Arnott Archive Update for 4 April 2012

My Daily Nutmeg preview of the Firehouse 12 spring concert series is here.

My Daily Nutmeg preview of the William Congdon exhibit at the Knights of Columbus Museum is here.

My Daily Nutmeg lists of things happening “This Week in New Haven” are here, here, here, and here, plus a St. Patrick’s Day special here.

My Daily Nutmeg coverage of the Seth Adam Band and friends at the Stella Blues Café is here.

My Daily Nutmeg story on Alternate Universe is here.

My Daily Nutmeg profile of Colleen O’Connor is here.

My Daily Nutmeg coverage of the Long Wharf Theatre renovations is here.

My Daily Nutmeg coverage of the Arts & Ideas 2012 announcement is here.

My Daily Nutmeg profile of local lighting designer Jamie Burnett is here.

My Daily Nutmeg essay on my successful run for ward co-chair in my neighborhood is here.

My Daily Nutmeg piece on the store windows of London Limited and Geraldine A Florist is here.

New Haven Theater Jerk (new postings daily) is here.

A New Recipe for Slow Cooker Chile

(based on what I had in the cupboard that day)


One onion and one clove of garlic, fried in a small amount of olive oil

One can red beans

One can cannellini beans

One can tomatoes

One small potato, grated

One carrot, grated

One dried red pepper, crumbled

One teaspoon chili powder

One-half cup vegetable broth.

Mix and put on low for at least five or six hours.

Serve with hot dogs, chips and guacamole.

The Archie Type: Return of the Rhymes

From Archie’s Double Digest #162, August 2005—more quaint and intriguing rhyming or punning titles (usually reserved for the one-page joke features).


Pain Strain

Wish Dish

Beach Beseech

Jog Clog

Steer Jeer (Veronica: “Look, Daddy, Archie brought our boat right into the marina! How’s that for navigating?” Mr. Lodge: “Great! Only this isn’t our marina!”

Divine Canine

Flip Quiips

Laugh Gaff (I think they mean “gaffe,” as in faux pas, since a gaff is hook used by fishermen or butchers or telephone linemen. “Gaff” also means “a metal spur for a gamecock.”

Short Retort

Gag Bag

Kite Delight

Rare Pair

Shout Bout

Slip Quip

Beach Daze

Wealth of Ignorance

Talk Balk

The Groove Tube (about riding an inner tube at the beach)

When Rhinos Fly (about a rhino-shaped parade balloon)

Hoop Scoop (about basketball)

Forest Feast

Weighty Problems

Dance Chance

Take My Son!…Please!

Tennis Nut

…and Pain in the Neck (about Archie having a pain in his neck, from watching girls)

You’ve got to admire “Beach Beseech.” That’s one of the best of these things ever.

Rock Gods #265: Adventures in Our Little Music Scene

It used to be cool for bands to turn their backs on the audience and face the wall while playing. Then bands stood BEHIND walls. Occasionally, acts would project images on the stage and play behind the screen, or even in an another room. Some such reclusive musicians  sampled and remixed so incessantly that attendance wasn’t even necessary.

On Thursday at the Bullfinch, an nth degree was reached. A certain on-the-way down ensemble of wall-gazers did its signature turn-around thing—so 1989—two songs into the set. When they turned back around, the entire audience had fled. All of us.

Such a feat was accomplished because there were fewer than 20 of us in the “crowd,” and we easily convinced each other.

Eventually we all returned—we’d paid for the tickets, after all, and more importantly we wanted drinks. But we kept up the ruse, turning OUR backs to the band until it slunk away at the end of the night.

A couple people cheated, watching the show on pocket mirrors. They informed us that we hadn’t missed anything. We’d noticed.

At the Bullfinch: Sky Mall, Free Copy and We’ll Replace It, head-in-the-clouds indie… Cover bands at Hamilton’s include More Cool Stuff and Special Offer—why doesn’t THIS club have a band called Free Copy?! It’d be truth in advertising…. D’ollaire’s presents an evening with No! No! Hair!—all five songs of it…

Scribblers Jiggled

Sorry not to have blogged here in weeks. The irony of journals is that when truly interesting things happen your life, you often don’t have time to write them down. I’ll try to catch up.

Some recent events have already impacted on this page. The New Haven Advocate, for whom I worked full-time for 17 years and for whom I’ve freelanced for nearly four, has asked me to post articles to the website on a regular basis. This means CD and book reviews and New Haven community commentary, all things I’ve relegated to this site lately.

The Daily Nutmeg remains a steady gig, and immensely rewarding. It reconnects me with the ins and outs of New Haven culture, and has found a loyal and encouraging readership. If you do not already subscribe to its free daily email, please do.

My New Haven Theater Jerk site will continue. It has a life of its own. I’ve justed posted a dozen or so reviews and such from the Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

I’ve also been meaning to take up the kind offers of a couple of other New Haven-centric sites to write for them.

I’ll try to provide links here to articles and reviews by me that end up elsewhere.

Elsewhere in my busy existence, I was elected Ward 2 co-chair of the New Haven Democratic Town Committee. I don’t consider myself an aggressively social person, but the campaign led me to meet literally hundreds of people. I now travel not only in New Haven arts and media circles but the political and Dwight-Edgewood neighborhood ones as well. I am wearing out shoes at a frantic pace. has been a great release for me (my tombstone is likely to say “Happiest When Writing”–after family, it’s my greatest spiritual fulfillment). I’m not giving it up. I’ll simply switch to discussing topics I don’t have a steady outlet for. That means Archie comics, silent movies, comic strips, ukuleles and cooking, for starters. I also want to keep doing Rock Gods and Diary of a College Chum until I get them right.

I prefer to blog on Scribblers in chunks of several disparate items at a time. That habit is one I choose not to break. I realize that in the new media, readers simply hone in on what they need and overlook the rest. Those of us who’ve spent lifetimes learning how to balance the contents of a periodical have no purpose anymore. Yet, personally, I dig the variety and the discipline of not posting until all my items are in a row. I’ll try to do it as often as possible, (re)starting today. See you at

The Archie Essays #1

I never met Josie DeCarlo, who died last month, and that’s probably because I don’t live in Scarsdale and don’t attend many comic book conventions. She’s a legend in the Archie comics world. She was the inspiration for the Josie of She’s Josie, the down-to-earth teen-frolic comic book which morphed into the international action-adventure TV cartoon series. Further televised exploits of the Pussycats took place in outer space. (The comic book got weirder, too—the Pussycats’ nemesis Alexandra Cabot, who wants to take over the group and rename it Alexandra and Her Cool Time Cats, gained Sabrina-esque magical powers.)

The obituaries which have been flitting about the web don’t generally mention (here’s one that does) that it was a dispute over the rights to the Josie character which led to a split between Dan DeCarlo and his longtime employers at Archie comics in 2000. The artist sought a stake in the Josie & the Pussycats movie (directed by Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan, and featuring Rachael Leigh Cook as Josie) and took the Archie company to court, where it was ruled that DeCarlo had signed away the rights to Josie under the conditions of his freelance contract.

In an interview conducted by Mike Curtis, published in Comics Journal #229, Dan DeCarlo recounts the origins of Josie the comic character, which he first intended as the star of a newspaper comic strip:

It must have been about ’56. And then one day Josie came in with—you’re probably familiar with this story—with that real bouffant hairdo and a little black ribbon in her hair… She was cute as hell. She was beautiful.

Curtis: She’s beautiful now.

DeCarlo: Yeah. Even now. You can imagine how beautiful she was. She looked terrific. So I drew the hairstyle, exaggerated it a bit to make it more readily identifiable. And I thought since I’m taking it from Josie I’m going to call the strip Josie.

Later in the interview, Dan DeCarlo divulges a detail that expands on an anecdote which is in a lot of the Josie DeCarlo obits.

Curtis: Now you told me before you had a photograph to base [the Pussycats] costume on, one with the real Josie wearing it.

DeCarlo: Yeah. Yeah. I designed that outfit for Josie maybe in 1963, at a house party. We were having a costume party. I designed the outfit, and Josie had a friend who was a great dressmaker and made the costume later used in Jose and the Pussycats. Later on we used it—we have photographs of that. And even later we went on a cruise and she used that as a costume then for a costume party they threw on the cruise. And you’d be surprised all of the girls, all the pretty girls all lined up in bunny costumes with the ears and the fluffy tail in the back and Josie in the middle with the Pussycat costume.

Josie and the Pussycats continue to be active members of the Archie universe. The characters were redone in a manga style a few years ago. They’ve recently shared a few storylines with fellow teen pop stars The Archies, engaging in a good-natured Battle of the Bands and sparking a romance between Archie and Pussycats bassist Valerie. They also cameoed as zombies in this year’s Archie Meets Kiss miniseries. The Archie/Valerie relationship will be further explored in the forthcoming Archie Marries Valerie series, an offshoot of the young-adult Archie Marries… and Life With Archie Magazine continuum.

Dan DeCarlo died in 2001. He’d been ostracized from Archie and had found work at other comics companies, notably Bongo (which publishes the Simpsons titles). During the legal squabbles, the lack of DeCarlo-drawn stories in Archie Digests and other reprint titles was noticeable. Whatever indignation remained in the air seemed to cease ages ago, at least in the public sphere.

In any case, whoever made the most money from the idea of modeling Josie on Josie DeCarlo, she was by all accounts a charming woman, loyal friend and good sport. May she rest in peace, and may the Pussycats continue to prosper in her honor.

Rock Gods #264: Adventures in Our Little Music Scene

Rom Yulis, the tech warrior and Turkish refugee whose pseudonymous band ruled the hardcore scene in town until he ran out of basements to trash, has resurfaced in a most unlikely place: the gay dance scene. A friend was in the city the other day and spotted his old grade-school chum Rom in his new guise of Queerinus, host of a hot dance night at one of those clubs with a hell-invoking name. When not lip-synching and party-planning, Rom/Queerinus is keeping his live chops intact with the “underground underwear awareness” quartet Queerinus and the Sabine Spears. (At least we think that’s a band).

Rom, who was virtually run out of town for his bad-boy behavior in high school, has found himself, calmed down, cleaned up and (his word) “ascended” to a new realm of entertainment for him. “I don’t hit guys anymore,” quoth Queerinus. “I hit on ‘em instead.” We’ve alerted local clubdom to the ex-Rom’s, ahem, availability. As for a Rom-the-band reunion, let’s not go overboard, OK? Their last incendiary show nearly forced a change in local zoning regulations.

At the Bullfinch: Lizzy Min and Frankie Sin, pathetic parodies… At Hamilton’s: Step and Take a Bow, pathetic covers… At D’ollaire’s: Pathetic prentense…