Bookshelf Report: Books, Boomerangs and Hand Grenades

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader invites us into their home and shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.

Today’s bookshelf comes from Seattle sketch comedian and film maker Kevin Clarke. He’s a pretty funny guy who happens to make up exactly one half of the sketch comedy duo Travis & Kevin (the other half is Travis Vogt). Kevin has collected laughs all over town — you’ve probably seen him perform with Bushwick,  Weird & Awesome with Emmett Montgomery, or in this hilarious video you are about to watch:


Now, keep reading so you can find out all about the books that are on Kevin Clarke’s bookshelf — I dare you!


How do you organize your books?

Most of them just go onto a shelf where they’ll fit. Except the comics, they all live together. I try to have some organization, but most of them just end up on stacks on the floor by my bed or TV.


Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

I’ve read all of the comic books and about 70 percent of the real books. But, it’s my New Year’s resolution to read them all! Same resolution as last year.


What’s your favorite book on the shelf ?

You can’t go wrong with the complete “Calvin & Hobbes” and “Far Side”, and “Elfquest” books 1-6. Any Elmore Leonard is gold in my book, and Nightmare USA is an insanely definitive guide to independent horror movies from the 70s and 80s. The art of Pixar books make me wish I had a coffee table. Also, Los Bros Hernandez’ Love & Rockets is one of the five greatest things ever created by humans. And I have to give a shout out to the Scarecrow Video Movie Guide (my employer for the last 12 years), since I contributed about 50 reviews and they totally published my swears and everything!


What book do you plan on reading next?

Currently I’m reading Joe Hadelman’s “Infinite Dreams” short story collection, Patrick Rothfuss’ “The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle: Part Two)”, “Working” by Studs Terkel, and “The Making of Return of the Jedi” and I’ll probably start another book soon because I apparently don’t like finishing things. And this is the year I start (again) and finish “Infinite Jest”.


What is the most interesting book on the shelf?

I have some “MAD” magazines from 1987. I still go to those for inspiration sometimes. Not pictured is my “Making of Star Wars” book, which my stupid friend has had for three years, unread. It’s the best book about movie-making I’ve ever read.


I see you have a stack of Lone Wolf books.  For the unfamiliar, briefly explain how the books/game works. How often did you find yourself cheating?

The Lone Wolf books are one-player choose-your-own-adventure role-playing books. You start out as a newbie adventurer and as the books progress you become more badass, and obtain more awesome items, like fire-swords. And, believe me, the irony of the title “Lone Wolf” was not lost on this particular lonely 7th grader. I drunkenly bought these off eBay once years ago, in a fit of nostalgia. And of course I never cheated. How could I live with myself!?


What are your three favorite Far Side comics?

Picking a favorite Far Side is pretty much impossible, it’s so ingrained in my psyche. I like the ones here. The cat playing ball with the mouse cracks me up every time. I can’t quite explain it. I think I just like Gary Larson’s expressionless animals.





If you were in a fight to the death with your stupid friend who won’t return your “Making of Star Wars” book, would you rather be armed with two grenades that don’t work or one small boomerang that does?

I think I could actually do more damage with the two disarmed grenades. They’re basically like rocks. Ideally, I would strap the grenades to the boomerang, so it was some kind of “super boomerang,” that would come flying back to me after bashing his face in.


Please tell me you’ve read “We All Killed Grandma” by Fredric Brown — what’s that all about?

I haven’t finished it yet. At the beginning, the main dude is trying to figure out who killed their rich Grandma. My hope is it turns out we, the readers at home, killed Grandma. That would be a killer twist!


Thanks, Kevin! That was great.

For the rest of the Bushwickers out there, I would love to feature your bookshelf on the Bookshelf Report. Drop me a line if you are interested. Hooray!