhubarb pie?

Human scum! You vermin shall be wiped clean from this planet! Your extinction is at hand!

So I'd like to talk about your drawing habits a seems like from your blog and the zines and stuff I've seen that you still draw quite a bit "for fun" seems like you’re pretty good about keeping busy in your sketch books with stuff that isn't strictly related to your comics...How often do you draw and how often do you set out to work on drawings that will specifically end up in a comic?

I'd say about 70% of my sketchbook stuff isn't related to my comics. For instance, sometimes I just want to try and draw a horse for fun. Or a Japanese ghost or something. It's nice to keep loose that way. But if I work on something intended for a comic story in my sketchbook, it's usually something I've already visualized in my head to some degree, and I'm just working out some rough sketches that I can refer back to when I draw the actual comic page.

As far as how often I draw...not often enough would be the most truthful answer. I try to draw in my sketchbook every day, at least a little.

Have you ever drawn something in your sketch book for fun and then decided to turn it into a "real" comic?

Yes. In fact, I'm going to be working on a very short thing that all unfolded from a drawing I did in my sketchbook several years ago. I saw it recently and everything else just kind of clicked into place around it.

Since it's so short, right now I think I might split it in half and use it to bookend the Big Black story. Maybe. There's a shared theme in both stories. Kind of. The name of the story is "Through Endless Celestial Sex".

I've always liked your watercolor work, and I'm very fond of all the other "non-comic" type stuff you have done. Are you ever tempted to do a non-sequential art gallery type show? If you were to do a show like that, what would you do?

Ahh, I don't know, know, I'm a ridiculously shy guy, so the idea of having some sort of show where people stare at my stuff on walls kind of freaks me out. I always hated showing my work in college classes for the same reason. I guess as long as I didn't have to be there it would be okay. But I'm not sure if I could come up with a specific theme for such a would be a bit of everything, I guess.

Do you find the format of a zine/mini-comic restrictive? Or a better question would be if you could have your stories printed in any format would you still opt for the "half page" zine style format? What about color?

It depends. By now I've gotten pretty used to the ideal size would probably be something slightly larger, or even just longer, like legal paper folded in half looks like a good size for my art. But I definitely wouldn't want to go much bigger than that.I'm not really interested in producing a story in full color, but I wouldn't mind doing something like adding grayscale, or a one-color process maybe, depending on the project. It's something I would probably need to do on the computer. I like using watercolor, but that's a hard thing to capture in would drive me crazy, and most likely end up looking horrible. But anyways, a lot of my graphic "style" is dependent on stark black-and-white. And, it's cheap.

Speaking of materials, what types of drawing materials do you use and why?

Well, the only specific brand of drawing materials that I'm wedded to are vellum Bristol board for drawing on, and Pigma Micron pens for line work. If I have those, a pencil, good eraser, black markers, and a ruler then I'm set.

Can you outline the physical process you go throughto make your comics?

I pencil each page in order, from panel to panel. By "penciling" I mean akind of combination of layout, sketching, and then somewhat more finishedpencils. I don't do much preliminary work...some thumbnail sketches for certain panels, mainly to figure out how I want the composition to be. Sometimes I'll do a rough sketch of a whole page, if I think I need to.Inking is a bit more loose...I usually don't ink panels in direct sequentialorder, though I generally stick to the same page when I'm inking. There'snot much reason behind any of this, it's just how I've settled into things.I do redraw things sometimes, though, so for that I just cut out the new panel and place it over the old one. When I'm finished with a page I scan itand clean it up on the computer--usually that's just a case of erasinglittle marks and stuff. Then I print out the pages and make a master copy, and then from that I make a bunch of copies at Kinkos, usually.

Can you talk a little about woodcut novels? How you discovered them and howthey have influenced your work? Would you ever consider doing a woodcut?

I had this big illustrated book of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein when I was akid, and the black-and-white illustrations inside were by Lynd Ward. I was always kind of fascinated with them, but it wasn't until I was in collegeand read an interview with Will Eisner that I realized who Lynd Ward really was and made the connection to my old Frankenstein book. Thanks to a friendI got a copy of Gods' Man, Ward's first book, and was blown away by it. Asfar as Masereel's work, I was dimly aware of it, but again it wasn't untilcollege that I really got exposed to it. I probably prefer Ward, but both are wonderful.There are a couple reasons I gravitate towards their work...superficially I'm very attracted to the stark, sharp imagery. That style of expressionist illustration really floats my boat. But behind that, those books are very interesting from a storytelling point-of-view because there's no dialogue orcaptions used, so it's really raw visual storytelling. Also, to me it feelslike it invites more inclusion for the can project more onto those stories than you're actually shown. Being made up of mostly single-page "panels" probably helps in that way...though I'm not doing that with 'The Big Black'. Was going to at one point, but decided not to.

