A cautionary tale we like to tell to our kids around these parts set in the old town of Ebenezer featuring a carnival barker, a woman in a blue bird hat and polka-dot-dress and a poor homeless man in an alley in town. We all have our problems in life, rich and poor and everyone in between, but sometimes, most times, it's hard for us to see the world through another's eyes. But it's exactly this trait that we all must learn to become better humans. Sooner or later, a singular event will occur in your life that will force you to see the world through someone else's eyes and heart.
My Missing Afternoon
Back in the 1970's, before we all turned into the walking dead with phones planted firmly in hand and eyes-a-glaze, it was pretty easy to literally get lost in the mix. Back then, you were generally left to find your own way out of daily messes. This is one such true mess that occurred on a Saturday afternoon after Soccer practice. You see, when I was a kid, it was normal for us to leave the house with no money, ID, no water... no nothin'! So, if you were, let's say, inadvertently forgotten about, well, things would tend to get a little nutty for all involved.
The Conscious Bird
A tale about a boy out on a turtle hunt one morning until he hears a woman's scream inside of an old, overgrown courtyard. An oily, red-haired, rotund woman in a blue polyester stained shirt. In her hands, a transparent blue, beehive bowl. In the bowl, an ungodly mix of blood, veins and tissue that smell like a rotten corpse. With a small silver spoon she slurpingly scoops out the effluence, shoving it into the boy's face. "EAT..." she pleads. Her voice envelopes him, but her lips do not move. The boy is sure of it. On her shoulder, sat a bird.
The Sideline Kids Suburban Wasteland No. 1
We were the brown bag lunch kids, the hand me down kids, the 2 day motel summer vacation if you even had one at all... kids. We were the kids who were pushed together deep in the bowels of the great American Suburban wasteland of the 70's and 80's only because no other parents would let us hang out with their kids. We were the lower rung of the middle class and barely hanging on if that. These are the 100% true tales of the completely dysfunctional group of us who were the worst & the best of friends in our dumpy, little cul-de-sac through those 20 years. And looking back, I don't think I'd change a thing.
Sifl & Herbert Comic Strip Collection 1
Sifl, a salamander and Herbert, a turtle live together in a tank in Francis' room. Francis lives in his grandparents' house in Ebenezer's Woods with his older brother Henry after the loss of their parents. Sifl & Herbert spend much of their time plotting their regular escapes out in the world as well as staring out of their tank at the TV Francis keeps on for them to keep them company on his desk across the room. But really, the TV only serves to twist & distort their already cynically dark world view as they stare out of their tank's glass pondering the meaning of it all through their own little window on the world.
A. A. Augustine's Tales From My Life Series 1
A brand-new batch of twisted tales in a brand new book series from an American humorists unique journey through the madness that is modern life. Each book in this series features plenty of hand drawn illustrations, nonsensically fun poetry and some hard-fought-for (and won) truths from a truly intense and crazy life. The first book in this series features... "The porch is on fire!", "She fell out the window?!!", "Traumatic Hockey Team Tryout Madness" & more! If you've lived any life at all, these true life tales will have you laughing, thinking and relating.
Like any other writer, almost every book or short story I've written was directly pulled in one way or another directly from the bowls of my rather off-kilter existence. Most of the time, of course, the names and places have been changed but even in my most surreal stories like the ending of the "The Coat" above, it's all close to the bone. I'd love to give more away, but if I did, then it would spoil too much.
All I can say is that there was indeed a man, an alleyway, a post-meeting "trial" and a big life lesson involved. I'm writing about the source of "The Coat That Wouldn't Come Off" in my "Tales from my life" series which should be out in a year or two. So you'll hear the complete story behind the story then. Thanks for checking out the sample and I hope you enjoy the tale. ~AA
First, I have to confess that every-single-word of "My Missing Afternoon" is 100% true. Second, I have to say that if anything, ANNNNNYTHING... like this happened today, God help me and my parents for the complete debacle that ensued that day. How things managed to get so screwed up, is still a family mystery lost to the sands of time and the fading memories of everyone involved. Well, except me, of course. I can still see almost every moment of those few terrifying hours in my mind's eyes anytime I
even so much as think about that afternoon. How in the world I somehow evaded the authorities and my parents that day, I will never know. That day, is so incredibly, indelibly burned into my psyche and muscle memory, that I can still taste the pain of the impact of the... Oh yeah, well, you probably haven't read about that little incident yet, so I'll spare you the descriptive. Thanks for checking it out and I hope you enjoy the story. ~AA
A bit about... My book & format choice
My book, short story & comic strip collections
I started out wanting to become a comic strip author/illustrator and writer even before I picked up a guitar at the ripe old age of 7. As you can see here from this site and its deep repository of content, I ended up trying it all out and eventually... one of those "everythings" took hold and took off and whisked me away through 35 moves through both coasts, a record company, recording and graphic design studio, a small kids indie publishing company, 9 TV shows that constituted 200+ episodes and so many other iterations and peaks and lows that it will take me years to even tell it all to you. And due to the extreme time and energy demands of creating and producing almost all of the above myself and then having to run the business here 100%... by myself... my writing and comic strips couldn't ever be the bigger creative focus in my life through the last 20 years. But whenever I could, I still found the time to take some pretty deep dives over the years and never stopped creating either of them. What you can now, finally read here on this page is the result of that "never stopping". As far as the larger, (maybe a little left-of-the-dial) formatting goes, I chose an 11x14 16-page format for all my books and comic strip collections simply because I just really, really like the dimensions and page size. It's not too big, not too small, not too much to get through in a few hours and not too little either. In their physical, printed form, the dimensions and the page size feel so, so, good in the hands. Hey, I'm "Mr. Average" all the way 'round the block. So, if they feel good to me, then they should to pretty much anyone else. My books & comic strip collections remind me of the printed newspapers that old dudes like me grew up on and on a 16x9 ratio computer screen like most of use and stare at all day every day, they look great. It's the perfect two-page spread that fills the screen beautifully. I fell in love with newspapers, "zines" of all types and the tabloid formats as a kid, and I swore that when I finally started selling and printing my own work, I would intentionally create everything in the same exact format. If you have seen the paper in the box set collections for Small Town WNY, then I think you may actually realize the method behind the madness. It's just really cool. The papers are super-fun to read and hold and you know... as one who grew up reading actual paper media... the smell of the ink and paper and the sound of the pages flipping and rustling just makes it all a very real and authentic experience to me. An experience that digital has never had, nor probably never will. And hey, in my personal life I am 100% paperless at this point. So, I'm doing my part, buddy... Everyday. The real irony here is that I print these on a medium that is accustomed to being (and meant to be) disposable when they are meant to be anything but disposable. All of my printable media is meant to be held onto, read and shared for as long as any other book or magazine you own does. Yes, they're all printed on a fragile, ephemeral, temporal media that's really only meant for a few cursory reading sessions on the can and not much else before they head to the recycling bin or under your bird's butt! But see, I solved that problem by selling them in groups of three in my unique, super-sturdy, protective, collectable, bookshelf box sets with bonus exclusive pack-ins! It's a fun way to own, read, store, and display and share them with friends and family for years and years to come. All of my books and box sets are made from recycled paper anyway in the event they become trash at any point in their lifespan. And you know, for a format that most times, ends up in the trash within the first few days (or even hours) that's a pretty sound, environmentally responsible way for me to handle the manufacturing and selling side of my publishing business. And that's alright by me and I hope it is so with you. I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labors below. There's a lot more to come here over the next decade, so stay tuned. ~AA