My buddy Mike knows I love smut books, and I especially love 'em when they're wrapped in covers illustrated by Gene Bilbrew. Here are two minty favorites. Thanks again, Mike! Valery delivered the Napoleon (as a pre-graduation gift) and I gifted the psychedelic terrorist to myself as a reward for a job well done!
Mike also came through with this recent Lee Hazlewood collection and, again, I am extremely grateful—for both an awesome record, and the fact that I didn't have to endure something as embarrassing as Record Store Day. Australia's adoptive son, Damo, also supplied some tunes via an original copy of the Easybeats' classic Volume 3 LP. Thanks, Damian!
Damian further commemorated my passing into adulthood by providing me with an original Laffun Head novelty gift—the same monstrosity responsible for Daniel Clowes' legendary Laffin' Spittin' Man. I'd stumbled across several of these nasty buggers over the years, but there was always something off about 'em—like they were either clowns or resembled Slavic old ladies. However, this'un's the real deal, sprung straight off of the page and manifested in a green corduroy cap (of course!).
The resemblance is chilling!
No less chilling: the thought of this object warranting a televised commercial!
Lastly, vikings are typically Valery's collecting area, but Jacob Jensen's Vikings of Denmark became a painful, recurring reminder after I stupidly let a cheap set slip through my fingers a few years ago. Consequently, it meant a great deal when Valery surprised me with this magnificent trio—which are in perfect shape, right down to their original box! Thank you so much, you truly are the best!
It's so nice to finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief while being reminded of those who weathered the storm alongside me: my friends, family and, most of all, my incredible wife.