Goodnight Mr. Lewis: Will Fleet Week Save Us From Ourselves?

Photos via Fine Young Man productions

The drone of the tattoo gun was a sexy background music to polite conversation. Hipsters, tastemakers and painted ladies enjoyed wonderful concoctions of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, while cute sailor boys mingled. One young lad wearing the whitest uniform ever designed turned to the older mariner and lamented, “Chief, I’d love to get a tattoo, but I live with my mother when I’m done.” The older seaman barked at him, saying, “Get it where she won’t see it,” and headed toward the free BBQ.

It was Fleet Week at its best as “The City That Never Sleeps” embraced seaman from all over the world. An old joke wonders about how long Popeye and Bluto have been at sea. It must have been a long time, it goes, because they immediately get it on with a no holds bar fight over what has to be the ugliest gal in the world, Olive Oyl.

At The Sailor Jerry Home Base, open until the 29th, there were no fisticuffs as the boys in white were on their best behavior. They called all the women, “Ma’am,” and all the men, “Sir,” as they hobnobbed with the likes of Rock Photographer Mick Rock, and artists Buff Monster and Hanksy. The free BBQ from Daisy Mays, haircuts from Frank’s Chop Shop and tattoos from Three Kings were provided to thank them for their service.


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You see, Sailor Jerry was a real dude—Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was in the Navy back in the day before he took the art of tattooing to a different level. I wear his tattoo flash all over my body. It grounds me in old world values and speaks of a time when honor was more important than life itself. Now good ol’ Norman wasn’t what these days we might consider a “perfect” guy. His political views put him a bit to the right of Attila the Hun, but he sure created some classic tattoos. I got one yesterday, a sparrow, which in the old days meant I had traveled 5,000 nautical miles. I may not have done that, but I have been lost at sea and shipwrecked a few times without leaving this island.

As we walked down the streets of the sanitized Times Square it hit me how NYC has changed. Years ago, the sailors would have flocked to the center of our universe looking for love in all the wrong places. Now they just ogle and politely smile. All the politeness is so confusing to me. My daily regime is polka dotted with rudeness and bitter arguments, as this election year seems to have turned us all against each other . Lifelong friends fight over candidate’s shortcomings, as political leanings turn into seemingly religious arguments. On the dating sites I occasionally peruse looking for love in all the wrong places, potential hookups want to know in advance if you stand with this guy or that gal. I can’t imagine, imagining any of the candidates in the bedroom. The campaigns have made all of us idiots in the eyes of those with opposing views. Facebook is a battleground.

Fleet Week and all the polite warriors that have been washed up on our shores have brought us a different set of rules of engagement. Some of us may disagree with the politics of Navies and the military, but there is little argument that these boys and girls in white are standing tall for all of us.

This Sunday everybody’s favorite bad boy from The Walking Dead, Daryl himself, Norman Reedus, will ride up on a custom built Sailor Jerry Harley and make a guest appearance to toast to the troops for all their hard work at the Sailor Jerry Block Party, featuring Cage the Elephant at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84, 12 Avenue and 44th Street. Mr. Reedus will be showing love to the visiting swabbies. I suggest we all bury the hatchets and show them love, too. (Tickets available, here)

What’s Worse? A ‘Shining’ Sequel or a ‘Shining’ Prequel?

Stephen King’s anticipated (anticipated? sure) sequel to his 1977 horror novel The Shining hits bookstores… well, let’s be honest, it’s going to hit Amazon.com this September. Titled Doctor Sleep, the novel will follow grown-up Dan Torrence and his relationship with a psychic twelve-year-old girl. The novel’s Wikipedia page ensures that it’ll involve an epic battle of good and evil. FIne; Stephen King wrote the book that inspired the excellent Stanley Kubrick film, so let him go ahead and write a companion to his original story. The rest of us—those who know the movie is better than the book—can go on with the understanding that the film is a stand-alone piece of perfection. Of course, it’s so popular that it has also inspired a prequel; former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara will write the script for Warner Bros’ upcoming The Overlook Hotel. Which is the worst idea? I think it might be sort of a tie. 

