Tag Archives: Voices to hear

My Comics 2016 (so far)


My last post made me realize that I’ve been pretty bad about updating what new books I have out and what’s coming out.  So I figured I’d take a moment to let everyone know what is out so far this year.

Diebold Color

Ayla Speaker for the Dead #1

For What It’s Worth (writing on writing)

Joe Buskin

1: short comic book stories

2: short prose stories

A History of Voodoo

Looking back I can think not so bad for one year so far.  And the year’s not over with yet.  I have a few books upcoming and a few that might have to wait for the start of next year, just for finance’s sake.

Boxie: at the printer right now and will be in my hands on Oct. 7.

The Making of a Comic Book: I’m thinking this will be out this year.  It’s going to be in the same format as For What It’s Worth.  Basically it recounts how we created Ayla from start to finish.  I thought it might be helpful for some to see how a comic book was created.  I’m about half done with it and once it’s finished I think I’ll be able to swing the cost of publishing it this year.

Voices to hear: The Interviews:  Done, but probably won’t be out till the start of next year.  This is the biggest thing I’ve done so far.  At least a hundred pages, maybe a bit more.  Interviews with musicians from my music site Voices to hear.

Lucy: a children’s story told in comic book format.  Probably next year, I’m still working on this one and don’t have an artist for it yet either.

My Own Second Line (an Enoch Miller mystery):  this one is going to be a prose story, but I’m going to put it out in a comic book format.  I’m not sure how big it will be, but I’m thinking around 36 to 48 pages.  I’ve started it and am really enjoying writing it.  It’s bringing together a lot of ideas and half started stories I’ve been trying to start and finish over the years.  Hopefully this won’t go on that pile of half finished stuff, I figure if I talk about it here it’ll make me want to keep working on it.  But I really have a feel for it now.

Lizards The Complete Collection:  This is going to collect all my Lizards stories from Critters plus the one issue special that Caliber published.  This will be close to a 100 pages.  It will appear sometime next year.

Ayla Speaker of the Dead #2:  We’re already working on this so it will be out sometime next year.  I’m hoping for spring so I’ll have it for the summer convention season.

Boxie #2: Again we’ve started on it and I’m pretty confident we’ll have it out in the first few months of next year.

The Almighty Project #1:  I was hoping that I’d have the first issue of this one out this year, but problems pushed it off the rails and we definitely won’t be out until 2017.  I’m super excited about the new artist and think this is going to be really good.  I’m hoping that like the second issue of Ayla we can have this out the first half of next year.

And that’s all I’m going to list right now.  There are other projects with other artists, but none that I feel confident enough about announcing or putting a deadline to.  And as always I’ll be thinking of new things and adding them into the mix as I go.

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Voices to hear: Theresa Andersson


Another Simply Six interview with Theresa Andersson.  I love her music and her shows are always very entertaining.

1. For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?

I think I’ve always known that I wanted music to play a major role in my life. At the age of 7 one of my friends entered a talent contest and I felt deeply jealous because I didn’t know about it and had to wait another year to sign up.

2. When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?

Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, Air, Aphex Twins and Wildbirds and Peacedrums at the moment.

3. What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?

My most recent record “Hummingbird, Go!” really feels like an artistic arrival for me.

4. Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?

Well I think music can have a theraputic and inspiring quality. We all listen to music in a different way, so I can only speak for myself. I cannot imagine a world without music. I do like movies that are quiet though ( must be my Strindberg influence).
I once bought an iPod because of the song in the commercial…..

5. How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?

If by technology you mean the Internet I say it’s been fantastic! Sites such as YouTube makes it possible for the independent artist to showcase her stuff without first bring judged by a small panel. It let’s the people decide. And THAT is a beautiful thing.

6. Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?

A comfortable yet stylish shoe made out of high quality leather. I would be made for walking. I would be hugging the foot of my bearer and supporting her weight putting a spring in her step.
My color would be chocolate.


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Voices to hear: Interview with Brian Stoltz


brian stotlz

This interview originally ran on the site Voices to hear.
Brian Stoltz is a singer/songerwriter from New Orleans. He has worked with such artists as Bob Dyaln, Neville Brothers, Dr. John, the Meters and Aaron Neville. He has released three solo albums on his own.

1) For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was The Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?

