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Comics Gone Wild!

Presentation by Max Cannon and Ted Rall

7 p.m., Friday, June 26

Antigone Books

411 N. Fourth Ave.

792-3715; antigonebooks.com

You might never guess what happens behind the scenes at alternative newsweeklies like the Tucson Weekly—but you can get a rare glimpse behind the print this Friday, when cartoonists Max Cannon and Ted Rall will be at Antigone Books to discuss their work and experiences in the world of cartooning.

Both cartoonists are nationally known and are regulars in the Weekly. Cannon, a Tucson native and a longtime Weekly contributor, is known for his cast of hilariously twisted characters who are just as disturbing as they are entertaining. His independent comic strip "Red Meat," the self-proclaimed "most tasteless and twisted comic strip in the world," got its start in the Arizona Daily Wildcat and now appears in alternative newsweeklies across the country.

Ted Rall manages to polarize his audience like few other artists. With his directly political and controversial comics, Rall never fails to get his readers thinking and talking about the issues currently facing our country.

Debbie Cross, event coordinator at Antigone Books, explains that this event will offer fans a chance to hear Cannon and Rall speak about what it's like to be behind the scenes in the cartooning world these days. Cannon and Rall will talk about their experiences as cartoonists, share their work using PowerPoint, answer questions from the audience and stick around to sign copies of their work.

The event is free, but both Cannon and Rall have recently published collections of their work that are now available from Antigone Books. Ted Rall's America Gone Wild! goes for $12.95, and Max Cannon's Red Meat Gold costs $11.95. —S.J.


'FOUND' Treasures

FOUND magazine presents the Denim and Diamonds Tour with the Watson Twins

8 p.m., Friday, June 26

Hotel Congress

311 E. Congress St.

622-8848; foundmagazine.com

One winter night in Chicago, This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart happened to find one little note, left on his car by mistake. Feeling inspired, he decided to start a magazine collecting found scraps sent in worldwide.

FOUND magazine, which includes everything from Polaroids to grocery lists, from love letters to old homework, has been published six times since 2001.

And now, Rothbart's put together a book: Requiem for a Paper Bag, which includes stories behind found items from civilians and celebrities, including musician Devendra Banhart, author Miranda July and actor Seth Rogen.

One story featured in Requiem is the "Denim and Diamonds" story, for which his current tour is named.

Rothbart says a woman working at a movie theater in Kansas City sent in a letter placed on every car in the parking lot, which was shared with a country bar called Denim and Diamonds. The woman who wrote the letter hit it off with a man at the bar, but after hanging out a few times, the man disappeared, and she was hoping to find him.

"She said she knows he was married, because he always had to get home by 3 in the morning, but she said she didn't hold it against him, because the night she met him was actually her own bachelorette party," Rothbart explains.

It's stories like this that are in the book and serve as the inspiration behind songs performed by Rothbart's brother, Peter, during the Denim and Diamonds Tour. This Friday, the tour stops at Club Congress, with guest musical performers the Watson Twins.

"Most of the show, people are going to be laughing a lot. We want people to leave feeling exhilarated and inspired to go out and find stuff, you know, because FOUND magazine is a community art project, really," Rothbart says.

Admission is $6. —A.B.


Public Enemy

Dinner and Drinks with John Dillinger

5 and 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 1

Hotel Congress

311 E. Congress St.

622-8848; hotelcongress.com

Hotel Congress' Dillinger Days celebration was held more than five months ago—but who says you can ever have too much John Dillinger in your life?

On Wednesday, to coincide with the release of the new film Public Enemies—based on the life of the Great Depression-era bank robber—Hotel Congress will be hosting a Dillinger-themed evening.

At the event, guests will be immersed in 1930s culture. Allison Baron, hotel manager at Hotel Congress, says the movie-release festival will feature a wide variety of period-themed events, including a 1930s-style dinner menu at the Cup Café.

Although there won't be any re-enactments, Baron says, there will be tours of the historic hotel and lectures about the era, led by a John Dillinger impersonator. There will also be a costume contest in which entrants can win prizes including tickets to the new movie; vintage cars on display from the Model A Ford Club; period music performed by the El Camino Royales with Jimmy Carr on vibes; and specials on the famous Dillinger Sidecar cocktail all night.

Hotel Congress has been linked to Dillinger and his bank-robbing buddies ever since their stay at the hotel in 1934. After the hotel caught fire, firemen retrieved the gang's luggage, which lead to the identification and subsequent arrest of several members of the group, Dillinger included.

The first show will begin at 5 p.m., with the second beginning at 7 p.m. Seating is limited; for reservations, call 622-8848, or visit hotelcongress.com. Dinner at the Cup Café will cost $19.34; the Dillinger talk, vintage car show and live music are all free. —S.J.


Find Your Kitsch

Parasol Project presents "Atomic #10"

7 p.m., Friday, June 26

Flamingo Hotel

1300 N. Stone Ave.

parasolproject.com

It's time to break out your plastic pink flamingoes and fake palm trees, because this Friday, the recently founded Parasol Project will be celebrating everything regarding the concept of kitsch, from the glamorous to the gaudy.

As an interactive motel art show, the "Atomic #10" event will be an interdisciplinary art and performance exploration into "kitsch" and all of its subsequent implications for our culture.

Morrighan Clinco, who initiated the project, explains that what we call "kitsch" originally developed in the 1930s. The word's most well-known meaning is "in poor taste" or "in bad fashion." However, the Parasol Project is interested in all of kitsch's intellectual and philosophical meanings as well.

"It can mean the opposite of avant-garde," says Clinco, "and can even refer to art that comes out of a repressed culture." Clearly, the featured artists will have plenty to explore and exploit.

The event will take place at the Flamingo Hotel, and in order to create a complete experience, the party will encompass the entire venue, Clinco says, "not just the ballroom or by the pool." Including more than 35 local artists, the art-party extravaganza will include musicians, DJs, performance artists, lighting designers "and pretty much any other kind of artist you can think of," Clinco explains.

The Parasol Project, created earlier this year, is a community-based arts and performance organization. Participants aim to build a sense of unity within the community through interactive and sustainable art projects like "Atomic #10." Their warehouse workspace also hosts other various classes, exhibitions, performances and community gatherings.

Tickets to the "Atomic #10" event are available for $5 at parasolproject.com, or $7 at the door. The event is meant for those 21 and older. —S.J.

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