Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some emails I got from Dylan in 2004

These are emails I still had that Dylan sent me in 2004. Topics covered include publishing, comics, movies, music, health and mutual friends. I think the emails provide a nice, small glimpse of how wide ranging his interests could be and the way we tried to encourage each other to keep digging deeper. I’ve edited them very slightly, just fixing some obviously unintended spelling errors, removing a phone number and one negative trash-talking comment that I doubt Dylan would have wanted public. Sadly, I seem to have lost all our earlier correspondence, which would have dated back at least until 1996, when I moved away from San Francisco. I do have more emails from 2005/6, which I’ll try to post at a later date.
- Jeff LeVine

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Jeez- I've been meaning to write for a while but I'm doing too much shit as always. I'm sorry. Landry was up here for a week and a half too. It was fun. I miss that guy. We talk a lot but I love hanging out with old friends. I have a few good friends here but none that I've known for longer than 5 years.
I'm totally interested in publishing #2. I think, it is obvious, that I'm steering sprkplg in the direction of a comic book publisher and not a book one like TS or Highwater or those guys. I don't know if this is the smartest thing to do in today's market but I feel like it is the thing that makes the most sense to me and it feels genuine. I've still got a lot to learn about how to do this right though. It feels good to publish stuff like yours that I like though so that is what I'll continue with. I think the smaller format thing would work fine. I'm fine with that. Bigger is okay too. I think we could do it around x-mas. I'm thinking we could solicit it a couple months earlier for a December release? So that would mean having it on disk in like Sept/October to send in to Diamond. Then it would get printed in Dec. and sent to the stores in January? Would that work for you? We could even start earlier in August/Sept too.  Thanks for the tip off about the jpg too. I'm a slouch on the websites some times. I'm really into Paypal. I get a couple orders a week even now on the old stuff. It helps a bunch and the more I have up the more likely I am to sell the other stuff. I like it cause is a really easy way to track orders. Can't wait to see that new thing you do. I'll write back to the other email from my other address. Thanks for giving me a chance at #2.

Re: san diego / sparkplug Sunday, April 11, 2004
Yo Jeff- Welcome back. I hear from bak that you met him out there. He is a good cat.
I won't be at the table at SD this year but I will send stuff down and it will be a split table with Jesse Reklaw, Thien and Tom Neely. If you want to show up and push the book, I'll check with them but it should be cool. I can also promote it if you want. I'm really jazzed about publishing stuff this year but have NO energy to do shows so I may not go to any and just use the money to do books. I'll be going to stuff next year though.  I'll be at the Portland Zine thing and something up in Oly this year though. Thanks for the tip off on some movies on DVD on your site btw. All is dope. I'm back at work in a couple weeks. I'm doing well healthwise.
Let me know if you come up here. I'll be gone one week at the start of June. Take care.

Sunday, April 18, 2004
--- dylan williams <> wrote:
Hey, Thank you so much for the zine. GREAT stuff. Me and Ems both were ogling it on the way back from the PO box. Yeah, bak is funny, he pops up everywhere.
So, I just splurged and bought the 200 buck all region player on sale at HKflix at the moment. I loaded up on a ton of kung fu movies (my current re-fetish). I was looking at the new Zatoichi by Takeshi on this site: as recommended by somebody here: As you know, I'm sure, this is gonna be a BIG problem for me. SO much stuff I can now see. I'm having to go with the best of the best to begin with. I'm thinking of which Shaw Bros movies to see and I remembered you got a set.  I'm interested in Eighteen Diagram Pole Fighter and Heroes Two. Would you rate those two well. Also, I was gonna get that Mizoguchi doc from here: id-6926/ but it sold out. Is there a place you'd go to find it and other Mizoguchi movies. Also, Bresson? know what I'm like, where do you go?
I'm doing really well and go back to work in a few weeks. So it means I'll have more all region money...sadly.

Thanks again.

