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Saturday, July 31, 2004

It's Sunday the 1st. I'm sitting desperatly attempting to make a dent in the mass of work I have to do over the next few weeks. That's what you get for procrastinating. I as happy to be distracted from my work by the musing of the good Rev before he was a reverend. I felt nolstagic and homesick all at once. Did the goo-balls ever kick in, I can't remember. I am glad someone wrote some of that experience down, because my recolection of the event is vague. I have some pictures of the trip home, but few of the event itself. I don't know why. Looks like I only got my camera out on the final day. I remember too the lines to the portaloos. I was impressed at how well they were kept and not so impressed at the state of them by the third day. I still have the overalls I think I wore for the entire three days of the event. I still have the glass piece that I purchased at that mystical event... though regrettably it is unusable now, I don't have the heart to throw such a relic away. Days like taht come once sometimes twice in a lifetime. I'm glad I got to share the experience with the people I did.
Just when I think I've got the world figured out something like this happens... http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/07/31/nomar_dealt_to_cubs_sox_get_cabrera_mientkiewicz/

Friday, July 30, 2004

TAWKING COMICS

UMEMPLOYMENT EDITION!!!

TWO WEEKS LATE! Well…I realized I’ve done nothing since July 16, 2004, my last day of work. I don’t just in OCHO but in life too. 10am wake & bakes for two weeks…well…I’ve almost had enough of that. But I’ve gotten cozy with the Comics Gnome and blew through the current volume of the JLA. Issue #102 is featured today but I went back to issue number one and went VROOOM! I read some Animal Man from DC Mature-DC/Vertigo. Probably tackle Bendis’ Powers soon too. I hear that a real treat with art by Michael Avon Oeming.

Since I was being a delinquent, what was first read LAST week…

The Flash #212

Brief History of a Rogue. The Mirror Master. This stand-alone breaks the current “run” up with Flash’s Rogues Gallery teaming up. Great for new readers. The second-generation Mirror Master’s origin plays like Cliff’s Notes but I always like clarification too. I learn new stuff everyday about the funnies.

Second read in the stack (which vied for #1 you know)

Daredevil #62

Natasha’s back in town. Matt really doesn’t know what to do with her outside of the tourist crap. Awesome Maleev art. Great Bendis writing. Still in the top 5 every week it comes out. It’s fun and well done. Teams are not rare in Comics. Finding a good match works well and it’s good to keep familiar “team ups”. Bendis and Maleev are Daredevil. Bendis and Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man (inked by Art Thibert…there’s such a difference in the newer Ult Spidey’s inked by Scott Hanna). Ellis & Cassaday on Planetary. Ennis & Dillon on their collaborations.

Spectacular Spider-Man #17

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HUMBERTO RAMOS IS BACK!!! HUZZAH!!! And Spidey is changing after his encounter last issue. This title sports the Avengers Disassemble crossover/revamp for a few issues but who cares? Humberto Ramos is BACK!!! Until issue #20, Spidey is Disassembled. Big things back at his flagship too. I didn’t think Spidey needed tweaking though. Events mean sales and I’ll get into it on Amazing Spider-Man Sins Past Part 2.

Seaguy #3 (of 3)

Another screwball by Grant Morrison. Does not fail to confuse and it does not fail to entertain. At least the moon rocks were explained. This’ll be a TPB before you know it. And I really gotta go read it again. And again.

Adventures of Superman #630

Now this is getting good. I was noshing with the Comics Gnome the other day and we were talking Superman Relaunch. Action has Action. Adventures is centered on Lois on assignment and Lupe getting Superman’s attention. And the Azzarello/Lee title is a lot of great pictures of Superman talking to a priest and a s…l…o…w…developing story but it is the darkest of the three. So far, Action and Adventures take the lead in this Relaunch shockingly over the Super Friends of Azzarello and Lee. In this Adventures of Superman, Mr. Myztlyplk shows up and it’s a Morpheus/Neo moment shared between the two adversaries.

Lean week but here is the STACK from this week…

First read Wednesday (yes!) was

Green Lantern #179

Ron Marz and Luke Ross make Kyle’s last ride one to remember. The writer who played Hippolyta to Diana with this GL gets to finish his volume. 2 issues remain until the pooch is screwed! Depressed, dejected, troubled, coming down from being mickeyed in a fight, a little beaten up…Kyle knows the identity of the person who sent Fatality after him. And one the way to hunt this rogue down (who actually worked for President Luthor’s US government) is blocked by old friend and “Corps” brethren, John Stewart. Green Lantern vs. Green Lantern! The bad guy will have to do his own dirty work and take care of business himself. This issue is great as a stand-alone for Luke Ross’ art and fight scene alone. 2 more issues to go. I will miss my favorite title but the Emerald Torch goes back to basics for the foreseeable future. This one time “Hal Jordan only” fan was pleased to have his mind changed.

SLEEPER Season 2, #2

I thought it was a “lighter” issue at first but this is just another Acme product from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The sequence of the panels is just wonderful, overlapping panels with clean gutters on a full-page panel with the sequential panels overlaid on top. As if it resembled open windows on a computer desktop or even more traditionally a series of photos. The caption, the noir grit as if Holden Carver provides the first person point-of-view narration. It’s a shadowy tale and the shadows and “lighting” are used for effect.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #198

What’s going on here? Is Conjob amnesiac? What’s the rumpus this time? Well, it’s too steeped in prior plot lines to really talk about but Marcello Frusin’s art, dark & foreboding is sinfully delicious. Mike Carey’s story-telling is dramatic and building the proper tension to its conclusion next issue and its milestone issue #200.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #9

Another Warren Ellis powerhouse. Stuart Immonen’s art is untouchable. Clever, snappy dialog from the Modern Marvel’s First Family. Doom: Part 3 shows off fine story-telling chops with familiar characters by a master scribe. Over talking this cannot do any good.

Superman #207

About time, this one’s a bit more action oriented. It’s still chockfull of talking to a Priest. And the “Vanishing” is as confounding as ever but there is heavy-duty action here. A lot of melodrama but entertaining. Last week’s “Adventures of” was the first indication the three titles will fold into each other with Mr. Mylxyplk unheeded “fair warning of a real Wolf”.

Catwoman #33

I think I need to reread that Egyptian storyline to resolve just what the hell happened there. Double the Brubaker this week with SLEEPER Season 2 #2 on the New Release shelf at the Bodega. Chock full of that great Brubaker narrative caption. Catwoman regards a burning Mob warehouse courtesy of herself and the Narrative reads, “okay, so Bruce would have handled that differently, I know…but not in the Early Days. Back when he wasn’t above burning the Mafia out of his City. And I remember those days well…”. Diego Olmos and Jimmy Palmiotti handle the art.

Batman #630

And while I’m talking about the Cat, why not mention the Bat. As the Crow Flies concludes in decent fashion, leaving a great mystery at the end and wrapping up a great run by Judd Winick and Dustin “Don’t confuse me with Harry Truman from 21 Jump Street Dustin Nguyen, I drew Wildcats 3.0 and I’m getting the Authority” Nguyen. Bruce gets his Tony Stark on big time in Miller DK1 “fashion”. All Bat-titles lead to next week’s “Batman: The 12 Cent Adventure”. Another grand Bat-tile uniting mega cross over indebting the comics fan to get them all in order to get the whole story in the tradition of Knighfall, Cataclysm and No Man’s Land to name a few. It’s one of the few titles that can pull off mega crossovers due to the plethora of Bat-tiles. Recently, the Comics Gnome and I with all this free time I’ve come across took some pressure of the Library by giving the Bat his own “wing”. All Bat-tiles have been sorted and separated from the herd, that’s right. And due to the surplus of the Bat-titles, they are arranged chronologically and not alphabetically.

