Comedian Roger Norquist on Paul Auster, postmodernism, and not having sex with people who don't read

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Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists.

Roger Norquist is a comedian, podcaster and self-styled occultist. As co-host of the Lion's Lair open mic, Norquist is a Denver comedy-scene ambassador for the scores of novices who cut their teeth at the legendary Colfax dive. Norquist, who's known for his absurdist one-liners, also co-hosts the resurgent Werewolf Radar podcast, which has returned from a brief hiatus better than ever, releasing episodes on its website and on itunes every week and recording a live show the first Wednesday of every month. Tonight, Norquist will join co-hosts Jordan Doll and Nate Balding and guest Bobby Crane and Chris Charpentier for a live podcast recording at El Charrito. In advance of that event, Westword caught up with Norquist to discuss Paul Auster, postmodernism, mythology and a John Waters quote about refusing to fuck people who don't own books.

See also: Total Ghost's Randy Washington on living in Japan, Haruki Murakami and SNL


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Denver Comic Con announces first stars, ticket sales date for 2014

Categories: Comix

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Danielle Lirette
He got his tickets to the 2013 Denver Comic Con!
The third annual Denver Comic Con and Literacy Conference is still months away, but it's not too early to start planning. Tickets for the event go on sale on December 2 -- Cyber Monday, of course -- and the DCC has already announced its first guests, including celebrities from such pop-culture phenomena as the Power Rangers, Star Trek and The Walking Dead and creators from comics like Avengers vs. X-Men, Batman and Robin and Sandman.

See also:
Meet the people of Denver Comic Con 2013 in this video

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Photos: Comic Con pops up at the Colorado Symphony

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For Saturday night's performance at the Colorado Symphony, the scene wasn't the classic crowd. In place of stuffed shirts and pearls, there were Star Wars stormtroopers and Star Trek crew members wandering the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall, along with a whole zoo of other comics, sci-fi and gaming characters. And that was just the beginning of "The Hero's Journey -- A Symphonic Tribute to Comic Con," a full evening of Denver Comic Con-approved compositions, with a guest spot by DeVotchKa's Nick Urata on theremin. Photographer Danielle Lirette caught it all for Westword, bringing back these images and more.

See also: Austin Wintory to bring award-winning Journey video game score to CSO's Comic Con tribute

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The top ten geek events in Denver in November

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Dr. Who turns fifty.
The leaves have turned and the weather's gone cold, but we geeks aren't concerned -- all of our favorite activities take place indoors, anyway. And this November will give Denver geeks plenty to be thankful for between now and Thanksgiving. In addition to the usual buffet of turkey and pumpkin pie, we get a cornucopia of geek fun, from brony cons to far-out films.

See also: Ten milestones in competitive gaming

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Five reasons to read The Oatmeal

Categories: Comix, Lists

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Under the name The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman has made a career out of making absurd, hilarious comics. Whether the subject matter is mundane (grammar, cats) or bizarre (the sex lives of angler fish, utilikilts), his particular genius lies in tapping into the Internet zeitgeist and delivering the kind of belly laughs that get shared, liked and posted all over Facebook. You can also get those comics in book form, with collections like his brand-new Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, which he'll talk about on Thursday, October 17 at the Tattered Cover LoDo. To bring people who aren't familiar with the peculiar genius of Inman up to speed, we've helpfully compiled this list of five reasons why you should read The Oatmeal.

See also: Nikola Tesla's career is re-energized by cartoonist Matthew Inman

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Pop culture's top five demon hunters

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The Winchesters hunt demons and look dreamy, all at once.
Demons are bad news. They're powerful, usually immortal -- or damn close -- and almost invariably pure, undiluted evil. When you've got demon problems, you've got serious problems. And when that happens, who are you going to call? Not the Ghostbusters. Yeah, they did best a demon or two, but they almost leveled New York in the process. Too risky. No, you want someone who deals with demons as a matter of course, someone who can take them down without risking total annihilation via some shoddy backpack nuclear reactors. You need a demon hunter.

This Thursday, September 26, Littleton's Alamo Drafthouse is hosting a one-day showing of Blue Exorcist: The Movie, the big-screen followup to the popular anime series. The film depicts the work of two demon-hunting brothers -- one of them half-demon himself -- working to save their home from an invasion of demonic hordes, a mission we can all get behind (well, all of us except the demons, anyway). To get psyched up for the event, we've compiled this list of pop culture's five most badass demon hunters.

