Monday, February 28, 2011

Earth's Mightiest Rock Group

Avengers Rock Group: while earlier family acts such as the Fantastic Four charted in the 60’s, like the Rolling Stones of the Silver Age, the Earth’s Mightiest Rock Group would go on, in different incarnations, to be a blockbuster draw on tours. Perhaps, besides Thor and Keith Richards’ similar ages, and Mjolnir’s tong’s resemblance to Mick Jagger, they bear this most in common: they have endured as a live act.


First line-up: Giant Man on Drums, Wasp on tambourine and vocals, Iron Man on bass, and Thor on 12 string guitar and harmonies, with the Hulk as the group’s first failed lead singer. While his attitude revolutionized rebellion in American youth, the group did not chart overseas, instead losing their singer for good, at a concert with Savage Submariner, the Elvis of the shellfish.


A new talent would emerge, however, in the ice cool vocals of Blue Eyed Stevie Rogers. About this time, the group invented heavy metal, as the new line up consisted of Giant Man’s big bass, the Wasp on harmonica and backing vocals, with Thor singing and Iron Man on rhythm and lead guitar. It was during this time Iron Man famously began amplifying his guitar, using amplifiers kicked in by the Titanium Man to generate his famous signature sound, leading some to declare him the God of Feedback.
But Thor
WAS a god, and he sang of his many battles, fist pumping with his enchanted mallet held high. Some would say that this incarnation featured some of the band’s worst singing. After one of the first meaningful psychaedelic works of the Sixties, the band line-up changed into the “Kooky Quartet.”

Hawkeye looked for a way in as the new lead singer, but contented himself with the most innovative cowbell playing in live rock. In the composition of the album, however, he felt this left him more anonymous, in the shadow of Blue Eyed Rogers.

The brother sister team of Quick silver (drums, bass, guitars) and the Scarlet Witch (keyboards) became so important to the marvelous group, they nearly named their album Quicksilver Messenger Service, but found a San Fransisco band in possession of the name already. Why this never created a legal battle over the name “The Avengers” with the popular television program of the day, starring Emma Peel and John Steed, remains a tale to astonish.

The decade ended with popular keyboardist Ray T’Challas and professional Moog synthesizer the Vision also joining the group, with many other guests on tours. By now, a time of socially conscious music was beginning to take hold. Their hits “Masters of Evil” “Squadron Sinister,” and “Sons of the Serpent” stamped their credentials in establishing heavy metal as the new sound of the coming decade. Thor returned to vocals, while Captain America proved to be a revolutionary drummer, his battle-trained reflexes and hand-eye coordination propelling a band ready for Who’s Next Issue. Iron Man began flying during solos at this time, ripping out light shows and rhythms simultaneously. He began to experiment with programmed rhythms, building amazing but lengthy jam solos into his glove units.

They closed the decade with a reunion with member Hank Pillyums, whose experimentation had led them to the brink of finished as a band. He, along with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, entered the Vision of the ‘70s with their “Kree Skrull War,” together with the Captain Marvel-produced tracks forming a kind of superheroic Abbey Road. But it was the turning point, into a darkness from which music, some say, has never recovered.

Was THiS Earth's Mightiest Rock Group?

Who---Live At Leeds, 1970


Thor flies over head,
mountains tall receding until he find the one wherein he anticipates an attempt to find the Destroyer,

Asgard's hidden deadliest weapon on Earth,

a defense mechanism meant to stand against judges from the stars.

Thor’s arc takes him in convergence with Captain America in the middle of Joshua Tree; grey clouds roil in reflection of the wary god’s wake, for he is, of course, Thor, God of Thunder. In those same skies, a co-pilot discusses the warning message to evade the general area cautiously and safely on the continued flight to Charles Lindbergh Field in San Diego.

Inside, a stewardess begins offering beverages in coach class; when she notices, out of the corner of her eye, the little black elderly man has a stump right arm amputated below the elbow. “She’ll get you, okay?” she tells him, nodding to the back, presumably referring to the other stewardess. She tries not to think of how she simply wanted to avoid dealing with the man. At any rate, he smiles and looks out from across his aisle seat on the two-thirds full flight to stare out the window, where the mountains loom beneath the hurtling vessel.

Below, Thor stands amidst recently rising storms, when he decides to calm them. “I must not bring my power over the storm to bear,” he says to himself, “I have created turbulence for an aircraft I sense being touched by their fury. Indeed, a gift of rain ‘twould be a blessing ‘ere this threat has passed. I must prepare myself to enter this stronghold, with the strength of my arm as my sole ally. Perhaps by cunning I may fall upon my foes before they reach the chamber.”

Within, already, the battle is joined!

Iron Man, visible once more, is checking his computers, onboard. “I detected three other life forms in this area for a moment! But whatever technology they’re using is giving off energy configurations like nothing I’ve seen on Earth! Are they a part of this strange chamber? It seems filled with markings and ...wall art?---from some fantastic hidden race...

She Hulk runs up behind Grey Gargoyle, subduing both his arms with a full nelson hold, as a shieldless Captain America narrowly evades more crumbling stone. Thor collides with the Destroyer, battering it with his hammer. At that moment, the small black man with one hand, from the airplane earlier, strides into the chamber, smiling with determination in his eyes.

“Too bad I couldn’t get my hands back on the shield!“ says Absorbing Man, “The energies from that blasted robot are getting to me!” He advances on Iron Man, as eldritch energies crackling from the Destroyer run riot throughout the chamber. The Destroyer trains its power upon Thor, then turns to bat Iron Man. Absorbing Man closes the gap now. “Guess I’ll have to settle for the armored Avenger!”
Absorbing Man touches Iron Man’s armor, and begins to take on its appearance. “Be a pleasure, clobbering ya with your own armor’s power!” His face becomes metallic, with circuitry appearing all over his skin.

Cap assesses the positions of the villains and shouts:
“She Hulk! Throw Grey Gargoyle at Sabretooth, NOW!”
“Have a nice trip, you bad-tempered garden gnome!” she says, as she launches him like an inhuman missile towards Sabretooth. The feral villain snarls and drops on his belly, out of the way. However, to his dismay, the Gargoyle’s touch freezes the Destroyer, stone cold, in its tracks!
“Take care, my friends,” says Thor, “I know not how long this ploy will keep the Destroyer at bay!”

“Who are you?” Iron Man asks the small black man. “In this melee, you could be totaled!” His armor has begun working again after the electromagnetic impulse used to cancel (and dissipate) the Absorbing Man's stolen techno-form. He lurches to his feet.