Astonishing X-Men #3

Yawn. I hate to say it. Here, lemme review Excalibur #3 which came out this week also in the same thought…

Excalibur #3

Cassaday’s art is great. Whedon’s storytelling & dialog is acme but will someone tell me what the heck is missing? It is like not adding salt won’t make it taste better, there’s something in the recipe that’s too bland. Something’s lacking. This dream team is a dream…and it’s putting me to sleep. Claremont is boring me into a coma with Excalibur. I think it’s time to slim this down to the minimum X-Titles per month.

Planetary #20

But Cassaday is where he’s used to us seeing him with Warren Ellis on this WildStorm Universe spanning title. This one’s steeped in previous Planetary esoteric knowledge so not a good point for “every issue can be a jump on spot”. As always these issues build towards its conclusion but all introduce an element of a “stand-alone”. A little confounding at this point. I think a reread of the run is in order but very good and very Ellis.

JLA #102

Pain of the Gods part 2. Chuck Austen writes. He’s a legend. He’s prolific. He’s does a lot at DC. Part of their “stable” along with Winick, Marz, Geoff Johns, et al. In this bi-weekly run, each member of the Super Friends…I mean the JLA come across doubt and pain from the job when they realize their limits in trying to help people. And in the cases where even their greatest strength can save someone’s day. This week: The Fastest Man Alive…the Flash! It is well written and meaningful. Chuck Austen is also doing a slam-tastic job over at Action Comics on the Superman: Relaunch.

The Amazing Spider-Man #510

J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato, Jr bring us Sins Past, Part 2. Spider-Man too must endure some series shaking alteration. Now I don’t see why but remember that the Gods were responsible for the Trojan War & the Iliad and the heroes were just pawns for their amusement. I do not see much difference here. Spider-Man has always been a tragic figure. His friends and family always at risk of harm or harming him. Peter Parker is a very troubled soul doing his best to keep it together. And he does but all that is about to come crashing down around him. In Part 1, Peter receives a “Dead Letter” delivered years too late. From his late first love, Gwen Stacy on an occasion she ran away from him and their life and before she lost hers at the whim of the Green Goblin. The mind behind Babylon 5 knows how to perpetuate a serialized and continuing story all right. Stay tuned on Spidey. I just hope it’s not a rehash of the Clone Genesis, the Cosmic Spidey or when his “parents” returned. Some of that was just too much.

Marvel Knights “Knights 4” #8

Hoo boyeee!!! Really fun. I miss Steve McNiven’s art but Jim Muniz got Sue Richards MILF down pat. Namor, Prince of Atlantis, the Sub-Mariner rears his pointy ears again pursuing sue for her affection again. Namor & Sue’s temptation goes WAY back but her heart always leads her to Reed. This time, the advantageous Atlantean addresses awkward accommodations and amorous attraction! Namor uses the “poor” card to sway Sue with an enticing offer of “happily ever after” in light of the FF’s recent financial woes and eviction from 4 Freedoms Plaza. Reed shows up and…well boys will be boys. Frozen Part 1 was really good. Short & sweet only 2 parts.

Powerless #2

A tribute to Astonishing X-Men #1???

I dunno yet. Shades of 1602. A psychiatist awakes after a coma to find himself in “our real” world and meets analogs of Marvel Universe heroes with very similar life circumstances. Norman Osborne haunts a young Peter Parker. NYC attorney Matt Murdock uncovers who the Kingpin of Crime is and tries to take him down. And a confused, short Canadian with knives on his wrists finds himself with blood on his hands. Will this go somewhere or is it a waste of time like NYX (recently put down).

The Avengers #500

So a milestone or is it a millstone. Welcome to Avengers Disassemble! Written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled by David Finch. Strange things are afoot at the Avengers Mansion. The team as we know them will never be the same. Chaos Part 1 starts off with a bang and doesn’t stop. Too bad it’s a mega crossover even spanning over 6 monthly titles. The Avengers needed a shake up. The 50 cent jump on issue # 492 “Lionheart of Avalon” storyline failed to catch attention over here. As all long running titles must have this key thing; housecleaning. And Bendis is house wrecking. Chaos is exactly what’s going on here. At the U.N., the other half of the Avengers team are being manipulated too as US Defense Secretary Tony Stark, the Iron Man loses control addressing the Security Council. What is going on? What other Marvel Universe Bendis will factor in?

And stop the f*in’ presses…

The Red Star, Vol. 2 #5

Archangel Studio’s “raison d’etre” IMHO. The Red Star, the textbook example of a 21st Century funnybook and its intermittent circulation. This is one great book but you have to realize it must take forever to produce. Issues average I’d guess every 3 months. A Zero is loose on the Konstantinov. A Zero is the soldier with the one mission to eliminate the command crew on a boarding mission even at the cost of destroying the ship. Kyuzo, Maya Antares protector is the only thing in the Zero’s way. And this issue sets us up for the next act as the Gates of Archangel are in sight and a more Global conspiracy is realized regarding the future of the Souls and their freedom. It’ll be awhile until the next issue so go and find the Vol. 1 TPB, grab a soda and read, read, read. Volume 2 is akin to saying “Season 2”. The first time I saw Red Star was Vol. 2, #1 and it was completely inaccessible. But damn if Vol. 1 didn’t curl my toes.

That’s it for this edition of UNEMPLOYMENT OCHO! I’ll keep writing and publishing the Comics Gnome Pootings as long as I’m able.

Next week???

‘Namaste children.

NOTE: This narrative was unearthed in a time capsule. No really...I was "scudding" my closet of Ki Blockers in a Huge Purge. A Cull for Knickknacks and odd dust collecting items. This Edition of the OCHO Way-Back machine takes us to August 1998 and the time spent at Phish's Outdoor show, Lemonwheel. Phish is calling it quits with their last show in Vermont, an multi-day, outdoor experience as they're known for hosting. So this starts in the rain and the pages are a little smudged. I then switched from felt tip to ballpoint. It was written over the course of the event, of course. Starting In Medios Rez talking to our “neighbors” at a huge outdoor, multi-day show mostly under the influence of mind-enhancing herbs & spices (as are most of my Cranial Claymores). This Urban Dweller rarely gets out of the City. In fact I make it known that if you cannot get there by the “T”, the local moniker for the Subway, then it don’t exist. But really…I went to Phish’s “IT” in August of 2003, also documented on OCHO IT Link , last year again held at Loring AFB in Limestone, ME. IT wasn’t the magical event that Lemonwheel was. IT resembled a Bosnian concentration camp more than a hippie, good time, feel good extravaganza but I digress. Hooey claimed the Clifford Ball was best. I heard that The Great Went went well for all involved. My first experience with the cultural phenomenon of the outdoor show, wookiees, men with skirts and veggie burritos started in Limestone, ME. So far North I dreamt in French from my fillings picking up Canadian radio... So with little editorial revision, let’s go back to those Elysian Fields and Halcyon Daze. The narrative changes as it goes being written over that weekend in 1998, hundreds of miles away from the closest “T” stop. Some is reporting and some is reflection, sometimes the verb tense is present, sometimes it’s past. So to Trey, Mike, Fishman and Page, thanks for the studio albums, that’s how I enjoy yourself. What is this narrative though? A chronicle? An open letter to the parents of these hedonistic hippies (which gets lost by the end like John Saxon in “Mitchell”). A commentary on the culture. Musing about tee shirts? The true nature of clichéd expressions? After all this time I still don’t know and can’t recall. It was a great weekend nonetheless. In reflection I do regret voting for Dole but stand by my assessment of Reagan. ^_~ –‘Namaste, eo’s

For Matt, Leah and rest of us passengers

The kid with the “Dolores Haze” band tee shirt didn’t get it when I called him Lolita.

