Monday, February 21, 2005

Welcome Katia Raine Barnes!!!
Laura had a C-Section and Katia came into the world at 3:30AM, 4 lbs. 7 weeks preemie but mom & baby are doing well. Details forthcoming.
The balance of life, eh? ^_~ RIP HST...hello Katia! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

Katia Raine Barnes 15 minutes old!
R.I.P. Hunter.
Hey Rube! Hunter S. Thompson's Last Gig.

HST's last gig was sports writing on ESPN's Page 2 website. Always a fun ride even though it spun its wheels several times. It is the usual dose of Gonzo Journalism.

The HST Archive on ESPN Page 2
I mourn Hunter's passing. Yes he was a little crazy. He himself would probably blame the ghost of Nixon for this.
'Gonzo' Godfather Hunter S. Thompson Kills HimselfYahoo! News Source:

By Kevin Krolicki

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hunter S. Thompson, a renegade journalist whose "gonzo" style threw out any pretense at objectivity and established the hard-living writer as a counter-culture icon, fatally shot himself at his Colorado home on Sunday night, police said. He was 67.

Thompson's son, Juan, released a statement saying he had found his father dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the writer's Owl Creek farm near Aspen.

Thompson, famed for such adrenaline-packed narratives as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," turned his drug and alcohol-fueled clashes with authority into a central theme of his work, challenging the quieter norms of established journalism in the process.

He also cultivated an aura of recklessness, starting with the blurb on his book "Hell's Angels," in which he called himself "an avid reader, a relentless drinker and a fine hand with a .44 Magnum."

A longtime gun enthusiast, Thompson had a shooting range on his property.

"Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family," said the statement released on behalf of Juan and Thompson's wife, Anita.

By his heyday in the 1970s, Thompson had distilled his style of invective-laced, outlaw journalism into a slogan: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," adapted from a two-part article written for Rolling Stone magazine in late 1971, chronicled Thompson's drug-fueled misadventures in Las Vegas while ostensibly covering a motorcycle race in the desert.


The book established Hunter as a cult celebrity and became the basis for a 1998 Hollywood adaptation, starring Johnny Depp as Thompson's alter-ego, Raoul Duke.

Thompson's refracted coverage of the Super Bowl and the 1972 presidential race also inspired the 1980 movie "Where the Buffalo Roam," with Bill Murray as the self-proclaimed doctor of gonzo journalism.

He was also caricatured as "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip Doonesbury, right down to his signature aviator glasses and cigarette holder.

Although Thompson's later work got mixed reviews, critics credited him with pioneering a style of invective-laced and hyperbolic political commentary that was uniquely American.

A 1994 essay in Rolling Stone written as an obituary for former President Richard Nixon was typical. At a time when many commentators offered a more generous re-assessment of Nixon's legacy, Thompson called him "a liar, a quitter and a bastard. A cheap crook and a merciless war criminal."

"I think Thompson has remained a writer of significance, because, essentially a satirist, he has displayed an utter contempt for power -- political power, financial power, even showbiz juice," novelist Paul Theroux wrote in 2003.

Raised in a middle-class family in Louisville, Kentucky, Thompson's father died when he was 14, and by 18 he had been jailed for his part in a robbery.

After a stint in the Air Force working as a sports editor, he became a foreign correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune in Puerto Rico.

In 1965, Thompson broke through with an article about the Hell's Angels that he turned into a critically hailed book.

It was his association with Rolling Stone that turned both into literary icons -- even though Thompson initially considered the upstart San Francisco-based magazine "a bunch of faggots and hippies."

(Additional reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Well, the Fat Lady is warming up her vocal cords....

A $6.5M difference in salary cap proposals stands in the way of whether the Fat Lady signs the blues or "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Oh Canada" - An hour and thirty minutes to go...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Bloody Hell!
All copy below from Yahoo! Sports article.

Schilling's bloody sock enshrined at Hall of Fame

February 10, 2005

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- The Hall of Fame now has the ultimate red sock to commemorate Boston's first World Series title in 86 years.