“They call me Nido,” he replies, without glancing backwards. “Just one thing I need to take care of here!”

“What are you doing?” growls Sabretooth to the quite normal seeming older gentleman with one hand, strolling up to the Destroyer. He disregards the mutant. With the arm that now no longer seems to have a hand attached does he reach to the cosmic goliath, and without touching, the air seems to part like a liquid before the construct, which in fewer blinks of the eye than it took to read this, the Destroyer is now a formless pool lying at his feet: a pond of indescribable substance, and indestructible matter.

Captain America stands before this enormously powerful, yet subtly contained, personage, his face filled with wonder. His heart sets aside fear...but no question comes to mind.

“Nido,” says the man. “That’s me.”

“You...reached out...”

“Ah, with my old stump, without the hand I lost in a tow truck winch, at the end of my younger days. I was free to be a hoodlum all I could, since there was not much else waiting in life those times.

But I these days, I give people fresh sausage from my farm, and work on people's cars who don't have much money.

Right now, all I really want’s to catch up with my plane to San Diego! Nice this time of year...”

“Sense Stones,” thinks Iron Man.
"Read outs consistent; quantum parameters heuristically recorded; pattern unknown."

Triplets, in a phased, almost insubstantial energetic state, sense Iron Man. But he tries, in addition to his many computations, to find some kind of non-algorithmic, original thought...seeking in sensation he knows as an arbitrary induction, to unite with the unknown, some other way...and so stands in the presence of enigmas, aware simply they yet remain beyond his rationales.

"So long as you don’t loot or disturb the Deviant tech...IF you’re not just some side-effect of one of those hidden machines...I just want to remain here a minute longer....even if I can’t understand, I’m curious."

“Nido!” they exclaim, when the humble dark skinned man’s twinkling eye belies instant knowledge of themselves profoundly beneath their own understandings.
“Dangard stands witness,” he says warmly. Then he turns to Steve Holt.
“A moment, my friend.”

Triplets, given energy by Sun Strike, realize this version of the father of the twins is not the one native to the reality where they forged their bond with differently named twin sons. However, their pathway back in time towards their parents, thanks to the spell attempting to bind Valkyrie, glows brightly, twinkling in a type of void beyond hyperspace, connecting subtly with their one connection to the mysterious time travelers who, with their mother, gave them birth.

“We’ve been trying to regroup with Mom and Dad,” explains Nick; “Dave and I got separated, too, but we found our way to this reality inside some transport device in this mountain!”

Valkyrie holds the Norn Stones forth to them... a legacy from her capitivity, the jewels won by the bravery of their father-in-this-reality. Nido then gazes into their eyes impassively, before saying:

“Twins: a knowing is mine, I must share. Take these stones; they are from another reality stolen. Take them with you, and when the feeling directs, when the knowledge comes, you will return them to the Norn Queen. From Karnilla’s magical presence, you will find yourself thereafter back in the world upon which your parents are incarnated three hundred years away..."

Valkyrie continues his prophetic decree: "and from there lies the path to the children that began this journey, from a different turn in Mysti Hazel’s Garden...perhaps a ride on an Iwangosowhers, asking directions from I Don’t Know...”

“Are you...Mom?”

“No, but we are of the same spirit, born of the continuing spell that make us each to ride the skies of Asgard, the same purpose that made us to gather fallen heroes. Perhaps now may we stand by their side, and poise our strength against sadness and helplessness, to prolong the lives of heroes.”

“Follow your own journeys into mystery. Return to your childhood. Connect with your Source. You will find the means of contacting her again. Return, Nick and David, to where she sent you to play.”

They pass down a hallway in gratitude...and then does their adventure graduate some new level as yet known in the clues yet shared widely...

The Triplets, too continue on into the past...for the parents they have never seen. "How many stories did Dangard tell," says one, Elda, "of his travels with Nido?" The remaining heroes do not detect their passing...

...among them Steve Holt, who has traveled far, risked all...

...and if this fair face from his dreams found has left him anything but a sense of hope...he will wonder about those things the rest of his life.

And Nido? His work is done. The stewardess really doesn't recall seeing the one-handed man enter the washroom, and as there is something about him that ensnares her curiosity and chills her at the same time, she watches him settle into his seat. She walks over and offers to buckle him in.

"Sure appreciate it."

If I lied and said I'd ever met you any other way...

Well, now it can be revealed:
Your brain had been surgically removed when I found it aboard the Lubderdite craft. I'd been deposited with other "specimens" including an evil deer and a confused little old lady with a hump back who told me she detested my immoral interaction with "nude naked brains, without even the decency to wear a body! You know whose kidneys you can't have?!? Oh, yes, I know about your kind and their plans for my kidneys!"

As I wondered what, if any responsibility I should take for the brain, found in a bowl, awash in replenishing fluids but even Saran Wrapped for protection, a talking duck started a conversation with me. "Well, good luck moralizing cuttin' the brain loose on its own," he told me candidly. He wore no pants, but neither was he dressed as a sailor.

I decided I'd see the brain to safety, were that possible, and soon afterwards we were returned to Earth, where a self-help seminar entilted "The Harmonic Inner Light" informed us, via clown-faced cheerleaders, that WE were all Bozos.

Deciding to forego the cult offered afterwards, we embraced our inner Bozos. Lovingly, I bestowed you to a doctor, who knew of a wonderful couple that could give it a body and a stable home full of nurture. At this point, the brain stopped hurting and simply became You again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

World view, artist's intentions (Neal Adams, Charlie Sheen, and more)

A Scottish professor acquaintance of mine engages in discussion with other enthusiastic creatives about world view: when we cannot separate the art from the artist, "it's Intentional Fallacy 101." I'm going to drop the literary terminology he employed for the moment; he was saying, a master artist can incorporate multiple world views, gleaned from her/his impressions. He gave Hamlet, Canterbury Tales, and Finnegan's Wake as examples, and asked: "what is the world view presented?"

I may crash and burn, but this is absolutely my standard for what I want to do in my novels, even shorter works. I'd rather crash and burn taking this chance! I even want songs that tell different biographies---but what I sing seems to require more fidelity with my world view, and generally, my feelings, as it is more of an emotional catharsis, while writing is more of an intellectual catharsis. These sorts of concerns may not play into work taken strictly for-hire, but they do play into expressive art. Hope that's clear. (And yet...not.)