But the tone of those old woodcut novels is what I think I'm going for in my work, more and more. So, while I'm using the same feeling of those stories with what I'm workingon now, I've never very seriously thought of doing actual woodcuts...I guess because I would have to put in a lot of time and work getting barelycompetent with it. Making engravings seems to require a high degree of confidence, which I just don't have right now. Maybe one day.

Let's talk about the state of comics today...content...industry...the future of single issue comics.....the future of paper comics in general....the whole big messy mess...what do you think?

Well..."independent" comic’s publishers have tethered themselves to the book market pretty darn successfully...but it's true that pamphlet comics are declining. I can think of maybe a handful of Indy comic’s series I buy that still come out in pamphlet form. And they don't sell too well in today's comic retail market. I'm sure that has impacted minicomics as well, even though with online resources you would think it’s got to be easier to get that kind of product out there than ever before. Essentially, the Direct Market (the distribution and retail system for comics in North America) is slowly constricting, and indy pamphlet comics are kind of like the canary in the coal mine, the first to suffer. It seems like they started dropping off about six or seven years ago.As far as the mainstream (Marvel, DC, etc), they're catering to an aging fan base without really priming the pump at the bottom and getting young kids interested in their product. Video games are certainly cutting into the racket. Basically, companies need to put together interesting comics for younger readers. Comic book movies are doing well, but there's no indication that their success is spilling over into comic sales with any consistency.

I wish there were more pamphlet comics...I miss the days when I could buy an issue of Eightball or Jim on the stands. Even though I still wind up buying all of those stories in collections anyway. I'm just a sucker for the format. I actually have a recurring dream where I happen across a section of small pamphlet comics in a large chain bookstore...all these small-sized Gary Panter and Ron Rege minicomics and other strange ephemera.As far as the future of comics on paper, I think we're still a ways away from them becoming a minority. But I'm out of the loop on that side of I said, I'm hooked on X number of pages folded and stapled.

And regarding's still a good time for comics. There's lots of great, amazing stuff out there if you know where to look. I may rant about the current state of the industry, but I still believe in the medium.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inkblot from the past

While researching Rorschach tests in the summer of 1998, Investigator Fasto Arknucle discovered a website called Inkblot. We here at the offices of Lightbulb Detective Agency became very Fond of this website. The basic idea of the site was simple, a black and white photo would be posted and then readers would submit a short story inspired by the image. It was always interesting to see the varied interpretations the Inkblot community would come up with. We really admired the spirit of inspiration and collaboration present on this site.

Unfortunately, the site no longer exists but archives of the site can be found Here

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The media distribution offices of Lightbulb Detective Agency are thrilled to announce the Release of the STORM THE CASTLE! CD "The History of Doomed Expeditions Vol.I"

This the first CD released by Lightbulb Detective Agency and we are very proud of the Boys in STORM THE CASTLE! If smart, melodic, dynamic and powerful heavy music is your thing, you won't be dissapointed!

The CD will be available soon through, iTunes and!

Check STORM THE CASTLE! out on myspace

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yet another film

We think this one speaks for itself.

We are going to keep an "eye" on these Glass eye pix people. Very interesting stuff indeed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Film: Get Thrashed

We here in the offices of Lightbulb Detective Agency have been looking forward to seeing this Documentary for quite some time.... But purely as an examination of aggression in musical art forms...we don't own any thrash metal albums...or metal albums of any kind...bah!...can't stand the stuff....We only like smart that guy in New York....yeah we like him.

Warning! Some of the "gents" in this trailer have potty be careful who you play this around.

An Interesting looking Film.

A collegue who happens to be a leading expert in Nostalgology recently brought this to our attention.

Talking animals? Video games? Pizza?

looks good.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Massatucky Productions

We found this site while cross referencing research on physical science and the history of bluegrass music.

It seems to be a bit out of date but if you poke around a little, you’ll find a section called “One Minute Video Festival 2003”. There you will find 50 or so minute long videos produced by various artists.

The videos are hit or miss but some of them are very interesting.

Our favorite so far is “The Aviator”

Massatucky Productions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Indian Lake Project

We have been watching this for a while. It’s either an elaborate , creative hoax or a terrifying look into buried secrets.

At this time it’s hard to tell.

See for yourself.

Indian Lake Project

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Today...we are open for business...

Penny says hello....