The rain started. Hell, it wouldn’t have been an outdoor show without the rain. En francais, il pleut.

The “Love-Matic Grandpa” at the Burger King in Grey, ME gave me a rating of 148 with 150 being “Super Stud”. Hey, that’s the truth. But I hyperventilated and rubbed my bare hands on the legs of my blue jeans. The ensuing friction and racing heartbeat had nothing to do with my Rating, of course.

The “Goo Ball” should be kicking in soon. After that, the real fun starts.

No one’s gonna call me “stinky bum”. My toilet paper was hand-rolled into the shape of a fine Cuban cigar. I took no offense to the security man giving my ass a second grab. Indeed, I was quite flattered. “Toilet paper”, I told him with a grin.

Unmarked helicopters hover above sometimes to make the natives restless and give them something to talk about. God love the C.I.A. Without them, none of this would be possible. Thank you boys, I’m proud to be an American. I mean that gawddammit. This is serious shit.

Back to Action to quote the Power Rangers. Not a cliché. Carries no wisdom. Cliché means an overused idea or expression. Literary ones that people say in circumstances I think have more purpose than just being lip service to a situation.

This place needs waiter service. “Yes, I’d like to order a Lobster Colada”, This is Maine. Are those ticks biting my back? Getting in my pubes??? Uggghhh…S’why I weed whack. One part optical illusion (less hair more dinky).

Enjoy the silence to quote Depeche Mode. Not invoking cliché or has that phrase graduated, I use it enough. Interesting side note though, their album Violator is OK for everyone to own. Not just discerning men but I digress…

The drum circle far to the rear and the Jazz from the sound towers will be replaced by screaming, standing, dangling, smoking, doping hippin’ M.F.s. Enjoy the silence for soon we’ll have to exert Energy. For soon we’ll have to act our age and be young. This place is a hedonistic paradise. Summer camp for those over 21. Hell, make it 25. I voted for Dole. He could have been the next Reagan. For those who think that Reagan was a bad president are only pissed because they didn’t drive a “Beemer” in the 80s. I know, I’m your child. I grew up watching you. I learned from you. There aren’t many minors here. I’m surprised. I’d ballpark to say that most here would remember teevee with educational value and no supporting line of action figures.

I’m starting to think I got burned on the Goo Ball.

Distant cousins of Portabella wait on some event horizon. More and more phile in. I mean that. Yes, it is spelled correctly. My cross to bear for being clever and yours to use your imagination.

Elbowroom couldn’t be traded for smokes. This is what happens when you let the television be your child’s babysitter. A sea of tie-dye, dirty dreads, sandals! Sandals! Sandals! I’ve seen more feet today than the Boston Bruins trainer cured Athlete’s Foot. Some Native Americans used the ground up shell of the Black Walnut to cure that dreaded condition. Girls should remember not to confuse that tube of Cruex in their boyfriend’s bathroom medicine cabinet for toothpaste because of a cruder but similar condition.

Hemp necklaces, tee shirts advocating the inhalation of herbs grown from the Earth. These same herbs have been morally subjugated even though in Genesis God clearly states that all that grown from the ground is for us. This is a paraphrase of course but an accurate one. Go get a Bible and prove me wrong, Jack. Dancing Bears, hackey sacks, anklets that jingle, men in dresses but most definitely NOT in a cross-dressing or gender bending way.

See. See how your children dress. Fun, huh? Wish you had the gonads to do this. Cast aside the polyester for a weekend, eat under the stars, and trip the light fantastic with about 70,000 others all in your state of mind. The only way to find your mind is to lose it. Nicely & spiritually of course which is what the Vibe is. Not in a Sodom & Gomorrah out of a Bible sermon way. Hey, the Ferris Wheel has started up.

4:20 came and went without any hoopla. Surprising. Perplexed somewhat. Kind of a contradiction to all the tee shirts I saw. The band is visible and milling about. I bet they got a watch and a sense of time. I forsook the use of a personal chronometer after I read an issue of GQ at an impressionable age hearing that not wearing a watch is the Ultimate Personal Power Symbol.

Would you look at all the people here? See your children play. It is a sight to see, parents though few would condone.

Go to the parking lots. I’d bet a Southie Sawbuck that you’d find tags from 49 states and a few Canadian provinces. This is an unexploited cash cow for those with dreams of corrupting good things.

I think it’s almost time.

And the Goo Ball still isn’t working. Caveat Emptor. This might be a cliché. No, I’m not telling you what that means; do your own legwork for once. ^_~. It’s used when you get hosed on a transaction.

There’s something in the air besides the smell of pot. Yes, energy. Good energy. This is called “letting one’s hair down”. This is how to vacation. Well, for us at least. Most here aren’t held back with kids & mortgage. Those paths are ahead for most.

This is some strange legacy being played out here and more than just the obvious Woodstock comparisons. Something a bit more primal and fugitive about this. I haven’t quite I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet. Haven’t scored a tab yet either.

The rain stopped about the same time I mentioned wanting a waiter, you should know. You should also know that your daughters are not wearing bras. Even in some of those garish costumes.

The worst part if the “pink face”. Some dance, some sit. Some mill & talk and some focus completely on the Stage. The Sun wants to break out like a riot. I know this from the pins & jabs of heat from the sky. I see shadows dance. My hand’s shadow flies on the vivid green field.

My God, I’m forgetting who I am. I’m hooked into a circuit. This Vibe. This Energy. It is true and it is good. The music is a magnifying glass. There are over 70,000 souls here. 70,000 bills with jobs to pay them. 70,000 (or probably much less) cars to get them to their homes to tell at least one person who cares. Your sons & daughters are good people. They are not fighting in the sandbox. They are sharing their toys and playing nice.

People are people. Cliché.

My Freshman Classical Lit professor my one & only year at University said to me as receipt of grade & paper that I used too many clichés. He was probably correct but I contest this and submit to you that clichés must be re-examined and taken more literally. Dig this; I’ve begun to see the truth in clichés. It began with seeing a kitty cat with a “hair up its ass”. The poor feline was dragging its rear against a carpet trying to remove a semi-passed stand of hair from its rectum. After using the cat box, it found itself needing remedy.

After that, the rest came to me about the power of the Cliché, the overused expression as vessels of wisdom and common sense.