It was 1963. I was eight years old when I first heard The Beatles sing “She Loves You” on WTIX-AM in New Orleans. I was launched into a transcendent, joyous state. I had entered a whole new paradigm. The world made more sense. Around the same time, the radio was also playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. That’s when music changed for me. Until then the radio was just something in the background. I listened to my mother’s records like the “Sheik Of Arabi” and some old Fats Domino records. I was attracted to music – interested in hearing new sounds – but hearing The Beatles for the first time was a powerful, emotional experience. By the time they appeared on Ed Sullivan’s Sunday night television show I was, in my mind, a musician. There was never a time in my life when I thought otherwise. Providence just handed it to me.
In September 1964, The Beatles came to New Orleans to play City Park Stadium. I begged my mother to take me, but she would have none of it. Looking back, she was probably in fear of getting crushed by the manic crowd, but being refused, I was very upset. Things calmed down when on the day of the show she came home from work with a copy of “Meet The Beatles” for me. I was ecstatic! This was my initiation into the art of album-listening. I was nine years old telling people that I was going to be a musician like The Beatles. They would laugh and say, “You are? What instrument do you play?” They would laugh even harder when I told them, “I don’t play anything – but I will”.
There have been many defining moments like when I first heard Hendrix – and when I got Dylan for the first time. But hearing The Beatles on the radio for the first time is the all time defining moment.

2)When you are not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?

Currently, I am listening to a few new things – The Raconteurs CD, “Consolers Of The Lonely”, Radiohead’s “Rainbows” and probably my favorite new release, Drive By Truckers’, “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark”. I saw them on one of the late night shows. They did a song called “Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife” – one of the most beautiful songs that I’ve heard in a long time. I bought the record and found that there are a lot of good songs on there. I am also listening to the latest Neil Young record, “Chrome Dreams 2”, a Chris Whitley “Anthology 1991 – 2001” and a Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions “Anthology 1961-1977”. I am still listening to Tom Waits’ “Orphans” and his “Real Gone” albums.
There are a lot of records that have held up over the years that I keep in rotation like the entire Dylan catalog, most of the Hendrix releases, including many bootlegs that I have, the Beatles catalog and an assortment of old local records like “Best of Lee Dorsey”, Earl King (The Imperial Years), Dr. John’s “Desitively Bonnaroo” and assorted Allen Toussaint.

3)What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?

There have been so many great moments like finding myself on The Rolling Stones’ “Tattoo You” tour with The Neville Brothers, after being out of work for six months recovering from carpel tunnel surgery. Another tour that I hold fond memories of was the first Amnesty International “Conspiracy Of Hope” tour. We were on the road with U2, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, The Police and a host of luminaries, raising awareness of the plight of political prisoners around the world.
But the memories that remain the clearest are of being in the studio with Bob Dylan, working on his “Oh Mercy” album (1989). The producer, Dan Lanois, set up the recording gear in an old house in uptown New Orleans. This was a quiet, but intense time. I was open to taking in as much as possible from the situation. Having the opportunity to watch Bob work was a real education and inspiration for me. There was no pomp or real pressure to perform – just a few guys sitting around in a tight circle playing real music. These more quiet moments are burned into my memory with more intensity than any of the hoopla that accompanies big tours.

4)Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How can music influence current events?

Everything affects every thing. I don’t feel that music by itself can change much, but the ideas in songs can make a difference. The thoughts we have and the things we say can make a difference. Every thing affects everything. We are living in an age where it is important for us to explore the things we have in common – the things that link us as human. It is time to forgive shortcomings and differences and face life in a fearless manner. Music can influence current events when artists speak fearlessly – and we are living in a time where we just can’t fake it. Songs can inspire individuals to change, but it is individuals who must bring about change.

5)How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?