This makes me curious about what a writer/ artist chooses and feels the need to draw, and if that is any different than what they need to write.

I am still getting the hang of drawing, so I'm focused on what I feel like drawing. I've already begun investing in characters not coming from the personal point of view, though they originate from my life experience.

I think even a villain should utilize some interesting part of your world view or knowledge. There's room not only for plenty of negatively-oriented characters who add to the oppression but aren't villains you can beat to enact a change---even for stories where there's no villain one can defeat, though there's much suspect behavior on display.

I imagine an artist never gets far away from drawing what they feel like drawing---and without enthusiasm, it shows!

I think the feelings invoked by the art, whichever piece we're talking about, are another matter, and create a third experience: not the art & creator, not the reader, but the overlap called interpretation, where the art mixes into your internal life, to interact with perceptions, independent of the source.

The artist cannot calculate this: in fact, that's one of the rewards, potentially, of feedback. The artist can, however, broaden the potential of her/his work to interact with a greater range of perceptions (and for that, we thank them!)

So sometimes, you may find a movie, or comic book, or song that's very well rendered in some technical aspect---let's say, a Micheal Bay film, with amazing special effects and visceral explosions and larger-than-life scale. (The example at hand was the recent work of Neal Adams.) There may be no lack of enthusiasm or attention to detail---but your emotional reaction? "Mileage may vary." (The professor in question liked it---the Professor he debated, didn't!)

Tom Cruise as a Scientologist---or perhaps, the media's coverage of his eccentricities, and over all ubiquitous presence---might influence your willingness or enjoyment of his movies. In fact, he's a great example of how a star / artist has a reputation beyond his work that becomes mixed, for the audience, with the body of work. You may find the strength of a work (and let's face it: he doesn't write or direct most of his roles) will override your outside opinions.

You might even be of a mind that an artist's world view and their work are separate. So, you might still be able to laugh at Two and a Half Men without regard for Charlie Sheen's meltdown. You might find it awfully unfunny without regard for Sheen. You may be able to listen to Chris Brown without thinking about his disastrous relationship with Rhianna; you may find it impossible to separate; and you still might identify with his struggle for redemption and change.

And just think: people without television are even further removed from the media's interpretations of artists---IF they don't look it up on the Web. Yes, there are people who read books and even live without power, too---and are they any less able to enjoy art, or a good book, without knowing much more about the artist?

You may learn about the artist's limitations in world view; you may only perceive what that artist considers and presents as a commercial approach. Your world view, of course, will play into this. What you really judge, in the end, is that other creation: the one YOU make, with your interpretation.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Phenomenal Experience (2011)

“Phenomenal Experience”

Now I’m called from beyond the grave, with a question. It's a query that, since the days Newton wondered how it is color appears to the mind at all, we’ve yet to answer.
For, how does anything appear in the mind, for that matter? How does one even ask?

It appears to me, for example, Abbie, my sister, according to a message from her husband, my best friend, Nate, experienced brain death at 6:06 am California time. My next call, then, goes to him.

Soon, we’ll be calling her. Calling her to come back....or at least, stake out for us where she’s gone. I suppose initiating the Phenomenal Experience Program mediates the physical reaction of shock. It’s the beginning of nothing, however. Is there a place where nothing begins---and what is its relationship to existing, sentient beings?

This one action sets into motion our lives’ work: to discover oneself, not only here, but outside what we accept as life---another word we struggle to ...precisely define. Like death.

Finding the genie; it’s true, as T. H. Huxley put it, Aladdin’s lamp is no less amazing than cogito, ergo sum!

“How one gathers a mind,” is an answer now about to emerge from its gray being. What's hidden? How do we survive in the velocity of awareness? What is our location in No Thought? Grief. Shock. Rambling. “Looks like I picked a bad day to quit smoking.”


As I processed this, Life's continued happening since. Each message, unknowingly in my context, holds more, a reality free to contain our own reality. My part as observer was truly written by choice a lifetime ago.

We’re never guaranteed tomorrow; we’ve saved what we know and theorized how we know, and all we’ve got must be enough for Abbie.
Earth, water, fire and air. Where my friend are you now?

How did it happen for you years ago, Uncle Anton? Clinically, Grandpa was dead for twenty minutes and without medicine, without science, you...brought him...back to life. What happened over the last will and testament is hilarious to this day.

Aunt Anelle was right. It’s like those people that had the car accident right outside the gates of your home saw the plaque with your name and said, “let’s have it right here: this doctor, I hear, can raise the dead!”
It’s an honor to be the one person to share the greatest and most personal of secrets. How does one recognize a person in the dark? How great can the challenge of visibility be, when we talk about the imaginative limits that must ever expand and leap empty handed into the unknown?

We wouldn’t be doing an experiment if we knew. It’d be called an operation or something. I’ve got to go pee.

I’ve been up for...hahaha! Whew, deep breath, Janaka, old son; you’re due at the airport in Hong Kong. I told the fewest people who need to know, so I can disappear to my life’s work--- a regular enough occurrence, without sharing... about Abbie.

Don’t know if the shock’s offset by sheer preparation; we’re five years ahead of our time, but oh if we could’ve been here, five years before when they married.

My confederates, I trust to do their part; my detractors, theirs. Already, they fell into the fringes of my abandoned normal life the moment I heard the words “brain dead.”

I am not brain dead. Servants drive me with backroad blinding speed to the airport, my mind on mini vacations, to simply soak in deep breaths of solace, committed beyond exhaustion to reach Nate. I am reaching out to the familiar place in my mind where both live every day, united in purpose: pioneering the human consciousness, in ways that make Columbus seem like a spirited boy playing at the edge of the backyard, where he’s been asked to stay for safety’s sake.

I run a habitual diagnostic of my physical being, suitable to my very public side, founding the primary software design firm in the islands of the Indian Ocean, intellectually universal if still modestly funded.

Why not forget the odds against contacting my sister’s mind with nothing short of a state-of-the-art ouija board, or we’ll bring some Cthullian horror back in her place? I refuse to stake certainty upon an end that common sense tells me I must accept.

I accept it all only in a Schrodinger-approved paradox, that’s allowed me and all of us to be dead in my imagination, as well as simultaneously elsewhere alive. I figured incorporate death into the possibilities, and when all else fails, be stubborn as possible!

Part two next!