[via Deadline]

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Get Moody With The Deep Red Sky

Are we going to look back on 2005-2015 as the decade that Scottish musicians taught us how to feel humanlike emotions once more? At this point I barely even need to name-check Frightened Rabbit / The Twilight Sad / We Were Promised Jetpacks to let you know what Edinburgh newcomers The Deep Red Sky sound like. But I just did.

The five-piece band’s debut album, Plans, is out on May 13; the first single is “Zombies (Things Don’t Stay The Same).” I want to tell you that it’s better than an episode of The Walking Dead, but that show is terrible, so: this song is much, much better than an episode of The Walking Dead. Chugging guitar and a ceiling-scraping chorus. What else could one need?

Well, for some counterpoint, how about a heartwarming music video about a kid being a real-life superhero? Yeah, that’ll work. You may also download the track for free via Bandcamp.   

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

This Weekend’s L.A. Guide: Mario Lopez, Andrew McCarthy, & Wolfgang Puck

Look up, Angelenos… it’s not a bird or a plane, but the sun finally emerging from this bizarre cold front. This only means you have no excuse to check out the awesomeness abound this weekend.

Friday
Chocolate and Mario Lopez-lovers need to make a beeline to See’s Candies Grand Opening party at The Grove, where the candy company is opening shop. Locals may know this iconic chocolatier for producing handmade candies for more than 90 years now. Owner Charles See actually opened his first See’s Candies Shop here in L.A., using his mother Mary See’s recipes, and now everyone can get a taste of what the buzz is all about. The grand opening festivities will include complimentary candy samples and a prize wheel. You know you love those things. Best of all, Mario Lopez will be present to make all this fun for adults, too. It’s an all-day affair starting at 11am for those who truly have a sweet tooth (for the candy, people!).

Saturday
The L.A. Times Travel Show is going on all day, which means you can get a bunch of information and free shizzle at booths from all over the world. It’s kind of like visiting dozens of exotic countries under one roof. Some booths to look out for is the emerging country of Ecuador and all the fun stuff AirBerlin is doing. Rat pack actor-turned-travel-writer Andrew McCarthy is going to be present if you’re into that.

Sunday
While it’s no Comic-Con, the LA Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention is still guaranteed to wet the pants of comic book and sci-fi fans. Geek out the entire afternoon with comic book dealers and a bunch of other nerds meandering the booths while looking for dates or, more realistically, getting all the scoop of what’s new and relevant in the industry. Bonus: The Walking Dead‘s Danai "Michonne" Gurira and Laurie "Andrea" Holden will be making appearances. Oh, and Edward Furlong, if you need to see what a person looks like post-heroin abuse.

Because you’re going to avoid the general Hollywood area, shack up at Hotel Bel Air. Not only did they whip up some creative, Oscar’s themed cocktails (like The Red Carpet with Ketel One Citron, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup and splash of raspberry puree) but special bar bites are part of the occasion. Wolfgang Puck is creating dishes he served at the Oscar’s after-party for the past 19 years, so you’ll get to eat up like a celebrity. Live Academy Award viewing is at the bar. 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, But Manuel Gonzales Can

If you were to ask Manuel Gonzales, as I did, the tense in which this sentence is written, he might chuckle and tell you that he’s not so good with grammatical terms. He might suggest that it’s the past conditional, or the pluperfect indicative. And you might think to yourself that as awkward and affected as it reads in a non-fiction article like this one, it’s really damn riveting when Gonzales uses it in his short story “Farewell, Africa”, a pseudo-“Talk of The Town” piece about a speech written to commemorate the sinking of the African continent. And you would know, of course, that his story was fiction, but when reading certain passages, it would feel quite (embarrassingly?) similar to something you’d find in a glossy magazine piece, especially in this passage about a pool designed by the installation artist Harold Cornish to commemorate the lost continent: “The pool, which he has named The Pool of African Despair Pool, is his first commissioned work and is the first work he has constructed as a memorial. It is also the smallest work he has designed since leaving art school, and it is the first piece of his to utilize hydraulics.”

