Friday, January 30, 2009

Places I've Lived

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After Auburn, I returned to Pcola, got a job as a screen printer and basically went into survival mode. The 2-3 years between Auburn and going to seminary is pretty fuzzy. Here's what I do remember.
At some point, my friend Darren and I rented an apartment from his then girlfriend's dad. (it isn't on Google Street View) It was way the heck out off of Pine Forest Road. I worked in Pace. For those of you from that area, that's a pretty good drive. Luckily, we didn't stay at that place for long. We eventually moved in to a 3 BR house (above) with our friend Rew. That house is on the same street that my parents built their first house on. This house was the second house on the street and was built before we moved to Georgia. It was built and lived in by the Stinson's, grandparents to some friends of mine. So, here I am back on the same street I basically started life on. Pretty strange.
So, for 2-3 years I worked as a screen printer (hated that job), hung out with friends, and tried to figure out my next step. Somewhere in that span of time I got on a health kick. I lifted weights, played raquetball 2-3 times a week and dieted. I lost 32 lbs and had some muscle on me. Beyond that, I can't remember anything significant from that time period.
Oh, eventually we had to move out of the house because Rew and Susan got married. I think I moved back home but it wasn't long before I was headed to seminary. Now, that's a story. I'll probably have to deal with that one in several parts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Billy Powell: 1952-2009

Being a good ole southern boy, I can't help but be a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their music makes you want to drink beer and go fishing...even if you don't enjoy that sort of thing. Billy's keyboard playing was an essential part of the Skynyrd sound.
It might be cliche, but he's as free as a bird now. Thanks for all the great music, Billy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do You Want...

...a phone that does everything? Check this out!

Places I've Lived

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This particular "places I've lived" installment is difficult for me. One of my many mistakes in life.
After I graduated from UWF, I decided to move to Auburn to attend grad school. Why Auburn? I'm not sure. I don't know what my mindset was at the time. Perhaps it's because my good friend Rusty lived up there with his family? I just don't know. I do know I shouldn't have done it but my life is full of those moments.
So, I moved to Auburn but I was not accepted into the program yet. (dumb) I shared an apartment with a friend and got a job at Ander's Book Store. Eventually I found out that they weren't going to accept me as a student. I met with someone and they told me, "We can't teach you anything." Well, not to sound arrogant but I already knew that. I had just spent many years bouncing from school to school learning that my education was up to me all along. All I wanted from them was a studio (all grad students got one) and to left alone...with occasional feedback from whoever. Regardless of that, they rejected me. So, I was living in Auburn for no reason.
I stayed for a while. Rusty and I started a band. I think we had one gig while I was in it. Mainly I just worked and watched TV alot. What an exciting life.
I did have a few interesting adventures while there. During my first week or so there, I was awakened in the middle of the night by GNR being played very loudly thru the wall. I stormed around to the other side of the apartment and threatened pain and death to the 2 young GNR fans. I eventually ended up befriending one of them. I also remember going out to an all-you-can-eat hot wing place with some friends and just pigging out. It was good but we were hurting bad the next morning. My Uncle T. L. came up and stayed with me to attend the Florida/Auburn game. It was fun hanging out with him.
All in all, Auburn is a chapter that I regret. It was a bit of a waste of time. I had some fun and some good times with friends but it went nowhere.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fremont Peak Park

Before I went to the doctor yesterday (back pain...going to chiro soon) I searched out Fremont Peak Park. I had heard about it on a neighborhood blog and decided to visit. It's approximately 35 blocks south of us. It's one of those hidden treasures you sometimes find out about. It's a really cool little park with views of the Ship Canal, Mt. Rainier, downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Ballard, Magnolia, and Queen Anne. Rainier wasn't out but you could see everything else. You can see the top of the Space Needle over Queen Anne hill. This will give you out-of-towners a perspective of how close to downtown we actually live.
I really enjoy discovering things like this especially when they are so near us and I had no clue. Seattle is chock full of little surprises like this. It's a great city to explore.