Improvised music by Integr8d Soul

It Worx Out (Incredible, improvised lyrics by the Marc Kane copyright 2009 Mysti Hazel's Garden Music

You only choose what you do and not do

You know, too, 'cause you'd feel me
just close your eyes and let it be
You can see through my eyes, too

I know how it feels
to be you

words written for Sgt. Steve Holt in "Free of the Fallen World" and
song improvised by C Lue Lyron

Until human kind can harness
the energy to follow
our imaginations
to any place or time we can feel
Our open minds will tear the world apart
until we utilize the energies
---really make the full consensus reality

Our cosmic solutions
with complete freedom to choose
will be limited by the fallen world
but if's coming now the dormant cycles

For everyone must be
infinitely free

San Diego

The Disharoons | Myspace Video

Improvised San Diego (instrumental)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Heart of the Mountain! My take on the Avengers, guest starring the Valkyrie

A soldier: his world, changed forever by a Valkyrie who came to him but spared his life, one destined to someday collide with Captain America! Iron Man! Mighty Thor! She Hulk! Hawkeye!
STAN LEE WOULD PRESENTs IF HE COULD: THE mighty Avengerz ! (From the Roger Stern days)
Cut and paste this for the Entire thing!--Cease

When Ruali took this job, he was pretty sure this man known as Creel was a hardened criminal---but the money was good enough, and the implied threat made refusal seem a flirtation with disaster.

When the Frenchman and the savage whose accent was vaguely North American joined the party, Ruali was very sorry indeed that word had spread of his discovery, amidst the ancient rocks, of a relatively new disturbance, an idol as yet unseen, before a temple that seemed both ancient and ominously, immediately clawed from the bowels of the mountain.

When the strange Irish-voiced man with the fierce dark features and his brawling companion came into sight and began to taunt the members of Ruali’s party, with the rising, shrill call of flight in his stomach, Ruali understandably began to fumble through his memory for half-forgotten childhood prayers.
When the Juggernaut and Black Tom come to call, there is little else, and no mercy.

Juggernaut: What do you think those guys are doin’ snoopin’ around this site?

Tom: Alas, it cahn’t be no coincidence, Cain! There’s loot to be had from those strange creatures that holed up here sometime back: a hidden race, they say...
Juggernaut: Deviants, I heard’em called! I can’t say any of it’s crazy, after what I seen...
Tom: Speakin’ of seeing, we may as well not have any competitors...nor witnesses. I’ll channel muh mutant energy through muh sheileigh...

Juggernaut: You’re not just gonna shoot’em in the back are ya?
Tom: Ah! ‘Tis hardly sporting, true enough. It’s on you, then.
Juggernaut: At least give’em a few last seconds to ... (shouting) TURN AROUND!
Creel: Me first!

Juggernaut: Prepare to meet your maker!
(tom’s blast rings out to consume its target...who stands charged red with its energy.)
Absorbing Man: Surprise, jerkfaces!

Tom: Faith b’gorrah, Marko, ‘tis the Absorbing Man!
Juggernaut: Hit ain’t gotta last but another minnit! I got something buddy boy kin absorb right here!

(next panel)
Blast away, nothing can save you now!

(One of the figures sheds his coat to reveal a grey hand of stone, which he then presses to his face, transforming his body to appear granite in mass and texture.)
Grey Gargoyle: Mon ami, I have often wondered...

(he touches the Juggernaut, who begins to turn partially to stone) the touch of the Grey Gargoyle might fair against the power of the Juggernaut, for such you surely are...
Juggernaut: Hell did you do to my legs? I can still...!

(the other figure stands revealed as the feral marauder Sabretooth, who quickly shoots up under the Juggernaut’s guard and tips him back off the ledge)
Sabretooth: Why don’t you take a load off over here?

(Juggernaut falls down the side of the mountain, bellowing, as Sabretooth leans over and says for his own benefit:)

All that stress is gonna lead to a crack up, believe me!
Black Tom: Cain! Saints, I cannae reach ye!

Absorbing Man: Lemme give ya a little push-off there, Irish... (zaps Tom’s hold with the absorbed mutant energy)

Grey Gargoyle: Hoist by their own petard, it seems.
Sabretooth: Snort! Whatever! But we can yuck it up after we ransack the goodies we came for! Those two are a sure sign the word is out!

Absorbing Man: Believe me, when it comes to this Asgardian stuff, it’s got powers beyond imagining!
Grey Gargoyle: Pity they disposed of our guide.
Sabretooth: Sniff* there’s a passage with wet clay, an opening beyond that boulder. I can hear the wind catching a note off its mouth.

Absorbing Man: Nice work, wolf man! There’s some kinda weird cave paintings inside. My ex-partner Titania disappeared looking for something they whisper is the Ultimate Destroyer, and the last goons to hijack it abandoned this place sometime after that big robot popped up in San Francisco!

Grey Gargoyle: It appears to be some kind of place of worship!

Sabretooth: I dunno what kind of god or demon we’re desecrating, but I don’t smell any watch dogs and I’m ready to ransack this crypt and move on!

Absorbing Man: Keep yer pants on, Creed! I don’t recognize those other markings, but I seen THAT sign in Asgard! We’re just a little palm sweat away from our meal ticket!

Hope that builds an interesting mystery; sorry for my readers who don't think they are into this kind of thing, but it's the last part, chronologically, of my love letter to Marvel Comics, written last spring, using these old stand-bys in working out my novel TRANZ, while I complete a new piece of fiction behind the scenes. This one's a nice sequel to the X-Men or Defenders stories I just posted, and really has the least to do with TRANZ, but now I've written about all my favorite Marvel characters!

this whole thing's up at

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Post 300: Integr8dSoul Sells Out!

First! Here is our new t-shirt, silk-screened, on 100 % cotton, featuring this terrific full color 8 x 6 image, featuring the cover of our next issue of DnA, along with our company insignia three inches across on the back. For $15 you can have your pick, small, medium, or large: free shipping!

Now you can contact me here or via Facebook or

but we're also adding an order form on our website! That's right: announcement two is the beginning of, which will feature its first graphics and shopping cart later today! (*be merciful, it's Pacific Coast time zone here!) This will become the go-to site to find our new music, too, as well as Marc Kane Fashion Bags, sewn here at the Apartment of Ideas with sturdy interior lining and beautiful stitching. is our link through next week.

A rough cut, for you: "Say What?"

Finally, said website will be a place you can order MyEBooks copies of DnA #1, both as downloads, and also as physical copies. It's been promised for sometime, but when you see the specially colored cover, it will be worth the wait!