Almost all of the eighteen stories in The Miniature Wife, Gonzales’ debut collection, have some tweak in the reality of their worlds such that they might be classified as science fiction if not for the banal domesticity that surround their quirks. In the title story, a scientist accidentally shrinks his wife down to the size of a coffee mug. She retaliates by killing their pet bird and booby-trapping the house. In “All Of Me”, a cubicle worker is tormented by his love for the receptionist, because, being a zombie, he’s afraid he might eat her. “Animal House” follows a young couple squatting in a house overrun with ducks, squirrels, feral cats and furry brown swamp rodents called nutrias (“which didn’t sound like the name of an animal so much as a sinus medicine”). And in “One-Horned & Wild-Eyed”, two suburban dads suffering from middle-aged despair are reinvigorated when one of them buys a unicorn from “a Chinaman.”

Peppered throughout are pieces written as non-fiction: a series of obituaries for livers of “meritorious lives”; a profile of an artist who speaks out of his ears; an account of two defamed archaeologists that fabricated the existence of an indigenous tribe, and the unassuming grad student who uncovers the scam. Voice varies from story to story, but Gonzales’ prose maintains a sharp degree of understatement, allowing character and plot to really pop off the page (“We had spent the past hour burying the body and were on our way to grab a hamburger,” begins one piece about a pair of hapless hit men). Writers of literary fiction often get squeamish about the word “funny,” as though to be funny but not a “biting social critic and observer of the human condition” is a way of knocking their merit. But to make a reader really laugh seems to require such a command of *cough* how human emotion works, it could only be high praise to say that The Miniature Wife is very, very funny.

And if you were to interview Gonzales, as I did, about wildlife, his home state of Texas, and zombies vs. unicorns, he’d give you these responses.

I didn’t know what nutrias were until one Christmas, I went back to visit my parents [in Plano, TX] and there were nutrias in the creek that’d never been there when I was growing up.

They’re freaky!
They are, they’re weird. And their name is weird . . . and there’s a guy—somewhere in Louisiana—who’s doing this invasive species cooking, and he has this nutria stew. Which sounds really unappetizing.

Does he describe the flavor of the meat?
I read an excerpt of an essay about it [in Men’s Journal], and the guy said it tastes about like you’d expect. Just kind of bland, but still kind of greasy.

Where in Texas have you lived?
The Dallas area, Houston, Austin, and Paris, Texas.

And you’ve seen the movie?
We watched it before we moved to Paris, and then we were like, whoa, Paris is just the name, and the Polaroid that guy Stanton carries around. And the more you think about it—that Polaroid represents a better life, the opportunity of which he’s missed. And you’re like, that is a really sad notion of what you better life would be.

There’s been some talk in the newspaper about secession—if Texas leaves, what’s your plan?
There was a lot of talk about Texas seceding right after college [in the late 90s], and one of the guys that I worked with at a bookstore in Austin was like, “Go ahead Texas. Secede, and then within a month you’ll be the largest state in Mexico.” There’s a minority of people [who think Texas will secede], but back in the day they were also the people who believed that if Texas seceded, then shortly after it would be revealed that Texas had this new gas formula that would be able to drive you across the state on a gallon of this special Republican Texas Gas. But I don’t think the more reasonable Texan is going to let secession happen. Although if it did happen, I’d have to say I would probably, uh, jump ship.