Technology has certainly changed things – some for the better, some for the worse. I have mixed feelings about it all since I am a bit challenged in the technical department. I am still trying to master e-mail. But on the upside I think it is great that, with good quality recording gear becoming more affordable, songwriters and musicians can pull up a drum loop and instantly have a foundation to create over – or that they can lay down that 3 o’clock in the morning idea in an instant. In this regard, it saves time and money. Digital editing has also given us some time-saving features when you compare it to the old days when tape was spliced with a razor blade. But the question is “does all this technology really save us time in the long run?” No, because we now have too many options – and it is within boundaries and limitation that creativity occurs. Having so many options has watered down the creative process. There is a lot of the same crap out there.
There was a time when an artist had to perform because a mic was placed before him and his performance was simply captured. The engineer used his ear to find the sweet spot and then placed his mic. It was about capturing sounds in a way that did not require much manipulation after the fact. Of course there are still many artists and engineers who record this way in the digital world, but it seems to me that as the technological bar gets raised it takes more of an effort to make things sound good because of the range of options.
My recording engineer George Cureau and I recently experienced this when George installed Pro Tools in his studio. We were already recording with an automated digital console and a 24 track HD recorder. This system is functionally old school. It allows us to record in an analog fashion, but with the time saving feature of not having to rewind tape. The console has good EQ’s in it so he can tweak sounds fast. When we transfered songs to Pro Tools to mix we discovered that the overall sound was wider and more expanded, but with no punch – and it lacked depth. It takes more plug-ins to get the same effect that we used to get with a quick adjustment on the board. So in this regard it is not faster.
I find some of the music recorded today unlistenable. My ears get fatigued listening to some CD’s. A lot of new releases are just mastered too hot. Some CD’s, even at a moderate listening level, hurt to the point that I have to turn it off. I can rarely get through a whole CD. When I listen to older records on vinyl or on cassette, the music even at a loud level, just washes over me. It is easy to be absorbed by the music. When I listen to some CD’s I feel like I am being attacked and I have to listen at a lower level. Neil Young summed it up nicely when he said that “Digital could be weaponized.” The albums that I own on CD do not sound as musical as those same records I have on vinyl or cassette. And now we listen to mp3’s which sounds smaller to me than any of those other formats. So, it’s not really getting better in quality. And people don’t care. I recently read a story about a record that Trent Reznor did. Inspired by Radiohead’s decision to let fans pay what they want for the record, Trent decided to give away a lo-fi mp3 version of the music, and I believe charge full price for the good quality, full CD version. A lot of the freebies got downloaded, but he did not sell many quality versions. Sadly, I don’t think many people know the difference anymore.
In the download age, the CD stores have become extinct. I guess this is good for the environment, but I like to hold the record (or CD) in my hand. I like to read the credits. What about the artwork and the lyrics on the inside? Sure you can download that too, but it seems that people have lost interest in that, or they don’t have time for it any more. And we are back to the days of the single. A lot of people just buy the song they want to hear as opposed to the whole album. This could be good as it forces artists to be more discriminative and write better songs, but what about the album-oriented artist who’s in-between songs are just as important as the hits that stand out?
Also, recording analog on magnetic tape allows more mystery and magic to occur. Digital recording is cleaner, but there is such a thing as too clean. That’s why they have tape saturation plug-ins to dirty things up to sound like tape. It doesn’t really, and the whole concept doesn’t make much sense to me. With things so clean, it’s harder to get sounds to mesh. The colors do not blend like they used to. The lines are too clear-cut. Not just in the music world either. Video doesn’t look better than film. Digital photos do not look better than film. When you look at concert footage shot today, it has no mystery to it. Old performances shot on film have a mystique and magical quality that lacks in today’s digital world. But like everything else in our consumer-driven age, we are slaves to the drive to produce, with little regard for what lies in essence or for the future.

6)Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?

Well, if I had to be shoes, I’d like to be a pair of Prada boots (which I happen to own). They are not for everybody. Some may find them pretentious, but fact is, they are very comfortable, the older they get the better they look and they are very well made and will last me the rest of my life. A true classic!

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Comic Updates

Figured it was time to update some of the comics I’m working on.

Ayla cover logo 2

As you should all know by now, the first issue is out, which collects the first 24 pages of the webcomic.  We haven’t posted any new pages on the site yet, but we are working hard to get back up and online.  We should start posting the pages for the second issue before much longer.  The first ten pages are all in some sort of completion and I’m working on the script for the back half of the book.  This issue is going to be a little more violent than the previous issue and should lead into the third issue which should tie up the first storyline.

almighty project logo2

This one is on hold for the moment as I search for a new artist.  Hopefully I’ll be able to announce some good news soon and we can get this back on track.  I really love this story and want to see it complete.  The plan was to have the first issue out by now, but unfortunately the best laid plans and all that stuff….

