Since its 2002 debut, I have gone to the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art festival every year. It started at the historic Puck Building, once home to Puck Magazine, which ceased publication exactly 100 years ago. After Jared Kushner turned the Puck Building into retail space, MoCCA moved to the 69th Regiment Armory, which was the site of the historic 1913 Armory Show. After a few years, the festival was moved to some non-historic location before moving into its current non-historic location. Maybe in a hundred years people will reverently refer to the Metropolitan West event space as the home of the historic MoCCA Fest.
MoCCA is one of about five yearly North American alternative comic conventions, but one of two in New York. A few years ago, Desert Island Comics owner Gabe Fowler started promoting his own alternative comics fest, currently called Comic Arts Brooklyn, which has raised the question: Which is the better alternative comic con, and how long can New York support two alternative comic cons? I might be the only one imagining a Highlander-like war for survival between the two alternative comic festivals.
The sense of vitality and importance at MoCCA has waxed and waned over the years. It’s possible that I was simply projecting my own internal feelings onto the things going on around me, but I think that’s how things work for everyone. It’s impossible to be objective, but I felt like...
Simone Sullivan treks up to Frisco, Colorado, for a scenic weed retreat in the small mountain town. She checks out her guide's bong collection before heading out for a snowy hike, and gets blazed for an afternoon of ice fishing. Then she's treated to a THC-infused feast, complete with weed shots, pie, and a hearty bowl of elk chili.
On this episode of Blunt Reviews, host Simone Sullivan travels to Denver, Colorado, where legal weed is transforming the Mile High City into a stoner vacation destination. She posts up at a weed-friendly hotel, gets high on a pot tour bus, takes a sushi and joint-rolling class, and gets paranoid with the paranormal at a haunted brewery.
Allison Mack was arrested in Brooklyn by the FBI on Friday for allegedly recruiting slaves into an alleged sex cult within the self-help group NXIVM. The 35-year-old, who is best known for playing Clark Kent's best friend on the TV show Smallville, also blackmailed women into having sex with the group's founder, Keith Raniere, according to a federal indictment.
NXIVM—pronounced "nexium"—is ostensibly a multi-level marketing organization in which people take self-improvement seminars and recruit others to do the same. It's been around since 1998, and New York Magazine referred to it as "cult-like" all the way back in 2007. But it wasn't until 2017 when a New York Times exposé revealed that recruits into a secret society within NXIVM, known as DOS, would have to turn over naked photographs of themselves and get branded as part of the organization's initiation process.
Raniere claimed to have the highest IQ ever recorded and required his followers to call him "Vanguard." He was apprehended in early April on sex trafficking charges in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and video shows that Mack was present at the scene of the arrest. He's currently being held in Texas without bail, and both he an Mack could face between 15 years to life in prison if convicted, NBC New York reports.
Meanwhile, Mack is far from the only actress tied...
As long as she's healthy enough to drive around rural Mississippi, nothing can stop 72-year-old photographer Jane Rule Burdine from trekking through the countryside and shooting soulful portraits of communities in the Deep South. In an area often forgotten by politicians and philanthropists, her photos are a record of lives lived and the slow march of change.
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, she knew she was different. Most people wanted to settle down, get married, and have some kids, but Burdine wanted to forge her own path. "So I struck out on my own," she says in a new short documentary about her life, Under Her Skin, directed by Kelsey & Rémy Bennett and produced by The Front.
Burdine documents the beauty and quirks of Mississippi's farming communities, studying how the people impact the land and vice versa. In the 80s, she spent time photographing an area known as Sugar Ditch, then the poorest county in the nation. Even though they're photos of poverty, Burdine's portraits brim with happiness and humanity. "My work is an affirmation of life, in the face of imperfections," she says in the film.
There is a screening of Under Her Skin at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 21 at 2:30 PM. The film will also be available to stream online...
Wubalubbadublunt! It's 4/20 my glip glops, and that means its time to travel to a dimension where everyone is lit as fuck. Cannabis artist Tony Greenhand, who at one point held the world record for largest joint rolled, celebrated the holiday with a fitting tribute to the stoneriest scientist on TV: Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty.
Greenhand is known for making smokeable sculptures of pop culture icons like Tommy Chong and Spider-Man for illustrious clients like Snoop Dogg. In honor of this special day, he rolled joint effigies of Rick and Morty, plus fan-favorites Mr. Meeseeks, and Mr. Poopybutthole. Combined, these four pieces of high art took the Weedstagram celeb around 20 hours of painstaking paper sculpting. A fan of the show himself, Greenhand's favorite episodes take place in the Citadel of Ricks, where versions of Rick and Morty from infinite dimensions meet up and hang out. However, his favorite character is the normie dad, Jerry, who fails at nearly everything he tries, but does it with heart. "He's the lovable idiot," Greenhand told VICE in a text message.Courtesy Tony Greenhand
Like most animated Adult Swim shows, Rick and Morty goes out of its way to provide woah dude visuals...