Curt Schilling donated the bloody sock he wore during Game 2 of the World Series to the Hall of Fame on Thursday. The sock is part of a Red Sox exhibition celebrating the team's four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Schilling's sock joins other Red Sox memorabilia including Derek Lowe's jersey from Game 4, the bat used by Series MVP Manny Ramirez when he tied a postseason record with a 17-game hitting streak, and the spikes Keith Foulke wore when he recorded the final out of the Series.

The exhibit runs through the 2005 baseball season.

Schilling had surgery Nov. 9 to repair a ruptured tendon sheath on his right ankle. The injury appeared to end his season in the middle of Boston's World Series run, but team doctors, in an unprecedented procedure, made a wall of stitches in Schilling's ankle to keep the tendon in place.

Schilling, with blood seeping through his sock, won Game 6 in the AL championship series against the New York Yankees and Game 2 of the World Series.

The Red Sox had thought the surgery would keep their ace off the mound for Boston's opening day matchup against Randy Johnson and the Yankees, but Schilling told The Associated Press on Feb. 8 that pitching the opener was still his goal.

``I'm feeling very good about things now,'' he said.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Hola hola hola!!! ^_^

Mario, sorry to miss ya at Billy's Super Bowl Party. I was and still am a little sick, just getting over a viral or bacterial chest bug. Tell Jaime I said hello and have you got a name picked out yet? When's the due date? Can I arrange a marriage with James & Laura's Katia? C'mon, chief. 20 frickin' camels. Think about it. ^_~ WAH!!!

Matty! Key West sounded AWESOME. And inexpensive too! Way to be frugal and lucky like that. Tell Jill I said hello and I'll get on the horn with Dane and Aaron about our previously mentioned converstaion. I've been REALLY ILL for over the past week and just finished my anti-biotics. I have not been up for Prime Time lately.

KIWI!!! Hauzitgaun', girl? Write me back when you got a chance. Deedee got Internet at home now so maybe I'll be able to check my "e"s more than every three-four weeks now. ^_~ Well that is if I can get over to my girlfriend's house more than once a month too! ^_^ Tee hee! But I hope all is you and us. MWAH!

Well...s'bout it fer now. Up-chucking...I mean Up-coming with the Smoking Puck Funeral Edition in a bit so...STAY TUNED TO OCHO!!! And remember when the Comics Gnome speaks...he ain't got much to say about MARVEL. The House of Ideas is spinning its wheels in mediocrity and I gotta put together an article showcasing what actually is good over there. There are a few and you'll see that soon. Also a "Wha' Happun*" to the WildStorm Universe??? shortly. Thanks!

Rev. Sully

*Ever see "A Mighty Wind"? ^_~ ... "I gotta weel wed wagon!" ^_~
The Comics Gnome finds something New in Something Old!

The Quintessential Batman & Robin, art by Alex Ross. Alex Ross has nothing to do with the reviewed funnybook but the picture is very nice portraying iconic & elemental natures of the legendary Dynamic Duo.

All Star Batman and Robin:

When two tastes that taste great together join, harmony ensues. Take the Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Sweet, salty. Yum. Balance. Yin and Yang...what a pair. Well what happens in the Comics when duos become dynamic? When a writer and artist collude in a way that good ingredients do? How about when two comics characters that deserve to be together are put back together? Not just back together but as they were? Sounds too good to be true. Only Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups have that kind of power. Or do they?

Bob Kane gave his Caped Crusader a Boy Sidekick in 1940 and his reason was simple. Let the young readers identify and become part of the story with empathy. The formula was a success. Green Arrow then had Speedy. Aquaman had Aqualad. The Flash was given Kid Flash much later in the beginning of the “Silver Age” in 1959 (The Flash #110). Even over at Marvel, the House of Ideas gave Captain America his own youthful sidekick in Bucky. It was trendy. It was OK for a grown man to dress up in tights and be a mentor to a deserving ward. Sharing morals, teaching skills and fighting crime.

First Appearance of Robin, Detective Comics #38, April 1940.

