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November 2011

Filthy Christmas

As usual, there's a bit of press here and there in the build-up to John Waters visit to London to do his Christmas show at Royal Festival Hall next week. (I've had the tickets for months already.) This article in the Financial Times, of all places, is one of the better I've read lately — some new tidbits, some insight, and apparently written by someone who knows Waters work well enough (or has bothered to look into it well enough) to go a little deeper than the usual recycled PR.

‘He has swiveled again from the salacious to the jokey, and it occurs to me that this is what Waters does: confront the audience with something transgressive and render it unthreatening and comical. He relishes words like “creepy”, “hideous” and “filthy”, but makes them sound like good, clean fun.’

John Waters lounging at home

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A Type Nerd's Time in India

Last year I submitted an article to a very excellent zine called FAQNP (which stands for, mischievously, “FAQNP's a Queer Nerd Publication”) for their “Queer Nerd Travel Guide” issue, since I'm a queer nerd who travels a lot.


The gents at FAQNP have kindly agreed to let me reprint my story about how Western brands drop their typographic standards when they trade in India. You should repay that kindness and check out some of their back issues or cool merchandise.

Spread from FAQNP #3

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Hideous porn

Okay, while I'm thinking of John Waters, let me mention that time that I was able to catch up with my oldest pal, filmmaker and Oscar nominee (GOD, how I love just tossing that in) Eddie Schmidt when he was back in New York for a couple of days in 2005.

Eddie and I have shared and mutually encouraged an appreciation for John Waters for over 25 years now, and he was bubbling with excitement with news that he couldn't talk about openly. He confessed that when he left New York the next day, he was off to spend an afternoon in Provincetown with John, interviewing him for his latest documentary about the MPAA. While I died with envy a little, I was also deeply excited that Eddie had scored such a great subject for his film, and I knew that he would be able to draw out some great thoughts of John's on the subject.

That little clip above is a tiny segment of the footage of John (captured during the hours he and Eddie spent together) that made its way into This Film Is Not Yet Rated, directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Eddie. (It's great, by the way, and you really should see it, and not just to catch the rest of the John Waters interview.) Of course, I would love to have been a fly on the wall for Eddie's entire visit so I could catch the rest of their conversation, but I have to be content with the footage in the film and what Eddie's told me.

John, if you're out there: Are you interested in typefaces? Queer zines? Comic books? Call me!

The key to happiness

Lunch with John Waters

I write about John Waters so often that I should probably just give him a subcategory of his own. He's my hero, my inspiration, my favourite entertainer. How can I not file away the best bits from him that I come across? How can I not document our occasional interactions?

This interview from The Guardian is short, but an entertaining read as always. It has the ring of Waters starting the press junket for his Christmas tour (which I'll see when it comes here), but it has a few details I haven't known about before, and that's a rare pleasure. The most charming one is that he's a big fan of wine gums, since they are a favourite of mine. Kismet! Once again, I followed in his footsteps without knowing it.

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