In the first season of Westworld, actor Clifton Collins Jr., as Mexican outlaw Lawrence/El Lazo, delivered one of the best “motherfucker” lines ever filmed. With the second season making its long-awaited debut on HBO this Sunday, April 22, I skyped with the 47-year-old vet. His career spans Poetic Justice, Menace II Society, Traffic, Star Trek, Ballers, a cookbook titled Prison Ramen, and even a healthcare app. We talked about how he got involved with Westworld, what fans can expect from the new season, and how he helped make Super Troopers 2.
VICE: How did you get involved with Westworld? And what did you think of your role in the beginning?
Clifton Collins Jr.: Originally, I auditioned for one of either Ben Barnes or Jimmi Simpson’s roles. I got a phone call that the showrunners wanted to meet with me for something different. I wasn't really even sure what it was. [Screenwriter] Lisa Joy sat me down and spoke to me about some of my previous projects that she was a fan of. She started to put through this idea of the Man in Black (Ed Harris) having a sidekick. I was intrigued. Who doesn't love Michael Crichton? Who doesn't love the original Westworld?
They literally tailored and handcrafted this role for me, which is really special because my grandfather was a contract player for...
Since at least 1903 when audiences ran screaming from movie theaters because they had never experienced anything quite like The Great Train Robbery, the Western has been one of film's most significant genres. From the early days of The Covered Wagon (1923) to the so-called Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Corbucci (Django) and Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) to the Anti-Westerns of Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) and the Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, True Grit), the fearsome landscape of the heart has been cast against the unforgiving mesas and painted plateaus of the West. Once you've had your fill of the best dramas on Netflix, squint your eyes like the Man with No Name and ride into our list of the best Western movies and tv shows on Netflix (US):Ken Burns Presents: The West
Only when you are able to complete all eight episodes, totaling 12 hours, of the mammoth historical triumph that is Ken Burns Presents: The West, can you start wearing a cowboy hat and talking like you know what was up with the West.Cold Mountain
The English Patient auteur Anthony Minghella set his sights on the Civil War in 2003, and the triumvirate of Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger loaded, cocked, and pulled the trigger (respectively). From Sydney Pollack being a producer to Jack White making a special guest appearance, there...
In the fourth season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the gang is scared into getting health insurance after Dee has a minor heart attack. In their grand scheme to get coverage, Charlie and Mac wind up working in an office mailroom, which doesn't go well from the start. They quickly incinerate the mail they deem "unimportant," and Charlie gets overwhelmed when he can't find an employee named Pepe Silvia, starts hallucinating, and ultimately stops delivering any mail at all.
The endless piles of mail put the gang through unprecedented levels of stress—stress that ultimately real-life Brooklyn mail worker Aleksey Germash says caused him to hoard 17,000 pieces of undelivered letters and packages for more than a decade, Pix 11 reports.
Like Mac and Charlie, the 53-year-old allegedly told investigators he was "overwhelmed by the amount of mail that he had to deliver" and resorted only to delivering mail he deemed "important," according NBC New York. He was arrested after police received a tip that he had 20 bags of mail piled up in his car, and investigators later found 10,000 pieces of mail in the vehicle, as well as about 1,000 pieces in his locker, and around 6,000 pieces in his apartment.
Besides bearing resemblance to the Always Sunny plot line, the case is similar to two others that occurred earlier this month. Cops in Italy just arrested a...
Certified nursing assistant Gloria Duquette starts each work day at 7 AM, dashes to her second job at 3 PM, and finishes at 11 PM. All day long, she transports nursing home residents to and from dining rooms and bathrooms and dialysis machines, helps them shower, and changes their clothes and diapers. The Connecticut resident works more than 90 hours a week, including a third job where she gets some hours as a home care provider, and her husband works nights as a machine operator. After paying insurance and taxes, she said, the family can only just cover its bills. So she was naturally hoping the tax cut package passed by Republicans in Congress and signed by Donald Trump late last year would help her out.
“When I heard that these tax cuts passed I’m happy,” she told me. “I’m like, maybe I could give up one of my jobs now.”