The DC “All-Star” line up might be a new brand of funnybooks nevertheless it is not meant to replace anything existing. It will not reboot the continuity but they will be all new stories set in familiar locales. “Superman” and “Batman & Robin” will be the initial offerings for All-Star, simplifying a beguiling mythos and meaning simply to be enjoying with fresh & fun adventures. You will not need to know pert-near 70 years of esoteric reference or the significance of Zero Hour & Crisis or Infinite Earths. You just have to like Superman or Batman & Robin. Set in modernized Metropolis and Gotham, updating the “look” but keeping it traditional and fun. Superman, Batman & Robin are timeless icons and that fact of “timelessness” is respected here. It will not be campy such as the Golden Age “innocence” provided but it will be a welcomed addition and a celebration of the overall story of Batman & Robin.

Batman & Robin are the Dynamic Duo, a term almost used with wistful wincing in this Modern Era. This All-Star vehicle is an anachronistic Bubble World where the Golden Age lives again. The Dynamic Duo came from the Golden and Silver Ages. The Dark and Current Ages really do not do that moniker any justice anymore. It is silly in this serious age to think that about Batman & Robin. Dynamic Duo invokes images of Adam West & Burt Ward “scaling” a wall with a Batrope that is actually the TV camera on its side.

Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin in the 1960’s campy Television show.

Batman and his teen-aged partner are serious players in a serious franchise of the DC Universe that sports four Batman titles alone in addition to several other Bat-character magazines. All having the burden of not only a shared continuity with the other Bat-titles but the rest of the DCU as well. Also the burden of taking itself too seriously and lacking a fun-like quality. Funnybooks sporting the UberVolk are adventurous and enjoying but lacks a certain “joie-de-vive”. To grok the simplest jump-spot on any given Marvel, DC or Wildstorm Universe title, one must be enlightened with its backstory. Part of the fun with hopping onto a title with a major history and a shared continuity in a “Universe” is learning the nooks & crannies of that backstory however it can be cumbersome and a turn-off to potential new readers. It is like dating an attractive, comely girl who comes with a ton of baggage.

What I look forward to with the All-Star titles is that sense of timelessness and detachment regarding continuity. All-Star has the sense of independence and newness that even the most adventurous “restart” event lacks. Two of my favorite titles are Marvel’s Spider-Man Unlimited and X-Men Unlimited. These two monthlies feature a pair of tales per issue set in the most modern sense of the story and using the most contemporary characters, costumes and events as backdrop but only on the surface. Underneath it is a platform for Marvel to display up-and-coming talent for writers and artists. Events in these Unlimited are not nor do they have to be respected in the plethora of titles in their respective franchises (Spidey has 3 franchise titles in addition to being part of the Avengers team, X-Men has 3 titles and a minimum of 8 subsidiary magazines in the X-Stable…and let’s not forget the Ultimate Marvel Universe ^_~). What is my reason to read these two titles? They are just fun stories with the same familiar characters but no obligation to four issue arcs or an Over Story. I enjoy these just because they are accessible and represent the “joie-de-vive” that obligation & fealty to the Franchise Titles squelches. DC All-Star differs from the Marvel Unlimited in that it makes its own world. All-Star might be more akin to the Marvel Ultimate Universe, a place that makes its own continuity with refreshed but existing characters.

As Newsarama previously reported, the idea behind the All-Star line isn’t to spin the characters into a new timeline, a new universe, or a new continuity, rather, the creators are telling stories set in a contemporary period that both builds on the histories of the respective characters, while remaining fresh and as timeless as possible. These are books that DC hopes, will pull people in who maybe haven’t read a Batman or Superman story in a while – if ever. These versions and stories, while not “dumbed down” at all, will bring to the page what’s pure about the character – the iconic characteristics.