But people are people. Someone always pisses someone else off. Here it’s someone bumping into you repeatedly while you’re watching the show all the way to littering. So what. Overall, you should hear these kids. They’re jamming. Not the band silly. They haven’t been kids in a long while. The crowd, we, nous.

Vibe. For this much humanity to feel this. I’ll never make it to the Republican National Convention so this will have to do.

And this is just the first set of the day. I’ve already got “pink head”.

Fair, indoor workingmen and women’s skin are a hue of shiny pink due to the strength of yesterday’s sun. I want to create a cliché right now. This place is literally like a Baseball park bleacher on Acid but I don’t think that one would cut the mustard on a Fenway Frank. It’s time for dinner.

The Choppers are buzzin’ about. I want to make ‘em an LZ. The L.Z. for anyone who didn’t catch “China Beach” just to look at Dana Delany, means Landing Zone in military Jargon. I think Green smoke means EVAC…I can’t look it up right now. And “evac” means “get me the fuck out of here NOW!”. Not that I wanted to go anywhere. Nah, here is just fine. This is heaven on Earth for one who rarely steps out of the Back Bay of Boston Proper. My, my, my…this is nice. Maybe Bob Dole’s grandchildren are here and have had enough. Pull the tab on the can, light the green, blue or red smoke. Whatever it is for evac. Get the Dole kids to D.C. STAT!!! I also forget which color smoke means the Pope is dead. Screw the Dole kids, me…I’m fine right here.

Psilocyllin nipping at my cerebellum, I just check out clouds and listen to the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, eating clementines and mangos. The mangos were compliments our neighbors who were nice enough to pass over to us. Does the plural of “mango” contain an “e”? I dunno…my Biro lacks a spell check. I’ll ask the Dole kids before they leave when the CIA drops off more G13. They’ll be in the smoke filled L.Z. shortly clutching hemp necklaces and clever “vases”. They have a direct line to Qualye and he’s “wicked smaht”. Why are the Dole kids leaving? I think it was the line to the only ATM is what scared them off.

The Automatic Teller Machine’s line was more fun for me than the Ferris Wheel. I’m scared of heights. I didn’t even bring my ATM card for fear of exactly this. Be prepared, the Boy Scout’s cliché. So my interest in this was as JAFO at the Disney-esque imagining of signs stating “1 ½ hour wait from this Point” one-quarter the distance from the Machine. There’s a photo contest, you know. If I only hadda camera and make a really, really long picture. I’d have to hold the camera awfully steady.

I have strange thoughts as I look at the crowd between set breaks. So many heads, arms, hats. Christ, I wish I were an ultra-charismatic person. I hop on the stage, rile them up and ARM them! Was this how Napoleon or Alexander felt? The band must get a kick out of this. Especially at night with the War of the Glowsticks.

I was in the back for the 2nd and 3rd sets on the second night. The way the glowsticks resembles erupting lava was only second to the sunset. Although the sunset at the Great Went has______reverence.

Two people died the first night of the shows. Suffocated themselves on Nitrous. People out there who feel desensitized by Media should know that at the age of 15 I saw an instance of tragic gun violence. I see such sadness and tragedy as I look at the bold print in the newspaper “2 Die at Phish Show”. Empathy racked me. Those two came with friends. They will be missed by them and their family…misadventure.

Nitrous Oxide. Hippie crack. Laughing gas. I love NO2. Very good stuff in moderation. Nitrous is an element found at these types of outdoor events. A balloon of joy. It’s easy enough to get, bring and smuggle if you’ve worked out the angles but it comes down to a question of quality. Big difference between a dentist bottle and a bar bottle for pouring Guinness and other draughts. Those bastards should be stung up like Dennis Quaid in “Midnight Express” and have their feet beaten with Shillelaghs for selling bad hippie crack to those two kids. They were someone’s son or daughter. Someone’s friends.

Bad nitrous, ATM’s, vendors. Where did this go wrong? When did I notice some of this cheese stunk? Probably when it was pointed out to me that it didn’t used to be like that. With jocks in the ATM line looking to score ganja off of hippies they despised? With vendors supplanting the individual. I was escorted to an old friend of mine. Yes, he was cooking on pilfered cookery and heating units from the restaurant he worked in, why ask? He was selling breakfast, lunch & dinner out of his VW van, as is the Custom of this Culture. A makeshift counter was available with seats. It was no Veggie Burrito from a Stoner Chick. We were obligated to eat. When in Rome as you know… Good food. On the house. Left mad tip. Great to see him again. How fortuitous. I was also happy to give a hippy $1 for a can of Dr. Pepper on the way back to camp from “Town”.

4:20 came and went without much hoopla on the 2nd day either contrary to what the tee shirts support.

At least they didn’t set fire to the elephant. The year before, a pyre was made out of a sculpture made by the crowd in the same spot! The crafted “elephant” used reverse psychology instead and shot out fireworks. Finale. The elephant was escorted out by columns of torches. Very pagan. Very disturbing. I never got that Tab I was thinking about. By the time any acid was offered to me, it was well into the 3rd set. Earlier I bumped into a very large and gregarious old mate of mine who offered a spin. Drops on Juicy Fruit. Free, to boot. I declined. Glad to have passed on looking that gift horse in the mouth.

When we left to walk back to the campsite, the temperature dropped about 35 deg from when the 1st set started. No campsite socials now, only for those with Beer for Brains. I understand the true value of fleece and will never mock it again.

We woke up late. The city of Tent had dwindled to a Shantytown. Mostly everyone else in our section, Camp Mohammed Ali (the opposing camp site was Camp Foreman…no joke) had left at dawn or earlier. While the Ride was packed with our gear by mechanically inclined of the group, I wandered around picking up pieces of Human Disposables. Beer cans. Cheese wrappers from individual slices. Hot dog packages. Beer cans. Cigarette boxes. Styrofoam plates. Plastic cutlery. Beer cans. Wet blankets. Ash filled Hibachis. Paper napkins and towels. Underwear (in some soiled condition and soaking…I used sticks for this one). All the missing left socks of the world. Beer cans. A piece of the true Cross. Beer cans. The tomb of an unnamed Viking from the 1500s. Beer cans.

Did I feel like I made a difference? Of course not. One of my compatriots hailed me to the car saying the same. I shrugged and kept busy until we were leaving. I did my part. I like reading the signs wishing us farewell from the good people of Limestone, ME. The waves, the smiles. The families on the side of the road. Those made me feel good after a weekend of feeling GREAT! I felt better accepting their well-wishing fully aware that I did not leave their town a mess.

If you wanted a set list, go look it up.

Sully, 1998

Swamp Thing by Alan Moore

In 6 volumes of trade paperback

DC/Vertigo

At issue #21 in February 1984,

A new writer was assigned to an apparent sink or swim project. A superhero title in need of a shot in the arm. Either sales will boost or not. Change in direction. Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams were given the same opportunity by Julie Schwartz in 1970 and that edition of Green Lantern only went 13 issues and three 8-page spots in the back of The Flash to complete the story of the Green Lantern/Green Arrow team up. Bad sales were quoted as the reason to terminate that monumental run (savage symmetry, n’est pas? I mean GL/GA could have only been run into the ground like the Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” but I digress…). Neither letters from rabid fans overwhelmed that a funnybook could be so poignant nor accolades from the press media & academia were enough to stop the axe from coming down. Alan Moore got “the Saga of the Swamp Thing” and in doing so, a chess piece in the DCU Terra Firma for a while was placed in those ringed hands. The same ones that spin the hairs on his chin when he’s thinking up this stuff. It was like giving Garth Ennis the ability to run amok in the DCU with Tommy Monaghan, The Hitman. Swamp Thing inspired a Wes Craven movie, a campy sequel starring the brilliantly cast Heather Locklear as Abby Arcane and a legendary funnybook spin-off with a character Moore introduces: John Constantine. Hellblazer is to Swamp Thing as Mork & Mindy was to Happy Days. Moore is one of the best in the biz when it comes to writing this kind of fiction. Horror fiction that is.

