Saturday, April 30, 2011

Anaheim Comics Convention

Myebook - D'n'A  Comics #1 - click here to open my ebook First: DNA Comics #1 is ONLINE!!!

So, Anaheim, California, in the morning, by Greyhound. Wizard Con's show seems pretty big, and we look forward to attending. I included a couple of their TV stars,
Trisha Helfer, the sexy Cylon from Battlestar: Galactica, and Family Guy's cartoon mayor, Adam West, a.k.a. the Batman of my childhood---Holy John Hancock, Burt (Robin) Ward will be signing too! Harry Hamlin, Ernie Hudson, and many more as well, including some cast members from TRUE BLOOD, including the preacher that leads the anti-vampire crusade.

I will be looking for independent
publishers like Oni Press, Zenetech, Top Shelf, and others. Maybe they'd like to look at our mini-series when it's done and publish it? Carry our t-shirts? Who knows? We'll be talking to vendors and fans alike to get a feel for the convention business and probably have a great time. I recognize Arthur Sudyam, the Marvel Zombies creator, among the many talented people there. It should be fun meeting creators and talent and editors and fans, some of whom may go home with our shirts, or download our comic! We may meet someone we'll know for life; I imagine so!

Best of all, this is the first time we've been able to enjoy all day at a Comics or Science Fiction Convention, together. Won't be the last!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Danger Bot : A Japanese science fiction story

I am still figuring out a couple of basic things that will decide if I should continue this idea. There is one idea that I think will work: I'm going to stick with the original concept of just how the Fukushima Fifty did deal with the complications of the malfunctioning reactors. I may save Danger Bot for a more appropriate setting.
I think it's pretty cool but I should use more fantastical, superhuman opponents or organized villains; that seems a little juvenile, but while I'd love to see Japan develop robots that can do the dangerous, disease-threatening work, it's still just a fantasy. Maybe I should back the two ideas apart to let them be themselves.

Be Chill, Cease ill

The hour in Nippon was dire indeed.

The clock’s digital face tells Kumiko Sakura it’s 10:44 pm, which is fifteen minutes ahead of time. She awaits clearance to join with the Hogosha, the metallic seventeen foot, joined from symbols in a form not unlike humanoid, for its bipedal symmetry. When the word comes, not a second can be wasted. Kumiko will stand here however long it takes, now. Nowhere else on Earth exists for her right now, save this unlit silo. The black telescope across the room catches a twinkle of moonlight through the opened dome.

“We’ll be out there soon, Danger Bot.” she says quietly. Sakura’s name for the cybernetic armor had come from her hours of practice at this, her dream to make a difference. She’d hated the training when she was a teen, sometimes, and what if it was for nothing? The crisis that befell her homeland, however, had solidified her feelings about the hard work and secrecy. When the tsunami swallowed the coast in its mindless, hungering mouth, the horror Kumiko felt, the tears she cried, all came crashing into a rebellion against despair that rose up like fire from her belly. In a time when no one knew what to do and everyone wished to help, she had given half of her life to the possibility that Kumiko Sakura could make a difference.

Before she was able to rush her grandfather’s creation to the place of disaster, however, his department---half-acknowledged, half-funded, half-appreciated---ran into politics. Kumiko wanted to argue that no one could stop Danger Bot if she arrived in it; a military stand-down would just be ridiculous, and a shame, for all the lives she might save. Grandfather had insisted they conduct the rescue by the book; mother had drawn up plans for coordinating Department Hogosha with other rescue services. Now, Hoshi Hayato, their scandal-embroiled friend in the assembly was conjoining a committee, to discuss the same possibilities that had been discussed before, basically. Red tape was prolonging the disaster.

An earthquake, nearly unequalled in size, and the deafening tsunami had obliterated the northeastern coastal settlements; worse, the emergency evacuation would still require tremendous outside effort, as though who were saved became the victims then of expediencies, as every hand grabbed for the bare necessities. The kindness between the people was the only saving grace of a miserable situation, which was still worse yet.

Meditation and exercise had become Kumiko’s preoccupation, as she reviewed schematics of both Danger Bot, the Jinzouningan Kikensei, and the failing plants. All of the preparations for the nuclear facilities could not save the vulnerable reactors from overheating, and she knew why, and she had a plan of how to reconnect electricity, move some rubble, and stop the irradiated waters from entering the sea. With the electricity reconnected, however, there was no guarantee the cooling rods would be in time to deal with the excessive fissioning. The hospitable nature of the rolling country hills and port streets of Fukushima was dangerously close to lost, for untold decades.

For that matter, she could not see why they did not let the robot participate in largely-demolished sites where the desperate were stranded, and then, as their possibility for life subsided, why she could not go out to these areas to aid in recovery. Grandfather told her she was welcome to do so in person. Never had he been more tight-lipped about the reasons for things. She suspected this was because he’d already found the situation in which he was going to offer the “Danger Bot” (she had gotten the name to catch on with him, though he rarely used it, in favor of “the prototype armor” in his typically clear-headed fashion).

The final debate for clearance had been moved continuously. Meanwhile, the horror at Fukushima remained Sakura’s fixation. She had slept in this very chamber for the past two nights, waiting to board her fantastic machine and attempt to save Japan from the dark side of its technology with a new and shining light.

Her meditation moved to the courage of those workers who chanced everything to work towards a safe shutdown of the nuclear plants. She had begun learning some of the names first hand. She thought about the fear and pride of their families. She thought of their discovery of knee-deep water, one thousand times more radioactive than the safe limit. Two hours in the plant were the maximum safe limit. As for herself, she counted on Danger Bot’s shielding. Sadly, she reflected there was only one mechanical marvel of its kind. She sat in seizen-no kamai, her hands clasping her knees gently as she balanced on her heels above her down-turned feet. The agony of preparedness, she reasoned, was the least of the stress to come, so she must endure, until she hears the word:

“Hajime (Begin).” It was Gorou Etsuko, her scarecrow-thin sometime rival pilot. His black shock of hair stabs the light invading from the opened door to the hangar, and their eyes meet just before the rest of the lights flash on. He held her helmet in his hands.

The metallic giant, activated, rolls out of the bay on wheels, supplemented by a tremendous battery; Sakura knows every circuit, chip and articulation. The hammered trees bow in still-dampened ground, scattered with debris from the sea and the woods, and the goliath lumbers more slowly through the valley, its treads mired by the drinking earth. As she drives across the savaged countryside, she surveys the horror of the tsunami devastated landscape. The people taking a casket on their shoulders stir her heart the most. She know they are going to a temporary, but thoroughly depressing temporary burial. It was the sacrilege of the culture’s most enduring rite. She swears to honor their spirits with bravery.

