Monday, December 20, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
city of craft day 2 (24)b
(photo courtesy of City of Craft)

Last night the Company came together after wrapping up at another successful City of Craft. The holiday show remains one of the misanthropes' absolute favourites, and not just because it's strolling distance from the Company Bunker.

The Misanthrope Specialty Co. officially takes its hat off the organizers for an impeccably curated and tightly run ship, full of fantastic vendors, imaginative interactive installations, and interesting satellite exhibitions.

Kudos to the organizers . The Company will surely try to shove it's way into the fold again next year.

* * *

Montreal shoot
Arthur on location in Montréal (photo by Heywood)

With all foreseeable art shows and craft fairs done with until the spring thaw, members are proposing and cooking up all manner of new projects for the new year.

For starters, the question of what to do with all the left over footage from Screaming Hell Hogs Eat Shit and Die is finally being addressed. It's beginning to look asthough some new (or partially new) film projects may soon be in the works.

* * *

Dymo advertisment
1965 Dymo magazine advert

It's been a very long time since the Company last held any sort of contest or giveaway. It is one of the Company's New Year's resolutions to remedy this fact very shortly. Honest.

Readers will have to wait for the specific details, but one thing is for certain: it will involve labelling tape. Labelling tape of the woodgrain variety.

* * *

nepenthe ventrata
photo of the museum's nepenthe ventrata by Anahí Coria

Though the Museum of Natural & Artificial History and offices at Misanthrope Specialty Co. Headquarters will remain open through the holidays, familial obligations have whisked most of the misanthropes away for the next couple of weeks. The Company's Sunday sessions have therefore been suspended until January 9, 2011.

See you next year.

* * *

Number of projects initiated: 20
Number completed: 14
Number inducted: 8
Carried over to next week: 2

* * *

Friday, December 17, 2010


by Rufus Spaulding, Cub Reporter:
(poster pile photo courtesy of City of Craft )

Hello Toronto. Tomorrow is the big day. City of Craft. Bring both your naughty and nice Christmas lists over to the Theatre Centre and come find us downstairs.

City of Craft map
( map by Caitlyn )

* * *

And don't forget Revrend Aitor's Unflattering Portraits, upstairs, on the Midway.

unflattering amy
( portrait and photo by Reverend Aitor )

He's fixing to retire the project sooner than later, so you're fools if you don't sign up while you have the chance. His portraits are in the American Visionary Art Museum's permanent collection, for Pete's sake. He's a big shot outsider artiste now.

* * *

Friday, December 10, 2010


by Tallulah Lastname, Company Clerk:

Step right up, Toronto! Hurry, hurry, hurry! Suck in your guts and jut out your weak chins: the Unflattering Portrait Project is coming to City of Craft.
Unflattering Logo 2
That's right, folks! The Reverend Aitor making himself available to the public for the first time since his triumphant return from Baltimore, where his portraits now hang in a place of honour, at the American Visionary Art Museum. Step right up!

Another satisfied customer!

Are you brave enough? Are you sufficiently strong of self-esteem to face his jaundiced eye and squeaky markers? Come and test your metal at the City of Craft Midway, where the good Reverend will be scribbling ugly likenesses all week-end, December 18 and 19. And unlike his unattainably priced mail-order portraits, all portraits at City of Craft will be done by donation! That's right, folks! Pay what you can! Or what you think it's worth! Hurry, hurry hurry!
City of Craft 2010 flyer
Don't let this opportunity get away, ladies and gentlemen! Aitor has been drawing fewer and fewer of these lately, and has been mumbling threats about retiring altogether! Spaces are limited, so hurry, hurry hurry! Sign up today!

To book your appointment:
simply click on the comments section at the end of this posting and claim any hour that isn't already claimed. Sign ups are available until midnight, December 17.


Saturday December 18

1:30 pm - Available
2:30 pm - Available

Portraits take about thirty to fifty minutes per person. Couples, oddly enough, count as two persons, so book two slots. And punctuality is always in fashion. Patrons arriving more than eight minutes late for their scheduled sitting will not be served.

Sunday December 19

2: 30 pm - Dayle & Nabil
3:30pm - Dayle & Nabil

Ever wondered what you'd look like if you weren't quite so gorgeous? Now's you chance to find out!

Unflattering Martin G.

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Get your red hot Unflattering Portraits! One of a kind, custom made pieces of art created before your very eyes! Hurry hurry hurry!