Monday, April 19, 2004
WOW! Thanks for all the info. It helps so much to know all that stuff is out there. 36th Chamber is said to be great so, that is at the top of my list and I'll find Come Drink with me. Thanks for the tip off about Bresson and Mizoguchi. Tonight I found this place, I'm in hog-heaven with this thing but I bet I'll burn out: the other Bengali directors are the ones I really can't believe they have.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Yeah, thanks man. It is nice to be free of the monster for a while. My condition is chronic so it may or may not come back. Either way, I'm just enjoying all I can. I haven't told everyone yet (you were on my list) cause I've sort of been in shock about it.
I'm back on work fulltime and publishing is all go for the time being SO...hurry up and finish...heh. Nah, take your time and do what you want. I can't wait to see it either way. I'm knee deep in Kung Fu movies these days thanks to that all region player, though I did just get the two new Bresson DVDs. Life is good, but there is still never enough time.
Take care.

Friday, July 2, 2004
Hey Jeff- Man, I'm back at work and back up to my kneck in shit. Okay, I think it is awesome that Balzac sparked the interest. Only you...or maybe Austin...and me.
Okay, so, it turns out that Longbox was dead until about a week before you wrote when I  agreed to work on it with Zack Soto. He and I are sort of co-editing it. We would LOVE to have you involved (of course DAC was my inspiration..duh) and basically doing whatever you'd like. It will have a sort of nerdy bent. The thing we REALLY want to run are reviews. The first issue is packed up with everything else. The second issue is a special issue (on Chinese comics...if you are interested...mostly the Jademan stuff) but after that it is wide open.  Let me know what you think? And if you have other ideas. I'm sort of intent on well written articles and so on. I've been kind of picky about the other people involved. Trying to make something about comics that I would actually read. As I barely read the Journal anymore and much prefer Alter Ego (though it is REALLY fannish...). I want a mix of old and new.
Thanks...okay...have to run...ugh. No time...must slow down.

Monday, July 19, 2004
Hey Jeff- I'm sorry to take so long to thank you for the Mizoguchi list. It seems like I never have enough time to do what I want and TOO much time to post stupid shit on the internet. We would love to print anything you feel like writing about comics. After all, honestly DAC is the only real model I've ever had for a good magazine about comics (no BS). Our first issue aims to be done in August to come out at SPX but that may or may not happen. Second issue is going to be all about Chinese comics so if you a have any inclination to learn or write about any Chinese comics (I'm doing it to learn more, the only reason I write about stuff these days...a big excuse to learn shit)....oops I read your email below and I see I already told you that. I think we should expand it to include some of the other cool Chinese stuff.
So, I've been meaning to say, thanks for the push on the all region player. It is the best investment I've made in a while. Seeing those classic Shaw Bros movies and new Japanese, Korean, Indian, European stuff (and classics) is WONDERFUL. I always felt like I'd run out of movies to watch some day, now I know that will never happen. I've had to cut back on buying stuff (spent too much already) and am using  that Nicheflix a bunch. But, thanks for the Mizoguchi thing cause I kinda think I'm gonna get it. Have you ever tried to return stuff to Yesasia?  They have another CRAZY movie called Chasing Girls that I'm most likely gonna get too. Kevin H. is big into Chekov. I like him but am not overly into what I've read (just short stories and seen the play Cherry Orchard). I'm reading American Tragedy right now by Dreiser and LOVING it. Dude is like the source of so much of my favorite kind of writing. The best of turn of the century Journalism added to 19th century writers like Crane. POIFECT for me. I keep on getting interrupted with other books (research for comics and stuff) and things like that wonderful new 8ball. When I get annoyed by things like that Graphic Novel Manifesto I have only to prop open an issue of 8ball and feel my love for comics return. Thank God.
Take care. Let me know if you need anything for SD. If you feel like going? I've sent some extras of the first issue with Jesse. I can't wait to do number two.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Hey, sorry I've been flakey. My mom was in the hospital this time. All is good now though and she seems to be out of harms way. I will be at SPX and I'll bring enough WD to hook Mr. Pittsburgh up. Any word on #2? Look forward to it is all, no rush. But as your publisher "Get it done now!"
Hey, I've been so all region crazy lately. I went to the bay and Ben took me to some stores in Chinatown that ROCK, on the main strip there. I found one movie in this Cathay Classics series and am now getting more:§ion=videos& It was a VCD and seemed fine.
I've been loading up on the Shaw Bros movies at Yesasia too, but did manage to find (thanks to Ben) a couple for even cheaper at one store. I figure those Cathay non-kungfu films sort of even out, and I bought the Murnau collection. Have you seen Sunrise? Wasn't in the collection but I rented it through Nicheflix. That was one hell of a movie. I also got Napoleon but turned it off after the Snowball scene. I just didn't care for all that camera work. Murnau does it but it seems more tasteful to me somehow, rather than just being flash. Speaking of that I got a Kino Harold Lloyd collection that is awesome. Really great camera work too. I didn't even realize.
Okay, take care.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Hey Jeff! I'm super happy to see that cover! It looks great. I was looking at all the comics you have for sale on the site and thinking how much I enjoy publishing your stuff. Hey, can I sell any of those at the SPX show? I could buy like 10 of each just for the show or something? If you are interested. If not, no worries. I could use a PDF of the cover to make a promo or something but we can do that after SPX (in a couple weeks). I figure on having both your book and Eric's new book premier at APE this year. New Reporter will be out for SPX, I'm hoping.
I like the cover. I have an idea, just an idea, see what you think: what if the text were all in a row at the bottom and smaller, like a quarter of an inch to a half an inch tall. I just like the art enough to want to really see it. I'm totally cool with it the way it is though, the colors are GREAT, like last time too. I can't wait to do it. I will give you UPC code. What are the specs for the book: page count, size (smaller still right?), grey tones?, same stock cover/guts?, made out of gold?
Super into girl singers from the sixties these days, saw a show on John Lennon's Juke Box that blew me away.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Hey Jeff- Sorry I've been kind of rude, I've just had a ton of crap going on. Writing, drawing, publishing and more. I'm excited to hear you are coming up and would love to hang out. Saturday is always good for me. Sunday and Monday are a little harder. Ah, but I read your email and it sounds like those are the days. I think lunch on Monday would be cool or something before 3pm on Sunday.
I did get your books and sold them at the show. Thanks so much. There are a few left which I may sell at future shows if that is okay. I also got your email about the site. That was just a temp thing that quickly came down after the show. Hopefully future ones won't be so cut and paste as that one.
So, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing you. Give me a call. Friday nights I'm usually around no problem.  Other nights are sort of irregular.

