Wednesday Warren – Transverse City

Back in 1989, Warren released Transverse City, an album that most Zevon purists I’ve met dislike and generally disown. Today’s Wednesday Warren is the title track from that album.

Transverse City is, I suppose, best described as a “concept album,” with each song interweaving to form a narrative of a near-future dystopia, recounting a world of wars, police states, and environmental ruin. The album leans heavily on pop synthesizers and sci-fi notions heretofore unexplored in Warren’s work.

Most people didn’t like it. I, of course, loved it. I was captivated by the future mythology Zevon created, as well as the skillful segues from one song to the next (as in the crackling electricity that bridges between this song and the next, “Run Straight Down”).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video of “Transverse City” on YouTube (if someone knows of one, please post a link in the comments!), but you can find the song (and the album) on both iTunes and Amazon. Meanwhile, here are some lyrics:

Show us endless neon vistas
Castles made of laser lights
Take us to the shopping sector
In the vortex of the night
Past the shiny mylar towers
Past the ravaged tenements
To a place we can’t remember
For a time we won’t forget

Transverse City is one of my very favorite albums, and I’ll be Wednesday Warren-ing the whole damn thing as we move along.

Be a Superhero, Win a Book!

UPDATE: The contest is over! Thanks to everyone who entered! These are some WONDERFUL entries! I’ll announce the winners in a week!

Whether you’re a superheroic do-gooder or a villainous arch-nemesis, I say you deserve a free book. Because I’m just that kinda guy.

So, if you want a signed one of these…

 

Archvillain cover

 

…then all you need to do is comment below, telling me what your superhero (or supervillain!) name would be. If you want to tell me your secret origin, your super-powers, and describe your costume while you’re at it, then heck — go for it! The judge (i.e., me!) is impressed by initiative, goofiness, and a fun turn of phrase.

I will pick twenty winners, all of whom will receive a signed paperback edition of Archvillain, the first book in the series of adventures of Kyle Camden, super-powered prankster and possible savior (or destroyer) of the world.

Better yet: Those twenty winners will also be entered into a drawing to receive one of five advance copies of Archvillain Book 2: The Mad Mask when it becomes available later this fall!

The contest runs through July 15, so — as Kyle would say — put on your plasma-powered brainwave-enhancement chapeaux (that would be “thinking caps” to the rest of us…) and start typing!

(The contest is over. To see the original entries from the old barrylyga.com, click here.)

Memory Monday – Krypto the Super-Dog!

I’ve always loved Krypto, the Kryptonian super-dog who — through a series of coincidence that only occur in comic books and in real life — was Superboy’s pet on Krypton before it blew up and then on Earth, as well.

In this panel, I just love that Krypto’s wagging tail is chopping down a tree by accident…

 

Krypto

 

 

(From The New Adventures of Superboy #50, February 1984. Story by Paul Kupperberg. Art by Kury Schaffenberger & Dave Hunt.)

This Week in Rejection!: Jabberwocky

Pretty simple this week — the magazine in question was just closed to submissions for a while.

No, this week’s lesson doesn’t come from the magazine; it comes from me. Note, if you will, the annoying, stilted, and perhaps even slightly officious tone of my cover letter. Good Lord, that’s terrible! I have no idea what made me think that a cover letter should sound like a Margaret Dumont character from a Marx Brothers movie, but there it is.

Even had Jabberwocky not been on hiatus at the time, I’m pretty sure my cover letter alone would have gotten me tossed on the rejection pile without so much as a glance at my story.

Your cover letter should be brief, breezy, and friendly. it’s job is to get the person reading it to put it aside and pick up your story, not think, “Who the hell is this guy?”

 

Jabberwocky

 

 

Wednesday Warren – Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Showing this one almost as much for Warren’s little quip about vacations at the beginning as for the song itself…

This is one of the first Zevon songs I really glommed onto — I love the quiet desperation of it, leavened with a sense of fatalistic humor. You could almost call it a microcosm of Zevon’s body of work:

I’m the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock and the hard place
And I’m down on my luck