At last, the Jounzingen Kikensei---after her personal name for the droid body--- arrives in the middle of the night at the jeopardized power plant.

InterAction has a list of organizations accepting donations for disaster relief.
Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) brings hope to over 4.5 million children in need every year by giving them new clothes, shoes, books, toys , furnishings and baby gear. This is made possible by manufacturers, retailers and licensors who donate NEW product, as well as individuals and foundations who provide financial support.. The agency utilizes a global distribution network of more than 1,000 local nonprofits. You can make a donation to the K.I.D.S. Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children's Fund by texting the word ALLKIDS to 85944 to make a $5 donatoin to KIDS on your mobile phone bill. Because K.I.D.S. has a 10 to 1 system of matching $10 worth of product for every $1 donated, your $5 will provide $50 worth of brand new merchandise to victims in need.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello, friends

Talk about a fresh start!

So without the sense of loss of anything, I simply woke up at 5pm (after writing and playing the night away), made cheeseburgers, watched Lawrence discuss phony Trump tactics and Limbaugh’s lack of understanding of Jesus, hah..and the verses were wonderful, enough to put some change in my pockets for beggars, though the one woman I did see needed only a smile---the tiny little old black lady, who sometimes walks dogs. We passed her as Angela discussed Scott Disick’s shock at being rejected upon proposing and her sympathy as they move on or try to, and was it a real blindside. She’d just seen a poppinjay type on his phone at the Hard Rock Hotel.
She’s laughing about the curtains filled with toliet paper and how she invoked Teaseberry to help her get at least some of it out. Now she’s talking about the sprigs of green that cross the face in her drawing of me, which I used to model a panel for a layout of the “flower/door” scene in NACB. She is also fascinated by her left hand callouses from her guitar playing, especially the first two fingers. Her drawing of our latest addition to the DNA cast made her and the model very happy.

I could feel the wish to pull things together, the willful desire for progress, yet I let go of any talk of it, nor of any of our ongoing stories, to enjoy a sensation of mental emptiness. If I was going for mental emptiness, the joke goes, Scott Disick was perfect subject matter. I kid. I’m glad I got at least this much exercise, and though I’ve yet to do more than yoga, I will promise myself again a sweat, if I would only find the time between doing everything and being too full or too hungry to exercise, hahah.
I enjoyed every step, fresh from my shower, and knowing: some space for the mind to take in one’s surroundings is good, even great here in San Diego. I am glad for Steph Johnson to be working with Maceo Parker (appearing at Belly Up), and feel no envy. I feel no gluttony. Really there is something to be said for life without excesses. As for the excitement that can veer up and down, I would like to pace it out to achieve projects from start to finish.

I walked, I let her guide us on whatever turn she wanted, except for my suggestion we try the MLK pathway, where the last of the sunlight falls; she’s trying to feel better about her nausea, her sinus infection or allergic reaction set up in her jaw on her right side, and after her medicine and her walk, it’s much better. That is an achievement I can enjoy! More than the fart I apparently missed, anyway, “the odiferous butt sound” she’s talking about while posing as a Stuck (easy enough to do, just grit your teeth, widen your eyes---but ‘they’ don’t apparently fart, themselves. They may not even have buttholes.). If I don’t drawn and share more of their many throwaway adventures soon, those characters promise to revolt---and I assure you, when they’re revolting in Uglyland, you will know it’s true.

I think some Blue Oyster Cult is up next, maybe we’ll practice some songs. (I have a cover of one of their most popular songs that just sprang up over the weekend; watch for it!) I’m sure we’ll be drawing, too. You never know: I just spent this time writing, maybe I’ll take a crack at one of our stories! There were a dozen on the list. Now two are finished. I think I will have a very nice collection available for you to download soon.

I honestly haven’t taken the time to figure out how to make the comic DNA #1 available that way, but in the meantime, feel free to buy an original copy from its premiere print run. I was just having fun laying out a page for its sequel last night! Just send $4.25 for a signed copy of the new comic to
Cecil Disharoon,
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
Or if you want a t-shirt, our black ones are $5 for shipping and handling for two, which are on sale for $25, so send $30 for two black ones, or just $25 for two white. We have Puzzle Girl and Hellcast graphics, both of which are covers to DNA #1 (Hellcast) and #2 (Puzzle Girl).
There are lots of things to do this evening, and I really had no idea in what order or what could be achieved, but I am glad I took the time to walk around the block, see the baseball fans, the families like the Asians with the two little boys having so much fun crossing the street, and the random extremely cute girl you tend to find, too, if you just walk a mile or so you’ll find many. The newest cashier at CVS is very friendly and dug my John Lennon t-shirt, which was a hit in Medium on Angela all day Saturday. She's in a red top with sleeves and three buttons from the shoulder, above "an itty bitty titty pocket" she says.

As the sun goes down and the last of the daylight sky, of a day I largely slept away in favor of some hours, I think about my many friends, and the good will sent to us by so many of you, and those who read that I’ll never meet, and as I have a sip from the Dr. Pepper given to me after our neighbor Janice accidentally bought the wrong thing, I take a deep breath, know that same feeling people really mean if they really mean it when they say God is Good, ponder when I’ll call my Mom back, and just watch this lovely woman blow kisses at me as she lounges on the bed from a few feet away. Sometimes all we really need is a feeling that, if it is important to our lives, we will find the time and place for everything that is ours, and all we are meant to give.

Now, let’s shut this window as the evening cools.

(The Two Dogs story) Lucky and Rose stick together in a bad situation.

First of our Tsunami stories, complete. Please feel free to donate to Red Cross, as offered on our previous posts. I will try to get a donation number for everyone to use when I have the rest of the cycle finished. Enjoy!

The smell of everything seemed moved around, as though the familiar pathways of scents were no longer. Lucky wags her tail, nosing through damp mud, smeared across a yard of debris.

The smell that so often drifted upon the winds is now coating everything. Wet. Cold. Lucky trots across a long mud hole towards yet another pile of scrap, where a building (which smelled of turpentine sometimes) had stood. For several blocks---Lucky’s roving territory---the wetness, the smell of dirt, wood, and the sea, over rode all other smells, though there was a faint hint of gasoline two blocks from this place. Lucky then spies a friend. It’s Rose. Lucky wags her tail. Wet and cold do not matter so much at the moment. This was a smell Lucky knew well.

But Rose did not get up. Rose, mostly white, but now dirtied, pants for a moment. Recognition passes between the dogs. Lucky wonders: “where are the people who take care of us? I am ready to be petted. Also, I wonder where some food might be. But it is strange not to see anyone.”

“There’s no one around at all,” Rose thinks. “I have not seen the people who care for me and it seems like forever now. I want to look around, but my leg hurts so much. Now I have not eaten for some time, too, and I cannot sniff out anything to eat. It is all covered with this wetness, and I cannot walk without yelping in pain.”

“Let me give you a sniff,” Lucky thinks, and Lucky proceeds to give Rose a once-over with her nose. “You may hurt, but you are not rotten and sick yet.” Lucky nuzzles Rose, who keeps her head up.

“I hope the people who groom my long hair will come find me,” Lucky thinks.

“I am so hungry,” Rose thinks.
“I will look around,” Lucky thinks, “and see if there’s anything.” But wherever Lucky looks, amidst the broken windows, broken boards, and smeared mud, not another living thing. All the things of the workmen are scattered everywhere. Much of the road has disappeared. There is always a chance maybe further on there will be someone, some food. Lucky looks back at Rose. Rose really seems miserable. Lucky’s feelings guide her back over to Rose’s side.

The wind blasts the wet dogs, who sit beside a large drum the color of rust. Fortunately, it begins to blow against the drum, and for a few minutes they are not hit by it. Lucky nuzzles Rose’s hindquarters, and then comes to her head. She puts out a paw onto Rose’s head, and then turns around and sits on her head. “I can think of nothing that would make your feel better,” thinks the dog.

“What are doing on my head?” Rose thinks. She begins raising herself. Then Lucky puts her forepaw over Rose’s neck. They wait.

The person who finds them watches with a camera, and when the human with him sees the dogs move, he comes over and kneels beside them. Lucky’s tail wags.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Harvester of Eyes (Complete)

“Harvester of Eyes”

To the backs of their skulls: The First Approach

The nights, of an open closet door inspiring paranoid terror, or a shadow by the moonlight causing a heartbeat's skip, have worn Kaylisha thin. Her concept of just what was, after all, out to get them (wasn't it?) was too vivid for Kaylisha to sleep regularly, two months after she'd seen the Harvester of Eyes. In the house of this man now lying wounded on a stretcher at the back of the medivac airplane, she had cried out, times a few, as she imagined her pursuer still lived, following her for no other reason save he had been summoned for the sake of her life, and she had born his singular witness.

Flashes running like floaters, dust motes across her eyes, could in the lamp-lit room call to mind the sparks that scintillated as "hair" on a head nearly otherwise for the baby arms. Upon tentacles they waved mindlessly, giving the deathlike creature greater height than human, and what those baby hands did...the men who'd sneered and bullied Kaylisha only moments before still cried in her private, horrible memories as their eyes...

...their eyes...

With a shudder, Kaylisha looks out the airplane window, as the land three miles from the airport resolves into building tops, intersections, neighborhoods...the airstrip plunge waits. Waymon's goatee catches moonlight, as he snores lightly beside her.

She glances to Buddy on the unlit stretcher, an antiseptic smell wafting occasionally to her. What an odd moment to remember Buddy's silent treatment...his mean-spirited slurs. For three days he refused to allow her to sleep in the house, which he offered to her companion, and his childhood friend, Waymon Jarrell. She recalls Buddy's anger, with the rifle, as she cried out in paranoid fear, and the slow dawning of realization that his friend Waymon would not abandon her now, and the seriousness of her true medical panic attacks, all converged to create a bridge of grudging tolerance that made him question the best course of action. Something scared the shit out of all three of them, and he became involved, and gave them what they needed: an isolated, easily-patrolled refuge, out of reach of any neighborhood.

Why did Buddy decide he would risk his life for Waymon, who'd only met Kay about three weeks before he'd shared his horrible secret to protect her? Strangers, thrown together: Buddy had not seen Waymon in years. He had so little in common apparent with the soft-spoken poetry student, her new friend, in whom she'd confided that gangsters had shown a chilling interest in her whereabouts and personal life. And why should anyone die, she wondered, over that two faced shitbag of a father she'd never really known, either? She suspected these gangsters knew more about his real world than she ever had.

When Waymon finally called Buddy, they had fled the grisly scene of the crime, burned in flames, spending her savings for three weeks of restless wandering away from the
Long Island site of her abduction, and the bizarre, homicidal incident which had left one of the mobsters alive, still in critical condition and unconscious when last she heard. Who would ever want to wake up, after that?

Yet, here, Kaylisha felt she could never again enjoy sleep. Somehow, her problem ensnared the intelligent tendencies in Buddy, who was still unclear on how Waymon had met this Gemini woman who Waymon claimed had given him the tiny parchment that seemed to call, upon its destruction, the most terrifying thing Kaylisha ever had experienced. The sheer mystery began the bridge of understanding. In two weeks time, Buddy had begun presenting Kay with clean sheets for her bed, his, while he dutifully took the fouton and Waymon, the sofa. A man who had lived alone for two years found himself unable now to live alone. Perhaps the danger made it good.

The bond of friendship led to ten weeks of three in hiding, rather than two constantly on the run. In the good of the wilderness, the anti-social hideaway hosted an uneasy truce. Over time, she began to wonder which of the two of them were truly more haunted!

Kaylisha gradually straightened out her sleep, without any meds or psychiatric help, which was out of the question, anyway. After all, wasn't it academic what a responsible doctor would do with a person who was running from the Harvester of Eyes? If you beg, explain something wants your life...are you ready to be locked up?

Buddy, all along, had enough homegrown pot to fill in the necessary chill pill, and over the course of twelve weeks, a place Kay had not planned to remain one single night became, gradually, the one place she first felt safe.

Whatever the reason, their stay was always temporary, and two months afterwards, they were in Oceanside working their first ongoing jobs, with so many issues unresolved, she couldn't help wondering if he might ever regret listening to her, getting involved, trying to be the shining knight of whatever. Doubtlessly, he'd had some poem in mind when he agreed to jump a bus with with her.

She couldn't remember a word of the one he'd recited when he took them both to Buddy's to hide and, well, attempt sanity again. Waymon, for their differences, has her heart. She could feel it break when they'd returned to find Buddy...dear God...and now, here they were escorting a critically wounded man to the nearest hospital capable of handling the skull trauma.

Not that she quite liked the guy---he was an instigating asshole, see him lying there, sedated, his face covered in gauze...a guy she'd shared Cully Stout Beers with---at some point, much as Buddy could not admit it, he had cared what became of this insane-sounding woman of a skin tone for which he did not approve. But what a terrible price he'd paid.

The landing she expects does not occur. She realizes they are headed skyward again. But that does not make any sense. She's flown four times in her life, and the certainties of touchdown are a reliable source of relief...

"...but this is nothing." Kaylisha knows she can do nothing. As she had discovered during her deep woods refuge: there are times one must let go of the semblance of control to find out what is really happening.

That is why she could buy that, after her erstwhile boyfriend's banishing spell, they would not see that thing again. She would never again witness the inhuman things it did, and with the burning of the scroll upon which she'd also put a drop of blood, the one means of which she knew (but never would've believed!) to summon the Harvester of Eyes was now absent the world.

Yes. yet...when he'd been given the scroll...did that person have more? Would it ever walk the Earth again? And would it plan to visit her again? Why had it not killed her?

She'd already expected she might die: kidnapped at last by men who'd harassed her over the course of a week, she found herself shocked with battery cables as they questioned her about her father's dealings, on things which the no good bastard had never shared, only making her speculate more widely what her mother never told her.

Her boyfriend, bleeding from a shot fired moments before in her kidnapping, added his blood to the paper, and with its burning now apparently magic o shit IS real, the shaking this time's not you being drunk it's a real fucking earthquake, into the warehouse room with Kaylisha and her captors and...

always, her mind returns here, on circuits ranging far and interested, yet the reason for her sleepless nights had its way with the teases caught in her imagination.

Pulled into the mire of her mind, darkened daydreams arriving by surprise repeat this very unman's figure, standing out like fire in leather and deep-shaded jeans, addressing the mobsters with a kind of mocking, "pukey" announcer voice: "conga-rats!" he said. "Your eyes are outstanding."

They'd sworn loudly at this apparition, one initially, the other quite unbelieving until their eyes....their could any creature with eyes its won not see more perspectives, when thinking through so many eyes held along to see? Yet the addition of these two new sets of eyes, pulled from their sockets by some invisible, ruthless force, into distended nerves gushing with blood flowing around their human mouths, screaming with agony and awareness...the men she'd wished dead suddenly had problems of a seriously fatal nature.

Some memories need the present moment more than others. In the skies, she searches for something greater than her troubled heart, her sickened worry returning like a gall bladder attack as she watches out the window for the airplane's second approach.

“Waymon,” she says, from the next seat, “you’re awake now.”

“Thought I felt us approaching to land,” he says.

“Almost were. I wouldn’t wake you before necessary.”
“Sorry you weren’t still asleep yourself. How is Buddy?”
“Still sedated.”

They didn’t need to repeat the facts; they had learned they should not.
She thinks back to something she heard on the news five days before...six?
The eyes taken in the mass graves by the Mexican border told her he was back.
Then, Ladell, the last person they’d stayed with, renting his converted garage.

They had come back to Buddy’s farm the next day, but there was no sign of Buddy until they checked the barn, and there, beyond a trail of blood droplets, in the hay he lay, unconscious. His eyes were pulled from his head, scattered aside with contempt nearby on the ground. They had moved as fast as possible to get him to a hospital, keeping his eyes on ice in Tupperware found in the kitchen. His brief awakening had been one of the most awful instances in life. How did Waymon calm him down, even elicit a chuckle, while living with the fear of the damage to his eyes?

There was so much to forget, no wonder Waymon had taken to filling their time together with poems he’d memorized. Kaylisha never remembered more than the chorus of songs she’d heard a hundred times, nor ever knew anyone who loved poetry so. Those words were calm in nerve-wracking instances. They were a mental sedative, a release, an occupation to recall life aside from the vile happenings of their four months together.

Why had they stayed together? Why did she not put all the blame squarely with Waymon Randall for using the spell that ...but then, she could never know what would happen after she was taken by her father’s mob cronies.
We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
A moon, worn as if it had been a shell
Washed by time's waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years.

Waymon had been so funny and kind, and she’d been so miserable, it seemed like three or four times talking to him at her job had forged an unbreakable bond, already scary and joyous enough in itself. He glances over at her, and continues reciting Yeats:

I had a thought for no one's but your ears:
That you were beautiful, and that I strove
To love you in the old high way of love;
That it had all seemed happy, and yet we'd grown
As weary-hearted as that hollow moon.

The sunset as the plane inexplicably rose again from its approach formation.

Immediately, Kay walks up into the cockpit to ask why.
“No one from the tower,” says the pilot, shaking his head.

“What the hell, are they asleep?” she says, in disbelief.
“I’m going to figure something out. Just take your seat, it’s fine.”
Kay quickly relays this to Waymon, who sits gazing out the window. Her stomach begins to drop. He turns to her, wordlessly. Her internal monologue begins to rush over her conscious mind, as worry gathers in her countenance.
But now they’re thrown together in life or death and she realizes: it was all for her. The conjuring, the many more need die that she might live?
Here, love, this is "The Mouse’s Nest", by John Clare.
I found a ball of grass among the hay
And proged it as I passed and went away
And when I looked I fancied something stirred
And turned agen and hoped to catch the bird
When out an old mouse bolted in the wheat
With all her young ones hanging at her teats
She looked so odd and so grotesque to me
I ran and wondered what the thing could be

She recalls the ceremony that brought the Harvester at their darkest moment.

And pushed the knapweed bunches where I stood
When the mouse hurried from the crawling brood

Her blood and Waymon’s mixed on the paper Waymon burned.

In her mind, it’s there again. "Harvey" makes crude, insane jokes and literally gets drunken on its enhanced awareness, as it adds stolen eyes to its mind and goes psychic joyriding, seeing sights from superhuman perspectives, as though taking on additional imaginations.

Waymon finishes his poem:

The young ones squeaked and when I went away
She found her nest again among the hay
The water oer the pebbles scarce could run
And broad old cesspools glittered in the sun

It did its grizzly work of attracting the eyes, literally, on outstretched vessels and nerves before snapping bloodily, pulled invisibly to its tiny baby hands that stretched out of the top of his otherwise human head. She recalls the Harvester, digging through garbage to find eyes for his pouch of leather. Waymon’s smile fades. He is sorry the poem did not pleasantly distract her.

“Why didn’t the Harvester kill me, Waymon?” she asks. “You were lucky to be in the alley behind the warehouse. “I used to think it simply wanted a witness.”

“How many times have we talked about this?” Waymon pleads.

“No, how many times have you listened quietly? What don’t you want to tell me?”

Waymon now reveals to Kaylisha why she'd been spared during the Harvester's first manifestation. “I did not want you to have to deal with it. I’ll tell you, but I can’t take it back.” He pauses for a moment. “You, too, were possessed by the Harvester of Eyes that first night. I thought the spell I used would banish the creature. Remember the image of great fire, before the warehouse went up like a tinderbox?

Only you, Kaylisha, remained, and for almost three months we did not see anything.”

“Why didn’t your spell put it away forever?”
“You know I’ve tried again. I’m not sure what else to do. I won’t stop trying.”
Waymon had been racking his brain for a new banishment spell ever since they realized the Harvester was running wild, only three days before. They had not slept since!

The plane begins approach once more. For the longest three minutes, they wait. Her stomach drops. Harvester laughs, his eyes now visibly around her. The fusilage begins to rip off the top! Standing atop the ripped open plane, his eyes squirm as though they will drift out of the ghostly baby hands.

“I’ve been sight-seeing like you wouldn’t believe?” says the Harvester of Eyes. “Big city madness! Some concert promoter found me and begged me to come on stage for a heavy metal concert. I had live TV on my eyes, baby! I was a star in the wild! A reality celebrity more outrageous than any ever seen by mortal eyes!”
The wheels begin to scrape the tarmac.

“But I haven’t shown them the REAL goods yet! No. And already, they’ll never know what I’ve taken from them as they watched. It’s been a wonderful vacation, your world.”

“I’m not afraid of you!” Kaylisha screams hoarsely.

“And why would you be?” asks the Harvester, in multiple voices speaking as one. Then he turns to Waymon. From his stretcher, Buddy raises his head, and begins to murmur “no!”

Kaylisha begins to batter the Harvester’s body with her fists repeatedly. It turns its back to her.
“Oh, I’ve HAD you!”

He then takes Waymon’s struggling body up by the head, and possesses him. Now Waymon’s head flows with serpentine strands of tiny baby hands. His eyes, depraved and orange, grow wide over a joyless grin, filling with sharpened teeth. “I always wanted a head for poetry!”
“To hell with you, you son of a bitch!” swears Buddy, still strapped to the gurney.

The Harvester merely gazes at the end of his new body’s fingers, while Kaylisha’s tears flow, at his feet. Then, the space above their heads seems to fill with a bizarre claxon sound. The creature reaches for her chin, as she fights with all of her strength, hair tearing in other hand and falling as a tangled tuft on the floor of the plane. “I can’t see what you’re afraid of,” says the Harvester.

Then, the unbearable siren culminates in a blue hologram of a head above them all, as the plane slows to a stop. A cold, hard, weary visage drifts above them. The eyes begin to fire a concentrated red beam towards the head, which cloaks itself in a flashing yellow band.

“Finally, I have answered the call, with my own call,” speaks the echoing voice. “I long to war no more. Curse your kind, that I must fight on for your sakes.”

A strange, watery blueness begins to open, a cone receding beyond sight, as the creature turns again towards Kaylisha. Its orange eyes harden, as its grip around her throat tightens, her cries, choking pitifully. The blue wateriness begins to surround the Waymon/Harvester and Kaylisha, and then from within the cone flies an orange and yellow machine man, with green eyes. In place of its right arm, drifts a yellow beam, wavy, snaking out to surround the creature, who roars angrily, and then, closing all its eyes a moment, says, “yes, then, my home, at last.” Before the startled woman, now so over-stimulated as to be expressionless, the enveloping glow becomes a blob, and as the Harvester of Eyes resolves into billions of tiny red lines, the robotic visitor begins to shrink into the center point of the receding blueness. Only the head from before floats above.

“W-Waymon!” she screams. “What have you done with Waymon?” The impassive head does not answer, but fades, also. She slumps to the ground amidst the smell of ozone.
Behind his bandages, Buddy weeps.

A long, impossible moment passes as the plane comes to a halt. In her mind’s eye, the blue face now drifts above, resolving into an albino man with a black leather body suit, and a tarnished, scarred belt. She hears his voice. “There was no other way. I am a veteran of so many psychic battles as to know nothing to say of the innocents in their wake. Your friend may find his way to you again one day. His sacrifice was willing. I doubt the possession of any other body would’ve resulted in your death.” Kaylisha hears blasts of winds, as his voice distorts and grows in volume.

“I have taken from his mind the poems he loves, and words the same will remain with you until your age dims all memory. He will fade like the outcasts of the tide upon the beach. You alone will remember his words and the love for those words, and the words for those loves.” The figure vanishes like a dream upon wakening.

Detective Bloom oversees the emergency call to the airport. He interviews the pilot whose approach was delayed before the horrible truth was discovered in the control room. The plane seems whole, in one piece. The paramedics take Buddy away, and decide to take Kaylisha Nichols, as well, as she is apparently exhausted.

Detective Bloom stamps out his cigarette, frustrated. The other documented passenger, Waymon Jarrell, is lost without account. No questions put to Buddy elicit more than memories of some years before. No questions to Kaylisha provide her previous connection to Buddy, whose eyes begin to heal after surgery. An Ithaca, New York woman named Pearl Sands, 34, who had waited in the terminal for her own flight to Santa Fe, was found unconscious near the landed plane, with no memory of the hour before.
The fate of the air traffic controllers, found with eyes gouged out, leaves only a baffling, gruesome mystery, with the only person in any way connected known to be aboard the plane bringing in a similar trauma victim to two (with criminal records) in Long Island.

Somewhere, a poem remembered by heart spreads across a barrista’s lips.
Somewhere, Vera Gemini laughs cruelly.

John Carpenter's Halloween

"The night HE came home..."

It opens with a single Steady-cam shot, unbroken, as we follow a pair of eyes, soon ensconced by a mask, up a set of stairs, on a horrible, compulsive path to family murders...

...oh, you may WANT to strangle them, sometimes, but the idea of family murder is still shocking, personal, and, from the viewpoint of a child, unspeakable. The shocked adults soon unmask an insane, confused six year old boy.

I caught Escape From L.A. the other night on HBO and found myself flipping through John Carpenter's movies via Wikipedia, where I uncovered facts well-known to fans, but forgotten by myself. Talk about murder in the family: do you realize Jamie Lee Curtis, the "Scream Queen," is the daughter of Janet Leigh---the star of Psycho?

Carpenter actually started his career with another cult classic, the much-higher budget Dark Star, which is not named after a Grateful Dead, but is a parody of science fiction at the time, particularly 2001: A Space Odyssey. His next film had been a crime-thriller, Assault On Precinct 13, shot on schedule and for a low budget, released in 1976. If you know the movie Rio Bravo by Howard Hawks, you will see its influence in the story. Its critical reassessment in Europe helped launch Carpenter's career, with one of the best exploitation-style movies of the decade. This was the first time he worked with Debra Hill, who would co-write many of his most memorable movies, including Halloween.

Producer Irwin Yablans suggested a movie about a baby-sitter stalker, and got Carpenter to direct. "Halloween night had never been the theme of a a film before," said Carpenter, who incorporated this, another Yablans suggestion, into his story. His musical ideas were inspired by Dante Argentino's Suspira as well as Friedkin's Excorcist, which featured the Michael Oldfield's "Tubular Bells". The anamorphic lens used to shoot widescreen pictures and the minimalist lighting characterize Carpenter's direction. The story featured a disturbed mental patient returning to his hometown after an escape, fifteen years after the murder of his older sister. For $320,000 Carpenter shot one of the most successful independent films of all time, grossing about $42 million domestically and about $65 million internationally the year it opened.

Moustapha Akkad financed the picture, based almost solely on Carpenter's penchant for telling the story in a highly-suspenseful way. He would finance many
Carpenter films before his death. Hill spent three weeks writing the script, basing the idea on the Druidic holiday of Samhain. Hill wrote most of the female characters' dialogue, while Carpenter wrote the famous "pure evil" speech and other lines for Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance). According to Wiki, Dr. Loomis' name was taken from Sam Loomis (John Gavin) of Psycho, the boyfriend of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, who is the real-life mother of Jamie Lee Curtis).

In-season pumpkins are hard to find in the spring, and the crew also had to re-use dead leaves for many shots. It was filmed in 21 days in South Pasadena and Sierra Madre (cemetary), CA.

However many times I've read about Halloween, I didn't realize "The Shape" (Michael Myers) was played by another director! His name is Nick Castle, and as a friend he worked for $25 a day.

The first issue of our modern Southern Gothic comic, DNA #1, retails for $3.25. It's available for just fifty cents on download from MyEbooks, too! Its cover also doubles as the all-cotton black t-shirt's graphic!

C. Lue Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

shipping and handling, $1.25 each!

Meanwhile, our remaining t-shirts are available at Convention Special Price, for $12 each or 2 for $20, plus $3.00 for shipping & handling.
Below, you'll find many more sketches for our preview of Not Another Comic Book, due next month. Enjoy!

You can do the same over PayPal, at !!!

If you want any of these images on a shirt, write me at or on Facebook. Some designs will need to be made from scratch so it will be a couple of weeks. We will have painted renderings of some images, not the photos themselves, and new ones besides. Also look for Princess Sexy Jenn in Not Another Comic Book; she's very excited about becoming a comicbook character, and she's not alone.

AND!! You can use the button provided; the $15 will cover your postage.

D'n'A t-shirt #1


D'n'A t-shirt Puzzle pieces (girl and boy)

Castle went on to direct The Last Starfighter, The Boy Who Could Fly, Dennis the Menace, and one I know I've seen, Major Payne. Yes, Major Payne was directed by the guy in the coveralls and Halloween mask.

What about that mask? That was a Capt. Kirk mask bought for two dollars, repainted for the film, which also features a snippet of one song you know I love, "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult.

Safe to say, Halloween blows away most of the films it spawned in the slasher genre, including its own sequels, which are still, to me, a lot of fun to watch.

So I wonder what I'll talk about on Halloween. Maybe Born On the Fourth of July?

Halloween's preserved in the National Film Registry as a historically significant work.

Happy Easter, monster fans.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A dozen to write

We just got another seven sales for t-shirts, with more on the way! How about yours?

Cecil L. Disharoon
542 6th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101

$1.30 covers shipping and handling. The issue itself, DNA #1, retails for $3.25, but you can have it for $3, a total of $4.30.

Meanwhile, our remaining t-shirts are available at Convention Special Price, for $12 each or 2 for $20, plus $5.00 for shipping & handling.

You can do the same over PayPal, at !!!

AND!! You can use the button provided; the $15 will cover your postage.

D'n'A t-shirt #1


D'n'A t-shirt Puzzle pieces (girl and boy)

Integr8d Soul will be appearing at the Anaheim Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, May 1st, get your tickets online or at the door, come out and meet Lue Lyron and the Marc Kane.

Organize a dozen stories you wish to tell (accepting a reserve slot for the one you just put aside days ago for reflection). Go!

Revisit 1This Star Fallen thinking of Vita as depending on music to live! She has lots of people who like her. She evokes either tolerance or irritation, but is basic ally a nice person, albeit with some edgy notions. The first meeting of several characters is also highly interesting when you know what’s to come. And who says I do?

The Triplets now have aliases they can use easily enough in the United States...they start to learn quite a bit of what the world's like, and when you look at some of it yourself, you see how it's not done the way that makes sense...I think they will find being normal teenagers an adventure. So, Eldon, Annalisa, and Zed are the identities taken by the Trips, Elda, Analogy, and Zero, who are only glimpsed at most in this story, "This Star Fallen." Here, we introduce a continuing cast, to a series of prose stories, all of which I'd like to adapt into comics, of course!

So: A cop meets a school teacher; a mom becomes a new school teacher; we get a bit of what the campus is like, what the day there is like...just before it all goes truly strange.

The dogs know something spiritually disturbing, but in each other find calm. They express tremendous grief and confusion! They have their understanding of the destruction, but also, of loyalty. If I had a dog right now, bet this would be easier to write.

3 Akuma Shogun (Tsunami)
Having flown a great ways to Japan from a wrecked boat, the vampire sees an elderly woman struggling to survive, some two or three days after the waves (inspired by a real such lady).
Akuma, who says his name is Ken, stays on the rooftop with her, himself hungry. He is impressed with her strength. He cannot truly help her, merely wait for her to pass. But will she survive her encounter with the tsunami, and the death angel?

4 Jinzounigan Kikansei (Tsunami): Nippon's Last Hope stands in the sun, as we find its pilot Sakura reviewing situation: how to shut down reactors. (Even beyond this great robot?)

Inspired, perhaps, by this idea while writing Awesome Android in last year’s “The Spill and the Spider” when I thought, “if only this mechanoid could be used for good in the face of disaster?”

This, storywise, is before the advent of Azuthar, an extra-dimensional monster, antagonist to all gathered. Perhaps I’m jamming in too much (having started with a set of real life human interest stories and going to five intersecting tales of the fantastic), but I feel fine so far. That’s what she said.

5. Subhuman Mutate: I’m starting to get a cool idea what kind of personality this outward monster has. And...remember the four month old baby story, from actual accounts, mentioned in previous posts? She has, in this story, a bizarre savior. Maybe a bit obvious, but you can do some interesting writing with the idea.

6. The story inspired by my collaborator...also considering debuting another new hero, who has to be read to be believed. This one got the most thorough stop and may have to become what it what going to be, but I do have this crazy idea...

7 Finally, I see these solo characters all meeting in a multi-level encounter with some serious unearthly death and badness, vying to be as horrid but more fear inducing even than the natural horrors upon the island nation. This gives me something more brief than simply writing three chapters of TRANZ as I'd planned: this is stuff I can finish this spring!

8Harvester of Eyes: The ending’s been playing in my mind most lately when I think of this story: I think I really got the first two thirds of this story the night I couldn’t sleep coming up with it.

9 Story for “Ghosts We’ve Met” in NOT ANOTHER COMIC BOOK #1. A variation, as it were, on previous efforts. Third time’s a charm---that’s right, third version of same comic book, only, most definitely not the same as anything. Pick it up and see what you think...late this spring.

I haven’t forgotten to work on DNA and STUX, so there’s two more stories, but wait until you hear about the newest member of our least, I hope so. An inker lives across the street.

It’s a complete dozen, then. I also have “Phenomenal Experience,” a story I started late last fall and then...waited. Wondered if I was chicken? Or did I want to seek out some more information in adding to the authentic vocabulary? I mean, life after’s as though the story could never be good enough unless it reveals to us how to do it, how to seek out the consciousness of the nearly departed and repair their bodies for continuing reception of their selves?

Any other story may leap back into the fray, but I see how I could easily do more than one version of any of these dozen, and over the past six months they are my well spring of ideas. Still, with all the new ideas, and new situations like attending shows, what else will come next? When will I find myself here typing? If I’m alive and well, won’t we see?

I spent the day examining Anaheim Comic Convention as a possibility and came up with two plans. More on which is chosen later. Lots of musical interest as well, made long list of covers.
My new model’s going to flip when she opens these pictures this morning.

Be Chill, Cease ill

Yes, before I'm done with all this, I will be ready to edit a volume of my writing for you to buy for yourself. I will make it affordable, okay?

Options for donors in the United States:

Network for Good's response to the tsunami. They have confirmed that the following organizations are mobilized to provide relief services:
AMERICAN RED CROSS (EIN: 53-0196605); Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters.

SAVE THE CHILDREN (EIN 06-0726487); Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter.

GLOBALGIVING (EIN 30-0108263); Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami.

OXFAM USA (EIN 23-7069110); Oxfam is poised to respond if disaster strikes vulnerable countries in its path. has set up a Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.

Text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, 24480 Network Place, Chicago, IL 60673-1244.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is also tracking efforts from charities.
Give2Asia launches Fund for Japan Tsunami & Earthquake.
InterAction has a list of organizations accepting donations for disaster relief.
Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) brings hope to over 4.5 million children in need every year by giving them new clothes, shoes, books, toys , furnishings and baby gear. This is made possible by manufacturers, retailers and licensors who donate NEW product, as well as individuals and foundations who provide financial support.. The agency utilizes a global distribution network of more than 1,000 local nonprofits. You can make a donation to the K.I.D.S. Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children's Fund by texting the word ALLKIDS to 85944 to make a $5 donatoin to KIDS on your mobile phone bill. Because K.I.D.S. has a 10 to 1 system of matching $10 worth of product for every $1 donated, your $5 will provide $50 worth of brand new merchandise to victims in need.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

True to myself...

Okay. Now my tsunami stories have resulted in the creation of three strange new forms of savior in irradiated, devastated Japan. I thought about them in true, realistic human terms, first, and now, a month later, I am beginning to allow some creativity to come alongside my reverence for the loss of life.

I think the three I created this morning may join with some existing characters, Miracalla (a free spirited vampire of two hundred teen-like years) and Corin (a human boy sharing his existence with the cybernetic messiah).

I thought a vampire arriving upon this scene could be interesting, indeed. More on him later. I don't have a name for this old nobleman, don't believe anyone alive knows it save for maybe Lord Dragonvayne. I don't want a repeat of that character or I will decide to do him here instead. Shogun Akuma (demon, fiend) is what I'm thinking. Akuma and Valkyrie Maid will be the key to stopping this Azuthar from crossing over. Someone (Cooper Bloodsworth?) is making a spell at the time that brings Sylvane to carry the battle to Azuthar's dimension, and thus, away from earth.

I haven't forgotten the Harvester of Eyes either, over in so after some rest I'll practice guitar and work on the next installation of that story, which will go three, four parts, if I don't finish it now...maybe I should make it under 4,000 words and see if Red Stone wants it?

So: Danger Bot, Subhuman (a Russian, changed by Chernobyl), Shogun Akuma, my newest three, meet Valkyrie Maid, Miracalla, and a character whose name I'm remembering, who is my fourth new creation, and my third of the night...and also, Corin, Cybernetic Savior.

Shogun Akuma may meet Miracalla. The story of the 77 year old woman clinging to the rooftop for three days (was it four?) before being rescued will intersect with this new character. Now, it's got something original. Maybe I should've just written about them straight, but I still will, I just might add a twist, in "Meet me by the Sea."

I thought of a mutated subhuman emerging in the waters, after long years of self-imposed exile from man. Subhuman will intersect with the story about the four month old baby.

The two dogs will be as it is. I believe.

Robotto Kikensei, or Danger Bot, is a seventeen foot tall robot created in secret for the purpose of dealing with superhuman catastrophe. Danger Bot's pilot is Kumiko Sakura, and her inspiration is the Fukushima fifty, and the samurai before them. I know they would've welcomed something like Danger Bot to provide shielding and apply superhuman strength to burying the reactors. I do not want to trivialize the lives lost in Japan, but I thought about having something horrible emerge, conjured unintentionally by the sacrifice of their lives...something seeking to ruin the leaking reactors further. I believe Valkyrie Maid is drawn there by the courageous ones who sacrifice their lives for others, and she is also brought to witness (but not yet to accompany) the Fukushima Fifty, that is, the workers who exposed themselves to deadly radiation in an effort to save their country from ruin and further destruction. So, she and Danger Bot will share an adventure.

I will now do my five tsunami stories with my own science fiction flavor involved. I will still present them as a gift to those who have donated to Red Cross but I will check out the many resources and see if there is another suitable one we can help support.

I will then render them in comic book adaptation when I work on Portal Immortal (after Not Another Comic Book one and two, DNA 1 and 2, and Stux 1 and 2 are published).

I don't know where this will fit into my Portal Immortal series, but it will. (Next, I figure out how to thread it through 3, 4, 5, and 6)

I won't even have the first one drawn until the end of the year, though! Maybe I'll revise the early episodes and insert these tales-perhaps as early as issue four. Perhaps even issue three? Valkyrie Maid's services in Japan would trigger her appearance, and would send her children to safety, thus conjuring the Triplets (Eldon, Zed and Annalysa), who then begin figuring out how they might be able to start a more continuous life here on Earth, and theirs is the main plot in three, then the subplot in four (where I can introduce brand new Danger Bot, and perhaps, these other characters...)

I think it heralds something much more terrible, and that is the threat that will bring Corin, our Japanese Shogun vampire, Miracalla, the Subhuman, Danger Bot, and one final character (two? a guest, in Sunstrike and Valkyrie Maiden? or even Eldon (Analogy) Jerasun, Annalisa Kane(Elda Kane), and Zed Jerasun (Zero). Sounds cool!

That final character is an Indian island flavored response to my favorite wall crawler...and his story will be the one my friend suggested, about survivor guilt, and will focus mostly upon sisters and a family full of high standards and little affection, changed forever by natural disaster. I have the name, somewhere.

I can't find it yet, but I'll ask..

At least, this take has me still thinking about the series I've been writing and keeps my word about the tsunami stories at the same time. Dual purpose!

And, Johann's response:
Spiderman = Makul Miniha
Shogun = The name of my 125 Labrador who is afraid of thunder, lightning and fire crackers.
Vampire Shogun = Please read Dr. Who the eight and ninth Doctor ( The collected works ).

Sri Lankan Super Powers = Because he took this to heart
"Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. But after observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ... The Buddha ( I believe that this saying and another is the basis for his power ) ...... or .......

Finds the original Navarathne ( The 9 gems of power a.k.a the 9 gems of renewal) sans 1 ( Debra lost 1 of the gems in the navarathne pendant she had made fer herself). Although I think the navarathne concept is too close to the infinity mitten saga.

Then he offered some inspiration:
Sunstrike = Batman Beyond / old Batman ( the one who was not chummy with anyone except Robin and Alfred; Bats has too many friends these days ). Works with / or against the league ( depending on the agenda or situation) but does not join.

Also look to Warren Ellis for a few hero idea's

Then, he remembered exactly the character for which I was asking him to contribute:

"And I think I have told you about the " Black Warrior " 5 nerds ( from Mallet or Big Bang Theory ) who invent and share a suit of Armour ( the confusion is endless and funny ). Can make two of them women ( I can see it now :- one of the chicks wearing the " Black Warrior " falls in love with Sunstrike and comes on to him and then when he hits on her later it's a guy wearing the suit .)"

(That is a great idea, Johann. We haven't talked about Black Warrior since we lived near the Black Warrior River!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Too ridiculous!!

Look out, Astra Kelly has new music breaking; see the end of the program for that, and now here's:

So as I was sitting out here after reading over "Harvest of Eyes: First Approach", I thought about how much fun I had making new friends and just being friendly and having friends with whom to never grow old together.

great new version of this Bob Dylan song, from a most promising newcomer, may her career last on. Wow, how do you follow that? It's up to you.

I can't put any singer I can think of next to that after listening.

Okay. Now I'm back to Earth. Okay, I remember, after that build up, I promised you Astra's new song. You don't like it, phone the radio station, but I think you will, and here's someone who's paid dues and written and produced and I just admire her balance I wonder, what other great people will I meet upon venturing out now after the Con One has passed? Who's playing near you? Or what is the song in your own heart, with which you're creating moments?

In honor of my friend at Merchant's, my 6th Ave. convenience store, some Beatles every morning brings you...the Beatles!
Okay, that's too ridiculous, I'm out....Peace!

(I have tons more to do, but we'll get there.)

So how was LA?

The Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention. A name, as Mr. Lucas would say, to conjure with.

In every way purely to do with us, Integr8d Soul, the team, the two of us, passed with flying colors. Our table with every size and design laid out neatly for passersby was centered with the first of several new comics. No other new comic book was there to be launched by an individual.

Our Convention finding efforts were rewarded with valuable experience, and we weathered the worst it could be without losing our cool.

One comic book, signed to Sarah, who generously offered a fiver to the starving artists she jovially paid respect. One t-shirt, soon to warm the heart of the girlfriend of the vendor beside us. She will love it and look really great. Those two sales mean a lot to me, as did the score of meaningful looks accorded our brand new merchandise.

This we sold, in exchange for:

One $115 table. Two tickets for $48, round-trip. $31 road expenses. One twenty hour day.

While we attended with all-original material:

Most of what was "brand new" on sale was previous inventory, as though numerous overburdened collectors and stores converged to liquidate. The average purchase was like my own: about nine dollars. My six Hellblazers, four Jack of Fables, my copy of What Th---?!?, and four indie titles I'd never tried and a beat up old copy of Hulk #300, which I've never read, were pretty indicative of the sorts of sales after ten thirty all over the conventional setting. All the steals that could be pumped for a profit in stores and collections were the subject of the first hour's pillaging, and during that time it dawned on me not to lose hope for good things, but we were in the wrong place, LOL

Most of what was "brand new" on sale was previous inventory, as though numerous overburdened collectors and stores converged to liquidate. The average purchase was like my own: about nine dollars. It was one huge bargain bin, a place you can bring your kids and find some cheap out of package toys---and hey, that's no bad thing for a local show.

In absence of anyone's helpful advice, we figured out a lot from this, like a number one ranked team dropping a shocker, the long term conversation, it made clear what we want, what we've got, where we belong, and in the competition to be our best, we nailed it. What i didn't really get, going in, was the nature of Figeurosa Ave.'s neighborhood equivalent of a Comic Con. The other subtle differences in definition will be instructive as I plan the rest of our summer, I bet you.

I won't get into the hot dogs nor the burned Chinatown pot noodles. The local Jack in the Box was not the local color I sought but that company really is successful with friendly employees, in every franchise I've visited (we go about 3, 4 times a year?)

Please don't think my spirits were down, by the time I had a meal and a few jokes with Angela and an issue of the Jack of Fables afterwards before taking the Metro back to Greyhound. An old Indian man spent about ten minutes giving me the low down on traveling the buses in downtown and pointed out the subway, and along with a clue dropped by a patron at the Con and a flyer that came by, the top of my list to research is the con in Long Beach. I can't wait to work on new material this week, I've always depended on the arrival of merciful muses! You won't forget my latest:

The trip back came with a great insight into how to finish the first issue of Not Another Comic Book, then a nap, then, thanks to Angela, some good ass music: I awakened with "The Pretender" in my ears, and then "Gin and Juice" as we rode through Long Beach on the way back to San Diego, then "Rockin' in the Free World" and "A Hard Day's Night" and "My Hips Don't Lie" and "Under Pressure" on the way out of Ocean side!

Call it Quixotic if you will. The friendly faith of just one single person at a time means we are all watching a dream come true, mine, and in your own world, yours. That inspiration, I wish to be found in every life. I will find inspiration in any life of mine.