See also: The six best onscreen pairings of robots and the apocalypse

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69 badass cosplay characters from San Diego Comic-Con 2013

Categories: Comix

Rob Inderrieden
San Diego Comic-Con is a lot of things to a lot of people. You can bemoan the commercialization and curse the movie studios, but while you're doing that, be sure to appreciate the magic of thousands upon thousands of super-fans dressing up as their favorite characters for no other reason than because it's fantastically fun.

Where else are you going to see Marty McFly hanging out with the Joker, Thor, Tank Girl, Snow White, Chun-Li and Deadmau5 Spider-Man?

Here we present 69 (dudes!) of our favorite cosplayers...

See also:
- The best of Superman cosplay
- 100 Memorable cosplay images from 2012
- If I wanted cosplay with my drinks, I wouldn't go to the Cruise Room.


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Why Comic-Con is really about community

Categories: Comix

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Liz Ohanesian
When religious protesters showed up at Comic-Con, attendees responded with absurd signs.
Comic-Con packed in talent and fans alike in San Diego all weekend. Liz Ohanesian covered the action for L.A. Weekly, one of our partner papers; here's her fourth report.

In Southern California, you can be certain that the bigger the event, the more religious protesters you'll see across the street. Oftentimes, convention-goers will counter the protesters with signs bearing absurd slogans. That was the case in San Diego this year, when attendees dropped as many nerdy references as they could squeeze onto a piece of cardboard.

Usually I try to ignore the people with the fire-and-brimstone signs. If world history has taught us anything, it's that religious arguments don't end with a cordial handshake. On Sunday, though, I was stuck on a corner across from the San Diego Convention Center just a few feet away from a guy with a megaphone. He was going on about "darkness," which I humbly submit isn't a bad thing, but we can talk about that later. I started grumbling to myself. Some others in the crowd challenged him loudly. The guy with the megaphone turned to one and lashed out with some insults.

Then, in the back of this tightly packed crowd, a man started singing "Joy to the World," the Three Dog Night song that begins with "Jeremiah was a bullfrog." By the time he reached the chorus, the bulk of the convention-goers had joined him in song.

See also:
- Emily the Strange: From quirky T-shirt character to pop-culture icon
- Thrilling Adventure Hour at Comic-Con with Kickstarter-funded comic book
- Why Regular Show was so huge at Comic-Con this year

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Emily the Strange: From quirky T-shirt character to pop-culture icon

Categories: Comix

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Comic-Con has been packing in talent and fans alike in San Diego all weekend. Liz Ohanesian is covering the action for our media group; here's the third of her reports.
Twenty years ago, Emily the Strange first appeared on T-shirts and other odds and ends. Now, the thirteen-year-old girl with the long black hair, black dress and penchant for cats is the star of novels, comic books, iPhone apps and so much more.

Most recently, she's been fronting a band, Emily and the Strangers. Their adventures are documented in the comic-book series of the same name, published by Dark Horse Comics. But it's more than that. Emily and the Strangers are the band credited with a new single, "Calling All Guitars," and a video.

See also:
- Thrilling Adventure Hour at Comic-Con with Kickstarter-funded comic book
- Why Regular Show was so huge at Comic-Con this year
- Everything I know about patriotism I learned from Captain America

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Thrilling Adventure Hour at Comic-Con with Kickstarter-funded comic book

Categories: Comix

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Courtesy of Archaia
Comic-Con has been packing in talent and fans alike in San Diego all weekend. Liz Ohanesian is covering the action for our media group; here's the second of her reports.

Ben Blacker had just arrived at San Diego Comic-Con when we met. The writer was preparing for a whirlwind of events surrounding Thrilling Adventure Hour, the live show he created with Ben Acker eight years ago. There was a signing, an official Comic-Con panel and four sold-out evening performances of the stage show that's captivated live audiences in Los Angeles and Nerdist podcast listeners worldwide.

See also:
- Thrilling Adventure Hour at Comic-Con with Kickstarter-funded comic book
- Emily the Strange: From quirky T-shirt character to pop-culture icon
- Everything I know about patriotism I learned from Captain America


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