The stories “Farewell, Africa” and “The Disappearance of the Sebali Tribe” read like parodies of highbrow magazine think pieces, but at the same time seem to actually be about serious ideas—the fetishizing of third world cultures, and sort of solipsistic magazine writers. Was all that deliberate?
Yeah, it was. “The Sebali Tribe” and “The Artist’s Voice”, they play around with journalistic voice. Like a New Yorker profile, or The Atlantic or something. But they came to me both as those kinds of ideas—the structure of writing this really non-fiction magazine essay. Mainly because I think you can do a lot of things stylistically with that language and structure that you can’t do when approaching a story as just a straight short story. Because people bring a different set of expectations to reading a short story than they do a magazine piece, and I was toying with those expectations.

But the “Farewell, Africa” piece—I saw a headline on a plane, I looked over the shoulder of someone on the plane and they were reading the “Week In Review” section of the Times, and I just saw the headline “Farewell, Africa”. And immediately it made it sound like we were saying goodbye to Africa. Because I’m sure it was an essay by someone who had spent time in Africa, but the headline made me think of someone who had written a speech saying goodbye to the continent itself. And I tried a number of a different ways of writing about that guy who wrote the “Farewell, Africa” speech. But it took me a while, and I decided, what if I tried writing it like an extended “Talk of The Town” piece?

There’s a part in there where the writer asks if he can shadow the PR rep who’s draining the pool, and she says, “Really, watching me drain this pool is newsworthy?” I feel like that’s a conversation that must happen during the reporting of every single “Talk of The Town” story.
(Chuckles)Yeah. But I’m always envious of people who are really good at reporting because I feel like they’re able to poke out such strong narratives, but within the confines of things that have actually happened and can be verified. That’s always baffled me. So that’s another reason why I borrow that format, because I really like reading those kinds of pieces, and I always wished that I could write them with some authority, but, uh, I always find it easier to play with true and not true.

With a piece of journalism, you can offer exposition in a way where people would reject it if it were just a short story. But with journalism, it’s expected because you’re doing a certain thing. But there’s also a weight and authority that comes with using that form and that language, just because people have been exposed to that kind of writing, and have come to expect it to have a certain authority and speak to verifiable facts. You can use that to your advantage as a writer, as long as you house it in a way where they know it’s fiction already.

Mainly, though, I do it because I admire it. I admire journalism’s ability to bypass all these internal roadblocks that readers put up for fiction. They put the onus on you to make them believe that your story could be real. I think it’s really cool in journalism, where you don’t have to, so you can play around with other things in the writing.

There was an article last weekend about George Saunders in the Times Magazine, and they mention these conversations he had with Ben Marcus about trying to write emotional fiction that’s not campy, but also doesn’t read like a technical exercise. You play a lot with language and fantastical elements, but is the emotional part still something you focus on?
Yeah, I worked with Ben Marcus when I was doing my MFA at Columbia…A lot of what I like to concern myself with is how you make something fun and interesting to read, and cleverly written, that’s still an emotional story, with characters. So when I read them they feel like real people. It’s like you forget that you’re reading a story, you’re just suddenly inside of a story.

But I think it’s interesting then to once in a while remind them that they’re reading a story. It’s a great thing to be reminded of: this thing that I’m reading is making me feel emotions, making connections to people who don’t exist. To be reminded that you’re engaging in this.

The collection is dedicated to your wife, and you have some nice things to say about her in the acknowledgments, but marriage in these stories often isn’t pretty. Was she nervous when she read the title piece?
No, no, she thought it was funny. We’re a married couple, we’ve been married ten years, and we’ve known each other as friends for ten years on top of that, so sometimes we’ll have fights about this, that or the other, but there’s never been any actual strain. But usually what I like to do when picking a story idea is to take something rather small or insignificant, either a personal flaw or a fight or a disagreement, and then hyperbolize it as much as I can, and see if I can make it still a believable story. So the guys, for the most part, are all kind of assholes. They play off the insecurities I feel of my own, about not standing up as the father or husband I’d like to be.