* * *

Monday, December 6, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
working late
Putting it all together (photo by Rufus Spaulding)

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and quickly gaining momentum as Christmas draws ever nearer on the advent calendar. Consequently, the misanthropes are working overtime, filling orders and cranking out inventory for the various retailers who stock Company-made goods, seasonal events, and sundry commissioned Christmas gifts.

Out of this chaos of sawdust, glitter and paper trimmings emerge some brand new goodies to stuff in the stockings of your lovedones.

"Gambling Christ" prints
"Gambling Christ is in Hot Water With His Bookies" a new offering from the company

The original "Gambling Christ Lands in Hot Water With His Bookies and Needs Your Help" emerged last March, as part of a series of drawings and painting about Jesus falling on hard times. Now, in an effort to help put the Gambling Christ back in Gambling Christmas, it has been resurrected in the form of an open edition 17.8 x 12.7 cm ( or 7x5" to our friends South of the border) archival print.

"Gambling Christ..." framed
The original "Gambling Christ..." (photographed by Reverend Aitor)

As is the case with most M.S.Co. prints, "Gambling Christ" is reproduced in small, slighly varied batches, using the Company's own secret xerographic process. It will be available at City of Craft, or via the Company's Etsy store.

* * *

Meanwhile, over at Hindquarters, the Company's Montréal contingent is finally making good on and old resolution.

Québec Classique
(photo by Heywood McGillicuddy)

With one foot in Québec, the Misanthrope Specialty Co. does a fair bit of business in Lower Canada, yet has been fairly lax in producing goods geared towards the significantly francophone crowd which frequents events like Puces Pop and Expozine. And while the Company fares just fine in French Canada with it's English cards and epistolary projects, it has long been argued within the ranks that further steps towards bilingualism are in order

French cards
Maintenant: en français!

It is in this spirit that the misanthropes are proud to release a new line of message cards, both sweet and obscene, en français. The first batch of which is being rushed over to Maison Kasini in time for their Mille Cadeaux event.


Saturday, December 18th
372 Ste Catherine Ouest
3PM to 5PM

* * *

Speaking of resolutions, many of the Company members are calling for some changes to protocol, as there is a growing dissatisfaction with weekly drawing sessions being increasingly infringed upon by long nights of assembling inventory.

Number of projects initiated: 6
Number completed: 2
Number inducted: 1
Carried over to next week: 0

The numbers in this week's productivity report say it all. The making of new original work always suffers in the congregations leading up to ant given art fair, craft fair, or busy retail season. No doubt the subject will be hotly debated at next week's meeting.

* * *

Sunday, November 28, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
venus fly trap buttons
(photo by Arthur Corey)

Another instalment of the Company's subscription service is packaged up and ready to go. This month's mail-out includes a little something different: venus fly trap buttons. The Museum of Natural & Artificial History's Head Curator and Chief Botanist have been collecting and pressing the dead leaves from the carnivorous plant exhibit for some time, waiting for just the right project to come along.

Now, with the help of super-star buttoneer Sweetie Pie Press, the Company has begun production on a series of 1" buttons for the Museum's gift shop; many still contain the remains of the insects that met their untimely demise in the leafy jaws of the voracious dionea muscipula.

venus fly trap
Audrey 3, the Company's pet fly trap (photo by Anahí Coria)

Naturally, these buttons are available in only limited supply. The traps are harvested only after the leaf dies, so as not to cause the plant harm.

* * *

dionea vs. caterpillar

Incidentally, many of the plans in the Company's carnivorous collection, including the fly traps, pitcher plants, and some of the sundews are soon to enter their winter dormancy. Visitors to the museum have two weeks to see the current botanical exhibit before the the hibernating plants are hidden away until the springtime. Plant feedings can be seen Saturdays at 3pm.

* * * *

Number of projects initiated: 29
Number completed: 19
Number inducted: 5
Carried over to next week: 0

* * * *

Thursday, November 25, 2010


by Tallulah Lastname, Company Clerk:
(promotional artwork courtesy of Craftland)

Just a head's up to our readers in New England: the Providence powerhouse that is Craftland Show kicks off it's month-long holiday shopping extravaganza tomorrow. The show is packed to the brim with thousands of hand made gifts by nearly 200 artists -- offering everything from screen printed t-shirts handmade clothing, one of a kind craft items to fine art pieces. Surely, there is something for just about everyone on your Christmas list.

message card group
M.S.Co. message cards, still warm from the dryer

Naturally, the Misanthrope Specialty Co. has its fingers in the pie. Look for select items from the Company's line of cards and ephemera, including the ever-popular messages on woodgrain.