Duquette, a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), said she went to the director of the nursing home where she works full-time to ask about what she’d heard Trump say on TV—that the tax cut, which lowered rates for businesses and the wealthy in particular, would result in raises for regular workers. But she found that the nursing home, operated by Genesis HealthCare, hadn’t announced anything like that. (Like several companies contacted for this article, Genesis declined to comment.)
In Georgia, Jerome Westpoint spends his days picking up trash from construction sites and the...
This article originally appeared on VICE Greece.
A few years ago, I was out with three friends at a club in Athens and started chatting with a couple of girls who were sitting next to us. Out of nowhere, a guy came up and got aggressive—one of my friends had been talking to his ex-girlfriend, and he wasn't pleased about it. Things escalated quickly, and soon my friend had pushed this guy through a table full of glass bottles. In a split second, the guy was up again, slashing my friend across the face with the base of a broken bottle he had in his hand. In the end, the result of the night out was my friend needing plastic surgery to repair the damage to his face, and the other guy being charged with attempted murder and GBH [grievous bodily harm].
When I recounted this story in the days after the fight, I realized just how many of my friends had been through something similar on a night out—albeit with less dramatic consequences. It seems that a measure of alcohol mixed with a crowded bar and topped with some Greek temperament is the perfect recipe for an all-out brawl.
This is what I was thinking about when I walked into the Boiler Room nightclub in Athens...
The last movie in the Purge franchise, The Purge: Election Year, ended with a newly elected president swooping in to un-legalize crime, once and for all. But while the purge itself may be over, the Purge movies are thankfully still going strong.
This Independence Day, the upcoming Purge prequel, The First Purge, will hit theaters. And according to the new trailer that dropped Friday, the thing is going to be a gloriously bloody and over-the-top look at how the whole purging business came to be—starting with the first prototype Purge on Staten Island. There are riots! Freaky Purge night parties! And a lot of people in goofy costumes killing one another, since what else have we come to expect from a Purge movie?
"Citizens, this will be a tradition we celebrate every year," the president says in an announcement from the Oval Office, "Join the first Purge!"
According to the trailer, the whole idea for an annual night of legalized mayhem was dreamt up by a doctor named May Updale, played by Marisa Tomei, who figured the whole thing would be a nice catharsis for a troubled America. "If we want to save our country," Updale says, "we must release all our anger in one night."
That doesn't sound like entirely sound logic, obviously, and it seems like Updale starts to question it herself, once the Purge starts to spiral out of control. "What have I done?" she asks in the trailer. Well, she's kicked off a great franchise full of blood, horror,...
This article originally appeared on VICE Australia.
The "internet of things" took a huge leap forward today, when hackers gained access to a public screen in Perth, Australia and displayed the homepage of PornHub—the internet's biggest porn site. The incident happened in Yagan Square, a newly-opened space that has been referred to as "the heart of the city" by state politicians.
"Unfortunately, it appears that these screens were compromised this evening and, for a brief period of time, some inappropriate content was displayed on one of the screens," a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) told the ABC. "Both screens were immediately turned off and power has also been switched off to the units to eliminate all possibilities of a recurrence."
It's not yet known how the hackers gained access to the display, which has a central position in the square. "The MRA takes this matter very seriously and will undertake a full investigation to understand how this event has happened and identify those responsible," the spokesperson said.
Yagan Square just opened last month, at a cost of $73.5 million [$56.5 million USD]. Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said it would be a space for families and commuters to enjoy. Officials haven't commented on how much was spent on digital security.
This actually isn't the first time PornHub has popped up in an...
Here he comes, from the back of the theater, Al Pacino, swerving down the aisle, grinning and ricocheting from one set of rows into another with the delicious glee of a young boy who’s stolen the car keys, kissing people in the audience as he heads toward the screen, shirt unbuttoned to mid-chest, skin tan like espresso foam, body engulfed by a heavy coat and a scarf that looks softer than Kleenex.
Pacino is an old man and we know this by his posture, by the occasional slow-churn froth of his enunciation, by the half-century of movies that seem to exist somewhere on basic cable, permanently, like a constellation. But here, approaching midnight, with needy friends in the lobby and A Schedule and Commitments, he is still skidding around with what you could describe as a fucking appetite for these sort of moments.
It is a Wednesday night in late March, at the Quad Cinema on West 13th street. It’s almost 10:30 by the time Pacino is introduced. He is here for a de-facto ribbon-cutting for the first proper release of two films he is in: Salome, based on a one-act Oscar Wilde play about the way lust can set fire to logic and decency, and a documentary, Wilde Salome, which Pacino also directed, about his years-long, stop-and-go assembly of Wilde’s play for the screen and stage. Pacino plays King Herod, whom he portrays with a blubbering, infantile petulance. Herod spends the play slouching in...