Swamp Thing I think fits that bill. Swamp Thing is horror fiction. A glorified zombie, he is. Dr. Alec Holland runs into the Swamp on fire as the result of a murder attempt, a bomb in his lab. Covered in some genetically altering potion or the catalyst for the Voice of the Planet, the Elemental. Depends what counts for canon, I s’pose but either way Alec Holland died and Swamp Thing rose in his place. A theme, a question is found running in the title; is Swamp Thing Alec Holland or is it a plant that thinks it’s Alec Holland? It is a lot more than just Horror Fiction but it is definitely not for the weak or easily queasy either. Alan Moore doesn’t just write illustrated & illuminated horror fiction and I bet Clive Barker has a folio of some really cool, un-scary poems too somewhere.

I did go to the Mighty Wall of Crates where the funnybooks sleep at night. I was reviewing some Moore comparative to Swampy. Truly & really twacked in that good way fiction is supposed to make you realize how evil can be creative. Old Stephen King gave me the willies as this does. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vols. 1 and 2 (LXG), the Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke. I even started From Hell for the first time in my adult life and go straight to V For Vendetta and his ABC material. I got some catching up to do. One good thing about my “hiatus” from the funnies is that there is a copious amount of material to catch up on. The first four of these Moore titles I’d consider true horror comics. I got an issue of “Creepy” at a Flea Market when I was younger. Had to be about 10 or 11 years old about the “Stand By Me” age. I can’t remember the name of the story that captivated and SCARED me but it was a late 1970s magazine. I read it over and over again as I’m oft to do with the funnies. “Darth Vader Lives” on belt buckles and tee shirts in the ads. I remembered that one. But Creepy was a horror comic. Illustrated horror fiction. Black & white. I can remember not the words but the “feel” of the caption in the panels. The story being told from his Point-Of-View and the look in the survivor’s eyes when rescued, as if what was better? The watery grave & being shark chum or having to live after seeing all that and think about it. Sheeesh. With her still-beating heart in his hands…I told you it was horror comic. The other story I remember had a busty spacewoman in a see-through spacesuit.

TPB VOL. 1

The Floronic Man is the first opponent in Moore’s run. The Floronic Man was a second rate DCU super villain but a man converted into a plant so you may see how the ex-Dr. Jason Woodrue could be fit into this tale. By communing with the Swamp Thing, who himself was catatonic in an ice cream chest; the Floronic Man is given a connection to the Green. Communion in the sense of eating the fallen hero to absorb its power, very primal. Woodrue, a denizen of Arkham Asylum during the workweek, eats of the fruit that grows from Swamp Thing and giving him the communion with The Green. The Green. It’s a binding force of the Earth that the Swamp Thing is the protector. Like the Lorax, he speaks for the trees. The Green also has esoteric value for me and mine. The first time I ever got stoned I was with my bosom buddy, Tomas. I always pronounced it Thomas. He liked funnybooks too. He had advanced DC stuff like Animal Man I think and I know for a fact “Lords of the Ultrarealm” which I remember as expensive and a stroke book due to its “Mature Content”. He pulled a fast one on me. He broke up a Menthol cigarette and rolled it into an E-Z Wider one night at his mother’s house. I puked into an empty Kool-Aid tumbler. We ended up having the Green but I’ll always remember that “bait & switch”.

Where was I? Oh yeah. The Floronic Man threatens the Earth in a way that even the Justice League of America cannot solve. But Swamp Thing does.

TPB #2

And old business is settled resolving the previous, pre-Moore runs. A girl and a plant fall in love. Ghosts roam houses. Possession. A post-Campbellian search for self in the hero mold. An Homeric, Book Of The Dead, Dante-style trip to the Undergloom while you’re rescuing your girlfriend’s soul. Strange Fruit in the land of its former heartland. An Electromagnetic and Cosmic odyssey. Hippie helpers. Allegations and photographic evidence of infidelity with a Vegetable (well if that is not bitter irony then I do not know what is seeing Abby’s first husband Matt Cable is lying in a coma following a horrific car accident & subsequent demonic possession by Abby’s uncle Anton, a previous enemy of Swampy’s doing his earned time in Hell). Toxic waste dumping mutants rise to terrorize. Gotham City brought to its knees with Swamp Thing 1, Batman 0. Heaven under attack. Rhyming Demons. The Spirit of Vengeance & God’s Wrath. Ancient cabals using grotesque assassins. And John Constantine.


Issue #37 is where John Constantine is introduced into the world. More accurate to say let loose upon the world. His first panel explains who he is with no bubbles. Looking so sharp in his patented trenchcoat. An air of mystery and an “up to no good” feeling arises as soon as we see him. The younger John had an uncanny resemblance to pop icon, Sting.

From then on Constantine plays Swamp Thing like a fiddle on a hot jig. Stringing him along with clues to his true nature only to get the Elemental in cahoots for the upcoming & contractually obligated “Crisis” battle. So entrenched in the Crisis on Infinite Earths with actual tie-in issues collected, there is great interaction with major heroes of the DCU and a front seat for the First Event comic. Constantine’s romance with Zatanna revealed and also his appearance on the Monitor’s satellite in the congregation of the DC Heroes indelibly yoking him forever to the DCU that the Hellblazer title shuns, except in extreme emergency and that would only be the occasional help of Swamp Thing or the Phantom Stranger. Deadman, Etrigan the Demon, The Phantom Stranger and The Spectre are all major players during Swamp Thing in the “Other World” realm Swampy learns to access with his connection to the Earth. A dark, shadowed and moody JLA watch over the world from their headquarters satellite but are powerless and ineffective in this tale. They are there for background reference and to make sure you know who wears the pants in the DCU when it comes to power and how to use it.

Abby & Swamp Thing’s first “love” scene is a 10-page psilocybin salt lick. To finish Vol. 2, Moore gives us something that gets Abby into trouble later on. A human falls in love with the Swamp Thing. She loves the soul of what used to be a man and is now a plant who thinks it was once a man. Moore creates a very real love for fiction. One based on people. Abby calls him Alec, something which he disputes if he’s actually Alec Holland anymore or is he something else. In eros love, there is communion between lovers. Abby eats the same fruit that gave Floronic Man his connection to the Green and she and the Swamp Thing become one in a bewildering flurry of pages that put Terry Gilliam to shame, that put my experiences with hallucinogens to ignominy and that puts some nights of passion to humiliation. Well…no on that one for real. C’mon, I’m a Scorpio.

