So after a bit of an absence, I once more set down my thoughts, adventures and useless musings onto the Internet page. And just what, you may ask, have I been up to? Well, let’s go down the list:
ON THE LOOSE IN ENGLAND
In May I took a rare vacation and spent ten days in England, dividing my time between Eastbourne — which is home to “Beachy Head,” the foolproof suicide capitol of the UK — Bristol, and Surrey. I spent the early portion of the trip at the abode of Chris Weston, an unfairly talented illustrator with whom I became friends during my editorial stint on the incomprehensible series “The Filth” during my days in the Vertigo gulag, and I rate my friendship with him among the few things that I value about that whole experience. His lovely wife and adorable kids were a welcome change of pace from the usual imbeciles found in Brooklyn, and the people of Eastbourne were a joy to interact with. After a few days of mellowing out, gorging on such delicacies as pasties and sausage rolls — think “pig in a blanket,” only bigger and done with a breakfast-style sausage and ultra-flaky pastry — discovering the utterly bizarre stop-motion animated kiddie show “Yo Ho Ahoy,” and seeing most of the current and excellent run of DOCTOR WHO, Weston and I set of to Bristol for the big comics expo. There I met many of the UK’s best and brightest writers and artists, ran into old friends from the biz, and happily discovered that the Brits can party down with all of the Viking-like abandon readily displayed by their Yankee counterparts. I also got to meet the incredibly cool and downright hilarious Gary Erskine, inker on “The Filth” and living embodiment of the endearing madness that is Scotland; I can’t wait to get the bald bastard over here and show him a night of evil in the Rotten Apple… I also got to meet Mike Ploog, Hunt Emerson — my vote for the funniest cartoonist of the past three decades — Gilbert Shelton, John Burns, and also got to say hi to Dave Gibbons again… Pardon my geekery; look up those names on Google and all will make sense. Sadly, the Bristol con came to a fairly swift end and I found myself in Surrey at the flat occupied by my old friend Wendy and her unspeakable cunt of a roommate — think black Barbie, only with less personality and charm than a foot-tall piece of plastic; the less said about that bitch, the better — and it’s a good thing for me that Wendy gave me a place to stay for that week and food to eat, because thanks to a very late freelance check (which of course was waiting in my mailbox when I got back to Brooklyn) I ran out of cash just as I arrived in Surrey. Wendy has proven herself time and again to be about as true blue as a friend can be, but she really went above and beyond in this case, and I won’t forget that. Unfortunately, we both ended up pretty much relegated to her room since Barbie made me feel totally unwelcome and made it clear that she wanted my beige ass out of her dream house ASAP. So while Wendy toiled at work during the day, I wandered her neighborhood and blew the last of my meager cash on the best fried chicken of my entire life at a fast food chain called Morley’s, the latest issue of the outrageously offensive humor magazine, Viz, found a first edition hardcover of the James Bond novel “You Only Live Twice” for about the equivalent of ten bucks (with dust jacket!), and nabbed the latest guidebook to the monsters and aliens from DOCTOR WHO. The day before I came home we went and saw STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH; Wendy enjoyed it, but I fucking hated it.
THE RETURN OF CRACKED MAGAZINE, TURNING 40, AND OTHER SHIT
CRACKED magazine, the longest-lived of the many imitators of MAD, is getting ready to rear its ugly head again and I am in on the ground floor as one of the writers, so we’ll see where that goes. I also turned forty and I feel no different, but so far this summer is not offering me a fun seasonal fling like last year’s (aaah, Sukihoshi…). I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Unlike the rest of the general public, I thought BATMAN BEGINS was about as much fun as a rusty coat hanger abortion followed with a concentrated lemon juice douche, and I refuse to see FANTASTIC FOUR because I love the characters too much to willingly see all of their unique magic rendered moot with a soulless Hollywood product flick. Since the summer movies have sucked so egregiously I gave myself the birthday present of many new DVDs (using birthday money from my mom and others), including the HANZO THE RAZOR boxed set, ten more in the Zatoichi series of samurai flicks, DANGER DIABOLIK, a couple of John Waters films that I needed — I am also booked to interview the man himself when his schedule permits — AZUMI 2: DEATH OR LOVE (sequel to the breathtaking AZUMI), the remainder of LOST IN SPACE season 3, and several others. And now that my birthday month is over, my extravagant overindulgences in food, drink and entertainment will scale back to a more restrained level.
WE’RE NUMBER ONE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
Time Out New York and CitySearch voted the barbecue joint where I work number one in the five boroughs, so we kick much ass, and our business has spiked accordingly. We do pretty well now, and I hope that that means the staff will be able to wet their beaks soon. I love it there, but if things don’t get more financially rewarding for me personally I may start job-hunting again. I’m not about the pursuit of filthy lucre, but I am tired of subsisting just above the technical definition of abject poverty. Yeah, I know I indulged as previously stated, but every now and then I have to have some kind of fun…
That’s pretty much it, so expect to read more postings on a semi-regular basis again. Sorry for the lag.