ILLUSTRATION BY CRAIG THOMPSONThe conceit of Seattle publisher Fantagraphics’ excellent Beasts! series is simple: Ask 90 visual artists (largely from the comics world) to interpret mythological creatures and you shall receive 90 vastly different pieces of art. Some are terrifying, like Michael Wandelmaier’s depiction of Tailypo, an Appalachian beast which seeks to replace its missing tail with human parts. Some are darkly funny, like Peter Bagge’s Chonchonyi, a South American bloodsucker sporting a sexy-ass bowl cut. But open either of two Beasts! books, the second of which just hit bookshelves last Saturday, and you’ll find something you can’t pull your eyes away from. Blankets author Craig Thompson is one of three Portland artists we spotted in the second collection—alongside locals Justin “Scrappers” Morrison and Jonathan Hill—and his Boo Hag (the skin-stealing monster pictured below) is a stunning mix of creepy and cute. But mostly creepy.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 14
Tom Spanbauer, gay/lesbian/transgender open mic and free snacks! Q Center, 69 SE Taylor St., 234-7837. 7 pm. Free.
FRIDAY JAN. 16
[MUSIC] THE HEAD CAT
What if Lemmy from Motörhead teamed up with the drummer from the Stray Cats and recorded a bunch of ’50s covers? Well, here’s your answer. Dante’s, 1 SW 3rd Ave., 226-6630. 9:30 pm. $20 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.
L.A. director Nancy Keystone premieres her decade-in-the-making play about the space race, Nazis, Walt Disney and the civil rights movement at our own Portland Center Stage. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays, noon Thursdays. Closes Feb. 8. $30-$66.50.
SATURDAY JAN. 17
[STAGE] A NIGHT OF NEW ECCENTRICS
Splenduh the Unicorn, a man who brags of being too weird for the Oregon Country Fair, hosts a program of “abnormal vaudeville.” Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. 9 pm. $5. 21+.
[MUSIC] BLIND PILOT, LOCH LOMOND
Set back a month because of Snowpocalypse ’08, this super bill of Portland folk is your best date option all week. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 233-1994. 8 pm. $12. All ages.
[CLASSICAL] OREGON SYMPHONY WITH EDGAR MEYER
More than achieving the title of world’s greatest bassist, Meyer’s expanded his instrument’s profile and possibilities. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 228-1353. 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, 8 pm Monday, Jan. 17-19. $15-$98.
MONDAY JAN. 19
[DISH] DIM SUM YUM YUM
Pix Pâtisserie improves the age-old Asian buffet with tiny $1.50-$3 desserts. Plus $1 Belgian beer samples. Pix Pâtisserie, 3402 SE Division St., 232-4407. 8 pm-midnight. Free.
TUESDAY JAN. 20
[CHANGE] OBAMA INAUGURATION BASH
It’s finally here! Celebrate Obama’s nomination and Bush’s final hour with some of our finest hip-hop, funk and jazz musicians. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 7 pm. Free. All ages.
SEE:Beasts! Book Two is in stores now ($34.99), as is the paperback reprint of the ’07 original release Beasts!, which features Northwest artists S. Britt, Colleen Coover, Corey Lunn, Martin Ontiveros, Bwana Spoons and Tyler Stout.