Places I've Lived

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After ditching Memphis College of Art and moving back to Pcola, I scrambled to try and find a way to keep my education going. I eventually ended up at FSU for one semester. Is anyone sensing a pattern?
So, I lived in this great apartment outside of town. Anything close to FSU was dirty, nasty, filthy and unlivable by my standards. Tallahassee is one of the nastiest towns I've ever lived in. Major yuck. I liked my apartment though. It was cozy, there was a pool where I used to swim every night before bed, and it was quiet. The best part of living there was the apartment.
So, I sign up for a few art classes and by the end of the semester I think I was still in one of them. I took a color photography class and found out that we were going to spend the semester remodeling the color lab. By week 3 or 4 we had done absolutely nothing. So frustrating. The only class I remember taking was photo silkscreen which I really loved. Had a great teacher too. I had lined up some great classes the next semester (yes, I had planned on staying) and they all fell apart when a couple of the profs I chose decided at the last minute to take sabbaticals. I jumped on the phone, called the University of West Florida in Pcola and talked to the art department chair. I told him how desperate I was to get my education on track and he let me apply and register way late. By the start of the next semester I was back in Pcola taking a full load. My parents allowed me to stay unemployed and I took 18 - 22 hours a semester until I finished. It's funny. In junior college, several of my profs told me to stay away from UWF. They told me to go off to school...that it would be a better experience. One prof told me not to settle...that I was a star. In the end, UWF turned out to be better than any of the other schools I had travelled to attend. Sure, they had problems but I was able to finish.
On a side note: while I was living in Tallahassee, I got a job working for Sonitrol, an alarm company. I did their janitorial work. The owner/CEO of the company was Stan Marshall, former FSU president. I ended up doing work for him out at his house on Lake Jackson. I ran the tractor to mow his huge yard. It was a weird gig. I guess the folks there liked me because they were upset when I quit.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Justice League Elite by Doug Mahnke and Joe Kelly
The Justice League of America are the world's greatest super-heroes. But there are some missions that the Justice League cannot carry out...That's where the Elite come in. Led by Vera Black, the Elite acts as a secret wing of the JLA, working in the darkness to bring light to the world. But an early battle has left the Elite looking for a murderer among their own, and personal betrayal threatens to tear the team apart from the inside...and when Vera's deadly brother, the telepath Manchester Black, resurfaces, how long can the new team survive?
I grabbed Volumes 1 and 2 of this series at the library and read them both straight thru. I really enjoyed it. The story and art are both good. I've been a fan of Mahnke's work since he drew The Mask at Dark Horse. It's definitely a dark story so if you like your comics a bit lighter, avoid this one. Not much to say about this one but I do have one question: Why in the heck was Plastic Man in it? That seemed so weird and random.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Memphis College of Art

While writing about living in Memphis, I remembered a bunch of kooky stuff that happened while I was in school there. This may not be for the faint of heart but it sure is funny stuff.
- I remember this girl who was a fiber artist. One day, she set up a giant fiber bird's nest outside of the cafeteria. She dressed up like a bird, sat on fiber eggs and, every so often, she would stand up and crow. Performance art. What are you gonna do?
- Believe it or not, bird girl was very attractive. My photo class had a session lined up with a model and she turned out to be it. She showed up with all these interesting outfits, some she had made, some very much like lingerie. She dressed up and posed and we took shots. It was going pretty well for a while but then it turned weird. Pretty soon, the other guys taking pictures were telling her to put on more sexy attire and eventually she ended up nude. It wasn't so much that she was nude but the creepy, perv vibe that permeated the room. I began to pack up my equipment to leave. One of my profs asked me why I was leaving and I told her that things seemed to be getting out of hand. I found out later that they stopped the session right after I left.
- On that same note, there were these 2 attractive blonds in my photo class. Every week we had to do an assignment and bring them in for a critique. Several weeks in a row, the 2 blonds brought nude self-portraits of themselves for critique. It was difficult to be neutral. They were, however, pretty good friends of mine so I tried to be professional.
- The smallest of the 2 blonds had a problem with a stalker. There was a creepy guy that followed her around all the time. If I'm remembering correctly, I think I pretended to be her boyfriend at one point to try and get him to leave her alone. One day, she went to her drawing class only to find out that they would be drawing a nude model. It turned out to be him. While they were drawing, he kept staring at her and eventually he got visibly excited. She was extremely embarrassed.
- I got stuck on the school's elevator once. It got stuck all the time. Me and another guy were on there with this girl and she went ballistic. We were only on it for about 15 minutes and she was acting like we were going to die in there. Very strange.
- While at that school was the first time I'd ever been hit on by a gay man. It freaked me out a little but I figured if I was gonna be in art school I'd better get used to it.
That's all I can remember right now. Needless to say, the art world can be an interesting place. I'll post more stories if I recall any.

Places I've Lived

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In '85 or '86 I finally graduated from Pensacola Junior College with an AA in art. I had taken a couple of years off because I began to doubt that art was what I wanted to do. I returned to it eventually. Having attended Portfolio Day in Atlanta, I had been offered a scholarship to the Memphis College of Art. Since I have a cousin who lives in Memphis it was a fairly simple matter to find a roommate (through my cousin's church). I lived in the above 2BR apartment with Robert, a seminary student, music intern at Travis Ave. Baptist, and all around great guy. We got along famously. It's too bad that can't be said of my relationships at the college.
My first day of printmaking class, I strolled into the room with all my supplies, asked where to put my stuff and started working. Several of the old guard were standing around and they told me, "Hey, we never do anything on the first day." I said, "Well, I do." See, I was taught to have a killer work ethic when it comes to art. These folks didn't share my sentiment. It was downhill from there. I didn't get along with the printmaking prof. (my major) but I did get along with the asst. prof. who hired me to be his asst. and let me teach a few classes. I also got along famously with my photo instructors and soon found a small band of fellow artists to hang with. But I still pushed against the status quo (isn't that what artists are supposed to do) and soon found myself in one of the administrators office. She asked me what my problem was. I told her that the teaching was lax, the students were lazy and that favoritism was rampant (and it was). This did not go over well. I was not forced out but decided to leave after a semester because I knew I would not receive a good education there. One of my female friends cornered me when she heard the news and said, "You can't leave. You're one of the only straight guys here." I was thinking, "Why didn't you show any interest." Maybe she had. I was never good at reading the opposite sex.
Life at the apartment was pretty normal. I hung out with Robert when I could. He was busy with his school too. I did go to church with him and ended up doing the Singing Christmas Tree that year. The apartment was in a questionable part of town. My car was broken into. I used to startle a homeless man who slept in our laundry room all the time. I wasn't too impressed with Memphis. It's one of the dirtiest cities I've ever lived in.
Like I said, after one semester I went back to Pcola and started formulating a plan to continue my art education. Robert stayed a friend and came to visit quite a few times. He even stayed at the beach with me and my friends a couple of years. The last time he came to visit, he left and we never heard from him again. We don't know what happened. I wish I could find him. I'd like to know what happened to him.

A Good Week at Goodwill

We did pretty well thrifting this week. Here's what we found.
- Sarah went on Thursday and bought a beautiful, large handmade quilt for $20.
- I went by there today just to have something to do and found...
A pair of pants for work - 7.99
2 out of print Lost Dogs CDs (Scenic Routes and Little Red Riding Hood) - 2.99 each
Star Trek TNG: Nemesis on DVD - 4.99
Liberty Meadows: Creature Comforts by Frank Cho - 1.99
Gotham by Gaslight - .99
Batman: The Killing Joke - .99
and a book to cut up for collage - 2.99
So, a pretty good haul to say the least since we usually don't find such great treasures in abundance. Some might look down their nose at thrifting but I love the hunt for buried treasure. Just call it the cheap pirate in me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Places I've Lived

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After living on Arden Street for a few years, we bought a house across the street from my grandparents so my mom could take better care of my Nana who was sick. In the picture above, to the left you can see my Papa and Nana's house. It's still standing but in awful shape. My cousin Charlie bought the property and they have a trailer behind the house. To the right is the lot where our house stood. It's gone. A tree fell thru the middle of it during Hurricane Ivan. My parents weren't living there at the time. They had moved out to Milton by that point and had their own problems with Ivan...4 feet of water rushing thru the house.
Blackwell Lane was a anachronistic neighborhood. Though surrounded by urban sprawl, this tiny lane resisted growth. Many of the residents were elderly, having lived there nearly their whole lives. The problem with the area was that as the older folks died out, the houses would rent out to a rough crowd. The neighborhood went downhill fast and is pretty pitiful even now. The sprawl passed it by when the neighbor with the most land refused to sell so the new Wal-Mart could go in. My parents were hoping beyond hope that the area would go commercial but it never did.
Still, it was a fun place to be. I had friends in the 'hood. This was my teen years so a little rebellion goes along with the stories. My friend Gary's parents had a two-fold oasis for our teen fun. They had a carport with a little bedroom in it. Gary turned it into a hang out for us. They also had a huge camper that we would spend nights in. I won't divulge all that we did but let's just say that many was the time I listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon under black light with a lava lamp nearby.
Sometimes it was great to live near my grandparents. Other times not. Their yard was about an acre. Our yard was about an acre. Both had to be mowed and raked, depending on the season. Guess who did that? The lane was also near our church so it was easy to walk back and forth when the mood so struck. Since there was a ballfield at our church at the time, there was always something going on during the weekends. It beat sitting at home.
That was the last house I lived in with my parents. I never got a last look because they moved to Milton and never looked back. That's okay. I have my memories of the place and that's plenty.


Hellboy: Wake the Devil, Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 1, BPRD: Hollow Earth and Other Stories, The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings
Not much to say about these. All are good because they all contain stories and art by Mike Mignola and company. Need I say more?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Places I've Lived

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We moved back to Pensacola when I was in the 6th grade and into this house. It looks terrible compared to how it looked back then. Scroll to the left and you'll see apartments. Back then that was all woods. The woods were full of trails and forts and treehouses. It was a great place to play. There were a lot of kids in the neighborhood too. Some were good and others not so good. I met my high school/college best friend Kevin on that street. We had some great times on in that neighborhood and some not so great times. There was always some kind of feud going on between good kids and bad kids. I remember some interesting skirmishes. I kicked a kid in the front teeth once when his he and his brother jumped me. Kevin's little brother Kerry threw a rock point blank into a kids teeth. I once threw a piece of plastic at an irritating neighbor kid and it smashed his parent's car windshield. Another interesting thing that happened in the 'hood was when our next door neighbors house burned to the ground. It was later discovered to have been set by them for the insurance money.
The house was interesting. My parents and sister's bedrooms were on the west side of the house and mine was on the opposite end. My room had a door that lead to the outside. I wasn't rebellious at that point in my life so I never did any sneaking out. It would have been the perfect bedroom for a rebellious kid. Behind the house was a garage/playroom. We had all our toys stashed out there. It was a mess.
Favorite memories are: when we staged a burial at Halloween and I got down in the grave to help the "corpse" crawl into the tunnel we had concocted (no wonder I'm claustrophobic); riding mini-bikes around the trails near our house; playing GI Joe constantly; putting on fake concerts while lip syncing to Kiss and other 70's groups; hanging out at Kevin's house. Wow. There are so many. I just can't name them all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Animated Dude Kicks Robot Hiney!

Bob May: 1939-2009

May was the actor who gave life to Robot on Lost in Space. Dick Tufeld was the voice but May climbed inside the suit and made him move. I loved that show as a kid. Robot and his relationship with Will and Dr. Smith made the show. I'd really love to watch all the episodes again. We're about to finish Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation right now. So many shows, so little time.

Places I've Lived

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When I was in the 2nd grade, my dad was transferred from Pensacola Naval Air Station to Robins AFB in Warner Robins, GA. When we first moved there we lived in an apartment complex but I can't find that location on Google. The only thing I had to go on was that it was across the street from a drive-in theatre. Apparently the theatre is gone but I could find no mention of an address so I can't track down the apartment. It was an interesting place to live. It was a melting pot of all types of people. I remember having friends of all races at that place. The most prominent memories I have of the place are: the drive-in, which showed questionable movies that we could see from our front stoop; the hordes of kids I used to play with including a boy (can't remember his name) whose apartment I used to visit to watch Speed Racer; the ruins of an old house on the edge of the property that we used to explore even though we were expressly forbidden to do so; setting up a lemonade stand for the very first time; getting my very first "cool" bicycle by selling Christmas cards; attending a church where the pastor's name was Rastus Salter.
I'm not sure how long we were there but we eventually moved into the house you see above on Hazel Dr. It turned out to be a very cool place to live even though we all wished we could move back to Pensacola (which we did). Hazel Dr. was located in a part of the county that was developing so it was still quite rural. We lived in a subdivision but behind our house, across the tadpole laden drainage ditch, was a huge cattle farm. In the middle of that field was an old abandoned truck. You can imagine the use we kids put that to. It could be a tank, a spaceship, whatever we wanted. We also used to sneak into the barn, climb up into the hay loft and play. The man who owned the farm would run us off from time to time but he wasn't mean about it. If you followed the drainage ditch to it's end, there was a huge (at least to me at the time) hole in the ground that we called "The Canyon." I only saw it once because I was threatened within an inch of my life to never play there. I hated that I couldn't go there. It was a wondrous place. I can only imagine the great adventures I could have experienced there with the neighborhood kids. They were an imaginative bunch too. We never played normal games. They were always beefed up versions of the regular version. We used to play a game called "Prisoner" which was Hide and Seek 2.0. In the game you had hunters and hiders. The territory was the whole neighborhood. The hunters would seek out the hiders, catch them and place them in jail. Other hiders could break you out of jail. We played that game for hours on end. I also remember that the whole neighborhood was into kite flying. Kids and parents alike would gather in the pasture and loose their store bought or homemade creations to the wind. Daddy made a box kite at one time. We all had our string wound on a reel and the kites would go so high you couldn't see them. It was a serious sport. Other prominent memories include: our next door neighbors had a trampoline and that became the ring for wrestling matches (TBN broadcast serious wrestling back then); jamming with the teens who had a band down the street (I brought my pitiful toy bongos); the neighborhood Easter egg hunts; getting Ming-Sue, our beloved Pekingese dog; the time it snowed 22 inches; and learning some drawing from our teen neighbor Eddie.
While we lived in the house, they built a school across the pasture and I soon was able to walk to school. It was at Richard B. Russell Elementary that I first started playing trumpet, was in my first play (I was a Halloween goblin and I tripped on my costume), and schemed with a friend to run away from home during the summer and live in the woods. The latter never happened and my friend was highly disappointed in me.
I could rattle on for days about stuff but I'll cut it short. I'm glad I've started doing this because it's brought memories to the forefront that I haven't thought of in years. I may have to come back and revisit this time because there's more...much more.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Bad Day for Old Ladies

Today, after church and lifegroup, we drove up to Everett to go to Wal-Mart. It's a little bit of a drive but it's the least insane one to go to. As we're shopping in the entertainment section, we hear a loud crash in front of us. When we turned to see what was up, an elderly woman collapsed right in front of us. She hit her head as she hit the floor but was conscious. Sarah immediately started helping her by putting her coat under her head. Pretty soon, Wal-Mart employees were there with forms to fill out (thanks for the help, guys) and the ladies son and daughter-in-law showed up. Not too long after that, paramedics arrived. The info we got was that she had a heart monitor put in on Thursday and this was her first outing since. She fainted/blacked out and hit the floor. They picked her up at one point and put her in a chair but then they laid her back on the floor and she blacked out again. Sarah gave her info and then we scooted along since there was a bit of a crowd gathering. As we were leaving the store we noticed they had not taken her out yet.
We then drove to Alderwood Mall, specifically J. C. Penney's, to see if Sarah could find a dress coat in a particular size. As we pulled into the parking lot we could see that a large section of the lot was taped off. Cops, news vans, mall security and fire trucks were all over the place. We shopped, didn't find a coat and left. When we got home I checked the news on the internet. A 70-year-old woman was found in the parking garage nearest Penney's dead on the floor with a gunshot wound to the chest. Police suspect the wound was self-inflicted.
After we left Penney's, we went to Burlington Coat Factory. Sarah said if there were cops in the parking lot, we were leaving. There weren't. She found a coat. I bought shoes. No old ladies were injured.
What a day.

Places I've Lived

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Here is the house on Plainfield Ave. It was the first house on that street before the street even had a name. Now it's a neigborhood surrounded by shopping centers, restaurants and apartment buildings. We lived there until I was in the second grade when Daddy got stationed at the air base in Warner Robbins, Ga.
I have great memories of this house. It was completely surrounded by woods so it was a great place to play. I had many favorite spots to hide out in those woods. Behind our house was a mound built up by the Spanish to build a railroad on but it was never completed. I was told there was another mound just like it to the east of the house but I never looked for it. I remember when we had a pet squirrel named Sammy. He lived in a birdcage in our house until daddy built him a pen out in the yard. The next day we went out and Sammy was gone. So much for my dad's squirrel pen building skills. I learned how to ride a bike on the street in front of that house. I caught my very first bus to school from that house. I had my very first pet dog (Rover) while at that house.
Sarah and I visited that house when we were in Pcola in April of last year. They were having a yard sale so we stopped and talked to them a bit. I had hoped they would invite me to see the inside but they didn't. Oh, well. I can still see it in my mind's eye.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Places I've Lived

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This is the first house I ever lived in. My parents were renting it from the Parazine family when they first got married. As you can see, it's a tiny little place. I, of course, don't remember that because I was an infant. I don't think we were in it long because my parents had a house built on Plainfield Avenue. (the next installment) Quite a few years ago, my friend Rew who married into the Talley family who are related to the Parazine's, renovated the house into a gift shop. That was the first time I had ever been in there since I was a baby. It's no longer a gift shop. Judging from the picture, it doesn't look like it's occupied.

Gladys Hardy on Ellen

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. Sorry about the blog ad on there but it was the best quality I could find.


I'm afraid to report that my comic phase is continuing. I'm not sure when I'll get back to novels but, to be truthful, I haven't found any novels worth reading lately.
The Goon: Rough Stuff and Nothin' But Misery by Eric Powell
I discovered the Goon by accident when I was buying cheap comics for my art. I decided to check out the graphic novels from the library and give them a go. The Goon is basically a rough and tumble monster fighter. The setting is a sort of depression era, zombie-ridden town. It's quite fun and fairly graphic so no faint-of-hearts allowed. What drew me to the Goon was the art. Eric Powell is an amazing artist. He's kinda like Mignola, Kirby, Wrightson and Jeff Smith all rolled into one.
Batman and the Monster Men by Matt Wagner
I've never seen what the big deal over Matt Wagner has been. Ever since his Grendel books debuted back in the 80's, I've never been impressed. I found this at the library and decided to give him another chance. I needn't have bothered. The story was okay but I just don't like his art. He seems to draw okay but his inking seems bad. Perhaps it's an intentional style thing but I don't like it.
Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola and John Byrne
What can you say about Hellboy that hasn't been said? It's just great. This isn't my favorite story but any Hellboy story is head and shoulders above most of the stuff that's out there. In re-reading these I've begun to really pick up on the differences between comic Hellboy and movie Hellboy. They are different entities but both are fun in their own way.
Astonishing X-Men: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday
Since Whedon wrote it, I thought I'd give it a try. I don't read too much new X stuff because I'm a really big fan of the stuff that was done in the late 70's/early 80's and have the curmudgeonly attitude that nothing done since is as good. It seems that ever since the movies have come out, comic creators have been keying off that universe and not the ones created by the comic legends such as Cockrum, Claremont, Byrne, etc. Whedon at least pays tribute to the past but I'm not sure I like the direction he's taken. The art is fine. It's really, really good and that's a problem for me too. I like the way comics used to look. I don't know how to describe it. The word that pops into my mind is comic booky but perhaps cartoony would serve better. Today's artists are trying to make all our heroes look too real. Perhaps that's another by-product of the movies. Whatever it is, I'm not a fan. I am nostalgic for the way comics looked in the past with Kirby, Adams, Kubert, Ditko, Byrne and the like.

Andrew Wyeth: 1917-2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Playing the Beatles Backward: The Ultimate Countdown

Since I recently purchased and am watching Beatles Anthology I found this interesting.

To most Beatles fans, choosing between the songs of the Fab 4 is a bit like choosing between children. But, on the JamsBio exclusive,
Playing The Beatles Backwards, one intrepid fan dares to rank the original songs of The Beatles and give his reasons why in a worst-to-first countdown. Prepare to hit the message boards to defend your favorites, and follow the countdown all the way to Number 1.

Hipster Olympics

I don't care where this was filmed, this is soooooo Seattle!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

House Prices in Our Neighborhood

Want to see how expensive houses are in our neighborhood? Go here. I love the 640 square foot condo for $225K. That's how ridiculous it is here, folks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1000 Journals Trailer

This is available on DVD now. I added it to my Netflix queue but it's not available to rent yet. My online friend Julie from Collage Clearinghouse is in the film. I can't wait to see it.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Hellboy: The Chained Coffin & Others by Mike Mignola
I decided to re-read all the Hellboy comics that the library has. The best compliment that I can pay these collections is that one day I'd like to own them all. Mignola is one of the most talented writers and illustrators in comics and Hellboy is one of the greatest characters ever created. I especially love how Mignola weaves ancient myths and faery tales into the stories. Really great stuff.
Superman: For Tomorrow Vol. 2 by Brian Azzarello, Jim Lee and Scott Williams
Volume 2 was no improvement on 1. The whole thing left me cold.
Batman: The Joker's Last Laugh by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty and others
This collection had too much going on. It's like they tried to throw everything in there...including the kitchen sink. The whole story revolves around the Joker being told he's got a tumor and is going to die. He then sets out on a final rampage, involving a ton of other heroes and villains. The story was too shallow and yet too dense all at the same time. They tried to do too much. The art was uneven and, due to the story, way too busy. The best thing about the collection is the cover art by Brian Bolland. Speaking of Bolland, if you ever want to read a great collection, get Camelot 3000. Great stuff.


Check it out. I'm one of over 100 guest bloggers over at Middle Zone Musings.'s not too late for you to get involved. Robert is still looking for a few good bloggers. He'll be running these guest spots thru Jan. 25th so if you're interested in participating, go here and find out how.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Civil War by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
In this graphic novel, the Superhuman Registration Act has become a reality. Superheroes must register with the government, reveal their secret identities and receive training to continue as a government sanctioned crimefighter. Some heroes agree to comply, others don't.
I didn't think I'd like this but I did. It was quite entertaining. It's not perfect. It sucks seeing some of your fave heroes selling out but it's only fiction and pretty gimmicky at that. Both DC and Marvel come up with these gimmicky premises to shake up the their respective universes and sell books. It's just another Secret Wars or Crisis on Infinite Earths. I look at it this way, as long as I'm getting them out of the library...I'll pretty much give anything a go.
Batman: Broken City by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
Yet another dark, noir Batman comic. Frank Miller's influence continues to shape the Dark Knight's stories. This one wasn't too bad. The art was very cool even though I hated the way the artist interpreted Killer Croc. I loved the characters Fat Man and Little Boy. I see a lot of potential there. I wonder if they are in any other stories?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Snow Kidding

Unbelievable. It's snowing again. We've gotten 4-5 inches since late this afternoon. They say it's supposed to warm up and rain but they also said we would only get 1 inch at the most so they are unreliable. At this point who knows what we'll wake up to in the morning.
I stepped out a few minutes ago and took these shots. Crazy weather, man.


Superman: Last Son by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner and Adam Kubert
This one intrigued me since it includes Donner. I've always loved what he did with the Superman movie and am looking forward to seeing his director's cut for Superman II. This story continues in that particular universe as if Donner had never stopped. It's an interesting next step and certainly more interesting than Bryan Singer's lackluster treatment of Supes. I can't talk about it much more or I'd spoil it for you.
Superman: For Tomorrow Vol. 1 by Brian Azzarello, Jim Lee and Scott Williams
This one was pretty boring. I usually like Jim Lee's art but it looks too sterile here. I really liked it in Batman: Hush when he darkened up a bit. I guess Supes can't go too dark. Anyway, the story was uninteresting and the writing seemed herky-jerky to me. I suppose I'll see if the library has the second volume but volume 1 didn't really make me want to continue.
Doctor 13: Architecture and Mortality by Brian Azzerello and Cliff Chang
This is a weird graphic novel. It makes use of crappiest characters ever conceived in the DC universe all pulled together in a story by the character of Doctor 13. In the story, "the Architects - shapers of the universe - don't have room for these misfits in their new world order. Can professional debunker Doc 13 unmask their secret? And if he does, will even he believe it?" So, it was enjoyable enough. Good art. Not much else to say, really.
The Dark Horse Book of Monsters by Keith Giffen, Mike Mignola, Al Milgrom and others
This one is part of an anthology series put out by Dark Horse. I'm hoping to find the rest via the library. Of course, this one is filled with short stories dealing with monsters. Some are good (like the Mignola and Giffen stories) and others are not. Mignola's Hellboy is always a treat. Giffen's story is interesting in that it deals with the advent of superheroes and how that affects scientist/adventurers like the Challengers of the Unknown. After these two stories, the rest are only so-so.

Art in 2009

We just got back from picking up some money from art sales so I thought I'd fill the blogosphere in on my plans for 2009.
- I will not be doing as many shows as 2008. If I can plan one for every other month, that will be enough. Last year I had a show nearly every month and it was hectic. So far, I am booked thru the middle of the year.
- I will be more particular about shows in the future. The show I had lined up for Dec. was cancelled at the last minute and I have heard nothing else from the person in charge. I am out a few bucks and I feel as though I was scammed.
- I hope to start selling my work online. I will checking into that as soon as finances allow. I think this is the next step for my art. We'll see.
- I sent my stuff in for the book my work is going to be in. The book will be called Masters: Collage published by Lark Books in spring of 2010. I'll provide more info as it's available.
I guess that's about it. Not much on the horizon right now. Not sure where to go except for the possibility of selling on the internet. I do know that I will continue to produce art no matter what.
The business stuff is secondary to the creative process.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

3 Parks in 1 Day

Yesterday, I visited 3 parks that I've never been to. I took about 250 pics between the 3. In the morning I went to Gasworks Park. After running errands for the rest of the day I ran over to Sunset Hill Park to catch the sunset (duh) and then raced over to Kerry Park for it's famous view of downtown Seattle. (It's one of the first shots in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You)There were tons of people there and about 15 photographers with their tripods and such. I felt like an amateur with my dinky digital. One day, one of those fancy SLRs will be mine.
So, a fun day of snapping pics. I'll post more when I have the time. Make sure you check my photo site and my Facebook for more pics.