Friday, February 10, 2006

When Mr. Gallopalooza Horse Met Mr. Swamp Thing

Dedicated to Mike Sterling.* Special thanks to Keith, for help with the photo editing in this and the previous post.

One day, Mr. Gallopalooza Horse

met Mr. Swamp Thing

in front of the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Mr. Gallopalooza Horse said:

“My eyes are my ears!”

To which Mr. Swamp Thing replied:

“I’m chalk!”

And then they both went on their merry separate ways!


*Honestly, Mike, I'm not trying to be that gay cyber-stalker from Kentucky you always wanted. (You have always wanted one, though, right? I mean, doesn't everyone?) I did borrow the "I'm Chalk" pic from you, though, so some credit was due somewhere. I promise to go for at least a week before I mention you again! I'll stalk, uhm, Roger for a while, instead! OK?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Eyes Are My Ears!

Last year, I ordered tickets to several shows at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, including for a performance by Kinsey Sicks, the acapela drag troupe from San Francisco. A few weeks ago, I got a letter from KCA stating that Kinsey now had a regular gig in Las Vegas and couldn’t make their Louisville show. The center replaced them with someone named Ant, whom we had no desire to see. So, I made the trek downtown on Saturday to turn in the tix for a refund.

On my way to the Center, I was surprised by a rather large head.

Several of these creations have been installed around town to raise awareness of psychological health issues. There are all kinds of placards around the base with all kinds of info about mental and emotional health and taking care of yourself.

Many of them are interactive, so that passersby can push a button and see something happen. It was cold, snowy and windy, so I couldn’t stay and play, but I did think she should have her picture taken. The title of this one, I believe, is “Lightheaded.”

Last year or the year before last, there was an exhibit of horse statues all over town called Gallopalooza. Different businesses and organizations sponsored the horses, which were decorated by artists, according to the sponsors theme. They were all over town, and it was a lot of fun running into them at unexpected places. Late in the year, most, if not all, of the statues were auctioned off to raise money for a local charity.

The horse theme comes, of course, from the fact the Louisville is home to the Kentucky Derby. Several of the horses are still around town, including this one, which is by the door to the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

It’s a surrealist inspired design, capped off by this great sign across the face.

My eyes are my ears!

And indeed they are!

I think that’s going to become my new motto: My Eyes Are My Ears!

I want a t-shirt and a bumper sticker printed up.

I may even start using it to respond to others:

Keith: Will you take the trash out?
Eddie: My eyes are my ears!

Boss: Is your report done yet?
Eddie: My eyes are my ears!

Aerobics Instructor: Step to the left!
Eddie: My eyes are my ears!

Pastor: Let us pray!
Eddie: My eyes are my ears!

Okay, that last one will never happen, since I don’t go to church, but you get the idea. Try it out on your friends and loved ones! Maybe we can start a trend.

I love public art!

My Eyes Are My Ears!






Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Always Remember!

Okay, I think this thing is cooling off, but since Lefty* just did his on Friday, and Dorian posted yet another addition Monday, I don’t think it’s too late for a handful more, although the trend seems to be moving to valentine cards featuring people from movies I haven't seen.

It may have started as a simple paean to the virtues and neverending love of one Ted Grant, but the whole thing has to have taken on a life of its own. Dorian seems committed to keeping the list of new creations up and has put a link to it on his sidebar. Wonder how long it will keep going?

Like some other folks, I’ve found that once you start doing these, it’s hard to stop. Characters kept popping into my head and I just HAD to come up with something for them. I’ve resisted putting anything else up, but I think I need to get it all out of my system, once and for all.

Reading what others come up with has been a real trip. Like Mike, I’ve been impressed with the range of creativity, coupled with the feeling of both homage and biting wit that’s on display in so many of them. And, hey, it pulled me back to my blog this year!

Anyway, I did my first one because I felt there weren’t enough non-mainstream characters being used. I kind of continued in that spirit, so this latest creative spurt of mine ended up turning into a romp through some of my favorite (including a few bygone) independent and alternative titles.

So, what else is new? Bitchy is from the late Naughty Bits by Roberta Gregory.

I miss Bone. It was one of a trio of titles that saved me as a comic reader several years ago. (Naughty Bits and Stray Bullets were the others.) Now all these years on, two of them are gone. Sigh! By the way, I am looking for Bone collections to fill out my set. I’m looking for the hardbacks (because I started buying them in hb and have this maddening consistency thing), in black and white (because I just don’t care for the color versions and there’s still that consistency thing to deal with), hopefully second-hand for around 10 or 15 bucks a pop (because I’m cheap). That’s right: I’m a tightwad snob with OCD. You read it here first.