I plan to come back and wax philosophical here later...but let me say, we absolutely depend on your patronage for our financial success. I've been working for free, basically, to drum out most of this, but it's a labor of love, and the commercial beginning of my life's work in the arts. My website will be a place you can contact me further about very reasonably priced commissions. As we master new software (thanks Joe!) it will only get better. Cartoons, new videos, a short story collection in print, and more stories are in production for this coming year, as will be announcements of our convention appearances on both coasts. It might become the biggest thing this side of the arrival of Carmelo Anthony in New York...

Be chill, Cease ill

Where did Integr8d Soul begin?

I almost wrote my last column about the music that shaped me into a songwriter, though it was a long time before I had the finger strength to really lay into those could say it began the day Stormy sold me an acoustic Laredo, playing "The Needle and the Damage Done" there in the store, long gone. I tried writing songs before that in high school on keyboard, but I never had the confidence to take it anywhere, just daydream. The two years fresh out of high school coalesced into a long depression and the eventual realization that I was tired of restlessly daydreaming with nothing to show for the time.

You could say it began when I fell in love with the wonderful, talented girl who became the Marc Kane. That's the basis for DnA #2, on the drawing board now. It's a reference to our integr8d soul, but also, how everyone ties together, and ties into the universe beyond.

You could say it began when the album name we had staked out by 2004 (we had enough roughly developed songs to make at least two albums even by then, but we've really grown since) was run by a rapper we met out here, named Eternal. "Integr8d Souls---that's it!!!" he said. "That's what y'all should be callin' y'all's selves..."

You could say it began when I started trying to draw my awkward comic books here in California, or when I buckled down two years ago and started drawing daily after a disappointing stint as an assistant to an artist I'd admired.

You could say it's really yet to begin: we make a lot of garage recordings, some of which have some real one-of-a-kind musical performances. Yet our first demo in years, with our new skills and dozens more songs, awaits us as soon as we kick the sick and the tired and head down to Little Italy.

You could say it's starting when our screen printed shirts and comics go on sale any day now...

...but one thing you can never say is when it's all going to end. Some little part of it was born straight out of Eternity, and I'm thankful for the still small circle of friends we've touched with our efforts. When you listen, when you read, when you look, it creates a whole new artistic experience beyond our efforts, that couldn't exist without you. I hope it encourages you to dare something new and stand a little taller. That's a worthwhile purpose in this short life.--- Be Chill, Cease ill

P.S. anyone know how to post Real Player recordings? I have so many!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beautifully Confused

Why do my eyes fill with cooperation, caring, invention, and consideration, upon a world where a woman can dismember her disabled step-daughter and a "leader" empowered by dark deals for the sake of "the standard of living", itself haunted by the wickedness that accompanies ingenuity---a "leader"
who can use millions of dollars of planes to drop bombs on his own people so he can fight to his death and the deaths of those around him;
governors cut taxes for the rich and then ask unions (who helped my Dad come home with something to make up for his long hours away from us, through collective bargaining) who give into all financial demands, to surrender their bargaining rights, to help "broken banks" in a country loaded with wealth stolen in Tower of Babel stacks, and a litany of personal disgusts with the fears and apathy of those I meet which I, as usual, refuse to bare, in deference to a wish not to poison your minds with despair, if I am to write anything...

"beautifully confused"

Let me praise the loveliness of people I've known, and inspirations who've shined brightly. I've judged bitterly, acted vindictively, yearned selfishly, carnally, and beautifully, consoled the miserable with grace, and all the while, breathed the sustaining air, to live another moment, now passed, and then the next. With compassion, I know what it is to be lost, directionless, limited, sick, left to tasks without the accompaniment of their meaning.

I'm sorry to those of you who've offered your openness and friendship, when I have not made time for you, with my strange sleep schedules and work and obsession with the call of creativity, which demands of my blood when I sit weary, seeking inspirations from days long gone when I could not articulate the power with which art became fused with my mind. I thank you all for every moment we shared, together and apart, by the thread of word, image and song.

What amazing visions I've lived to see, and what profound connections I've felt with hope, and how deeply I've imagined lives across the world and across history. I've peaked into intellectual intensity, much of it lost to me beside the flow of passions and bursting emotions that make me a wild creature. What gentleness I've shared, and what a kind face I've seen almost half my natural life, which seemed to begin there at our joining and flow into both directions, to the birth and my utter helplessness,
and to this edge of my experience, and my utter helplessness.

How many laughs we've shared, and what rich conversations: a life that seems never to have lacked for a best friend, as I cannot help but love, and enjoy companionship, as much as my precious solitude. What a treasure of ideas, and fears, and ignorance, and communication.

When have I not had my imagination---even when it fills with pity, or covers the eyes with a passion like the sun, given to destroy and create and pass time? What dreams have I, encouragements, and optimism, too, and who have I inspired?

Where will I go, even while I turn to sail my ship of hopes into disastrous seas? Eating the bitter and the sweet, I know a better shore is possible, and I know not where the journey will end; for in mind is no answer which details every moment of Eternity, nor every agency manifest in immortal possibility.


On the day of his death, Blake worked relentlessly on his Dante series. Eventually, it is reported, he ceased working and turned to his wife, who was in tears by his bedside. Beholding her, Blake is said to have cried, "Stay Kate! Keep just as you are – I will draw your portrait – for you have ever been an angel to me." Having completed this portrait (now lost), Blake laid down his tools and began to sing hymns and verses.

At six that evening, after promising his wife that he would be with her always, Blake died. Gilchrist reports that a female lodger in the same house, present at his expiration, said, "I have been at the death, not of a man, but of a blessed angel." ---From Blake, by Peter Acroyd.

Blake abhorred slavery and believed in racial and sexual equality. Several of his poems and paintings express a notion of universal humanity: "As all men are alike (tho' infinitely various)". In one poem, narrated by a black child, white and black bodies alike are described as shaded groves or clouds, which exist only until one learns "to bear the beams of love":

When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:
Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me. (23-8, E9)

-from Wikipedia

Blake never achieved recognition in his lifetime, but what a talent echoes, in ideas still revolutionary to those who discover his genius. It is a genius apt to touch each of us at some remote time and place, whether any other one knows what masterpiece resides in the stirrings of our souls. It is Eternity, taking on fleeting forms, who waste many moments, but have so much to give.

