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Letter from Emmanuella
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
12 May 2015
Maybe you've heard of Ashleigh Brilliant (yes, that's really his name).
If you have not, you're more likely to have heard of his pot shot postcards, which used to be plentiful on postcard racks, at least in California. I don't know if they ever ran in any other newspaper but they ran (and I believe are still running) in the Santa Barbara newspaper, because he lives in Santa Barbara.
He was Twitter before there was an internet -- "Brilliant Thoughts in 17 words or less."
He has created more than 10,000 delightful postcards, with wonderfully wise sayings and witty graphics to accompany them.
He has written 9 books featuring his pot shots, books with wonderful titles like "I may not be totally perfect, but parts of me are excellent," "I have abandoned my search for truth and am now looking for a good fantasy," and "All I want is a warm bed, a kind word, and unlimited power." There are also 5 books other than pot shots, with which I am not famliar, with titles like "Be a good neighbor and leave me alone" (which sounds like it could have been written by my father), and "Breaking free from boomerang love. Getting unhooked from borderline personality disorder relationships."
There is an extensive web site that is worth exploring (it could take you hours).
Born in England in 1933, he ultimately settled in Santa Barbara and became a US citizen in 1969 (their loss, our gain). Pot shots began syndication in 1975. Wikipedia tells me that the Wall Street Journal described him in 1992 as "history's only full time professional published epigrammitist." He is apparently a familiar figure riding his bike around Santa Barbara. (The link is to a fun 30 minute video, which also gives a nice view of Santa Barbara).
I think we started collecting his stuff when it first began appearing.
He sends out periodic (they may be monthly--I haven't checked) newsletters to subscribers, which are kind of their own blog posts, what is going on in his life, what is on his mind. He is candid about the highs and lows. He wrote awhile ago about an accident he was involved in on his bike, which put him in the hospital for a long time, and other health problems ("a broken leg (4 years ago), a heart stent implant (18 months ago) and a broken arm ( just 5 months ago)")
He's a wonderful eccentric, a popular figure in the Haight-Ashbury during the heyday of hippie culture, now a respectable suburban artist.
I don't know how reclusive he is, but Walt's sister is a big fan and a few years back, on her birthday, her husband arranged to meet Brilliant at a local bar. Reports are that he was quiet, but pleasant and it was a huge thrill for Alice Nan to spend time with him.
Ashleigh Brilliant is a real maybe unknown treasure and it is my pleasure to introduce him to those who may never have heard of him before. He has brought us untold hours of joy over the years
And BTW, all of his images are copyrighted. I probably should have written to ask his permission to use them here, but I got the idea for this entry in the middle of the night and there wasn't time. But I do include the copyright on them! He recently joined GoComics and has requested that fans check out the site, where he will be publishing a pot shot a day, and leave feedback. He says "This is one of the few ventures in which I've been involved lately which actually promises to provide some income -- depending of course on how many people take an interest in it -- so let me unabashedly encourage you to visit the site and register your approval and enjoyment of the Pot-Shots feature. And of course, TELL YOUR FRIENDS!" Mission accomplished
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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