Non-Sequitur # 57: A Chance For Folks To Meet

The Simple Things You Say Are All Complicated!

Yeah, so like I had a lot of stuff on my mind, then I forgot a lot of it,  then I thought of some other things to write about, then I got lazy, so um…let’s just jump in here…

I walked  to the grocery store early this morning and when I turned down one particular street, I saw  workers towing tons of cars. It was very weird then I remembered that they changed the route of the Gay Pride Parade this year and the starting point was actually in my neighborhood. I looked around and noticed all sorts of little signs on the trees that had messages about parking restrictions. I thought yeah, lots of people are gonna come out of these apartments in a couple hours and be PISSED.

A couple hours later I went to a different grocery store to buy beer. Masses of people had started to gather for the pride parade and then I thought, “Hey, this is the corner where those young dudes sometimes try to sell weed. I bet they won’t be out here today.”  Sure enough, as I passed their favorite awning, I walked by a dude on his cell phone pleading with one of his buddies, “But…Dude! Yer missin’ out on all this money! An’ I’m mad at so-and-so cuz I cain’t even get him on the phone!” I kinda wondered if his buddies didn’t want to come out because they were homophobic or if they were just more than likely concerned about increased police presence.

Sort of related to the above, yesterday, I passed the liquor store and there were a few guys  having a heated discussion out front. It was two wino looking guys  and one slightly younger dude in a shirt and tie. The tie guy was saying, “God’s not gonna go to Phelps ( I can only assume they were talking about the Father Phelps who goes around protesting gays at the funerals of dead soldiers) and say, ‘Ok, what was he doing…and what was he  doing…and what was he doing’…God’s gonna come and say, ‘What were YOU doing?” One of the wino guys replied, “But would YOU have sex with another man? Would YOU suck a dick?” I kinda thought…homie, if yer gonna get into a religious argument, ya gotta do better than, “But would you suck a dick?”  Understand, I’m not  making a case one way of the other for homosexuality, BUT…I’m not going to grow my beard out right now, that doesn’t automatically mean I think that people who do are morally suspect.

Yesterday, I walked to the local comic book store. On one particular corner ( at a strip mall nowhere near the comic book store by the way)  I saw a dude dressed like a superhero just sort of standing there. His suit was white with gold accents and he had sort of a Thor looking head piece with wings on the side. Thing is, I’d seen him a few weeks ago at the corner near my house ( his name was Spear Guardian or something, I can’t remember exactly). At that time, I thought he must be going to some party or event or just cosplaying for fun or something. Now I wonder if he’s trying to become the Phoenix Jones of the north side or whatever. All I can say is do yer thing, bud…but be careful. There’s lots of wannabe drug dealers with drooping pants around here, but there’s also real criminals too, so watch yer back.

Um, what else? …Oh!

Last weekend I went downtown to an indie comics convention. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. It was right before the Puerto Rican Day Parade ( Yes, another parade. It’s Chicago. From here on in there’s not going to be one weekend without either a parade or neighborhood fest, just deal with it). The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo was at Columbia College downtownhttp://www.cakechicago.com/. I got down there a little early, so I killed time at a Harold’s Chicken on Wabash St. I gotta say, that Harold’s is way better than the one by my house. It was bigger and extremely well light. The small fries I ordered would have been a large at almost any other eating establishment.

I didn’t check out any of the comics for sale at the convention cuz I’d already spent my comics budget for the week and I was mainly interested in seeing one  panel about women and atuobio comics. I thought they’d have an unique perspective on the medium. The artists had pretty interesting things to say about visual style and how much of real life they choose to put into their strips. I was a little surprised when one of the women made a random Jack Kirby  reference, but what REALLY surprised me was all the 80’s punk rock music that was playing over the loudspeakers before the panel started. Here’s what stood out that I can remember…

7  Seconds – Clenched Fists Black Eyes

Black Flag –You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You

Fear-I Love Living In The City

Misfits –40 Eyes

Fugazi- I don’t know which song, but I know it was Fugazi

Ramones- Blitzkrieg Bop

I totally remember that stuff from my teenage years. Hearing it in this venue made me feel both young again and very old at the same time. Fuggin’ mortality…

Also, last weekend there a street fest right here in my neighborhood. It was Chicago Pizza Fest or something. Even though it was within walking distance, I didn’t participate. The food they had there was exactly the same stuff I can get any day of the week only cheaper. They had live music of course. The headliners were 80’s new wave pop stars Berlin   and a local group called Too White Crew.  The bands might have gotten  me out there, then I remembered I only like one song by Berlin. An’ no…not Take Your Breath Away, but Masquerade.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azr2ooLlfzQ The other group was Too White Crew, they’re a local group that  does hip-hop/pop cover from the 90’s.  I didn’t make the effort to stay. Then it turned out I needn’t bothered anyway cuz Too White Crew  were so loud that I could hear them from my apartment with the window up. Luckily, I guess, I like TLC and have nostalgic feelings for Bev  Biv Devoe, otherwise I might have been pissed.