Craftland Show opening 2009
(photo courtesy of Craftland)

November 26 to December 31
Open 10 am to 7pm, 7 days a week
235 Westminster Street

* * *

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
"A Sure Thing"
"A Sure Thing" by the men and women of the Company

It seems the executive branch's goodwill mission to Germany has eventuated in the Company seeping it's way into the Wunderkabinet roster. The Berlin exhibition, held in La Basellerie, houses a rotating collection of handmade curiosities from parts near and very far.

The show's third incarnation is being curated by drone metal superstar, Leah Buckareff, and slated to open early in the new year. It will feature selected works from the Misanthrope Specialty Company's matchbook project.

What wonders lie hidden in the many drawers and compartments of the Wunderkabinet?
(photo courtesy of Leah Buckareff)

The matchbook project began in 2001, after Company members Rufus and Cotton converted to freeganism in an attempt to curb their rampant nicotine abuse. While the discarded and half-smoked cigarettes the desperate duo collected were smokes almost as soon as they were acquired, it wasn't long before they'd amassed a surplus of matchbooks and disposable lighters. The overstock of garbage pickings found its way into Headquarters and the Bunker. It was only a matter of time before someone at a Company meeting picked one up and began doodling.

matchbook collection
(photo by Arthur Corey)

Keep your internets tuned to this weblog for more details about the Berlin exhibition as details arise.

* * * *

Number of projects initiated: 21
Number completed: 18
Number inducted: 6
Carried over to next week: 1

* * * *

Sunday, November 14, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
The Evolution of "Punch Fight"
The progression of one of this week's inductees, initiated at a previous meeting completed today

One can never be too certain what path a drawing will follow as it's passed around the room to be elaborated upon by the rest of the Company. Sometimes, a clear theme or narrative arises. Sometimes early on, sometimes part way through or not until the end. Influences can seep in from any number or sources and be subtle or overt, deliberate or incidental. Therein lies much of the fun in these Sunday collaborations.

"Puch Fight!"Align Center
"Punch Fight!" the finished product by the Misanthrope Specialty Co.

The nature of most of this week's drawings suddenly veered off in the same direction halfway through the evening, after one of the misanthropes mentioned their ancestral pig farm during the course of idle banter.

That her Nagy had raised pigs in Hungary wasn't news the Company; the exciting bit of information which had eluded the rest of the members in all these years of working together came in an offhand remark about the quality of their wool. It turns out these were no ordinary swine. They were Mangalica -- a breed of pig which like, like sheep, are covered in wool.

(The woolly pigs in action)

Few of the misanthropes had ever heard of such a wondrous animal and the revelation immediately coloured the rest of the evening's illustrations. Indeed, of the twenty-three illustrations completed tonight, no fewer than eighteen involved woolly pigs, fur-bearing trout and other novelty animals.

"Fig.17-b: A Bat Fucking A Pig"
"Fig.17-b: A Bat Fucking a Pig" by the men and women of the Misanthrope Specialty Co.

It's a wonder this juicy nugget of trivia information hadn't come up before; particularly during the pig-obsessed period following the swine flu epidemic of 2009.

* * *

City of Craft 2010 flyer
(City of Craft flyer design by Trip Print Press)

In other news, City of Craft returns to the Theatre Centre for another week-end extravaganza of all things hand-made; just in time for Christmas. The two-day event boasts a bustling market, art installations, workshops and demos for the crafty types, and now an interactive midway, purveying all manner of services and entertainment for one and all.

city of craft 09 00136b
Meeting the shopping hordes at City of Craft 2009 (photo by Sweetie Pie Press)

This is, in the Company's collective opinion, Toronto's best holiday crafts and arts show, and the Misanthrope Specialty Co. is very pleased to announce it is once again getting in on the action. Doubly so this year: The Company will hocking it's array of cards, prints, and original illustration in the market while Reverend Aitor brings his Unflattering Portrait project to the midway fanfare.

City of Craft runs December 18 and 19 at the Theatre Centre. Stay tuned to this weblog for more details as they arise.

* * * *

Number of projects initiated: 29
Number completed: 23
Number inducted: 5
Carried over to next week: 2

* * * *

Sunday, October 24, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:

"Talking Trash Behind the Blood Ghost's Back"
"Talkin' Trash Behind Blood Ghost's Back" by the M.S.Co. Part of the new Clubhouse
maze wall (photo by Arthur Corey)

The Company is once again taking advantage of their absentee slumlord's chronic neglect and doing a little creative restructuring of the layout in the M.S.Co. Clubhouse. Plans include a permanent maze leading up to the gallery space, complete with all manner of traps and pitfalls.
All week, the misanthropes have been knocking down old walls and putting up new ones using scavenged, freecycled and generously donated building materials.

maze in progress
The Clubhouse maze, in progress (photo by Lydia Caulpepper)

Today, however, construction was put on hold for the Company's regularly scheduled Sunday conference. Still, a large portion of the drawing session was spent decorating the exposed drywall; the objective being to provide a little atmosphere for next week's exhibition.

