Sublime Chaps

MASKS
Alphonse Allais
translated from the French and illustrated by Norman Conquest
with an introduction and notes on the text by Doug Skinner
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 1
Illustrated in full color; 50 pp., $12.50
CLICK HERE to order

REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS
Norman Conquest

with an introduction by Robert Wexelblatt
Absurdist Texts & Documents – No. 27
Illustrated; 70 pp., $12
CLICK HERE to order

 

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FILM NOIR REDUX

“The bible of Film Noir studies” is back in print!

This second edition of Norman Conquest‘s classic REAR WINDOWS features digitally enhanced scenes from fifty Film Noir masterpieces as you’ve never seen them before. It’s a must-have reference for thrill-seeking aficionados, students of cinema, and collectors of offbeat artists’ books. Spanning the golden age of Noir (1941-1962), it includes over 50 rare photographic stills from memorable hard-boiled motion pictures, such as The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Big Sleep, Out of the Past, Kiss Me Deadly, and many more. Includes an illuminating introduction by Robert Wexelblatt, Professor of Humanities, Boston University.

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION (2014)

“…the most truthful book on Noir that’s out there.”Tosh Berman, Tam Tam Books

“I’ve just been (re)reading Rancière on the mis-en-scene revolution in theatre at the end of C19th. Here Norman Conquest goes literally beyond the mis-en-scene and adds in a Wagnerian negation of the star system. Erase glamour! Bring forward the scene makers.“—Stefan Szczelkun

“This is conceptual art at its finest. Ingenious in its simplicity, startling, absurd, and very funny.” —
Alec  Burroughs

“Evocative… I like the various physical/psychological angles with which [Conquest] approaches  the stills, each of which is elegantly if sometimes surprisingly effected.” —Harold Jaffe


No. 27 in our acclaimed Absurdist Texts & Documents Series, REAR WINDOWS: AN INSIDE LOOK AT FIFTY FILM NOIR CLASSICS by Norman Conquest is available worldwide on Amazon.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

More fun than a barrel of sock puppets!

”Witty and ingenious comics from the exceptionally-talented writer, musician, performer, ventriloquist, and cartoonist Doug Skinner. It’s exciting to finally have these little-seen strips available in one beautiful book. You may be reminded of Voltaire or Ernie Bushmiller while reading these meticulously drawn stories featuring utterly hapless characters, but Mr. Skinner has a style all his own.” —R. Sikoryak

“Mr. Skinner knows many terrible, terrible secrets about us. We are once again fortunate that he chooses to share them so deftly and so altruistically.”—Mark Newgarden

What is the truth behind the “Unknown Adjective”? Will Walter and Benny find the elusive batworm? What really goes on out in “Cowboy Country”? And can Dr. Docket find a cure for all that ails Mr. Pert? You’ll discover the answers to these and other burning questions in this profusely illustrated collection of comics and picture stories from the brilliant (albeit peculiar) mind of Doug Skinner. Take a look inside and see for yourself. Your daily dilemmas will soon seem inconsequential, and the laughter you hear may turn out to be your own.

CLICK HERE to order on Amazon

BACKLIST BEAUTIES: Hidden Gems

The infamous Victorian monthly magazine…

THE PEARL was published in London from July 1879 to December 1880 and was subsequently shut down by the authorities for publishing obscene literature. Each issue was devoted to explicit erotic stories, sex in high society, incest and flagellation, interspersed with ribald parodies, poems and limericks. This selection of the best of THE PEARL—over 330 pages— is drawn from its original 18 issues and provides a fascinating look at the secret obsessions  behind  the Puritan’s mask. Step inside and enjoy a raunchy romp through the Victorian underground.

HIDDEN GEMS
The Best of The Pearl, A Journal of Facetiae & Voluptuous Reading
Selected by William Hamilton
New Urge / Classics of Passion Series
$14.95; Trade paperback, 5.06″ x 7.81″. 334 pp.

CLICK HERE to order on Amazon

The Three Faces of Masks

3masks

Black Scat launched its first book on July 4th, 2012. MASKS by Alphonse Allais was #1 in our Absurdist Texts & Documents  series of limited edition chapbooks. The original volume (above left)—adapted, translated and illustrated by artist Norman Conquest—was  limited to only 50 copies. It sold  out quickly and is a prized collector’s item today.

In 2015, we issued a revised and expanded edition (center) featuring an introduction and notes on the text by Allaisian scholar Doug Skinner.

The first two editions had limited distribution and were only available directly from the printer.  Today we’re launching a third edition of this mischievous pataphysical tale — available on Amazon in North America and Europe.

If you missed this little gem, CLICK HERE TO ORDER FROM AMAZON.

View our complete Alphonse Allais Collection

collection new

 

“Why, That’s Patently Absurd!”

Yes, indeed—Pas de Bile!—another  patently absurd volume in Black Scat’s seminal Alphonse Allais Collection.

This will be the book’s first publication in English, with a sublime and inspired translation by the great Doug Skinner. In addition to the complete text of the original Flammarion edition, published in France in 1893, it will include  several uncollected stories by Allais. There will also be Skinner’s  copious notes on each text, and an informative and entertaining introduction. Throw in this eye-catching cover by Norman Conquest and you’ve got an edition worthy of display in your home or office.

Publication: Late Summer, 2018

And while you’re waiting, be sure to read Alphonse Allais’s LONG LIVE LIFE!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALPHONSE ALLAIS (1854 – 1905) began his career in Paris during the Belle Epoque. He was particularly active at the legendary cabaret Le Chat Noir, where he wrote for and edited the weekly paper. He quickly became known for his deadpan wit and inexhaustible imagination. Among other things, he also exhibited some of the first monochromatic pictures (such as his all-white “First Communion of Chlorotic Girls in the Snow” in 1883) and composed the first silent piece of music: “Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man” (1884). Throughout most of his life, he contributed columns several times a week to Le Journal and Le Sourire. These pieces were collected into twelve volumes, which he called his “Anthumous Works,” between 1892 and 1902. He also published a collection of his monochromes, Album Primo-Avrilesque, in 1897, and a novel, L’affaire Blaireau, in 1899, as well as a few plays. His later years were troubled by debt, a bad marriage, and heavy drinking; he died at 59. He was a crucial influence on Alfred Jarry, as well as on the Surrealists: Breton included him in his Anthology of Black Humor, and Duchamp was reading him on the day he died. Allais’s fascination with wordplay, puns, and holorhymes led Oulipo to call him an “anticipatory plagiarist”; the Pataphysical College dubbed him their “Patacessor.” His books have remained in print in France, and the Académie Alphonse Allais has awarded a literary prize in his honor since 1954.