TPB #3

Too many arcs over 40-odd issues to look at. Why examine each one? You’d be best served reading for yourself and getting lost in the story and the panels themselves. It’s a brilliantly engineered project. It is a treat for DC Fans because the Saga of the Swamp Thing is steeped in the DCU. All my favorite heroes are in these. The JLA, Commissioner Jim Gordon & Bullock of the G.C.P.D. Pre-Crisis JLA with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen’s Flash. It’s really a flashback, no pun. A showdown in Gotham contending against the Batman over Abby having to wear an Emerald “A” and breaking the law by loving Swamp Thing apparently (this situation in itself speaks of equal rights and how to regulate “love”, such a hot topic in the time this review was written in 2004 with the legislation and constitutionality of same-sex unions being scrutinized like so). The only drawback to reading trade paperbacks is that the ads couldn’t piss me off. Ads piss me off but I love them 10 years later. They’re inculcated tethers to memories. It’s why one can quote Patrick Stewart as saying “I have wanted to go live on the top of a Yorkshire moor”*. The drawback to reading the issues though and these particular issues are the oils from your fingers ruining the resale value.

TPB VOL. 4

Swampy also has a flair for being cool. Soft-spoken. Got a sense of humor and generally is all right. His wife is nice and pretty. He’s got good friends. Well, I dunno if you could call John Constantine his friend. Wink ^_~. He grows cool looking shells when he has to. He’s got a great personal transportation method seeing he can grow from any plant from a weed to a single plucked flower to the Wild Cactus of Rann. Swampy looked absolutely dashing from a bunch of Roses. A lettuce Mohawk here and there. I found Abby and Swampy’s proportions to be very intriguing. He’s a lot taller than her. Her head comes to his chest, they are a cute couple. For a hottie and her moss. There was a scene in a Hellbalzer when it’s John’s 40th birthday and his friends come over. His living ones that is. Swampy comes over and provides…the Green for entertainment. I told you he was cool.

TPB Vol. 5

Electro Magnetic Cosmic Swamp Thing was a really interesting trip. Swampy separated from the Green. His electromagnetic signature was shifted and he was locked out of the Good Earth. When trying to find a new plant to shift into, as he’s of necessity to do since Swampy uses that for travel and escape purposes (i.e. grow a new body and shift his consciousness into the new shell), he found the nearest plant in which to reform. On some blue planet never even guessed how many light years away. The simple ecosystem of a world turns into a refuge and a hell for Swamp Thing who is marooned for a spell. Being held hostage by a techno-organic planet. Running into other DC Universe cosmic characters such as a plant-based member of the Green Lantern Corps, the protector of Rann & part-time Earthling Adam Strange and seeker of knowledge Metron (with a cameo by Uncle Darkseid) on the way. Sometimes Swampy is no more than the sum of his component parts and those parts are at times are seven Circles of Light. The Electro Magnetic “essence”, his being, his frequency, his charkas, his chi. Not just Alec Holland’s soul & mind but the being of the Swamp Thing rendered in a way that invokes Hinduism and the Kabala, just looking for a plant. Any plant will do. When he gets to the planet of the plant people. The fore mentioned TWACKED that Moore so brilliantly supplies.

TPB Vol. 6

By Moore’s end, Swamp Thing seems to be the inspiration for Vertigo. For Gaiman’s the Sandman. For Morrison’s Animal Man. For Delano’s Constantine. The Comics Code was dropped for Swamp Thing. “For Mature Readers”. Comics in the 1980s did take them selves more seriously than ever before. New ground was tilled here. The breaking away from the traditional Capes and Masks to the introspective neuroticism and deconstruction of the myths, origins and complications of the so-called “super hero”. It’s bashed now here & there for being over-sensational and copied; it became the new standard supplanting the Absolute Morality Hero tales but this was one of the first and best examples of the sub-genre. A simple example in a hesitant, unsure Batman in the face of an overwhelming adversary advising the Public Powers to just concede. When was the last time you saw Batman give up? Maybe it was Reagan and the Deregulations. With the advent of Strawberry Shortcake, the Super Friends became the Super Powers team when it changed paradigms from moral message to action figures. Not to say comics were ever innocent but they were naïve and preaching from a somewhat sensibility of absolutes. Current titles like the 2004 summer event DC’s “Identity Crisis” question those old morals with appropriate decisive action. Moore also did the Watchmen about the time of his run with Swamp Thing. Miller did the Dark Knight Returns. McFarlane was about to change Spider-Man with a bold artistic style and then to forever change the way comics are produced. The Mainstream was getting its counter-culture schwerve back by recognizing something special; their childhood readers had grown up and the titles should follow suit.

Swamp Thing is complicated and cool. It deserves attention. It rewards the reader for paying attention to the existing mythos. It took a mandatory Crossover event and made it fun and generated one of the best characters to come to comics in John Constantine. It has an ecological message. It talks of power and how to wield it. Its hero is literally a force of nature. When posed with the question of producing never-ending food for Earth (as he did to re-vegetate the irradiated planet of Rann), Swampy mused that it is humankind’s responsibility to basically take care of what they have. It would be too easy to just feed the world, the world must feed itself. Moore left Swampy in Veitch’s capable hands and went on to Comics Infamy. Moore himself has a well-documented “love/hate” relationship with Capes and Masks. Comics aren’t always funybooks and he does a lot more than butcher convention.

History of the Swamp Thing that can explain details I’d rather not get into.

http://www.toonopedia.com/swamp_th.htm

Swampy now has a new title, a new volume. There was a 2001 volume that was penned by “Y The Last Man”s Brian K. Vaughn mostly known by the fanboy as “Tefe”, the name of Alec and Abby’s daughter and for whom it was focused on. In the newest 2004 Vertigo volume written by Andy Diggle, it is ripped from the pages of John Constantine: Hellblazer #193 wherein Constantine calls the “big gun”, his mate the Elemental in a big show of force against another “end of the world”. Swampy is actually separated from his human mind, Alec Holland and so begins the new volume. Sargon the Sorcerer returns to sway Tefe to his own diabolical plans. Abby Holland is still doing her best Damsel in Distress act. Tefe is a handful having powers of the Elemental quite possibly the first Flesh Elemental. And Constantine comes to the States to help his old mate by capturing Alec’s soul & mind and reanimating Alec’s rotted corpse for safe keeping until they can fix this mess. So far a good title and I read it every month.

Moore’s six-volume run on Swampy is fantastic and was great to keep me company on long commutes. I was lost in the panels. I swooned over the caption. The robust dialog, the powerful copy in the caption itself. All quality. All Alan Moore. I do still refer to him as “The Sick Fuck” Alan Moore for now not only what he did to Batgirl in “Batman: The Killing Joke” but what happened to the Invisible Man in LXG Vol. 2 will forever live in infamy with a cold shudder. I’m getting that feeling again as I’m perusing From Hell as I soak up Eddie Griffin’s panels. A buddy of mine told me that common usage of “peruse” does not reflect its literal meaning. Even my Word Processor’s Thesaurus knows that “peruse” means read thoroughly, pay particular attention to and scrutinize. These Swampy volumes will be reread a few times before too long. Last time I heard issue #37 runs $35.00 in mint condition. Last time I saw one of these tomes were about $20 at your local bodega. Alan Moore writes the things that make me scared again, make me feel helpless in the madness that runs around the world but Moore also writes one fabulous hero with his Swamp Thing. Also a fine romance. A quest of identity. An odyssey to rival Odysseus. While he’s at it Moore contributes to my nightmare fodder with some of this. You are warned. No Comics Code. Mature Readers Only and no going back. You’ll be hooked before you know it.