All Star Batman & Robin, the funnybook although something new to inspire sales (what other reason to produce a magazine?) is about the iconic and elemental nature of the team, which has become part of American Culture. More people know who Batman & Robin are than other pairs such as Vladmir & Estragon, Castro & Gueverra, Gilbert & Sullivan or Oppenheimer & Bohr to name a couple of couples. The comic is a return to the old heyday of Batman and his first Robin before the sidekick grew up and out of his pixie boots; before the brutal murder of the second Robin and before the Third Robin came in the picture with an all-new & spiffy costume. All Star: Batman & Robin promises no previous knowledge will be needed to enjoy and also the Dynamic Duo will sport newer, updated duds carefully crafted by the penciller who thought the originals were “perfect” to begin with. The writer vows to have a cavalcade of DC superheroes and heroines in the stories.

All Star Batman

All Star Robin

Why bother bandying about the penciller and writer on a seemingly entry level and unimportant to the continuity magazine coming out a month after the “Batman Begins” opens in June to sponge off that glamour? Well it’s because it’s one of the best batteries since Pedro Martinez and Pudge Rodriugez hooked up in the 2000 All-Star Game for a strike ‘em out/throw ‘em out in the 1st Inning are taking the field. Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Batman & Robin. Try...Frank Miller and Jim Lee. Frank Miller who changed Batman to The Batman. Frank Miller who changed Batman from the Caped Crusader to the Dark Knight. Frank Miller whose Dark Knight Returns helped change Superhero Funnybooks in the mid-1980s and gave the big idea to Hollywood to adapt a Dark, Troubled Superhero for the Silver Screen. Tim Burton brought the Miller sensibility of The Dark Knight Batman and his foreboding Gotham to moving pictures but failed miserably to entertain. Jim Lee is referred to on OCHO as Jim “Insert Angelic Choir Here” Lee. Jim Lee who’s pencil work (always with Scott Williams’ inks) on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men in the late 1980s got him his own X-Men title in 1991 to play with and which still holds the record. Jim Lee, along with the other Young Turks of the early 1990s left the safety of the Big House and innovated the press called Image and Lee’s own contribution was the Wildstorm Universe (later bought by DC Comics). Jim Lee whose work on Batman 2002-3 “HUSH” with super-scribe Jeph Loeb is considered the quintessential Batman story. Frank Miller and Jim Lee. For Pete’s Sake, this is for real. Frank Miller returns to Batman with Jim “Insert Angelic Choir” Lee. Check the link if you do not believe it here.

Confirmed for six-issues at least, a Comic Shop News interview with both Miller and Lee both find them ecstatic to be working together (and not in that Just For The Press “we’re happy to be working together” vein). Not another Bat-title Issue #1 to hang on the wall and smother in a Mylar Bag but instead something to read and enjoy. Frank Miller again scribes the Dark Knight but this time he is describing ideas for Jim Lee to render with pencils. Miller is well known for drawing his own work. Lee is known to be an insane fan of Miller’s (DK1 was the most influential thing for the young Lee and Jim went on to start drawing funnybooks). This is a match made in the Chat Rooms during a “Wouldn’t It Be Cool...” sessions.

Speaking of the “Wouldn’t It Be Cool”...guess which dynamic duo will be doing All Star Superman?
Ahem...Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly.

Frank Quietly’s Superman from Morrison/Quietly’s “JLA:Earth 2” TPB.

News Link

News Item from DC Dot Com.


Superstar artist Jim Lee will be joined by legendary writer and Batman visionary Frank Miller on DC's upcoming ALL-STAR: BATMAN AND ROBIN. The series, scheduled to make its debut later this year, marks Miller's first work on the Dark Knight since 2001's acclaimed THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN, and Lee's return to Batman following 2002's best-selling "Hush" storyline in BATMAN. "If there was one creator I wanted to work with when I was a fan, it would have been Frank Miller," says Lee, "so after this project, I think I'm going to be ready to retire! Seriously, it will be the pinnacle of my career so far, and I can't wait to get started. Frank and I have had a couple of meetings about the story, and it's going to rock!"Miller says, "This is Dick Grayson's initiation and he's dealing with a very stern teacher. Batman is a hard teacher — unforgiving. Brutal. At the same time, Grayson is watching Batman come into his full power. Me and Jim Lee get to play with all of DC's toys. It'll be a romp. It'll be a lot of fun. I plan on raiding DC's treasury of characters. There won't be a Black Canary or a Wonder Woman unused.""This is quite an honor and, needless to say, a fairly daunting task that DC has bestowed upon me by handing me the helm of ALL-STARS," says Group Editor Bob Schreck. "Being able to help these incredibly talented creators bring their amazing tales to life on the comics page is going to be one heck of a ride, no doubt. I can't wait until the readers get to see what's in store for them.""Frank was instrumental in redefining Batman for a new generation, and I, for one, can't wait to see him bring that same level of clarity and interpretation to Dick Grayson and Robin," says Dan DiDio, VP — Executive Editor, DCU. "With the teams now set for the two ALL-STAR books, BATMAN AND ROBIN and SUPERMAN, everyone should agree that they meet the expectations set for these series: All Star creators working on iconic versions of our All Star characters — it doesn't get much better than this."