Um, ok…as I finished typing that last paragraph, my internet went out. I figured, “Alright, I’ll go out and get some beer and come back to it.” Outside right now the streets are swarming  with young people. I guess because of events related to Pride Day. On the way back to my house , I saw two girls and one guy who I’m going to assume was gay walking towards me. It seemed they had just exchanged words with a couple of thug looking guys behind them. The guy was saying, “I thought I heard him call me  a bitch! I was gonna blah, blah, blah!”  I walked by the thugs, the bigger of the two I sorta recognize from the neighborhood. His partner, however, I noticed had his pants sagging in the stereotypical “gangsta” way. They were literally just past his ass. I’m thinking like, “You wanna make fun of a guy for being gay. but you have your underwear showing. Do you even know where that ‘fashion’ started?” OH, THE FUCKING IRONY.

Comedian #1: When Before Watchmen was announced I said I wasn’t going to buy this one. I was at the comic store and bought it anyway.I was disappointed. Fuck me.

Enuff negativity! Let’s remember sweet, sweet music! Martha and the Vandellas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdvITn5cAVc

 

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Non-Sequitur #56: Summer and Blondes

Woman with Jimi Hendrix signature tattoo. Don’t hate…if you could have, you would have done it too. Hey, Jimi had his share of blondes, right?

Last week I was at Jewel Grocery Store buying artichoke and asiago dip and Doritos. I swear the girl (she wasn’t blonde) in line behind me let out a silent fart. Sure, she was cool about it and I didn’t let on…but, yeah…

Next morning I had beer and Cheetoes for breakfast. Yes, I am digging my own grave.

Morning after for breakfast I had wild rice and brocholli with a hot dog chopped up in it. Better, but not quite there yet.

Later, I went to the corner deli/grocery store and ordered three tacos for dinner. Two steak and one chicken. Funny, although the girl with big teeth is always there, I haven’t seen the lady who calls me senor in a long time. While I was waiting for food some dude came in wearing calogne so thick it almost knocked me out. On the the plus side, Blondie’s  Heart of Glass was playing in the store, so that made me happy.

Coming home from work last Thursday, an interesting woman got on the bus and sat between me and another dude.  She was a blonde lady wearing shades and carrying a cup filled with what I thought was tea. I was reading a local free paper that carries Dan Savage’s sex advice column http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=13860394. It seemed like the lady was peaking a  look at my paper so I turned from Dan’s column and went to the stage and movies reviews. I admit it, I got a little self conscious and didn’t want her to catch me reading the bit about what some dude was doing with his bear skin rug.

Anyway, things were uneventful for several blocks until the Blonde Lady noticed a young woman in the back of the bus wearing the T-Shirt of a particular rock star. Then we were all greeted to shrill cries of, “OH MY GOD! Johnny Lang! Oh my god…You saw JOHNNY LANG? OH MY GOD!!”  She then went on about how Johnny Lang is her 2nd favorite singer and how much she liked the girl’s T-shirt and oh my god Johnny Lang. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tigVYfHVmQ The young lady was polite and said thank you, but was clearly more interested in her i-phone than talking to strangers. That’s when I realized what the Blonde Lady’s fragrance was…it was perfume and gin.

Now please don’t think I’m judging. My Ex, the closest I’ve gotten  to having a love of my life was a heavy wine drinker. And had I been on that bus 24 hrs earlier, I would have been reeking of Ivory soap and high gravity lager. So, I’m not putting Blonde Lady down…I’m just saying Game Recognizes Game, ya know?

Blonde Lady then turned her attention to the guy who was sitting on the other side of her and they had a somewhat dis-jointed conversation about music venues in the city and suburbs. Their talk continued until she got off the bus. I took a look at her again when she was on the street. I saw her throw away the now empty cup that I originally thought was tea. Yeah…we’ll meet again someday.

Umm…comics?

Defenders #7: Art by Terry and Rachel Dodson…awesome! This issue features Black Cat  (she’s a platinum  blonde)stealing a Satan’s Claw for a group of group of collectors who promptly recruit her for another gig. Meanwhile, The Defenders are trying to track down the Prince of Orphans and their search leads then to Wakanda and the Black Panther. I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying Matt fractions writing on this series. I’m sorta looking forward to Jaimie McKelvie’s art next issue.