Check it out and ‘Namaste children.

*Patrick Stewart quoted from the Transmetropolitan Volume 5 Trade Paperback’s introduction. Patrick Stewart will always be Cap’n Picard. Prof. X will always be a “hard-to-pin mental casting call thing” still. Also David Cross should play Spider Jerusalem.

Here’s some Creative Non-Ficton I fpund in my diving into the Archive...

I like spinning yarn...

<>

Adventures in Pizza:

I tell Dane, c'mon, let's pick her up...I'll buy you a pizza.

I started this In Medios Res, in the middle of the action just like the Iliad did. So I'll invoke the Muse...hi Muse. Drink.

I'm watching Donnie Darko with Dane on the couch. It was the usual Thursday on the couch with eyes glazed over. I hear my phone ring from my bedroom. Signature: "Kick". Feature that Keri the Munchkin's calling. Let it ring. I’ve had enough for one day.

Flashback! That afternoon, the last time she hung up on me today she thinks I called her strung out. She called in sick for four days. Met a boy. Boy likes coke. Munchkin likes coke. Boy likes Munchkin. Munchkin likes boy. 100% Ab Fab.

On Tuesday she sounded like shit. On Thursday she sounded like two-day old shit.

The week before this, Dane offers a ride to the airport. Munchkin to Logan, Loagn to Philly, Philly to Ocean City, MD for a reunion with Mom. Munchkin asks me is Dane driving her to the airport. I say you’re going to the airport? I barely remember them mentioning this so I say, call Dane. I can hear her Lunchbox in the background. I hope he was at least feeding her. She asks Lunchbox, will you drive me. And I hear the cacophony of what I assume to be a “Fawl Rivahh” accent say yeah I’ll drive ya. She says I’m all set and I’m not strung out. Click.

So I’m watching Donnie Darko with Dane on the couch. Eyes glazed over, enjoying my dignified existence. Ring, ring. Kick again. Let’s see what she wants. I can feel her wet tear streaked cheek through the phone. Where…r-r-r-r-are you guys? Where’s Dane???

Apparently she did call Dane. Over and over and over again. Dane’s cell phone, plugged in recharging in the living room by us watching Donnie Darko on the couch with eyes glazed over was as silent as the one my uncle Brian dropped in that elevator back in ’86. Just as potent too. What ever happened to Lunchbox? I dunno…I didn’t even want to ask.

So I tell Dane…c’mon, let’s pick her up. I’ll buy you a pizza.

I call Munchkin back. You know we’re on our way to get you, you know? The time right now is 9:40PM. Her flight leaves at 10:50PM. She called me originally at 8:50PM. I hear the phone Kick at 9:30PM and answer it. Wherein she hangs up in hate. As I said… I call back…we’re on our way you know. Where are you? On the “T”? Where? Nearing Kenmore! GREAT! FORTUITOUS! AVANTAGEOUS! EXCELSIOR! Get off at Hynes…meet me at Virgin. We’ll be there.

We pick her up, throw her in the car and peer rubber like Bo and Luke Duke. We got Daisy and are on the run from Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrain & Boss Hogg. What terminal, sweetie sweetie? Mumblemumblemumble. Huh? Speak up? What terminal, what AIRLINE? What? You don’t know? Gimme your boarding pass. You don’t have one? Whatcha got? A printout from the dot com page you bought the ticket from…no help. Thank goodness for responsible parents. She calls her dad, daddy has the better print out. Whew!

We get to the Gate. I play porter. Toting bags. The Fuzz at the Gate are a hassle. No entry without a boarding pass. Where do you get the boarding pass? The ticket counter, huh? Guy at the counter. It’s closed. Sorry. Hassle. Fear Building…Fear SWELLING. What do you mean you can’t help us, her flight leaves in 30 minutes. Hassle hassle. Tango Charlie: Twenty-two Thirty. What? Go to the Self-Service Kiosk? Where’s that? Next to the ticket booth? Why didn’t ya say that before? Anger building…tempers FLARING! Hassle thrice. And it doesn’t work. Swipe the card, spits out a chit. Well the kiosk was being temperamental. We go back to the Gate. We did everything you told us to do…and the very nice Logan employee from the ticket counter whose counter was closed, who was Kind and Decent did the Right Thing, who was Off the Clock and giving the Finger to the Dragon of Avarice…he escorted her through to the airline agent. Her and I hug and she scans her luggage. Domo arigato gozimashita, Ticket Counter Man-san.

But…then a handsome man in a nice suit comes to the Gate. Same problem. Clutching a printout from a dot com saying the self-service wasn’t working. I said to him uh oh. Look out, man…they made that little redheaded girl CRY. I hope he made his flight too.

Dig: the two best places for pizza in Boston are hidden away from plain sight. One such place is in East Boston. On the way back from the airport nonetheless. I bought Dane his pizza.

So I was back watching Donnie Darko with Dane on the couch with eyes glazed over and now…eating pizza. And it was so past my bedtime.

Monday, July 26, 2004

My mom called last night to give me a hot tip.

She was talking with her minister, Rev. Gary Ritts, yesterday, and Gary was telling her about the great time he had seeing the Sox/Yankees game at Fenway on saturday. The best part, he said, was that he was able to show up without tickets, at the last minute, and see the game for free.

Apparently, Fenway Park's policy is to admit ordained clergy members to any game for free.

As I understand it, he went to Gate A, asked if it was true about ministers getting in, showed his ministerial credentials, and was directed to the standing room section (as it was a sold out game) and told he could take a seat if he came across one that wasn't being used.

"Free Red Sox Home Games For Life" ... has a nice ring to it, eh? I will investigate further, but it sounds legit.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11.
Now here was something to intrigue me. Unfortunately I took a friend who was at times bored to the national premier at the Auckland film festival, which id damper the experience somewhat. 'Experience' is a good way to put watching this film by Michael Moore. A man who I am honestly surprised hasn't been assassinated yet by an NSA loving democrat.  Mr Moore pulls you in from the start with the 2000 election and makes you ponder, how much influence does Bush's daddy really have. What Mr. Moore presented could have been uncovered by you or me if we had the inclination. To his credit Mr. Moore has an amazing ability to pick out the interesting and relevant from any news bulletin no matter how true, or not.  I found it deeply disturbing and can imagine it would be a very eye opening film for the masses of Americans who are content with believing the shit that are poured into their ears and eyes day after day by the national media. But like any good journalist Mr Moore too has a cunning talent in creating a story very biased and skewed against the man he appears to be very much against being re-elected this year. I was actually surprised to not see at the end of the film a 'vote Kerry' banner... but maybe that was edited for foreign films... who knows. I give the film 7/10. I enjoyed it - it drew a slew of emotions and kept me very entertained. Mr Moore is a good storyteller and I am content being the cross-legged listener. However parts were slow, a little drawn out at times, and I felt there were alot of issues he did not broach, or did but obviously did not have the evidence to back it up. 

Go see it - especially if you are planning on voting this year.