Boxie cover

The newest comic.  This is coming along like a house on fire.  (mmmm, is that a good comparison?  It’s meant to be.)  The artist Tyler Carpenter already has ten pages complete and is almost to the point of having to wait for me to provide pages of script.  The first issue is a one and done story, detailing her origin.  We may actually publish this before we put it up on the web we’re making such good time with it.  This is going to be a really fun comic.

voodoo cover color


This one is written and I’m waiting on some of the art for it.  I just got two new pages today and they look great!  I’m down to about four or five pages and this one will be ready to be printed.  It’s got an amazing cover by Javi Laparra and I can’t wait to get it out there.

joe bushkin color cover with logo

This was just published last month and contains an old story by myself and artist Ron Wilber.  It’s first publication probably saw less than a dozen people picking it up and it was buried inside a huge 80 page anthology so I’m pretty confident that not many people have read this yet.  It’s a funny story that imagines what if Hunter Thompson retired, moved to Florida and became a Republican?  Well, not really Mr. Thompson, but a character in the same vein.

cover to 1cover to 2

These two comics should be out by the end of the month, they’re at the print now.  They are two different comic, just with one awesome cover by the always talented Javi Laparra again.  The first one collects my short comic book stories over the years and the second some prose stories and articles I’ve written.  And of course both have the introductions about when and where the stories were written.

vth final version

This is the first collection of interviews from Voices to hear and is pretty much finished, but I’m going to have to wait on printing it for a bit, until I have some more money to get it done.  This will done as a perfect bound book and clock in around a hundred pages.   So the price is going to be a little more than on the regular comic book printing.  It’s coming, just maybe be another month or two before I can get to it.

sparkles pinup

And for all the other work I’ve talked about and some I haven’t talked about, it’s all in one form or another, but right now nothing close enough for me to really announce.  There are some great comics if we get them done.  I’ve got the collection of all my old Lizards stories from Critters once I get them all together.  And probably a few things I’ve probably even forgot about.

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Voices to hear: The Interview Book

vth final version

This is the cover to the before mentioned interview book reprinting some of the Simply Six interviews.  Hopefully to be published shortly.

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Voices to hear


In 2007 I created a music site called Voices to hear.  The main purpose of the site was to talk about music that you didn’t hear on the radio or see written up in the music magazines.  I wanted to talk about come of my favorite artists and find others that someone else might like.  To be honest most of the writing was press releases and other pr writings from musicians.  I did some reviews and some features.  My favorite was a interview segment called “Simply Six”.  It featured the same six questions I gave to the artist.  I thought this was simple that it wouldn’t take a lot of time from the artist and they would be able to get it done easily.  Also I liked seeing the different answers from the different artists.  Some gave simple few word answers, others took pages to answer the questions.  I ended up doing hundreds of these interviews.  I’m collecting around a hundred of them in a book version that I should be publishing soon and hopefully I’ll follow up with a second volume after that.

The purpose of this post is that for the foreseeable future I’m putting the site on hiatus.  I have done a terrible job of updating it over the last year or so.  As I get back more into my comic book writing I find myself with little or no time to give to the music site.  I don’t want to say it’s dead, I’d love to go back to it one day, but for now it’s resting.

Well, not completely.  Whenever I want to talk about some music, review a new cd or concert, or maybe even get someone to answer a new Simply Six, I’ll be posting on this site, under the Voices to hear banner.  This way I can try to keep it going in some small fashion.

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Voices to hear


Many, many years ago I managed a music site called Voices to hear.  I say managed because a lot of the writing came from different pr companies that gave me material to run about their clients.  There was no conflict here because the site was designed to publicize  and highlight music and creators that most times you don’t see in the magazines and on the other bigger sites.  Nothing against the bigger guys, I love me some Springsteen, U2 and others, but there is a lot of good and great music being created and performed every night of the week that goes unnoticed by so many.  Thus the site was born.

One of my favorite features on the site was a feature I called Simply Six.  It was a short interview segment with six questions (hence the title, I knew I couldn’t get anything past any of you).  It was the same six questions that I put to the musicians.  Some replied with short answers and others wrote quite a lot of words in their answer.  Irregardless of the size of their reply I loved these interviews.  It was such a look into their minds and thoughts and was fascinating to compare with each other.

Since I’ve put the site on hiatus (never officially but it kind of crept into that state over time) I’ve tried to bring it back a couple times.  I’d slap a post on it and tell myself that was just the start of a rebirth.  And you know what happened, right?  It was months, if not a year before the next post.  So the site sat there, untouched pretty much.

Until now.  I’m hoping that this time I follow through with my promise and pick up where I left off and continue reporting on the best music you’ve never heard.  It’s  a worthwhile effort.

I’ve made a few changes.  The old site had grown so complicated.  My sidebar ran a mile down the screen it seemed.  If there was a widget or gadget that could be added I added it.  I wanted everything on it.  I’ve pretty much stripped it down to as basic as I can make it.   Sort of like this site.  When I started it I thought about the look I wanted and decided to go as minimal as possible.  That’s what I decided with the music site too.  I took the color background and made it white.  I dumped the majority of the sidebar, leaving only a few widgets there.  The focus on the site now is just the posts.  Writing about the music.  That should be enough.

I’ve started a new feature on the site: Music to Listen to.  This is going to be written by me and pretty much is going to be a review column.  It’s not going to be anything fancy or too sophisticated.   I only now what I like and will tell you why I like it.   One difference in this column than a lot is that it’s not going to just be whatever is current.  In today’s world you can find an old album as easily as you can the one that just came out yesterday.  This column is going to talk about what I’m listening to and what I’m enjoying, be it new stuff or something created fifty years ago.  I’ll try to provide a link to everything I talk about, so you have a chance to give it a try.  With the wide resources of the web today almost nothing is impossible to find.

Please take a few minutes to hop over there and give it read.  I would greatly appreciate it.  Leave a comment here or there.  If I know people are reading it that will definitely help in my desire to continue it.  Click here.


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How much Social Media is too much?


Another blog?  I can hear the clicking of escape now.  How many blogs, pages, sites, etc does one person need to have?

That’s a good question and unfortunately, one I’m not prepared or equipped to answer.   If I had to guess I could say you can always have one more, since that seems to be my method.  Whenever I think I’ve hit the ceiling of how many I need I seem to find a way to add at least one more site to the list of ever growing media that I keep chugging out.

Still in today’s world it’s hard to get your word, music, art or whatever creative endeavor you’re trying to get out in front of people.  It’s a proven fact that today’s generation, and more than likely the previous generation too, have a shorter attention span.   We can talk about a million and one reasons whey this is so, but it’s kind of like the snake eating its own tail.  The media flashes by our eyes so quick now that it’s hard to stop and focus on anything for any length of time.  Blink and you’ll miss it.  It being just about anything nowdays, from something important to that new link to a comic story or that artist with a great new song.

So what’s the answer?

Put yourself out there in as many different ways as possible.  If someone reads Facebook you want to be there so they can find you.  If they only scroll through Tumblr you don’t want to miss out someone finding you there.  I could go on and on here, but I think we all get the point.   You want to put yourself out there as much as possible, in hopes that if someone sees any of these sites, posts, etc. it will lead back to what you want them to see.

I’m adding this site as sort of a hub to everything I do.   I’ll post links to all my upcoming webcomics and when I update them.  I’ll post to any other writings I’m doing and link to them.  I’m also going to use this site to just write about whatever I feel like.  It might be comics, it might be writing, it might be music, it might be anything that I find worth talking about.

Right now the sites I have are my Facebook site here.   My Facebook writing site here.  My twitter feed here.  My Tumblr page here.  My shop here. My music site (which is seriously in need of updating) here.  And I’m not going to even list the old blogger blog I used to write in just about daily, but probably haven’t updated it in years.    So that’s quite a few sites right there.  I’ve actually pared down somewhat.  I had another comic site and a site that I was using to look for artists.  I also used to have a Facebook page for every comic I was working on, or was planning on working on, which was quickly growing.  One thing that helped me realize is that I don’t need to be creating sites for comics that haven’t come out yet.  Too often these things don’t work out and some of them might never come out.  Also it takes a lot of updating with that many sites.  When the comic series I’m working on at the moment come out (and I’m feeling pretty confident about a few of them) they will have their own website and I’ll be making posts there on days I’m not putting up pages, but when you add a Facebook page for the same site and want to contribute new material there.  Well, it all just becomes too much.  You can spend so much time updating your sites to publicize your work that you don’t have time to create the work itself.  So pages like this and the overall writing Facebook page are where I’ll try to steer readers to updated sites and talk about whatever is on my mind.

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