So please try again later, won’t you?

From Eric Shanower’s Age of Bronze. Well, somebody had to up the homo content a little! I actually wanted to use the panel of them kissing, but didn’t want to hunt for the issue. I don’t have the trade that collects that issue yet, but do have the first one, so I was able to find a sort of substitute. That’s the difference between pawing through a long box and going to a bookshelf for you. (What? You think I’m Mike Sterling or something??) Anyway, taken out of context, the expression on Achille’s face gets at what I was going for. Scan is a little warped because I didn’t want to crack the spine of the book, which, of course, would be the advantage to working with the floppies on something like this.

But you all already knew that didn’t you? If not, check out the Dark Horse Little Lulu reprints and see why! This is probably my favorite comic being published right now.

From Carla Speed McNeil’s awesome Finder, which has now retreated to the web to continue the story. And, by the way, I do mean the part about sexy!

Switching to some anime:

Wedding Peach is one of my favorite anime series. Part parody, part rip off, it’s like Sailor Moon on girly-steroids! It’s chock full of all the delirious, over-the-top craziness that I love in magical girls anime. This line is a nod to the excellent fansub from the TechnoGirls. Like Sailor Moon, Peach is prone to making long speeches in the midst of the fight scenes in which she outlines the offenses of the villains and declares her opposition to their evil. On the TG fansubs, these speeches always ended with something like, “and I, Wedding Peach, am severely perturbed at this.” (Click the link above and scroll about halfway down for a more in depth explanation of this.) Then she would attack. Needless to say, I loved it. I haven’t had a chance to get the WP commercial US releases, so I don’t know if that aspect was preserved or not, but when I started thinking about creating little graphics that start “CHARACTER NAME is doing or feeling something,” well, it didn’t take long for Momoko and crew to leap to mind.

And speaking of Sailor Moon. And fight speeches. And catchphrases. The first US dub release used the “I will punish you” line more than the original Japanese version did (or at least that seems to be the way I recall it), but it certainly works well in this context. And once WP came into the picture (so to speak) it was only a short hop to Sailor Moon herself.

Nuff said! (At least I know Mike agrees with me.)

Okay, so she’s not a comic character. She is, however, the goddess of music, and that’s good enough for me.

And on that note:

It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s time to move on to other blog topics. (hopefully)

*Speaking of Mr. Brown, Mike** was kind enough to provide the link to where his blog is currently residing, until he gets things straightened out. I updated the links in my earlier post to reflect this. Lefty also gives an update in the comments section for that same post and at his log. Roger Green also did excellent work as part of the "Find Lefty" patrol and left notes in various places.

**Did I actually just name-check Mike Sterling four times in one post?

Images copyright their respective holders, of course.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Quick Takes From Last Week


Some corners of the comics world are reeling from the news of Seth Fisher's death. I met him once, kind of by accident. For a couple of San Diego con's. I helped out at the NBM booth to pick up some extra spending money. Fisher approached the booth one afternoon to talk with their sales rep about some work. I think he was wanting to see how they decided what books to publish or something. He had a copy of Willworld with hi, which impressed their sales guy. I don't remember a lot of the details of the conversation, because it was business that really didn't concern me. I was just a bystander. Or, maybe, I don't remember much else because I was staring at his chest the whole time. His shirt was unbuttoned about halfway down, providing a great veiw of his chest hair, which had been shaved into the shape of a star! That part, I do remember, quite clearly. (On his site, there's a photo of him with heart-shaped chest hair, so apparently, he was also a chest hair artist as well.)

RIP Seth, you'll be missed.

POLITICS has the real story behind the State of the Union address.

Locally, the Courier-Journal had one of the best political cartoons in response to the SOTU.

You just have to know that the name-calling isn't over yet. The Republican idea of bipartisanship seems to be "let's all get together and agree to do what we say." It's only a matter of time before someone gets called an 'obstructionist.'

One of the CJ columnists also had a really touching euology for Coretta Scott King.

(The CJ links will expire at some point, not sure when, as they move their older stuff to their paid search part of their site.)


Nice, if a little breezy, article about a performer I wish would come to Louisville: Candye Kane.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

When the Roll is Called Up Yonder

A little while ago, I started working on a blogroll for the sidebar. My goal is for this to evolve into a nice, rambly list of places I like to go on the web, if I can stop visiting them long enough to work on the list. I need to something to the blog template first, though. I really don’t like the way any of this looks any more.

Still, for better or for worse, I’ve started one, which gives me a chance to give some overdue recognition to some folks whose web presence has really meant a lot to me over the past year.

Ramblin’ With Roger (Roger Green)

I want to be Roger when I grow up. I envy his ability to reliably turn out well-written, well-thought posts on a variety of topics. He has a memory for detail and a way of expressing himself that makes his stories come to life. Roger has also reached out to me with sympathy and an occasional kind word in private that have been really helpful in the aftermath of my father’s death.

Plus, he’s got a really cute young ‘un.

Blog This Pal! (Gordon Dymowski)

If I can’t be Roger, then growing up to be Gordon would be just fine too. He’s a real model for posting on a regular, but not necessarily daily, basis but making it count with fun, readable, worthwhile posts. Anyone who can come up with 100 reasons he loves comics is worth reading. There are just too many joyless comics sites around. Having left a job or two without anything lined up, I can appreciate his stories of his hunt for new employment, which has happily come to an end. I’ve also done lots of work for non-profits.

Gordon had some really nice things to say about my Mixed Bag CD, which I’ve never properly acknowledged until now. Thanks, man. You made me blush.

Plus, he lives in St Louis, which means we could potentially get together for coffee next time I visit my brother.

Lefty’s Corner (Chris “Lefty” Brown)

Chris is the man behind the Mixed Bag CD exchanges that brought so much good music into my life this year. I really appreciated being let into the fun and games, despite the irregularity of my blogging. Working on the mix gave me something to concentrate on that was fun and a nice distraction from all the other stuff. I just wish I had been able to do the Halloween Mixed Bag too, but the timing was bad due to the work conference.

I really enjoy the musical posts he makes in his blog, and appreciate it when he talks a little about the challenge of integrating his political beliefs and faith in today’s polarized society. I’ve pretty much given up on organized religion because I wasn’t able to do what he’s attempting to do (or at least I wasn’t able to deal with the inherent frustrations).

Lefty had a really eloquent post a few of weeks ago about the death of childhood dreams. It’s one of the best things I’ve read on the web in ages! He also had an enthusiastic, unashamed comics fanboy moment a while ago that was so warm and sincere that it really made me smile.

Plus, I’m a lefty (handed) too and we gotta stick together. (And, yes, I'm a political lefty too!)

Progressive Ruin (Mike Sterling)

I had a moment of panic over the holidays, when Mike said he was clearing his sidebar of anyone who hadn’t posted in a while. Fortunately, I did manage to have a post in November, which was his cut-off month. I was very nearly freaked out about losing my coveted spot among his links, especially after he said nice things about this blog. Not freaked out enough to sit down right away and, you know, start posting more or something, but I was disturbed enough to think seriously about my lack of posting activity. You gotta start somewhere.

Anyway, should I start slacking again, I figure this post ought to buy me a few more months, especially since I’m name-dropping and all. Hey, it beats trying to do this every day.

Speaking of such, Mike’s another one of those who makes this blog thing seem so effortless. I’m constantly and consistently entertained and amazed at the stuff he can dredge up from a dusty long box of comics.

Plus, he’s another lefty.

Postmodernbarney (Dorian Wright)

I never can remember if the title should be one word or two, but I never miss reading it. Where else can you find the Bat-Buddy and Objectifying Men Week, plus commentary that really makes you think? His take on Brokeback Mountain made me even more eager to check the film out for myself. His general take on gay novels and film, and the whole GLAAD awards deal, laid out some stuff I’ve been thinking for a long time now, but in a much more organized and eloquent fashion.

One the highlights of the summer for me was going to PMB and reading the following:

“Go read Eddie-torial Comments.” Totally made my week. I should have said this before now, but thanks.

Plus, where else can you find the phrase, "gayer than a gay thing that's gay"?

Comics Worth Reading (Johanna Draper Carlson)

She renovated her site not long ago, and I’m still adjusting to the new look. I'm afraid it’s got a few too many boxes for my tastes. Cosmetics aside, though, the content has taken a big step forward (and it was already pretty daman excellent) now that she’s bringing many of her longer reviews from the old CWR site and incorporating them with the kinds of reflections and responses to comics news she does in her blog. I always knew there was a lot of good content in the old site, but didn’t want to take the time to search through everything to find it. This new approach puts everything front and center, especially now, as she reposts items from the old version of the site. (I wish she would note somewhere that the material is a repost, though.)

I think she does her best work when she writes longer pieces, and I have greatly enjoyed reading series overviews like this one for Maison Ikkoku. Another one of her strengths lies in looking at topics other folks aren’t talking about, like this thoughtful piece on pdf review copies.

She covers a broad spectrum of material on her reviews, which I appreciate, since I read a broad spectrum of material. I don’t always agree with her, and I like that. She’s praised stuff I have seriously disliked, but she always does a fine job of explaining what it was she saw in the work. It hasn’t changed my mind, but I appreciate her take on things. On the other hand, she also expresses her dislikes clearly enough that I can tell whether or not I might find something of interest in a comic she didn’t care for. And at times, her negative take on something I like has made me pause long enough to try and express, at least to myself, exactly what it was I saw in the work or exactly where I disagree with her. Maybe one of these days. I’ll get better at putting it into writing.

Like many others, I have made purchases based on her recommendations. Recently, at Half-Price Books, I picked up a couple of manga volumes that she has praised.

Plus, this is the place where I start my blogreading every day. It was through her that I discovered some of the guys above, who in turn led me to some of the others. In other words, this post is all her fault!

Comics Reporter (Tom Spurgeon)

For me, this one fills the void left behind when Journalista ended. Spurgeon doesn’t approach things exactly the way Dirk Deppey did, but I appreciate the wide net he throws in his searches for material. Inevitably, there is a link or a post every day about someone or something that I find really interesting, which I otherwise would have missed, because no one else was covering it. At the same time, he does such an excellent job of distilling and analyzing other topics that are making the rounds that I often read his pieces about topics I would normally have no interest in.

Keith's Spam-Catching Little Blog

And, finally, last, but certainly not least, we have Keith’s Spam-Catching Little Blog. Okay, so that’s not the real title, but that’s essentially what it is and I do believe in truth in advertising.

Some time in 2005, when I did my run down of the top concerts we attended the previous year, he was appalled that I had rated Kris Kristofferson at number 6! I told him that it was a great show, but that I thought there were several that were better, and number six isn’t so bad really, and anyway this is my blog which about my opinion not his, and if he really wanted to disagree with me he was free to do so and could leave me a comment or better yet get his own blog. (Deep breath!) So he did. Get a blog, that is. Where he posted exactly once and then abandoned to the spammers. I have a feeling that if my top show and top CD for 2005 list comes out, and John Prine is not in the top spot on either list, that his blog will pop out of retirement. I’m actually kind of looking forward to it. It’s the kind of thing that keeps our life together from becoming too boring.

Good lord, maybe if I weren’t so long-winded, maybe I would post more. I’m worn out after all that! How does Roger do it? Maybe I ought to rethink this sidebar thing…

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So I Was Sitting in the Car the Other Day, Feeling Bored, When I Suddenly Realized....

....Hey! I've got a camera phone!


The Fickle Hand of Fate!

The Delirious Thumb of Destiny!

The Futile Fist of Fury!

Random Ramblings

Missed Holidays

Happy Belated National Gorilla Suit Day! Thanks to Mike Sterling and Roger Green for pointing out that I missed it. I need to make a note to mark my calendar for next year, I guess. I do so hate missing out on festive occasions when one can wear hairy apparel.

One of our program managers retired a couple of years ago and insisted on having his retirement party on Halloween, so everyone could come in costume. He wore a gorilla suit.

Music Note Addendum

I couldn’t get the link to this story to work yesterday, so I cut it out of the post, but it seems to be working now:

I’m pretty bummed with the way the whole deal with Nellie McKay and her label went down. I hope that she can manage to get the rights to the songs back and take them elsewhere. Reminds me a lot of the struggle Patty Griffin went through over one of her albums. The results were pretty much the same, but she managed to go on with another label, more freedom, and released awesome CD a couple of years ago. I’m guessing the same thing will happen to McKay. She’s pretty talented too.

(Thanks to
Augie de Blieck for the link.)

Saw This in A Parking Lot Last Night

Posted without comment

And Finally

Got this in email a while ago, so probably most folks have seen it. Still, I’ve been wanting to post it here for a while. So, in honor of the many Oscar noms for Brokeback Mountain and last night’s State of the Union address:

Now that I’ve finally seen BBM, I’ve got some thoughts rolling around I need to sort out and post. I can say this: I was moved on many levels. I need to read the original short story. And I need to re-read Dorian’s post on the movie. Something he said kept sticking in my head while I was watching it, but I couldn’t remember it clearly enough to process both it and the film at the time. It’s been a while since I’ve seen something that gave me something to grapple with afterwards.

But Wait…There’s More

Apparently Dad needs a cell phone.