There’s something innate about them that, regardless of the effort they make, they still manage to fuck things up in the end. But in “All Of Me”, specifically, he has this innate nature where we all know what the end results will be. Either he will have his head chopped off, or he will eat everybody he loves. Those are the only two options, and you know that from the beginning, so I spend the rest of the time trying to convince you otherwise.

It’s like the whole time he’s trying to content himself with not living up to his full nature, and telling himself that’s okay, but in the end it’s kind of tragic.
And that one almost didn’t make it into the collection because when the collection was sent out to be sold, Colson Whitehead was on the cusp of publishing Zone One, and there was already so much stuff about zombies out in the pop world, that people would see the story in there and write it off and think it was just part of some whole trend. I wrote in the middle of 2009, so I wrote it before The Walking Dead came out.

I was really worried, because—I mean, zombies had always had their place in the background of pop culture—but when they came to the foreground, people were coming out with anthologies of zombie stories written by famous horror writers. But I didn’t want to take it out, I thought it was an interesting story and the zombie part is kind of beside the point—it’s about what’s inside of you that’s really the point. And I think it makes the book stronger. But a couple of the reviewers have put a kibosh on all zombie stories from here forward.

Do you think you will singlehandedly turn pop culture’s attention away from vampires and zombies and towards unicorns?
That would be awesome, especially if the unicorns that come out of it are similar to the unicorn in my story. There was a Young Adult anthology that came out a couple years ago that I know about because I did an event with some of the writers who are part of the organization that I run, Austin Bat Cave, and it’s called Zombies vs. Unicorns, based on a whole thing between two YA Authors over which were better. So they gathered up a bunch of other YA authors and wrote an equal number of stories for each. And they trash talk each other throughout the books, as they introduce each new story, and I have to say, I do feel like zombie stories edged out, slightly, the unicorn stories. There was, though, one unicorn story where the unicorns were violent and deadly and it was illegal to own one, and there were unicorn zombie hunters.

You don’t have to answer this, but it’s kind ambiguous in the story—is it in fact a unicorn, or just a goat with a deformed horn?
Oh to me it’s a unicorn. I’m not going to tell anyone else what to think, but when I wrote it, I wrote it as this magical beast that when you saw it, wasn’t really at all what you expected it to be, and it didn’t affect the women at all, but it enchanted the men entirely.

Had you considered taking a crack at a novel?
One reason why this collection took so long was because I did start work on a novel in 2004, and I wrote maybe seven or eight drafts of it over five years. I couldn’t find a way to make it work, or the way my editor said it needed to work in order to sell it. So finally, after that lengthy period of time, I had to finish something that is a thing that would make me feel not like a poseur.

Well you must feel confident that it’s good, since they say debut story collections are the hardest thing to sell.
Yeah I don’t know, I’ve been told again and again—because I sold it just as a collection—that I might be the last man alive to sell a collection not attached to a novel. I mean, it felt difficult to me, but only because it took so long.

"The Miniature Wife," from Riverhead Books, comes out January 10.

‘The Walking Dead’ Star Norman Reedus Leads A Quiet, Zombie-Free Life in Lower Manhattan

Norman Reedus has built a career on playing instantly memorable characters beloved by fans. First there was Murphy McManus in the cult classic The Boondock Saints, memorialized on college dorm room walls from coast to coast as an unimpeachably badass, gun-waving Catholic warrior. But it’s his role as the hotheaded Daryl Dixon—the one with the crossbow—on AMC’s hit zombie show The Walking Dead that has garnered the most attention. Initially introduced as a virulent redneck, Reedus’s Daryl slowly came into his own over the show’s first two seasons, evolving into the type of rough-edged antihero that thrives in a post-apocalyptic world. Though his character was written for the show, Reedus’s portrayal has been so immensely popular that he’s soon to be introduced in the long-running comic book, giving him an even more permanent place in the hearts of zombie-loving fans.