Next: Post 300!!! A sample of the new t-shirt, new website, and new comic!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

To the Shores of Tripoli: Libya and the changing world

What a crazy, busy day in Libya. Update: the U.K. have sent a warship there to negotiate safe passage for their citizens. Eastern Libya has fallen, and is no longer under central gov't control. Soldiers are turning in their weapons to join "the people."
There's no indication this autocracy will end without the Colonel's death, as he surrounds himself with tribesmen. His ego will not let him back down. His ego is worth more than thousands of human lives. This is not news. The rest of my original column follows.

Any other time, I'd be trying here to hash out the situation in Wisconsin---at this point, I think I could explain it, and almost explain it well enough for anyone. United States Politics, as a discussion in the public, is often a series of metaphors, rather than details, i.e., Walker = Mubarak vs. Workers' Rights are Not Budget Items. I want to talk about a place with literal, lethal details and consequences. But Governor Walker hasn't started bombing protesters from the sky---like in Tripoli.

On the American Spectator blog (thank you P. Link), the suggestion has gone out that America should announce and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, to keep their newly-threatened dictator of forty years, whose name is spelled about five different ways, not including misspellings, Col. Quaddafi. There is nothing wacky about the estimated minimum 285 casualties, apparently inflicted, according to eyewitnesses, by the military, or counter-protesters. In fact, it makes me quite angry. Why should they die for his un-elected rule to maintain? Why should they not taste freedom? It is a question that is fire in the minds of people all over the world.

Ghaddafi's Air Force bombed people, destroying the runways at Benghazzi, second largest city in Libya, while British Foreign Minister Hague passed word that the Colonel himself is meant to be fled to Venezeula, denied by their president Hugo Chavez. But Libyan border guards have abandoned their posts; two high ranking officers, and a few jet fighters flown to Malta in surrender, mark the turning of many from their orders, while Libya's own international ambassadors have called for the no-fly zone, as pressure builds within.

So, like Louis Phillipe, the eccentric leader who has declared, "I am in Tripoli, I am not in Venezuela" has released a statement from beneath his umbrella, sitting in a van with hat ---well, forget the joke. The protesters have taken over towns, like Benghazzi, and two state tv stations.

What I am sharing here is, we are about to discover the faces of our ideological brethren and sister in liberty. It is their job to come up with a democracy---a process we've seen hijacked by money here so many times as to tempt one to a jaded ignorance of its mechanics. But for now, it is up to them to survive. Everyone that's bought oil from Libya has helped provide those planes. There are many "practical" alliances created on the free market that empower regimes they cannot ennoble.

How many people are going to die, and how many soldiers will have to rely on their conscience and walk away? While U.N. foot soldiers amidst the battling factions would be premature, if at all wise, our jet fighters could uphold a no-fly zone. Ghaddafi's son has made a statement, rambling about the fault of "drug addicts" that he will "fight to the last bullet" and conduct civil war to keep Libya under his family's control. Will we leave them to it? If the Egyptian army had fired on their people, what difference would that have made to us? Is it time to contact your U.S. congressperson?

Now, there are consequences. This action, to me, would symbolically and practically place America on the side of freedom, and the oppressed--where we belong. There are forces inside the State Department that would be loathe to be seen this way, as it will without doubt incite further protests to greater strength, a betrayal of alliances made with monarchies and oligarchies throughout the world. But which word, my friends, will we choose to keep?

P.S. May Starla Kirby stay safe and well in Tripoli.


I'm in a bit of thought about this encounter I had a few minutes ago. I came back down to the Gaslamp Pizza for a calzone I'd ordered; an Asian American couple started joking with me as I stood in line. It seems like the smell permeating the whole block was marijuana, so I cut up with those two as I waited, then paid for my calzone. We were still conversing, bantering, when some drunk guy walks up to me and pulls out his wallet to show me some sort of i.d.---not very clearly. "How ya doin'?" he says. "Now get the f--- out of here."

So I asked the guy at the counter who the hell this guy thought he was, talking shit to people who were minding their own business. I could feel the guy bristle. Unfortunately, I really wanted him to know I would throw down with him without hesitating. He never turned around again, and I walked out, which was my plan, anyway.

Now, what we talked about at home is that it is better to respond in some way such a person doesn't expect. I'm talking about some higher path. Unfortunately, after the business one of my in-laws has pulled lately---trying to cut off his kids and wife and telling addled lies---this weekend I have been feeling very ornery. I have had to back away from some of the thoughts I've had, about what I'd like very much to do to him for the many years of misery he has visited on innocent people. You see how that works?

I probably wouldn't have liked what this guy said, but it is possible to reply in smart ways. You could ask him to pull out that wallet again---even though that's not how anyone involved with law enforcement that I've ever seen has handled things---so you can jot down his credentials. You can laugh---but it's hard not to say something sarcastic, too, because while it's really nothing, joyless laughter never leads anywhere good. There are sweet, Wayne Dyer-type remarks full of compassion that occur to the rare individual. It's not like I haven't been taught well how to protect myself if I'm in danger; I managed to fend off three guys on a dark street one night back in the pizza delivery days. (Some other time.) And of course, there's waiting at the door to flip his food onto the floor---but that's taking a chance on trouble for a meaningless gesture. You never know when he's going to be a b----and call the cops for what YOU did.

Arguably, your ability to act unintimidated or to demonstrate force is not the hallmark of what makes anyone---any man---great. Not when it's for nothing. It can even be a little wimpy sometimes when an individual makes a big deal of how unafraid they are. Just the same, I knew my wife didn't want me sitting there with hot calzone, getting cold, even though it crossed my mind soon that I could've just sat down there to prove he was ineffective, and he would've had no recourse. I could've kept joking about the pervasive weed smell, but I'd lost my sense of humor. Anything else, really, would be based in ego. I even went back on a walk around the block minutes later, scowling into the store, looking for the guy. Unfortunately, I am part of why you don't mouth off to people while you're drunk. If only I were more parson-like in my responses.

But the point is, whatever was bugging that dude was brought out on me; I said much less controversial things than the friendly fellow who started the conversation. And what was bothering me---what crosses my mind sometimes when I'm not burying it in friends, loved ones, and the arts---was going to come out on him. Not that what he did mattered---that is the nature of anger. Whoever you lose it with, it seems, you just take all your frustrations out, and no matter how reasoned your arguments are, the emotion is really just a total rejection of every unfair thing you've filed away---all you've let go in the process of just getting on with what you care about.

I can think of at least three or four coherent responses to this off the top of my head. What do YOU think?

"People be watching Kojak too much...they think 'Macho Man'!"---Richard Pryor

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I just heard that a friend, and I won't tell you who, is having twins this year! And my great friends Sabrina and Eric Cooper just had a baby, too! Tupelo Lyric Cooper's doing fine, born January 25, 2011. There are so very many pictures of her being held, her up close---I even have a heartbeat recording!