Animal Man #10:   ( Buddy Baker is blonde!) Ok, the story seems to be picking up again…so, I guess I’m happy again. Steve Pugh is a good replacement for Travel Foreman. He’s able to keep in step with the psychedelic horror vibe of the title.

Minute Men #1: It’s only the first issue and this seems to be mostly set up, so I’m not sure what to make of the story’s direction or what themes it will touch on later. Darwyn Cooke is very talented…however, so far this looks like a decent superhero comic and Watchmen was never supposed to be a superhero comic.


Hey! The weather’s been really nice lately! I think I’ll go outside and do something!

Finally, Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine.   Find this comic story and read it. http://www.atomicbooks.com/index.php/optic-nerve-7.html

Non-Sequitur #12: Rolling With the Punches to Get to What’s Real

Adam Hughes for the Win!

So the thing about decorating the tree started ‘cuz back in the old days people thought that spirits lived in trees and…what? What do you mean no one wants hear about why many Christmas traditions started as Pagan rituals? Look, many Christian theologians say…what do you mean I’m being a buzzkill? C ‘mon, they used to have the Solstice and folks would…OK! I’ll knock it off! Merry Christmas, alright?  We’ll just move on.

Just wait ’til  Easter comes…

Random Website Plug: Our Valued Customers. One panel gag strip about the true utterances of customers at an east coast Comic Book Shop. I got hip to this strip through the Inveterate Media Junkies ( look to the right ). Planned to spend maybe a few minutes peeking at it, I spent the next hour and half laughing my ass off. Check it out now http://ourvaluedcustomers.blogspot.com/

Random Political BS:  Rev Meeks withdrew from the Chicago mayoral race. There’s several black contenders . Meeks claimed he dropped out ‘cuz there should only be one strong african american candidate ( which is a BS concept in and of itself ). The real reason is ‘cuz he said some unenlightened things about ethnicity and folks called him on his BS. Basically, he said something to the effect that only black people and not asians, hispanics, or women(!) should be considered minorities. I’m sorry…I’m black, but I think that’s an ignorant statement. I’m glad he’s out of the race, saves me the extra effort of not voting for him out spite.

Hey, they just played “Jump” by Van Halen on the radio. Someone should do an article about how hard rock/heavy metal and guitar solos aside, Van Halen wrote some nifty melodic pop songs. Here’s a cover you can play for your aunt that hates heavy metal. Just don’t tell her who the original composers were. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COtZZmWKcRI

Random Street Story: I was waiting for the bus a few days ago and had an interesting conversation with a man who claimed to be a Viet Nam veteran. It started with him talking about how he thought the cops were lazy these days, then he told me about how he was able to smuggle drugs from Amsterdam back in the day. He narrowly escaped a pat down once. The drugs were in his underwear. The authorities asked “What’s this?” He said, “That’s my dick.” They backed off. After his escape, the vet got in a cab with a driver who didn’t mind him lighting a joint. The $20 ride only cost $5 because the driver got lost due to an extreme contact high.  Never a dull moment back in the 70’s.

I got a couple of comics.

Neonomicon #3: It’s a de-construction/tribute(?) to H.P. Lovecraft. I’m no expert on Lovecraft, so I can’t comment on that aspect of it. I can say it’s sick, twisted and thoroughly suspenseful. I can’t wait to see where the next issue goes. Not a comic book I’d give to a first date though.

Secret Avengers #8: Hey, that business I brought up about the name of Shang Chi’s father  in a previous column? It’s addressed in this issue! The former ( because of legal reasons ) Fu Manchu is now called Zheng Zu. John Steele makes his his presence felt. Fight with cult guys with swords happens. Ancient mystical stuff gets babbled about. It’s all superhero team goodness. Ok, stuff I’m gonna whine about…Valkyrie has a fight in broad daylight along side the other Avengers. There’s not one clear drawing of her face.  And maybe this has been addressed in a comic I haven’t read, but what’s going on with the Beast these days? Does he have 4 fingers or 5? It seems  the artists nowadays are trying to split the difference between cat Beast and old ape Beast. Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

Avengers, Children’s Crusade #1: There’s a editor’s note on the first page that explains that because the story was written a few years ago, it is kinda hard to fit in continuity. I’m glad they just admitted it upfront. The gist of the set up is Wiccan and Speed might be long lost sons of the Scarlet Witch who went missing at the end of “House of M”. The Scarlet Witch had powers great enough to warp reality and the concern is that Wiccan may be just as dangerous. The Young Avengers decide to find the Witch and discover the truth. There’s tons of exposition and dialogue and none of it seems forced or unnecessary. THIS is how you do a comic book about superheroes talking.

Speaking of the Avengers, here’s the first part of  an interesting analysis of the the first issue of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Avengers. Parts 2 and 3 are on this site as well. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy! http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.com/2010/12/making-sense-of-mighty-avengers-from.html

There was no mistletoe in the manger where Jesus was born. Ok, I’ll stop now.

Non-Sequitur #3.5: Your “What” Hurts?

NS #3 is on my “Well,uh” blog over at blogspot cuz I can’t  upload the video here. Dammit.

A nice day out today. Sunny and warm.

Deadpool Max#1: I know, I know…and I rag about the over-exposure of Deadpool as much as anyone else, but I was curious as to how the Max title might differ from the other titles.  It’s not bad, just kinda “meh”. The story by David Lapham  is told from the point of view of govt. agent Bob. Something about  infiltrating the mob and trying to assasinate crimminal boss Hammerhead using insane mercenary Deadpool.The art is by Kyle Baker who has been doing satire and humor for years in various commercial and alternative formats.  It wasn’t as funny as it could’ve been nor as over the top as I expected. Sure, there’s some mild sexual content and a bit of profanity, but I guess I thought they’d use the freedom to really go crazy.

What I’d really like to see from a title like this is perhaps more surreal off-the-wall satire. Instead of just another adventure only with swearing, why not have Deadpool unleash his fury at the DMV?  Or the long lines at the post office? Or a fancy White House meeting? Or dispute a traffic ticket? Since this isn’t part of regular continuity, you could have him blow up the X-Mansion by accident. Maybe kill some well know Marvel character over some imagined slight. If it were me, I’d give Deadpool Max a real funky 70’s underground comix FTW vibe.

But of course, I’m not writing it, so “eff” me…

Hit Monkey#1: Here’s a comic that I enjoyed alot more than I thought I would. The story is by Daniel Way and the art is  by Dalibor Talsjic. It seems to be about a monkey who’s out to get revenge on the the dictator and criminals that killed his tribe and he’s guided by the ghost of a slain assassin. I know I’m late to this one, but I had nothing  but fun reading this thing…and isn’t that what you want out of a comic book? Hit Monkey!

Neonomicon #2: By Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, I’m still on board. In  way I kinda wish Marvel would use their Max titles to publish work like this. It’s a horror story of FBI agents investigating murders that are somehow related to the writings of H P Lovecraft. Very strange and disturbing and adult in a non-sensationalistic way. There’s no parental advisory on this comic which may or may not be a mistake, but it hardly looks like something that would be attractive to a child anyway. There’s little violence, but some non-prurient nudity and a very over-all creepy tone.   This is the first thing that referenced Lovecraft that actually made me want to read his work.

I’m not a big Modonna fan, but I like this song

As usual there’s no real theme, but guns appear in each of these comics and I’m sure Madonna knows what a gun looks like so HA!

More popcorn chicken and beer tonite. I’ll eat a real meal tomorrow.

Non-Sequitur vol.2, no.1

RE-numbering! If Marvel comics can do it why can’t I? A year from now, I’ll invent an excuse as to why that post should be considered #500. And a year after that, I’ll be back to #1! It’s not about content it’s about re-branding!

 

I just thought this image was cool.

 

I really meant to get this post up a few days back, but I’ve been sick. I’ve also been going to work so I haven’t been able to properly recuperate. Now with a head full of cheap dollar store robitussin, I’ll try to write a few coherent thoughts.

Neonomicon #1: Interesting set up by Alan Moore. Not sure where it’s going but I’ll give it a chance. So far it seems to be about FBI agents investigating mysticism, serial killers and language? The art by Jacen Burrows is good but not dazzling. I’d call it “functional”. The drawing ability is there, but I wish it had more zip, or style or dynamism. Alan Moore’s a big name, but more people seem interested in his loose comments than his actual work. I can only guess the reason this comic isn’t discussed more is cuz Batman isn’t in it.

New Avengers #4: I’m still really really enjoying the Stuart Immonen art, but the story’s starting to just run in place now. The plot seems to be stalling with certain information simply for the sake of stalling (otherwise known as writing for the trade). **SEMI-SPOILER** If  a certain person were to spill incriminating info on Doc  to Danny, wouldn’t he tell Danny the WHOLE story instead of  sending Danny back to question Doc about the most important piece of info?

U-Turn: Directed by Oliver Stone.  It’s a pseudo-neo noir starting Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez. I was going to do a You Tube piece on this movie, but after it was over I couldn’t think of  enuff interesting things to say. I enjoyed most of the performances and I ESPECIALLY liked Billy Bob Thornton’s part,but…It’s one of those movies where you enjoy it while you’re watching it, but once it’s over you’re like, “Eh, what’s next?”

I ate two hot dogs with cheese slices for dinner. I’ll pay for that tomorrow.