Toons of Gay Paree!

Looking for laughter? Your prayers have been answered.

LE CHAT NOIR was one of the liveliest avant-garde papers in 19th century Paris. Published by the legendary cabaret, it delivered a weekly blast of anarchism, pranks, Decadent poetry, and black humor by such luminaries as Alphonse Allais, Charles Cros, and Paul Verlaine. It was also famous for its cartoons. Here are 101 of them: the poetic fantasies of Adolphe Willette, the slapstick animals of Théophile Steinlen, the military sketches of Caran d’Ache, the bawdy gags of Döes and Fernand Fau, and much more. With an introduction, translations, and notes by Doug Skinner.

101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR
Early Comics from Bohemian Paris
Compiled & Translated by Doug Skinner
124 pp., large trade  paper edition; $14.95 

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“The Impressionable Model” by Henricus.

from 101 CARTOONS FROM LE CHAT NOIR

Available Worldwide on Amazon

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.

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“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.

Tick tock, tick tock … It’s Time!

“Jason Rolfe’s precise, inventive stories are a treat. He makes them seem easy, which they’re not; he makes them seem funny, which they are. What’s more, they have a tasty Canadian tang to them. Here’s to CLOCKS!” —Doug Skinner

CLOCKS is literary Vaudeville, a stage where slapstick philosophy performs a high-wire act — wrestles with time and mortality. This major collection of comic tales is laced with insight and absurdist angst.

Rolfe’s fiction simultaneously sets the clock forward and back and gives new meaning to the word nonsense.

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LONG LIVE LIFE !

We’ll cheerfully drink to that, whilst  launching  this new book by France’s greatest humorist, Alphonse Allais

Just in time for the holidays, too,  the first publication in English of the master’s  collection, Vive la vie! — stories culled from the pages of Le Chat Noir, packed with madcap (and bawdy) tales of love, adultery, the supernatural, military life, and—yes—fake news. These texts are quintessentially Allaisian, spiked with absurd digressions, parenthetical asides, footnotes, puns, jokes, military jargon, Parisian slang, neologisms, dog Latin, literary quotations, and other unmentionable forms of wordplay.

“EXPLOSIONS OF LAUGHTER ARE BETTER THAN DYNAMITE. LONG LIVE LIFE, DAMN IT!”
—ALPHONSE ALLAIS

This special Black Scat edition features four additional short stories not included in the original French volume, as well as a lively introduction, illustrations, and fascinating notes on the text by Doug Skinner.

Explosions of laughter guaranteed.

Now available worldwide on Amazon. CLICK HERE to order your copies.

LONG LIVE LIFE!
by Alphonse Allais
Translated from the French by Doug Skinner
Trade paperback; 184 pp.,  $14

 

STAND AND SALUTE!

What happens when you combine patriotism and ‘pataphysics (the science of imaginary solutions)? That’s right, you get a big BANG and fireworks — all packed inside the new
LE SCAT NOIR.  

The July issue features incendiary works by Alain Arias-Misson, Paulo Brito, Norman Conquest, Mitchell Eva, Eckhard Gerdes, Harold JaffeAlfred Jarry, Richard Kostelanetz, Terri Lloyd, Frank PulaskiJason E. Rolfe, Paul RosheimMercie Pedro e Silva, and Doug Skinner

#225 marks the first interactive edition with “live” links and an EXCLUSIVE screen-video of Alfred Jarry’s resurrection!  

As always, it’s free to read online or download to your device, so stand and salute! Then  CLICK HERE.

Sucker Punch Gala in NYC

(photo by Karina Tarnawsky)

If you were in NYC on June 15th and missed the BLACK SCAT SUCKER PUNCH bout between high lit  heavyweight champs Yuriy Tarnawsky (seated)) and Alain Arias-Mission —shame on you! You missed a bloody good reading.

The Emily Harvey Foundation. provided ringside seats,  booze & noisemakers  to an unruly crowd of fans. Tarnawsky threw wicked upper-cuts from his classic collection of “short shrift fictions,” CROCODILE SMILES, while Arias-Misson responded with  a blazing left hook from his new novel THE DETECTIVE WHO DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE.

Fortunately all is not lost, as both books are available on Amazon and just a click away.