If you have children, I'm sure you remember a lot about the time around birth, most of all. Angela is particularly keen on infants and pregnant women, so whenever I'm not using the lap top and she's home, she's either looking up baby bumps or playing a free game, or maybe just maybe, commenting somewhere on facebook.

She's been telling me all about Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's baby, and their connection to the woman who carried their fertilized egg. She told me there's a woman who's been a surrogate eight times; in a way, this Kidman/Urban baby is different than a surrogacy, but at this late hour, I wonder if I can find it in the browsing history? Probably People Magazine is the source.

I notice newborns are a popular facebook subject for photos; practically everyone with an account shares them, but you still usually have to know a lady well enough to be her phone pal to really know about pregnancies. It's still pretty common for women not to share that information until the second trimester, anyway.

I actually wondered if I haven't heard the names of at least eight to a dozen red carpet types I know are pregnant; Mariah Carey, Pink...sigh, those I recall because they are singers, too. She loves Rachel Zoe and Bethenny Frankel---that's two more.
Kate Hudson. Victoria Beckham, Jessica Alba. Uh, I know people are talking a lot about Christina Hendrick's boobs, and Kim Kardashian's butt...
So while she may not be at Paris Hilton's side making trash talk headlines, thanks to Angela, I've seen Nicole Richie's son's cute and proper-looking hat, as well as the hipster clothing in which the stars often array their tykes.

One of the most common stories is that Angelina and Brad are about to add a child, either naturally or as another adoption. I think that one's a headline about twice a year, minimum. I don't know if the stories about how heart broken Jennifer Anniston supposedly remains will ever end. You can already see the ridiculous, faintly so, anyway, romantic's take on her love letter read after death.

So, now you know a thing about me that may surprise you. I have a decent understanding of all the baby-related news if it's appeared in a trash magazine or celebrity watch web site. If we watch the Soup, as I draw I hear and see a lot of the Fashion Police (before you watch Real Time!), so I actually remember a few of the outfits Joan Rivers verbally torched. Is that what you want to read about here?

That's what happens when you live in a room together long enough. And sometimes, I even know when my friends are busy secretly nesting for their new brood. But a gossip column, I'll never be.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Whatever Knows Fear...

The macabre Man-Thing.

My take on the Man-Thing, in pencils.

In the early '70s, most comic book writers were content to churn out insular, out-of-touch tales about the superheroes they worshipped in their childhoods. But when Gerber was first assigned a lemon of a book—Man-Thing, about a pile of sentient swamp ooze with a carrot for a nose—it didn't take long for him to turn it into freaky lemonade. He wanted to use comics to write about the real world, and, living in Hell's Kitchen, he was obsessed with landlords, slums, and moving to another city. In his books, El Gato was lord of the cats on the Lower East Side, welfare mothers ate dog food, and a black financier turned self-loathing racist founded the white supremacist cult Sons of the Serpent. He delighted in sneaky juvenile wordplay—for part of his run on Man-Thing the book was called Giant Size Man-Thing; and one of his later creations, known as the Black Hole, would activate his supersuction powers to a caption trumpeting, "The Black Hole sucks!"---Grady Hendrix, Slate

Danger Day! with Danger Bot

Welcome to the Danger Zone!

Some prefer their dangerous liasons...

and some play with their Dangerous Toys...

Some prefer their Danger Mouse...

but some network their cartoons with their hip hop and get Danger Doom

and nothing gets the X-Men ready for danger like a Danger Room:

and if you're lost in space, beware of Danger, Will Robinson!
The object is to use a word until it becomes devoid of meaning. Like we just did with Valentine’s Day.

So anyway, beware, take's Danger Day!

"I'm Danger Bot, apparently."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So what's it like, making your own comics?

I love what I do. It's only part of the whole puzzle, and without commissions and gifts we wouldn't yet break even, but between the comics, stories, art and music, it's a good life, based more on intensity than any material things I've gained. We are just now getting lots of things to the point to where you can buy them! Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of takers on the t-shirts idea yet, but I do have some nice silk-screened shirts in the works, and a brand new cover for DnA #1, as well.

Just the same, without a movie deal or a big company name, it's rather difficult to make a living as an independent artist. In the comics game, I think this letter summarizes succinctly just what the true indie is up against, so I'll let it speak for itself.

Here is a open letter to creators by artist Will Calligan (

''My letter to all creators: Please read and pass along.

First off, all these creators like Mr Niles and Mr Powell are not indy creators. Both work for Image or Dark Horse. These are not indy companies. So, they truly have no idea what a indy creator is really having issues with in the industry.

Secondly, the biggest problem that faces indy creators is not marketing or blogs telling people to buy this book or that book. It isn't Marvel or DC doing super hero books, in fact, that is a bonus for indy guys because it gives us a piece of the market to appeal too. No, the real problem is Diamond Distribution. Diamond has a strangle hold on the indy guys. Diamond takes up to 70% of indy comics money off of orders. Let me say this again 70%. For those who can't do math, let me break it down for you. If you sell the minimum order of 2000 copies and make $2 off of each book, then Diamond gets $1.20 and the creator gets .80. This adds up to Diamond getting $2400.00 and the creator getting $1600.00. This is a huge problem because now the creator doesn't have the ability to substain his creation. This amount doesn't even cover the cost of print. This is highway robbery and if folks really want to get upset then get upset with Diamond. Tell them to give the little guy a level playing field.

You see, I don't need Mr Niles, Mr Powell or anyone else to market my book for me. That I can handle myself. What I do need is the ability to get my product into the hands of the reader. Let my product speak for itself.

What I do not need is Diamond and their "committee" deciding and dictating what will go into shops. Most folks do not even relaize that if a creator wants his or her book carried in Diamond it has to be chosen by the Diamond Committee and allowed in. Diamond is a distribution center, not a publisher. They have a horrible strangle hold on this industry and until someone stands up to them then nothing will change.

Also, by Diamond placing a minimum order of 2000 copies on indy books they have destroyed the strongest tool of marketing that comics had, and that was "word of mouth". Most indy books started out with low numbers, 500 to 600 copies but the comic community is small and word would get out on books like Bone, Cerebus, Madman, Poision Elves and other great titles. This is what made the indy guys succeed and until someone comes up with a way to fix it then all the blogs and belly aching in the world will not help.