* * *

Those of you regularly in attendance at Clubhouse events may have picked up on the trend of a new instrument appearing the Company Orchestra's arsenal with every exhibition. It turns out this upcoming show will be no exception.

piano typewriter 2
Voting on the name for this newfangled instrument remains deadlocked (photo by Heywood MacGillicuddy)

The Company's Chief Engineer and Musical Director surprised their colleagues with the unveiling of their latest development: A line of old typewriters modified into a variety of odd-sounding musical gimmicks.

Some are electrical, some accoustic. There are seven variations in total, though only two of the Orchestra members know how to play any of them thus far. And with Hallowe'en only one week away, it appears the misanthropes have their work cut out for them.

(music for unmodified typewriters)

* * *

repair pile
Typewriters in need of some Company love (photo by Reverend Aitor)

It should be noted that Company policy strictly opposes the wanton destruction of typewriters [article 289A-2002]. These particular instruments were made using parts from some of the irreparable machines the Company keeps on hand for spare parts.

* * * *


Number of projects initiated: 10
Number completed: 8

Number inducted: 4

Carried over to next week for completion: 4

* * * *

Sunday, October 17, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
Though Hallowe'en has yet to come and go, it is already time for the members of the M.S.Co. to begin preparations for the Christmas shopping frenzy.

Craftland logo
(promotional artwork courtesy of Craftland)

Among the motions passed at last week's meeting was the proposal to participate in the 9th annual Craftland pop-up department store. Consequently, most of this week's meeting was spent concocting an assortment of handmade goods to ship down to Providence, Rhode Island.

making cards
The Company busts out the embossing tape and sets to work on message cards (photo by Tallulah Lastname)

This will be the first time the Company will be peddling it's wares at Craftland. It's been whole-heartedly endorsed to the misanthropes by various friends over the years, so, after a bit of deliberating, the Company has finally decided to give it a go.

(photo courtesy of ann-dabney)

For those of you in the Providence area, Craftland runs November 26 through December 31. Stay tuned for further details as the date approaches.

* * *


Number of projects initiated: 8
Number completed: 5

Number inducted: 2

Carried over to next week for completion: 3

* * *

Saturday, October 9, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:
Baltimore - American Visionary Art Museum
The AVAM (photo courtesy of Judit Bosár)

Though the Company doesn't officially reunite until tomorrow's Sunday meeting, many of the misanthropes are down in Baltimore, showing their support for Reverend Aitor, at the opening of
the American Visionary Art Museum's new exhibition, What Make's Us Smile?

Opening of What Makes Us Smile? at the American Visionary Art Museum... Amazing
The Reverend wows them with his mubled ramblings about ugliness (photo courtesy of thefrontrowe)

The Company is very proud to announce that the good Reverend's Unflattering Portraits form part of the museum's 15th anniversary show, curated by Rebecca Hoffberger, Gary Panter, and Matt Groening.

BS  BS bz-groening-museum
Matt Groening loves his Unfalttering Portrait (photo courtesy of the Baltimore Examiner)

The AVAM describes its exhibition as "a playful celebration of human joy", wherein visitors can romp through a warren of mini-galleries to explore different key aspects of humour. There's even a room dedicated to fart jokes throughout human history. It's been brilliantly monikered the Toot Suite, and features a surprisingly comfortably bench upholstered with self-inflating whoopee cushions.

Thats right: SELF-INFLATING (photo by Reverend Aitor)

Among the other featured artists Aitor's portraits have the honour of rubbing elbows with are Pedro Bell, Tom Wilborn, John Waters, Chris Roberts-Antieau, Patty Kuzbida, Anado MacLauchlin, and the late John Callahan. What Makes Us Smile? runs until September 4th, 2011 -- so if you find yourself in the Baltimore area sometime in the next year, be sure to drop by the American Visionary Art Museum.

the PBS News Hour has something to say about the show

* * *

Groening and Panter

* * *

Sunday, September 5, 2010


by Erkuden Sakana, Company Secretary:

The misanthropes are all finally back in Toronto; just in time to watch the season change from summer to fall.

Home Sweet Home
Back in the safety of Headquarters (photo by Reverend Aitor)

Tonight's meeting was held in the familiar comforts of Headquarters for first time in moths. After so many Sunday meetings held in parking lots, noisy restaurants, illegal squats, other people's homes and an array of sleazy motels, the Company members can once again appreciate the comforts this designated haven of leisurely toil. There a plenty of chairs for everyone, full kitchen and bar, and smoking is permitted.

(nametag and photo by Tallulah Lastname)

Ofcourse, today also marked the last Misanthrope Specialty Co. meeting before a belated, but much needed hiatus. After months of touring together, it is safe to say the Company members all in need of a genuine break, and some distance from eachother.

* * *

"Friends & Levi..." poster
(poster by the Misanthrope Specialty Co.)

Among the loose bits of business to tie up before closing shop for the month was the completion of a few commissioned works, including a poster for Levi Macdougall's upcoming intimate evening. Those of you who both live in Calgary and enjoy awkward, understated comedy would be well advised to attend.

Unflattering Levi
(Unflattering Portrait of Levi by Reverend Aitor)

This isn't the first time the Company has been hired to do Mr.Macdougall's bidding. A chance encounter at a party promptly grew into a budding business relationship, which is presently blossoming into something resembling friendship. Now the Company is invited to sleep on his many sofas whenever in the Los Angeles area.

* * *

* * * The Misanthrope Specialty Co. is hereby on hiatus * * *
* * * the Company reconvenes
Sunday October 10, 2010 * * *

Please be advised that calls, letters and electronic mail to the M.S.Co. and it's members
are likely to go unanswered until such time

The Museum of Natural & Artificial History will remain closed in the interim

* * *

(See you in October)

* * *

Monday, August 30, 2010


by Heywood McGillicuddy, Chairman:

"Yuknon Honeymoon No.2"
Align Center
"Yukon Honeymoon No.2" by the men and women of the M.S.Co.

Yes, the Company is back in Chicago; now only days away from home. The anticipation is almost unbearably palpable.

As much as the members enjoy spending half their year living like carnies, they are also eager to sleep in their own lumpy beds, with their own lumpy lovers. There is also only so much time the misanthropes can spend cooped up in cars and motels together, breathing in eachother's b.o. day in and day out.

* * *

(photo by Rufus Spaulding)

It has been the Company's unofficial custom in previous years to open up the Clubhouse present a homecoming party and exhibition promptly after a lengthy tour. This year, however, the decision to push the usual summer hiatus back to September will keep the Company Clubhouse doors closed until October. Same goes for the Museum of Natural & Artificial History.

The M.S.Co. assures it's loyal friends and eager followers that it will make it up to them just a little further down the line. Yesterday's motion to host a Hallowe'en / Dia De Los Muertos party and event was passed unanimously.

More details will be forthcoming, pending further deliberation at next week's meeting. There are many a detail to iron out.

* * *

Paperboy's collaborative wall
Paperboy's interim exhibition. A work in constant flux.
(photo courtesy of Paperboy Chicago)

Though Toronto audiences are going to have to wait, citizens of the windy city are invited to stand in awe at the Company's contribution to the impromptu group show at Paper Boy.

The misanthropes dropped by the boutique-slash-gallery's yesterday to the staff taping hurried doodles and half-finished sketches up in the gallery space. The scheduled exhibition had fallen through at the last minute, so the intrepid women of Paper Boy were mounting their own eleventh-hour show in its place.

paperboy show
Selected highlights from the art wall thus far (photos courtesy of Paperboy)

The doodles were only there to get the ball rolling. A basket of magic markers and a stack of virgin paper were place conveniently nearby, along with an invitation for one and all to complete the drawings, and/or start their own. It was too much to resist.

The Company spent the rest of the day gleefully scribbling in the gallery, embellishing on or otherwise defiling the groundwork the fine folks at Paper Boy had laid. This fast and loose collaboration was a refreshing departure from the more rigid and protocol-laden work the misanthropes had become accustomed to in their regular Sunday sessions.

paperboy show
The Misanthropes get in on the action (photo courtesy of Paper Boy)

Why not drop by and make your mark? The wall will only continue to evolve and expand over the course of the show's run.

September 1 to September 30, 2010

1351 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

* * *

"Eat My Fuck" message card
Limited edition message card by the Misanthrope Specialty Co.

And while you're at it, why not check out the latest in M.S.Co. ephemera? The Company has restocked the store's inventory with all manner of freshly made goods, including a few limited edition cards made using some ultra-rare vintage embossing tapes.

* * *