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

99 Days from today until release!!!

Sully - Jai and I missed seeing you at Billy's Superbowl party.

What a bummer - no hockey....oh well...8 days till Pitchers & Catchers report to Spring Training! and 53 Days till opening day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I quickly glimpsed an Ep. III poster and blinded myself with a spork! What do I do now in May???
The Hidden Fortress Rocks!!! MIFUNE!!! He's on my Cell Phone. Great mini-doc with George Lucas on the Criterion release. Also I suggest Yojimbo and Sanjuro back to back in that order.

Hey everybody!!! ^_~ I'll try to get back out here soon!

The Comics Gnome's Lantern’s Light

"Rebirth, Reset & Rewind"
aka Lighting the Way with a Little Help from My Friends

“In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight, Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might Beware my power...GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT”
-Green Lantern Corps Motto

Green Lantern: Rebirth Cover art.

The Comics Gnome, a faithful, venerable companion who brings me the Weekly Funny Book Stack & many titles to enjoy, reminded me jokingly the other day that old friends are a pain in the behind. The Gnome kept referring to the funnybooks as his “old friends & companions”. While he was speaking I thought of that literally for a spell, dazing & tangenting off in my head and thinking of things to interrupt him mid-sentence with my own profound thoughts. I can see where he was coming from though. I mean I know that friends want your attention and time. They WILL piss you off here and there. They will live their lives with you in mind but themselves in sight. There are conditions and luggage. There are years of history and shared secrets & stories: continuity. Great times, hurt feelings. Sometimes you are active participator and others you are JAFO (Just Another Freaking Observer). Does that sound negative? It’s not meant to. But really and with humility...you yourself, or the “One” is as capable of irking your friends just as effortlessly. No, not coming off negative here but trying to tag & code some “hyperlinks” to something comparable to a good & old friendship and when you can’t do anything about it but watch...or in this case listen & nod. I really empathized with what the Comics Gnome was saying although we were thinking of two different things. The Gnome spoke of things out of your control you either accept you don’t, use or discard. Tolerate or not, buy or don’t buy. Although a stack of comics never helped me through the door while in the cups, they have been there as long as my Old Friends and have done everything an old friend does when the odometer climbs. Delight, enlightenment, love and also chagrin here and there. It sounded pretty much like the same thing. So I had to agree with the Old Gnome that comics are indeed a pain in the behind.

It is hard to starting out talking about “your favorite”. One gets kind of bashful and possessive. When you initially search your mind and so many things fly to the tip of your tongue, we attempt to hold back to others about our appreciation of our “loved one” we hold so highly unless we happen to be a gushing “Auntie”. Well, funnybooks have a “familial” association that one can feel for friends and family although we all know they are “made-up characters” for fiction. We choose our titles akin to how we choose our friends. Usually you’re introduced to them at some time in your life and you decided they were cool enough to hang. With the funnybooks though, committing to over a $2.00 per month “friendship” does add up to more than a low-balled $24.00 for at least one year. Over 10 years...well do the math and I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out especially if you have more than a few “friends”. And like our “loved ones”, sometimes they lead lives and go in direction where you scratch your head and say, “well...OK” and hope they do well. We invest time, attention and money as we do to a family member or friend. We have a somewhat conditional relationship with these “Super Friends” that reflect in how we are buying and of which title. We choose our titles how? Is a fan of “Superman” better than one of “Catwoman”? We identify with struggles and drama. We vicariously beat-up the bad guy, fight injustice and save the world. Those are Noble goals for any one in Right Mind, n’est pas?