My last thoughts: Diamond, quit using unfair business practicing and quit trying to screw the little guy. Give the products the chance to prove themselves and build an auidence. I have all the confidence in the world with books and my products but if you can't get them in the hands of the readers they will fail.


Update Update Update Update Update:

I wanted to post this link up because some folks believe I am not telling the truth with the 70% that Diamond is taking.

Here you go: [link]

They flat out tell you that they are taking 60 to 70% in the first paragraph. In the following paragraphs they explain that you get a standard 30% minus any discounts that you would like to offer.

This needs to stop.''


This is why, dear readers, Integr8d Soul Productions will need your support, directly. The creative process, I share generously; that, together with your reactions, forms a whole other great experience. But if we're ever going to achieve freedom, we are battling from the margins of the distribution system. Even if we become absorbed therein, as you can see, we would be victims of, well, thuggery. Try to imagine: this is the chief way to distribute your product.

Your friend
Be Chill
Cease ill

I'm stumped

Hope you had fun with the Man-Thing and Love Monday, or the X-Men/ Tranz story before...or the poem in between. I may come back and write about love or something again. I could do some international politics. I was thinking about brave Lara Logan, but that's so depressing. I don't know. What would YOU like to read?
I tried my Windsor-Newton brush again. Applying ink isn't something to do when you're nervous, but then, you have to get over it. The brush changes shape while you draw with it. I need to work on my technique.

Have a robot. I'll get back to you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Giant Sized Man-Thing Day (guest starring Ovid)

With my epic X-Men/ Tranz finished, let me borrow an idea straight out of my own
reading-for-fun while recuperating lately.

Some of you will think I've finally gone round the bend from the title. I'll explain:

I've been enjoying Steve Gerber's Man-Thing. This admission is not as shocking as it may sound. While we kick out the last of this cold, I helped myself to a black and white volume of these 1970's comics written with adults in mind. Chemist Ted Sallis worked on a serum designed to give the American military a new Super Soldier Serum. Let's blame it on Valentine's Day, but he takes his hot girlfriend Ellen with him to the Okefenokee Swamp. She wants to lively things up considerable and is dressed to do the trick. She's a very clever companion for Ted, whose tastes, we later learn, has run to at least one hippie girl ("A Candle for Silver ST. Cloud!" Man-Thing #15, 1974). He's only a man, after all, and the negligee is a cunning way to break the humidity.

But Latin's greatest poet on matters of amours, Ovid, once said: "Cunning leads to knavery. It is but a step from one to the other, and that very slippery. Only lying makes the difference; add that to cunning, and it is knavery."

Unfortunately, she ambushes him with mercenaries afterwards, he runs, he injects himself with the one sample of the serum, and one car crash later, his body is decomposing---and re-composing---in the swamp.

Now, as feeling guys go, Man-Thing is pretty much all heart. It's fair to say, love left him mindless---but he's hardly the first of either gender to have that result. As Ovid wrote: "Ah, me! Love can not be cured by herbs." In Manny's case, he's now devoid of intellect, entirely motivated by the feelings of those in his proximity. With looks like these, he unintentionally scares folks, which is far more unfortunate, because, thanks to an acid secretion on his mossy surfaces triggered by fear, "Whatever knows fear BURNS at the Man-Thing's touch!"

The way to deal with Man-Thing was also addressed by Ovid:
"Courage conquers all things: it even gives strength to the body."

Now, the stories I enjoyed this weekend involved book-burning, bullying, manhood, and other serious topics. As the Man-Thing is neutral without his empathic reactions, it is always the regular human beings in the stories who carry the drama (and a few non-regular ones, too), in language that veers between the absurd (because life is absurd) and very naturalistic. Furthermore, while his legend grows by word-of-mouth, people are hardly clued-in initially to how to take this gigantic heap of veggies with the glowing red eyes, appearing without explanation. Ovid: "The cause is hidden; the effect is visible to all."

As for the loneliness which makes Valentine's Day so pointless and embittering to some, make no mistake, the holiday's more totally screwed for Man-Thing. Good thing it makes no difference to him; I'd pass the same advice to you, too. In one of his rare adventures with colorful costumed super-people (this one, three years after his series is cancelled), he takes on a demon called D'Spayre, who reduces Spider-Man first to a quivering mass of Fail and even induces Man-Thing to burn himself with the fear he affects deep within, at the level at which he is still Ted Sallis. But Spidey's encouraged not to go out like that, and though he parks at the cliff's edge of madness, from the look out he sees a way to fight back. "The Bold adventurer," Ovid wrote, "succeeds the best."
Love is not easy in these stories; when disc jockey Richard Rory gets mixed up protecting Ruth Hart from her motorcycle gang ex-friends and boyfriend, he needs her help as much as she needs his. In fact, patching Richard up is one of those steps in finding her way to a nursing career (seen later in Omega the Unknown). His new friend the Man-Thing is already mixed up with a developer named F.A. Schist (clever name, Gerber), and fortunately, their problems take care of each other---as you can find in Man-Thing #3. The mounting weirdness that is life in the occult-ridden swamp (trust me, it's a hidden Nexus of All Realities) makes Ruth decide to make her own way rather than keep hanging with Richard---I mean, in Gerber's comics, it's always possible for a person to have the sense to realize when too much bizarreness is too much(Man-Thing #8, I think). "There is no such thing as pure pleasure; some anxiety always goes with it." ----Ovid

Of course, Richard begs her to reconsider---and one day, they'll be together again, which they can't know now---for
"Where belief is painful we are slow to believe." And was it she who went on to write the book: It's a Man Thing: A Woman's Guide to Understanding Men?

HERE's an adaptation of one of Ruth and Richard's adventures with Man-Thing.

I've saved the last three stories for myself to enjoy later; as horror, scene-for-scene, I'd put them up there with Stephen King, Clive Barker and Anne Rice. Perhaps they were scaled back just a little for the Comics Code, but what little they lack in sex and gore is made up for by clever writing and meaningful themes.

Finally, Marvel Comics produced "Giant-Sized" comics, about twice the size of their regular ones, a quarterly offering for fifty cents, and all their popular titles were treated to this format, in addition to their regular monthly issues. So were we graced by five issues of...Giant-Size Man-Thing. And while the 7 foot plus character is already pretty giant-sized, his name gives way to a pun you may never really be able to look past.
"Why should I go into details, we have nothing that is not perishable except what our hearts and our intellects endows us with."--Ovid

Lots more Gerber rhapsodizing: