James Franco to adapt Bukowski’s ‘Ham On Rye’

Huzzah! Can it be that two of my personal favourite artists are coming together for an adaption of the classic and underrated novel, ‘Ham On Rye’. Apparently so! The ridiculously handsome actor/director/producer/sex God, James Franco is rumoured to be in the process of adapting my idol and notoriously controversial writer Henry Charles Bukowski’s aforementioned novel, ‘Ham On Rye’. Franco will work alongside his up and coming younger brother actor Dave (Scrubs) in the adaption.

Dave also counts Bukowski as one of his favourite writers and quoted in a recent interview;

“One of my favorite books of all time is ‘Ham On Rye’ by Charles Bukowski, which my brother and I are actually adapting right now. It’s like a dream come true. Hopefully that will amount to something. Definitely with Bukowski’s material, it’s pretty dark, and it’s not going to be a movie that appeals to wide audiences, but we love it so much.”.

Bukowski was born on August 16, 1920 and passed away in 1994 afer a lengthy battle with leukemia. I admire his gritty genre of writing labelled dirty realism. He was a German born American poet, novelist and short story writer. ‘Ham On Rye’ is loosely based on Bukowski’s younger years and coming of age under his literary alter-ego, Henry Chinaski during the Great Depression in Los Angeles. Bukowski is revered for his natural ability to write brashly about the human condition, ordinary people’s struggles and his complex love of alcohol and womanising. His unmatched dark humour and witty satire about the status quo and the American dream still has relevance in contemporary society highlighting the genius behind the simplicity in his writing. A truly gifted social renegade and poet who is not celebrated enough for his talent and extensive work. I hope the rumoured ‘Ham On Rye’ adaption goes into production and believe the talented Francos will do Bukowski’s literary legacy justice.

I shall leave you pondering on some Bukowski wit and wisdom

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”



Ben Brown – Die Young

Ben Brown is a Sydney based illustrator, designer and artist currently working in a studio near Manly bay with a team of similar artists. He has a diverse career spanning twenty years contributing to industries such as clothing, music and publishing. On an even cooler level he creates zany pieces for legendary magazines such as Rolling Stones, Mad Magazine and graphics for adverts on huge brands such as Rip Curl, Mambo and Oneill. Ben reveals how he goes about his rather eccentric creations, ‘I generally work with ink from a brush or pen on paper , I like drawing , and then I scan the image to finish and colour it digitally. I also like working in acrylic paints and coloured pencils.’

I recently stumbled across his tongue in cheek, Andy Warhol inspired brightly coloured yet morbid portraits of famous dead icons. Amongst the portraits below are Jimi Hendrix, James Dean, Kurt Cobian and also a cover from Mad Magazine and a skeletal Spiderman.

Amy Winehouse, the latest victim to the bizarre Twenty Seven Club even has a portrait. A simply mesmerising piece, displaying a decaying right-side body with her beehive comically intact. Let yourself pore over and be haunted by Ben’s sickly unreal talent.

– Grace, Melbourne.