“Fear of the Dark, Fear of the Dark...I have this constant Fear that something’s always there”
-Iron Maiden

I have to say that I love imagination. I love creativity. But I know fear for I am a Man and I am Human. I know that Fear is a gift and curse. It’s part of our balance, for Courage is unknown in Fears’ Absence. One cannot be “brave” without something to lose. Loss is a terrible motivator. Grief is a tremendous Power in life and if not respected, if that Fear is not respected then bad things will happen. Ruinous affairs happen when you fear too much. Darkness is scary sometimes, fearing both the unknown that one cannot distinguish and the darkness of the soul that happens when Fear becomes a Primo Motivator. The old cliché goes “to find one’s self is to lose one’s self” then it rings pretty much true for Wisdom in all aspects and not just in our fantasy world where nothing really “bad” can ever happen, where the “good guy” traditionally and heroically overcomes their travails. To not respect fear and deal with it leads to tragedy everywhere. Bringing us to a damn funnybook again. To lack fear, although as an idea sounds good on paper, is not very identifiable. I have imagination but I have fear. Most noticeably in regards to Lobsters, Roller Coasters and Clowns but I digress...

“Green Lantern” in a way makes those dreams and fantasies manifest. Quite literally too for the Power rests in the Imagination of the Hero. And in their Willpower. Most recently in this age of Super Heroes, men who do not know fear are way too “alien” to imagine any more. Say what you will about Epochs, Eras and Ages and how the heroes have changed over the years to suit the tastes of the readers but at this point we expect our heroes to be a bit flawed, “human” in morality and ultimately to be identifiable. Listen up because I mean it. I love this title. It’s a faithful friend and source of entertainment but it’s really gone through the combine in the past few decades. Events are necessary tools and “Green Lantern: Rebirth” is doing something to fix burned bridges and to make friends again.

In “GL: Rebirth”, Fear is the “Impurity”. Fear is the Enemy. The heroes of “Green Lantern” are heralded to be without fear; that lack of fear is coming back to haunt them and attempt to destroy them. Also that Hope is futile in the face of Fear...only Willpower can save you. Not to say Hope doesn’t have its place but would you bring a flower to a fistfight? In this title, Fear is mentioned to be a “flaw” but is fear a flaw, really? Or is Fear some kind of streetlight perhaps illuminating dark, foreboding alleys that should be best avoided. Fear is needed with respect and proper dosage. We are not funnybook Super Heroes, righting wrongs and making that alley safe for passage but instead just normal, everyday travelers on the Way, ambling toward personal Enlightenment if we are that lucky. What puts the Light in your Enlightenment, eh?

“And all the lights that lead the Way are blinding...”

How did I get here or you there? We follow our noses, of course. My nose seems to be perpetually buried in a print publication of some sort, usually a departure from the “real world” into another where problem solving comes with a Cape & Cowl. When I read actual books, I do like non-fiction so when I read I read fiction & fantasy, I do like it a bit fantastic. I followed my nose on many occasion traveling down my Way, my Tao and incidentally made the best friends of my life. I’ve lost a few on the way. Some got left on the side of the road. Others had different paths to follow. On occasion the cacophony of brakes & shattered glass, air bags, neck braces and months in traction with screws in your skull. Other merges ahead bring new friends but old friends are the ones who remember how you got there. That’s where I stopped the Comics Gnome and finally cut him off. The entire time the Gnome’s going on about the old titles I’m selfishly thinking of myself and whatever happened to so-and-so and how’re they doing half a world away, etc. I said, “Well, the funnybooks don’t know your story & needs as an old friend does”.
The Gnome then winked and said, “kid, they do know your story and needs because they have been there with you”.

Interior Art Issue #97 where God reads Constantine’s Tarot in the Forrest at Night.