More than nine millennia ago, the Rad Wars devastated Earth. “They weren’t rad, they were bad!” shrieks a floating, sportscasting, mohawked orb in the opening moments of Ballmastrz 9009, the new show from Superjail! creator Christy Karacas.
Instead of war, movies, TV, football, or politics, the only activity anyone obsesses over is the blood sport invented by earth’s immortal Supreme Leader to enforce peace. The Game entertains the masses and gives rowdy war hawks something to do besides starting political conflict. There are only two rules: Use the ball to score, and use the ball to kill.
Ballmastrz feels like Devilman Crybaby tossed The Bad News Bears, Looney Tunes, a jar of Adult Swim promos, and Rollerball into a blender and then jumped in after them. For the uninitiated, Karacas is known animating spectacular deaths, whether in his ten-deaths-a-minute show Superjail!, short films like Bar Fight , or music videos like Royal Blood’s “Out of the Black.” Ballmastrz “isn’t as violent, but is just as intense” as his previous work, said Karacas. “What I like about Superjail! and violent scenes in general is that it’s creative and funny, not...
This week, the online pollster YouGov released a survey of 8,215 American adults who were asked if they believe the Earth is flat, a ridiculous and obviously false conspiracy that has become a weirdly durable movement in the past couple years. YouGov found that 84 percent of respondents "always believed the world is round," 5 percent used to be sure the world was round but have begun to doubt it, 2 percent used to be sure the world was flat but now have doubts, and 7 percent clicked the "other/not sure" box.
More alarmingly, only 66 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds always knew the world was round, a hell of a statistic to contemplate when thinking about the future of the planet, whatever shape you imagine it is.
In one sense, this wasn't surprising—surveys that ask basic questions are always coming up with facepalm-y results, like the one from last year that found that 7 percent of US adults thought chocolate milk comes from brown cows or the 2012 poll that found that a quarter of Americans thought the sun goes around the Earth. But I mean, come on. Maybe people got nervous taking the poll and flubbed a response, maybe they were goofing around or trolling, maybe they started having doubts about the shape of the Earth or chocolate milk precisely because a pollster was asking about it. In the case of the YouGov survey, who knows why so many people...
An iconic queer hero has died.
Some time around the turn of the millennium, Stephanie Yellowhair, a Native American trans woman, was arrested while being filmed for the TV show, Cops.
Despite the indignities Yellowhair faced during her arrest, she never wavered in her self confidence, throwing out a host of quotable one liners, including "excuse my beauty" (which can be seen at 5:10 in the video below).
In the years since, “excuse my beauty” has gone viral. The video of her arrest has been viewed and GIF’d hundreds of thousands of times, RuPaul has used the phrase, a Drag Race contestant released a single named after it, and it inspired a scene in Reno 911.
On March 30, Stephanie Yellowhair died. She was 41.
Yellowhair grew up on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona in a time when trans and genderqueer politics weren’t at the forefront of our political awareness. Her refusal to back down, to be anything other than who she was, helped turn her into a defiant role model for many still trying to understand who they were and what it means to be different.
My friend Karla works as a barista in a cafe in Hollywood. We often talk about queer identity and politics.
“Growing up Filipino and queer was hard enough, but being a genderqueer cisgendered male who identifies as female made me feel...
The theme of the premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation was change. Five years have passed since we've seen our favorite guidos—Mike "The Situation," Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, JWoww, Deena, Pauly D, Vinny, and Ronnie—all under the same roof. "The Situation" is sober. Ronnie's about to be a father. Snooki and JWoww have children, all of whom, judging by their introductions, like to jump on their parents' mattresses. Pauly D, uh, has a white Lambo adorned with a license plate bearing his name. (Sammi, who isn't participating in the show and stayed at home in Jersey, has been replaced by a sex doll.)
They're grown up. They've learned some lessons. They've changed.
There are other stabs at maturity, too. In the two-part, almost two-hour-long episode, their vacation home this time around isn't a bungalow in Seaside, but instead a Michael Corleone–esque compound in Miami's South Beach. No one needs to fight over what bedroom to take anymore, and there are few moments of what you'd call high drama. The (literal) knock down, drag out fights of yesteryear have been replaced by... Snooki being mortified that ants have gathered on some pizza left outside. And... Ronnie clogging the toilet.
But the crew hasn't gone from wild to completely mild just yet. And despite each cast member's frequent and exhausting declarations of how much they've changed since last...