His stomping ground is downtown Manhattan. We catch up with him after his appearance at New York Comic Con, where hundreds of fans turned out to absorb tidbits about the show’s current season. The sweetest part, though, was the moment when those hundreds joined in on a rendition of “Happy Birthday” for his son, Mingus, who had just turned 13. Listening to him proudly talk about his son—he says, “he’s directly on the path of being taller than me, which sucks”—it becomes clear that, in comparison to the brash characters he’s famous for, Reedus is more reserved and congenial—both appreciative and down-to-earth about his success. It’s an attitude that informs this roundup of his favorite shops and restaurants in New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhoods.

Bread

20 Spring St., New York, NY, 212-334-1015

Reedus has been going to Bread, a chic yet homey bistro, for years. He orders coffee and nothing else. “I’m a creature of habit,” he says. “I go to the same places.” He takes a sharp left to a story about being given a breast implant by a devout Walking Dead fan. “Things have definitely gotten weirder over the last six months,” he dryly notes.

 

Bluebird Sky

121 Baxter St., New York, NY, 212-966-4646

Reedus is greeted warmly by the owner of this 
Little Italy cafe and gladly poses for photos with
the enthusiastic staff, most of whom grab knives in deference to his bloody fictional life. Asked what first drew him here, his answer is simple: “It’s right across the street from my house.”

 

Aqua Star Pet Shop

172 Mulberry St., New York, NY, 212-431-4311

We get a little waylaid in between locations as Reedus gets a shoeshine from a wizened Chinese man, then befriends one of the cats roaming the streets. When we get to this hole-in-the-wall pet store, the first thing we see are crickets, and lots of them. “My son has two bearded dragon lizards, so I buy the crickets for them,” he proudly announces.

 

21 Crosby Deli Grocery

21 Crosby St., New York, NY, 212-966-2020

This pint-sized deli is decidedly unglamorous, but that’s the point: it’s a local grocery, one that Reedus only frequents in order to buy cat food for the black cat he found for his son a number of years ago. “He would only eat the shittiest cat food,” Reedus says with a shrug.

 

Caffe Roma

385 Broome St., New York, NY, 212-226-8413

“Coffee, cats, and cigarettes. That’s all I do.” Indeed, we’re at another low-key Little Italy cafe where he seems to know the entire staff. He even claims to have met some of the directors of his movies here. “I just get coffee, and that’s it,” he says. “Even with the tourists up and down the street it’s very comfortable, you know what I mean?”

Photography by Janira Martinez.

Stephen King’s ‘Under The Dome’ To Become A TV Show

Remember the good old days of American TV when melodramatic grocery store novels were turned into super long miniseries? Roots! North and South! Alex Haley’s Queen (or: More Roots!) More North and South! Miniseries used to be great excuses for networks to pack their broadcasts with actors who were probably too big to show up on, like, Murphy Brown but were definitely too unkown to be in big-budget Hollywood movies. There was also a lot of sex involved on screen. That’s always fun! Nowadays, books are still being adapted for television, but now they’re becoming actual series with multiple seasons. Naturally, the king of the TV miniseries is back: Stephen King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome has been picked up by CBS to be a 13-episode series.

The novel, a whopping 1000-page tale of the residents of a small New England town (of course) suddenly finding themsevles trapped under a large transparent dome, will air this summer. But, of course, the book is getting the Game of Thrones / Walking Dead / True Blood / Sex and the City treatment, as the folks involved in the production of the show are not limiting themselves to a year’s worth of TV. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show will be an "event" that its producers hope will turn into a full-fledged series: 

The series version was originally developed at Showtime. But in an unusual move, the ambitious project jumped from a cable network’s slate to the major broadcaster (more on that below). It’s also a rather unique title for CBS, since the network has been traditionally more wary about betting on serialized dramas than its rivals. But with AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution, apocalyptic serialized dramas have been delivering large numbers lately.