“John Constantine: Hellblazer” is a paragon of macabre entertainment and the hero himself one of the most “human” characters in any fiction medium. In issue #97, (DC VERTIGO, August 1996, Jenkins, Phillips, et al.), John talks about how way leads to way and “how we got here”. The issue is something only the Constantine fan might have in the Long Box or on their shelf. Hopefully a good Bodega has in their Back-Issue Bins. John Constantine (the Wizard’s 2001 “Anti”-Hero of the Year) has had a long, hard & tragic Way to travel so far and now he’s come to a reflective part of his life. The issue opens with these words,

“It’s about facing your fears. Walk into a wood at night, they say, and when you emerge...something about you will have changed. Your passage into the dark forest is lined with uncertainty. Imaginary ghosts exist as imperceptible tremors in the undergrowth – formless shadows floating on the periphery. Perhaps you’ll see the light in there, or maybe just step in a puddle and get your feet wet. Only one thing’s for certain...if you can find the courage to come back from the darkest place of all...you just might leave your fears behind”.
-John Constantine

Wisdom is gained as Constantine reads his life in the Tarot like a Road Atlas, seeing his nature change, wax & wane as his Way winds during this stand-alone issue. Few can be prepared because the Map is not the Territory but facing Fear, and ditching Old Fear is akin to picking up a better compass in which to guide one’s self. An old friend once told me a bit of incidental Wisdom. As we were crossing a street, she notices Orange Pylons, Yellow Earth Movers and Cautionary Signage. The flashing light cycles, “Construction Ahead: Seek Alternate Route” and she reads it aloud to me as we go across. It was the Hidden Fortune Cookie of Synchronicity and we both knew & embraced it.

Taking different roads leads me to this cheesy poetry moment. Sure there are more obscure things to sound “hoity-doity” and highbrow but this happens to be the one poem I can recite my memory...badly.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not take both,
And be one traveler long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step have trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

When subjected to this bit of rote memorization in Mr. Ford’s Sophomore High School English Literature, I balked at my assignment but fortunately we were only required to have memorized two of the four stanzas. I’ve since tried like the Dickens to retain the other two verses. That poem was one of two that I identified with in those adolescent years (the other being teen angst Henry Rollins spoken word) and took with me on my Way.

Green Lantern: Rebirth, issue #6 (of 6) cover. Old Friends back together again.

“You light up my life, you give me hope to carry on...
- Debbie Boone

Back to the Funny Pages, “Green Lantern: Rebirth” is taking divergent Ways and building a new highway for them to converge for a spell, each old friend brings their company and also their luggage. Of course exits and other off-ramps exist in this road’s future too but now is a time of reflection and resolve. It’s deftly illuminated and scribed but this road is bumpy and not very well lit at the beginning. Right now but it is roadwork and it does smooth out and acquires bright streetlamps. Darkness is the absence of Light. Fear is the absence of Will. “Green Lantern’s Light” will once again shine when this Way is paved. This is an adventurous tale but its strength lies not in its power as a “restart” button (which we all need in life here and there) but in the human thoughts that are brought up when these “old friends” come back into your life. The Comics Gnome, himself an old mate, once again got me thinking about the nature of things seen through the Panels. The Gnome got me thinking about what happened to my Way along the Way and the people that got me there. And of how, as much as I cherish an old friend such as a good funnybook, that my actual friends are better, especially when they’re around to hang with in any manner. I selfishly think about “my old mates” when I read “these old mates”.

“Green Lantern: Rebirth”, a six-part limited series, will make a fine trade paperback after its initial run also to be followed with a new Green Lantern volume starting at issue #1. The DCU is a fine playground and setting to spend the average Wednesday. The new street hockey court will be lit by the Green Lantern’s Light once again with brand new, wicked cool lanterns to brighten up the old joint. Come and hit the restart button on these “old friends” and perhaps you will think about your old friends too.

Hal Jordan’s “New” Green Lantern look (From Secret Files 2005, April 05 release)


Rev. Sully

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I won't spoil it for ya, but I just read the title scroll from Episode III. This is gonna be GOOD!