Thursday, December 9, 2004
Hi- Just checking in. I just realized that I never heard from you when you came up here AND I forgot when it was. I'm sorry. Ben Catmull may move down your way so I may come down there some time. I still have fond memories of the movies down there. I think I had more fun on that trip with Frank to LA than I did living in LA. Although I'm sure it wasn't fun at the time (nothing ever is...heh). So anyway, I have a new comic out which I should be send your way one of these days. I've been watching movies, going to work, drawing and more. Life is at its most sublime when it is boring and mundane (for me). Just saw the Swimmer thanks to Sammy's plug, think you'd like that one, I didn't even know of it. All my cancer shit seems to be in remission so I'm cool on that front too.
I hope everything is cool down there. How are you doing? How is the art? Are you still interested in doing something for APE? I will have 1 table there, at which you are welcome. It will be a Sparkplug only table with me manning the helm. Got more plans for world domination in 05.
Take care

Wednesday, December 29, 2004
No problem. I'm sure you mentioned this earlier but it is 6x9 too, right? Less heavy paper if I can? I'm thinking that bar code idea is a waste on non-books, so if you think so too we can leave it off. Let me know if I'm right about the other info and I can ask for the quote. I'm sort of thinking around 4 bucks but we'll see. 
I got Yakuza Papers this week but have no time to watch it. My mom got me the Marx bros set with all the good ones (most of the good ones). I watched Animal Crackers (the school one..I think that is the name). I hadn't seen that in years and was so SO happy to watch it. I also finally watched Gertrude (the Dreyer movie) which was a  movie made for me. I loved it. With all the horror in the world I'm trying to remember to enjoy any little moment I can.
Take care, happy Holidays and all that shit...
Oh yeah, the piece about the Egyptian theater on Black Rose Mansion made me want to come down there BIG time.


  1. I like reading all the movie stuff he was watching then. I think that by the time he was 25, he had seen every Film Noir, French New Wave, American 1970's auteurs, Satyajit Ray, and Kurasawa films that was then available on vhs or out on the rep movie house circuit. That list suits most film buffs for a lifetime!

  2. i remember he came down not long after this and we went to the monte hellman retrospective at the egyptian and went used bookstore shopping and stuff... good times.

  3. re: Longbox - I don't know the story, but as far as I know nothing ever came out. I'd assume a lot of that material is somewhere... if Zack is reading this maybe he knows more.