Literature Capsules

By Thomas Ott
Fantagraphics, $18.95

Originally published in Switzerland, this handsome hardcover will probably have the greatest appeal for Edward Gorey fans. Like Gorey, R. Crumb and Drew Friedman, Thomas Ott has a way with cross-hatching. His work may be less humorous, but his skill with pen and ink is equally impressive. As for these five short stories, including “The Girl,” which bookends the set, they’re equal parts clever and creepy and draw from silent horror movies (there’s no dialogue), film noir (everything is in black and white) and Franz Kafka (particularly “The Hotel,” complete with an oversized cockroach cameo).—Kathleen C Fennessy

By Andrew Smith
Puberty Press, $20.00

"In a time of war, what could be more arbitrary than art?” asks Andrew Smith. The title’s flesh-eating horses symbolize impossible odds and political corruption tainting nature. Smith goes from New York’s Pratt University on a road trip across America, slips into the Democratic National Convention and the BET Awards. His interviews include David LaChapelle, the president of Planned Parenthood and the inventor of monster trucks. Smith recalls lost loves, sees horror in Disneyland and goodness in two stray dogs on Classon Avenue. Mike McKeogh’s illustrations add hilarious insight. Art, yes. Arbitrary? Never.—Jill Charles

On Friday, September 9 at 9:30pm at the Varsity Theater, New York’s infamous “Found Footage Festival” will begin its West Coast tour. This mix of found video clips has played to sold out crowds on the East and now it’s coming straight for Seattle. The clips include everything from industrial safety videos to a Brazilian travel video featuring a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is a one-off event, so don’t miss it. More info at