Monday, January 26, 2009

Michael Roden- Thru Black Holes

Michael Roden was an indie artist and musician for over 30 years. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952, he discovered the work of HP Lovecraft in the early 70s and was inspired to begin drawing fantastic creatures and alien landscapes. Soon he was reading underground comix and was inspired by the freedom and experimental artwork of the cartoonists producing them. The era of self-publishing was beginning to take off and Roden began work on an art magazine he called Thru Black Holes. He explained the title in an interview in 1980, "...because of the nature of the black hole itself — sucking in matter and expelling it into some other realm of existence. In the case of Thru Black Holes the idea was to pull in other talents and give the reader a ride along with us into strange artistic realms." His first issue debuted in May 1978."

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"Roden also loved music and formed the Thru Black Holes Band, releasing 24 indie collections from 1989 through 2004. Aural-Innovations hosts the Band's official website, where you can download all of the Band's music in mp3 format.

In early 2007, Roden was diagnosed with colon cancer. He passed away on June 14, 2007 at age 55, leaving behind medical expenses that are still remain to be paid. Several benefit sales have been set up to contribute to closing out his outstanding debts. Small press publisher Dan W. Taylor and mini-comic dealer Rick Bradford have generously set up benefit sales areas within their online stores. 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Roden Benefit Fund."

SELECTED CASSETTE COVERS:

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You can buy some of his minis at the venerable Poopsheet Store, and I recommend downloading a few songs. It's like your weird Uncles' basement dream band.

Some of my favorite song titles:
-Galaxy of Ghouls
- The Reaper's Dream
-Attack of the Stone Giants
-The Mile High Serpent
-Smoking Glass Wreckage of the Alien Octopus Face
-I am the Alien Octopus Face
-Alien Home Life
-Nightmare City
-The Glowing Red Egg
-Children of the Dead Moon
-The National Boat
-The Skull House
-The Travels of the Golden Skeleton

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10 comments:

Human Mollusk said...

Interesting stuff, Luke.
His far too early death's a damn pity, that's what it is!

Anonymous said...

mostyn

Anonymous said...

that is pretty amazing, mostyn

Ricko said...

Hey, thank you for helping to spread Mike's special brand of craziness. He left us too early indeed and he's greatly missed by his friends and fans.

I also wanted to mention that 100% of the proceeds from all items in the Michael Roden Benefit category (in the Poopsheet Shop) go directly to Mike's family.

Richard said...

Thanks for highlighting Mike's work. Jim Main put together a limited edition portfolio to help out his Mike's wife. All the artwork is by many of Mike's newave friends.

You can buy it here:
http://www.mainenterprises.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=2453358

and preview it here:
http://www.midnightfiction.com/about/roden.htm

Ricko said...

Yeah, the portfolio!

Also, anybody interested Mike's work should definitely check out Dale Lee Coovert's Michael Roden Catalog, a comprehensive checklist with descriptions, background info, etc.

http://homepage.mac.com/dalecoovert/index2.html

Mr. Sean said...

This is some cool-ass shit. This is the stuff that i got into zines for in the 80s. Thanks for expozing me to this cool crap Luke.

Aeron said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing, Uland!

zeke said...

Thanks for putting me on to the music, didn't know there was a band and have been working my way through the albums, it's a real joy.
I have some of the zines that I got from Rick and they're exquisite, the linework's so delicate and intricate!

romans said...

Also being a zine/comix artist from the same era,(Oddities) I traded with Michael, and treasure his works. I have a really nice portfolio of his drawings, which he published too.
Recently I had been wondering what became of him, so I am grateful for your spotlight on him.