ON Constantine... I have to say that I did enjoy it once it got going and can see how after years of picking it up the thread would be brilliant. In the beginning the bugs just made me wonder 'what the f*^&"? and int he end I was simarlarly perplexed. Overall I give it a 6/10. I would definately pick it up again but have potential to be deeply disappointed if the continuity I enjoyed of John's life and the ties with his friends and lack of them was not continued.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

What are you doing for work next Sully?

Friday, July 16, 2004

AL SALAAM A'LAYKUM  Hommie Eric. 
End of an Era
 
Today is my last day at Harvard Law School.  Four Years here.  So the Blog will Blog On you know but I canna say with how much frequency until I get Net Access at home. 
 
The Comic Talk, godwalking and The Smoking Puck are not going away but I will endeavors to continue to enlighten the masses with shenanigans, the God Stuff and all things panels.  I will try to Publish on a weekly basis for the Comics Talk at least.  Good thing it's the NHL Offseason.  ^_^  Ther Comics Gnome won't let
 
Keep Blogging.  Keep Chugging.  I encourage you to keep writing.  I love Matt's Diving Reports.  That's what OCHO is now.  Matt got me hooked onto Blogging with an invite to the Other Planet Blog.  With the Blogger format changes, their "traffic" came to a Molasses in Winter Time Pace while I opted to change paradigm.  Although keeping a "chat room" feel to us friends, I now treat OCHO and have been treating OCHO as my on-line e-zine.  I've always been happiest either writing or reading and this place is for me the Happiest Place on Earth. 
 
This place belongs to you.  This is your Soapbox.  This is your prescence on the World Wide Web.  This is Red Rocks...THIS IS THE EDGE!!!  Don't forget OCHO is BEST viewed through our WWW public site and not the Editing Screen.  I encourage you not only to post but to read what you write and go wild with it.  Link images, post hyperlinks, enterain me, inform me, inform each other.  We are OCHO and we throw the Goat! 
 
'Namaste Children. 
 
Eric O'Sullivan
Pubisher, Editor and Writer
The Channel Ocho Blog
Alias: Rev Sully
 

Thursday, July 15, 2004

HAPPY BODGEA DAY!!!

The Comics Gnome POOTED forth!

And FIRST READ THIS WEEK WAS!!!


Identity Crisis #2 (of 7)


The Way-Back machine is set to the past wherein the backstory for the crime is set up and a not-too good memory for a group of JLA teammates who have a secret they’ve been harboring. The DC event of the year continues. Oooooh! Michael Turner drew Zatanna AND Black Canary on the cover. Rowr! This makes a leap in maturity being very hardcore in regards to “supervillany” and how far the UberVolk will go to protect its own. And you thought the Authority were the only ones capable of dastardly albeit decisive action.


This was second read this week…I’m thinking of recording my “Top 10” or a “Top 5” at least…

Marvel Knights Spider-Man #4


Part 4 of 4 in the “Down Among the Dead” arc. Spidey is in terrible shape after being served by Electro and now he’s laid-up & broken and got the Vulture (as a Vulture would do) going in to pick his bones. A Black Cat team-up. GREAT! Millar does wonders making a gritty Spidey title.



Action Comics #817


Supes got his butt kicked by Gog. What’s gonna happen next in the Superman Relaunch? Well, he needs a hospital firstly. ^_~ Maybe a new uniform. Not much going on here but ACTION! Hence the title kids. ^_~



Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #181


Batgirl! I’ll look at anything that’s got to do with the “real” Batgirl. ^_~ This one was really cool featuring Barbara Gordon using her old Batgirl look as an online avatar. Great issue, great ending!



DC Presents: Mystery in Space #1


Adam Strange! Protector of Rann! A Grant Morrison story! The Tribute to Jules Schwartz continues. The Grant Morrison story did NOT fail to confuse and entertain. Classic Grant.



Gotham Central #21


Still haven’t read a thing besides the Vol. 1 TPB. I want to fill in anything between issue 8 and 20 ya know. I can’t wait to because this title rocks!!!



Green Arrow #40


Pretty Bird. Black Canary. Dinah mulls over Ollie and their future. Dinah blames Ollie for Mia’s “Mask” and decision. Ollie blames himself for Mia’s “Mask” and decision. If Black Canary is single then where’s my GL ring? ^_~



Green Lantern/Green Arrow TPB Vol. 2


Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams 1970 short lived & monumental run concludes!!! I’ve been looking forward to this for YEARS. Yes YEARS!!!



JLA #101


YAY!!! The Tenth Circle is over! Its silly lead-in to the new Doom Patrol Volume is OVER!!! Claremont can go back to pissing on the X-Men! The Elite are on their way to their own title and a super-hero dies making Superman question things. This 6-issue arc will be released bi-weekly. DC’s really cranking out the JLA these days. “Pain of the Gods” arc. Next issue features the Flash and his pain.




Teen Titans #13


The New Robin!!! And San Fran becomes a menagerie. Is it Beast Boy’s fault? Looking forward to this one and seeing how well received the new Robin will be. Is there room for more than one blonde on the Teen Titans??? Great interaction between Superboy and Robin the Girl Wonder. Will Robin be welcomes at Titans Tower in the near future? I already miss Mike McCone’s pencils!!!



Detective Comics #796


This title was delayed a week along with the Loeb-Turner Superman/Batman #11. This was first-rate. Batman training Robin the Girl Wonder. Mr. Zsasz got his sights on Robin. That means trouble for the Girl Wonder from a homicidal madman and expert killer. Great interaction between the Dark Knight and his new sidekick.



100 Bullets #51


The mid-way point is turned and a new arc begins. We know more about the Thirteen and their history. Now, it’s back to the story. And resurfacing Minutemen. Great last panel…gripping, tension building. Great art and storytelling.



Identity Disc #2


I liked issue #1. Let’s see if this counter-event can keep it going. I like the point in bringing in Juggernaut as a bad guy. He’s cleaned up his act and gone X-Man. Huge “Kaiser Sozye” angel going on here but it is action and good to see the bad guys team up.



Ultimate X-Man #49


Ultimate Sinister and then? I still dunno ‘bout where this is going. This issue actually was really good and Brian K. Vaughn caught his stride. I really was lost the first few issues.



The Pulse #4 (of 5)


The Bendis’ follow-up to Alias. I did read on Marvel dot com that Jessica’s first appearance was in Alias #1 in 2001 so did Bendis “write her in”? Hmmmm…but I’m holding off on this and rereading all 5 and make a mega write up. Bendis and Jessica Jones deserves it.



Marvel MAX The Punisher #9


Muhahahahahahahahahahaha!!! The evil side of me loves this dark title full of blazing guns, empty cartridges and grievous bodily injury not to mention creative uses of sadism. Like Hardocre Rap music this has little redeeming social quality but like hip-hop it is fun to listen to.



Marvel Knights “Knights 4” #7
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This was great! The Fantastic Four shine in the conclusion to the “Jersey Devil” arc. Camping trip turns into horror movie. And quote of the week “Gosh Franklin, your mom’s really cool” as Sue gets all mother Lioness.



REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO…

Marvel Knights “Knights 4” #8


Namor. Oooooh!!! Ya know he’s got a thing for Sue, right? Can Reed and Namor put their differences to the side…just this once? Pretty please?



Spectacular Spider-Man #18
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HUMBERTO RAMOS RETRUNS!!! WHOOO HOOO!!! Again. WHOOOOO HOOOO!!!