Fans of the novel shouldn’t expect an exact retelling of the same story. Last we heard, writer Brian K. Vaughan’s (Lost) script for Dome was wisely using the novel’s setup as a launch pad for its own TV-format-friendly version of the story and might even lay the groundwork for a different outcome than the novel’s ending. Also, the CBS version is definitely a series, not a mini-series, with a finale episode that will leave the story open for more seasons.

Ah, well. Gone are the days when taking a giant brick of a book like The Stand and turning it into a four-part, eight-hour movie for TV. Who says our attention spans have dwindled? Certainly not the people in charge of making television shows.

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Olga Kurylenko Covers Our Upcoming New Regime Issue!

With the end of the year comes the inevitable: lists and lists and lists of so-and-so and what’s-his-face’s favorite movies, albums, animated gifs, and/or Honey Boo Boo catchphrases of the year. Of course, we at BlackBook like to close out the year a little differently, which is why I’m pleased as punch to reveal the cover for our upcoming December/January issue featuring our annual New Regime feature. Rather than looking back on the year in review, the editors at BlackBook have compiled a list of our favorite up-and-coming stars. Inside you’ll find the best and brightest talents in film, music, television, art, and nightlife. 

Of course, we saved our favorite for the cover: Olga Kurylenko. Already having made a name for herself as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace, the Ukranian model-turned-actress is prepped for a big year in 2013. Fresh off her supporting role in this fall’s Seven Psychopaths, Kurylenko has a few big projects coming up, including starring alongside Tom Cruise in April’s Oblivion. And let’s not forget her role in To the Wonder, directed by that little-known and totally underrated writer-director Terrence Malick. (I’m kidding, of course; there’s hardly anything more exciting than a highly anticipated release from the notoriously unprolific Malick.) Kurylenko shares with us her own personal experiences of working with the enigmatic director and shares the long road to cover girl and movie star. 

Meanwhile, Brian Jonestown Massacre member Tony O’Neill talks to novelist Nick Tosches about his new book, Me and the Devil; Walter Salles opens up about his long-waited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road; The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus takes on a tour of his local lower Manhattan haunts; and comedian Eric Andre sits down for cocktails and LOLs. And, as usual, we cover the newest trends in nightlife, restaurants, and fashion—including a gorgeous Amish-themed men’s fashion spread. 

Look for the New Regime issue on newsstands in December, and, as always, check back here for full coverage!

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Comediva’s “BAMF Girls’ Club”: A Fandom-Spoofing Series We Can Believe In

When fans of a particular series of creative works—particularly in the sci-fi/fantasy realm—begin creating fan-made works based on said series, the results can be a bit hit-or-miss. For every “Potter Puppet Pals,” there are a few thousand yawn-worthy spoofs. And when crossovers occur, the results are often even worse.

Not so with “The BAMF Girls’ Club,” a fun new fantasy-fan web series from Internet collective of funny women Comediva. The premise: a reality show featuring badass women of popular literary and television works—Hermione Granger, Buffy Summers, Lisbeth Salander, Katniss Everdeen, Michonne from The Walking Dead and Bella Swan (one of these things is not like the other…)—sharing a house. They drink, they hunt, they argue about house rules, and the parody feels both loving and well-researched. The Bella jokes are a bit one-note (save for one involving an unlikely meal in the pilot episode), but it’s extremely fun to watch each actress take on her character—Iselle Slome, who plays Lisbeth Salander, is particularly on-point.

In the third installment of the series, which hit the web this week, the housemates adopt one of the fantasy world’s littlest badasses: a fresh-from-community-service Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. When she goes sword-crazy with Katniss and Michonne (leading to a rather uncomfortable case of mistaken identity on the part of Katniss), hilarity ensues. Watch below, check out the previous episodes and if you’re of a particular ilk of nerd, cross your fingers with us for a guest appearance from Dana Scully. Please?